Resegregation in the American South

This article I read this morning has stuck with me all day.This story focuses on my hometown and the changes that have happened at the schools in the city. A lot of this went down while I was in school, and at the time my friends and I were a bit sad about breaking up Central but didn’t ask many questions. The adults presented it as a simple solution to dealing with what they said was a too large high school and we would all live a lot closer to the school we attended once they broke our large high school into three “neighborhood” schools.

I moved to Tuscaloosa when I was 10. My family lived south of town in the county school district. I stayed in that system until 9th grade, though I first remember my mom starting to ask about moving and enrolling me in city schools some time in middle school. I know she could recognize that the people I was in school with were a little close-minded and cared too much about money (not that any of them were overwhelmingly wealthy) and lived in a bubble for the most part. I finally relented after my freshman year and I was lucky enough to attend the school this article is about, Central High School, for my sophomore year. Then I attended Northridge (referenced in this article as basically the school that rich white parents in Tuscaloosa forced the city to build so their kids didn’t have to go to an 80%+ black high school) for my final two years of high school. 

Northridge was fine as far as just a typical high school experience, but looking back I can see how markedly different it was from Central. Basically every peer I had that attended both Central and Northridge will tell you they loved Central so much more. I was always sad that I just had one year there. It felt like exposure to how the real world was, where you interacted with literally every personality and income group and ethnicity, as opposed to the way Northridge felt. We may have still been a “majority” African-American school once we split, but Northridge always felt VERY white. I had few students in my classes that weren’t white. Most of the office assistants, or library assistants, or whatever, were white students. Clubs were (mostly) led by white students, and SGA was majority white whereas at Central it had reflected the makeup of the student body a lot more accurately. 

Having all of the students that made up the city of Tuscaloosa in one school (granted, spread across two campuses) felt like it made sense. Then, all of the sudden, we had these three neighborhood schools that were supposed to now all become enemies. It was pretty clear to everyone that Central got the shaft. It didn’t help that Northridge and Bryant got brand new campuses right away while Central had to wait a few years. At one point I think I remembered hearing that Central had about 15 non-black students and it was only because Northridge wasn’t able to immediately become an IB school. It was immediately pretty clear that the positive attributes of Central (whether it was academic awards or athletic talent or even passionate teachers) were not distributed equally by the white leaders that made the decision to split the school up. Two of the almost 100% black schools in town are failing now thanks to the lack of attention from leaders now that they got their way and split the schools up. 

Tuscaloosa is in the news fairly often with stories of racism run rampant. I hate that because I love Tuscaloosa, and think it has so many great things happening there and is full of some wonderful people. BUT. When the second, third, fourth, fifth story comes out then you have to admit that there ARE some racist people still living in the town who are potentially raising their own children with the same narrow viewpoints. An example of this is in a comment made on the article (UGH, never read the comments:) 

I am a white male graduate of Central High School who grew up and still lives in the “north of the river” area of Tuscaloosa (Rock Quarry). Central was broken into 3 schools not long after I graduated. I imagine that what the author describes happens in the vast majority of American cities but it is not necessarily a race issue but a socio-economic issue. Unfortunately in America these terms can be interchangeable and the smartest people in our country have not been able to solve these issues in the 100+ years.

The differences in my suburban elementary school and the first city-wide 6th grade school were stark, mainly razor wire fencing, armed police officers, drugs, weapons, cursing, disrespect for authorities, etc. - and I was confronted with this at the age of 12. Needless to say, my friends and I were terrified. This is the product of different upbringings and socio-economic status’. It got better as the years went by as the most egregious offenders were sent to juvenile, secondary schools, or finally at the age of 16 were legally allowed to drop-out. This was not always the case when the “one-school” approach was created here, it got worse as time wore on. So I don’t think anyone should be ashamed if parents want to send Jr. to a school made up of children raised in a similar fashion - I’m certainly glad I have the option to do so now. And the author is right that we gerrymandered certain neighborhoods, if we hadn’t the property values would’ve crashed in these expensive and historically significant homes. that may be a sad truth but its reality. Also, what isn’t mentioned is the lack of opportunity in extra-curricular activities for those less gifted or the lack of one-on-one teaching when you have a high school with nearly 2000 students.

I feel sorry for my alma-mater and the children that attend there. But this is a problem that isn’t the school board’s problem to solve. It needs to be solved inwardly by those in the affected communities. We need to think about how these children are raised, educated at young ages, and even conceived (out of wedlock). I wish there was a one button solution to this, but like many good-hearted government solutions, Central had unintended consequences and I’m glad that our city leaders had the foresight to realize smaller neighborhood schools were for the greater good of our city.

