On My Block: A peek into the neighborhood with humor and gravitas

(LA -LA STATE OF MIND)—Hometown is a big place for me. Heck, I’m from Los Angeles. Ain’t nothin’ small about it. I live in the DC area now, but whenever I get homesick and am stuck between plane tickets, count on me looking for movies with those damn trees in the air.

But the Netflix series called On My Block dropped into my lap instead. And I let it stay awhile. The opening track by Daye Jack had me at hello.

On My Block immediately gave me the Friday feels—with a lado de la vida en South Central Los Angeles. And the first two minutes hooked me.

However, and this doesn’t happen often, nine minutes in, my thoughts degraded quick-fast. “This show is corny AF. What’s up with this dialogue. Ain’t no way these characters come up out the hood,” I scrunched my face.

T’was a fleeting thought, though. The storyline tugged me back in—conflicting feelings and all. Throughout the season, yes–I binged it, I kept checking myself for some of the words that were swirling around in my mind.

So how do I know what all hood kids sound like, how they talk? “What does it mean, linguistically, sonically to be a kid from the ‘hood or barrio? Do you have to talk a certain way? Sound a certain way? Act a certain way? Behave a certain way? “Hon, don’t even trip,” I thought. “First question can be complicated. Second, third, fourth and fifth—the answers are all—NO,” I told myself. “Besides, are you not a walking contradiction your own damn self?

This story has the usual cast of characters in “neighborhood” TV or cinema: The smart hood/barrio girl, gangsta life guy—whether he wants to be or not, the sports guy whose parents want him to play football, and the smart guy with a long-range plan.

Main Characters

Monse—is a biracial girl who doesn’t know her mother, and that is woven into the storyline. She’s also a writer and faithful friend who is willing to do without an organically bloomed romance so it won’t damage the crew’s foundation of friendship. Well, maybe not totally do without— she and her love interest tell all kinds of fibs to shield their affections for one another.
Ruby—Ruben as he wants to be called now that they’re in high school. This kid is hasn’t had his growth spurt, it appears. He’s creative, an organizer, and even does taxes of some relatives of the neighborhood Cholos.
Jamal—a brotha and budding football player (in his parent’s eyes). But the possibility of getting CTE scares him crapless. He’s also a curious investigator and finds an unlikely ally in Ruby’s grandmother to solve a neighborhood mystery.
Cesar—is smart and kind. And struggles to remain loyal to his friends and family. That family loyalty tugs him in a direction where his skills can be of use…. While simultaneously stifling his chances to legally practice his smarts. Monse and Cesar also share a secret that Cesar to spilled to keep her safe, so he says. And Cesar’s family, like I said earlier, is all Choloed up on all sides. He even gets jumped into the family way of life early into the season. Cholo life is part of his family inheritance, and the most poignant line of the first episode is when he said “My family crest is a gang sign.”

Those are the main characters, but there’s also an On My Block version of Felicia. Except her name’s Jasmine and she isn’t a crackhead. She’s just an asthmatic who constantly hits the inhaler to try to keep up with her neighbors who keep trying to ditch her.

Then there’s Abuelita. ¡Dios mio! Okay, so one part of the storyline is Ruby’s quest to get his own room. He finally got it in the first episode after his brother left for college. But it’s always an out-of-reach goal. First he shared with Abuelita and her illuminated escena de Natividad. Then a girl whose parents got deported moved in. And Ruby was suddenly okay with sharing space with his peer. But his mom was like “Nope. You’re bunking with your twin siblings.”

That’s where Olivia enters the scene to provide the second girl in the crew and a slight complication for an already budding intra-squad romance that’s still leaving skid marks on the street because one person keeps trying to hit the breaks on that love.

This show is so corny at times. Just like teen life. Well—at least my teen life was corny. It was also funny, solemn, somber, and FULL of laughs. It takes a blended dramedic look at the individual and collective coming of age stories among a group of childhood friends with surprisingly cheesy humor and moments of surprising gravitas… and reminders that sometimes gangsta life can bring you to a potentially fatal crossroads with folks you’ve known all your life.

This show is highly recommended for that cheesy chuckle humor, surprising predictability coated with 10 inches of dramatic surprise and guttural laughs.

