Valentine’s Day is About Those That Moved us.

1553399_10152028546966003_9007594769221778873_oKeyshawn Purnell was one of the most soulful human beings I every found myself beside.  I have said it a few times and I will say it again – very few times in life do you come across someone that is willing to give their all and not ask for even the tiniest of gratitude back.  Keyshawn was one of those individuals indeed. 

When I moved back to Seaford, I unloaded my storage unit, I also came across a sealed case of shirts that were designed in memory of Keyshawn during a Memorial 5k we held for him.  This is one way I’d like to celebrate Valentine’s Day – anyone that can add to the amazing legacy of kindness Keyshawn left behind – I ask you to contribute to this blog post what you remember most about what Keyshawn gave you, and others as you remember it.  His one legendary gift was to leap and stretch and run far beyond anyone’s expectations, and the same can be said of the way he gave those invisible gifts of kindness, without end.  Share your most favorite gift, in honor of Keyshawn and Valentine’s Day, and each shirt will go out to you in return, I can think of no better way to have those shirts represent what we always knew about Keyshawn, now and forever.

Thank you.




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Moments that can’t be forgotten, should not be forgotten, and lessons to be kept deep inside.

Looking back at leaving Mexico before such a tragedy as the 2017 earthquake that touched so many parts of my romping grounds, I found there are voices I can latch onto that remind everyone,  tragedy is not the only path for change towards unity.

In catching up with Repentino. staffer Natalia, who conducted half of the interviews at the 2017 At Fair, she was not only a interviewer, but a respondent.  Repentino. looked as the insight was shed on her behalf, on that day at the 2017 Art Fair:

What did you see as a pattern – for example, most people seemed ______________?
Most people seemed challenged by the question. Many were shy to speak and had trouble finding an appropriate answer for the question. Many responded by saying it brought us closer as a community and as a country, responding with a certain level of pride.
What do you feel now – months after this event, as you see and hear these opinions from the interviews – how do you see Mexico now after this event an hearing these individuals’ stories?
Months after the event, I feel like people have forgotten that this event happened and now see it as something from long ago. I see people who think that everything is okay because things are calm now. After conducting these interviews I can tell that people feel proud of their county’s response, but on behalf of the people, not the government. Although many did not share personal stories, one could tell which people felt more affected by the event. The majority of the younger respondents, shared their feeling of fear during the event and the confusion involved with all of the disorder in the city.
What – from all the accounts you have heard from interviewees, would you say all of this says about Mexico as a country?  
After the interviews, I could definitely tell that there is a general agreement with the idea of the unity of our country. How people did not hesitate to help others in any way possible. It came to a point where so many people wanted to help that rescue centers had too many volunteers and had to send people home. 
Is there a message to other countries that suffer through tragedy ?
There is definitely a message to other countries that, when in hard times, the people themselves are the ones who help each other through these hard times. Audiences also depicted Mexico as a country capable of unity, differing greatly from other countries. They focused on the Mexican character. 
And finally, as a student, what does this experience – both the earthquake and hearing reactions to it mean to you as you graduate?
As a student, I was able to listen to multiple responses to the event, they varied greatly on the community to which the people belonged to. In the conducted interviews, many of the respondents shared their experience in the school campus, their momentary fear, and their response in centers and though donations. However, I was also able to hear other stories from people who were more directly affected through the loss of loved ones or property. This experience has made me more empathetic of people through the variety and severity of their responses. It has opened my eyes to how people act during these events, within their capabilities and as a community. I have never seen people more committed and united.
For the full interview list check here:  
a mashup of these will be coming shortly!
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Read Aloud Day, Black History Month, the African American Read in!

Today is World Read Aloud Day, and yes, we did an amazing Open Mic Night last night with alot of cool things to bring in The African American Read In, Black History Month, and …

Did you know tonight is Harry Potter Night?  

