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  • cmitmamomono submitted a contest entry to Group logo of Write a letter to your future selfWrite a letter to your future self 1 year ago

    Queen, Bring Your Wand. Make Wonders.

    Dear Queen,

    I know now you are struggling. Life has been kind but also it there have been furious storms recently. I know even as I use the word Queen you are unsure that you should accept this word yet your head bobs up like a kid swimming in the summer lake with full life jacket regalia on- you are not giving up, you are floating and trying to find the right time to make your big splash and swim through the deeper waters on your own, so you accept Queen. Queen, you got this.

    So much has happened these past few years. You have applied for the same job three times because it’s the next step in your career to be tenured as an educator in higher education. You have failed to get the job each time even though you are a huge contributor to the program. The last time it ripped a part of your heart and you’ve spent the year repairing and patching it up again. Rejection again and again can be like a ton of concrete on your heart. It’s heavy. However, you’ve moved it and are repairing. You’ve been able to do some of this work through reflection, through processing grief, and you’ve done some of the healing by being near family, friends, and a good therapist. You’ve done healing through nature walks, where trees let you stop and lean on them and where fields are covered in big skies of cumulus clouds and sunshine to warm you and allow you to continue to dream.

    Now, you’re facing this again: a new tenure position application. You are still in your teaching job because you love the definition of what you do, you are engaged as a teacher because you love connection and empowerment, and it is a way to arise above limited systems while existing in a system. The power of teaching is an art. No one can just steal that passion and love from you. You have heard from another friend being a revolutionary in these modern times is to work in systems and create anew. You know this has been history. You swallow the truth. You look to your past indigenous ancestors, you look up to other heroes -Black and Brown and Indigenous sisters and brothers, white allies, women sisters, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual, trans lives – all of those who have been shut down but still rise. Those who have been pushed down but get up and smile more. Struggling, and walking forward is the way – being in safe spaces with support of your loved ones, those who believe in you and where you can keep carrying your light forward. Be in those safe places to not have to fight to stand but to be cherished and delighted in so when you do go to more controversial spaces you have your light to get you through, your stamina still comes from love, your perseverance still pushes you to new places. Do not hold your self-worth to one position.

    This tenure: you have applied for. You’ve been here. There are a few dragons up top that you do not get along with, but you’ve learned how to navigate better near the dragons. Maintain some positive affirmations: “I am excited to interview.” “I deserve this” “My self-worth is not attached to this position.”
    Many good teachers deserve a shot. The demands of economic security are higher than the positions available on higher ed campuses. Higher education needs a renovation, they need to take care of their teachers – they are failing here, you know this. The majority of adjuncts know this. The students also know this. Quality has been replaced by a factory belt of outcomes. It is all unfair. People are barely able to meet their basic needs –greed is winning. Hope is only in light and innovation.

    Queen, you WILL get through this. Do NOT let FEAR win. Hold your head high. Teach. Go forward.
    Carry your torch. Carry your truth. Your people are standing strong with you. This position is a small. If you do not get it, you will still carry your light. You will still create paths to uplift. You are a creator because you are a Queen.
    Go on, Queen, you got this.
    Bring your wand.
    Make wonders.

    Love,

    Christina Mitma Momono

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    • Christina, you will get through this! These types of things are so political and not a reflection of your abilities or the difference you are making in your students’ lives. Keep pushing. I know you will completely shatter any ceiling that anyone tries to place upon you. You are right, you are a Queen. Never lose sight of the fact that you are making a difference in people’s lives, and you are great at what you do! Never let someone else’s opinion impact the way you view yourself. You have so much greatness inside of you. I believe in you. You will find a way, and I can’t wait to see it happen. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for being a part of our family! <3 Lauren

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      • I wanted to say thank you so much for your kind words. I did end up getting the tenure this round. This letter was a part of my journey. The beauty here is we work to better our communities and the spaces we live in. I also will be mindful of areas to continue to engage in educational spaces to make them more equitable. I know this is a balance and politics can definitely play a role. The dance of life. It’s also about learning to find that internal strength to define oneself and value one’s own worth independent of others.

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        • CONGRATULATIONS ON TENURE!!!! That is amazing! You are right life is quite the dance. And I couldn’t agree with you more – staying connected to your values, your truth, your strength and who you are is what it is all about! Congrats again! I am so happy for you!

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