Who am I?
I am a Woman.
A Black Woman
Born from activists parents.
A Panther Cub —
a child of two members of the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Destined from birth to be a Revolutionary.
I am a Teacher.
Twenty-five years in.
Trying to give my Students:
a voice, a safe space and love.
A place to develop knowledge of their ancestral greatness, and a sense of pride in their heritage.
My Revolutionary Spirit,
nurturing other Revolutionary Spirits.
I am a Cat Lady.
a Self-Professed Crazy Cat Lady.
Owner of SIXTEEN CATS,
or more realistically speaking, they own…
Hobbies. Everybody seems to have a hobby. But my hobby, my hobby is the best. It’s not like that guy, you remember him? From high school? The one who walked around with what seemed like every book he ever owned clenched tightly in both arms and crammed into the overstuffed book-bag that he was nerdy enough to carry over both shoulders, instead of letting it dangle cool-like over one shoulder, so he could use the other arm to sling over his honeys.
Yeah, you remember him. And you remember that he didn’t need that loose hand, cuz he didn’t have…
A trip to a ghetto McDonald’s gets you more than just some fries.
“I want McDono’s!” Tyesha yells from the backseat, her high-pitched voice almost a shriek.
“Me too!” Travelle pipes in, balling his little hands into two tiny fists and smashing them into his thighs.
I glare at them through the rearview mirror, already tired and irritable from having been at the mall all day with a nine year old girl who thinks she needs to go to school looking like a super-model and chooses only the most expensive items in the store that show cleavage she doesn’t have…
Part for five of the bad listener series discusses the different types of judgmental listeners. If you missed part 4 of the series about oppositional listeners, follow the link below.
There are different types of judgmental listeners. Some judgmental listeners are judging you. You tell them stories about things going on in your life, and they are creating an entire negative profile of you based on what you tell them. They are unable to separate what they would or wouldn’t do from how they think you should handle a situation. Now, don’t get me wrong, we ALL judge when we…
In part for four of the bad listener series I discuss oppositional listeners. If you missed part 3 of the series, follow the link below.
Oppositional listeners’ sole purpose in listening to you is so they can contradict everything you say. They are often negative people but sometimes they are only contradictory to certain people. They are also very insecure in that their need to challenge every word you utter can be caused by multiple reasons:
— They need to sound more knowledgeable/savvy than you.
— They inwardly feel you (or sometimes everyone) is smarter than them, so they contradict…
It’s the first hot day of the summer. Momma finally let me wear the strapless, short jumpsuit that I’d had to sneak and buy. I’d saved my allowance for weeks — skipping the afternoon snack from Mr. O’Neal’s store that I wasn’t supposed to be having anyway. That sacrifice has helped me get my ‘summertime figure’ as Momma calls it. I told her that Diane had given me the outfit and that, since it was a gift, it’d be rude not to wear it. Even with that excuse, and Momma is big on etiquette, I still had to beg. Momma…
In part 3 of the Bad Listener Series, the Your-Worries-Ain’t Like-Mine Type of bad listener is discussed. These listeners are a subcategory under Switchers — those who only listen to your conversation in order to find something they can use to switch the conversation to themselves. Switchers are discussed in part 2 of the series:
The Your-Worries-Ain’t-Like-Mine type are people who, when you call them because you need to talk about something/someone that hurt you, or something in your life that is troubling, instead of listening to you and helping you talk things through, their way of ‘comforting’ you, is…
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply.” Steven Covey
So, we have discussed bad listener type 1, The Uh-huher, in the first part of the series. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s the link:
Now on to…
Bad listener series Part 2: The Switcher (still part of Type 1 — people who just don’t listen to others.)
The switcher’s SOLE PURPOSE in listening to your stories is so they can grab a nugget from what you’re saying that they can relate to themselves that will enable…
***Trigger warning: this story details the experience of ambiguity or regret during an elective termination. It may be difficult for some readers***
The air is suffocating me. The smell of alcohol, antiseptic and cleanliness threatens to smother me as I sit in the cushioned chair, anxious and afraid, sandwiched between my mother and my best friend, Rhonda, who flip through magazines with pictures of smiling white ladies on the covers. Wonder what they’re so happy about.
“Come on in, Regina,” says the lady in the white coat, smiling, standing at the doorway that leads to death. I stand up and…
Bad listener type 1: (These may not be in any particular order, but, in my opinion, this is the worst type) The Uh-huher
These are people who, well, just don’t listen to others at all.
They honestly, don’t care about what’s going on in other people’s lives. If you are not listening to or talking about them, they’re not interested.
They remember nothing of what you’ve said in the past (because they weren’t really listening and thus not retaining), so if you’re telling them a story that’s connected to a story you’ve told them before, you have to retell that…
Writer (MFA in Creative Writing), middle-school English teacher (25 years and counting!), college English instructor and crazy cat lady (owner of 16 cats).