No, the characters hardly look or sound like they’ve stepped into or out of anyone’s hood. But as a person raised in the hood, I can testify with an organ and church tambourine—that when it comes to hood kids, things aren’t always what they seem. A book should never be judged by its cover. They may or may not speak the king’s English with the king’s accent, but who the EFF cares? This is America. There is no king here.

I’m not sure who is the intended audience for this show…but it seems to provide a wider scope of neighborhood kids who are indeed individuals. And this group of individual kids leans toward the nerdy persuasion. They’re not seeking to ascend the popularity stack. They just want to keep their squad intact.

You know, they kind of remind me of my hanging buddies from high school, where there was no rule on how we were supposed to talk, what slang we had to use. We just were. We also had some half-and-half diversity going on. We were a Black and Latino group of friends. Now that I think of it, between the five of us, we were half black, half Latino. Two Mexican-Americans, two African-Americans, and an Afro Latina. And we had good times.

I totally enjoy these corny-dialogue having, nerd-assed hoodlings who are in the hood, but not of the hood. But don’t get it twisted. They are well-versed in the ways, means and norms of how both Cholo and thug life work. Monse, Ruby, Jamal and Cesar don’t totally fit the stereotypical hood mold. And it’s a constant reminder that a lot of hoodlings don’t. (BTW, hoodlings is NOT meant in a disparaging way whatsoever.)

No spoilers—so the end is near

I really don’t want to give away any key points of this season, so I’ll just drop breadcrumbs…

The dialogue may be corny, but clever zingers include Jamal talking to Oscar and replying— “No Shit Cholock!” I had to rewind to make sure I heard what I heard.

One of the OG homies expressed a love for Sherlock Homles. Why? Because. Holmes, homes.

Episode 4: La Negrita Choo-Choo (I almost peed my pants over this one, but you’ll have to see it for yourself.)

What disturbs…

One thing is disturbing to me. Depending on the individual’s experience, this might be real. The season opens and closes with gunshots… which always seem to punctuate dialogue in the wrong places. In this series, and in real life, those bullets can sometimes mean punctuating a life and leaving a fragment instead of a well-crafted sentence that develops into a beautiful story. Hopefully in this case it’s a comma, but season two should reveal whether it’s worthy of a Punchbowl Damn.

The end

When I was looking for a relief for my homesickness, I only wanted the tall trees. Not Ghetto Birds and neighborhood lockdowns. But all in all, I pleasantly received more than I sought, so I do pleasantly and highly recommend On My Block—corny lines and all.

Memorable afternoons sans pants

Every so often I really love how I spend an afternoon. Today, I got to observe and follow dozens of people who took part in DC’s 2018 version of The No Pants Subway Ride.

Every year for the past decade or so, DC Improv has hosted its own iteration of the No Pants Subway ride which started in New York in 2002 as a prank by a group of guys.

Now, it’s held in January in several cities around the globe—all on the same day.

And today was cold AF. See, a good portion of the East Coast is trying to wriggle it self free from a cold snap that has gripped it by the throat for the past week or so.

I can’t say I know what it’s like to ride public transportation in my panties. And I can’t say that I will ever find out what that is like. Knowing how I am wired, that probably t’ain’t neva gon’ happen.

But what I can say is that I thoroughly enjoyed watching a diverse group of human beings… Of different races, ethnicities, I’m guessing they all held different beliefs, jobs and the like… But as one person I spoke to today told me… They’re all just “weird” enough to do something like this and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

It was cool to recognize a few faces from last year. Like the blogger from Baltimore, the guy who dressed up as a character from The Walking Dead, and the older gentleman who is a self-described nudist.

And there are the folks I met this year—the roller derby ladies, the man toting a briefcase who was mostly dressed for work except pants, and the woman who participated to celebrate her 45th birthday.

Good times!

Nah, I may never drop my pants to ride Metro in my drawers, but I definitely appreciate folks who have the courage to do so.

Giants will fall, that’s the way of the world

It’s not going to stop.  It’s the order of things, the circle of this hard life, the order of the world.  Somewhere on earth, seems it’s always a time for the giants to keep falling.  Our elders pass away, take leave of earth—sometimes way too soon—and many are left behind to mourn and remember.

Jerry Lewis (1926–2017) was part of my childhood movie reel.

With all the foolishness that’s going on these chaotic days, it’s good to keep humor in the scabbard of sharpened coping mechanisms to help maneuver through the world with sanity intact.

