Gloria A. Swift immigrated to the United States in 1973 and served in the United States Army where she received many "firsts" in awards and recognition. Ms. Swift also served as the first female police officer on the Foster City Police Department. Those were the days when it was difficult for black women to integrate into a white, male-dominated profession.
Ms. Swift is a retired educator who holds multiple degrees and credentials in Education. 'Thank You, Ms. Swift - It's Not about As and Bs' was written to highlight the challenges teachers face when assigning students the grades they earned. Ms. Swift enjoys authoring real stories about real people. She does not shy away from the issues that affect human lives.
Ms. Gloria Swift spends her time commuting between the United States and Belize, where as a Director, she is actively involved in the non-profit organization established in honor of her parents, John and Adele Swift Development and Enrichment Center (JADE), providing for those who need food, financial assistance in education, and transportation. She also assists in the family's B&B in Belize. In her spare time, Ms. Swift visits countries around the world and soaks in the culture.
It is not every day I say, “I enjoy time with critters.” I grew up on this farm decades ago. Then I left. Now I have returned. I enjoy working with the critters now more than ever. The sheep, turkeys, fowls, guinea hens, and dogs are unique. I spent time with one sheep whom I called Mama. She understood me. No matter where she was, when she heard my voice, she came running. Mama was spoiled, and she knew it. The flock treated her with respect. They never entered the pen in the evenings unless Mama was there to enter first. They assembled in front of the gate and waited for her. In the mornings, she led them out of the pen. There are times when Mama sneaked away from the flock and ate alone. When she was discovered missing, they ran all around the farm baaing and baaing. Mama heard them, but she never answered. When the flock found her, they surrounded her, but Mama continued eating. I observed a turkey hen training her first seven chicks. She stretched her neck in the air, called out a certain sound, and all the chicks crouched on the ground. After giving another signal, they got up.
Remarkable. As a child, I never observed these behaviors. They were critters who served a purpose. Now I get so involved that the loss of one haunts me for weeks even months. Mama told her own story, her observations and challenges. She was favored more than the others, and she knew it. Her story is a reminder that the day will come when each of us will leave our loved ones. We have to pass on the torch of life and hope for the best.
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