So It Goes –

So It Goes –

The vibe of political discourse – perhaps, brawling is more accurate.  The attempt to live – to just take in the moments and savor the day!  The grizzle of the push-pull of job, family and friends.

So It Goes –

The daily-ness adding to life and aging us.  The fast movement toward the grave.  The seemingly care and empathetic folk on social media.  The reality!  The reality is quite differnt.

So It Goes –

Trying to stay present.  Trying to not have my mind wander into the past.  Past mistakes.  Past mis-steps.  Past hurts.  Past resentments.

Trying to stay present and future and hopeful.  How does one do that?  Really, how does one take in the personal history, society’s disfunction and history & move forward.

 

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Wandering –

June 7, 2018  #jkcosmos

My I-Phone battery ran out —it’s just past 1:00 and I found the most lush cafe. at end of Jardin Du Tuillierres.  It’s shady and not so busy, as to feel rushed.

Every point of view is phenomenal.  I’m facing the Louvre- which is a bit too far for me to actually see.  What do I see?

I see the green-garden, metal chairs that I know so well through pictures!

I see the back of the chairs, as they’re positioned to ‘see’ the view.

The people sitting, relaxing are under the shade of small, 30′-40′ perfectly shaped, lined-up trees.

Two of these trees frame the sunny view.  The manicured, lush green grass.  A lawn not too formal to dissuade children from running and playing on it.

Interspersed are gardens with delicate, wispy varieties of soft, pastel colours.  The flower beds are low and albeit ‘pretty’ not intrusive in the view or welcome.

People walking by relaxed.  Lots of people sitting, which surprises me.  Doesn’t anyone work?  Besides the waiters, that is?

I wish Peter and Phillip were with me.  This is so very lovely – and I’m alone. Not sure how I feel about that!  Sad – yes — a little.

To the left of the gardens are historic, architectually interesting buildings – all.  Fountains everwhere – mostly to my left.

To my right and a bit behind me seems to be neighborhood plots of land for vegetables. I actually stopped to rest there a bit – and yes, in a green metal chair.

There’s a dirt path abutting and runners – joggers dashing by.

The fountain I’m seeing is in the center of statues.  Since my I-Phone is out of juice; I really hope to return tomorrow for the visuals.

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Ra Ra – I’m with YOU!

Seeing so many of my friends have husbands/significant others & I see the complaining! Geez, you really have no clue what it is to have zero back-up! No clue to be on the precipice and no net/no one there to really care about you. I am seeing this & that about my ‘husband’ and wonder if these people understand/truly the courage it takes to move one foot in front of the other daily.
I think not! I am amazed at commentary from those so comfortable financially. Yeah yeah – go You! Quite honestly, you don’t know. You don’t wake up in a cold sweat! You don’t find it challenging to get to sleep- with the $$$ issues going round & round in your head. Spinning – constantly, always spinnning! No relief! NONE! Not ever, not one fucking day of relief and breathe. So, while you are ‘in solidarity’ with this & that – I would like you to think about the reality- NOT just the concept of being poor and smiling & all that – but not knowing if next week you’ll have the $$$ for milk for your coffee – or the coffee – let alone electricity and gas in the tank. It’s the reality of the USA & that is why I did not, could not celebrate the 4th of July. It’s just too damn selective in what is Freedom and what is the Good Life in the America of 2018! I’m worn out and worn down.

Oh, you say – but you went to France – how could you do that! The Answer my friends – is truly that I was compelled to go – if not I was dying and dying and my spirit spent. I was compelled to go & by hook or crook – I went. Now, the piper! Now, the shit-show! So, those of you married or w/ partners- Good for you! Cheers to you! Please do NOT presume to know what it is to teach as Adjunct Faculty & take chump change for a job well-done! It’s a never-ending cycle of despair and hope! You truly have no Idea! NONE!

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Oppressive, no air.
Is this what we face on Monday for Summer II?
Forget it next summer.

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Introspection in a Cathedral

Icons- a multitude of icons! Pastel, baby blue & dusty pink flowers borders of flowers – joyful!