As a child, Jerry Lewis movies gave me plenty of laughs and taught me that the underdog nerd-guy/person really can win.   And that was music to my soul.  Music I still need to hear every now and again.

I got a kick out of the slapstick comedy, but my favorite scene of all his movies is from “The Patsy.

Can’t say why this portion of the movie tickles my funny bone, and has done so since I was 10 years old or so.  Maybe it’s because the trio wasn’t what I expected.  Don’t know what I expected to see as a 10-year-old, but that sure wasn’t it.

Lewis’ annual telethon to benefit muscular dystrophy is another thing I’ll remember.  I hated telethons as a child, and did all I could to avoid them.  But even so, what stuck with me is that this star-figure, who could be doing anything with his time, chose to raise funds for research to benefit others. Because I hardly ever watched, I never picked up on reasons others weren’t fans of the annual event.

But what cemented Lewis as a funny, but curmudgeonly figure in my mind is this Hollywood Reporter interview.  First of all, I don’t know why someone granted this interview.  He wasn’t having it.  And let the whole world know.  And it made me laugh.  But made me feel for the reporter.

Tidying up ‘sholl hasn’t changed my life yet, but it’s getting there.

Paper wrangling will change your life. I must be honest, I haven’t seen any extreme life-changing effects yet… only in my mind. I’m feeling that tidying magic. It’s even affected how I organize my purchase products while standing in the Target checkout line.

I usually just plunked my stuff on the conveyer belt. But I find myself organizing the simplest things to appear neat and tidy. For example, my few items just had to be organized in a perfect rectangle. Maybe that’s a symptom of an underlying disorder. Maybe not, because that sure hasn’t totally invaded my paper organization just yet.

Keep swimming like Dory… just don’t forget your goal. Click To Tweet
If you haven’t hired an organization expert and are thumbing your way through this book day by day as your real life revolves around you (laundry, grocery/brocery shopping, dishes, cooking, Game of Thrones, Insecure, kicking yourself for just this year realizing how bomb The Wire and Treme really were) here are some tips to keep moving forward. They’re not necessarily gospel, just based on my victories and foibles.

  1. Make a daily, doable list of what you will accomplish each day. Make each task bite-sized. That way, it won’t be overwhelming for you. If you want to focus on one thing focus on one. I’d recommend no more than three things.
  2. Focus on the list each day. The book recommends doing the discarding “in one go,” but that isn’t always practical for folks whose lives involve many moving parts. If “in one go” doesn’t work for you, break up the KonMari list into mini sections, and tackle those bite-sized items “in one go.” Gobble them like mini-bite muffins.
  3. Try not to get discouraged. I’m still working on getting my pile of papers shredded. My shredder is wack. I’m working with what I have. Here’s what keeps me going, though. It’s not if the pile is done, but when. There are no ifs ands or buts about this. It’s getting done. If I tackle this thing in bite-sized pieces, while keeping control of my incoming papers, I’ll get there.
  4. Schedule periodic days where you dive into the pile to significantly reduce it and propel you toward the goal. Pick a series of weekends to tackle the mountain if the “one bite a day” method won’t work for you. Just keep moving forward. Get. It. Done.


One man-play about late Supreme Court Justice is Thorough(ly)good

A one person play. Haven’t been to very many of these, and was a tad skeptical after accepting an opening night invitation to a production about the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

How in the world would a one-man play keep my attention for 90 minutes? I doubted it was possible. But I was open to the idea, else I wouldn’t have left home for Olney Theatre Center as the rain fell that evening.

Curiosity is what drove me through that rainfall.  I wanted to see if I’d learn a little something-something new about the first black United States Supreme Court Justice. I had never seen a play about Thurgood Marshall. Never read a book about him either. Never have really done much study about him aside from Brown v. Board of education section in history books, and an occasional browsing of the Internet. Outside of that, my knowledge about this legal icon of the civil rights movement was paltry.

Didn’t know his first name was Thoroughgood before he shortened it to Thurgood.

Didn’t know he was married two times. Didn’t know his first wife died of cancer at age 44. Didn’t know they dealt with a few miscarriages.

I did know he went to Howard University because the University of Maryland law school didn’t admit tax-paying black folks because of their blackness. In place, ostensibly, was a separate but (not) equal facility for training black lawyers. Some tried to pass it off as good enough.