I wanted so badly to respond to this commentator (though I know getting in internet comment wars rarely changes anyones mind,) and let him know that there was nothing terrifying about going to Central. What WAS terrifying is seeing people like him feel like it’s okay to have this viewpoint in 2014. It was terrifying to realize that the classmates I had at the mostly white county high school had no problems with the confederate flag or putting up a fence at football games when they played Central to supposedly keep the students from fighting each other (the older I get, the more it seems that they thought Central was just a riot school full of fighting and aggressive black students. I saw maybe 2 fights the entire year I attended Central. The first day Northridge was open there was a stabbing within 10 minutes of students arriving on campus.) I wanted to tell him that how students are raised, or even conceived, does not determine how they perform in school. Having people and resources in place to support them is what determines that, regardless of skin color. That saying things got less terrifying as the students who were raised differently than him went to juvy or dropped out is a cute way to say that he meant as more black kids dropped out, he didn’t feel as worried about being at school. Yo, that’s racist. I wanted to tell him that I would be terrified if my kids went to school with any kid he was raising, as I would be afraid their close-minded upbringing might frighten my kids. 

This is all a part of a bigger issue in Tuscaloosa and the south, and I say all this with the full knowledge that as a white female I couldn’t possibly understand the full ramifications of what happens on a day to day basis. But things like this are big. They are in your face. Everyone should be able to see that this situation isn’t fair or right. And I know this type of thing may be going on elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it in Tuscaloosa and focus only on majority black schools in Chicago or New York, as some of the other commenters suggest. I wanted to cry half of the time I was reading this article. It is a horrible thing to realize that 14 year olds have a better grasp on right and wrong than 44 year olds. I don’t really know what else to say, other than that I hope this article and others like it can bring a bit of change. 



Help me run for a long time!

While my actual training through TNT’s Flex program won’t begin until early June, I’m trying to prepare myself by reading all the things. This is where I need advice from all of you other runners, particularly those of you who have conquered 26.2 before. 

I ordered these guys this morning:

Based off of some initial googling and message board reading, I’m also considering these: 

Any opinions on these? I’m all ears! Any others you’d suggest or definitely not suggest?



I have been wanting this J Crew Factory scalloped dress for a while to dress up for weddings and showers and events, but I did not want to pay $98 or even $68.50 for this guy. Instead, I found this similar dress at Target for $28 and got another dress for 50% off (as their dresses in store and online are buy one get one 50% off through Saturday!) and used a $5 off $25 coupon to get both dresses for $37 or just over half of what the J Crew dress would cost. 

Essentially, I’m telling you to go get some dresses at Target. 



Don’t mind me…

…just hitting file on our taxes at 11 pm EST. Hey, at least they’re done!



Sometimes I remind myself that I almost skipped the party, that I almost went to a different college, that the whim of a minute could have changed everything and everyone. Our lives, so settled, so specific, are built on happenstance.
Anna Quindlen (via andthenitsperfect)

(Source: wordsthat-speak)



(Source: natashakline)



DID I MISS NATIONAL SIBLING DAY?! I hope not because regardless of what you guys say, I have the best sister around. Hands down. No question. Love her for a million reasons and I think she likes me ok even though I’m usually the most annoying ever.

DID I MISS NATIONAL SIBLING DAY?! I hope not because regardless of what you guys say, I have the best sister around. Hands down. No question. Love her for a million reasons and I think she likes me ok even though I’m usually the most annoying ever.



If I’m walking down the sidewalk and you rev your souped up Mustang’s engine right as you drive past me and scare me a lot

then you are a jerk and I hate you.



GUYS! I am so excited. As I mentioned last week, I have signed up to fundraise and train again with Team In Training for the Chicago Marathon! 
It has been 3 years since you guys helped me raise more than $3,000 for LLS research as I trained for and completed my first half marathon (San Diego Rock N Roll.) I never dreamed back then that I would be able to 1) raise such a large amount of money or 2) run 13.1 miles. Participating in Team In Training in 2011 kicked off two passions for me. For one, I have since run 3 more half marathons and recently ran my fastest one ever in my hometown of Tuscaloosa. Additionally, I have become a passionate advocate for both Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 
As I did last time, I will be running this race and fundraising in memory of our friend Foster Griffith. Foster continues to touch the lives of so many people, and I want to share his story once again with the TNT community. I will also be racing in memory of my dad, Kermit Koenig, who passed away from cancer when I was younger. While he didn’t have a blood cancer, he did have a rare form of cancer, and I know that any research breakthrough through LLS could lead to a treatment that would help those who are fighting any form of cancer as well. 
SO! I was hoping for three things from you guys: 
Donations are MUY appreciated (you can donate here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/chicago14/kkmundy ) as I’m looking to raise $100 for every mile so $2,620 total! (Don’t worry, I promise not to inundate your feed with fundraising requests!)
I definitely am going to need some tips on training for and running the marathon - both just the distance in general as well as Chicago in particular. 
Any tips on visiting Chicago? The plan right now is for Brooke to come along with me and it will be my first trip there. I know a lot of you guys live there so I’ll probably repeat this request closer to when we head your way in October. What do I need to know?

