Still trying to find My Way

When I go several days without solid sleep, I spiral into a depression that is both full or rage and despair. I have no patience for anything mildly upsetting, and my hyperbolic brain goes into overdrive with the desire to give up. Luckily I am able to recognize this, that these feelings aren’t real and that they flare up when sleep is lacking. Unfortunately there’s not much I can do about it until I can catch up on some Zzz’s.

That said, the last few nights I’ve been feeling a bit of an identity crisis. I have no one to garner feedback from aside my husband, and there is only so much one person can do to help you figure out who you are. I’ve been neglecting myself in the name of education or taking care of my kids. It’s rare when I take the time to look at myself in the mirror. Like, really look at myself. I have neglected to nurture myself in meaningful ways, and I’m not even sure what that would look like.

I am trying to figure My Way. Mariame Kaba, prison abolitionist and active twitter user, occasionally tweets out advice regarding getting overwhelmed, finding what you can do to help combat white supremacy.


I have been spiraling toward what it is I want to focus on for a while. First it was linguistics, then raciolinguistics, now multicultural education. I’m still not sure what exactly that means, but I do know that the way I plan to approach it is through a cross-discipline point of view. I want to help minoritized kids in school through decoloninizing the curriculum. Through looking at the history of the Black people in the United States, as informed through Black Feminism, with a linguistic and sociology perspective, I think approaching curriculum or teaching teachers how to teach will help move our society forward. But how much will I need to be involved in educational policy?

I know there are people already out there doing this work, but I am not acquainted with any of them, or at least very few. I’m still working on learning my black history and feminism, and perhaps in the next month or two I will move onto reading about pedagogy and papers created by people who are in the educational linguistics and multicultural education “departments.” Continue on my journey to self inform until such time that I get into grad school.

I was hoping that I could have a more direct impact in my community through the NAACP, but I’m not sure that’s going to work out. I will need to find another route since my current reaching out has been met with mostly silence. I have not earned anyone’s trust, I suppose, but my attempts in trying I guess isn’t working out. It is what it is. I’ll just have to find another way.

Anyway, I’m super tired. I wish I could be more alert, have more brain power to write more in-depth analysis of what I’ve been reading so far. One of these days it will happen. Just won’t be today.

Never, Ever Say/Allude/Infer “Not all ___” in an Argument. EVER.

It’s interesting to me how quickly people respond with “But I don’t do that” whenever a generalization is made. The compulsion to constantly reiterate “Not All ____” is strong in many people. There is a natural need to refute negative opinions, especially if you fall within a group that is being targeted.

Here’s the thing though – no one is targeting you specifically. And if the generalization doesn’t apply to you, then be grateful and move on. You do not need to defend yourself if you’re not guilty of the act, and you especially do not need to go out of your way to make it known.

“White people are racists.”
“Not me! No one I know is. #notallwhitepeople !!”

“Men are rapists.”
“I never raped anyone. #notallmen !!”

Congrat-u-fucking-lations! Consider yourself a decent human being and know that you aren’t the one being talked about. But there are millions of other people who fall into the category of “men” and “rapist”, “white” and “racist” that the generlizations are true. Overwhelmingly so.

If you have a problem with generalizations, there is something you can do about it: attack it. But don’t attack the people MAKING the generalizations — attack the people who CAUSE it. Are you a man and don’t want to be associated with rapists? Then talk about rape culture with other MEN so as to lessen the number of assaults. Are you white and tired of being lumped with racists? Well guess what — you can learn about critical race theory and work toward dismantling white supremacy by teaching other WHITE people about it. Call out racists when they’re being racists. Call out sexual harassment when you see someone (man or woman!) being inappropriate.

If it makes you uncomfortable that you can’t seem to disassociate yourself with these generalizations, then you’re in the right spot. You SHOULD be angry that there are a lot of scumbag men and a lot of racist white people in the world. But what are you going to DO about it?

The answer isn’t, and should never be, to argue against the people who are telling you that they have been hurt – multiple times and in multiple ways – by those particular groups. Because then all you’re doing is shifting the blame to the victim. It shows you’re not really interested solving the problem. Your “woe is me, boohoo, I hate these generalizations” don’t do anyone any good.  Hold the OFFENDERS RESPONSIBLE. Don’t sweep it under the rug because it’s easier to say or do nothing. That’s how we got into this mess.


