Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Times of Change


Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 12) This has been quite a day. There is a rumor that Veronica is pregnant. God, I cried. And I am so hurt and worried for her that I could hardly think straight. I am still shaking. I wish it were not true. God and Blessed Mary, please make it not true, please!

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 13) Tom took me to the State Fair. It was very, very nice, and we had a lot of fun. I’ll never forget my ride with him in the Horror House. I’m not surprised I didn’t push him out of the car. It was really something. Great time! Then, we went to some of the jewelry stands and took a look at something for Tom’s mom. He bought her a gift. Then, as we continued to look at items, Tom bought me a ring that had my birthstone! No, it was not expensive but it means so much to me. Thank You, God.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 14) You know that while I was in grade school, I was disliked by some because of my academic abilities. I was never elected to offices and, sometimes, heckled. But, now, my years at my high school are so very different just as Mums said it would be. I have been elected as secretary of my class and secretary of the Human Relations Club. Plus, I have been elected as secretary of a city-wide teen human relations organization. This really makes me feel good. And I am really enjoying my years at my high school. 

Reflections: I have one friend who always says: “The more things change the more they stay the same.” Yes, young teens continue to become pregnant. However, I recall that when this occurred to a person whom I really cared about, I really was hurt. I felt hurt that I had to find this out via a rumor. Of course, as I noted in a previous installment, we began to lose our closeness. Her choices of friends just did not fit with me. Still, I liked her. And to this day I do wonder what became of her.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: The Jealous Boyfriend

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 9) Tom is so jealous. I am yakking about Redd Fox. My guy friend, just a buddy, said he is going to buy the album and will let me hear it. Tom grows cold on the tele and says, “All right, All right” in a snappy way. God, that is what I am worried about. I am worried that he will become insanely jealous. I have seen him get ticked when I am just talking to a guy or if I mention a conversation I have had with a dude in my drama class, etc. A too jealous husband can be a pain, also. Well, I just hope and pray for the best. I know he loves me very much and I him. Tom is a good person. I know he will be a good husband and father. I guess every man has his faults. Jealousy is his. I want him.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 10) My day has been grand! Tom and I went downtown and visited some of the sights. We went to Plum Street. Tom bought me a large sucker. We, then walked down to Cobo Hall, and then, he brought me home. Oh Lord, I love him. Please, please, please let me marry him eight or nine years from now. Also, please help me to remain a lady. Let him and me finish our education. Please let him be different from what my Mummy says men are and from what I have observed them to be in general. I hope I will be the woman to give birth to his children.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: The Proposal

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 5) Tom officially asked me to marry him and I accepted. IF (and I hope and pray) we love each other as we do and even deeper 9 years from now, we shall marry. We saw the movie, To Sir With Love, and we ate dinner and we went to our special place. It was there on the staircase he asked me. God it was a good feeling that surged inside of me. I hope that I do marry him. My day was perfect. Tom talked to me a little more about his life. I am finding out more about him. I love him, Sir. I hope he truly loves me. Thank You for the marvelous day!

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 6) I need to tell you about another very special guy in my life, my “play-brother” Dion. I reflect on how much had meant to me. I always wanted a big brother; he became that person in my life. I recall when he and his mother visited my home. We had so much fun. We talked about everything. Thank You, God for sending him to me. Before he and his mom left, he kissed me on the cheek. I’ll remember that big brother kiss forever.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: What's Wrong With Mums?

Dear Diary
Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 2) I am experiencing a hard time. Mums is constantly shouting at me and insinuating nasty things about me. I don’t know why. If not for Tom, I would not be able to undergo this. Today, I shared with him my situation. We talked and talked, and I cried. I love him, God. Please let me love him forever. Please!

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 3) Today is Tom’s birthday. Super!  I got him a card.

Now, regarding Mums, today is worse than yesterday. I feel I cannot talk to Mums. I don’t know what to do. Please help me!

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 4) I got everything straightened out (practically) with Mums yesterday. Thank You!

Reflections: Well, as you can see everything was not always rosy between my mother and me. I guess this is the period when mother and daughter will have their conflicts. It was especially hard for me since I was so very close to her. And I just could not figure out why seemed so angry with me. I did everything in my power to be the good daughter. And her making nasty insinuations about my first love, Tom, and me just was not justified, even when I look back, not one of them was. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: First Love

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Now, At Age 17—Day 1) As you know I began this diary at age 13. Now, it is time to move this diary along four years. I believe I have given enough information about my early years. Now, let me move to one of the major joys of just about every teen’s life—a first love.

