Today is my first day off for the winter break! Unfortunately, there will not be much of a break for me. I worked this entire weekend and today I am going to take today off for myself. I am in the process of looking for a new teaching position and planning specialized curriculum that I was trained to implement about the Civil Rights Movement. This summer I traveled to three different states to learn more about 20th century history. I went from Los Angeles to Chicago to learn about Industrialization, building design and the Jane Adams Hull House. From Chicago we flew to Memphis Tennessee to see The National Civil Rights Museum that was made inside the Lorraine Motel building where Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was such a moving experience I will never forget it! Most of the people I was with were deeply moved, cried and held each other as we walked through the exhibit. That very day, we also got to go to Graceland to learn about the influence of the media on pop culture during The Movement and how the media brought attention to many things during this time period. (Yes, I did try the Elvis special, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches! The next day our group traveled to Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama to learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and met Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth who worked hand in hand with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on training people on how to respond non-violently while protesting injustice. I was a great experience and I feel really honored that I got to be part of it.
Now, I am in the process of finishing the unit that will teach my students what I learned and why people finally stood up against the injustices that they faced on a daily basis. I have to present the material at a history conference so it has to be really good! I have very strict deadlines and I really appreciate all of the additional time I have to complete this daunting task because I don't smoke! Its amazing how much time I wasted out of every day (about two hours) just by smoking cigarettes! Yesterday I drove to Whitter from the San Fernando Valley to work with some people on our projects and let me just say, long drives STILL make me want to smoke. I have my fake cigarette/straw that I still hold as a security blanket when driving long distances or getting stuck in traffic. I know it sounds silly but it seems to work! I was not tempted to smoke even after getting a little bit lost! For anyone reading this who just quit, I try to hold on to the little successes that I have as a non-smoker and it seems to build confidence. It has been since November 11, 2007 that I smoked, which is more than thirty days! I feel very blessed and am grateful! I got the best gift I have ever hoped to get for X-Mas! I will keep on blogging and try to get a little time to just chill! Today I am going to go and get a manicure /pedicure! I think that is a good reward to give myself for taking care of business.