(For 2018, the thrilling theme is Fantastic Beasts, the original cornucopia of mythical creatures, which sit at the very heart of the Harry Potter stories. )

On my blog here  please post a comment that is your favorite Harry Potter quote! 🙂


My Favorite Quote:

Sorry, I have TWO-


“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”   —Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



“You’re a wizard, Harry.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


Please comment your favorite Harry Potter quote to this post!  🙂


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Embracing the “Bear”

Wow – listening to the podcast – about childhood trauma – this past weekend.

What Do Asthma, Heart Disease And Cancer Have In Common? Maybe Childhood Trauma

Major connections and flashbacks occurred.

Recently discussing with friends yesterday about the differences between some high schools and the trauma that some students experience every day and some not at all.  I sensed the neediness of students from how they had to be so close to me – within an arm’s length constantly, and how exhausting that can be over the course of a day.    But realizing this is amazing – it changes you as a teacher, Media Specialist Librarian, Administrator, facilitator, etc..   The moment when a student puts a head down, seems exhausted, wow, this is a whole new spin on why these actions occur, and a whole new spin on how discipline and delved out and why, allowing that space for a room where students can discuss, talk out, and reflect on things that might be getting in the way, and how it can be dealt with when they feel they have no control.

The connection to the Trauma Summit we had  – MANY underlying themes involved – changing how we deal with the stress we feel and the stress we see every day in students, I realize what a change it is to create an environment where students feel safe and they can let their guard down, to deal with these issues, and how different schools need to recognize the different needs of their populations.

The existence of recognizing the advent of ACES and what it means if left unattended, for both students and teachers – this is becoming even more vital in today’s age.  That post I made at the start of school still sticks with me.

Of course, even the simple act of being a mascot – it had its lesson that travelled over to all areas of education – still true. 

Education today is so different of a vehicle, and when we were told we needed to be flexible as educators, I only took that as being adaptable to the diverse needs of the classroom.  What I still am learning is finding alternative ways to bypass paper necessities to get to the student – and having education be presented in diverse strategies to meet the daunting needs of students, as victims of a stress and trauma rich world. That makes education, and teaching, an art.  Hopefully we will continue to see government recognize it that way.  However, recognition of that, specifically Media Specialist Librarians, is important for Media Specialist Librarian to be proactive in making sure all individuals, even the students, realize their role for change.







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Readathon 2018 – This weekend!

readathon1It is HERE! Check below too!

How to Readathon, #24in48 Style

First of all, there is no one right way to readathon. Let’s just get that caveat out of the way up front.

But as 24in48 reaches maturity (insert cheek pinching here) and there are more prizes to win and places to participate, several ‘thon-ers have requested a bit more guidance in advance of this summer’s event. Hopefully, this will be good for any newbies joining us for the first time or veterans who want to level up. For some of the basic questions, like how to sign up, what is the 24in48 anyway, and what counts for reading time, check out the FAQ post.

  • Signing Up
    • A lot of people (more than you’d expect) participate in the readathon without signing up because they don’t think they’ll come close to reading for 24 hours. Here’s a secret: the vast majority of people who participate don’t come close to reading that much. In fact, I don’t even really think the point of the event is to read for a full 24 hours. Sure it’s a good goal, but really the intention is to set aside some solid reading time over the course of a weekend, hang out with your bookish friends online, and maybe win some stuff. That’s it. It is literally the most low pressure readathon ever. There is no “failing” at readation. Did you read during the weekend? Congrats! You didn’t fail.
    • So there is zero reason to not sign up. Which you can do over here.
    • You must provide your email, your name (even if its your online persona), and at least one place where you’re participating.
    • Please please please don’t choose a platform from the dropdown and then leave the “handle or URL” field blank. Telling me you’re going to be on Facebook without linking to your FB profile doesn’t help. Same with putting Litsy and not listing your handle (you know, that name after the @ sign). If I can’t find you online, I have no idea if you’re actually participating or if you just signed up to try to win prizes. So you won’t be able to win anything.
    • If you need to go back and edit your entry, you should have gotten an email on the account you used to sign up that will let you click through to change your sign-up info.
    • If you DIDN’T get an email, send me a message at and tell me what you’d like to change and I’ll update it for you. (Don’t abuse this, please.)
    • Pro-tip: if you listed a bunch of places where you think you’ll be participating and realize that you’ll only be using one, like Twitter, edit your entry to reflect just the one. You don’t have to be everywhere to get credit.
  • Tracking Time Read
    • In order to be eligible for prizes for participants that read a full 24 hours, you’ll need to keep track of your time read.
    • There are a number of ways to do this, but the most popular/successful is by using the stopwatch function on your smart phone or by Googling “stopwatch.” (The Bookout app is also great, but I don’t know enough about it to include instructions here.)
    • Every time you start reading, hit start, then pause when you stop to take a break. It doesn’t have to be exact, but because this is on the honor system, please don’t abuse the clock (like letting it run while you nap).
    • Pro tip: Take a screenshot (esp. if you’re using your phone) every time you stop the clock, just in case you accidentally reset it. You can use multiple screenshots to prove your reading time if need be.

