Category Archives: College Bound

Cutco oh oh..

There a few things that I love and aside from hubby and family, chief among them are cooking and young people striving to earn money honestly to pay for tutition etcetera.

But honey, someone at Cutco did a profile on what would make people buy their products and I swear, one of those avatars has my face on it.

Stay with me here.

I got a call recently  from one of the young people I love who wanted to see if she could come to seee me and do a Cutco demonstration on my home.

I already knew the deal because I have Cutco products in my kitchen that I use daily so I was prepared that my pockets would squeal a tiny bit so that I could support this “baby.”

Well Damn.

We are flipping through the pages and I saw a set of silverware that interested me and asked for a quote. The 5 place setting was $1,400 and plenty coins!! Did I say I was looking at the 12 place setting though? I told her never mind, collected myself and kept flipping those pages.

Whew!!

We decided on a few pieces in the end but I continue to be struck by how expensive those pieces are!  They are more costly than pieces of jewelry and probably brings more joy if you love to cook like I do. That cleaver slices through bone like butter but it requires mortgaging your kidney to buy it😂

Chile listen. At the end of the day, if you don’t like being in the kitchen much, save those coins but if you want an experience with cooking tools that makes creating meals a joy and your pockets can support it, go for it as they are worth every penny. 

For the rest of you who buys cutco simply as a status symbol in your house while they gather dust because you couldn’t find the stove knobs if you tried, cutco has an avatar with your face too. It’s called the label/status symbol junkie😂😂

For the record- while that child left my house with a sale firmly in hand, don’t yall send no more children to my door because it’s easier to just write a check to support their college fund. Ya dig? They are hard to resist but my pockets will force me to say no by hiding behind my door quietly when they come

Knocking 😂😂

Dueces and mad love.

Diva 

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Sons, brothers, friends…

My youngest son was born 8 weeks early at 3lbs 14 oz. But we were thrilled to see that other than his tiny size, he was very healthy. So after five days in the hospital, he was sent home. He needed doll diapers but ate like a hearty new born. No one would touch or hold him except dad, my mother and his brother who was 4 yrs old.

It is the relationship between the brothers that prompted this blog..

My oldest son knew instinctively that he had to take care of his little brother and that he did beautifully. He fed him, hugged him, helped to dress him after a bath and would put baby powder under his thick neck as he grew and became chubby. His baby brother adored him and for many years would only address him as “brother” even as he knew his name and could say it.

One day when they were 6 and 2 years old respectively, I sent them outside to play with the warning to be careful and watched as they went and began to play. I quietly checked on them
Every few minutes and it was one such check, that I saw something that seared in my brain as a beautiful memory.

The baby was watching his brother ride his bicycle around and was begging him for a ride. He stopped his bike and said ” mommy will kill me if you get hurt but if I put you on the handle, will you be careful and hang on tight?” The younger one looked up at him grinning and said ” I promise bwother!! I will hold on and won’t fall!”

I watched, rooted behind the blinds because my gut told me, to leave them be.

The older child helped his sibling up and off they slowly went. The joy on the baby’s face was indescribable as his brother concentrated and was carefully riding his brother around with his brow furrowed. He kept saying to the baby ” hold on for dear life! Mommy will be mad if you get hurt!” The baby kept saying ” I’m holding on!!”

They rode just a short distance and they were able to get down safely. The baby ran and hugged his brother’s legs with a big thank you and he patted his head while grinning with relief.

They went on to seek insects in the grass and I never shared with them what I saw that day.

They are now 22 and 18 years old. One has graduated from college, the other is in his first semester at college.

They remain close and share things I may never know about, but teaching them as babies to take care of each other, continues to pay it forward.

I love my sons… They remind us daily that being a parent is simply the most important job we have, when we are given the opportunity to bring children into the world.
Enough said
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An open letter to Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post- ( your slip is showing ma’am)

Every day, I am reminded by the sheer ignorance of folks disguised as enlightened writing and most days, I simply smile and keep it moving. Today, I stopped mid-sip In drinking my water and stared at a piece written by Education reporter Valerie Strauss of the washington Post who wrote about Ivy Leagues under the guise of ” we should stop treating the Ivy leagues as the holy grail of education”

A snippet of what she wrote below that earned her this open letter-

“Have you heard yet about 17-year-old Kwasi Enin of Shirley, N.Y., who applied to all of the eight schools in the Ivy League and got into every single one? If not, you are, by now, the only one.

