Quincy Jones & Those in the Music Room

IMG_1115The younger children did not go everywhere on Campus but one place I let them explore was the Music Room. With names like Quincy Jones, Melody, and Dominic, I had to bring them around the piano and drums.

When we got there, they fell right into their zone. While Quincy Jones was playing the drums the rest of them were banging keys on the  baby grand.

Then they switched.

When I told them it was time to go, they all placed fingers over their mouths, and creeped out of the music room in one straight line.

Then, Dominic stopped and said,  wait, where are the teachers?

Shhh! We can’t disturb the students, another one whispered back!!

Meanwhile, they all looked at me with curious eyes, beginning to wonder about the same thing. I kept my eyes straight and crept them back outside. To which they forgot to ask for the the teachers again.

Mary Mitchell at Fordham University


Here we are! We are sitting on the steps where I  was given my college diploma a couple of years ago.

Almost the entire after school program, staff and children, left the center to tour Fordham’s lovely campus. The children were E-C-S-T-A-T-I-C.

The older children wanted to know if it was going to be a fun trip and the young kids just wanted to play. I was worried something crazy was going to happen but when we got there, everything worked out for the good.

Two Fordham students (and Mary Mitchell volunteers), Erin and Nia, met us at the main gate.  We split the children into groups by age.

They trekked all over campus. The pool, the library, the church, the cafe, the music room, the basketball court, the baseball field, Eddie’s parade, and finally the dorms.

Every where they went, they were mesmerized by the college life. The students, the band practicing, the ‘big buff guy playing frisbee’ , ‘the girl with the Pumas’, the art on the wall, the grass and trees, the flags, the banners, the lights, the long hallways, the water fountains, the kitchen area, even the bushes.

And, Fordham’s lovely students embraced them.

The older kids walked away saying, I played frisbee with the college students!! The girls are nice, they taught me how to do splits and flips!!

The younger kids walked away saying, I was a whale on the lawn and got to gobble up everything then, I went into the castle and drank water from the water fountain!

I walked away simply exhausted.

At the end of the trip, everyone declared that they wanted to go to college.  Even staff wanted to attend Fordham.

Commencement 109 & New Meaning



I am a believer in numbers and I pay attention to blessings and omens.

I listen to speeches given by great men and women.

I may not know what things mean as they are happening but as life goes on,

the puzzle pieces connect smoothly.

On the 24th of May this year I graduated from The College of New Rochelle with my Masters of Science in Education.

The commencement speaker was ABC news anchor, Robin Roberts. The same person I met at Fordham University in 2009  a few months before I graduated from there. Listening to the same person give a speech during important moments in my life, meant something to me and still means something even though I am not exactly sure.

Never forget the feeling that you are feeling right now,she told the 109th graduation class.  The auditorium was quite but I could feel excitement in my bones. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t cry. I kept thinking about my parents and the many roads I’ve traveled and still was traveling.

She continued, Proximity is power, you can wish, hope and pray all you want but you have to put yourself in the position to go forward…Put yourself in the position for good things to happen to you…dream big and focus small. She found ways to weave her personal testimony throughout her speech allowing the graduates and their families to connect to her even though she was high on a pedestal. She spoke of her parents and the hard road they had to travel growing up in an unkind south.

When fear knocks and it will, let faith answer the door! Never question or doubt God’s plans for you, even when you can’t see his hand. 

She concluded her speech and was given her honoree degree.

The graduates were given their degrees.

All went home with new meaning.