stopwatch screen capture

  • Challenges and Check-ins
    • Every three hours a new post will publish on the blog, alternating between challenges and check-ins.
    • The Hour 0 challenge will always be an intro survey and the Hour 48 post will always be a closing survey.
    • Challenges: every six hours (Hours 6, 12, 18, 24, etc.), you’ll have the opportunity to do a fun little task (usually photo- or comment-based) to be entered for a prize.
    • Check-ins: If you entered your info on the sign-up post, you’re automatically entered to win a random check-in prize, as long as you’re actively participating on one of the platforms you entered in the sign-up form (i.e. Twitter or Instagram, etc.)
    • The best way to keep up with these posts is to subscribe using the Follow button in the bottom right corner of the blog, which will push an email to you every time a new post is published.
    • subscribe button screen capture
    • Pro tip: Even though you are free to participate in the full 48 hours (midnight Friday to midnight Sunday) using your local time zone, following Eastern Time in the US (the official readathon time zone) is the best way to ensure you’re catching as many of the challenges/check-ins as possible. Posts are labeled by hour number, not by time (Hour 6 vs. 6:00am on Saturday), so if you start Hour 0 in concert with the readathon, you’ll have an easier time catching all of the challenges. If you need help figuring out what that translates to in your local time, check out this world clock conversion tool. (The downside of course is that if you’re on the opposite side of the world, your reading weekend might spill into Monday or start on Friday instead. If you decide to use local time, you won’t be penalized for having not started or starting early re: prize drawings).
  • Adding Social Media to Comments
    • Often the challenges will ask you to take a photo and link it in the comments. You can do this by posting the photo to your social media of choice and dropping the link into a comment (your entry won’t be counted unless its in the comments.)
    • For Instagram: click on the date of the post (see below) to go to a direct link to the image ( Your account must be public (or the @24in48 insta account needs to be following you already) in order to enter. Instagram capture
    • For Litsy: share a direct link to your post by clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the post and selecting how you want to share it (I usually email the link to myself in order to comment from my computer, but if you’re using your phone to comment on the blog, you can just copy and paste the link from the body of an email or wherever you’ve shared it to and add it to your comment). For the below post, this is the direct link:
    • Litsy screenshot
    • Due to the number of participants, comments that only include a handle (i.e. @24in48) and directions to go look for the entry will not be eligible. You must include a direct link or the actual image in order to enter for prizes.
    • Pro tip: tagging all of your social posts with #24in48 to cheer on your fellow readathoners is great, but make sure your accounts are public (at least for this weekend) so others can cheer you on too.
  • Winning and Claiming Prizes
    • You MUST be signed up on the original sign up form in order to be eligible for prizes,. You can sign up even after the readathon begins, but you can’t win anything unless you’ve signed up. And your sign up information MUST include not just the platform you’re participating on but the actual place I can go to find you, be that the URL or the handle. (If you’ve already signed up, you can edit your entry by going to the email you received and clicking through to edit.) You can’t win anything if you don’t provide me a way to find you during the readathon.
    • Even if your readathon weekend doesn’t contain much social media or regular check-ins (which is a perfectly fine way to participate), make sure you post something about the readathon when you start the weekend on one of the platforms you entered when you sign up so we know that you actually are participating. You’re still eligible for check-in prizes as long as we can see that you’re reading along.
    • If you are staying away from social for the weekend, don’t forget to check the blog periodically or at least once at the very end to see if you won something during a check-in or challenge. Prize winners will be announced throughout the weekend, so scroll through all the posts to check for your name.
    • As soon as you see that you’ve won a prize, hop on over to the prize page (which is being updated as prizes are added) and select your first, second, and third choices. If you live in the US, please do not select any of the international prizes unless that is all that is left. The sooner you claim your prize, the higher the likelihood you’ll get your first choice. The prize page will be updated periodically throughout the weekend so you’ll have a good idea of what’s still available.
    • Pro tip: Make sure that the name you use to comment and the one you use to sign up are consistent. If I can’t match your comment to an entry on the participant list, you’ll lose out.

