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OCTOBER 2017    
Ma'at's Memos

By Ma’at Seba
SUN COLUMNIST
      We all encounter hurtles in life that may seem too large to jump over. However, if we can just step back, think and put things into perspective, we’ll find a way to leap over our hurtles to succeed in life. The following are some memos to think about, when things get tough.
• A true teacher on the path will point you to the teacher within  
• Death and life are in the power of the tongue
• Knowing the truth and not living it is a lie in itself
• Reliable communication permits progress
• Your words can create or destroy, unite or separate, bless or curse, heal or wound, edify or demolish, enlighten or obscure, liberate or enslave. Be careful of what you say!
• He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing
• Live Your Truth, not someone else’s truth about you
• Rainbows appear after the rain ends
• The formula for failure is: Try to please everyone!
• No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
• The ladder of success doesn’t care who climbs it
• If you are too big for criticism, you are too small for praise
• Love your enemy, it will drive them crazy!
• It is the people who do nothing who are sure that nothing can be done
• What you dislike in others, be sure to correct within yourself 
• If you feel that you have no faults then that is your first one
• It is never easy to buy yourself back once you have sold yourself out
• Speak without offending, listen without defending
• A tree can only be as strong as its roots
• No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted 
• Pain forces you to learn where you astray
• Planning ahead eliminates stress during the difficult seasons of your life
• NEVER GIVE UP!
• You are a blessing to someone!
• A leader must be close enough to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them
• He who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back to the audience
• Outstanding leaders appeal to the hearts of their followers, not their minds
• Praise the slightest and every improvement that someone makes (especially children)
• Sometimes we don’t know what we have until we lose it, but we also don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives
• Someone else’s doubts, should you let them interfere with your faith, can affect your receiving
• A true leader walks his/her talk
• Be sure that your feet are in the right place before you stand firm 
• Be the change that you want to see in the world
• Invest in yourself, it will pay you for the rest of your life
• Life is a big canvas. Throw all the paint you can on it!
• Today's might oak is just yesterday’s little acorn that held its ground
• Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none
• Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never flares and a touch that never hurts
• The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do
• Problems are life’s opportunities for growth
• There are only two ways to live your life, by fear or by Faith
• Pain forces you to look towards God for answers
• Don’t put a question mark where God has put a period
• Raise your children to be reflections of God
     Ma’at Seba is a motivational speaker and writer. Email her at Maatseba@yahoo.com. or call (313) 861-1118.  




OCTOBER 2017    
Mom on the Rebound

By D. L. Gibson
SUN LIFESTYLE COLUMNIST
   
    Oh no! Here we go again. Security ran over and grabbed Bishop, forcing him to release little brother deacon from his grasp.
     They threatened to call the police and to have Bishop locked up with Pastor Thug Life. The Lord must have sent an angel, because the Bishop suddenly calmed down.
     In a calm voice, he said, “Satan get behind me. You’re not going to bring me down today.”
  He insisted that he was okay and promised not to lay hands on the queens and little brother deacon. Reluctantly, security let go of his arms, but they stayed in the lobby to remain on stand-by.
     I was anxious to get back to the subject at hand, finding out how this down-low thing got started. One of the queens was telling how little brother deacon came to the club wearing his mother’s dress, pumps and wig, before security interrupted things. Sister girl and I were anxious to hear the rest of the story. We kept nudging each other in the side, prompting one of us to step up and bring the subject back up.
  I looked at sister girl and gave her the mean eye. I was already too deep into this. She knew that I had pictures of little brother deacon in his mother’s dress. Not only did we have pictures, we had video too. Bishop’s blood pressure would surely go up, if he saw everything. He had only seen a glimpse of what was going on at my home. I had the unedited video safely hidden. Only one other person had a copy – my trusted cousin.
     Five minutes had passed by and then 10. It seemed like an eternity of silence. We wanted something to happen to break the silence. The Lord must have been reading my mind. Suddenly, one of the queens, who had been in the back with Miss Hazelnut, walked into the lobby to give another update.
     “Child…Miss Hazelnut has awaken from the dead,” she said. “She is alert and is talking up a storm. I walked out of the room, when doctors were revealing her test results. I couldn’t stand to look at her, when they told her that she tested positive for AIDS. I wonder if she got it from the new guy at the club?”
     That was all that was needed to set it off. Bishop’s eyes perked up. Security quickly walked over near the Bishop, looking like they were ready to tackle him.
    He said out loud what sister girl and I was thinking, “Who’s the new guy? Is it (the crazy) deacon?”
     Little brother deacon acted as if he didn’t hear the question and stayed quiet and out of the reach of Bishop.
     Then, Bishop looked in the direction of the queen who was recalling their experiences at the club with the crazy deacon. She bowed her head, as if she was praying silently.
    “Who’s the new guy,” Bishop asked again. This time he said it louder, so that everyone in the lobby could hear.
     We all anxiously awaited the answer but were afraid of what hearing it could cause. Sister girl and I prepared ourselves for the worse. Oh God…who is it?
     Mom on the Rebound is based on actual events.   


