Trinidad is a well established island nation known for their cultural rainbow, architectural detail, and of course oil and natural gas. Trinidad’s sister island Tobago is mostly a tourist attraction with minimal industry on the island. I wasn’t able to make it to Tobago, recently the leadership changed ferry companies and the trips are less frequent.
Keith led me around the island and answered every single question with honest insights. He told me about the colonial heritage as we walked among the breathtaking and extravagant Magnificent Seven.
My favorite story shared by Keith was the story of Nelson Mandela Park. My prior knowledge of Trinidad government from friends gave the the impression that Trini politics tended to be like American politics, so many cooks in the kitchen make it difficult to finish a dish. The painlessness associated with renaming this park spoke volumes to my understanding of the culture of Trinidad.
The park was once King George’s Park however, an unopposed recommendation to rename the park went through in record time. I gained meaningful insight on the mindset of the people.
I learned the difference between Calypso and Soca music. I realized my value for words outweighs my ability to wine for hours. I’m team Calypso.
Another highlight of my trip was my visit to City Living TT! Prime location and a balcony to die for City Living TT Is a beautiful space within walking distance of the the hottest part of the party scene in Trinidad and Tobago. The multi level home is ideal for solo travelers, small groups, or large scale kind of entertaining. However, if you are solo like myself the large guest rooms with en suite bathrooms allow for quiet, cool, moments in the midst of the party. The cool island colors were very welcoming and the iron gate helped me feel safe and secure as I partied super hard really far away from home.
With our current media landscape it is becoming significantly more challenging to teach middle school children to understand their emotions particularly empathy. With our current culture of bickering and “hitting back” the trickle down effect is real! Students have to digest the fact that what they see on television (reality TV and our reality TV president) are not real. This is compounded by the fact that young scholars must digest that what they see on the internet is not real either. This reality can be even more disheartening for students like mine in Spanish Harlem that are not motivated by their day to day environment, in fact some are drowning in it.
The best way I’ve found the help children understand emotions is by highlighting their interactions with each other. I find myself asking them after every significant comment or experience, “how did that make you feel?” Some scholars are to the point now where they communicate this information without being prompted.
One memorable instance of students demonstrating empathy occurred in my history class. Despite redirection one scholar continued to disrupt instruction. As I continued to deliver the lesson I noticed another student losing focus due to the disruption. I gave the distracted student our nonverbal sign for persevere. I allowed the student to carry on hoping he would grow tired of the class ignoring the attention seeking behavior. I was surprised moments later when the distracted student turned to the disrupting student and said calmly, “I feel like you’re distracting me.” This simple comment to me was an emotional breakthrough. Neither child grew hostile, frustrated, or out of sorts. They communicated effectively and I was able to move on with the lesson. Media in America has created a tangible rift in our emotional intelligence but by teaching children to communicate effectively we can help them better understand their emotions.
Love the Hair You Wear 3 was as always insanely informative and full of beauty products! This year majority of my goodies were full sized! The gems of LTHYW3 after several weeks of experimentation are Cantu’s Apple Cider Vinegar Root Rinse and the matching Dry Co-Wash! The root rinse gives you that tingly clean. Extremely refreshing through the wash out process. You’ll feel like you have a new head!
On the beauty side Sweet Air wowed me with my perfect shade of 3D shadow. The shade Pixel is sheer deep copper. Blends Very well!
The moral of Love The Hair You Wear 3 was clip your ends. I’ll leave you to interpret that anyway you like. Until next year …
I’m not sure if my best friend could read. She figured things out regardless, making a way for herself on her own across America over the course of 93 years. Her words come to me constantly as I work to decipher the stories and tangible history left behind. I remember being frustrated towards the end when she matched my every question with a question. This in itself was a lesson.
“Grandma! How will I get through my questions if you keep asking more questions?”
“You see that baby. That’s how you stay young! You never stop asking questions. You got to ask questions and you got to listen. Especially to the young people! When you stop listening and learning and growing, you start getting old.”
Parents, able Grandparents, older brothers, sisters, cousins, and people of authority we must do something about our young minds being led astray by social media and mobile technology! Working in the classroom and with school administrators, I’ve seen first hand the havoc social media is wreaking on school age children and the lasting effects that students cannot quite grasp yet. As socially conscious adults, it is our responsibility to protect these young impressionable souls from the rawness of the online world for a menagerie of reasons but principally the following:
Social media is weakening the young mind’s ability to make decisions. Brendon Burchard of Brendon.com said it best “Stop browsing so much!” (Skip to 3:52 for the heart of the message).
Young minds are already all over the place and easily distracted. By fostering this culture of browsing the mind is over stimulated and consequently weaker when it really matters the most. President Barack Obama does not pick out his own suits because of decision fatigue, imagine how Instagram can impact third grader with a developing mind!
Many things young people see on social media they are seeing and or hearing for the first time. With no one engaging alongside of them they are forced to draw their own often erroneous conclusions that they carry out into the world. Young minds often cannot discern what they are seeing online from reality. They are buying into false concepts of beauty, falling victim to predators, and in the worst cases coming across terror related propaganda dragging them in a direction none of us want to accept as a problem.
