A Border Lesson in Social Studies Class

The thing about 6th grade is that it’s a lot of work navigating social groups and their expectations. There’s a lot of pressure to talk a certain way and act a certain way, all in the hope of being included and accepted. In 6th grade, I knew a boy who didn’t quite fit in with [...]

How Trolling a Pyramid Scheme Became One of My Best Lessons

Being a teacher and having a lot of friends who are activist-types, there is the assumption that I have a personal obligation to make the kids “woke.” The idea is that as a minority, I have to get into the classroom and start telling the students a bunch of mind-blowing stuff – information that the [...]

Lost in Language

Late summer is always a time of reflection for me. Another birthday to contemplate, a new school year, just weeks away, a marker of time elapsed. And as I reflect, a younger Connie comes to mind, one so sensitive to the world around her it ached. But life had other plans, and circumstances and experiences [...]

No Seas Maleducada

Education was definitely important to my parents. When I would get a B in school, they would ask, “Good, but an A would be better.” However, the words that haunt me when I think of the word “educacion”, are my mother’s: “No seas maleducada!” That line would immediately follow after any rude act I committed. [...]

Before I Knew

I knew bullets rushed out of guns in search of a body before I knew poetry lived inside me. I knew the sound of a closed fist against a tender cheek before I knew to use tears as ink to write the words trapped within. I knew to call 911 every time they fought at [...]

Mom’s Night In

The wine was flowing, hummus and pita crisps aplenty. Ten women, give or take, lounging on a sofa and ottoman or perched on armchairs, legs crossed. We formed a loose circle of chatter, a mommy-and-me group without the kids who’d brought us together. Moms’ Night In. As the messy ponytails went up and the Sperrys [...]

The Real Lesson

They say you find clarity at the end. Luckily, I have learned early enough, that all that matters is here and now, that what we have is truly enough. That even all the mundane daily aggravations that we so complain about, the noise, people, traffic, the terrible person at work, all, is part of the [...]

Hispanic Heritage Month Interview Series: César Vargas

Meet César Vargas, published author, founder of United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater (UPLIFTT), and creator of the online show On the Road to Consciousness. In his own words: “I’m a writer/director, strategist, and social critic. I like to consider myself an entertainer and advocate, for the most part, but I’m allergic [...]

Hispanic Heritage Month Interview Series: Charlie Vázquez

Meet Charlie Vázquez, a published author, consultant, and editor. He is also the director of the Bronx Writers Center in New York, a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts that has supported and empowered local writers through free creative writing workshops and presentations.   A little about Charlie, in his own words: I’ll [...]

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