I lit a candle by the Virgin Mary & Baby Jesus – for all of us – intercession.  The icon was trimmed with ornate silver and delicate, fragile silver filigree.  The balance of Orthodox crosses on each wall – the exterior walls with blue on the right and silver on the left.

Looking upwards and up, the height dizzingly- higher and higher, I see azure blue at a narrow top with gold metalic stars bursting within the blue.  There is blue-blue ceiling elongated and narrow windows beneath the tip-top, letting in light, a diffused light from the narrow and long windows at the top of the domed ceiling.  The windows and light framed in cheery off-white, yellow beneath are Orthodox Crosses in the aisles and then underneath is the magnificent dome – sunbursts.  Energy!

Sunbursts – sun-rays – licking out, not too bold.  I do not see the scary Saints on the dome; like the ones from my childhood, who stared down at me – as a child, I looked up and saw harsh, stern saints – dour.

This has none of that – It’s powerful and beautiful.  The church is darker than outside; the windows at the top-sunshine- surrounding dome..sunshine. Windows on the ground level are stained glass & so the lihgt is diffused.  It’s more of a warm, golden glow.

Around the room at corners & borders are the floweres – pale pink- yellow and blue & vines – detailed, intricate vines dancing up the wall or border or corner – connecting the designs; allowing me to see the cohesiveness of the artist and the family, who built this in honor of their son, who died too soon.

Plain, wood floors and clean.  Few seats in the Russian Churches – benches around each of the two columns.  In front of the alter – incons on the stands – candles!  The doors – framed with gold- a rough, dark gold- rubbed antique look.

Virgin Mary is above the Alter – St. Nicholas is to her right.  Angels and seraphim surround her- also sweet, joyful and angles and small clouds-frames the edges.

I’m breathless.

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Love

          He met me at the airport, greeting me as I stepped off and into his arms.  Harris was the most passionate man and lover.  How could I not love him?  How could any woman refuse him? I met him in a cafe in Athens on a boulevard near King George Hotel, at a time of upheaval in Greece.  The conversation turned to love and life and the ‘what ifs?’.  I fell hard and most of my plans were rearranged to be with him.  Greatist love?  Certainly greatest passion.
          Stepping off the plane, I felt something else, and certainly not love.  Looking at his smiling eyes, and admiring his handsome face, masculine face; masculine everything.  I was embarrassed and turned to Mario and turned to my true and beautiful romantic love.  The man I met on Skathios in the airport and the one where there was such a magnetic and compelling pull; an energy and total understanding.  Love is more than the passion, isn’t it?  I knew that physicality was important and held his tender, generous love close to my heart.  I said ‘Yes.’ when he asked me to marry him; Harris – that is.  Yes, after three brief weeks of being together, he brought me to his family; to meet his family and it was all quite wonderful; a happy, joyous time. Harris was kind, hmm, I said that, didn’t I?
          Mario, the guy, the love, the one that held the world and life in such a similar way, that I truly and totally fell in love.  Love, a concept about more than one or another level of affection?  Of passion?  What, exactly, is that one true love?  I have considered so many variables, so many features and definitions of love.  He, too, had large brown eyes, and curly, soft long brown hair; dark brown, mahogany brown with tendrils falling beyond his collar. Beyond, his broad shoulders and most amazing energy, beyond his tall and slender build, Mario had a warmth and kindness and gentleness that was magic.  He was very intelligent and talking with him went beyond a conversation; it was a knowing and a similar view of what is important. He was gorgeous!
          What can I do about Harris?  And how to let Harris know that I will not be marrying him? It’s not possible to marry and live a life together, when I have fallen in love with someone else. It’s unimaginable to love this lovely man, when my soul and very being must be with Mario.
          And so, I kissed Harris and I knew it was over between us.  I kissed Harris, and I felt Mario’s gaze upon me, a gaze of understanding and of love.  I kissed Harris and we left the airport; it was the beginning of an unraveling between us.  Harris knew, or should have known.  I wonder still if that kiss betrayed my change of heart.  Harris and I continued and we went along together for a few days only. I decided to return to the States and I promised to plan a meeting with Mario. And yet, I  hadn’t altogether broken it off with Harris.
          Mario had been open and insistent; both – at the same time and I knew that I would be making plans to visit him in Swaziland, South Africa – his home.  I also knew and felt a secure and laid-back energy, a warmth of love that was between us.  I was confident that we would marry and welcomed being with him for the rest of my life.
          Home, and my closest and most lovely and loved confidant, my father, agreed that I must go and visit Mario in Swaziland.  Relief and a renewed knowing of gong to him and being with him; and my father had been open to that possibility and approved.  There was no impediment; I started to plan my transfer of business to someone else, so I could leave.  I spoke with Mario, long and yes, expensive conversations.  We were in agreement.  We were in love.
         And then, my father died.  He suddenly and quite unexpectedly had a heart attack and died.  He was not old, he was my best friend in the world.  He was my co-conspirator, supporting my leaving to go to my love, my Mario.
          My father’s death most certainly delayed my plans to reunite with Mario.  And, then, as people say – life goes on.  I never made that trip.  I spoke with Mario often enough for the following few months and then I married someone else.  Mario called, sometimes, and we spoke for hours.  I knew that I had made a most terrible mistake.
          When my marriage ended, Mario offered to come to the States, to be with me and my sons.  To renew our love, in person, in real life and real time and without any illusions.  I wanted him to come and to be with me and my young sons.  I cried so many days and nights about the loss of our chance to be together.  I was already in the fight of my life, a custody battle with my former husband that took over any chance of happiness.  After, most likely, too much thought, I asked Mario not to come to the States as I might lose my children.  He deferred his trip, he agreed to my request.  I loved him even more.
          He married after meeting a Dutch woman on a cruise.  They have twin daughters and Mario and I lost touch.  I think of him and I love him.  I regret not letting him come to help me, to love me and to heal my soul with his love.
          I think of Harris, the man I had agreed to marry and wonder if he thinks of me.  Does he think of me as someone who betrayed him or someone that truly let him go for reasons beyond both of us?  I wonder even more so about Mario and if he’s had a joyful, loving life.  I hope so and I sometimes think that I should plan a trip to Swaziland and go there to see.  I should go to see his life in a country too foreign, but so beautiful, a country that my father told me to experience before he died.  One that I should experience before I die.
          I am now beyond middle-aged.  I am now nearer the end of my life than the beginning or the middle and I am trying to think about what makes me happy and where my love is.  I have loving sons and I love them dearly; but not that long ago, I had a choice to go to Swaziland and marry a man who loved me and to a life that would have been quite different than the one I have lived.

