Leadership Lessons I Learned from Peanuts: Peppermint Patty

PEPPERMINT PATTY AND MARCIE-If there are two people in the world who have taught us the meaning of true sisterhood it is these two quirky girls.  I have heard many adulpeppermint patty and marciets today try to use their relationship to teach LGBTQ tolerance. While I don’t presume to speak for Charles Schultz, I am not sure that was his intent.  Rather I think in all his characters he was simply showing us a fundamental truth that the world is full of strange, quirky people-and these very quirks are things that makes life interesting.  I think his intent was to help us understand that we should not put people in boxes and decide for them who they are.  See, ‘cause on the surface Peppermint Patty was a tomboy, and Marcie was not “super feminine” in the classic sense but they both loved them some Charlie Brown didn’t they?

They weren’t ashamed of that and they often openly competed against each other for his unreturned affections that he appeared to be completely oblivious to. Despite this unrequited love, there was a confidence found in these two, that wasn’t found in any of the other girls in Peanuts.  I like the fact that Peppermint Patty was constantly worried about her looks (haven’t we all been there at one time or another?), while Marcie balanced Patty’s neurosis by never worrying about hers.  My favorite strip is when they were talking under a tree one day and Peppermint Patty asked Marcie if she thinks they will be pretty in the future.  (Forgive me if I am messing up the strip-it’s been a long time since I read it.) Marcie in a nutshell replies that in the future Patty is pretty and she is a supermodel.  That’s what I’m talking about Marcie! That is some straight up confidence right there.

My favorite thing about these two is that no matter what they stuck together.  They embodied the true spirit of the Best Friend FOREVER.  They said what was on their minds, they openly and honestly communicated with each other, they looked out for each other, and they accepted one another unconditionally-both leaders in their own right, yet faithfully following the other’s lead. Every Peppermint Patty needs a Marcie and every Marcie should have a Peppermint Patty-how much better life would be.

Lesson Number 7.1-LEADERS ARE FUTURE ORIENTED-ALWAYS LOOKING PAST THE TROUBLES OF TODAY TOWARDS A GLORIOUS TOMORROW

Lesson Number 7.2-LEADERS FIND A GOOD BFF AND STICK BY THEMfriends

If you have a good BFF I encourage you to share this post with them and thank them for being a friend and accepting you with all your faults, frailties, and quirks.

Photo Credits: https://www.pinterest.com/jenner44/peppermint-patty/

Read more Lessons on Leadership I learned from Peanuts.

Happy Star Wars Day!

wallup.netToday is Star Wars Day.

Yes, by the very fact that I am writing this post I confirm I am a Star Wars Geek.

I own that.  I’m cool with it.

Initially I thought I was the only one, but over the years it has been confirmed-I am not alone.

I will never forget the first time I saw the movie.  Mind you, at 11 years old, I’d been to movies before, but this was different. This was magical! Majestic! Grand!

It was the first film to make me feel like I was there. I still get goosebumps thinking about those words scrolling up the screen into the black void, then seeing that starship creeping across the sky like it was right above me. It wasn’t 3D but it felt like it!

So in honor of Star Wars Day I want to acknowledge some of the coolest things I loved about Star Wars.

star wars

Awesome Intro’s-in bringing back the 21rst Century intro just before John Williams musical intro was BRILLIANT and totally set the stage for what was coming next.

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away-Move over tired fairy tale story introductions, you are played out.  When those words came on the screen George Lucas effectively dropped the mic when it came to setting the stage for the story to come.

Giant Words Scrolling Up  A Screen-Seriously, who would have ever thought that could be so exciting.  It’s a good thing most kids had 3rd grade reading skills back then, or you would have been messed up.  Sure words scrolling on a screen had been done before-BUT NOT LIKE THAT.

2nd mic drop in less than a minute.

BAM!

landoLando Calrissian-As if the original cast of characters wasn’t enough, they had to go and cast one of the coolest black men to ever grace the screen and effectively make him the black version of Han Solo!  Do you understand how amazing that moment was for every black female on the planet?  I promise you, if I was the only black Star Wars fan before the Empire Strikes Back movie (and trust me I wasn’t) I knew I was no longer alone.  This was confirmed when my cousin and I went to see the movie THREE TIMES IN A ROW! FYI, I have since seen it several more times alone, with my BFF, hubby, kids, dog…You get the picture. It is rumored that Donald Glover is to play him in a standalone film. If so-WHAT!  Who the heck decided that? Certainly, no one asked me, my cousin, my BFF, or any other black woman on the planet.  Donald, you are a good actor and I like you, but no offense, you are no Billy Dee Williams.