OCTOBER 2017
Telford Telescope: 
Does the new DPSCD superintendent have a crucial blind spot?
By Dr. John Telford
SUN COLUMNIST
   On Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, longtime activist Helen Moore, knowledgeable DPSCD Board member LaMar Lemmons, and yours truly--DPS' pro bono Superintendent in 2012-2013 under state-imposed emergency financial mismanagement--all attended Free Press editor Stephen Henderson's televised interview of new DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti at City Covenant Church in Detroit's deeply impoverished Brightmoor subdivision.  
     Dr. Vitti was undoubtedly surprised that neither Ms. Moore nor Mr. Lemmons nor I asked him any questions at the end of the program. This was because some DPSCD students asked him the same question I had intended to ask--namely, "What is your plan to fix our most low-performing schools?" That question posed to him by the concerned youngsters gave Dr. Vitti a perfect opportunity to cite his upcoming and DPSCD Board-endorsed QWK2LRN pilot program that has the potential to thrust him and DPSCD into the national limelight as the saviors of urban public education. Curiously, he didn't cite that research-tested, field-proven, Detroit-based, African-American-owned program, nor did he state that he even has a coherent plan of any kind to fix those schools.  
     Recent Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather's Strategic Plan--like Superintendent Vitti's current similar one--didn't address the 65 Priority schools, either. Along with Third-Grade reading, those 65 Priority schools absolutely need to be Dr. Vitti's first academic hurdle. It is to be fervently hoped that he hasn't taken his eye off the ball in that regard, because if he has, that will be catastrophic for our kids and would play right into President Donald Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' corporate-collusive hands. Dr. Vitti will recall that when I first met him, I frankly informed him that the reason I had initially endorsed River Rouge Superintendent Derrick Coleman over him for the DPSCD Superintendency was because Dr. Vitti's Board President in Jacksonville had once asked for his resignation because she felt he was doing too little to fix his comparatively few low-performing schools there. Ours here in Detroit are far more numerous and far worse--below the first percentile, in fact--due to the past seventeen years of the unwarranted and ruinously incompetent state takeover. Dr.Vitti endorsed the DPSCD Board-anointed QWK2LRN agency's pilot program on my radio show on WCHB, and I praised him for doing so in this newspaper and on the air.  
    Folks familiar with my long experience and stature as an educator in and out of Detroit insist that I should feel insulted and bitter that Dr. Vitti has inexplicably broken his earlier promise to have this old man work at his side in a pro bono advisory role. I confess that I may therefore have been a bit hard on him in stridently lengthy emails to him and in other columns implying that the Board lady I mentioned in them (or perhaps someone less benign) is figuratively "wearing his pants"--which I still vehemently wish to believe isn't the case, and that he truly IS "his own man," as he attests. Dr. Vitti told me early-on that he was warned against using me. Those paranoid warners are precisely the very jackals that he as the lion must watch most warily. I now trust that we can put all these contentious implications aside, and that he will attend PRONTO to the crucial business of fixing our 65 Priority schools via the truly miraculous QWK2LRN program, which is so sure-fire certain it will be successful that it has committed to do its magic on a pay-only-for-success basis! QWK2LRN will soon negotiate to become the state's chosen reform engine. If Dr. Vitti doesn't get cracking fast on fixing those 65 Detroit schools, every single school in Detroit will be dismantled, sold, and chartered within the next three years, and any chance that Amazon will opt to bring its headquarters with thousands of jobs to Detroit will go kaput. Betsy DeVos will thus have won the day--not only in Detroit, but in every urban school throughout America.  
   A former international track star and the author of several Detroit-oriented books available on Amazon, Dr. John Telford can be contacted at (313)460-8272 or DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com. His website is www.AlifeontheRUN.com  




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