Loading... please wait
Blog Info T is for Toni
Teacher. Entrepreneur. Hula hooper + edtech dork. Wannabe Nairobi Luo. (Omera!) Carl Sagan's biggest fan & lipstick advocate. Veggie with a refined cookie palate. Whole bunch of contradiction wrapped up in a red hoodie.
Aug 25, 2014 Different rules apply | MZS | Roger Ebert β†’

Amazing post. I highly recommend reading this, especially if you’re white.

My story: When I used to take my students on fieldtrips, we’d use the subway in NYC from Harlem downtown. I had a ‘no talking rule’ on the subway just so that we wouldn’t have to combat a lot of issues. And then a group of white kids would get on the train on the upper east side, yelling — loud and obnoxious adolescents (because that’s what ALL adolescents are!). Somehow, that seemed to be ok with everyone. But if my kids even had light conversations on the train? Forget it. Glares, stares and scoffs under people’s breaths. I never knew if I did the right thing by adhering to the silent rule.

As I got more confident as a teacher, I lightened up and would let my students talk. I would even chat with people on the train who seemed to be uncomfortable with a group of 30 black adolescents traveling together in a train car. In a 15 second exchange it’s hard to have those really important and very tricky conversations. So, I’d often just say, “Our class is going to [destination]. They’ve worked really hard and are really excited. I love these kids.” to those I felt really needed to hear it.Β 

I would warn my students about the uncomfortable train ride scene before it even happened. (I was more uncomfortable with it than they were.) “Well, why do we have to be quiet when the white kids never are?” Very tough conversations and ones I wished 5th graders didn’t ever have to think about. The dialogue between my students and me about race was CONSTANT. And had to be. We HAD to talk about it every day in some regard. Mostly so I could understand my kids’ perspectives better (not the other way around).

I know I have a lot of teacher friends (most of them white) who have taught classes in which 100% of our students were black and/or Latino. I would love to hear how other people tackled (and still tackle) these issues with both our kids and the outside world that is so very unsafe for them. I think it gives a lot of insight into how the dialogue during and after Ferguson should continue…

ferguson white privilege michael brown racism
Aug 23, 2014

Adventures in #DaresSalaam #Tanzania… πŸš€β˜€οΈπŸŒ΄ (at Bongoyo Island)

Link β†’ tanzania daressalaam
Aug 18, 2014

#daressalaam sunset. Amazing wind here. #tanzania (at Slip Way Dar Es Salaam)

Link β†’ tanzania daressalaam
Aug 4, 2014

Jetlag perk: sunrises. View from my flat in #nairobi #kenya (at Kilimani)

Link β†’ kenya nairobi (1)
Jul 25, 2014

#antwerp station looks a lil Harry Potterish (at Antwerp, Belgium)

Link β†’ antwerp
Jul 22, 2014

Smack dab in the middle of the Missouri River, also known as the Sister River— longer than the Mississippi and once super destructive. What a great city. #omaha #midwest (at Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge)

Link β†’ midwest omaha
Jun 26, 2014

It was a good visit #slo! See you again real soon. ☺️#slolife (at San Luis Obispo, California)

Link β†’ slolife slo
May 1, 2014

One of the most amazing Buddha statues I’ve ever seen this morning in Mandalay. Wow. #buddha #mandalay #myanmar

Link β†’ buddha mandalay myanmar
Apr 28, 2014

#myanmar #yangon #buddhism

Link β†’ buddhism yangon myanmar
Apr 28, 2014

#mynamar #yangon (at Shwedagon Pagoda)

Link β†’ mynamar yangon
Apr 23, 2014

Outtakes. Getting us to sit still for a pic is hard! #cofounders #eneza

Link β†’ cofounders eneza
Apr 20, 2014

#easter above the trees. #kitengela #kenya (at Kitengela Hot Glass)

Link β†’ kitengela easter kenya
Apr 18, 2014 RIP Marquez

I first read 100 Years of Solitude when I was 15 and was dumbfounded by such magical prose. I have read many Gabriel Garcia Marquez books and reread 100 Years so many times since then. His stories do exactly what amazing fiction is supposed to do — teach you about struggle and subservience. About love and anger and the seemingly contradictory nature of our actions. About family and strength and curiosity. About desire and death.

At moments in my life, I compare myself to a Aureliano or a Rebeca or a Fermina or even the pleading, lost lover in “Eyes of a Blue Dog.” And I think to myself, hot damn. He is such a f*cking good writer. You find yourself in his characters.

The world lost a great one. But luckily, his words live on. Read them!

"It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment."

gabriel garcia marquez marquez garcia marquez
Apr 16, 2014

After 24+ hours of travel this time around, I made it to #london. 9 hour flight left!! (πŸ”©decaf. 😁) #jetlag #nomad #heathrow (at Terminal 5 London Heathrow Airport (LHR))

Link β†’ nomad jetlag london heathrow
Apr 15, 2014