A Bad Ass Space Princess in the form of Leia Organa.  Disney didn’t want to make a princess doll of you because you didn’t fit their image.  BOO Disney! Forget those other wimpy, whiny damsels in distress with their dainty skin and perfect hair. Give me that blaster shooting, smart mouthed, bad hair day having, tough cookie, who wasn’t afraid to get dirty and still get her man princess any day.  That’s a princess I can identify with.

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Darth Vader-Get an A+ for having three of the eight coolest names in movie Dom-EVER!  If there were an academy award for coolest names in a movie these would definitely be nominated for best names possibly only losing to Indiana Jones, James Bond, Hannibal Lector, Lex Luthor, or Keyser Söze. Hmm, I just noticed four of my top eight are bad guys.  Bad guys have some cool names.

Characters, Plot, Visual Imagery, and Family Friendly-Star Wars has it all! I like the fact that the franchise has stayed true to being a movie the whole family can enjoy.  It is great to know that to this day I can take my kids to any Star Wars movie and don’t have to yell-CLOSE YOUR EYES QUICKLY.  Just wish I could say the same about those annoying previews.

A Hairy Walking Giant Dog-who can fly a spaceship, fight, shoot, and have people understand his grunts and gestures.  Hey, I’d be happy if my dog would just stay when I say stay!

Okay, I am going to stop right now because I could write all day about what makes Star Wars and all the subsequent movies AWESOME, but I will give other fan-atics a chance.  I’m sure they are all blogging their favorite memories as well.

So here’s to you George Lucas! Thank you for not giving up on your dream of bringing Star Wars to the big screen.  You brought excitement to the screen in a way no one had ever done before and I, along with millions of others appreciate that.  Thank you 21rst Century Fox.  Because of Star Wars we will forgive you for also owning Fox News. Thank you to the cast and crew of Star Wars, even to those of you who thought it was going to be a stupid, trite piece of celluloid because in spite of your feelings, you performed splendidly, a testament to your never ending professionalism.

Finally, thank you to all the fans-who keep the spirit of Star Wars alive allowing new generations to enjoy the A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away.

Leadership Lessons I Learned from Princess Leia and Tanka Challenge

Non-Profit Salaries: Who Determines The Value of an Employee?

I have worked in non-profit since graduating from college.  It wasn’t so bad when I was in my 20’s. I had no kids, no mortgage, no car payment and was still living at home.  Working for peanuts then wasn’t that big of a deal.  I convinced myself that it was for a greater good and so the low pay was a trade-off for the good feeling I got from “giving back.”

That changed when I got screwed. I was promised a raise for all my hard work if a specific grant was received because of the extra work implementing it would entail.  When the funds were awarded I got the extra duties, but not the promised pay increase.  Since the additional monies were written into the grant I did not think it would be a problem, when six months into working on the project I inquired about the raise.  To my shock not only I was told there wasn’t money for a raise but that I was being greedy for even asking about it.  When I reminded my boss that the additional money for the raise was written into the grant I received the following response. “You shouldn’t be in non-profit if you are trying to make money. No one should expect to get rich working for a non-profit.”

RICH! I wasn’t trying to get rich!  I just wanted the organization to honor its word.  No I wasn’t expecting silver and gold, but is it too much to ask to be able to make a decent living.  My expenses were growing as well as my job duties.  Why was I being made to feel guilty about asking for the decent and fair wage I was promised?

FAST FORWARD 20+ years and a vast amount of experience later and I am still hearing the same stupid statements.  They usually come out of the mouths of Executive Directors (incidentally the highest paid members of the non-profit staff,) or board members who can’t imagine a non-profit staff member earning as much as they do.

Who the (expletive in my head not typed ’cause I don’t want to offend any one-feel free to add your own though) made up this stupid rule?

