44 Days

I will NEVER teach again…

Or so I thought.

Back in April, while walking through the French Quarter with my boothang, Lib, the United Arab Emirates came up. Maybe we were talking about our upcoming trip in September, the details are foggy, but we came up with bright idea of uprooting our daughters and moving there instead of visiting.  We vowed to return home and look for jobs. Later that week, for some reason, I told Noelle about my masterplan and she immediately introduced me to women who were now teaching in Abu Dhabi.  Lib introduced me to a few more ladies and I had an instant network and support system (Hey Tanai, Jilene, and Katrina!!!).  I haven’t taught since 2011 and I never thought I would look back.  Clearly, I need to stop saying never.

I applied for – and was rejected by – the Abu Dhabi school system. My new friends told me to be patient and diligent.  After being told no, I realized that I wanted this more than anything. I continued my search and ended up in contact with a recruiter who was seeking a teacher for an American school in Sharjah, the emirate adjacent to Dubai.  We exchanged emails for a week or two when one day, he told me that I had an interview and that it was at 9am, UAE time. I stayed up WAY past my bedtime, put on makeup (just in case it was a video call), and waited. When the principal finally called, I felt more confident that I was making the right decision.  He asked me to tell him about three things: Me, my teaching style, and my reason for wanting to move to Dubai. We chatted like old friends about Jacinda, my love for football, and my last year teaching in Chicago Public Schools. After we were done, I asked him how long it would take to hear back from him.  He said, “Soon.”

I woke up the next morning with an email from the recruiter.  Apparently, I was amazing. My offer included housing in a brand new building for Jacinda and me, a stipend in addition to my tax-free salary, and the realization that I would be moving away from Chicago for the first time in my 35 1/2 years of life. A month and a half has passed since I accepted the offer. I’ve told a few people but haven’t made an official announcement…until today. Our one way tickets to Dubai have been booked and on August 10, 2015, I’ll be doing something I never thought I would do: go back into the classroom.  I’m much more nervous about teaching again than I am about leaving the US. I’ll miss my friends and family, Jacinda will adjust to life abroad, and I’ll still have the conveniences of Western civilization.  After four years, I think I’m ready to return to a career I was once passionate about. My time spent away taught me a great deal about myself and what I was put on this earth to do…adults just aren’t my thing.

I plan to spend the next month and a half enjoying Chicago, loving on my family and friends and preparing to leave the only place I’ve ever called home.  If I request your presence at some point during this summer, it’s because I want to spend time with you before I leave.  Indulge me. You never know…you might need a tour guide in the UAE (tour guide, not place to stay…just so we’re clear). I hope to get a chance to see all of your lovely faces before I leave in 44 days…2 hours…27 minutes.

XOXO

JK

STFU and MYOB

People don’t know when to mind their own business. Unsolicited advice, uninformed opinions and the ability to leave comments leaves you with a shitload of experts who think that reading Wikipedia that one time gives them a PhD in Other People’s Lifesioligy.  I’ve devised a simple test to let you know if you should have an opinion on a particular topic. If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should probably STFU and MYOB.

Hair
1) Did it grow from your scalp?
2) Is it on the head of your offspring?
3) Did anybody ask you?

Vaginas
1) Does the vagina belong to you?
2) Have you been given permission by the vagina owner to insert your penis?
3) Did anybody ask you?

Spanking
1) Is the child bleeding?
2) Are there any broken bones?
3) Did anybody ask you?

Relationships
1) Are you a member of the relationship?
2) Have you earned some type of certification awarded by an accredited organization granting you the authorization to dispense advice?
3) Did anybody ask you?

Body Weight
1) Is it your body?
2) Have you earned some type of certification awarded by an accredited organization granting you the authorization to dispense advice?
3) Did anybody ask you?

Money
1) Does it belong to you?
2) Is it owed to you?
3) Did anybody ask you?

If you have answered any of these questions about any of these topics negatively and you still feel the need to dispense advice, you’re beyond saving. God help us all.

