High Drama! Yassss!

Let me share a secret with you.  I absolutely LOVE anybody who has a flair for high drama, theatrics, style, and fabulousness!  I learned this about myself when I was quite young.  I distinctly remember the first time I saw Vincent Price, a horror film legend, rub his hands together and engage in a wonderfully evil guffaw.  Boy I was hooked!  That was it!  This was my kind of dude!

From that day forward, I became an instant fan of divas, gents and lovers of drama and the theatrical.  Don’t believe me?  Check out my list of favorites:

Vincent Price

Gary Cooper

Sylvester…Yes bitches a mononym! (if you don’t know what that means look it up!)

Eartha Kitt

Josephine Premise

Maurice Evans

Agnes Moorehead…

There is no particular order for this list and it is by no means exhaustive.  Frankly, I have too many favorites to name here.  By the way, if you are younger than 35 or have no idea who these people are I would suggest that you get to googling.  For those of you who really want to shift into high gear, you MUST watch Sylvester transform from a dashing young man into a full on Queen in his “Mighty Real” video (Did I mention that I love the Queens?).  Go ahead!  I’ll wait here until you come back.

Now that we are all on the same page, let me bring your attention to the fact that all of these folks have gone on to Glory (nod to my southern roots).  Sadly, it is with a heavy heart that I must add David Bowie to this list.  By now you have probably heard that Mr. Bowie passed away either sometime last night or early this morning.  Those of us who loved him will certainly know why I included him on this list (’nuff said).

Let me move on before I lose my composure.  I have to admit that I used to worry that my love of all things dapper and classy would die off with my generation.  Alas, there is hope!  If you have time, check out Janelle Monae and Jidenna!  It appears that the ‘kids’ are catching on!  In light of that, I am hopeful that I will be able to add some new names to my list…some live ones!

Do you like high drama? If so, who is on your list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Like Millennials

Let me go ahead and get this straight up front, I am not trying to pander to Millennials.  In fact, they probably don’t need or want to read anything more about their generation. But, I do think that baby boomers and folks from generation x should at least take a quick gander at this post.

So let’s define the population.  Millennials are generally identified as people who were born between 1980 and the early aughts (“aught”…What a lovely old term for zero). Now that we’ve established the specifics, please note that everything that I am about to say is solely based on my own observations. Believe me, there is not one iota of science to be found here.

We all know that Millennials were the first generation to come of age during a time when they could readily access information of any shape, form or fashion.  Since their early teens they have been able to quickly find out the best way to do anything from baking a turkey to installing a bathtub.  This fact alone makes them quite unique-to say the least.  At any rate, not only do they have access to vast amounts of information, but I have found that they use this information wisely by ‘running the numbers’ as it were.  I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a Millennial press what appears to be two virtual buttons on their iPhone and immediately tell you what to do, where to go do it  and why you should or shouldn’t do it in the first place.  Granted, I’m not too shabby with an iPhone and other forms of technology but Millennials take it to that next level.

Pause….In the distant ethers of the internet I can sense someone arguing that all of this exposure to information is counterproductive, distracting, stress inducing…blah, blah, blah!  My response:  While that may be the case, it is not the focus of this post right here (nod to Katt Williams).

Moving on! I would submit that Millennials, by virtue of their access to information, often look at historical mistakes-big or small, learn from them and make more sensible choices.  On any given day, they can be found researching negative outcomes associated with, for example, overspending on a micro level and over consumption on a macro level (or vice versa ). To be honest, I envy this Millennial quality!

Technology aside, I find Millennials, as a whole, to be a witty, funny and thoughtful population.  In my mind, they seem to have taken on some of the more positive traits of prior generations and incorporated them into their own (Feel free to debate which traits Millennials might have taken from which generation on your own).  Just realize that in many cases Millennials are taking on the role of the sensible adults in the room 🙂 Prior generations would do well to get to know them.

 

 

Damn I wish I had a smartphone with Wi-Fi  connected to the inter-webs back in 1987!  What do you think?

 

 

 

High Tech Travel via ET3

This morning I happened across an article on Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3).  According to the article, which I will link below, ET3 is one of the newest entries into the realm of high tech travel.  If you are having trouble visualizing this, think about those ‘vacuum like’ canisters and tubes that you use at a bank drive through.  With ET3, riders can travel in a similar manner through tubes at a rate of more than 350 miles per hour.  The article goes on to say that travel speeds can run exponentially higher with intercontinental travel.  Side note:  You had better believe that I am simplifying the details because I simply cannot begin to study, comprehend and lecture on how it really works.  Nevertheless, China is currently working to bring this technology into our everyday reality.