When asked about their greatest staff retention challenges, the top two issues cited were “inability to pay competitively” (27 percent) and “inability to promote” (20 percent). Unfortunately, the use of the word “inability” only reinforces the impression that this is how the sector must operate. Organizations do have a choice in whether they prioritize staffing and retention, and ignoring these issues is already costing nonprofits money and impact.-ALLISON GAUSS 2016

Low salaries made sense in the early days when non-profits were founded by small religious groups who worked as the staff, or wives of wealthy tycoons.  As these organizations grew they had to hire staff to tend to the day to day affairs.  These days many non-profits are as large as big corporations and take in as much money.  They require more and more educated staff in order to operate, yet organizations still insist on dealing with human resources as if it is 1903.

Gauss also states that “The sector cannot attract and retain the talent it needs to solve huge social problems without investing in nonprofit salaries.” She references major league baseball teams who are willing to pay their standout talent millions of dollars in order to retain the best of the best.  They understand that the investment they make will reap them even greater rewards.

“BUT LENA-WE CAN’T PAY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO ONE EMPLOYEE.” I hear an Executive Director screaming.

Nor am I suggesting you should, but I am saying that by not investing in non-profit talent burnout is created, many of the best and brightest leave the non-profit world, or forego it altogether. As a result, you are losing out on major talent that can actually help your organization grow. It’s so bad that many adults are warning young people to avoid non-profit work altogether.

“BUT LENA-OUR DONORS WILL STOP GIVING IF OUR SALARIES ARE TOO HIGH.”

Maybe. Maybe not.  Most likely not.  Your donors work for a living.  They understand far more than they are given credit for.  CEO’s who run companies understand the importance of recruiting and retaining talent and the importance a good employee can bring to a bottom line.

BUT LENA, WE DON’T MAKE ANYTHING.  WE DON’T SELL ANYTHING!

Yes, you do.  1) You make people’s lives better. 2) You are selling yourself.  You are the product.  If the product is good people will buy it. But only if you have the right people in place to sell it.  Why are you not willing to pay the price to get the right “sales”people on your team?

I’m not the only one who thinks this.  More and more people are starting to rethink this whole “non profit employees should not worry about salary thing…”  That’s some straight up shiggity BS!  Don’t believe me.  Check out all the links below.

I love how Vu Le (“voo lay”) puts it down about this subject.  Vu Le is a writer, speaker, and Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle with the mission of developing and supporting leaders of color. In his article for the blog Non-Profit With Balls, he states “…society has the wacky and damaging notion that nonprofit staff should martyr ourselves. It’s perfectly OK for celebrities, athletes, and CEOs of companies producing soft drinks or gory video games or yoga pants to be paid millions, but God forbid anyone pay a nonprofit professional 100K to help end homelessness or cancer or whatever…Our field loses too many talented staff because we are mired in this mentality of scrappiness

RIGHT! Well said Vu Le.

JONATHAN TIMM’s in his article for the Atlantic acknowledges the challenges that non-profits face with regard to funding their organizations, while at the same time confronting the notion that these challenges are an excuse to low ball employees in the area of wages.  In his article Timm’s cites  Stuart Mitchell, the CEO of a human-services nonprofit called PathStone, who wrote that “paying a livable wage is the right thing to do not only for our deeply committed employees, but also for the participants that rely on our services.”  He ends his article with this statement from the representatives of 150 social-justice organizations who, signed a letter in support of former President Obama’s overtime rules writing, “It is time to revisit the idea that working for the public good should somehow mean requiring the lowest-paid among us to support these efforts by working long hours, many of which are unpaid.

I have way more to say on this subject, but not enough time.  I will say that the smart non-profits.  The ones that really want to be competitive in the 21st century will be the ones that are willing to challenge this notion that their employees should not be paid a competitive wage in line with public and private sector wages. Non-profit employees work as hard, and in many cases harder than their for-profit counterparts.They deserve to be adequately compensated for their work.  They fight for good causes everyday.  It’s time someone fought for them.