As for me I was the late bloomer in the love world. My focus was school, school, and school. I was active in high school in the drama club, human relations club, the Latin club, the National Honor Society, and the Blessed Mother club. Yes, I went to a Catholic high school. And outside of school, I studied drama at an institute of arts. And I was so very committed to my studies. However, as I began my junior year, I recognized that there was more to life than my studies and being a member of clubs and focusing on drama. 

I recall saying to my Mother, “Mommy, will anyone ever like me??”

My Mother assured me, “Yes, Pumpkin, just be patient. Keep in mind that if you start something fast, you end it fast. Your time will come.”

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Big Mommy

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day 21) Big Mommy is here. I’m so happy. Haven’t seen her in 8-1/2 years. Thank You!

Dear Bishop (Day 22) Big Mommy bought my swimming suit. Real nice! Thank you, God.

Reflections: There is something very special about grandparents. In my case, it was my two very special grandmothers, Grandma Mary and Big Mommy. I would see Grandma Mary more than Big Mommy because she lived in Detroit. Big Mommy lived in Macon, GA. As you can see, we did not visit much. 8-1/2 years is a long time.

Still, she did call. And I can tell you that timeline did not affect our relationship one bit. The minute she stepped off that Greyhound bus with her smile, lovely blue outfit, and silver dangling earrings, it was if I had just seen her the day before. And, boy, could she talk. That was a trait of the women on my mother’s side. And her sense of humor was out of this world. She had the uncanny ability of being able to find humor about herself and share it so freely.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: On Civil Rights


Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day 20) This Sunday was great! The “Freedom March” took place. There 125,000 or more marchers in downtown Detroit with standing on the sidewalks of Woodward Ave. People yelled that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was passing by; my Mother and I had a chance to see him. Then, we joined in the march. We managed to get into Cobo Hall and get a seat. Wow! That was really something!

Reflections: When there was all the talk on the radio prior to this big march, I was not really clear about its significance. It was my Mother and Daddy who set me down and really explained to me why this march was so important. Daddy knew he would not be able to attend because he would have to work, yes, even on Sunday. However, he felt good that he knew Mother and I would carry his spirit with us.

Knowing that the traffic would be great and parking spaces at a premium, Mother and I left early. We wanted to get a good spot to see Dr. King. A few years prior, Mother had taken me to hear him give a sermon at Central Methodist Church in downtown Detroit. So, I knew he was a good speaker. And Mother and Daddy made certain I would sit and watch the national news being very aware of the civil rights movement. And I even thought, when I got a little older, I would want to become a freedom rider. 

Of course, it would be only about a year later that Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner would be murdered. And in the following March of 1965, Viola Liuzzo would be murdered, believing that she was compelled to South and lend her support of those struggling because “it was everyone’s fight.” And after keeping abreast of the news, seeing the struggles of the marchers, and hearing the powerful “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. King on that Sunday afternoon, I knew that civil rights had to be my fight, too.

Oh, let me talk about that speech and the electricity in the audience. Yes, most folks have heard the speech when made in Washington, D.C. However, I can say it was really something for those of us in Cobo Hall. First, what I will always remember is that feeling of belonging, belonging to something bigger than I. And I felt so safe. And I felt loved by people whom I did not even know. It was like a big family of people with one major goal—to sustain justice and equality for all people. 

Yes, I know Dr. King used his speech on us in Detroit as a test. Well, that speech most definitely passed the test. Every simile, metaphor, and personification contained in that speech were greeted with hoops and hollers, tears, and “Amens” of affirmation. There were so many passages that received resounding applauses of appreciation; people of all faiths, ethnicities, and social classes were one on that day, June 23, 1963. And my mother and I were a part of it!

Now, as I reflect on all that day meant for the city, its people, and for me, I am so very grateful to God that I had the kind of parents who knew that this was something very important, and they wanted me to be a part. I was a part of history! Wow!

I am concerned. Today in this 21st century, much of what many, including myself, marched for, much that many were beaten for, and much that some lost their lives for, some people do not seem to care. Most definitely, the struggle is not done. And when I hear many young people of all races say: “My vote don’t count. Why should I vote?” So, they do not go to the polls; I want to slap them silly! The one right that is clearly specified in the U.S. Constitution, a right that many have died for, the one right that can be a catalyst for change and many ask the question “why?” It is sad that, possibly, many in the generation post “baby boomers” do not know their country’s political history or their actual heritage.

