The other day I found myself on FB on a group page reading answers to the question “what do you do for entertainment while Dashing?” And like those old tv shows where the daydream music wafts through the air and the character gets all glazie-eyed my memories drifted back to 2018… Back to the days before I busted up my 13-yr common law marriage… Back to South Street and Atlantic Avenue where it all began — I mean ended… I mean went sideways…

Before I knew it, I was feverishly typing in my response.

Flirt with the fine restaurant owners…

Student Interviewer: You’re a published author, an internationally read blogger, a one-time independent filmmaker, screenwriter, world traveler, and now YouTube influencer, business-owner and 54-yr-old mother of 2 young boys. What were some “Rules” about gender that you were taught and/or live by?

Me: Girls wear dresses; boys don’t

Growing up I went to a private school. We wore uniforms. I remember the pleated skirt, knee-socks and white button-down blouses the girls wore, with the rounded collars. Boys wore white button-down shirts, too, but theirs buttoned on the opposite side and their collars were pointy. They wore slacks. We girls could…

As a workplace influencer, under my company name Admin On-the-Go, LinkedIn asked me to weigh in on the issue of workplace loneliness. I thought I’d share my contribution here on Medium. I don’t think I knew that folks were experiencing this, since I erroneously believed everyone’s just out there having a ball collecting paychecks and shopping on Amazon from their desks. So here goes…

The Tried… the True… the Revolutionary. 6 ways to combat loneliness at work:

Nobody knew better than Silicon Valley just how much the twenty-first century worker 1) would be needed at the job… 2) would feel…

You might assume that graduating is every student’s no-duh conclusion after 12 years of early rises, sketchy breakfasts, hasty hygiene and barely escaped tidal waves of tardies. But as a classroom teacher, an educator for over twenty years, a student, myself, for 18 cumulative years, and now as a mom, depending on the student, the household, the educational system, the political climate, and the times, it’s no given. For Black boys in particular, that polyester cap and gown may as well be a suit of armor during the Crusades as much as it now signifies the Dear-God-I-made-it-out-of-there-ness of making it…

by Pamela Francis

She’s brown. Just like me

She’s beautiful. Just like me

She’s well-traveled. Just like me

She’s an educator. Just like me

She’s an entrepreneur mom. Just like me

She appears to keep it real — as in her hair. Just like me.

She lives in Atlanta. I did that.

She purportedly makes $10,000 a month in online teaching revenue.

And there is where the similarities end. For now…

Teacher Jade came across my screen the way so many other discoveries do: a GOOGLE headline. She was being touted as the $10,000-a-month-maker teacher on Outschool, an online teaching…

by Pamela Francis

Right out the gate I don’t mind telling you that “the mom” is me. Yours truly. I hate school. I hate how its overbearing “mandatoriness” runs our lives; I hate how it insinuates itself into our children’s developmental thought patterns and behavioral expectancies. I hate how it tells us — grownups! — what to do! When to go to bed. When to get up. How to dress. What to consider important. What to believe is true.

How can that be, you ask… How can a mom, an educator, an advocate of learning hate school? It’s easy. And your kids hate…

Things Moms Can Do to Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse, the Alien Invasion, and all other End of the World scenarios by Pamela Francis

Maybe things start with the movies…, or maybe they start in real life and the movies simply project preliminary plausibilities out to us all so we won’t be terribly surprised or upset when the horrors actually do manifest…, but either way, there’s a chance there WILL be a) a zombie apocalypse, b) an alien invasion, and/or c) some end-of-the-world cataclysm involving the loss of data and the malfunctionality of all things technological.

I remember leaving the country in 1999 in preparation for the much-feared, slash anticipated, Y2K calamity we’d all been promised would take place that year. I arranged to be on an island off the coast of South America from December 7 thru January 10 just to give it a wide berth, because, hey, “I’m too important to be captured” and my Madam Yes sensibilities had told me to find somewhere fun and sexy to be while the rest of the unfortunate yahoos figured it out. Get it…? Unfortunate Yahoos…? Anyway…

Since then I have come to realize that Y2K fantasies of worldwide data bases being wiped out (and my $90,000 student loan debt vanishing into thin air never to be brought up again) would likely never take place. And even the triumphant return of the Messiah, advertised and promoted for some 2,000 years, could turn out to be a cancelled event. After all, “stakeholders”, a.k.a. “the Ruling Class”, a.k.a. “the 1%”, a.k.a. “them rich mickey-fickeys” were still out there digging up ground, laying down foundations, and building new shyte everywhere I turned, so how could the world be coming to an end if Operation Gentrification America, et. al were still erecting fabulous structures poor people and Blacks aren’t welcomed in…, I reasoned.

So, yeah. No true end of the world seemed feasible.

Still, like I was saying in the beginning, I got to ruminating again in chicken and the egg fashion about whether cataclysmic events happen AFTER the movies are made about them, or just preceding. If uncomfortable realities are already in the making, and Hollywood’s REAL job is to help us wrap our heads around them by selling us tickets and popcorn to the previews of it…, then that would mean —

{you can check out now and I won’t be insulted. This is, after all, a rumination LOL}

…that would mean… that if there IS a Zombie Apocalypse in the works, it won’t be because there’s an actual Zombie species somewhere out there watching World War Z and taking notes, rather, the creators of World War Z wanted to give us a different way to look at the meth addict, slash homelessness, epidemic that would make us feel oddly cast in such a production every time we walked outside our doors and stumbled into any number of beleaguered neighborhoods where once only bus stops and freeway overpasses stood.