Resources

Low Nonprofit Salaries Are Costing You Money. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2017, from https://www.classy.org/blog/low-nonprofit-salaries-costing-you-money/

Transgender Boys Wins Texas State Title: the Right and Wrong of It

“Mack Beggs identifies as a boy, but his birth certificate says he’s a girl. In Texas’ University Interscholastic League, that means that the high school wrestler can only compete against girls, even though he takes testosterone as part of his transition.”-Chuck Schilken, Contact Reporter, Los Angeles Times

The article further states that Mack won the state title with a 56-0 record for the year.  Some of the wins by forfeit because some competitors refused to wrestle against her; not because she identifies as a boy, but because she takes testosterone supplements which they feel give her an unfair advantage because as the physician quoted in the article stated the treatments “are in the same family and have the effect of increasing muscle mass and strength gains.” (Mines 2017)

In light of MMA fighter Fallon Fox routinely crushing her opponents before revealing a sex change operation, and giving one of her opponents a concussion and a broken eye socket; their fears may not be unfounded.

Here is where the league/district got it wrong.

In an effort to be fair to one student, they were unfair to the rest of the students. The article states that Mack’s use of testosterone were “well below the allowed level,” according to the Washington Post. Did the other students competing against Mack know there was an “allowable level” and were they given the opportunity to take that “allowable level” if they so desired?  Is the district opening themselves up to reverse discrimination lawsuits as a result?

According to the article the reason Mack did not compete against the boys was because the rules expressly state that one must compete according to the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Here is where the district league got it right.

To eliminate all the confusion over gender issues they keep things simple.  If your birth certificate says boy.  Then you compete with the boys.  If it says girl, then you compete as a girl.  I don’t know much about how that all works once the change is complete, but I believe once a complete sex change has taken place, meaning all subsequent operations have been performed, then the person undergoing the procedure can legally have their name and gender changed.  If you want to certify this, I suggest you consult with an attorney or conduct further research on your own.

School officials have it tough today.  The rules were simple 50, 30, even 20 years ago. Not so today. Therefore we should have some compassion for the people who have to sort through all this stuff and make decisions on complex issues.  Sometimes the best way to do that is to keep it simple.

Here’s where the parents got it wrong

I wonder about the wisdom of allowing any young person under the age of 21 making  major, life altering decisions at critical junctures of human development such as adolescence. I don’t know the personal details of this family, but I hope that counseling and mental health services are being taken advantage of to ensure that this is the best option for this young person.  There is and will always be debate on whether or not LBGT’s are born that way or made as a result of some life altering occurrence, but no one can argue that the decision to become transgendered in preparation for a complete sex change is not something to be taken lightly, and I’m not comfortable with allowing a young person under the age of 18 to begin this process. We have laws designed to prevent young people from underage drinking that were set up to protect them from becoming alcoholics.  Why do we not do the same for life altering procedures?

Here is where the parents got it right

Parenting is a tough job.  Sure books on parenting abound, but there is no book to teach you how to raise YOUR child.  I may not agree with how these parents are handling this situation, but I applaud them for trying to be supportive of something they may find frightening and difficult to understand.  These are uncharted waters for them as well so it may be they have no clue what to do or how to handle it.  I know what I think I would do, but then, it’s not my child. Obviously these parents love their child unconditionally and in a world that won’t, isn’t that one of the most fundamental jobs of parents?

Here’s where the crowd got it wrong

You don’t boo young people. Unless the person is exhibiting crass behavior, acting a complete fool, or being totally disrespectful, adults should not be booing young people who have achieved a well earned victory.  We may not like how Mack won, but by all accounts this young person attempted to follow the rules set by the adults.  Now that the adults see the outcome, they should set about working together to make the future fair for everyone. Some are attempting to do that with a lawsuit that states she should either be able to compete against the boys or “prevent him from taking part the girls’ postseason competition…“I don’t know if that is the proper solution.  By forcing her to compete against the boys I wonder what Pandora’s box will be opened as a result.  We have already witnessed the potential for carnage of allowing a former male to compete against females in the MMA. Neither do I think a person who works hard should be denied their right to compete.  Might a better option be to prohibit the use of the testosterone during the sports season?

As a person of color, I have experienced first hand the inequities of sports.  Our sports teams were routinely cheated against by unfair, corrupt, and racist officials and we were hurt and angered by the injustice.  Our coaches taught us to work harder and pushed us further because they knew the only way we could beat that unjust system was to be better.  As a result, our teams won back to back state titles in basketball and football; and were consistently  ranked amongst the top in our league.

