Reflecting on 2023

2023 Review: A few of my favorite things, moments, and people

Audio book: Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei Brenyah

Fiction book: same as above

YA horror Book: The Weight of Blood by Tiffany Jackson

Nonfiction Book: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy ties with LA Son by Roy Choi (2013 but new to me)

Poetry collection: Above Ground by Clint Smith 

YA realistic fiction book: We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds (2022 but new to me)

Children’s book: Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho (2021 but new to me)

Graphic memoir novel: GenderQueer by Maia Kobabe (2019 but new to me; top banned book since its premiere)

Song(s):

Janelle Monáe “Float

Olivia Rodrigo “Vampire

Rhiannon Giddens “Another Wasted Life

Sufjan Stevens “A Running Start” 

Album: The Age of Pleasure by Janelle Monáe

Performer/artist: Beyonce

Originally I had a ticket to see Destiny’s Child in 1999 during my first year of college. Well, those members of the Beyhive know that year was a tumultuous one for the group and they broke up. They cancelled their show at SVSU. And I did not get to see her perform. Fast forward 24 years and I am able to finally see the best performer alive! Renaissance was unbelievable. Claire went along with me to experience the greatest show I will likely ever see in my lifetime (outside of Prince performing red Corvette a capella in Lansing 18 years ago!). Another cool factor was watching Beyonce support and mother Blue on stage with my daughter next to me…so grateful for this experience and the angel who I refer to as Gabe on the People Mover that found my wallet on our way to the venue, and then helped get us back to our vehicle.

Person of the Year: the Palestinian press, most are in their twenties, staying to record so the world has evidence of this genocide. Children have taken up the camera and mic to help share their stories.  

Food: Tacos (anywhere in Flint-I don’t care just pls get me tacos after a tough day)

Drink: Clearly Canadian (itsssss baaaaack)


Fave MI spot: there’s a Lake Superior coastline apx thirty miles southeast of Marquette that I’ve stopped at a few times this year. It’s always stunning. 

Fave non MI spot: Blue Spring State Park to see the manatee (473! When we went last week. They come into the spring for the warmer water temperatures)

Reality TV: Survivor season 44 ties with season 45 AND Jury Duty 

Trash Reality TV: Selling Sunset ties with Below Deck

Animated TV: I recently discovered Bob’s Burgers thanks to Leo’s girlfriend so yea, it is funny and glib yet also accurate on so many issues. 

Drama TV: Rez Dogs (Watch it now.) 

Comedy TV: Abbott Elementary (new season Feb. 7!)

Most uncomfortable viewing experience (which also means badass writing & acting): The Bear, season 2, The Christmas episode titled, Fishes

Movie: I watched a few kid ones and scary ones but really didn’t see anything I’ve been meaning to watch yet…one I watched a few times that was fun would be Haunting in Venice 

Style icon: Katherine Hamadeh and Meg (Daphne) in White Lotus season 2 

Points of Pride

*A family that truly loves one another & looks forward to being altogether (even in a 18 hr car ride!). Claire is transitioning well at Tech and continues to explore what her life might begin to look like at a young adult. She also earned an internship for this summer in Kalamazoo! Leo has his first job as a dishwasher. He also is trying to save for his first car! Pearl is serving Student Council as a class rep. She continues to love room and home design! Isla acted in her first on stage community theater, Beauty & the Beast. She also rides her bike all over the new neighborhood! Paul continues to lead MTA into integrating equity, teamwork, and technology in all of their systems and practices. A badass! 

*Second publication, Wakanda: Opening the high school classroom to Afrofuturism 

*Two years alcohol free on January 14! Go me!

*Leading MCTE forward in our initiatives, membership, affinity spaces, and support of Michigan educators & students 

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