I hope this helps as you’re prepping for the ‘thon. If you have any follow-up or additional questions, leave ’em in the comments below.

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The Golden Globes, Awards Not Included.

The GLOBES! (Glorious Love of Beings Especially Socially?)

No, actually they are just the 75th annual Golden Globes,  and honestly, I never really watch the whole show, nor wanted to.

This year was different.

I am a social media guru, I love the connections that exist between education and social media, the good and the bad, and this year, for obvious reasons, it seemed to, The Golden Globes might actually have some merit and something valuable to say.

I am glad I thought so and decided to check in.

Seth Meyers was GREAT.  His monologue, it just worked.  Even NPR was discussing how difficult it would be to dance around the elephant in the room, (actually, ELEPHANTS). His quips about who was a stable genius, – HYSTERICAL, and “Hilary Mexican Salad Association”, comment?  Also, HYSTERICAL

The impressive aspect about the Golden Globes was even though there usually is some type of theme or movement, never before did I witness the attendance of individuals representing a common united cause, that were not necessarily stars known for their movies or films, but for their movement towards a social cause that made them starts.  This was MORE than a collection of stars saying they alone were doing something, they involved the very members of a movement such as Times Up to send ripples that equality for women, and men, in a business arena, is everyone’s concern. 

Since it had been known for days before this event (weeks) this this would contain the attire of black as well as attending members that represented the start of this movement, it saddened me that no words or comments or tweets were made by our president cabinet on this topic.  Much was said AFTER The Golden Globes, but here was a prime opportunity for the American leader and government to support this initiative BEFORE the event, and nothing.  Nada.   Lots of comments afterwards by Ivanka in support, but again, it seemed to be much taking credit for issues that happened after others set the path.  This spoke volumes to me about the sincerity and honesty of such comments but also showed me the power of peolle are much more powerful than agendas of the rich and elite when individuals want it to count,  that is a powerful lesson in itself.  The Movement is POWERFUL and IMPORTANT, but the ACTION to followup these initiatives is even more important.

I liked that HFPA was also a huge part of the night and again, Seth Meyer’s comments were so appropriate with the reactions of the President and news as of late.  A homerun on Seth Meyers’ part. “During the telecast, HFPA announced $2 million in grants to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Committee To Protect Journalists.” – 

I was elated, shocked, and sad to only have learned about the life of Recy Taylor from her death.  There is MUCh we need to change above news coverage in the United States in lieu of this tragic loss and unknown history.

I loved,  LOVED the speech given by nominated actor, Sterling K. Brown, get this


-to me that seems incredible this being 2018 and LONG LONG overdue.

But listening to Barbra Streisand who received the first, and only, best director award as a woman – that was 1984.  Her point that it is now 2018 and still no female best director since – it seems crazy to me too.  Ridiculous.

His speech stating  he appreciated “…Being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am…” spoke VOLUMES and represented the night well. When he said that it “…makes it that more difficult to dismiss me or anyone that looks like me.”  LOVED LOVED LOVED this night, amazing.

Literary connections ruled when The Handmaid’s Tale won, and I loved the comment when The Greatest Showman won and it was stated this is showing that musicals on the big screen again mattered.  I thought of all the opportunities that exist that allow some amazing stories to be told in a musical format, and what that can hold for the future.