For those female competitors this unfair competition sucks!  I get that. I’ve lived it. I encourage you to work harder.  Find your advantage and overcome this obstacle.  To Mack, growing up is tough.  There isn’t  person on the planet who hasn’t struggled in some way with finding their personal identity.  I pray that God will guide you to His place of peace.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but here’s what I know.

God desires to walk with us during our struggles.  If we allow God to be the center of our universe, He will guide us through every problem we face. Whether it is gender identity, or unfair competition we should seek the face of the one who made us and ask Him to help us, to guide us and our decisions, and help us to make sense of a world that sometimes seems to make no sense.

Transgender Bathrooms and the Common Sense of Kids

It’s in the news again!

So I took a poll.

It’s not official or anything like that.

But I just wanted to know what kids thought about the whole transgendered bathroom thing.

It makes sense to ask them right? I mean they stand to be the most affected by these rules or wanna be rules so I thought it pertinent to ask them what they thought.

So I started by asking my own brood, then their friends, and then their friends friends.

I thought it would get real deep you know?

Surprisingly it didn’t.

In a nutshell, here are their responses in no particular order.

Who cares?

I don’t know why people are making such a big deal of this anyway. I don’t know any transgendered people. As far as I know there are none at my school.

Why do they need a special bathroom? If you have a penis go to the boys and if you have a vagina go to the girls.

Don’t they have unisex and family bathrooms? Go to those.

In science class they taught us that xx=girl and xy=boys.  Did that change?

One particularly brilliant girl asked me to define transgender because as she stated: “if they have transcended gender, then wouldn’t they have had the surgery and body parts altered, and therefore would actually be of the opposite sex, which means they wouldn’t need a special bathroom because they would be either a girl or a boy.  In which case they would go to the stall that is currently appropriate based on the current body parts they now possessed.

DANG! That was pretty deep.  But that’s as deep as it got.

I loved one young man’s response.

I think I’m pretty special; can I have my own bathroom?

I hear you dude. I want my own too.  And I want it to be decorated in a Star Wars theme with the Millennium Falcon as my own personal throne, and Lando Calrissian as my personal attendant.

millenium-falcon

Now that’s worth marching on Washington for!

Jesus May Be Lord of Your Life…But is the State Lord of Your Church?

Counterpoint to Ellen Rescinds Kim Burrell’s Invitation to Appear on Show

By Marion Witcher

Pastor Kim Burrell’s sermon left the church’s walls and spread like wildfire throughout the internet and into the ears of talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres.  Like dominoes falling—engagement after engagement tumbled away from her schedule.  Burrell was uninvited to the Ellen DeGeneres show and Houston-KTSU announced that it dropped her radio program.  Her television show was also cancelled and she was uninvited to BMI’s Trailblazer of Gospel Music annual celebration. Basically, these engagements were canceled because Burrell spoke against the homosexual lifestyle.

However, as stated in my last post, “Whether we approve of Ellen’s lifestyle or not, she is justified in exercising “her” conscience as it relates to Burrell’s controversial appearance on “her” show. In the same token, Burrell is justified in holding on to her beliefs whether someone agrees with her or not.

Reflecting upon the conflict of interest between Burrell and DeGeneres, I decided to focus on what I believe is a critically important topic.  That is, the freedom and right of clergy to speak.  Do pastors really have a right to preach, speak and teach about any topic?

According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Legal Counsel, Christiana Holcomb, “Churches should be free to teach their religious beliefs and operate their houses of worship according to their faith.  That is a foundational First Amendment principle.”

I wholeheartedly agree with Holcomb. It only makes sense that pastors be given the right to provide moral leadership while helping lay persons develop their faith in God.  After all, this is what they are called by God to do. As they walk in their divine calling,  “all” people should take note and recognize that not only have clergy been issued authority by God to speak truth, but our government reinforces that right within the first Amendment. This right was passed by Congress on September 25th, 1789 and ratified on December 15,1791, which reads:

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Under the First Amendment Rights, the pastor determines what is said from the pulpit, not the IRS. Free in spirit and walking in truth the Pastor can preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as led by the Holy Spirit.  On the other hand, when a church chooses to become a 501 3 (c) incorporation the religious freedom clause of the first amendment ceases to apply. In other words, pastors and evangelists who sign their church on to become 501 3 (c) incorporated, lose their constitutional rights.