GUYS! I am so excited. As I mentioned last week, I have signed up to fundraise and train again with Team In Training for the Chicago Marathon! 

It has been 3 years since you guys helped me raise more than $3,000 for LLS research as I trained for and completed my first half marathon (San Diego Rock N Roll.) I never dreamed back then that I would be able to 1) raise such a large amount of money or 2) run 13.1 miles. Participating in Team In Training in 2011 kicked off two passions for me. For one, I have since run 3 more half marathons and recently ran my fastest one ever in my hometown of Tuscaloosa. Additionally, I have become a passionate advocate for both Team In Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

As I did last time, I will be running this race and fundraising in memory of our friend Foster Griffith. Foster continues to touch the lives of so many people, and I want to share his story once again with the TNT community. I will also be racing in memory of my dad, Kermit Koenig, who passed away from cancer when I was younger. While he didn’t have a blood cancer, he did have a rare form of cancer, and I know that any research breakthrough through LLS could lead to a treatment that would help those who are fighting any form of cancer as well. 

SO! I was hoping for three things from you guys: 

  1. Donations are MUY appreciated (you can donate here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/vtnt/chicago14/kkmundy ) as I’m looking to raise $100 for every mile so $2,620 total! (Don’t worry, I promise not to inundate your feed with fundraising requests!)
  2. I definitely am going to need some tips on training for and running the marathon - both just the distance in general as well as Chicago in particular. 
  3. Any tips on visiting Chicago? The plan right now is for Brooke to come along with me and it will be my first trip there. I know a lot of you guys live there so I’ll probably repeat this request closer to when we head your way in October. What do I need to know?


Just one week late on this… it’s been chilling in my drafts.
Recap of March Goals
Renew professional website domain - Yep. 
Get quotes for renter’s insurance - Yep. 
Sunday set up - mostly yep
Yoga x 3 - nope
Finish my half marathon -yep, with a shiny new PR!
Hit 100,000 steps every week - nope - 100,000 may have been a bit ambitious. My battery also died at the end of March but has now been replaced!
Track my food (and therefore login) to MFP daily - YES! So proud of this one - I ended March on a 37 day streak and was HONEST about what I ate, even if it meant going over my calories for the day. I adjusted my daily goal up at the beginning of the month a bit because 1,200 calories a day is just a little too extreme to me.  
Lose 4 pounds (1 pound per week) - Nope, but did lose about 2.5 
Finish next 21 skills on Duolingo - Yep
Start Google Analytics Academy - Nope
Choose and order prints for gallery wall above bed - Yep
Go through underclothes - Yep
Read 4 books - Nope - just one. 
April Goals - I’m going to focus a lot on my health and fitness goals this month to prep for both a beach trip at the end of the month and Kristen’s wedding in May (6 weeks from this weekend!) 
Hit 100 Pure Barre classes on my birthday which would be at least 13 classes in April. 
Run 5 days each week for the rest of the montheven if it is just 1 mile quickly before or after work. This includes a 5K on the 19th. 
Track my food every day on MFP which would have me at a more than 60 day streak. 
Yoga x 1 before my class package expires
Flywheel x 1 since they are opening the new studio right by my office. 
Finish my self evaluation and try to schedule my review at work. Making moves! 
Attend one professional networking event or webinar.
Put winter clothes in storage and go through spring/summer clothes that need to come out of storage and either be donated or live in my closet. 
Read the dang book for book club and have too much fun with all the girls on Sunday. 
Color my hair and get a mani/pedi. 
Finish next 21 skills on Duolingo
Start planning fundraising ideas for Team In Training (!!!)
( image via April Showers vertical print by thewheatfield on Etsy)

Just one week late on this… it’s been chilling in my drafts.