How to Remain Unemployed

I have officially retired from teaching and begun my career in Human Resources. Specifically, I recruit software consultants for a very large and well known organization. I am literally giving away jobs. Literally. Giving away jobs just might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, though, because it seems that some folks are intentionally contributing to the unemployment rate. I’m beginning to think that people don’t really want jobs, they just want to show that they’re looking and then go home and play X-Box all day. I’m in the business of helping people be the best them that they can possibly be, so I’ve compiled a list of surefire ways to make sure you never have to stop playing Call of Duty. Ever.

1. Cancel job interviews If you don’t want to work, cancel your interview. You can reschedule, but there is nothing like canceling at the last minute. This says to future employers “I know you want me to come to work everyday, but I’m going to figure out a way to get out of it twenty minutes before it’s time for me to come in.”

2. Have janky ass phone etiquette Full voicemail box. Caller tunes. An entire Trey Songz/Trinidad James/Taylor Swift song as your outgoing message. Disconnected number. Community cell phone that your bad ass kids answer. You get the picture.

3. Dress like a teenager Get your interview suit from the junior department. Make sure it is short, tight, and revealing. If you are a man, make sure there are sparkles on the pockets of your button down shirt…wait, don’t wear a button down shirt. Dressing up for interviews is for chumps. Just keep on the outfit you wore to the club the night before.

4. Make your resume a clusterfuck of nonsense There is nothing an interviewer hates more than knowing that your hobbies are fantasy football, video games, and reading so make sure you include stuff like that. We also abhor your use of fonts like Comic Sans and Papyrus. Bad grammar and misspellings are also great ways to make sure you never have to give up your seat on the couch.

5. Reveal personal information Live at home with your mom? Tell me all about it! Hate your former boss? I need to know these things!! Miss my scheduled call because you were out running errands? That’s EXACTLY what I want to know!!!

6. Lie Sure, I can do everything that is listed on my resume…now what was it that I said I could do?

There are countless other ways you can do your part to make sure the unemployment rate NEVER goes down. Don’t stop believing. I know you can do it!!

Mr. Nice Guy From Hell

I have a new blog. It should be fun. I might ask you to contribute!!!

https://mrniceguyfromhell.wordpress.com/

Hope you enjoy!!!

The Thirst

Are you thirsty? Not for water, for an individual for whom you think you might have a romantic connection. I keep reading tweets from men who claim that showing a woman interest doesn’t equal thirst and that these women just aren’t used to a man treating them well…which is a hot, steaming pile of horseshit because A) I’ve fallen victim to The Thirst and B) I am well aware of how to be treated by a man…that I’m interested in. Unwanted romantic advances fall into three categories: Persistence, Thirst, and Stalking. (Keep in mind, it is only considered annoying if you’re not interested in the individual; otherwise, it’s normal courting.)

Persistence Back in August, I received a message in my inbox on Facebook from a guy I went to high school with. I didn’t know him then, still don’t know him now, but he had been liking and commenting on quite a few posts and pictures. This means absolutely nothing…or it means absolutely EVERYTHING!! Turns out, the gentleman wanted to date me. He never outright said “I’d like to take you out on a date.” Instead, he relied on the persistence method, also known as the Steve Urkel I’m Wearing You Down approach. This rarely works.

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No. For the love of God, NO!!! That shit is not endearing, it’s called pre-stalking. This man had the nerve to say stalking was subjective…and then I knew precisely why men make statements like, “You just don’t know it feels to have a real man treat you good.” If the response to your persistence are one word answers and you never seem to quite make any ground with the object of your affection, chances are this person is trying not to reject advances you’re too chicken shit to make. The man who thought persistence was the key to my heart sent this final message on New Year’s Day:

I really would have liked to have had a chance to get to know you. No disrespect, I know you’re attached now, but I hope you’ll keep my application on file should the future husband position be available again. Best wishes beautiful.

Persistence only works when feelings are reciprocated, only then it’s called dating.