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By law, the church is considered created by the State for the benefit of the public (not the benefit of the Lord Jesus Christ).  If the IRS says you cannot say something from the pulpit, then you DO NOT have any constitutional rights to argue against them.  As far as the church becoming a 501 3 (c) in to order to become tax exempt for the purpose of receiving tithes and offering, a little research will reveal that the church just by nature of being a church is already tax exempt.   And just the fact that the church is a church, under the First Amendment Rights, the preacher has the right to preach the Gospel in power and in might.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. II Timothy 3:16-17

However, the rules changes when a church becomes a 501 3 (c), The preacher may not be able to preach sound doctrine regarding some topics.  Doing so may mean breaking the church’s covenant with the government. One could easily say that the minister’s voice is silenced because he has remarried.  The new partner is not as attractive, but must be respected.  The new partner’s name is Uncle Sam.  Married to Uncle Sam, the preacher or evangelist must hush his voice.  He must walk in the integrity of his prenuptial agreement or lose his tax-exempt status.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  II Corinthians 6:14

Folks, it is a serious matter when the church voluntarily submits its freedom to the  government.  In fact, Dave Hodges host of the Common Sense show says “Any church that encourages complete obedience to a corrupt government has taken a big step towards accepting the Mark of the Beast. This is a very dangerous precedent, and this could potentially imperil the salvation of millions if Christians allow this false doctrine to expand across our nation’s churches. “

Whoa!  I am flabbergasted—but the truth is no man can serve two masters!

Resources:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7647840/kim-burrell-not-take-part-bmi-gospel-music-honors-anti-gay

http://davidfiorazo.com/2015/05/the-johnson-amendment-and-the-agenda-to-silence-christians/

http://www.creationliberty.com/articles/501c3.php

http://www.hushmoney.org

About Marion Ferguson Witcher

An eloquent and gifted speaker, Marion Ferguson Witcher has taken her past experiences and used them to help others through a non-profit she founded, New Hope for Special Needs.  With her husband, Veroman and others working alongside her, NHFSN is committed to encouraging families of children with special needs and the professionals that support them. They have also invested their own funds and with the help of other philanthropists created the philanthropic hand of New Hope for Special Needs.  This enabled NHFSN to provide numerous scholarships to college students majoring in special education.

Marion and her husband, Veroman  are the parents of two adult children, Ashley and Verano.  Their daughter is challenged with autism and epilepsy, and alternates between a wheelchair and walker.  As a result, the couple knows firsthand the joys, challenges, and struggles of raising a child with a disability within the context of the family, faith community, public school system, and society in general. 

Many people in and outside of the church’s walls have been touched by Marion’s faith-inspiring messages.  She also appropriately delivers thought-provoking messages to main stream audiences as a keynote speaker and workshop leader. 

Marion is an award-winning magazine writer, motivational speaker, and founder of New Hope for Special Needs.The mission provides faith-based support to  persons with intellectual challenges, their families and support systems. She has received numerous awards for her work related to advocating for children with special needs and their families including Community Advocate.   Inspired by her experience of being a mother of a child challenged with autism, in 2004, she wrote, Sowing My Tears, Reaping His Joy.  She is the founder of Autism: A Language Worth Knowing and the His Ability Over Disability Celebration.

Ode to Spandex: A FUN Ranting on the Way Women Dress Today

RED ALERT-“PLEASE DON’T Get all pissy on me people.  I want to state before you read that I am a plus size girl poking fun at myself.  So don’t march in front of my house and send me a bunch of hate mail.  If you don’t have a sense of humor, please stop reading right now.”-Lena

I just can’t take it anymore!  Women, please-LEARN HOW TO DRESS and CARRY YOURSELF LIKE A WOMAN! 

Please take note of the following:

Spandex is not your friend! Alright, so look, if you are a size 14 and up ( as I myself am)-stop trying to squeeze your behind into a pair of spandex. I do not care what the horny thing that passes for a man says who is sitting next to you right now is saying: spandex on a plus size woman is not a good look!  Please don’t email me telling me I don’t understand.  I am a full figured girl.  I get it.  But some things we just shouldn’t do!

