Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Black girls DO play chess.

So I mentioned last year when we moved to a predominately Black county in Metro DC last year, that one of the reasons was because I wanted my daughter to have more interactions with Black folks who are like our family. And so far, I've been more than pleased though I'll NEVER understand why folks in this county settle for average to below average public schools. Actually, I do understand it on one level as it was explicated to me by a man who works in Ed Admin in this county. And let's just say that when Black folks talk about "educational conspiracies" created to keep us down, there's some legitimacy to that sentiment.

Anyhoo, after I removed my daughter from Orchestra a couple months ago due to some racial bullsh*t that after 3 years, I had tired of seeing her deal with, she was told to choose another activity. Well one of the activities she'd wanted to participate in was chess club, but her school didn't have one. So I was thrilled when I learned there was one not 5 minutes from our home.

The photo in this post is her playing one of the leaders of the club, so on her very first day participating, she was playing one of the best players they have. And by best, I mean he's a nationally ranked chess player. Yeah. But what I was VERY surprised to see was that there's only 2 other minority women in the club, so my goal of getting her around minority girls her age has not been as successful as I would have liked. Now I understand that most of the things she's interested in don't have a lot of Black participation, but I though for sure that wouldn't be the case with a chess club in a majority Black county. Oh well!

Speaking of my kid, I'd been stumped for the last 2 days on ONE physics problem in translational motion, which has been since 1986, the bane of my physics existence! Well not anymore, in 2 mins my kid with the 98% average in Physics over the entire school year was able to quite easily explain to me the following: 1) When doing problems involving free fall, acceleration is ALWAYS negative and 2) I'm supposed to use equations for the Y axis NOT X axis on these problems because I'm looking at vertical movement, NOT horizontal movement. Now I get that this are NOT difficult concepts to learn/understand/practice. But this is a GREAT example of just how damaging "mental blocks" about certain problems can make you feel dumb as rocks. The "translational motion" issue is one I've held for 30 freaking years and that is simply ridiculous! In the past, I was always bailed out in the PS section on the MCAT because of my Chemistry background, but when I became an MCAT tutor, I realized that I was going to have to FINALLY let that "crutch" go. And with my new found test taking strategies and an in home Physics tutor, I finally hope to do just that!!

Finally, I've started thinking about the MCAT stat that in my score range, the chances of my score decreasing is HIGHER than the chances of increasing my score, and that's kinda worrisome. Then I remind myself, that the statistical chances of me improving my score from where I started to where I ended when I last took in in 2011, was 0.00001 percent. And I mention this to my readers who may be concerned about being able to raise your score, the fact is that you SHOULD be concerned. But don't confuse concern, with defeat, do whatever you have to do to get that score up!! And I'll continue to contribute tips that helped me do the same. And with that, bring it on, 'cause imma be ready on September 12, 2013!


  1. Your daughter sounds adorable. Best wishes on your MCAT! The chess club sounds great!

    1. Thank you, she's great and I'm not just saying that because I'm her Mom!