Of course I was excited that Coco won best animated feature film and  Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro won for The Shape of Water, .

Was it amazing to see Kirk Douglas – yes, this was shocking to see him.  First, that he is 101 years old but on top of that, had been accused of raping Natalie Wood and on such a night of solidarity, I was disappointed in this move.  I would have chosen to bypass the recognition of Kirk Douglas on this evening, so of course, there is disappointment in any event, at some point.

However, the speech that Oprah Winfrey gave after receiving the Cecil B. de Mille Award it blew the roof OF THE HOUSE, as well as the world, as well as the introduction from Reese Witherspoon.  Oprah said everything you would have hoped would have come from the mouth of a president of a country, and then some, and that never has.  Bringing together people as a world occurred one single speech,  based of a lifetime of doing so through action in doing so. 

Embracing diversity, the working class, the middle class, and tying to an upper class, and addressed emotion, empathy, and establishing role models for young women individuals of diversity in all backgrounds.  She recognizes the strength, and the weaknesses of the press but does not chide them.  Her devotion to the truth is more valuable and emphasizes the value of speaking the truth in the midst of repercussions that might occur.  Her emphasis to know Recy Taylor hit home and to the heart. 

Her statement to all young girls, boys and society that, “A new Day is on the Horizon” – is powerful and should have been spoken already ahead of time from leaders of our country, but what is even more important – is the action that each of us as individuals have the ability, every day to override the dark aspects that government often feels that can hand down overriding individual voices- it can’t happen as long as all individuals take this ownership seriously and act on it. It doesn’t to feel supported as many of the individuals at the Golden Globes made many feel.

To see the incredible nominations from the 75th Golden Globes you can check HERE  I love the fact that the Golden Globes does give you a list of to check out items that you may not have seen while keeping the speeches in mind as you watch them to remind you what the productions symbolize in real life.

 What I realized that this particular Golden Globes represented what might be missing in so much of the world, but what can appear when we want positive changes to occur.  This was a powerful POWERFUL night, awards not included. 

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After All, The Golden Falls on the Individuals…

Much has happened that have caused alot of potential thoughts and links to life links and connections as well.  Let’s jump right in… (this is epitome of showing how my mind wanders and links to so many thins, but always comes back to so many people that make a difference every single day!)

In the car the other day, after the cyclone bomb of a storm, I was driving and grabbing pictures of many unknown images to many but familiar to those in Delaware, and a specific song came on that grabbed my attention, Call it What You Want by Taylor Swift.   I never really fell over crazily Taylor Swift, (even though I really liked Debbie Gibson in high school) – and well it was interesting to see Taylor start out the same way.  Then some interesting things happening on stage when she was presented an award and then playing the bad girl with controversy in her video, Look at What You Made Me Do.  Then I simply thought, good for her.  All this time she was placed in that cookie cut model of the girlish, young artists, with so much to learn, being put upon by artists “in the biz” for so long, weighing and pressing their fame onto her, and her placating alot of attitudes all around her.  Then I realized, with that controversial video causing a clamor, it was GOOD she caused a clamor, because as a woman in a rough, ego-driven business, she was able to cause others to be uncomfortable and have to be in a position she had found herself for so long. 

These are the kinds of things I think about when driving.

As I was driving one of the oddest and saddest things occurred in front of me.  Midflight, a seagull stopped and just fell out of the sky onto the highway, in the left lane, and it just shocked me.  Yes, I was the person that wanted to stop and grab the seagull and put him n the backseat and hope it was the cold weather and he needed a bit of heating up.  No idea, but it still saddened me as individuals tried to miss the seagull in the lane and he seemed done when he hit but of course, hard to tell when traffic is all around you. 

As that broke me out of my Taylor contemplations, I began to reflect on the massive movements occurring changing the faces of business and Hollywood in lieu of revelations of women confronting a former long history of abuse.  I thought of the many comments made in the past in the part of so many men that continue to take advantage of the thoughts that they matter more than the women around them and thought – it is sad one single revelation had to occur to cause so many overdue revelations that were overdue.  I for some reason went back to when the newer version of the movie Ghostbusters movie came out. I remember there being a ton of backlash about this being a lesser ovie trying to reprise the original film.

