I've greatly enjoyed my time, but I no longer wish to put my body at risk for the sake of entertainment. I think about the rest of my life and I want to live it with much quality. And physically, I am grateful that I can walk away feeling as good as I did when I stepped into it.
The uproar over high-stakes testing associated with Common Core in New York State and complaints that children are being tested on things they were not taught, has obscured the deepening of racial, ethnic and class divisions in education in New York and the United States.
I've read and heard so many accusations against the LGBT community by the religious right that I've now come to the conclusion that these folks are just sloppy with what they say. Seriously, it's as if they don't care that eventually someone will demonstrate how incoherent their claims are.
Google "coming of age movies" and you will find that the stories our culture says define coming of age are those like The Sandlot or Superbad. For boys of color there are far fewer, but some: Cooley High. Boyz in the Hood. School Daze. Try Googling "coming of age movies for girls" and you'll find a lot less.
Years from now we will know that we stood on the right side of history.
So then this new idea came along. Since we can't get rid of it, since we can't let it go -- let's embrace it. Let's reinvent it. Let's endear it. Well folks, we've had our little experiment and let me just tell you, it's failed miserably. Yes miserably.
When I saw 12 Years a Slave, I found myself squirming in my seat. I was seated between two white men, one my friend and the other a stranger. Now that all the Oscar fanfare is over, I'd like to call attention to Lupita Nyong'o.
Facing the horror of slavery is a tough nut to crack not simply because it entails facing an inconvenient truth about past racial dehumanization, but because it entails facing the real truth that slavery still corrodes in big and little ways American life.
Imprinted within our psyches is the notion that success is something that should be visible. Until recently, it has had a rather distinct look to it.
With the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, President Obama is leveraging the power and influence of his presidency to address barriers to success facing boys and young men of color. It is a vital step in the continuous journey to help America heal from the legacy that limited opportunities for centuries.
This week thousands of parents and students marched to save their schools and fight for the right of every child to receive a quality education. The march was in response to the mayor's newly announced charter school co-location policy.
Last week, President Obama unveiled his My Brothers Keeper initiative one day after the anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin and as the nation still grapples with the hung jury on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn case,.
On its face, sure, the President's initiative seems small. In fact the $150 million that has already been invested in the program could probably go a long way to improving circumstances for male youth of color in Chicago alone. But it is a step in the right direction.
Seventeen-year-old Theresa Tran is one of this year's winners of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio's Beat the Odds® scholarships after overcoming tough odds including physical disability, the death of a beloved sibling, and a father who suddenly abandoned the family.
The experts of Full Circle Six have the answers to all of your lifestyle needs, one checklist at a time. Each week, one will answer questions in her respective area.
Q: I'm constantly late for everything. How do I break out of this vicious cycle?
Dina Farrugia, The Concierge, Full Circle Six: It's admirable that you recognize the need for change and want to take steps toward correcting it. Pat yourself on the back! Still, it's important to realize that change takes time, so introduce new changes gradually. Remember, just as bad habits develop over time, so do good ones. Below are some suggestions that will help you go from tardy to timely:
• Jump-start your morning by setting your alarm clock ahead at least 30 minutes earlier, and use that time to organize your day. Plot out what you need to get done so you can better manage your time.
• Decrease the amount of time you spend on a certain task. For example, learn how to put on your makeup in five minutes rather than the usual half hour; subscribe to an online news outlet that you can read when you have a few minutes instead of lingering over the newspaper in the morning.
• Prioritize tasks (a MUST!). Complete the important or necessary tasks first, even if they are the most difficult or boring. You'll thank yourself later.
Stick to your game plan and you will start to notice positive changes soon. Good luck!
Q: My boyfriend's family, whom I've never met, is visiting from out of town this weekend. HELP! Please recommend some activities we can enjoy together.
Dina, Full Circle Six: There are so many wonderful activities that you can do together to break the ice. To alleviate some of the stress, first find out if there is something special your boyfriend's family would like to do or if they have any particular interests. Here are some of my suggestions:
• Take an organized walking /bus trip around your city
• Visit local galleries and attend art show openings
• See a play at an independent theater company
• Watch a live music show (classical, jazz)
• Visit a museum
• Shopping (everyone's favorite!)
• Dine at one of your favorite neighborhood restaurants
• Have a picnic (weather permitting)
• Attend a sporting event
• Go bowling
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that the family is probably just as nervous about meeting you as you are about meeting them. So relax, and have fun. Remember that you have your boyfriend there to support you.
Q: I'm going out of town for two weeks and I have to leave my dog behind. Who should get to take care of him while I'm away, and how much will it cost?
Dina, Full Circle Six: Of course you want to make sure that your lovable pooch will be left in the best hands. Here are few suggestions that will help you feel more at ease during your separation:
Your dog sitter should be responsible, caring and trustworthy and make you and your pooch feel comfortable! Start with a recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian or even a dog trainer. Ideally you want to find someone who loves dogs and has experience taking care of them. It's a bonus if they have a dog of their own!
A friend or family member may be a good candidate to take care of your pooch if you don't want to leave her with a stranger.
Contact the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (www.petsitters.org) for ideas on the best way to choose someone to watch your pet. Pet Sitters can also help you find a sitter.
Costs can vary depending on the service you choose. Prices range from $10-$25 per day or $40-$80 for an overnight stay. Whichever option you choose, remember to leave your emergency contact information with your dog's caretaker. Enjoy your trip!
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Full Circle Six is: Annie Tse (The Interior Designer), Vanessa K. Bush (The Chef), Dina Farrugia (The Concierge), Sharon Pendana (The Fashion Stylist), Jen M.R. Doman (The Organizer) and Lindsay Messina (The Wellness Expert). Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-783-2075 or http://fullcircle6.com.