Getting Schooled

Getting Schooled
Photo by Oliver Hale / Unsplash

We've got back to school season on our minds. In this edition of Sassy, we introduce you to grown up lunchables, celebrate Abbott Elementary's big Emmy wins and discuss all things school supplies. Enjoy!  

School Supplies Season

Cramping My Style by Jenny Booth Potter

My kids are just wrapping up their first month of school. They are currently both home sick, lying on the couch surrounded by tissues. My kindergardner claimed when his nose first started to run at school that the classroom didn’t contain any tissues, so he wasn’t sure what to do. “No, that’s not true,” I responded as I drove him to school yesterday morning. “It was on the school supply list that the parents and other grown ups were responsible for bringing to school at Meet the Teacher.” My mind flashed back to the classroom; a short faux wood table covered with play doh, plastic sandwich bags, paper towels, and of course, tissues.

I am more than happy (and able) to contribute to shared classroom supplies for school. I believe in public goods and public education and want my tax dollars to be put towards equitable education. So this isn’t a gripe with back to school supplies. It’s a gripe with what we as a society pay abundantly for and what we leave up to “backpack drives” and “schoolsupply bake sales.” Even those aren't enough to cover the classroom costs.

“Nationwide, teachers will spend about $3 billion of their own money this year, an average of $820 per teacher," My eLearning World reported. Teachers are spending their own money on software, decor, and filling in the gaps families who can’t afford back to school supplies (it ain’t cheap - for two kids we spent over $100).

So if parents and teachers are paying for supplies, guess who isn’t. The government. Now if budgets are moral documents, what does it say about our morals that we, as a nation, spend so little on our children? Not anything good.

Abbott Elementary's Honor Roll Win

The Flo(w) by Stephanie McBee

Class was in session at the 74th Emmy Awards Monday night, and like most students I was in attendance for only one reason: To See My People. Black Excellence was in full affect at the Emmys with Kenan Thompson hosting and celebrating 30 years working in television, along with appearances from Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, and Lizzo just to name a few of the melanin royalty present.

Let’s be honest, if you’re a person of color, every year you’re looking at the roster of nominees in each category and you’re sending up a silent prayer for them to join the ranks of the Academy winners. And this year, as the names wereread for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, I knew it was OUR year. It had been 35 years since a Black woman has won in this category, until Sheryl Lee Ralph scored big, taking home the award.

I will forever hear her voice yelling out of the Apartment window down at Ms. Lauryn Hill in the hit classic, Sister Act II saying “Rita Louise Watson…. get your behind in this house.” But it’s about time this industry put some RESPECT on Sheryl’s name and credits. She was one of the original Dream Girls, Moesha’s stepmom, and dozens of other rolls before becoming the beloved Ms. Barbara Howard of ABC’s Abbott Elementary, the role which sealed her Emmy win. Sheryl Lee Ralph deserves ALL her flowers.

In her moment of recognition…after decades of working and finally getting Hollywood to take notice, Sheryl decided she’s done being relegated to the margins. Our legend captivated the entire audience. She left everyone spellbound during her acceptance speech, giving us a lesson in grace, gratitude, and gravitas. Maybe it was the way she was in total and complete shock at hearing her name called. Maybe it was the way Quinta Brunson and Tyler James Williams supported her and escorted her to the stage. Maybe it was the standing ovation. Or just maybe it was the way she belted out the lyrics to Dianne Reeves’ rendition of “Endangered Species” as the first words that came out of her mouth as she overlooked the audience of the Hollywood Elite. Sheryl Lee Ralph’s pure and audacious joy was indeed the moment of the night, closely followed by Quinta Brunson who also took home an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Last night’s wins for these actresses has Abbott Elementary fans primed to head back to school for the premiere of the hit show’s sophomore year, which is promised to be even bigger and better than their acclaimed freshman year. I, for one, can’t wait to see the Abbott faculty and staff continue to win!

Pregnant Pause

by Brooke Campbell

We are the locksmiths of our evolution.

She's Gotta Have It

by Austin Channing Brown

Even before I became a mom, I loved back to school season. I’m a big fan of markers and post its and index cards and highlighters and pens and white out and push pins and planners and notebooks… I love it all. Lets be honest- office supplies are just grown up versions of school supplies. Something about these items makes me feel like anything is possible. Just maybe I could create something beautiful.

Notebook Journal from Morgan Harper Nichols

So I have to share with you this gorgeous notebook/journal from Morgan Harper Nichols. I found it while walking through my local Target a couple weeks ago. The cover is beautiful and her words (no matter where you find them- artwork, books, her app) are always so calming, so filled with hope. On the cover you can see a gold streak and I love that when I run my fingers over it, there is just a hint of texture. It feels intentional, special.

Grown Ups Need a Lunchable Too

Cravings by Jenny Booth Potter

Sometimes when I make my kids lunch, I get envious of the little compartments I’m tasked with filling. It reminds me of the days when my mom was too busy to make my lunch and I got to bring a lunchable to school. The excitement! The processed meat! The salty cheese! I don't long for those particular ingredients anymore but I am still drawn to the idea.

Here’s what I’m filling my bento box with as a grown up:

-Hardboiled egg covered in flaky salt and fresh pepper
-Olives and Olive Oil with crusty bread
-Green Grapes
-Salty cheese (well… some things never change)
-Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (ahhhhhhh to not be worried about nut allergies)


by Brooke Campbell

Speaking of being a grown up... women are constantly judged for the ways our bodies change with age. But apparently our bodies are making room for more pleasure as we age- not less. Did you know the clitoris grows with age and menopause? It can grow to be up to seven times the size it was when you were born, and its only function is pleasure. -Lily Puckett, 8 Fascinating Things You Didnt Know About the Clitoris, Teen Vogue