The William Floyd High School senior told Newsday that he couldn’t believe it when, one right after the other, the Ivy League schools — Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University — all welcomed him into the class of 2018.

Congratulations to Kwasi Enin. Now can we stop talking about him?

We might as well also congratulate Avery Coffey, 17, a senior at D.C.’s Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, who was admitted to all five of the Ivy League schools – Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown — to which he applied, according to MyFoxDC.com. Well done. But that’s enough.”

Dear Ms. Strauss-
Seriously? You took what was could have been an interesting piece on the Ivy leagues to not so subtlety “slam” two boys of color, who worked their behinds off with stellar work to get into not one, but several Ivy League schools.
What exactly was your point here?

Was it necessary for you to be so “nicety” in suggesting you had heard enough already? As an education reporter, I’m sure you have covered enough news about children of color failing all over the place; where the stats are reported with no issue. You get awesome news to share of brilliance and that was all you could come up with?

Have you EVER once thought, what those young men had to go through to accomplish such a feat? And before you say ” yep, like any other smart child” let me take you “back to school.”

Believe me when I say, those young men were told time and again, challenging courses might not be for them because the work was too hard. Trust me when I say, they were probably in classes filled with people who looked nothing like them and it was a lonely place indeed between some educators discouragement and the turned up lips of their peers, who found it distasteful they had to share classes with them.

Why is that you say? Easy. It is often felt that if a child of color is smart enough to do the work, then the work must not be hard enough or they just do not belong. They had prayers, hard work, teachers who believed in them and family who pushed them to dare greatly. They did and earned these accolades.

Did it once occur to you that being kind and congratulating them properly instead of adding to the fray of naysayers, was the decent human thing to do?

Instead of accomplishing your goal, what many of us saw was your privilege, standing front and center within your writing and you let your ” slip show” . Or maybe it really wasn’t about the Ivy Leagues after all…hmmm?

Shame on you.

Whenever you are ready to write a substantive piece on children of color who excel despite the odds, please, call me. Hell, send an email. I would be happy to share nuggets as a parent with two boys living and dealing with this every day.. You won’t get an angry rant either. It will be filled with stories and data that may very well stop you from Doing what you did above ever again.
Enough said.

Lord help this child and me while you are at it..

One of the things my mother would say to me consistently as a teen and more vociferously when I became an adult was this; I PRAY that you are ‘blessed’ with a child who behaves JUST LIKE you!

I used to grin and say to myself ” how bad can it be? I was pretty awesome as a kid.” I was soon to find out just what my mother meant and no matter how many times I apologized to her and God, it seems I had no choice but to re-live my childhood through this second child of mine.

It all began when he was about 81/2 months old… He started learning how to walk after being born premature at 32 weeks and 3lbs. He should have been behind his peers right? Wrong. He would make his way to the refrigerator, open the door, open the egg carton, squeeze the eggs until they crushed in his fingers, close the carton and close the door.
His brother who was 4 years old, got in so much trouble because never could we have imagined it was the baby! Until one day when I turned the corner to the kitchen and caught him in the act..

I called my mother horrified and she cackled, thanked God for small mercies and hung up on me..

It only got better.. He would swing fearlessly from all kinds of things and people would marvel at his tenacity and strength. He would stubbornly tackle the toughest projects even when warned not to, so as a direct result, he and I would constantly butt heads at home.

We live in a community where our ethnicity makes up less than 25% of the population but my kid was not deterred and made friends with everyone. Many of his current friends are of Jewish descent and their parents love him dearly. He has been to more Bat mitzvahs than a few and I consistently hear how delightful and well behaved he is.

So a few years ago when he was around thirteen, he was on punishment at home and instead of allowing him to place the dishes in the dishwasher, I made him hand wash, dry and put them away.

As the tears were quietly rolling down his cheeks and I’m moving around him, he lost his composure and blurted ” I wish I was born Jewish! Those parents are so much nicer than black ones!”
I turned, looked at him and said ” well guess what buddy, you were assigned to be black and more specifically, to be MY child. Suck it up and finish those dishes!”
I went to my bedroom, closed the door and laughed until I cried…all I could think was ” help him lord and me while you are at it so he can grow up unscathed.”

He will be 18 in a few short weeks and heading off to college. We are both still in one piece but I’m going to give him the gift my mama gave me all those years ago; I wish for him, a child JUST like him when the time comes and that I am alive and well
To enjoy what I know for SURE will be his phone calls of apologies..

