Showing posts from October, 2015

Talking the Baby Out

So my due date has come and gone, my belly is round and starting to drop, strangers on the street feel a kind of tribal ownership of my body-- patting my belly and shouting across the farmer's market at me-- You Look Very Pregnant!!! Why yes. Yes I do.  I love that pregnancy DOES connect me with a universal human experience-- everyone is interested and excited and maybe freaked out or pitying-- but I'm not alone in this. It's special but it's universal, too.

I still haven't spent much time thinking about what's happening next-- I worked like a crazy thing up to fall break and through it-- haranguing students about last-minute assignments, grading, crossing my fingers that things would go smoothly over the next two quarters while I take off from work-- and I tell people that working full-time through this pregnancy saved my life. Yes, I was bone-tired, but I never had the time or energy to feel sorry for myself. Pregnancy is not a malady like a nasty cold-- the …

Sex Ed, Pono Choices, and Me

Warning: Contains NSFW language in the context of describing students' Sex Ed Questions!

For years I've been disturbed, amused and shocked by comments my students make about sexuality. I've occasionally had to bring my English classes to a screeching halt to talk about consent or sexual identity or even basic anatomy.

A couple of years ago, our school was able to participate in a pilot pregnancy and STI prevention program called Pono Choices. This program is funded by the University of Hawaii, and co-created by Planned Parenthood and Alu Like which is a nonprofit for empowering Native Hawaiians. The social studies teacher taught the curriculum, and I saw an immediate improvement with my students. They gained new confidence talking about their bodies, sexuality, and the tools they would use to accomplish their goals.

This is a big deal-- Every year we've had kids get pregnant either senior year or right after graduation. And considering that some years we only have ONE …