Mr. Greg at Crown Trophy

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I’ve been going to Crown Trophy for three years now.

Its a trip I enjoy taking (even though I wait till the last minute sometimes).

Every year I would rush to the shop to pick up  the spelling bee trophies and while there talk to the owner, Mr. Greg.

When I first went, I was surprised and impressed to see,  he was the owner. Like, I said many times before, most of the shops I go to are owned by Spanish employers.

While some may say it does not matter who own the businesses in your town,  I found out that the latter is not true. It matters a whole lot.

When a child see majority of his people owning restaurants, day cares, car washes, sign shops, party stores and so many corner stores that the phrase corner store is interchangeably used with bodega, then that child inwardly feels a sense of self pride (without much begin said).

Seeing Mr. Greg own the trophy shop helps me to puts this race thing into perceptive.

When I first met Mr. Greg, he spoke to me about his daughter who is a dancer in California. Like most proud fathers he boasted of her while telling me of her achievements and how the road raising her was not easy at all but she some how made it.

This time, he spoke about his daughter again but the focus was not so much on him as it was on her. His tone was more serious. This time he was not so much raving about her as he was sharing her testimony. I felt like while he was talking, he felt her hurt.

She’s grown now. I’ve watched her transform from Daddy’s little girl into a full grown women. She has matured in every way. She has learned that your hair has to be a certain texture and your skin a certain tone  for you to be fully accepted in the industry. While she was growing up, I provided the best way I could for her to be comfortable and go after what she wanted. I couldn’t explain all of that to her. When you are great at your craft and there are 30 other people in the room great at the same craft, how are you going to make them choose you?

When he was done talking about his daughter, I thought how beautiful it is when parents talk about their children! And if you are a good listener, you can tell that the conversations shifts as the parent and the child grows. The tone and diction the parents use changes as life changes for them.

Rice & Rocks by Sandra Richards

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.Today I brought all the books I bought at the book fair into the classroom.

Pick a book to read. I told them.

Something about a book begin new and signed by the authors made the children really excited.

Dominic looked at all the books and picked Rice and Rocks. He saw there quietly, reading and turning each page slowly.

When he was done, he looked up at me and said in a slow and emotional way,

Ms. Lilly, I really liked this book.

He sat there thinking and I didn’t interrupt. But now, I want to know what exactly he was thinking about. Maybe tomorrow I will ask him why he liked the book.

Pictured: The author of Rice and Rocks (Ms. Richards) posing with her book

 

Cousin Raymond

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When I saw my cousin Raymond in Virginia whom, I haven’t seen in years, we hugged really tight.

His little grand daughter was the cutest thing. She reminded me of an old student of mine, Kaylie, who would go around introducing herself by saying her name and her birthday.

“My name is Kaylie and my Birthday is January first!”

She did the same thing and had the same birthday. Because I knew how big of a deal it was to be born on the first day of the year, I gave her a piece of candy for having the best birthday in the world!

Macho

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Macho, the gardener’s grandson, in the garden. He was so happy that my class came to visit, that he offered to give us a tour!

During the tour of the garden every plant was just ‘a flower’ or just ‘grass’. He even stepped on some beds and told us to follow him, which lead to the gardener screaming.

The last straw for him was the story he created around the missing fish. Georgie had a tub of fish in the garden and when the kids asked what happened to the fish, he put his hand in the shape of a gun and said he killed them all. I thought that was a bit outrageous and consulted Georgie who told Macho to stop lying. Turns out the fish were in the apartment living a happy life!

Before we left I told Macho thank you and thought about the tour. It was the best tour ever and I am sure the Macho would agree.

Kayla, Natasha & Mathias

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Natasha told me she got her dress from H&M two years ago. I loved her look, especially her natural hair.

When I told Kayla how beautiful she was, she removed her glasses and exclaimed: this is how I really look! To which I said, Wow, you are still beautiful!

I was proud when Mathias started to smile because right before I took the photo, he started crying. Then, I told him how much I loved his Biblical name and he begin to smile!

Noah

Noah was walking with his aunt when I asked if it was okay for me to photograph him. His sense of fashion is on point for a young person. You never know where the next big clothing designer is lurking! IMG_0280