There was a moment in time, when I fell in love with a man with brown eyes and a gentle soul and I am grateful; very grateful to know love.

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How full is your glass? jk cosmos

How full is your glass?  jk cosmos

One wonders about that question, more often than first surmised.  How can anyone not think about the haves and have-nots?  How can we work, play and pair off and not think about our sister, brother, friend, lover, cousin?  

Being grateful for others and for ‘What I love best ‘things.’ usually spins one’s mind to someone else’s newer, cooler car or home or furnishings or pool, doesn’t it?

How full is your glass?  Very much full, thank you.  It’s full as long as one breathes and has the opportunities to transform one’s life from “this” to “that”.

The full glass – empty glass conundrum holds quite a few mixed up responses; those that we inherit and those we learn and respond to.  How should this concept be handled?

Glass full – glass empty, how do we view our lives?  I think that I’m a half-full kinda person and that is due to experience of life throwing so much shit at me that the decision had to be made, kinda quickly and kinda off-the-cuff.

What is that shit, you ask.  It’s about marriage.  It’s a story and it’s not happily-ever-after.  It’s a reality that kicks a person in the shins and then, smiling, kicks a person squarely on the jaw.

Marriage, wedding plans and romance, kisses and passion, sex in the rawest and most carnal way – all of it.  Yes, please.

I’ll give away my power and my control over myself.  I’ll give away my true self to accommodate your needs.  I’ll give away my goals and desires to please you.  All of that, surviving that compels me to answer – Yes, I am a full glass kinda person.  Yes, I am.

Thirty-five, not too old, but not a time in a life to play the blushing bride.  No, that has passed and the good fortune is finding a guy to marry and plan a life with.  What a cock-eyed optimist!  The reality is that handing over control of one’s own, wonderful life may, just may, end in a not so lovely ending.  And that is exactly how it played out.  Not a lovely ending.