But it wasn’t. And Thurgood Marshall became a force of intention to change that by using the law as a weapon to achieve actual equal justice under the law instead of some oppressive, inequitable, pseudo-facsimile. After all, those words “Equal Justice Under Law” were (and still are) engraved into the front of the Supreme Court building.

The theater was cozy and intimate, and the actor who portrayed Marshall, Brian Anthony Wilson, managed to pull in this one-man-play doubter and convince her that even her (my) attention could be held for 90 minutes with one man talking the whole time.

And Justice Marshall’s theatrical mouthpiece reeled me in from start to finish. First he’s as an older gentleman, slightly lumbering and leaning on a cane, then memories spring forth along with a more animated, agile gait in tandem with lively words, Wilson-as-Marshall leads a trip back in time to his younger years.

Childhood in Baltimore.
College days.
Rejection by the University of Maryland School of Law.
Howard University Law days.
The footwork required to build what would become Brown v. Board of Education case.
Marriage and sacrifices.
His first wife’s death.
His second marriage and children.
Supreme Court appointment.

That’s a sketch of what the play covers in 90 minutes. However, there are so many events, solemn and defining moments, and slathers of good humor in between those lines. And a reminder, in my mind, that while the law can intentionally be used as a weapon to bring about justice for all, it can also be wielded, depending on the benched interpreter, as a weapon to roll back the march toward justice for all.

I hate to end on that depressing note, so I’ll end with a surprise:

As I left a post-play reception, I opened the doors on my way out of the main theater building.  Two people were also opening the doors in the opposite direction.
Well, whaddya know? One of them was “Thurgood!” Or Brian Anthony Wilson. And he consented to a selfie! 🙂

Lookie who I ran into on my way out of the building? Theatrical Thurgood!

Check it out Thurgood at Only Theatre Center!
By: George Stevens, Jr.
Directed by:  Walter Dallas
July 19-August 20
Tickets: $55-$70. (Prices depend on selected day/time.)

Persistent papers pepper patience as Life Changing Tidying Up works its Magic

(FROM WHERE I SIT)—Good Lord, the papers have sprouted feet and are taking over because they want to be recycled. This latest rebellion is underway because I’ve been holding things up for way too long.  But I persist, because the end results will be worth it.

Gratefully ditching clothes that didn’t bring me joy wasn’t nearly as hard as getting rid of these clingy papers. It’s been a trudge. Kinda-sorta. Deciding what to keep and what to toss wasn’t that difficult. Now, there’s so much stuff to shred. If only the pile could rip itself to pieces. Yesterday. But as it’s taken me years to accumulate all this shite, it’ll take at least a smidgen of time to get this foolishness back under control.

Such a slow roll. But shredder wheels keep on turning, proud Lizzy keep on burning. I’m encouraged to don’t stop, get-it get-it because there’ll be time enough for resting when the shredding’s done.

Part of my KonMarie possessions laxative includes purging through all papers and only keeping the ones that bring joy. Of course, as The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up says there are always very necessary papers that must stay, no matter how much they dull the senses. Necessary is necessary.

Some paper goods I’ve considered for the rubbish pile: Treats from students during my teaching days. Every now and then, parents and students blessed me with holiday gifts: Things like a journal, a tile decorated with a little boy’s artwork, a Christmas card made from construction paper, a sporty skirt and top that I wore for a long while before I gave them away. Of all those kind treasures, I still have the journal and use it to jot down recipes. I also have the decorated tile, homemade card, and a different skirt that I still wear during the fall and winter months.

These things still bring me joy. Even the oversized construction-paper card with first-grader penmanship wishing me a Merry Christmas.  I’ll keep them until I can’t keep ’em anymore. Some bring back such wonderful memories. And I’ll treasure them… …. …… …….. .. . always.

there are always very necessary papers that must stay, no matter how much they dull the senses. Click To Tweet

Now, back to the other papers. Part of me wants to find a beach bonfire and introduce them to the flames. Another part of me wants to bake them to a crisp inside the stove, crumble them and use them to fertilize some plant. All of me wants them gone.

Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. That’s what keeps me from tossing everything out the window. That, and not wanting to catch a littering charge.


The Life Changing Magic of paper wrangling

Papers are an itch-bay. They’re all up in everything like sand after a sandstorm.  Not like I’ve been in a sandstorm… But I’ve been stormed by paper for many evers.  That has to change.