Nudes are a huge problem in schools! Every school I’ve shared my S.O.Social Media seminar with has dealt with ‘oversharing’ and cyber bullying. Since the biggest celebrities of our time do it … frequently … students do too. Even worse, students often leak each other’s nude photos to friends just like adults do. But in the educational environment this can be devastating on another level.
Recommendations to prevent and help heal the damage that has already been done.
Buy less than smartphones, no cameras or applications. This type of phone will be less of a distraction during the school day. Teachers are losing precious time confiscating phones from distracted students. This takes away from the teaching and learning process for all involved.
Browse social media as a family activity. Make family accounts allowing everyone to like what they like, and follow who they wish to follow. This way social media is bringing the family together not creating barriers. This can also help if your child will not allow you to follow them. Break down that wall!
Save the headphones for games and road trips. You might not have time to police daily engagement but if you can hear what they’re watching or doing you can make determinations on whether it’s appropriate or not.
Continuously communicate that everything online is forever.
It’s not about having the coolest phone in the 7th grade. It’s about not having nudes pop up in a Google Image search when your kid is applying for college. Don’t let what lives on the internet become your child’s reality.
There are lots of ways to use social media for good. But I’ll save that for another post…
S.O.Social Media is brought to you by MJWW Ventures LTD. for more information contact MsJheri@MsJheriWorldwide.com
I wonder what the world would be like if we were identified by the emotion we show most often. Our conversations would be like “Hey Hater, have a seat right over there” or of course positive emotions like, “Wow Confidence I’m so proud of you!” Even, “Hey Lonely, come here I have something special for you.” Would we be happier as humans if our emotions were better understood by the people around us? Can emotional intelligence make the world a better place? I think so, because if someone texts you, “Hi Lover, what time do you get off work?” You’ll be a more pleasant person for the rest of the work day. Snow White and her dwarfs really were on to something.
At the very least people would be forced to accept what they project. It might be what we need as a human race. It could lead to a better understanding of ourselves as human beings. It is amazing how many people in this world never study their reflection. To some the man in the mirror is the only man in the world. Their actions lack retrospection; they never consider stepping outside themselves for perspective.
I learned perspective growing up in North Carolina. Every year March Madness shuts down the state. Rivalries are real amongst neighbors NC State, Duke, Carolina, Wake Forest, and more. Regardless of what set you claim, excuse me school, one part of March Madness is universal. No, not filling out brackets, not Future’s interpretation, “I’m ballin like it’s March Madness.” I’m referring to legendary NC State Basketball Coach Jimmy Valvano and his famous ESPY speech, “Don’t ever give up.”
I remember Jimmy V’s advice vividly, “To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”
The world would be different if emotions were apparent. To me emotions make the man or woman or child. If we can find ways to share what we feel and staying in control like Coach V said, “you’re going to have something special.” Show the world the strongest you and try not to hurt anybody in the process. Emotions are essential and being aware of your emotions can save and serve you at the same time.
A few days ago spring began. Josh and Justin went to pick up beer from the store. They always get the same beer, High Life; from the same store, Tony’s. These men are creatures of habit. Josh repeats the same idiom every time the homies pop their first can, “It may not be the highest grade in the dispensary but this some good beer.”
Justin co-signs with this infamous, “Right on.”
Josh exhales, “Did I tell you about my dream?”
Justin, “Nah, but I love a good dream. What happened?”
Josh shrugs nonchalantly launching into the tale:
I really don’t know where to start but the weather was strange. The earth quaked at least six times and it rain a lot too. I could never tell the difference between things I thought and things I actually said. It was so confusing but I didn’t have time to be frustrated since I had so much to figure out. Oh and my abs were super tight. I don’t know why. Maybe I was worried but I remember how sore they were and I couldn’t figure out why. This was confusing too but I had to keep going. Even though I didn’t know where I was going. Isn’t that funny? Just like in life when we don’t know where to go but we keep going. Dreams are the same.
Justin co-signs, “Right on!”
Josh jumps back into his dream:
The rain turned into snow but I wasn’t cold. I told my feelings to turn off when the sun went down. I only felt determined but I never really knew why. There was a woman I remembered from when we were kids. She was tall and she was glowing in the dark. People were lining up to talk to her but I kept walking because I couldn’t remember her name. Everyone that spoke with her left with a smile and I wanted to go to her, but I forgot the lesson I learned and I was too embarrassed to stare until it all came back to me. I was afraid I’d waste too much time and wake up never figuring out where I was meant to be. Then these thoughts surfaced and I couldn’t help but repeat them in my head over and over, “Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me? Am I here greet destiny? Will I always walk alone or will someone stand next to me?” There were no hints and no clues. Just time passing quietly.
Josh pauses and takes a few sips from his beer. Caught up in the suspense Justin inquires, “So what happened next?” Josh replies, “I don’t know. I’m not sure if I don’t remember or if I woke up.”