What is that ending?  What is the beginning?  Let me tell you, the story begins with a wedding. The bride glowing and happily smiling at her guests and her groom. The bride, oh so happy, in her white, satin gown.  White satin pumps, white satin covered buttons along the back of her fitted, bridal dress. The bride, wearing a crown of entwined flowers, polished with a high gloss of white; tulle attached to form a lengthy flow of veil to the floor.  The bride, perfection in her traditional, bridal clothing.

The groom tolerating the festivities and looking for his guys, to smoke and to snort a bit of coke to take the edge off. Her handsome groom, the black tuxedo offset by his locks of golden, quite long curly hair.  How handsome?  What a lucky girl she was!  

The Bride and Groom walked from the Ritz over to the area near the Swans; near the summery flower beds of the Boston Gardens.  The bridesmaids and groomsmen followed along as she tried to talk with the groom.  He was looking down at the path and did not respond to her chatter.  She slowed her steps and took to walking the rest of the way with her bridal party; they were chatting and glad to be in the sunshine, in their formal attire on this glorious day.  

Photos taken, maneuvering posing and smiling, she was not herself.  The Bride was trying to be in the moment, and yet, she felt this was stepping into something that was not quite right.  Her apprehension was not the first time that she ‘paused’ to question her saying ‘Yes, I’ll marry you.” to the beautiful man nearby.  Not next to her, not holding her hand – just nearby.

Walking back to the Ritz, he took her hand, sensing her aloneness?  She didn’t know.

*************************

The end of the reception and they entered an upstairs suite at the Boston Ritz, above the grand ballroom and alone, at last, behind closed doors.  She primped, taking only a brief time and waited for her new husband to join her in the master bedroom suite.  Overlooking the Boston Gardens, the formalized blooms and ground cover, a historic setting, at the corner of Newbury Street.  The elegance of the area  and the high-brow reception, more than she had ever hoped for.

He followed her to the bedroom, still in his tux, and grabbed her neck; twisting her skin until the tautness of his hold on that thin and vulnerable skin bore down on her.  She didn’t speak, she didn’t scream; he held her.  A prelude to passion?  If only.  It was not a prelude to passion, but to a nightmare and terror, while wide awake.  Her groom had plans for her that were unimaginable, and very cruel.

In her head, she screamed at the unfairness; this trick of the Fates. Her negligee was thin, transparent and so sheer that her skin and the throbbing of her blood through her veins, all visible.  He knew her vulnerability and was empowered.

“Let me teach you how to defend yourself.  You need to be able to defend yourself, when I’m not around.”  Vicious words, serpent tongue.  

‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH’…..in her head, in her mind.

He reached, with his free hand to his case, took a pistol out and put it in her trembling hand; the pistol fit her hand and he put his hand over hers. She felt the cold, hard grip of the handgun. His eyes, blue and cold and did she hear that verse in her head.  Yes, she was hearing the words – something about the devil on the other side of the door, that handsome devil in tight jeans – just at the other side of the door.  In her case, he was standing beside her.  She shivered.

“ Let’s see now how this works.  Let’s see how you are going to defend yourself.

The safety is off.  The gun is easy to handle, yes?”  “Yes.”

“Notice, my darling, that there is no number on the gun.  I got it from a cop friend of mine, and the numbers were pretty expertly rubbed off.  Hmmmm.”  

“See, here.”  

She did not answer.  She could barely remain conscious.  She wished this was a dream.  

“What do you think would happen, if there was an accident and you shot yourself?

She didn’t respond.  “Any thoughts, darling.”

As quickly as he had produced the pistol, it was gone.

He laughed, picked her up and threw her down on the bed; their first night as husband and wife.  His intentions to take full control.  His intentions to demand respect as the Master of the house.

He took her in that master suite and he showed her what it is to be degraded, to be used, and to be spent.  Horrified, fear dulling her mind, she complied.  And, she started planning her escape.

The ‘how of it’ and the plan to run not formulated; her desire to not be connected to this devil.  This man, whom she had married before he had revealed his true self.  She wondered if she murdered him; could she escape and maintain freedom or end up being prosecuted and convicted, without time to truly run. Beyond killing, what were her options?

