From my window I can watch the kids coming home from middle school. I have things to teach them: “Go to school. Go to all your classes because you will get help. If you don’t go, they’ll keep you back and you have to pay for summer school.”
I want to be a teacher. I like explaining things to people – to break it down and make it easier for them. I am good at taking what the teacher says and simplifying it. For example: once, when a fellow student said, “I don’t get that. How do you do the Lewis dot structure?” I turned to him and explained, “You find which group by the dots in the Periodic Table. Lithium has one dot and sodium has five.” I drew it out for him, a diagram, so he could see it. It felt good and I’m good at it. So that’s what I want to do.
I go to Stamford Academy. To get there from Bridgeport, I need to take the train. They don’t really teach you in a big high school; you do book-work in class without the teacher explaining things. My grades now are much better. Here the classes are smaller and teachers help you. And my writing has had a chance to shine.
You learn life skills in school. You learn that everything you do is important: how you look, your behavior, your posture. You learn how to work with people and be with adults, like shaking a new person’s hand with a firm grip and looking into their eyes, that you know how to act like an adult. You get judged by first impressions. It’s how you get a job. It’s part of what learning is all about.
I am looking forward to college giving me the tools I need to become a teacher. I can’t wait to begin to pass along to others my constant curiosity and ability to communicate and my enthusiasm for inspiring students to love to learn as much as I do.
Here are some examples of how I express myself through poetry and polemics.
*edited by Virginia White
I have two bedrooms, one with my mom, the other with my grandmother. The two rooms reflect the two sides of my personality.
I go to my bedroom in my grandmother’s house when I am hungry and happy. She’s a chef. She feeds my soul and my tummy. Grandma’s room represents my happy side.
My bedroom at my mother’s house is virtually empty. I don’t spend a lot of time there, just when I need to be alone, write sad poetry to lift depression, and find “me” in my writing. The closets there contain my party dresses and the dresses I wore when I used to model. We paid a lot of money to an agency for outfits, photos, and my portfolio. I had only a slight chance of being picked. I stopped before that happened. My modeling life is in my mother’s house. My past life is there. My mom’s room is sadder.
I spend most of my time at Grandma’s house. She’s funny with her South Carolina accent. She wanted to raise her children in the north. My bedroom there is crowded with my present life. I like it there. It gives me energy. In that room, there is a big TV and a lot of clothes all over the room. I like athletic apparel. I go to the gym, Zumba, work on the equipment. The hydro massager is amazing. My mom pays for it.
There’s a trundle bed. My Jack Russell Bella sleeps on the lower one. She eats everything. She gets into trouble. She’s hyper. When I come home she jumps and barks. She has to be the first person I say hi to. She makes me happy but she can be annoying. I love her. Bella teaches me to go to sleep early. She wants to be with me. I walk her. I dress her up, even though she doesn’t particularly like that.
You don’t know my story.
The places I’ve been.
The things I have seen.
Skin so cold like ice.
Eyes black like the night.
Lying on the cold concrete floor.
Frightened to death.
The sweet smell of honeydew wakes me up.
Love is in the air.
I feel proud looking in the mirror.
My reflection of a beautiful blossoming rose.
It is what I see.
Emotions collide between
the dark and the light.
Crying through my mouth.
Screaming through my eyes.
You can see I am very much hurt inside.
The pain sinks through my body like water sinks through a sponge.
Pink and purple is what I see.
Finding myself is a search.
A search for what?
I am the bird in the sky.
THIS IS ME!
“YOU’RE PRETTY FOR A BLACK GIRL…”
Within the black community “dark skinned” women are seen as lesser than a female with “lighter skin.” They lose self-esteem at early ages, not only from peers but also relatives. It’s a known fact that all this ridiculous mockery started back in slavery days. When the slave owner would impregnate his slave, the lighter your skin, you were referred to as a “house slave,” but the darker you were, you were known as a “field slave.” Slavery is over, but the colorism controversy still remains. Black men see dark girls as nothing but mean and attitudinal. As a dark skin woman, I say that’s not case. We’re so defensive from all the teasing growing up over something we have no control. I get more compliments about my complexion from white people than I do black people. I think it’s ridiculous that people outside my race see my beauty more than those that share my race. Being dark skinned has its ups and downs; I love my smooth, shiny chocolate complexion and my good skin, but when you’re dark, someone automatically thinks you’re mean or ghetto. The darker you are, the more African you are, and the lighter you are the more white you appear.
Why do black people have a problem with dark skin?
Skin bleaching has become one of the biggest trends in this era. This doesn’t only occur in America but in places where the population is mostly black; places like Africa. The women and children bleach their skin to be portrayed as beautiful, not knowing the consequences of skin bleaching. If you stop bleaching, your skin breaks out and you get darker than you were before. This problem doesn’t only happen in your own community but also in the court system. Between the years of 1995 and 2009, 158 women were sentenced. Those with lighter skin received 12% shorter sentences than the women with darker skin. I feel like that is crazy because it shouldn’t be your skin color, but your crime that matters.