Short Notes: Show Your Soul

Jose 2 Comments

A few notes, for real:

1. The new Sports Museum of America in downtown Manhattan: FAN-tastic! Stressful because it’s a trip, but it was a good reward for those kids who did well.

2. The Staff v. 7th Grade Students basketball game was fun. I didn’t know I could still play since I haven’t played a real game in a year or two.

3. I finally have the right idea (I think) for my book.

4. I’m looking into doctoral programs.

5. …

Fuck it. really, I’m emotionally and physically spent. Not from teaching, but from yesterday’s funeral. My cousin V’s mom died last week (at a pretty young age), a woman who I don’t believe I’ve ever met for various reasons. She gave birth to women who are like sisters to me, and for that alone, I knew I had to pay my respects on Saturday. I woke up at around 730 and traversed Brooklyn, rode with them into Long Island, and meditated on what I would witness.

I knew I’d feel a little something when I saw my cousins V and N crying; it was only a matter of what they would do that would trigger the waterworks. The priest gave the Mass in Creole, so I relied mainly on knowing the rituals, though missing major parts of the ceremony like the homily. Then, I heard probably the best speech I’ve heard live from none other than N, in English, but as eloquent and soulful as I’ve ever heard anyone in my family. I just wish I could remember it word-for-word; I was too busy drying my face to soak in anything.

Throughout the speech, I just felt like she was talking about my mom and my father, who I’d already written a few preemptive eulogies for my father. She reached into a part of me I almost wish she hadn’t, and shrunk any pending frustrations I have with those relatives into trivia, because more than anything, I realized how important and vital they are to my life. Sometimes it takes these huge collisions to really let you show your soul …

jose, who really doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow, really …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

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