Just ‘cause they make it, don’t mean you’ve got to wear it!-Seriously, just because it is hanging on the rack does not mean it is for you! Put it back!  I mean it-RIGHT NOW!

Now-you can make it work, but it’s got to be done right. Wearing them with long shirts, under skirt or dresses works as in.  See photo below.

See queen Latifah.  Now that’s a plus size girl rockin’ itplus-size-dresses-to-wear-with-leggings-5-queen-latifah

For more examples of what works visit: http://cleida.com/album/plus-size-tops-for-leggings.html

Two piece bathing suits are for skinny teens, really fit adults, and supermodels! Everybody else, please, do the world a favor and stick to one pieces, skirted one pieces, and tankini’s. FYI-If your fat rolls cannot fit inside the tankini-IT AIN”T FOR YOU!  Put it back!

Donuts are for the donut shop.  If the rolls cannot fit inside the jeans-MAYBE THEY ARE TOO SMALL!  Stop it.

Nobody wants to see your boobs! Okay, so maybe your man, some hot in the pants teenage boys, and the pervert next door; but for the rest of us, would you mind putting them back in the cage! It might have passed for sexy when you were 20, but at 45-Lets all repeat after me, “IT’S NOT A GOOD LOOK.”  Oh, and if your breast are bearing tattoos-for the record can I just say “OUCH!” You are one tough cookie.

Belly Buttons-Again, tolerable on women in their 20’s and those with flat abs; everyone else dagnabit wear a longer shirt!

Painted on Tight Jeans-We left them behind in 1984.  Send them back to the future.

Pajamas and slippers-People, these are for the bedroom; but keep on and they are going to be for BEDBUGS! There is a reason why you take your clothes off at night and take a shower.  Why don’t you just announce to the world, “I’m NASTY and I don’t bathe!”

Doo Rags, Scarves, and Bandanas– Okay, a decorative head wrap is a fashion statement. A hat or cap is cool. Everything else is just trifling! Either comb your head or stay home.  Say it with me, “NOT A GOOD LOOK!”

Thongs aren’t for me because I feel that body parts need a buffer zone, but as long as you don’t wear a bright thong under light pants it’s all good.

Women, I’m just saying to quote a phrase from Fat Albert and the Cosby kids let’s not be like school in the summertime,” NO CLASS!”

Okay So I am going to end with the following poem I wrote entitled, Ode to Spandex.  If you are angry by the time you finish reading it, then all it means is that you have some some spandex you need to throw away.

Ode to Spandex

By Lena Arnold

Spandex o’ spandex,

thou wert once my friend

But now t’is time for the

love affair to end.

My rolls are too rolly

for me to pretend;

that I will ever look good

in spandex again.

Why I still try to fit in them,

I will never know.

Should have known it was over

when the fat started to show.

My thighs are too thick!

My belly too jelly!

It’s done lapped over my waist!

My butt is too big!

My waist is too wide!

Spilling up and over the place!

So spandex I’m sorry,

though I do wish you well.

But I can no longer put you

Over my fleshly shell.

If your portly friend is in spandex

even if those clothes fit;

tell her just cause they make it

don’t mean you must wear it.

Some material, well

it just ain’t for us.

Leave spandex to skinny girls

‘cause they ain’t for size plus.

T’is no shame in admittance,

for some things just be so.

No need for repentance,

spandex just gots to go!

So spandex

O’ spandex

I bid you adieu.

I pass you on to a bony chick,

who I hope will be good to you.

Not pair you with a t-shirt

and pretend it’s a dress.

With a belt and high heels,

‘cause that’s just a hot mess.

I just hope and pray

she’ll be better to you.

And look better in spandex

Than a big girl like me do!

FYI-I do rock in some leggings and spandex-BUT I DOES IT RIGHT!!!!!!! smiley

Homeschooling and Socialization: Are the Myths True?

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mskinderwikispaces.com

 

By Lena Arnold

Many years ago, when we first contemplated homeschooling, our family and many friends were aghast!

“You have to be really disciplined!” My aunt said.  “I know I could never be that disciplined.”  What she really meant was, “I know YOU can never be that disciplined.”

To be fair, I can be a little on the disorganized side, however, despite this I still managed to graduate from high school at the top of my class, graduate from college (twice), and manage a successful professional career. I reminded her, that in order to accomplish these feats, I must be able to be ORGANIZED when it counts.

