Organize your thoughts and express your feelings about social stuff in a creative way

Your Coach

About Dr. Blake Brandes

Dr. Blake Brandes delivers virtual Growth Mindset assemblies, parent and family night presentations, and staff professional development for K-12 students, educators, and parents.  Blending freestyle rap, improvised music composition, and comedic storytelling, Dr. Brandes is a TEDx speaker and America’s Got Talent performer who has shared the power of the Growth Mindset with more than 300,000 people around the world.  He even has a Ph.D. in Hip-Hop and Global Youth Cultures and performed with Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of the musical “Hamilton”!  To find out more about Dr. Brandes’s presentations, check out www.blakebrandes.com

Growing up, Blake faced bullying and depression, and as a teen who loved hip-hop but wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in life, he understands what it’s like for students who are trying to find their life purpose. He also struggled to make schoolwork relevant to his life, especially in subjects that didn’t naturally interest him. 

Social Mind, Big Heart

Got a social mind… and a big heartLet’s connect, now’s the time to kickstartLift off, we about to rocket (rock it)Let’s talk about your passions and your favorite topicsLike… what is it you love to do? What makes you feel comfortable?When are you untouchable? Ha!  I’ll eat it up like a Lunchable Ask you questions and I’ll remind you that you’re lovable Yeah, and when you’re feeling downI’ll let you know I’m there – I like having you aroundYou don’t need to change your feelings or conditionsI’m not trying to fix it, I’m just here to listenSo let’s go, get this show on the roadHeart set aglow so it just might explodeI’m in a social mode – I can see it on your faceIt’s a friendSHIP so let’s sail to outer space (ay!)


Feeling good, feeling good, feeling great nowBut the next day feels like a breakdownThese emotions goin’ back and forthSo I’m askin’ for a pause and a break nowFeeling down, feeling lost in the sadnessSee a glimmer of hope, gotta grab thisFeeling so caught up in the madnessLook inside ’til I find it’s a habitGotta name it to tame it, These feelings aren’t dangerousThere’s no need to change it, I knowIf I can allow it, I might just see how itWill help me to growIf I think I can’t bear it, I just need to share itI know that you feel me tooSo when my mind’s reelingI can let that be healing tooWhether anxious or angry or passionate about my purposeWhether brave or afraid or maybe just nervousI’m searchin’ for words that make sense of sensationI know I can get there if I’ll just be patientWaitin’ and takin’ a second to breathe“What am I feeling?” is the question I needThere’s nothing to change or try to removeWe got this – yeah, we gon’ make it throughWe got this – we gon’ make it through

About Social Masking

Some autistic students have expressed that masking sometimes causes physical pain and discomfort. It is ok to talk about it, and understand what it feels like being around people. You may not feel the same way and social masking may mean something different to you. Knowing what to expect may help you face social situations with less fear and anxiety. You are invited to tell your story and what social masking means to you. What can be done to teach others about it and how can one handle it. 

Create Your Own Songs: Music Beats

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Create Your Own Songs: Music Beats

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Sometimes people don’t say what they meanThey might be mocking you, tryna be making a sceneGotta stay away from haters like you’re changing the teamCuz those smiles aren’t nice – they as fake as can beI’m waitin’ to see how you’re treatin’ your friendsThat lets me know if we ever gon be speaking againI’m reaching the end of my patience and hittin’ my limitFeelin’ tight lipped like this grin is a grimaceFinished with critics who be makin’ me feel badThey only win if I show them when I feel madThe gap between Kind and Cruel?  That’s a hard chasmWords designed to fool?  That’s sarcasm

Imagine that I said that I wasn’t rockin’ thisYeah I said one thing and meant the opposite Cuz I stay on top of this, the best in the metropolis I’m Blake B. It’s really me – you know who you talkin’ with


Seasons come and goGot a Spring in my step cuz I’m ready for the snowEven if I Fall then you know I’m gonna growWinner (Winter) cuz I summon (Summer) up my fears and let ‘em flow Let it roll, at least that’s what I try to doBut it can be hard when changes start to frighten youMight feel that pain or anger up inside of youFeeling like you’re stuck on a train just riding through Surprises do arise it’s true – I guess I need To hang with the change, take a pause and try to breatheSayin’ what I felt now instead of having meltdownsI don’t have to shout ’cause I can help my self outWhen I’m mad, worry that I might explodeWatch what I say when I’m hot just like a stoveTake a deep breath when I feel I got to goIf I’m on fire then I gotta drop and rollBecause my words can burn a house if I don’t turn aroundAnd think of a solution so that we can work it outGo for a run, get a hug, or bang a drumThe only thing that’s certain is that change is gonna come


I’m trying to talk to you
You trying to talk to me
It’s normal at the start 
To feel awkwardly 
I’m staying topically focused on what you’re discussing
So tell me bout your passions and what you are lovin’
Let’s discover it… help you feel engaged
It’s okay if you pause or need to look away
We can reconnect or call it a day
Stayin’ in flow- no need to be afraid
We can play, talking back and forth for hours
Conversation juicy like it’s bout to be devoured 
Picking out topics like apples at a farmers market
Getting to the core of the message when I’m on the target
Give you space to share
And then I’ll reflect
Thinking bout what you said, not what I’m saying next
You gon’ be impressed – it’s like I’m calmly pacin’
The way I go back and forth – the art of conversation
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