The Thirst People confuse persistence with thirst all the time. The litmus test is quite simple: Would you be disgusted by the actions if you had any interest whatsoever in the individual? If so, it’s probably just some poor overanxious soul who really wants your attention. If you are disgusted and appalled by this person, you are officially a victim of The Thirst. Similar to persistence, The Thirst can be misconstrued. If you receive a message describing what the sender wants to do to every inch of your body from someone you want to do things to every inch of your body, it’s not The Thirst, it’s sexting. If you haven’t seen the married individual since 1993 when he was your summer boyfriend, it’s not only thirsty, it’s creepy.

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1) This man has never met my child. 2) My Facebook inbox is not here for this foolishness. 3) Ew.

The Thirst comes in all kinds of flavors: Excessive commenting and liking of posts, statuses, and pictures…and by excessive, I mean ALL, insisting that you can do better than someone else’s man/woman, being extra…The Thirst is easily identified: Have you gotten anywhere with your “flirting”? No…oh, it’s because you’re fucking thirsty!!!

Stalking I’ve been stalked before and it’s not to be taken lightly. Back in college, a man who at one point went to the university in a neighboring town decided to set his sights on me. During a weekend break, while we were on the phone, he asked me where I lived. I gave him a general vicinity and we continued to talk on the phone. He told me he had some errands to run and we ended our conversation. About an hour later, he called me back and asked what exit he needed to take to get to my house. I was utterly confused…and then he explained he wanted to surprise me so he didn’t tell me he was about to make a 60 mile drive to my house unannounced. I told him my mother and I were about to leave out and then realized I had a weirdo on my hands. A few weeks later, while visiting a friend at his “school,” he found out I was in town, attempted to explain away his skeevy behavior and offered to drive us around to some of his fraternity events. I obliged. Long story short, he tried to kill me. Like physically wrap his hands around my throat and strangle the life from my tiny little body. He was chased down by his frat brothers, the police were called, a restraining order was filed, and I went back to my school. After he showed up on my campus asking around for me, I had to contact the campus police and let my dorm director know I had a stalker. According to the messages I continued to get, he just wanted to tell me sorry and know if he could try again. 1) No. 2) I never slept with this dude nor gave him any indication I planned on handing over my virginity to him. 3) No. I heard from one of his frat brothers that he was creeping on another freshman…it took him until I left for summer break for him to stop calling, writing letters, and doing other stalky shit. (I just looked him up on Facebook…his occupation is listed as professional boxer…go fucking figure)

It’s quite simple to determine whether your method is working: Are you in a relationship with the person you’re creeping on? Are you being ignored? Have your requests ever been honored? Will your actions put you in prison? Is there a restraining order against you? Really? Well, you just might be a persistent, thirsty stalker. This means you Blue Line Tyrell.

How Many F$,!*s Do You Give?

These days, nobody gives a fuck. Folks pride themselves on counting the number of fucks they give and ending up right where they started: zero. Nights out kickin it begin and end with no fucks being given…but since dudes don’t give a fuck about these chicks and chicks don’t give a fuck about these dudes, I’m guessing nobody’s actually fucking. YOLO? In the midst of all the four letter shenanigans, people really have stopped caring. We pride ourselves on only looking out for ourselves, doing only what we want to do, and saying exactly what we want, whenever we want. We tweet celebrities and tell them how stupid they are. We snap pictures of unsuspecting strangers for offending our eyes with their awful. We Instagram screenshots of the dumb shit our friends do and say. We belittle the uneducated for their lack of intelligence who respond to their mentions being blown up for not knowing Rodney and Martin Luther were NOT brothers with feeble attempts at reclaiming their social media dignity. Of course, we don’t give no fuck and RT the shit out of it anyway.

