I wrote this piece for American College Personnel Association (ACPA)‘s annual conference, specifically for CultureFest. There are portions of this piece borrowed from my blog post, “On Being a ‘Bad Student’: Is Knowledge Really Power? so some of this might be familiar for my blog readers.

I wasn’t able to attend, but Jacki Mac, co-chair for ACPA’s Asian Pacific American Network, read it for me– and no doubt did one hell of a job. Lots of gratitude to you Jacki, and the Culturefest Committee team for all the incredible work put into the evening.

The theme was a  “A Demand for Justice.” For those who do justice-related work, it’s no secret that it is exhausting and can easily burn out incredible leaders, such as educators. And for those of us who carry marginalized identities, it is the everyday discrimination that takes a toll on our minds, spirits, and bodies. How can we sustain ourselves in this? How can we advocate for justice in the form of self-preservation? We must demand it.

“We need to talk about your lateness”
She said to me.

Another morning
Another prayer to White Jesus that
If I can just be on time
This one time 
I promise I’ll set all my clocks ahead 10 minutes.

I tried to explain…

Have you ever had a dream
That you were getting ready for the day?
This morning, I slept through my alarm
And had the most vivid dream about
Getting up,
Picking an outfit for the day,
Going to the bathroom,
And brushing my teeth.

This dream was so vivid
That the only reason I actually got up this morning
Was because I unintentionally spit all over myself
While brushing my teeth in Dream World.

Yes, I woke up like this.
Flawless?
Not so much.

I am tired.
I am spit-on-myself-to-wake-up-in-the-morning
Tired.

This is deeper than time management.

I woke up an optimist,
But she went back to sleep.

I wanted to change the world
and I took a nap instead.

As a social justice blah blah blah
When do I get to say
“I’m in recovery”?

Recovery, recovery.
Discovery.

Blood pressure rising,
Icy Hot heat
On the back of my neck
Stomach contracting when
They say I’m overreacting.

Is oppression covered under medical leave?

So today, I’m late.
I will meet you where you are
But I’m not taking you anywhere today.

This is deeper than time management.