I teach English.  More importantly, I teach English in the City of Philadelphia to students of varied races in a very low socioeconomic area.  As a result, I do my best to to incorporate literature written by people of all races and religions in every course I teach.  I follow the school district curriculum as much as possible so that my students will pass the standardized tests.

So I was really insulted when a few of our students wore all black and protested in front of our building because we weren’t doing anything for Black History Month.  I should mention that we didn’t do anything for Hispanic History Month (October), and we weren’t planning on doing anything for Women’s History Month (April).  Our school makes a special effort to include all cultures in all of our lessons and relate what we’re doing to our student base. We strive to be better then those schools who, because they ignore the black students most of the time, NEED Black History Month to remind them that we are a multiracial society (though I take issue with the fact that African Americans aren’t the only minority and yet their political groups insist on pushing their histpry over all others).  But since these students decided that we don’t try hard enough the rest of the year (and we REALLY, REALLY do), I have to take days away from the middle of a lesson on the Canterbury Tales (in which I included the Middle Eastern and African influences that entered Europe after the Crusades) to show some movie that has no relevance to what I’m doing in class.

**In an unrelated note, I am currently in the middle of a divorce (which I’m writing about here: http://thisismyamerica.wordpress.com/) and 17 weeks pregnant, which is why I have been slacking off on my writting. I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.  Thanks for your patience.


4 Responses to “Coercion”

  1. March 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Fuck, you’re kidding me about the divorce? Jesus wept, Dave at daveawayfromhome is also struggling, hope you and yours are okay.


  2. 2 unitedwelay1
    March 1, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Not kidding about the divorce. He’s a moron. M son seems to be okay, and I’m staying calm to make sure the baby’s okay. Thanks for the support!

  3. 3 Deb
    March 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Wow, so much going on for you. Blog when you can and know that we will be here. BTW, George Carlin does a riff about cultural awareness that I thought was so insightful.

  4. March 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Sad about the divorce, but not totally surprised considering the events a couple of years ago. Thinking good thoughts about you, and a few prayer too. (you told me some time ago that they were all right with you.)

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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