21st Century Tales
I used to tutor Brown, Black and White elementary school children in after school programs. The first Black principal in Tucson Unified School District, Dr. Anna Jolivet used to be the principal at a school I tutored at; her husband Clarence Jolivet was a descendant of Buffalo Soldiers, the Black men that moved West to make it safe for White people to homestead. I currently reside on land homesteaded by the Canfield family.
I was assigned to tutor one kindergartner in Reading and a 2nd grader in Math – simultaneously. Not having an education background, plus believing the kids needed some levity after a long day of school, I did some research deciding playing games was best. Fortunately, and unfortunately one of the students often did not show up so usually we worked/played one on one. We laughed, they learned.
After a couple of weeks passed I was asked if I would tutor yet another, older child. I didn’t think it would be a good dynamic, so I agreed to come to the school two additional afternoons to work/play with her. She was nine years old in the 4th grade but in a Special Education classroom. I was to tutor her in Math. On the first day of us working/playing together nothing was accomplished – I couldn’t get her to tune into me or the topic. Her focus was elsewhere.
Eventually, we began working/playing in earnest but not everyday – some days she would sit under a round table in the library the whole hour long. One day, early on she told me a story as we walked to the parking lot to meet her Grandmother. “There was a young woman who would wear sexy clothes and to attract men. One day she went outside and never came back.” An adult told me later the child’s Mother was missing, presumed dead.
One day my student didn’t show. I was told she had been accosted by the Tucson Police Department on a bus going to a behavioral health program; the policeman had thrown the 9-year old child violently onto the hood of the patrol car. The next time I saw her brother and Grandmother they could not stop talking about the assault because they had witnessed it – the little girl was merely trying to get off the bus because her Grandmother had come to pick her up.
After a few meetings/play sessions I discovered she really did understand Math. I wonder why we don’t understand children particularly Black children; I also wonder what Dr. Jolivet would have done. I collected food for the family because the Grandmother said she ran out of food stamps at the end of the month. I wish I knew where they were so we could share dinner and an after dinner smoothie together. This one is vegan and gluten free yet amazing.
No Nut Butter Cup Smoothie
- 3 Ripe Bananas
- 1/2 Cup Organic Tahini
- 1 Cup Organic Unsweetened Hemp Milk
- 1 Tbsp. Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Organic Maple Syrup optional
- 1 Tbsp. Organic Keffir or Plain Yogurt optional
Combine first five ingredients in a blender and puree thoroughly. Add a dash of syrup for extra sweetness if desired. Garnish each glass with nutmeg and Free2b Sunflower Butter Mini Cups. Makes 24 ounces of goodness.amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”; amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “collardsareth-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_title = “My Amazon Picks”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “525abc0c5adf2ed2f32a3d2291ca7c9f”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B003XDYTOO,B082DLNQQQ,B01N3SGNXZ,B01FAOX2GO”; //z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US