So here’s what I want to impart to moms. If there’s gonna be an alien invasion, it’s gonna happen while our kids are in a youtube induced stupor. Yeah, mamas, aliens will be able to take over this society without so much as lifting a spiny dendrite because our offspring will be too busy watching DanTDM. Sad Face emoji.

And the way I’ve come to look at it, the tented homeless who now line the streets of L.A. (wow. can’t seem to escape this. it used to be Times Square when I was a kid.) are really what I call The First Responders of the Apocalypse™. They are the ones pioneering a “successful” existence void of electricity, running water, or brick-and-mortar housing. They are the ones who will show us how to live without an Amazon Firestick or a Sleep Number bed.

Our job as moms…, the way we can help…, is to…

Top 5 list, please…

1. Dial back on the surfing/acting/coding camps this summer, and enroll your kids in a good old fashioned handwriting class. When all the keyboards and touch screens go, they’re gonna need to know how to hold a writing implement again some day.

2. Put your kids to work getting your family’s personal data backed up on paper in handwritten notes using skills sharpened in aforementioned handwriting classes. I know none of you can recite anyone’s actual telephone number from your contacts list, and so I’m fairly certain your kids don’t know their addresses, their socials, or how to get to Dear Aunt Sally’s house on foot, either.

3. Take your kids on a field trip to neighborhoods where the population is now officially living outdoors. Now I don’t know where all those people went who used to live on Manhattan’s streets before Guiliani got a hold of them, but that would make a great research project titled: “Where did all those people who used to live outside Port Authority go?”

4. –WAIT!!

I just figured it out. They’re the zombies…!

I grew up in NY in the 1970s (as I’m fond of relating) and I can tell you that the only “bonfires” we experienced were the fiery flames of the 5-story tenement buildings that flanked the brick, monolithic, 21-story structures of the housing projects in which my family lived. Those rat and roach-infested tinderboxes (the tenements, not the pjs) went up in a conflagration of bright orange every week, it seemed, until eventually nothing remained but a row of abandoned, charred and blackened environmental health hazards. …

It’s Thanksgiving again and even though we are supposed to be staying put and not super-spreading Corona all over the country, invitations to Thanksgiving dinner are still being bandied about. So far this year I got 1 invite. People know that I move around a lot and they probably aren’t sure where in the country I currently am, or so I tell myself to dull the pain of rejection and exclusion I always feel when I look up and realize no one’s begging me to come see them for the holidays.

But my 1 invite so far is from one of my seven brothers and sisters. The youngest one, as a matter of fact. Imagine that. I have three adult sisters (45, 40, and 34), and four adult brothers (49, whatever age Dorian is, whatever age Derek is, and 34). Notice the two 34-yr olds. They are twins.

So my 34-yr old brother is the one who told me where Thanksgiving is being held this year. It’s at his twin’s new house. I can’t trip. I was invited to come out for the Memorial Day weekend festivities but I had a handful of good excuses, not the least of which was “we’re in a pandemic. Households are not supposed to mix.” Now I love me some Kardashian-Jenners and — embarrassingly enough — I model a lot of my behaviors after them, but mixing households this year was not one I was willing to go out on a covid limb and do. So I got on DUO (that’s FaceTime for Android users. Don’t hate, ok? That rose gold Samsung flip-phone is looking pretty tasty in those “I see you lookin’ / watch what I do” commercials that have my head snapping to every time I hear it.) I got on DUO and toasted a mimosa from my mom’s gazebo, 3 hours’ drive from Bamberg, where Operation Memorial Day cookout was going down.

I couldn’t go. I have asthma…, I have 2 kids…, my mom’s immuno-compromised…, we are staying with her indefinitely…, I was still driving around in South Carolina on Callie license plates and April 2020 tags… while cops of every racial hue were kneeling on the necks of anything Black they could find. I could not go. But that didn’t mean I didn’t really really want to. I did. I love my siblings. All of them. I am the oldest. And yet, by virtue of the fact that none of them share both the same Mom AND Dad with me, I am an only child.

Let’s go over that again. I share the same mom with 2 of them, and the same dad with 5 of them, but none of us share the same mom AND dad, so therefore, I am, technically, an only child. And it’s a lonely, tricky place to be at times. I try to be the big sis, the oldest… the trail blazer. And then I get the feeling that those days are gone, lady. Nobody cares. Everyone is deeply entrenched in their own identities and those identities aren’t dosie-do’ing their partners. Even my use of the phrase “dosie-do your partners” makes it clear to me why I feel so alone. It’s because I am. I skew towards the corny side, and I was an English Lit major in the 80’s. I am literally my own brand, and my siblings don’t shop at the Pam store. Unless I send out a text that has a query in it, {let’s try it out: text to Dana: “How old are Derek and Dorian?”} it’s crickets.

How did this happen?

Paragraph 1, line 5: “people know that I move around a lot”.

My brothers and sisters can all say they’ve lived where they’re living for the last decade straight. Not me. I’ve had roughly 13 mailing addresses in 10 years. I am holding in self-laughter just typing this. I have had THIRTEEN mailing addresses in 10 years’ time. I can’t even go on. I thought you could be a wandering spirit and still get some love in these days and times of the digital nomad… the lifestyle entrepreneur… the globetrotting passive income aficionado… but I can truly say that the main reason I probably don’t have a close relationship with my siblings is because I don’t live close, I don’t stay put, and frankly, I don’t intend to.

This just in: Derek is 39. Dorian is 42.

Pamela Francis

Owner, Personal Touch Creations Studio (; featured blogger for

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