Somehow, somewhere, when we all stopped caring, we started allowing ourselves to become jaded and bitter beings who lash out when we believe our opinions to be fact, undaunted by the hurt feelings we cause because we don’t give a fuck. Trayvon Martin was killed by a man who didn’t give a fuck that the teen’s Skittles weren’t a gun and that he might actually be terrified of the strange man following him around in the dark. Jerry Sandusky’s victims were robbed of their innocence because no one gave a fuck about the inappropriate nature of his relationship with under-privileged boys seeking a role model, a father figure, a friend. When Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston lost their battles to the sickness that is addiction, far too many of us didn’t give a fuck that those women, and countless others, were ill. That they were terrorized by demons the sober can only pray never catch them. That they left behind people who loved them despite their troubles and saw only the beauty of their souls. But man, fuck their souls. They were crackheads, right? And crackheads die, right? Right?

We blame victims. We laud predators. We sit idly by while the rights of our peers are infringed upon. Gays, women, immigrants who speak Spanish. Who gives a fuck about them? We turn our backs on issues that matter and focus on the trivial, like how black women wear their hair and who will marry black women and why black women don’t smile. THOSE are things we give a fuck about. Not why black women are infected with HIV at a rate higher than our white, Asian and Hispanic counterparts. Clearly this is incorrect, because according to Dateline, nobody is checking for us so WHO are we fucking?! We give a whole lot of fucks about those Basketball? Wives? and fail to call attention to the fact that those broads ain’t no damn wives. Oh yeah, I forget, marriage is for white people. We don’t give a fuck about rings and shit and marriage is just a piece of paper. Apparently, a college degree is just a piece of paper, as well.

Perhaps, I’ve gotten it all wrong. I truly believe that deep down inside, we do care about more than being seen at church and brunch on Sunday morning. When my first graders felt helpless, when they believed the tasks they’d been given were too difficult to accomplish, they would act out. Reprimands, corrections and redirections would yield a quietly muttered, “I’on care!” when I knew for a fact that they did care. Maybe we’re all first graders on the inside, screaming out “We don’t give a fuck!!” because we don’t have the answers. We’re faced with situations we believed would be eradicated in post-racial, politically correct America. We’re better, bigger, faster, stronger yet we’re still not perfect. The only way to hide the embarrassment of our failures is to yell out – no longer fearful of being heard – we don’t give a fuck. I think we do.

Black Enough

Is my baby black enough?

It’s not her fault I married a man who is Vietnamese and white. It’s not her fault she’s the color of a file folder. It’s not her fault her hair lacks the curl pattern that forged a permanent alliance between my hair and my no lye relaxer. Every time I look at my beautiful little girl, I wonder how often she’ll be judged for not looking black enough. I wonder how many people won’t look beyond her complexion and hair to realize how wonderful she is, and still would be if her skin was the color of coal and hair the texture of wool. If she dates a black man, will women smirk and think that he only wants her because she’s an LSW? If she dates a non-black, will those same women look at her in disgust because of her obvious shame of her African roots? I’m afraid she won’t be able to win, no matter what she does, it won’t be good enough please the legions of I’m Black and I’m Prouds who denounce those who aren’t black enough and those have to prove their blackness. During the Superbowl last year, my child ran around naked with her freshly unbraided hair flying all over the place before taking her bath. I tweeted that she looked like Troy Polamalu (during the Superbowl in which he was not only playing, but starring in multiple Head & Shoulders commercials) and I was instantly assaulted by two SBWs [the s is for either strong or stank, take your pick] insulted by the mere mention of a black woman’s hair that didn’t include #teamnatural. “Do you want a cookie?” was one of the responses. I blocked both bitches and went about my business but to this day, I can’t help but to still be concerned that my child’s future relationships with other black women may be determined by their annoyance that she doesn’t look black enough. She’ll always be amazing, and not because she’s “light-skinded with good hair,” but because she’s smart, funny, sensitive, caring, and downright extraordinary. I teach her that beauty is only skin deep and that her looks aren’t what make her a star. That she IS black enough, and her complexion and hair have nothing to do with it. That she doesn’t have to tolerate or accept someone else’s judgement based on what she looks like. That she should be proud of her heritage and ancestry, all of it.

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