Why would she have to run from her life; beyond escaping him?  Why should she?

**********************

In the morning, he went about his morning routine and barely glanced at his frightened bride.  She managed to dress and pack; they were leaving Logan for Paris at noon. The secrets between men and women; the reveal and the conceal.  Her heart beat faster than ever and she was compelled to plan an escape that would be final.  Something to free her and leave no options for him to return.  Murder, frame up for his conviction of her murder?  How do people plan and actually do anything to be free from capture?  She didn’t know and her mind spun.  She must calm her mind and be still.  Could she be still?  She was not so certain, but knew continuing with a man able to hold a gun to her temple and indicate that he alone was Master, was a dangerous place to be.  

And then, she had figured out that only her fingerprints were on that pistol and so, another piece to deal with and change in her favor.

****************

Paris, city of light – of love.  They checked into a small hotel, close to L’Opera and quaint, lovely.  She did the unpacking, as he returned to the pub area in the lower level to play pool and drink brandy, expensive brandy.  She began to lose control and cry, then sob a bit too loudly.  Stop.  Crying will turn him on and only encourage his cruelty.  She thought about that pistol and wondered if he had brought it through customs to Paris.  Possibly not.  She hadn’t found it in the luggage, but her fears took over her usual commonsensibilties. Fear immobilizing her to do only what he demanded.  

She left the hotel and found a cafe just to the right of the Opera and felt some relief to be out and about without him and in public.  Safety in numbers and visible. How her longing to be seen magnified and held her.  She decided to walk to the Jardin du Tuileries;  similar to her beloved Boston Gardens.  Sitting in a light green, metal chair near the pond with a view of the flower gardens and symmetry of the setting, she smiled.  Paris, a parallel city to Boston, in her estimation.  Ah, to breathe.  

Thinking about leaving him had to be her focus, not the aesthetics of the gardens.  How to leave?  How to disconnect forever?  Formulation of a realistic plan in a foreign country would not be as simple or straight-forward as she hoped. And yet, language barriers and mistaken communication may work in her favor.  She jumped off the chair and fast walked back to the hotel, not noticing a young, slim man with ripped jeans and a blue scarf wrapped ‘round him was following her, keeping the clip and a certain space between them. She was waiting to cross La Rue de St. Germaine and in the crowd, oblivious to her surroundings.  The Frenchman bumped her side, apologized and smiled.  His slim face and aquiline nose, his piercing blue eyes and relaxed slouch engaged her for a New York minute.  Light changed, people crossing and she moved with the crowd.  He moved with her.  Again, a bump and an apology.  

“Was he trying to pick her up?”  

He was in step and asked her if she was from the States.  

“Yes.” smile.

“I would love to visit the States.”  “Where would you suggest I see first?”

“What?”  She had to focus and get back to her husband and figure out a way to leave.

“Nescafe?”  “Come and tell me about your home?”  Smile.

She thought about being in the room with her husband or extending this reprieve a bit more in public, in Paris, with an attractive man.  

“Fine.  Nescafe.”  She answered and he lead as she fell in step and they found a cafe.

Sitting outside, he ordered and turned to her, still smiling.  They sat on either side of a cafe table and there were so many people around that she felt safe.  Safe enough.

“What do you want to know?”

“ I want to know about you.  I want to know more about what makes you smile. What makes you glad to be alive.  Who you truly are..is what I want to know.”

Tearing and feeling her lips quiver, unsure how to answer.  An unknown, a man without a name in a foreign country, how convenient that she stopped.  Time stopped.

“I am not glad to be alive.  My husband is threatening me and I’m sure that he’s going to kill me.  Not this day, perhaps, but soon enough.  He’ll make it look like an accident. He forced me to hold a pistol and my fingerprints are on it.  He’s threatened me.  I am so afraid, I’m scared that he’ll kill me. I am so afraid.  I’m frozen and unable to do anything. I am unable to think. I am not able to smile.  I am not able to do anything at all.”

“You should stand up and leave.”

I am so not in my right mind.  “Please stand up and leave.”

