In 2021, there are bridges to gap!
There is the gap between generations.
There is the gap between men and women.
There is the gap between the church and state.
There is the gap between the academy and the community.
There is the gap between the haves and have nots on so many levels.
There is the gap between the brick wall or the glass ceiling and success.
There is the gap between the cultured and the uncultured, whatever that may mean.
My response to Andromeda Turre who asked me what it means to be a woman in jazz.
Being a woman in jazz is the crux of my existence. 70 years ago, I sang Somebody Loves Me, onstage. The footlights mesmerized me. But the music captured my heart. In my later years, promoting women musicians, globally, is my mission for Women in Jazz South Florida, Inc. Visit us at www.wijsf.org
2020 left the world in turmoil. Our health, safety, and sanity are in jeopardy. What does 2021 promise?
It is February 24, 2021. I am watching the documentary TIME OF THE SIXTH SUN. This film has me wondering when white people will awaken to the reality of a multi-dimensional, multi-cultural world where they are not nor have they ever been a majority.
You work all your life to fulfill your purpose. You put in hours to learn your craft, instrument, or discipline. You grow older and retire from your profession, and you wonder, “Who really cares?”
Then, you meet a group of women who recognize your accomplishments. That makes it all worth it. The group of women who hold me in high esteem, and I them, is the National League of American Pen Women. I was inducted into the Boca Raton, Florida, branch by Sheila Firestone.
In 2019, Virginia Franklin Campbell submitted this article about me to the NLAPW Magazine. http://www.nlapw.org/legends-joan-cartwright/
I am honored and humbled by the appreciation shown to me by these talented authors, artists, and musicians.
Then, in 2020, Charlene Farrington, Director of Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, chose to exhibit my collection of jazz artwork from September through February 2021. Ah, in the middle of a pandemic, there is a slice of light!
See some of the art and my story about the art collection at these links:
In my Speech Communication class, one student discussed urban gardens and the benefits to our communities, children, and health. Urban gardening is not well-known but many of us live in parts of the city where there is little access to natural, fresh, and nutritional fruits and vegetables.
As a group-based, common occupation, gardening may provide a complementary approach in stroke rehabilitation” (Patil, et al, 2019, p. 17). “The traditional herbal medicine is a shield that acts as a weapon against the attack of any kind of virus. In India, the coronavirus infection does not impact much as compared to western countries” (Shendarkar, 2016).
We see a world where we, the people, no longer buy into the lie that the booksellers have been handing us about providing us with what we’re wanting to read – because we’ve now realized, beyond all doubt, that they’ve been providing us with what they want us to read in order to satisfy their own self-serving purposes.
Thus, we see a world where bookstores have changed their priorities entirely, so that now when you walk into a bookstore, the books which are most likely to bring you happiness and fulfillment are displayed prominently in the front of the store – while the books which were written solely for the purpose of frightening you or lining the author’s pockets are relegated to the obscure shelves in the back of the store.
We also see children’s books, now, written and distributed so that the child’s highest and best interests are served; and where the subject matter of these books is meant, not to subtly encourage our children to become better consumers, conformers, or soldiers, but to encourage them to be more resourceful, creative, and free-thinking people.
And finally, we see a world where authors, publishers, and booksellers alike have all moved away from praising and offering us stark tragedies. Now they have lightened up and filled the shelves with books that are meant to help us, books that warm our hearts, and books that have happy endings.
Before fortune, there is family. Mine is small. All of my grandparents and both of my parents are angels. I have one brother. My two children gave me five grandchildren. Michael (56) has Maelle (23) and Sophia (13). Mimi (54) has Robert (37), Anthony (34), and Vernechia (31). Robert has Jayvian (16) and Zyan (7), and Anthony has Jayli (4) and Aiden (1).
When we think of fortune, we think of massive wealth, treasure hunts, gold mines, and fantastic hordes of gems and jewels. But this year, my idea of fortune is how I am feeling right now, today. Yesterday, I submitted final grades for my four classes of Speech Communication with 110 students. Also, I completed editing my roomie’s book on graceful aging.
Today, I feel accomplished, relieved, and euphoric that, during a pandemic, I am still earning a living by doing what I love. I enjoy teaching young people how to communicate impactfully. In my classes, people age 16 to 50 learn three things:
- Critical thinking
- Critical listening
- Outlining and References in APA Style
Now, that looks like a shortlist for a college course. But ask my students if it is that simple. They will tell you it is not.
So, I’m feeling accomplished because I managed to pull 90% of my students through the switch to online learning, once the lockdown caused our school to close. Of 110 students, seven dropped the course before the lockdown. Nine failed the course because they gave up due to technical difficulties. Perhaps, they did not have a computer or laptop. They may not have WiFi or an internet connection. They could have children at home and not be able to concentrate on schoolwork. There are a plethora of reasons why 16 students did not get through my Speech Communication course.
On the bright side, of the 94 students who made it through, there were:
- 44 As or 40%
- 28 Bs or 25%
- 14 Cs or 18%
- 8 Ds or 7%
- 10% of my 110 students this semester either dropped before or after the lockdown
I am off for 18 days. I will teach this course over the summer in three classes. Two are 12 weeks and one is six weeks. My challenge is to revert back to my lesson plans for shorter courses since the Fall and Spring terms were 16 weeks long. The fortune is that I taught this class in ONE month at three other schools. So, my real goal is to relax and enjoy my time off.