FOWC with Fandango: Ethnicity

For the majority of my followers, you all know I typically write poetry. This subject though, of ethnicity is kind-of a biggy, as I was formerly a public school teacher.

I grew up in a town which was predominantly white. I remember one black family in town and I had two friends that each had one white parent and one black parent. Back then that was pretty rare, at least in my town, and I thought it quite interesting that you could “do that”. I never saw it as wrong, I know that, but just different.

My first year of college, which was at the University of Connecticut, was an eye opener to ethnic diversity. First semester my roommate, Debbie, was as white as I was, if not more. Her mother was super strict and pretty nasty and I am sure if Debbie ever wanted to have any friends that were of a different ethnicity her mother probably poo-pooed it. Second semester I moved upstairs and lived with a totally different type of roommate. This one was from a very diverse town, had many black friends, and didn’t even see a difference. I will never forget one night she said she was going to have some friends from her hometown stop by. I figured, sure, why not meet some more people. Well, knock-knock-knock and five or six of the tallest and biggest black men I had ever seen were now standing in my ten by ten dormroom squished in the center between our two beds. We got to talking and I told one of them what town I grew up in. He asked me, “are you allowed to talk to me?” and I said “what do you mean?” He said “well I didn’t know kids from that town were allowed to talk to black people.” What!?!?!?! I had never heard such a thing. I was shocked and appalled that this was the image I represented based on the town I grew up in. Needless to say, we were all friends for all four years of college.

Skip ahead to teaching:
My first job was in an inner-city clinical day treatment center for children with social-emotional disturbance, who had been outplaced from their home school due to behaviors that were no longer manageable in the public setting. Ethnicity was so diverse, it was actually wonderful to see. It was here that I learned so many things and tried so many different foods, participated in multi-cultural celebrations, etc. I loved it. This was the first time I worked with children, those of who the majority were from mixed marriages. I will never forget being called a racist. I was shocked and couldn’t believe that someone would call me that. At the time and even now, I know most of that came from their own anger and emotional issues, not from any vibe I was sending. There was one time a student told me I didn’t like him because he was black. Ooh, I got fired up. I didn’t like being called a racist and I sure wasn’t going to let it slide by. Instead, without flinching, I asked him if he liked the middle of an oreo, the clouds, or milk. He looked at me like I was crazy. “Well,” I said, “If I’m racist then you probably are too and these are some of the things you probably don’t like.” He asked why and I said because they are white. Well, he got so mad! I said, “Doesn’t it feel awful to be accused of something so ridiculous?” He got my point and I don’t think I was ever accused of being racist in that school again.

My second job was in a different inner-city at a different type of clinical day school. The difference here was the students were in high school and most were or had been involved with the law, and I don’t mean in a positive way. When you crossed these kids, as a white teacher, the first thing that came out of their mouths was “yeah, you’re racist!” Well, actually, no I’m not. It was during one of their accusatory sessions that I pointed out that I was actually the minority because I was the only white person in the room. The students looked around. It was true. There were kids from every ethnic background you could probably imagine and then there was me. I said, “If I was racist, do you really think I would be here trying to teach you guys? Do you think I would say how much I care about you guys if I was racist?” Well, that ended that rant.

My third job, also in a city, same kind of thing. And then again with my last job.

Funny, though, as I write this I think about how I might be upsetting some readers, with my blatant statement that I am not racist. I mean what is politically or socially correct these days? I do wonder, where do kids get it from? Okay, some of you will say home, others will say the media. Wherever it is that children get this from it is sad, so very sad. Why? It is so sad that in this day and age some people still believe that there is a difference between people because of skin color. It makes me sick and although I openly discuss these issues with students, I typically don’t get up on the soap box about it. It is just so scary to think that with all of the science and technology we have today that someone could honestly say that one “color” is better than another.

Unfortunately, right now with the government being in such an upheaval it has made matters worse. I hope someday, even if I am not alive to see it, that people finally stop looking at skin color to determine what kind of person is inside.

