I've been busy.
I've been battling for my world. I've been holdin it down for mine. I'm ride or die.
Mina got her report card this week. It was poor. And there were conflicting comments in the notes section. I realized that the teacher has most certainly pegged Mina as dumb and there is no clawing her way out of it. On her own at least. And I realized I had had enough of that batty woman's horseshit. I'm not letting one overwhelmed and disorganized teacher tell me or my girl that she's anything less than what she is. Mrs. So-n-So is not gonna drag down Mina's academic confidence. No way. Not when I look into deep, little black eyes and see brilliance doing the back stroke up in there.
Since the receipt of the report card, I've been talking to other parents, often and loudly. I've heard many similar stories about past and present second grade students that have been labeled; some of whom are now in GATE or honors classes. I learned what an IEP test is and I demanded one from our principal. Help may follow because of this, begrudgingly -- maybe. Which is why I've also signed Mina up with a tutoring center; an attentive, caring, understanding and expensive tutoring center. I'm not worried about cost. I know this money will come even if I have to sell fifty thousand cupcakes. I am abundant, goddamnit. I am abundant with brilliant children and love; we are wealthy beyond belief. Don't tell me otherwise.
So, there's been that. I've also been thinking a lot -- again, like always. But I don't want to talk about that.
Oh, and my Tivo-like device offered by the local cable company now has a mind of its own. It records things randomly, programs we don't choose. This started a few months ago when I looked on our play list and noticed a soft porn title, something like The Robot Girls of Venus. I grilled my husband nastily and he swore up and down, vehemently and passionately, that he absolutely did not record such crap. We then realized from the date that the show was recorded when we were out of town, when Grandma Carmen was housesitting and watching the girls. We shuttered and then quickly dismissed. Not that Grandma Carmen isn't getting her grove on with a little grindy-grindy B movie, but would she do that in our house, in our ROOM; record it even? Later Husband accused me of recording the Paris and Nicole Richie show. Then I accused him of recording fifty million Pimp My Rides. Now, we'll randomly look at the list to see what new, mysterious show has popped up. Yesterday it was five new episodes of This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Last night I caught a reading given by a good friend. She and I had met almost a decade ago in a writing workshop. Her third novel just came out in paperback. I crammed myself in the back corner of the historic LA bookstore. I was in a little nook between tall bookcases purposefully getting physical with the books that lined the shelves. They smelled so good. The lighting was dull and terrible in this place; high bulbs let off a lifeless light. My mind wandered a bit as she read, as it sometimes does when she reads, and I looked at the stacks of books on the table and the ripped and curled posters, and I nestled in more against the case. Older intellectual types and hip, young thesis-writing intellectual types listened to her better than I did. I thought about how these types intimidate me. After the reading, my friend signed books and I thumbed through anthologies avoiding my self consciousness that swells around her crowd. And my stomach hurt from wanting this life still so badly. I stood weirdly at bay reading snippets of things; and I didn't feel any less than these people, but more like I don't know what to say when they seem so much more educated and writerly and blahblahblah. My own intelligence seems so raw and unintentional in this setting. Sometimes it makes me feel superior to them. I shuffled over, finally, to my friend and we talked warmly. She has always been supportive and kind to me and she signed my book as she always does: "To a brilliant writer, to a brilliant friend." This always illuminates me, like I'm a child. I left exhilarated by want, beaten down by want. I shrank in the dark as I walked to my car, and in the car I just rested my forehead on the steering wheel.
Happy Birthday, Streetsblog Los Angeles
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