I remember the original Ghostbusters and LOVED IT. To me, the original is the original.  However, when I watched the newer version, I loved it.  I loved the diverse personalities that took the place of what used to be all male characters, and let me tell you, the story was the same and was just as funny, just in a different version.  Still loved the original and it brought the value of this new version out even more and not taking away anything.  When I looked at comments about this being a lesser movie, I saw alot of negativity that dealt with, and not blatantly outright saying, the women’s role did not compare.  It bothered me because I liked it so darn much BECAUSE of the female roles.  Just saying…

My thoughts wandered through my camera, onto a landscape in Delaware, I never really  had time to appreciate and now had a second chance – thanks to the amazing transformation and influence a country as rich in culture as you could want in Mexico gave me.  That evening, yes, I passed Taco Bell and I HAD TO DO IT.  It had been AT LEAST 14 years since I had frequented the grand opening of Taco Bell in Butler, PA, took advantage of the punch card there for the opening, eating 60 tacos in a week to obtain the coveted Bull Winkle shirt, and yes, I still have the shirt and yes I lived – but never forgot tacos.  Until I went to Mexico – the taco mecca – (little did I know then) – 

These are the kinds of things I think about when driving…

so I thought yes, it was time.  I decided on the dinner pack of like 10 or so tacos and asked IMG_6949for them to all be soft tacos, maybe a little much.  But it had been a long time, so I went for it. I thought I would have food left over, but I found by the end of the night, only three would remain and they would be gone as well.  The biggest difference that cannot be replicated, by far, is the meat and the taste of the meat.  Fresh tasting, smelling, and even texture, there is NOTHING, nor will there ever be, an experience like eating a taco on the street or in a Taqueria in Mexico.  It was somewhat familiar from the opening of that first Taco Bell years ago, but not even close to what could never be repeated.

As I closed the evening heading back after a refreshing day, I found myself realizing many takeaways that mattered today in the middle of so much controversy.  I was excited to see the stance that the Golden Globes was taking, with the Times Up initiative, as well as the choice to wear all black in solidarity.  I thought, it is easy to do this when you are a celebrity but  No – 

This was addressed and I appreciated it at the Golden Globes, the statement that this was an issue that affected every individual, and heads out from stars to those that are stars but not recognized as stars from Hollywood.   I agreed.  I realized the most powerful events I remembered, thanks to my experience in education, have been the moments that some of the most talented young women I had the privilege to teach and have gone on to teach others by their example.  This important moment to emphasize the power and voice women have on the community around them was not lost on me. 

These young women became leaders in their community and world, and braved through so many hardships and hurdles that most would give up.  I am the better person for seeing the REAL Golden Globes being the young ladies that have become women and earned the respect of all around them, and are symbols every day for what respect, determination, and talent will do for their future, and those around them.  No matter the gloom and doom that seems on the horizon when you wake up, I have learned there is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a way out for a better day if individuals are motivated to make those changes.  The students I was lucky enough to have, inspired that in me, and still do- and they are the real Goldens that are around the world that make the world shine, every single day.

Stay tuned for the next post reflecting on the outcome of the 75th Golden Globes Awards, that extends beyond stars that seem out of reach or being able to relate to.  🙂 


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Takeaways After the Fact – Citizen or Government Active?

As 2017 ended, we did look at a project the American School Foundation’s Repentino. Magazine began unraveling a project of individuals interviewed at the 2017 Art Fair, directly involved with the earthquake of 2017. This was the 48th Art Fair and Repentino. would so their share to redefine what an art magazine means to do for the community, immediate and nation-wide.  Change is possible. This is an extraordinary Art Fair, and I was lucky to be part of ASF to witness this amazing event in past years that brings together an amazing amount of talent together in one place.  Ana Elena Perez Lemus, President of the Parents Association of The American School Foundation, does a great job of going into the details that allow this to be unique.  