He sipped his nescafe cautiously and pensive, not moving and thoughtful.  He placed the cup on its saucer deliberately and slowly.  She caught her breath and began to normalize herself and her breathing and being in the moment.  She didn’t blink.

“Drink your cafe.  Finish and come.  You cannot live like this.”

“Allright.”

They finished and stood.  She was very unsure of what would be next and of course, had no idea who this man was.  She was ready to follow to him.  She was compelled.

They briskly walked down a narrow street, abutting the cafe.  She kept up with him and they turned a few times, to an area that was more French than tourist-based.  He ducked into a  tiny shop.  She saw glassware and miniature souvenirs, racks of postcards and on the side spices and supplies for baking; speciality pans and decorative equipment.

“My parents’ shoppe.  Let’s go in the back.”

She nodded in agreement.  They sat on small, wooden chairs in the back, leaning on the side wall with a tiny table nearby, covered with papers, pencils and calculator, post-its…a well-used back area.

“Shall I introduce myself?”

“Yes.  Sorry, I should have asked.  Sorry, I am so sorry to have told you what I did.”

“I’m Andre.  Don’t worry.  I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Let’s talk about your husband and what has happened just before you left Boston to come here.”

She told him, with as much detail as she thought he’d be able to take; leaving out the sexual maneuvering and sadistic exploits she had endured.

She did escape.  This narrative ends well in that regard.  And life, life is always a twist, a possibility – a life force.

The great news, yes, the superlative is intentional, is that the lesson learned is to be half-full and appreciative of life, of love, of family and friends, of lovers and colleagues.  They love and appreciate you, without conditions and without requiring the chipping away of one’s true self.

The half-full and “love & light” persona is not only one that is developed, it’s groomed and nurtured and a gift.  The gift to oneself – the affirmation of love to oneself is everything.

Half full is a quite wonderful place to be and the energy reverberating is proof, simple and direct.  Be grateful, be authentic and see life as half-full.

Lifting a glass of wine and feeling the liquid on her tongue, expressing the physicality of the sip, the twirl and the taste.  Life most certainly is half full.

 

http://writingsbycosmos.blogspot.com/

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French trip

Trip to France will include more than Paris this time. Love Paris & have five days in this city, but going to expand my vision this time.

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Snow, more white-ness & bright-ness

Snow, at first, how lovely – the clean, white fluff covering the grayness and covering the earth. Sweet.
More snow and cancellations of classes, shopping, coffee at a favorite café, seeing people, walking without the slide.
How much can a person take on when the snow is over three feet and an additional foot is falling, yet again.
The lovely part has long diminished and the value of the white-ness gone.

Longing for green, for bits of green perky and peeking out from brown branches and brown, dusty soil..turning darker and green emerging. When will that happen? How long to be in the dust of white, of snow, of dreariness.
Sunshine, not for awhile and blue skies…have turned white and a bit spooky. The whiteness of the earth, the sky, the covering of everything; total harshness in New England.

Longing for the sun, the yellow rays, the blue skies, the fluffy clouds, the café and the friendships & conversations – that being out & about brings to one’s life. I am not a solitary person and long for social, for interaction, for my students and being in front of my class. For engaging ideas with youthful, high-energy twenty year olds.
Another coffee, another look at the white and too early for a nap, or is it? Too late to be under the covers, or is it? Too tiring to revise my manuscript, or is it? Too boring to continue to watch programs ad nauseum and movies just not up to it. Cabin fever, we know the term and the feeling? The crunch in the gut that the whiteness and snow and low sky is not only covering the landscape, but one’s life.

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Value for Services & Work

Adjunct Faculty contribute a considerable amount in terms of content, context & critical analsyis & thinking – and yet…
And yet, adjunct faculty – those who provide services in higher.ed are not valued members of the academic community.
Rather, adjunct faculty are under-paid, not considered valuable by their full-time counter-parts and have little to no job security.
Retirement, holidays, benefits – all off the table.
Appreciation – perhaps, however, students only. Colleagues & admin need not comment & rarely do.

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Notable Tutoring

Tutoring services for Wrting, Reading Comprehension, ESL

Services for tests, MCAS, SAT Prep

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