Okay, so I won that argument against homeschooling, but then she countered with, “What about SOCIALIZATION…?” She stated, drawing out the dreaded S word like it was a curse.  “Aren’t you worried your kids will be weird, or not have any friends.  They will never learn to socialize or make friends for life. There are no other black people homeschooling around her, so you are on your own.”

Well, I have to admit, on that count she’d tapped into my fears. Then I thought about it, “How many friends have I had for “life.” Hmm, out of all the “friends” I’d made over the years, with the exception of two, (one my childhood best friend, and the other from high school) all of my true friends had been made during adulthood. Plus, I knew if we were considering it, others were either homeschooling or considering it.

So how would we deal with this “socialization” thing?

Step One began with prayer.  I said to God, “Lord YOU made these children and YOU know what is best for them.  Steer us in the right direction and help them make friends.

Step Two began with creating opportunities for them to make friends based on similar interests. In some cases they joined group clubs such as Girl/Boy Scouts and 4-H, Church groups, etc. Where clubs didn’t exist we created them, or became leaders and coaches.

Step Three-We actively sought out other parents with similar goals and values.  This is how the local Black Homeschoolers movement began in our community. When on homeschool outings, if I met other blacks with their children I would ask them if they homeschooled as well.  If they did, they were invited to be part of the group.  If not, I’d still connected with a parent whose child had similar interest.  Oh, and we did not limit our connections to exclusively black groups, since learning how to connect with people of other cultures was and is just as important as connecting with your own.

Step Four consisted of volunteering in places where our kids would have an opportunity to connect with other kids.

Step Five-Participation in co-ops.  Many communities have homeschool groups and co-ops families can be a part of.  Some are based on religious values, some cultural.  But the vast majorities are open and available to participation without consideration of race, religion, etc.  The common denominator of most is simply homeschooling.

Here’s the beauty of all these connections, we are making friends too. And since the parents are connecting, that means these children are more likely to stay connected as well, unlike school where the connections often end at the end of a school day, year, or graduation.

So not only have were socialization fears been unfounded, they didn’t even exist.

But for those of you who are still not convinced and need empirical data, let me drop this on you.

hdsla
To Learn More About Homeschooling Visit Homeschool Legal Defense Association

http://www.hslda.org/

In 2003, the Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned the largest research survey to date of adults who were home educated. Conducted by Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute, the study surveyed over 7,300 adults who were homeschooled. Over 5,000 of these had been home educated at least seven years, and the statistics in this synopsis are based on their responses. The results confirm what homeschoolers have thought for years: No problem…

Value of Higher Education

The report, which can be found in it’s entirety on their webstite clearly shows that Over 74% of home-educated adults ages 18 to 24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general United States population. Note that nearly half (49%) of the respondents in this study were still full-time students at the time of the survey.

Involved in their communities

Homeschool graduates are more active and involved in their communities than traditionally school students. Seventy-one percent participate in an ongoing community service activity compared to 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages. Eighty-eight percent of the homeschool graduates surveyed were members of an organization (e.g., such as a community group, church or synagogue, union, homeschool group, or professional organization), compared to 50% of U.S. adults.

Civic affairs: engaged citizens

Only 4.2% of the homeschool graduates surveyed consider politics and government too complicated to understand, compared to 35% of U.S. adults. For example, 76% of homeschool graduates surveyed between the ages of 18 to 24 voted within the last five years, compared to only 29% of the relevant U.S. population.

Appreciating their alma mater (and pater)

Ninety-Five percent of the homeschool graduates surveyed are glad that they were homeschooled and 82% would homeschool their own children. Of the 812 study participants who had children age 5 or older, 74% were already homeschooling..

Conclusion of Research

The results of Dr. Ray’s cutting-edge research defuses long-held false criticisms of homeschooling and seem to indicate that homeschooling produces successful adults who are actively involved in their communities and who continue to value education for themselves and their children.

On a side note, all our kids are now in school and socializing quite nicely!

For the sake of brevity, I will conclude this week’s article with the above data, but come back next week, when I will add part 2 of this blog with additional data from other sources. For more information on homeschooling visit Dayton Black Homeschool Network