“That in so many ways all our lives are entangled with the past — its manipulations and, fearful of its grasp, ignoring or dismissing or distorting it to suit ourselves, but always unable to erase it. When finally I understood the nature of a haunting — how it is both what we yearn for and what we fear, I was able to see the traces of a ghostly presence, the residue of a repressed past in certain concrete but also allusive detail. Footprints particularly. That disappear and return only to disappear again.” ~ Toni Morrison, The Source of Self- Regard

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My grandmother had two birthdays. …

So, I have a dirty little secret.

It’s an unpopular opinion during this time and I’ve been holding it in for fears of being insensitive but here it is…

I love being in isolation.

I know, I know … but I really do.

So much.

I love being at home. I love being alone. I love choosing to wear or not wear clothes. I love the solo dance parties I have while eating all the snacks. Gone is the impending dread of having to go out into the world to meet any person, at any place, at any specific time.

But what I love most is the space which I’ve created and surrounded myself within my home. …

I entered the classroom twelve years ago with a fist full of dry erase markers and a heart full of determination. I was freshly graduated from college, so I obviously, was an expert teacher. I walked up to my brand new class waiting for me in the school yard on the first day of school. A parent grabbed me by the arm and demanded to know how old I was. “Twenty- two.” I answered proudly. The epitome of a grown up. “Oh lawd a mercy! They sent a baby to teach the class!” and she began to pray.

Thus, began my teaching journey in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey at Miller Street School. I was fortunate enough to teach in the same school my grandmother, Beatrice Lang, attended as a young girl. I taught there for three years until non tenure layoffs and state takeover eliminated teachers and eventually closed the school. Since then, I’ve moved to NYC and teach and live in the Bronx. Yet, I will never forget those years teaching in my home community. Walking the same halls as my grandmother, having her visit my classroom and speak to my students. Home is where I found my teaching spirit. It’s shaped me forever. …

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