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Viva La Spring Break!

March 28, 2013  |  2 Comments

Mama and Baby Celebrate Spring Break!


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to muster up enough energy to write a blog.  Or really, do anything more than take care of my baby, kiss my husband on the forehead, check the Huffington Post and go to bed.  And oh, yeah, teach full time too.  (obviously, my priorities are not hard to see through).

Mostly, I blame the Educational Industrial Complex for this.  i.e. Test Prep.  i.e. Pearson.  i.e. Ed Reform and all the suckers who buy into that political bullshit.  I’ve decided to lay all that to rest: Spring Break is HERE! April will soon be here! Summer peeks through the murky depths of test prep season!

I’m not going to rehash the atrocities of The Test and its current effects on sound pedagogy and student (and teacher) engagement.  Instead, let’s focus on the glamourati for the rest of the year: Spring Break, Soleil’s First Birthday, and The Awesomeness of After the Test.

Cornelius in his Spring Break outfit.

Spring Break

The Manhattan: both the whiskey and the city @ Morton's Steakhouse

The Manhattan: both the whiskey and the city @ Morton’s Steakhouse

Those who work in industries that do not award sporadic vacations like Spring Break may sometimes balk at the nifty 10 day collection of free time that’s given to educators and students nationwide.  True, it’s nifty, and perhaps a little unfair.  However, without it, schools would implode.

The Minor family Spring Break is going strong! It began with Pajama Day, and was met with a Date Night where the parents drank actual Hard Alcohol and stayed up for a late night movie at the IFC. Ironically, we saw a Michel Gondry film focused on NYC youth called The We and the I.  Excellent film, go see it.  Another Pajama Day.  THEN SPA CASTLE.  Words can’t express the gratitude we have for the Koreans and their amalgamation of spa services for the people of NYC.  A-MAZING.  We continue to pajama it up, and are looking forward to our weekend excursion with our Georgia Family in Athens, where Soleil will be baptized with her cousin Matti by their Grandpa Reverand Minor!

Soleil’s First Birthday


Soleil, sporting her Michelle Obama DVF outfit (via Gap) at 11 1/2 months.

Soleil’s first birthday is coming soon! Last Spring Break, Cornelius and I walked and walked and walked all over the city anticipating Soleil’s arrival.  She chose to come on the last day of Spring Break, and it was the sweetest moment of our lives. This year, her birthday (April 15) does not fall on Spring Break, which is fine. Instead, it always falls on tax day. Hah! We are happily enjoying all aspects of Soleil and most aspects of parenting.  The one year milestone for babies is a reflective time; bittersweet in a nutshell.  But that’s for another post.  We love our baby girl.

The Awesomeness After the Test

I love when the Test is over.  It’s blissful.  Serene, really. Firstly, teaching gets exciting again.  There’s units like “Rebuilding Reading Life.” Yes, yes, and YES.  That is the kind of stuff I love to teach. I’ve been a bookworm all my life, and there is nothing more exciting than  letting all my biblio-love infect the kids I teach.

Additionally, shared struggle is always something that brings people closer together.  And when kids, teachers, and colleagues have to go through something like test prep together, when it’s over, everyone embraces.  Both literally and figuratively.  Class community is at an all time high, teachers get chummy with each other again, and  the Last Day of School is in sight.

Last day of School? Enough said.

Viva La Spring Break!

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

February 19, 2013  |  Family, Uncategorized  |  5 Comments

Seven years ago, Cornelius and I used to ride the train together every morning on our way to work, bring each other hot tea during lunch time, and pop into one another’s classroom at the end of the day to see what our kiddos had been up to.  People used to ask us if we ever got sick of each other, and the answer was always no.  We never did.  Minor, as Cornelius was known then, was as friendly as ever, full of jokes, and it was the ultimate strength to our relationship that we got to share students.  He was the Minor to my Ms. Kass, and we loved it.

If you asked us back then, I’m not sure we would have described our future lives as they are now-Me, still teaching-but this time a Working Mom.  Him, still educating, but this time as a Staff Developer.  Me, fufilling two parent duty and curating the house while Him, enduring grueling 16 hour work days walking around as a famous Black person in China.  This life is one of sustenance, but this shiznit is HARD. For the both of us.

Although this being married on dual sides of the world thing is difficult, we both know the dual sides of the world part is temporary.  And as much tenacity as all this involves, we both know it’s good for us.  We enjoy the challenge.


Just yesterday, Cornelius was describing the ride-your-moped to work schtick that was a completely pleasant surprise.  Upon arriving to his hotel, they handed him the keys to as he described it “One of those Chinatown Delivery Bikes”.  And that Shanghai is 8th Ave Brooklyn times 100.  Or, more accurately speaking, times 1,000,000.  The work in itself is no easy task.  There’s all that immense pressure, educational rigor blah blah blah that he has endure.  But it always makes him stronger, brighter.

Cornelius, in his “Rental Vehicle”. Shanghai, China Feb 18, 2013

As for me, Soleil and I completed our first solo jet journey! We went on a three day, two night, Mom and Child adventure to Springboro, Ohio to see my best friend, Kristen, that I’ve been pleased to know since age 11. Soleil is the sweetest, most perfect side kick any mama could ask for.  She basically could coach other babies on the Principles of Good Flying Behavior.  When we arrived to Ohio, we learned the tenants of carseat riding, toddler wisdom (Kristen has a tiny cohort of 3 kids ages 18 months, 3, and 6), and billygoat petting.  Soleil was down with the toddler wisdom, not so much with the carseat and billygoats.  She is definitely our Brooklyn Baby.

Soleil and I, somewhere in the atmosphere between Ohio and New York City, Feb 18, 2013

Soleil and I, somewhere in the atmosphere between Ohio and New York City, Feb 18, 2013


While Cornelius is gone, I learn to be dynamic in Mother Wisdom ways that I never thought I would be, or could be.  I know how to clean the catbox ever so gingerly, scooping up disgusting nuggets like a whisper while Soleil naps,waiting 2o minutes in so she doesn’t wake up.  Doing laundry is one of Soleil’s favorite events-the laundry basket turns into a car, with warm, ventilated clothes heaping in beside her.  Taking out the trash is the first leg of the walk to the playground, and doing dishes is part of our breakfast routine.

Although Cornelius and I are challenged and strengthened by the absence of each other, I can’t say that I miss him any less with each trip that approaches.  But I will say with each trip that comes, every day he that is here and that our family is together is approached with complete humility and love.