As I have spent more time with my students then any other group during my stay in Mississippi I have decided to let a few interactions with them summarize my experience. I will say that during my stay in Dixie I have grown and changed in innumerable ways. I feel more focused on what I want to do with my life and I have a clearer perception of how I need to get there. I also have become substantially better at handling stress, speaking in public, and completing tasks on a deadline. The excerpts I will now share with you are from conversations I had with my students, assignments they completed, or notes I confiscated from them.
My Life by Xavier 9th grade MS studies
When my cousin died that when everthen change? I was about 11 year old and that when I start didn’t give of fuck. What I wuz I start robin people fuck who they was where they from I just do it. My mother was in & out of jail. She was one of them hot girl that them people new she waz and where to look for her. And the 2nd time she went back that was my first shoot out with V.D.P. We wuz going at with them boy by a year about now it being about 5 year in we still don’t like them V.D.P but win everthing change. My mother change my whole famile change but me I am still same old Zay B.B.D.
One of my best female students during a class discussion about the Middle East. “ Coach Schewel is it true that all the Brown skinned people who work at gas stations are gonna come together soon and bomb us?”
Me: Um no, where did you hear that?
Student: Uh I don’t know.
Me: Damonte, whats the point of being a GD (Gangster’s Disciple) if your friends with the Vice Lords?( Rival gang at Murrah) You don’t need protection. What do y’all even do together?
Damonte: Man drink, smoke and steal cars.
Coach Schewel I’m having a bad day.
My boyfriend beat me up today.
Cause he thinks I slept with Three.
Well don’t talk to your boyfriend anymore.
Thirty minutes later three is in my classroom for 6th pd.
Three whats up with Jaquett?
Man I been fuckin her, and her boyfriend found out, I guess got mad.
Well don’t fight him
Oh I don’t fight over girls.
9/23/09 -In one of my finer moments I came up with the following project.
Answer the following questions, their is not necessarily a right or wrong answer. Imagine you own a 300 acre farm in Mississippi in the year 2080. Slavery has been legalized in Mississippi and every state west of the Mississippi river (TX, LA, CA, AZ, UT…etc).
You have the following options for workers on your farm. You need about 100 workers.
1. Pay local Mississippians minimum wage ($30,000 a year) to work on your farm.
2. Bring in slaves from China (at the cost of 1500$/per slave, but you have to pay $30,000 for the cost of each voyage over) to work on your farm.
3. Bring in slaves from Mexico (at the cost of 2000$ and no transportation cost) to work on your farm.
A. Who would you get to work on your farm? Why?
Percy Greenwood: ….man ima pay mexicans they work harder.
But coach Schewel I know slavery is wrong but it’s a recession.
Conversation at Broadmeadow Church tutoring.
Keithtavius Johnson making fun of me for eating my pizza fast.
“You acting like you eating filet mignon.” (reference to lil wayne song discussing filet mignon)
Me “What is Filet Mignon”?
Keith “It’s a type of Fish, right”?
Does anybody know what filet mignon is?
“It’s a type of noodles right?”
Keith “I swear its fish”.
Donovan: Nah you fool its noodles.
Jameel: 20 year old coach with me, it’s the steak with the bacon around it right?
Bryan Jones storm into the classroom after Obama’s election.
B: Coach schewel you know you mad McCain lost, all them teachers mad.
B: You know they gonna paint the whitehouse black and we gonna start having cookouts on the front lawn right?
A: No Brian I don’t think that will happen.
B: Man you just mad he lost jew.
A: I guess you have yet to learn anything in my class Brian.
A Good Man’s Guide by Tenesia 11th grade U.S. History
1) Rub my feet when I ask him to
2) Have children in bed before I get home (at night)
3) Bring home money for bills…etc
4) Give me my space without him being asked to
5) No fussing or arguing after or before dinner
6) Please my every need
7) Make sure grass gets cut (front and backyard)
8) Get oil changes in both cars (every 3 to 6 months)
9) Take care of his wife and kids (especially wife)
10) He have to keep up a constant well paid job
11) Good hygiene and keep his swagga up
12) Love me unconditionally
13) Give me attention guidance and sympathy
14) Must be able to cook when I cant do so
15) Help kids with homework
16) Text me on my time not yours
Are You Listening?
We as people have come far
Throughout this journey
And man do we have many memories in history
Do you remember things that you
Weren’t apart of physically, but racially
I was apart of the Jim Crow to the 3rd degree
You see it existed to isolate blacks
Denied us of our civil rights, and that’s a fact
Created separate but equal, so we couldn’t relax
Because it wasn’t right, crazy, wack
We were segregated at all facilities
Just like we were handicap and our color was our disability
Open your ears are you hearing me?
We couldn’t even glance nor speak
To a white woman or man let alone have them as friends
Treated us as if we were dogs, leashed
I remember them yelling “No Justice!”, No Peace!”
And to make a change we did all we could
We marched on Selma, with our fists and head up high we stood
So in 1964, we over ruling them with civil rights
Wasn’t enough, we strived and rallied the streets all night
Until in 1965 we got our voting rights
But we didn’t stop there, were making changes even now, every black resident
And racial slurs are irrelevant
See we’ve come so far we have a black president
We went from sitting in the back, to driving the bus
And well do it all over again, if they ever try and segregate us
So from now till the end of human kind let freedom ring
Get up and stand for something
Because if we stand for nothing, we’ll fall for anything
Are you listening?
Now we’re their doctors and lawyers
Wanted us to stand behind them now we stand forward
We have more then power
And work every day with every race every minute of the hour
No one could hold us back; those chains didn’t mean a thing
Just a symbol of our struggle, the reason why we sing
We may not have been able to walk with whites on the same road
But they’ll have to answer to God, a man whose much bigger; bold
We may not have been able to drink from their fountains; water so cold
But Jesus has a bigger better one; dripping from gold
But for right now while were here lets make one thing clear
Together our minds are powerful, black/white we make the world go round
And together we sing, we make a beautiful sound
Yes segregation was profound
But now were like beautiful lights of all kind
Yes we have different glows, but together we will shine
Throughout it all, through everything
Jim Crow is now deceased, and doesn’t run a thing
And we now still stand tall, stand strong through anything
Black yellow, pink, or green
Are you listening?