Most definitely, I wish they knew it is because of every civil right that is in the U.S. Constitution that many of our ancestors came across oceans or escaped at night from their chains to pursue and experience a special freedom to be equal, treated equally, and have the rights to be able to pursue happiness as long as they do not hurt others or hinder others’ rights. Instead, there are too many fighting and dying and killing to get the next shipment of drugs. Instead, there are too many becoming engaged in an inane altercation because “somebody looked at me.” Instead, there are too many concerned about obtaining that new shiny automobile and becoming engaged in road rage when someone has “cut me someone off.” 


I never want to forget that feeling of being a part of something so great rather than seeing on the news so many being apart from their fellow citizen for such trivia. I hope the dream that so many rejoiced in hearing is never lost in people’s nightmares.





I never want to forget that feeling of being a part of something so great rather than seeing on the news so many being apart from their fellow citizen for such trivia. I hope the dream that so many rejoiced in hearing is never lost in people’s nightmares.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Diary Of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Sister Mary Michael

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Seventeen) Nothing exciting happened. Sister Mary Michael is sick, don’t know of what. Sister Mary Eileen won’t tell us what hospital she is in.

Dear Bishop (Day Eighteen) Sister Mary Michael is still sick. Be glad when she gets back. Well, good night.

Dear Bishop (Day Nineteen) Went to church today. That’s all.

Reflections: Of all the teachers I had from elementary through high school, there was one who made a major impact on me: Sister Mary Michael. I loved that nun very much. It was because of her that I seriously considered putting aside my interest in becoming an actress and becoming a nun. Oh, the halls of many a convent would have been really “rocking” with my chatter and boisterous spirit

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Tell Them That You Love Them

Dear Diary
Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Fourteen) Bought a Valentine’s Day card secretly. Told Glenda [an acquaintance] to mail it for me. Hope she does. Mommy will be surprised. Pray for her.

Dear Bishop (Day Fifteen) A wonderful Valentine’s Day. Daddy gave me a lovely card and spray mist by Hobigant. He gave Mommy a card and perfume, too. Mommy is still a little ill with a cold.

Dear Bishop (Day Sixteen) Didn’t have Religion test today. Hurray! Had the Science test. I think I did well. Gee, Victoria and I are not as close as before. I don’t know why.

Reflections: I decided at a young age that I should let the person whom I love know it. I do not know if it was because I was an only child (well, since there was no relationship with my half-sister, I was). People and relationships, at a very young age, were very special to me.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: On Marriage and Family

Dear Diary
Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Fourteen) I better get my butt back to church. I’m going next Sunday. I must be getting devilish. Help me please. I love God.

Dear Bishop (Day Fifteen) Had a nice day. Please pray for Karl, Tom, Larry, and Cathy. I love them all. Enlighten Veronica’s mind. I love her very much.

Dear Bishop (Day Sixteen) I wish I were wise a little. Then, I could help Ken, Tom, and Larry, but I’m not. I shall pray your wisdom will help them God.

Reflections: It seems that I had a strong religious fervor and care for those who were not always kind to me. Um, no, I was not any “holy roller” by any means. Yet, the influence of the nuns and my parents really affected me. I had this strong belief in a Higher Being. And even to this day, I believe that only God can help others even I cannot do so on my own. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Keeping Me "In Line"

Dear Diary
Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Eleven) Mommy said I was getting too smart with her. But you know I love her very much. Daddy, I love, too. Pray for Reggie and Thomas and all those who need it.

Dear Bishop (Day Twelve) Pretty good day. I’m going downtown tomorrow. If I were an actress now, I’d probably never live such a wonderful life as now.

Dear Bishop (Day Thirteen) Didn’t go downtown. I was bad and sassed Mommy. That was one reason no downtown. I cried this day because of that. I love her.

Reflections: Oh dear, as I read these diary entries, I recall how I, at times, felt my mother just was not on the right side of things. And, I being so much like her, spoke my mind. And she would make it very clear that I was not she; I was the child, the daughter. As close as my mother and I were, she kept me “in line.” I knew that, although we were, sometimes, like sisters, I was the daughter, and she was the mother—period. So, when I got too “mouthy,” she put me “in check.”

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: 13 year olds and Hormones

Editor's Note: This is the fourth entry for the "Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara" by Dr. C. Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Eight) Nothing exciting happened. I shall practice more so I may become a great actress. I have another ambition. I will tell you soon.