Flash Fiction Challenge: a park bench

January 23, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a park bench. Use this gif to choose a timeframe and write the story behind that particular scene. Use the time as your title. Go where the prompt leads!

Park Bench 

“Ouch! Come on, you again? Why do you keep coming to me to sit? I don’t know why you choose me when there are all those other benches sitting around. I thought I was full just a few minutes ago. What did you say? This bench was empty? Are you saying I am not worth more than a place to sit?” 

Ten minutes later… 

“Phew! Thank you for getting up! I can’t believe that I have to withstand all of the weight on my legs. 
Didn’t you know that I have other people to support?”  

Finally, alone.  

©2020 CBialczak

Word of the Day Challenge: unspoken

Unspoken Words

If words are left unspoken 
and people care to know 
let them know you care for them 
no matter where you go. 

Spoken words that come and go 
from the mouth of men 
are much more useful in our life 
than wordless acts back then.  

Think ahead ‘bout what you say 
to others in your life 
hurtful words will bring nothing 
but heartache and some strife.  
 

©2020 CBialczak

 

Ragtag Daily Prompt: goodbye

There once was a woman who lived on a hill. She was a smart woman, friendly to all beings. One day this woman, whose name was never revealed, suffered a terrible loss. She had to say goodbye to the ones she loved.
Later that same month the woman saw a young couple crying. She thought they were lovely, young, and probably newly married. The woman approached the couple, not wanting to startle them, and quietly took a seat next to them. The couple looked over at the woman, and since she didn’t spark any curiosity, they turned back to each other and began to cry again. The woman sat quietly. About ten minutes later the young man turned to the woman and asked her why she was still sitting there. The woman said she sat down as soon she saw them both crying. The young woman turned to the older woman and told her that they had lost their unborn baby. The woman laid her hand on both of their intertwined hands. “You will find peace once you are able to say goodbye. Know that God has an angel.”
The young couple nodded their heads that they had heard. The quietly stood up and began walking away.
The woman also stood up and began walking home. She felt close to the young couple because they too had lost someone they loved.
From that day forward, the woman vowed to be there to help others who were in terrible pain from losing a loved one. She wanted them to know they would never be alone.

©2020 CBialczak

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #50

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At the picture show

Does it cost a penny, a nickel or a dime? 

Whatever cost incurred, it’s definitely worth my time. 

I love to watch the movies, the ladies and the gents. 

For imagination rules me, helps my common sense. 

At the movie picture, I see another world 

Like little Shirley Temple who has her hair all curled. 

I find it all exciting, wouldn’t change it if I could. 

I wouldn’t trade a picture show, I am here for good.

©2020 CBialczak

 

Three Things Challenge: vet, poster, bag

A trip to the vet

When I bring the dog 

to the local vet 

They aren’t ready right away 

He sits, drool makes me wet.  

There is a poster hung 

Above the counter top 

It talks about the fleas 

And how to make them stop. 

I brought a little bag 

That has a bit of poop. 

Its here to do the testing 

It is a vicious loop.  

The money spent is plenty 

But I don’t mind a bit 

He is my little Poopsy 

My life’s most perfect fit.  

©2020 CBialczak

 

DAILY ADDICTIONS: CAKE

Once upon a time there was a little kid  
 
Who lived a life of luxury, like I wish I did.  
 
He ate up all the sweets, cake and bags of chips  
 
He shared all his belongings; he even licked his lips.  
 
He had a lovely lady who acted like his mom  
 
She kept him warm and dry, she helped to keep him calm.  
 
He thought that she was lovely, also did his dad  
 
He really tried to be the best, the bestest kind of lad.  
 
One day when out playing he found a cutie pie  
 
Who thought he was a handsome thing and she would never lie.  
 
They spent most time together, making up sweet games  
 
They thought about some children and even gave them names.  
 
As they grew together their love it didn’t stay.  
 
She waved goodbye with tears when she moved away.  
 
So now he is alone again still a good old boy.  
 
Now that he is older a fancy car’s his toy. 

©2020 CBial