Motherly Woes

I have children who struggle with sleep. My youngest daughter, currently 15 months, is in a constant state of teething: there are always three to four teeth coming in at once. Luckily once this round is done, only two year molars remain, but I have a feeling that once her canine come in, those molars won’t be too far behind.

So I sit here, listening to her wail after having spent an hour in her room trying to soothe her. Nothing works. Now I’m out of her way, and she is practically growling in there. What a mean mommy I am.

It’s frustrating. I’m constantly second guessing myself. She needs sleep training, but is now the time to do it when I know there are three canines coming in? In turn, do I really want my entire night dominated by her cute little presence when I’ve spent the entire day in her presence? Always on call, 24/7, wondering what I’m doing to fuck things up this time — Fuck it up with too much love and back-bending, or fuck it up with not enough compassion in a time of need.

This is why I have trouble getting on track for doing anything. I’ve been reading the linguistics and grammar textbooks, but infrequently and without any real plan in mind. Notes here and there as I think of it. But then I have nights like these, quite often, where I give in to their little demands because it’s just easier that way. Who wants to listen to a baby wail for hours? Not me, especially when I’m already wore down to the marrow.

I had the intention of getting up early in the morning to get some work done then, but I still have frequent night wakings where I have to soothe one or both children at some point during the night. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve had 8 hours of consecutive sleep. Or six. Last night I got maybe four – between 1:30 am to 5:30am. Doesn’t make for very restful sleep, and hell if I’m going to get up early when I can’t even get my ass to bed until late at night because I need SOME down time.

I keep hearing, and keep telling myself, “It’ll get better.” When, exactly? When they’re 18 and out of the house?

Wah wah wah waaaaahhhh.



In other news, I started following some linguistic word press sites. I love posts like this one about distinguishing between theta and eth.

It’s worth noting that function words in English, like pronouns, prepositions, and determiners, tend to have ð, while content words, especially nouns, tend to have θ.


Good Rhetoric

Let’s talk about rhetoric.

The thing that drives me crazy about the internet is its overuse of hyperbole. You often see articles that say things like quotation marks so-and-so destroyed blah blah with such and such. Words like destroy, decimate, epic, hero are all being over used in an incorrect way. It creates a society that doesn’t know the proper definition of words and so when we start using phrases like “fake news”, people just jump on it to use on anything that they don’t agree with. 


Oddly enough a good example of Rhetoric came to light this evening. I had began the previous paragraph earlier in the day, so I find it a pleasant surprise.

I wrote it on Facebook, but I’ll copy it here.
Rhetoric matters. And this is how you do it…

“I’ve been pursuing this issue because the ethics program starts at the top. The signals a President sends set the tone for ethics across the executive branch. Tone from the top matters.  


“It’s important to understand that the President is now entering the world of public service. He’s going to be asking his own appointees to make sacrifices. He’s going to be asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives in conflicts around the world. So, no, I don’t think divestiture is too high a price to pay to be the President of the United States of America.”
The link is a statement from the director Of the Office of Government Ethics regarding President-Elect’s and his appointees’ need to resolve conflicts of interests. 

He not only shows why it’s important, but also gives an example of one of Trump’s appointees successfully clearing the ethics process. 

While he says that Trump’s current plan to let his kids run his business will not work with government ethics, he adds, “Now, before anyone is too critical of the plan the President-elect announced, let’s all remember there’s still time to build on that plan and come up with something that will resolve his conflicts of interest. In developing the current plan, the President-elect did not have the benefit of OGE’s guidance. So, to be clear, OGE’s primary recommendation is that he divest his conflicting financial interests. Nothing short of divestiture will resolve these conflicts. ” 

He sums up his remarks with “It’s plain to see that none of this reflects any partisan motivation. All you have to do is imagine what

will happen if the President-elect takes this advice and divests. He’ll be stronger. He’ll have a better chance of succeeding. So will the ethics program and the government as a whole. And, in turn, America will have a better chance of succeeding. We should all want that. I know I want that.”
And while I think he says many great things and is overall very positive about his expectations, I will not at all be surprised when Trump gets on Twitter to start spewing more propaganda bullshit that he likes to do.