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Complicity at its Faintest

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But there’s another Detroit, too, of which I am but a small part. It’s been happening quietly and for some time, between transplants and natives, black and white and Latino, city and country — tiny acts of kindness repeated thousands of times over, little gardens and lots of space, long meetings and mowing grass that isn’t yours. It’s baling hay.
It’s the Detroit that’s saving itself. The Detroit that’s building something brand-new out of the cinders of consumerism and racism and escape. I’ve attended a four-person funeral for a stillborn baby that could have been saved but for poverty. I’ve nearly been shot by the police during a stop-and-frisk. I’ve seen three structure fires within a block of my house. But I’ve also walked out of my house to see hundreds of tiny snowmen built by neighborhood children. I’ve seen tears in the eyes of a grown man releasing a baby raccoon into a city park that he had saved from being beaten to death by teenagers. Some scrappy teachers just opened a school in a formerly abandoned building behind my house.

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500

I just moved to Detroit to teach this summer.  It’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done and sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the effort.  But, like this guy, those small moments have made this the best decision of my life.

3 months ago

January 10, 2014
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positivelypersistentteach:

moiyoko:

Ok tumblr, I know the power of the internet so just hear me out right quick as I ask for a simple favor. See those cereal boxes up there? If you buy any Kellogg’s product with that Free Book logo on it there is a 16 digit code inside your box of cereal. Now, when you get three of those codes together you submit them online and they will send you a free Scholastic book. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing it up, so here goes.

I teach first grade at a school where the kids have little to nothing. Through generous donations (government, three square, various community partners, etc.) the kids get backpacks, clothes, shoes, free breakfast/lunch, and some school supplies. The school is not in the best part of town. I’ve had students who live with grandparents because their own parents are in jail, kids who have parents that don’t have custody over them for various reasons, and so on and so forth. Now I am trying to get my kids to read books, but they literally don’t have any books at home that they can use to practice their reading. Sure they get a library book from the school library but it’s not the same, you know? They don’t own the book, it’s not theirs. 

Here’s where you come in. If you happen to buy one of these specially marked boxes and don’t plan on using the code please send me that code through my ask box. If 60 people on here send me a code I’ll be able to get 20 books, which will easily allow me to get each of my students a brand new book of their own. I used the Fly Guy books above because my kids are currently obsessed with the character and the book has sight words that we’re working on in class. Even if you have no codes, I’d appreciate the signal boost as well.

So, if you happen to get a code please send it my way. I would appreciate it and so would my kids. Heck, if I get 60 codes, that would give me enough to give each of my students a book and I will gladly take a picture to show you how excited they are to get a book. If more codes keep coming, I’ll post up their thank you notes. They’re seven so expect something awesome. Thanks in advance.

I think any of the elementary teachers of #education would appreciate this!

Signal boost for helping kids get books.

4 months ago

December 23, 2013
reblogged via positivelypersistentteach
photo On why we use the Oxford comma…

On why we use the Oxford comma…

4 months ago

December 10, 2013
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i just solved racism. you’re welcome

jennyslater:

After observing the wildly disparate reactions among my fellow white Southerners to the cases of Trayvon Martin and Jameis Winston — two African-American teenagers from Florida who have never been charged with any crimes — I have a bit of advice to offer that I think is pretty airtight.

AHEM. YOUNG BLACK MEN: IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED IN THIS COUNTRY, LEARN TO PLAY FOOTBALL. IF YOU EVER GET INTO THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF TROUBLE, WHITE PEOPLE WILL LEAP TO YOUR DEFENSE. THEY WON’T EVEN WAIT TO FIND OUT IF YOU DID ANYTHING OR NOT! GROWN MEN WITH DAUGHTERS WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS TO PROCLAIM THAT ANY WOMAN WHO’D ACCUSE YOU OF ANYTHING IS A LYING SLUT! PEOPLE WHO WOULD OTHERWISE CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET IF THEY SAW YOU APPROACHING WILL HAIL YOU AS A HERO AND ROLE MODEL! YOU WILL HAVE CRACKED THE WHITE POWER STRUCTURE FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE*!

* Offer only good for as long as you are good at football.

Today we remember Jameis Winston’s bold stand and his role in ending racism.

4 months ago

December 9, 2013
reblogged via jennyslater
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elliemce:

i’m not gunna do this but someone should: taking snape screen caps and captioning them with alan rickman quotes from love actually

Or Snape quotes into Love Actually scenes.

5 months ago

November 18, 2013
reblogged via elliemce
video

galaxycheesepizza:

blackboneprincess:

No, THIS is Detroit.

I am getting sick of only seeing ruin port on Reddit about how Detroit is just a decrepit defunct ghost town. So, I decided to add some pictures of the places that I think are some of the most beautiful.

Original Post

Detroit Over Everybody

6 months ago

October 9, 2013
reblogged via basicallyimcomplicated
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I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (“I’m not a big one for paying compliments…”), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.

10 months ago

June 16, 2013
reblogged via basicallyimcomplicated
photo heckyeswolverines:

life:

Smile!
As a visual antidote to the seemingly endless bad news we’ve all endured over the past several months, we offer a selection of iconic, sunny, jubilant pictures from across the decades.
(Alfred Eisenstaedt / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images)

This photo is from Ferry Field on the University of Michigan campus in 1950.  The photographer was covering the Michigan Marching Band and was wandering around getting candid shots when he watched a group of children run after the rehearsing drum major and start imitating him.  For more detail, check out the story in Michigan Today.  Go Blue!

One of my favorite photos.

heckyeswolverines:

life:

Smile!

As a visual antidote to the seemingly endless bad news we’ve all endured over the past several months, we offer a selection of iconic, sunny, jubilant pictures from across the decades.

(Alfred Eisenstaedt / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images)

This photo is from Ferry Field on the University of Michigan campus in 1950.  The photographer was covering the Michigan Marching Band and was wandering around getting candid shots when he watched a group of children run after the rehearsing drum major and start imitating him.  For more detail, check out the story in Michigan Today.  Go Blue!

One of my favorite photos.

11 months ago

May 26, 2013
reblogged via heckyeswolverines
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Voyager

Sometimes I feel lost. Not lost like keys that will eventually be found, but like the Voyager I probe, sailing into a world of lost no other man made object has ever experienced. That no one can ever bring me back, and unless the laws of the universe are overthrown, I will just float farther away until one day any ability to connect to humanity cannot fully cross the ineffable chasm that separates me.

1 year ago

January 29, 2013
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The writer Julian Barnes, considering mourning, once said, “It hurts just as much as it is worth.” In fact, it was a friend of his who wrote the line in a letter of condolence, and Julian told it to my husband, who told it to me. For months afterward these words stuck with both of us, so clear and so brutal. It hurts just as much as it is worth. What an arrangement. Why would anyone accept such a crazy deal? Surely if we were sane and reasonable we would every time choose a pleasure over a joy, as animals themselves sensibly do. The end of a pleasure brings no great harm to anyone, after all, and can always be replaced with another of more or less equal worth.
Joy by Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books

1 year ago

December 18, 2012