Category Archives: Mom
Sometimes I wonder how smells can so influence my life. We are all familiar with the memory trigger of a well-loved song, or the feeling of looking at a picture, a snapshot of a time and place enshrined in photo paper, but smells often elude conversations of memories.
Have you had the experience of getting a whiff of a familiar perfume and having a scene from the past jump up as if it were yesterday? I can conjure up an image, a person, a time and place when I walk into a room and a familiar scent wafts over me like a warm blanket, an old friend. This happens to me daily when I walk into my “mothers” part of our home and truthfully, I do it so I can “feel” her through the comforting aroma of…what? I am really not sure what it is that I smell, two years after her passing. It is true though, and my sister backs me up on this one. She now owns my mother’s dresser and says that every time she opens a drawer she feels mom is there. I wander into her living room, bedroom, office or bathroom and feel a wave of sentimentality, but also one of comfort and reassurance. I cannot bear to think of leaving the scent and happily drive her ten-year old car for the same reason.
We bask in the memories of those we love and have lost for one reason or another, a favorite recipe, coming home to a kitchen filled with the smell of brisket or waking up to fresh coffee brewing. These are the smells I cherish. So sometimes, I just sit in mom’s living room, gazing lovingly at her favorite books, still on the shelf (I will read them all), her tea-cup collection and the photos of her as a college graduate, a bride, a wife of 25 years, a grandmother, and breathe deeply, filling myself with memories and love.
I am sorry to tell you that after more than 50 years of waking up to the Los Angeles Times for breakfast, and having watched you spend a couple of hours reading it cover to cover every day, I am cancelling my subscription. In a way it feels like sacrilege, but I just cannot support a newspaper that endorses irresponsible journalism. I tried to ignore the pleas of my Union and covertly read the paper for the past couple of weeks, but after learning of Rigoberto Ruelas’ suicide in reaction to his name being published as “less than effective” in the Times, I cannot support this paper any longer. I will miss the morning ritual, and the comforting remembrances of you mom, every morning. I will miss reading the writers I love and have been reading for most of my life. I myself had a small editorial published in the paper years ago. But I cannot believe that the writers, Jason Felch, Stephanie Ferrell, Megan Garvey, Thomas Suh Lauder, David Lauter, Julie Marquis, Sandra Poindexter, Ken Schwencke, Beth Shuster, Jason Song, Doug Smith, of the education article on Value Added Evaluations of teachers could not have done the same article without naming names and humiliating hundreds of decent, hardworking teachers.
As a teacher, I know we are not in this profession for the money or the glory. We are in this profession to help children. I am not writing about evaluation methods, simply about the notoriety seeking journalists that are making names for themselves on the backs of many teachers. I would like to see Value Added Evaluations of those in the following professions:
Journalists-how many people benefit from your articles?
Lawyers-how many cases were won/lost?
Doctors/Dentists-how healthy are your patients?
Money Managers-how successful are your investments for your clients?
Accountants-how many of your clients are audited?
Automobile Industry-how safe are your cars?
Parents-how ready are your children to start school?
Let’s start naming names!
Students arrive at 5 years old, but the five years before formal public school are filled with the impact of many others including parents, preschool teachers, siblings, relatives, television, video games, neighbors and environment. I know there are claims that Value Added takes all of this into account, but can’t it be used to privately help teachers who need support and publicly without naming names?
For public education to succeed, we need the support of the students, parents, community, government, and media.
I am sorry mom, but really I think you would be proud of me because you were a wonderful teacher; in the classroom and in my life. I love you. Good by L.A. Times.