Recap of March Goals

  • Renew professional website domain - Yep. 
  • Get quotes for renter’s insurance - Yep. 
  • Sunday set up - mostly yep
  • Yoga x 3 - nope
  • Finish my half marathon -yep, with a shiny new PR!
  • Hit 100,000 steps every week - nope - 100,000 may have been a bit ambitious. My battery also died at the end of March but has now been replaced!
  • Track my food (and therefore login) to MFP daily - YES! So proud of this one - I ended March on a 37 day streak and was HONEST about what I ate, even if it meant going over my calories for the day. I adjusted my daily goal up at the beginning of the month a bit because 1,200 calories a day is just a little too extreme to me.  
  • Lose 4 pounds (1 pound per week) - Nope, but did lose about 2.5 
  • Finish next 21 skills on Duolingo - Yep
  • Start Google Analytics Academy - Nope
  • Choose and order prints for gallery wall above bed - Yep
  • Go through underclothes - Yep
  • Read 4 books - Nope - just one. 

April Goals - I’m going to focus a lot on my health and fitness goals this month to prep for both a beach trip at the end of the month and Kristen’s wedding in May (6 weeks from this weekend!) 

  • Hit 100 Pure Barre classes on my birthday which would be at least 13 classes in April. 
  • Run 5 days each week for the rest of the montheven if it is just 1 mile quickly before or after work. This includes a 5K on the 19th. 
  • Track my food every day on MFP which would have me at a more than 60 day streak. 
  • Yoga x 1 before my class package expires
  • Flywheel x 1 since they are opening the new studio right by my office. 
  • Finish my self evaluation and try to schedule my review at work. Making moves! 
  • Attend one professional networking event or webinar.
  • Put winter clothes in storage and go through spring/summer clothes that need to come out of storage and either be donated or live in my closet. 
  • Read the dang book for book club and have too much fun with all the girls on Sunday. 
  • Color my hair and get a mani/pedi. 
  • Finish next 21 skills on Duolingo
  • Start planning fundraising ideas for Team In Training (!!!)

( image via April Showers vertical print by thewheatfield on Etsy)



nomnomnamaste:

"Taurus: This week, the world might give you puzzles to solve; it might give you mazes to navigate. This week, your world is going to be so full, and it’s going to ask you to work, and it’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle. Try to ride out the challenges, try to ride out the weirdness, try to ride out the feelings of uncertainty. Ride this out and see where it’ll take you; ride it out and see what new worlds you can find; ride it out and you’ll find the strangest, brightest joy."

nomnomnamaste:

"Taurus: This week, the world might give you puzzles to solve; it might give you mazes to navigate. This week, your world is going to be so full, and it’s going to ask you to work, and it’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle. Try to ride out the challenges, try to ride out the weirdness, try to ride out the feelings of uncertainty. Ride this out and see where it’ll take you; ride it out and see what new worlds you can find; ride it out and you’ll find the strangest, brightest joy."

(Source: therumpus)



Remembering this dear friend today on what would have been his 27th birthday. His favorite time of year, baseball season, has just kicked off. Most years we celebrate his memory with a game of softball, but the rains meant that my friends back home went bowling today. I hated to miss out, but love knowing that we all still work to get together at least once or twice a year to remember this guy. 

Remembering this dear friend today on what would have been his 27th birthday. His favorite time of year, baseball season, has just kicked off. Most years we celebrate his memory with a game of softball, but the rains meant that my friends back home went bowling today. I hated to miss out, but love knowing that we all still work to get together at least once or twice a year to remember this guy. 



So this happened today. !!!!

So this happened today. !!!!



If You Run Slow, Who Cares? - Women's Running

yaknow-yanow:

dclivin:

jayhawkerinthecapital:

turtleseyeview:

choosedaily:

thestoryofusplus:

I needed this today. :)

This!

Worth the read.

This was important for me tonight.

I am so guilty of this. When people ask me about my running, one of the first things I say is “I am the slowest runner ever” and when people ask me times for my races, I am always a little embarrassed at first to tell people. I’ve gotten a little better about it, but I do have to keep reminding myself that running is running, and even if it’s slow, it’s better than sitting on the couch. 

this surprisingly made me feel better about being a slow runner. at least i’m doing it!

love this.



Is this appropriate office attire for my client visit tomorrow? No? Too bad. 
(Damn you, casual agency office environment, for making me feel like putting on a pencil skirt and heels is the end of the world.) 

Is this appropriate office attire for my client visit tomorrow? No? Too bad. 

(Damn you, casual agency office environment, for making me feel like putting on a pencil skirt and heels is the end of the world.)