Even though I’ve tidied through other possession categories, which you’ll read about as I stumble through this process, I’m still struggling to ditch the papers because my shredder is broke-down and sorry. No, not broken down… broke down. I rode that thing too hard, and it’s trying to quit on me. Another one I have is too dang loud. I swear if I ran that one too long, it would wake the dead.  I’ve been looking for local shredding events, but it seems I missed them earlier this spring. Oh well.

The shred-struggle is real… and slow. Real slow. But consistent. #konmarimethod Click To Tweet

So, according to Marie Kondo, papers should be the first thing to go. I see why. But in my tidying, they’re going to be the first AND last things to go.  That has me scared, because according to the KonMarie method, if you don’t follow her ways perfectly, you’re doomed to failure. [NOTE: Kinda felt like being at some churches.]  I hope that’s not the case.  I know that’s not the case, because this one here (points to self) ain’t going back down that road of clenching and holding on to stuff that doesn’t make her happy or isn’t totally necessary).  No, sir.  No-sireee-Bob (who’s Bob?) Nawsuh. Nunnnt-uhhh.

A high school teacher gave me a Tuit button years ago. Why? Because I told him my procrastination was based on my not having one of these. A round tuit. Now that I have one, there’s nothing I can’t do! 🙂

According to KonMarie, paper includes books. At first, I thought it only meant the bags and boxes of foolishness I’d been keeping for YEARS with plans to file, but just never got around to it.

Now I have one.

Corny, I know. But no more excuses.

So here’s something else that’s helping me get my paper -ish together.  I refused to purchase any more stuff to organize my life. What purpose would it serve to buy more organizers?  This one here (points to self) already had all she needed and hadn’t yet put to use.

Trays to organize papers before filing? Yup.

A personal, physical “in” box that took everything in but never put out? Got it.

Adorable Ikea organizers? Got-em!  These Skubb organizers are inexpensive, well-loved (by me) and well-used.  Not the most fancy-schmancy, but they get the job done.  If ever get more organizers it would be these exact ones or something like them. So versatile. And foldable. If I don’t need them, there’s a zipper on the bottom which makes them easy to break down and store without taking up goo-gobs of space.

Since I’m ditching stuff, it doesn’t make one iota of sense to go collecting more organizers before I’m through getting rid what I don’t need. Instead, I’m choosing to release stuff that doesn’t bring joy and will to use organizers I already have to tidy what I still want to keep.  And if I have leftover organizers, those may have to say hello to Salvation Army or any good friend who could use them.

Book ‘em Liz-o

Can I tell you how many books I hauled outta here?

Nope, because I didn’t count them.  But it was several boxes and plastic containers full.  Some were hauled to a local used bookstore where I could exchange for cash or credit.  I’m sure some bibliophile somewhere already knows this, but opting for store credit gets you more value than cash.  Since I was looking to get rid of stuff, it didn’t make sense to take store credit and welcome more books into my life while choosing to keep ones that I still wanted to read, but hadn’t since I didn’t have a precious Tuit.

THIS! This is why I haven’t read those books! Because I didn’t have my hands on one of these! Tuits are the stuff, yo!

For me, it was wiser to take the value cut and keep the cash.

Now, I have a tall bookcase full and one plastic container of books that I haven’t yet put back on my other smaller bookcases.  I’m thinking about giving these things another go-through.  Some may not make the next cut. My gut tells me the volumes I really need and will use can fit on the one tall case.  All others can visit via electronic means, and if I crave the more intimate feel of pages on fingers…there’s always the local library.

The Life-Changing Magic of getting my “-Ish” Together

Por fin! I’m  finally tidying up my life. Getting my “stuff”together.  That’s what I type, but my mind says a sh-ishy expletive instead.  Feel free to  insert your favorite expletive.

When I say “stuff,” I don’t mean daily chores. I’m talkin-bout getting to the nooks and crannies of the stuff I own… and weeding out what I doesn’t make me happy or what I don’t need.

There’s one main question, according to Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”  The process is based on one question:  Do my possessions spark joy within me?

I’ve been sorting through my stuff…from clothes and shoes,  to books and papers, to forks, knives, and even old keychains. That’s what I’ve been asking myself these past few months.  Does this evening outfit, that was a gift but I haven’t worn in 10 years, spark joy in my heart? Nah?  Ohhhhhkay.  It goes.