Dear Bishop (Day Nine) I didn't get to go to the show [movie theatre]. Daddy took the car—Pooh! Oh well. I cry about the least things. I must be nervous about something. Please help me.

Dear Bishop (Day Ten) I fixed Harriet and Enessa both so they won't bother me about books. I like Harriet. Enessa I despise. She is too fast for me. I need to pray for her.

Reflections: Thirteen year olds should have days of no excitement. Sometimes, I think parents of today go from one extreme to another. They either have their children involved in so many activities that their children cannot enjoy being children and just “chilling.” Then, there are parents who do not encourage their children to be involved in any activities because they are too busy to get involved in anything their children are doing. So, their offspring get involved in activities that are not conducive to their well being. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: On Innocence Past And Present

Dear Diary
Editor's Note: This is the third entry for the "Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara" by Dr. C. Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Five) Something embarrassing happened. Jimmy was right in his seat when I said to Meredith, “Is my slip hanging?” I felt sick all over.

Dear Bishop (Day Six) Saw a good movie at school. No kissing though. Some think Sister cut it out. I don’t care. I heard some good jokes during the movie.

Dear Bishop (Day Seven) I saw Defenders [a TV lawyer show]. It was good. When I get older please help me to be clean in heart. And not sexy like some girls.

Reflections: Oh, when I look back on my “embarrassing” moments, I realize that they probably meant only a lot to me. And when I went home and told my Mom, she said for me “not to worry about it.” But I did. Yet, as I grew up, I learned that folks really do not give a good care. They have their own lives to live and their own “embarrassing” moments to deal with; mine were and are so unimportant in the scheme of things.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: Zita's First "Bad Boy" Crush

"Dear Diary"
Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Day Three) A very dreary day, not very exciting. Daddy wasn’t grumpy. I’ll say a prayer for Thomas Gonzag, so he’ll pass the test tomorrow.

Dear Bishop (Day Four) Tonight I prayed the rosary and did penance for Thomas to pass the test. I do hope God shall enlighten his mind. I love ?

Reflections: First, you may wonder: Who is Thomas Gonzag? He was a classmate. He came to the school during the mid of the semester. He was a year behind or so, and he was a troubled soul. I felt he was smart, but there were reasons why he just did not seem to want to do better with his work. Sister asked me to help him with some of his work. Readily I did so. For some reason I felt for him. And there was something else; in a strange sense, I had a crush on him. Maybe this was my first “bad boy” crush. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Diary Of Zita Cecilia McNamara

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of 13-year-old Zita's diary. 

I  was a different kind of kid. First, from age five, I always wanted to become a teacher and a parent—yes, in that order. At a very young age, in my bedroom or in the basement, I held my classes. I always lined up my dolls and teddy bear as my “students.” Later on, I outgrew using these toys. I just developed my imaginary “students.”  

As my reading skills developed, at age ten, I read the plays Agamemnon and Macbeth and taught my “students” these plays as my mother was on the other side of the basement washing clothes and listening to my giving them their “lessons” and instructing them to pay attention: “Now, you listen you Sojos; this is very important.” “Pumpkin, who are ‘Sojos’ ”? “Mommy, you know. There are freshmen and juniors and seniors and sojos!” She chuckled and helped me understand that they are called “Sophomores.” Thus, my career as a teacher really continued on the right foot.

Dr. C's New and Very Different Journey: "Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara"

"Dear Diary..."
For the past year, I have taken you on an academic "Creative Writing" cruise on my blog. I was the "Captain" of the cruise ship and students in my community college English classes were my "crew mates."  Check out my blog and read some of the entries. 

While those entries focused mainly on classroom lessons, I have decided to launch a blog diary series that will mix fact and fiction. The purpose of this shift is to allow me to do what I have taught for so many years – use my creative skills to write a work that can mix fact and fiction.  I have authored books, but not a work that uses fact and fiction. I am looking forward to exploring a different kind of genre.

Ever since I reached my early thirties, I wanted to write a book—a book about hope and survival. However, initially after reading so many other books with similar themes, I figured that my life was quite ordinary and boring compared to the provocative autobiographies I had read. I doubted I had a story like those. Then, I thought about the fact that I had a wealth of stories that just might interest folks; they were contained in my diaries, which I began when I was thirteen. Even as I got older, I continued to record my life experiences, and I recognized that my entries were important—at least to me—and, perhaps, to others. Still, I did not want to write the regular kind of diary, just about one day to the next.