Enough said.

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why are you STILL here? Now THAT is the question…

Aaaargh!!!!  ” I need to graduate soon!”

This delightful statement came from the mouth of my 21 year old son who is slated to graduate from College in May 2014. I poked my head in his room against my better judgement and said coyly, “not soon enough for me buddy!  Hurry up already so you can get out and stay out for good this time!!”  He looked at me, smiled and shook his head all while he fully understood where I going with that statement..

Hang tight for a minute as I take you through the journey of getting a child in AND through college.  It was not a painless process and I am not talking about money either although we all know what it costs to keep a child in higher Education. There is a myriad of reasons so many children start but never finish college that has nothing to do with finances..

Four short years ago, we watched with joy as this first child of mine applied for his top schools, got into his favourite institution and had such “senioritis” at the end of his high school journey, I thought I would have to tie him down somewhere before he imploded with impatience.  All I could see was one down- one to go before my nest was empty and I began getting him prepared to leave my house, hopefully never to return except for holidays.

So off he went.  We got to the school, unloaded the cars and helped him to set up his dorm. I could see his brother getting quieter as each moment went by that took us closer to leaving his sibling on campus and away from him for the first time ever.  I could hardly help him because my eyes got fuzzy and this lump grew in my throat that no amount of swallowing could fix.  I held it together, we kissed him goodbye and as we traversed down that highway for the long drive home, his brother silently cried.  I consoled him by saying his brother would call or text often yada, yada, yada..

I walked in the house, curled up in my bed and cried for three solid days. No amount of words could console me and even as I write this piece, I feel the tears returning at the memory. My ex-husband made me laugh a tiny bit when he said ” stop the crying, he is fine. If he flunks out, we will both be crying at the thought of all that money down the drain!”  Men…. By ” family and friends day” on Campus, we were all a little better and by Thanksgiving, when he got home, I was so ready for him to leave because he had adapted to living on his own and drove me nuts.

He ran into a couple of snags dealing with campus cultural insensitivity but aside from that, he kept those grades up and developed a social life which included joining the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Year one and two were pretty easy.  We barely saw him and that worked just fine. The issue we did not foresee, was how much his leaving would affect his younger brother who spiralled in a way that affected his grades.  It was hellish on this end, trying to understand what was going on because he ( younger son) never alluded to what was bothering him until I had just had enough and grounded him for a really bad grade. That ended well once we had clarity and I would put him on a train to go and visit his older brother once in a while, which made him so happy.

Then, it happened. In October of year three, something Took place we had no clue about except when he came home for Thanksgiving, he was withdrawn and miserable.  No amount of asking resulted in an answer except this; ” I am so over being there. Can I just transfer to another campus?”  When I dug a little deeper, still no definitive answers, so we sent him back to school after the break with the solution that he would see his advisor and discuss his options for transferring. By the second week in December, his father and I received a call that stopped our hearts and without another thought, we both went flying up that highway to find him.  What we were told was gut wrenching to say the least and we made the decision on the spot, that he was to be transferred immediately after some discussion with him. The school was very helpful in part, because they were very aware of what happened and did not contact us. Their reason? These kids were over 18 and since nothing happened physically to our child, it was assumed all was well.

In short order, he was transferred to a campus near home and it was decided he would not get an apartment but stay with us until he was ready. He started classes on time, took all his tests, took courses over the summer and got a coveted job working for a company he always admired.  He has saved all his money while eating all my food, using all my electricity and amenities and found his way to the place where he is graduating on time before his 22nd birthday.

Some lessons we learned along the way that many parents could do well to heed:

  • Don’t cling as your child leaves for college but DO pay attention to what they may need
  • Give them room to explore and find new avenues of growth
  • Pay attention to simple signs that something may be wrong when they are not behaving in the manner you are accustomed to
  • Do not try to solve all their problems.  Let them find their way with Advisors etc. We allowed our son to make those decisions and it empowered him to be his own advocate when he needed support.
  • See how the siblings left behind are faring. Chances are, this truly affects them too.
  • Pray and do not stop praying when they are out of your sight.  Things happen in Colleges that parents are not often aware of until it is too late.
  • Keep your child grounded with solid expectations. It works.

The time is now upon us where my youngest child is getting ready to head off to College and this time, armed with what I do know, I can’t wait to get rid of him too.. Hallelujah for the empty nest!!

enough said.

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