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Adventures in Modern Living

NaNoWriMo

OK. So NaNoWriMo started on the first. I wrote a couple of chapters of How Mom Saved the House While Dead, visited the site, posted there, and have since been working on finding the best way for me to write. HMSWD is safely done in longhand that I will transfer to electronic media at some point during this month.

I thought I would commit to writing daily in the blog to develop the writing habit, which I know requires consistent practice, like medicine.

I hear a sea lion barking.

Just read a book about creating a writing life, and Pernille gave much of the advice I have heard over the years about writing. Central is the fact that one must write, consistently, daily. Word counts or time limits were offered. I was daunted by the thought that I should put out at least a thousand words a day. I barely speak a thousand words in a week. A thousand words or two and one half hours a day. That seems to be the length of most middle school classes on the modified block schedule. Egad what a disaster for schooling.

My attention span is not what it once was, thanks to PTSD, but I try to heal and get on with it. I could not go back to work for the school district. I feel for our children. Those who want to learn are often thwarted by the increased presence of those who share school space because they are forced to.

Like, right this minute, I have the biggest craving for a an egg sandwich on Jewish Rye. I should probably just fight through the craving and reward myself with that egg sandwich when I have this thousand words done. I think I can come up with that much if I focus on pouring my mind out on paper instead of the fluffy buttery egginess of scrambled on toast.

What I’m reading, then. There’s a topic worth at least a couple of hundred words. I read 51idsm4kvzl-_ac_us160_because I am trying to understand where Trump’s supporters are coming from. Once upon a time there existed a coalition among the working-classes, once we worked that color thang out a bit. It was understood, or maybe it was taught by the union leaders, that we all needed to pull together, consider ourselves as of a piece. Hanging together sure beats scrapping over ever smaller bits, once it is understood by those in power that those below can be depended on to turn on one another.

Also reading the following for a similar reason. I want to understand where the vitriol and the utter disrespect for the office of the presidency got its fuel. Anderson, in White Rage, posits that Black achievement is sufficient to trigger White rage. Imagine that. I have seen this attitude in action throughout my life. Don’t drive a car newer or any ways better than the boss’s, or you may never see another raise. You might not keep your job long. Understand it as given that white people of a certain class are jealous of Black people. More than whites fear Blacks, they covet whatever Black people have.

 

Folks in my family told stories of white rage directed against them because they dressed better, drove a better car, lived in a nicer-looking home, had smarter, better-mannered children, all better when they were supposed to be inferior and cowed under the neverending racial terrorism to which they were subjected.

When I attended elementary school, it was just at the dawn of truly achieved, practicable civil rights. I felt that all of my teachers were invested in my successful navigation of school. They felt it was their duty to make certain their charges were doubly and tripley prepared because they knew the challenges we would face competing in the desegregated world. Mom, who grew up in segregation, brought this same mindset to my upbringing. I was reading before I entered preschool, or what was then called nursery school, because Mom believed in being as prepared as possible for whatever life might toss in your way. She never taught me to expect anyone other than myself to take care of me. Her objective for my growing-up was that I be capable of maintaining my independence. I think my primary school teachers held that same objective for all of their students at that time, back in the ’60s.

I could wax rhapsodic about my nursery school years. Everything was not peaches in Georgia all of the time because I do recall the school suffered a break-in and our pets were killed, our environs ransacked. My favorite part of nursery school was the food. We had Cook. She was round, ruddy-cheeked, and had an European accent. She cooked souffle that I can still taste these many  decades later. I learned to make souffles because of this early exposure. Cook also made some mean creamed spinach!

This caring, warm environment in which I began my schooling characterized much of my early experience in the public school system. I felt encouraged, challenged, engaged, rewarded, except for geometry. Algebra made up for that. I would experience that sense of being cared for and about as I learned through most of my academic sojourn. I felt secure learning because I learned how to think, how to question, how to not accept everything at face value. While loving, my teachers were skeptical, I see now. Not about us, their students, but about the country we were born into that had experienced major growing pains to get us to where we were in the 60s and early 70s.

It was only one year before I was born that separate schools were found  by the Supreme Court to be unequal. We have resegregated the schools all over this country. This same Court, constituted by different justices, upheld slavery and white right to discriminate as Blacks had no rights that merited respecting.

Emmett Till was murdered in the year of my birth. Particularly satisfying for me while I was working as a librarian was introducing students, primarily immigrant students, to Emmett Till. Everyone needs to remember Emmett Till.