I think it is appropriate that the theme was Utopia this year.  As the Art Fair determines to bring a multitude of  individuals, it is not difficult to see how Repentino. Magazine does the same thing, well maybe it is more glances required.  Through the eclectic activities of Open Mic events, Authors Among US events, being supporters of local charity drives, as well as involved in events that do not seem to have anything to do with art, as the above mentioned involvements and social media that explores avenues of author and artist interviews, a closer look is necessary.  In that closer look, you will see that a single club can have the power to find a single network to facilitate, suggest, and motivate individuals that change is possible.  

It takes energy, motivation, and will to want change for students to initiate a project out of thin air, creating something out of nothing, yet, Repentino. as a literary arts magazine continues to redefine how to make impacts that send resounding voice bytes for change.  This is a different type of art. Bringing together  individuals that that represent so many talents, in the form of artists, staff. faculty, administration, school organizations outside of Repentino., individuals within the country, outside the country, it is often easy to forget the impact that is possible.

Within the organization, there is much balancing that causes so many blinders to see what is happening.  With a heavy schedule of homework and assignments that always hover on an academic schedule that differs as an international student, seeing internal changes that impact a club when staff leave, filling those spots, spinning a creative twist on activities, and even the stress of senior staff departing and seeing a legacy of motivation and achievement float into the uncertain future, it is so easy to take for granted the potential and achievements that hover in the international realm, let alone avoiding the stress of day to day activities that it takes to keep an organization unique.  Burnout, stress, and conflict undoubtedly arise, but how those are overcome truly define an organization, and at some point, self versus the public good begin to shift balances once staff are able to step back from what they gave been doing mid year.

In hearing NPR’s segment on looking back at what happened with the 2017 Mexico Earthquake, in questioning what happened to the early warning system, it is refreshing, if not motivating, to see back in November of 2017 many individuals were in a situation to contemplate this question, but to celebrate the role citizens played to support each other when cracks in government seemed to fall short.  In addressing this issue and pushing this information out to the public to challenge and push the government to be allies with citizens, love of country seeps out in volumes.  If students, faculty, and administration can come together in a formal event, and informal vocal events,  and strategize one aspect if improvement needed to shout out to citizens within Mexico and outside of Mexico to hear, so much else is possible,  Puerto Rico, equal rights for women in professional and recreational sectors, art redefined as the art you see but also the art you feel.  Making art real, is a challenge that the staff of Repentino, always tries to tackle, and being vocal is one one artistic way to push out art and have it serve as a common meeting ground for other initiatives for change. It is refreshing to see the frequent blockades, hurdles, and stress that occur in everyday life on the part of students, to put the power of art to reach into society for positive change, and to take events from the past and allow them to be future advents for change as well.

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As the interviews are added and edited, (we have over 40!) we also hope you hear the student voice of possibility, change, and a willingness to work towards a better future for the governments that work with citizens, not just in Mexico, but all over the world.  Add to that a willingness of individuals from all positions, all ages, willing to contribute, and you have a lesson of change that is not confined to borders.  We hope you hear that too.



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Mexico 2017’s Message to the World, In the Face of Obstacles, People United make the Difference Wake Up to Unity!

As Repentino. collects together the responses given to us from many Mexican citizens about the earthquake that changed so much in Mexico as a country, you can look back and see how a single event united a whole nation, an example that every country, every individual, should be proud to take this as a lesson for the new year. 

Viva Mexico in the face of such a tumultuous obstacle in 2017!  

Check out here, the beginnings of what will be a long list of accounts that shows in the face of adversity, good can prevail in the people that make up a country!

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Liliana the Leader and M. the Magnificent…Education should be fun 100%

The last day of 2017 brings with it much nostalgia, and hopefully, despite the craziness that was a tumultuous 2017, we all have memories, sad and bright, that lead us to do better things for ourselves in 2018.  

I had the pleasure of traveling from Mexico City to Delaware with a brood full of dogs after a game changer involving a new position, new friends, new everything, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.  