Of course, some stuff is NECESSARY to keep, like important documents… but everything else? It’s up for grabs… to be tossed out. This book promises to be a life-changer if you stick to the author’s method of tidying up.

it’s not a waste to release something I’m not using… so someone else can, maybe, find what they need. Click To Tweet

I wish I could say Marie Kondo’s book CHANGED my life, but that wouldn’t be accurate, just yet. I’m in the MIDDLE of this process. But it’s STARTED a change, that’s for sure.

I’m about three months in. Feels like I have six YEARS to go. I exaggerate, but I’m so surprised how much stuff I’ve tossed at this point.  But I also feel in my gut that I still need to downsize some more.

A lot of the stuff I ditched I either didn’t like, or hadn’t used in a long time… and didn’t like that much anymore.

Part of me thinks Kondo goes a little overboard when she tells folks to talk to the possessions about to get the shaft. Tell them you’re thankful for their service, she says–or something like that.

Me talking to audiobook: “But… but… They’re not cops, firefighters or teachers. Why thank them for serving us well,” I asked.

That step seems silly on the surface… but I guess it’s more about cultivating a spirit of gratitude more than anything else… gratitude for the usefulness these things have brought to my  life.

So I thanked them. SOME of them.

Like the brown Børn sandals that traipsed around Los Angeles with my feet and got some travel time in Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Florida, and miles on the East Coast.

I profusely thanked those sandals for being my footy road dawgs for more than a decade. But lately they were just sitting in a corner. These things were so beat up and crusty, so far gone that I threw them in the trash. But not before thanking them for their service. If I could find another pair just like them, I’d buy them in a snap!

I’ve also had to relax my hold on a lot of books I’ve acquired through the years. I had read some in the trove. Others I’m keeping as references. But the ones I finally ditched included books that that I’ve either read and thought I’d re-read… or THOUGHT interesting enough to bring home… but not interesting enough to actually pick up and read once they arrived. I stopped kidding myself. Not gonna read them. So I gave them away. Kondo says of you haven’t read them. You probably won’t.

I think she’s right. I already knew that. Just didn’t want to feel as if I was being a bad steward of good good information by tossing these works. But heck, I wasn’t reading them. They were just taking up space. So they got the boot. Not a steel-toed boot, though. More like a soft shoe.

After getting rid of bags of clothes and boxes of books, I must say I felt all fluffy and lighter… Click To Tweet

And I finally get, I think, the idea of being grateful for the things that no longer serve me. After all, it’s not a waste to release something I’m not using… so someone else can, maybe, find what they need.

Extra Tape: Sometimes it be’s that way

Some stories are just plain fun. Others are plain solemn.

Still others are a strange hybrid. That happens when the event itself is fun… but the reason the story emerged in the first place is shameful and serious as hell.

From a hate symbol to chalky walks

Friends, neighbors and supporters of a middle school in Anne Arundel County, Md. showed up with buckets of the sidewalk chalk and their creativity the late afternoon of Mothers Day. They wanted to send a positive message of diversity and inclusion after a noose was discovered hanging from a light fixture on campus a few days earlier. Two suspects were arrested and are facing charges.

Sending a different message

The founder of Crofton Is Kind, an organization dedicated to fostering kindness in children in the Crofton community and beyond, spread the word about Sunday’s event.   A mom whose daughter attends the school came to Kristen Caminiti with the idea to chalk the sidewalks in front of the school with positive messages for students to see when they returned to classes.

“And I thought that was amazing.  So then I just ran with it and started advertising and getting the word out to say ‘let’s get out there and send a message to all the students at Crofton Middle and to the Crofton community as a whole that hate has no place here and that we are a community of kindness and tolerance and acceptance and that kindness will always be louder than hate,” said  Kristen Caminiti.

The goal was to cover the school’s front sidewalk from end to end.

Mission accomplished, and then some.  Chalkwork ranged from colorfully written words of affirmation to drawings celebrating diversity and love, and the labor of love stretched around to the walks on one side of the school.

Sometimes stories just “be’s” that way.  Fun but serious.  And sometimes in that kind, positive fun, it’s a reminder that I really love the volume of kindness… ’Tis music to my ears.

People, places, things, ideas!

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