Frankly speaking, traveling in such a manner both intrigues and nauseates me.  I just cannot see myself being launched through a tube for any amount of time without an IV sedative. My issues aside, if China is right, ET3 is going to be the next big thing in travel.  Are you ready?

Article link:  http://www.et3.com/

 

 

Why I chose Montessori

In the late 1990’s, I was a graduate student and single mother of a preschool aged son.  Like most mothers, I promised myself that I would do all that I could to provide my child with a lifestyle where he felt loved, encouraged and equipped to reach his highest potentials. In order to keep this promise, I decided that I had to make his education a top priority.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that most mothers count their children’s education as a major concern.  However, as a black mother, I also knew that the stakes were extremely high for black children; and even more so for black boys.  During my graduate studies, I couldn’t help noticing a couple of research studies that seemed to indicate that young black boys were often inappropriately placed in special education courses or misdiagnosed with any number of behavioral conditions.  In my mind, this did not bode well for my son’s wellbeing; not to mention his educational outlook. Hence, this was an urgent matter.

Nevertheless, with my son’s 4th birthday approaching, I began researching local learning centers in hopes of finding a good preschool program. I spent several weeks observing primary classes at various schools.  Suffice it to say I was not impressed by what I had observed.  In fact, I was completely turned off during one specific school visit when a preschool teacher told me that “kids just wanna learn their numbers, colors and letters.” To make matters worse, she went on to say that most kids are simply not interested in learning much more than the basics.  Needless to say, my eyes completely glossed over and I politely, yet abruptly, ended that conversation.  After taking immediate leave of that insanity and regaining my composure, it occurred to me that most of the schools that I had visited seemed to share the belief that younger children should spend time playing, rather than engaging in robust learning activities. To be honest, at that point, I was beginning to feel a bit dejected.  I worried that I might not find the educational setting that I had hoped for.  I wondered what to do about my son who, at age 3, had already met the “numbers, colors, letters” milestone and was, by this time, reading, adding and creating rather sophisticated Lego superheroes to boot. Was I supposed to allow my child to settle for a subpar early learning experience? Were my expectations too high?

After spending a few weeks feverishly seeking but not finding, I ran into a former co-worker and friend whom I had not seen in quite some time.  Naturally, we began to play “catch up” and I mentioned that my son would soon be starting school.  I also mentioned my dissatisfaction with the schools that I had visited thus far.  After patiently listening to my gripe fest, my friend encouraged me to check into the local Montessori school where her daughter was in attendance.  Montessori? What? Do black people even go to Montessori schools? My curiosity was immediately peaked!  I asked and she answered about a hundred rapid fire questions about the educational philosophy as well as the social and learning environment. At the end of the conversation, she assured me that the school strongly encouraged diversity and that we would feel very welcome.

The next day, I contacted the school and within a few days my son was scheduled to attend a class on a trial basis; I was invited to observe. After the observation, I was brimming with excitement!  I was intrigued by the practical, hands-on learning techniques.  I also loved the fact that the students were encouraged to think independently, work cooperatively, and to respect each other as well as their larger environment.  I also liked the practical nature of the learning activities.  I was thrilled to see 3, 4 and 5 year olds happily and successfully engaging in activities like identifying parts of the human anatomy and locating world continents!  But, above all else, I loved the fact that my son was genuinely happy with the Montessori experience.  After we left the school that day he told me that he couldn’t wait to go back.

This Montessori school seemed to be the answer!  So what about cost?  Naturally, I had to seriously contemplate the price tag.  Granted, this was a private school, but after doing the math, I determined that the tuition was not much more than the cost of a “good” local daycare.  And with that, I began the application process.  Within a month he was enrolled in primary class and ultimately completed each grade level though grade 7.  It is important to note that at that time, our local Montessori schools did not extend beyond grade 8. As a result, my son ended up graduating from a traditional college preparatory high school.

All in all, I cannot stress how happy I am with our Montessori experience! In later years, I enrolled my daughter in the same Montessori school that my son attended.  She is currently a 4th year student in upper elementary. I love to tell people that I am the proud mother of two “Montessorians” and to answer my previous question; yes, black people do go to Montessori schools!

Today, I am proud to report that my son is doing well and is a Biology Major at Emory University.

I would love to hear your thoughts on education in general and Montessori or other alternative education philosophies in specific.

Gwin