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Monday, April 16, 2018

Public school costumes and homeschool chatter

As I worked this past weekend finishing up my costume project for a local middles school, I spent some time with some very dedicated public school parents.  The kind of parents who not only show up to see the show but who build the sets, purchase meals for the whole class, patrols the backstage area keeping kids out of trouble, and hugs any child who is clearly about to have a meltdown. 

As parents do, they chatter. They wanted to know more about me, how I came to costuming a public school show and then asked about my own kids... and then... dun dun dun.... homeschooling.

It's hard to talk about my kids without mentioning homeschooling, it is a large part of who they are.  It explains why my daughter is my business partner at 21 and not in college because she is done.

I will tell you this though, the further homeschooling is in the past the easier it is to talk about.  Also, it seems that people are much, much more open to it. Even public school parents.  It is, however, a fine line to walk because it is human nature to feel judgment about your decisions when you are faced with someone who rejects it. It is always the hardest part of being the lone homeschooler in the room with public school parents, someone often feels judged, just because you didn't do the thing that they are doing.  Maybe they wish they did do it?  Who knows?  I just know that emotion exists, I can't quite figure out where it comes from.

All in all, the questions still are:

Why did you homeschool?

I could never homeschool. (I realize this isn't a question, but it kinda is.)

Do you really think that everyone can homeschool?

I guess I am a pro at this conversation. 

I homeschooled because my kids were in bad shape emotionally and needed to be pulled out of school.

I didn't think I could either, but when necessity hit, I figured it out.

NO... not everyone can homeschool, but everyone should approach their kids education as if they are homeschooling because at the end of the day, it is the parent's job to make sure the kid is educated.  With this group, that last statement is a no-brainer.  They really are ON IT!! They are IN IT! They are involved and taking ownership.  Can't ask for anything more.

And with that, here are some more distanced grainy photos of our costume job (not my children).

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Almost done costuming Spring 2018 shows

I have been literally under a pile of clothing, pretty much since I moved into the house the first of the year.  First, I updated a wedding dress for a bride.  Then I costumed Fahrenheit 451 for the Community Theatre.  Then I did a job for a school in Atlanta (the commute was a killer... based on the time of day I needed to be there it was 90 minutes each way.)  And now I am finishing up my main project for the season, Into The Woods, at a local middle school. 

You can see some of our costumes here:

In one week when this is done, I can get back to my store booth spaces.

Sunday, April 01, 2018


We all hit moments of crisis in our lives. Those times when things have gone seriously awry and there are two ways out... overcoming, or being overcome. I am very familiar with crisis. I've been through this many times before. Right now I am worried about a loved one who can only get better for a time... or worse... and critical. It is hard to breathe. There are few moments when they are not on your mind. But, as often happens, there is nothing you can do... including, being present... sometimes you are not who they need. So you pray and wait.

I woke up this morning with the word on my mind... outside of our immediate circumstances, I also feel that we are in crisis as a society. I feel like I have been holding my breath waiting for a breakthrough for far too long... longer than that one deep breath would take to expire, leaving me gasping and near death.

I feel like I am living in a constant state of PTSD.  I've had more personal crises by the age of 21 than most have in their lifetime.  Add the general state of our nation, with the heightened racism, and hard division of all things political, and we have a recipe for the perfect storm. I worry about my kids.  I worry about their friends. I worry about my husband, my brothers, my sisters.  Being black in America right now feels like having a bullseye fixed on you.

Yet, I feel like I am the only one holding my breath. Maybe I've had far too much training and can see it coming. Maybe I am over reacting... But I am on edge.  All.the.time.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Your silence is a luxury

Macklemore put out a video/song in 2016 that become more relevant by the moment.

It ends with the statement, your silence is a luxury. Hip Hop is not a luxury.

It's a long video and he raps fast, but I encourage you to listen carefully.  He touches on the appropriation of the hip hop and culture without being sensitive to the trials and tribulations of the people who built the culture of it.

It makes me think of how so many suburban moms who take their kids to hip hop dance classes and kids learn all the neat movements and isolations and present the dance real, real good, but never really understand the emotions behind it.  It just seems so empty to me.

like this:

And this:

It's kind of upsetting to me.

If you are going to teach your kids cultural dance, take them into the culture, into the studious, into the streets where the people who understand it are choreographing it.  It hurts my soul to see see kids learning sanitized versions of a pure art form... It's kinda like watching hip-hop country dancing.  Stop it.

I'm not saying for a minute that all cultures can participate in black culture... but don't sanitize it.  Learn it from the masters.

It's on the wall. There is unity in diversity.

Participate in the art... participate in the struggle.  Your silence is a luxury some of us can't afford.