March '14 Shoe Lover :: Heather Shotke for "GramMARCH"
Meet a great friend of mine, Heather Shotke, a teacher from Muscatel Middle School in Los Angeles that is very dedicated to the future of education. I first met Heather on a fluke. I had heard that Boyz 2 Men, En Vogue, and Babyface were performing a mini concert in the Summer of 2012 at the LA County Fair, and being the old-school R&B nerd that I am, I was dying to go. So naturally I called up my most non-committal but adored friend, Brandon, and when he picked me up Heather just happened to be in the car too, lol. Good memories ensued with fried watermelon, giant hick turkey legs, and failing at getting a rose from the Boyz 2 Men guys during their serenade song (boooo). Countless nicknames later, here we are.
Heather recently informed me about how she sees her students use abbreviated forms of language and text-speak on their school assignments with an alarming increase. "Slang and abbreviations have become the unapproved norm in the classroom and the boardroom, blurring the lines between formal and informal communication." So, she decided to start the gramMARCH Challenge, a movement to save intelligent communication from being taken over by shorthand text, ellipsis, and emojicons.
Scroll down to see Heather's photo shoot inspired by her love for teaching and for more on why she has started the gramMARCH challenge.
For the most beautiful teacher I've ever known, we shot Heather at this absolutely magical bookstore in Downtown, Los Angeles called The Last Bookstore.
Leather pants, her gramMARCH sweater, and some bad ass hair was all she needed to look fly and striking with her kicks during the day.
Heather is a big Reebok lover and has a huge collection. She chose to wear her newest pair, these Melody Ehsani x Reebok Classic Pump Omni Lite “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” kicks that came out on Valentine's day this year. Described as "audacious and unapologetic in their boldness" by design collaborator Melody, they truly took Heather's outfit to another level. The colors and pattern are bold and take up the entire shoe, so there is no possible way someone couldn't notice them and I love that! With such bold features, the shoes have a confident look and (in my opinion) provide a fun stride walking around town, which is what I loved about this outfit with Heather!
This highly coveted shoe comes with three extra lace options and the lace locks can be taken off to be worn as jewelry, what Melody Ehsani is known for. The pump is an iconic Reebok and this is the first shoe of its kind to release for women.
The gramMARCH Challenge
"R u ready 4 da gramMARCH challenge? Save the d8 on ur calendar bc it will b n event u dnt wanna miss." That is the sort of sentence we need to avoid!
The movement runs from March 1-31, 2014, and challenges the nation to slow down and think about what they are writing, so that thoughts and words are concise and given respect. Additionally to write in proper grammar with full sentences and use entire words in text messaging, formal writing and all forms of written communications.
“I am disappointed and appalled,” Shotke said. “Kids are using ‘text language’ in their academic work and they think it is acceptable because that is how they are communicating with their friends on social media. It worries me that they cannot differentiate between a formal, school assignment and a text to a friend... Anecdotally, it takes about 30 days for something to become a habit,” Shotke said. “So, if we can get people to accept the gramMARCH Challenge for the month of March, we may be able to make the shift back to intelligent communication.”
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I absolutely love it! Not only is it commendable and caring, but Heather has created this challenge purely for the joy of helping people be better.
When we finished hanging out at this awesome book store, Heather changed into a pair of heels that make you do a double take. With her gramMARCH poster in tow, we set off to the LA streets.
I love Heather's bad ass look. It is so opposite of what a teacher is typically seen wearing or known to be like outside of the classroom. But that's exactly it. GramMARCH is different. We should all love our diversities and strive to be different in taking a stand for the future of our world. So kudos to you, Heather!
Check out the heels! These heels by Monika Chiang are one of Heather's favorites. "I like Monika's shoes because it's not the norm. Reminded me of a girl on fire." And she is on fire!! Very fitting, right?! "Her shoes are also empowering and since my clothing is usually subdued I like to make statements with key shoes." <--That's my girl! YES!!!
I had never heard of Monika myself. I looked her up and like what she's about...
What an awesome #SQshoeSwap. Heather looks sick and what an easy yet exciting change of shoes!
I joined the GramMARCH challenge, will you?? You can join here http://www.grammarch.org/accept-the-grammarch-challenge/
Through all the bumps in the road for this shoot I learned a lot and am proud of it. I'm proud to cosign a great movement and support a dear, kind-hearted friend. I had fun learning more about myself while directing this shoot as well!
Big thanks to my awesome photographer Peter Dang! For photography inquiries, please contact Peter at PeterDangPhotography.com.
Plus a big thanks to Lolita for the awesome assisting and great hairstyle!