One specific moment stuck out and I can’t shake, it, I am glad.  Every year for the past few years I was lucky enough to serve as a Summer Camp educator at ASF in English.  My last summer, little did I know was this summer, 2017.  I was lucky enough to be paired up with educator Liliana Dominguez for the students that were now in first and second Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 12.26.06 PMgrade.  When I first started this summer camp, I was like whoa, no way. I am . high school educator, kindergarten?   First grade?  Um, wow, I can’t….but yeah, I could, would and did, and that was due to some amazing support from classroom support like Lisa, to supporting leadership like John Powell, Patricia Montes, and Paloma Fuentes and the many amazing teachers that made up ASF summer camp.   I was able to take the fundamentals of getting to know our community from Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots Program, and apply to the various themes of My City, My Culture, My Artists, My Authors, and this past summer, I was paired with Liliana.  I had no idea what I was in for.

LilianaLiliana worked harder than i thought I ever would, she carried me through so many challenges and in turn helped me challenge myself, as well as the students.  She was a creative guru I needed to carry on through the summer.  From passports, to having every student get up in front and experimenting with presenting their final research and project, to having stamp-like passport stamps made that said Mexico – to coming up with countless ways to research all kinds of countries, combing Brain Pop presentations to the real books to the real lives of authors and artists, we had created the ultimate Maker Space every single day.  Yes it was work, but it was FUN.  This set in motion a respect for the things we attempted and created every single day for us as instructors as well as students.  She pushed me and I was a better educator for the students as a result.  Surrounded by amazing and motivated educators as well, it certainly took a village to make the summer camp be a utopia of possibilities.  Liliana pushed herself as well.  She worked SO incredibly hard outside of the ASF camp and I wondered how she brought so much incredible ideas to the lessons within the summer sessions. Yet she kept coming and coming for unending support.

The time we spent with the students, some from ASF, other from outside of ASF was priceless.  The afternoons, questions, and innocent energy the students through into the chance to visit other countries without having to board a plane, having students create their own stories and books, processing their passports to be familiar with what it means to be appreciative and aware of other cultures – it was a learning experience, packed with work for both the learner and the facilitator and yet, it was FUN.  The work was fun.

One specific afternoon, we were walking from class, M (keeping her identity secure) the magnificent grabbed my hand, we walked towards the cafeteria and she said to me, “Mr Harry?  Do you know why so many people want to come to ASF and summer camp?”  “I responded back to M.,  I am not sure?” (knowing she had a thought).  “I think it is because we are unique!”  I smiled looked down and had to say, “I know it is!”  It was just as you would want to remember it, the sun was in our faces, we made our way to lunch, and it had been a FUN day and she was a star.

M. and Liliana reminded me of what education was always about.  yes it was hard at times being in school right after a school year was over and it was summer.  Yes it was work to plan, revise, review the planes we made.  No it was not hard to make the lessons better when you had individuals like Liliana and M. in you day.  It was amazing.

Life and education should go hand in hand, and if educator, and the student, are learning the work lends itself to FUN, and that BOTH will grow, education does not need to be in a specialized building or district, it simply needs to be an investment by all concerned.

I never can get M’s words out of my mind, that enthusiasm, investment and her amazing ability to create her own unique interpretation of the information presented to her.  Of all the countries she could have chosen to focus on, she chose a city in the United States Mas her place to brag about and research.  I wanted to be able to represent the United States in the future, for many to be proud of in how they see others, in our country and outside of our country.  This enthusiasm filtered to the educators and it changed and reformatted the approach to what education means to everyone involved.  This does not involve a special school, community, building or type of funding, it requires devotion and commitment to what education should look like to be FUN.  I was lucky enough to have so much support, opportunity, 

ASF, Mexico, and amazing students like M changed me as a person and how I looked at other cultures, other countries, and the gratefulness I had for being openly accepted as an outsider into another culture, another language, another country, another educational system is something that changed me forever.  So it was with Liliana’s devotion to bringing amazing approaches to pushing students to be successful, as well as M. to be representative of how amazing students, learning, and education can be to your mind and your heart.

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