You know what’s cool? Pictures of Barack Obama doing a dramatic reading of Where the Wild Thingsare the White House Easter Egg Roll. You know what’s cooler? A looped video of him growling while reading. But you know what’s coolest? This GIF, created by The Atlantic’s resident photo and video goddess, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg. The original photos are by The Associated Press’ Susan Walsh. Enjoy!
My plans for the summer are as follows:
Internship: thanks to Praxis, I’ll be working at an education advocacy/policy organization in my hometown! Helping the community!
Politics: Working on voter drives for the Obama 2012 campaign! OBAMA!
Academics: Just to keep me sharp, I’m taking a summer course. Thanks to another one of Smith’s great funding sources!
Recreation: concerts! road trips! building houses for Habitat for Humanity! summer barbecues! Woooooooohoooo!
Looks like I should have a very dynamic summer….I’m excited!!!!!!!!!!!!
The answer is: I don’t know, no se! I have no idea why people don’t care about black history, or American history should I say. It really makes me upset that people want to celebrate all of these other random holidays, but no one seems to care about the most widely marginalized group of people in this country. Or maybe that’s the reason why. Maybe people are ashamed of the continuous and ever-present part of American history. I guess that’s it no one wants to face the fact that black people were enslaved, discriminated against, and even killed in a country founded on the concepts of “freedom and liberty.” Please! I’m black and I accept the history and heritage of my people wholeheartedly, and I am a direct descent of slaves, marginalized peoples. So why is it so hard for others to acknowledge that America has had an extremely racist recent past? Maybe it’s white guilt or apathy or inferiority complexes. I don’t know but as a student at Smith I try my best to make black issues known to the student body, but it’s so difficult.
I guess that’s a part of the struggle!
Happy Black History Month!
This J-Term I participated in my second and final year of the wonderful, Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership Program. It was great because I got meet new people and engage in new experiences. The first week consisted of interactive group sessions led by two fabulous corporate women. We learned about the details of defining ourselves as leaders as well as assessing what factors are most important when making career decisions, and a whole host of other things! We also got to do “leadership shadowing,” where we went to organizations/companies/businesses in Northampton to get a more tangible look at how leaders work. I got to speak with a leader in the field of supplemental education for youth, which was insightful.
The second week we were on our own with a community project! We worked as “consultants” for a youth, dance group in the area and gave them strategies to improve the business-y side of their organization. I was on the time management. scheduling, and work flow team (not much of a concise title), which I was attracted to because I often struggle in these areas, so it seemed like a two-fold benefit.
We had meetings with team leaders, the leader of the org, team members, and everyone else. In short, I was exhausted, but I got to practice a skill that I think people overlook: asking effective questions. I learned how to get to the point when asking people questions in order to get the type of answer I needed, a valuable skill. In the end, we presented our project and I think we all put in quality work that can help this organization continue to thrive.
The Lewis Leadership Program is amazing because it provided me with the opportunity to connect with and help a group that I would not know otherwise. That’s why I love the program, Smith, and J-Term!
Now, it’s February and the harder work begins……noooooooo!
Jay-Z & Kanye West - Ni**as In Paris
-Hmmmm, here I go again! I’ve been obsessed with this song recently and in the midst of my excitement and love for it, I have issues!
I think of one of my favorite Smith professors when I think about the complication of the use of the n-word. It is used loosely in music and ordinary conversations as any other word, and there is definitely a lot of discussion happening in the academic world about its use in popular culture.
My conflict is one of hypocrisy because, clearly, I love this song that has the n-word in its title, but at other times I don’t condone it. These other times involve non-black people and I don’t know just others. I’m just having trouble with the idea that sometimes I hear the word and its fine, but other times I hear it and it bothers me.
I guess my concern is like the normal one: I don’t want to use the word around some people who think that repeating it makes them more connected to my culture or my personal experience. Then it gets really complicated when you think of the history of the word and I just have to keep thinking about it….(The art of the half-formed thought)!
I’ll revisit this later
Ahhhhhh! The Peter Pan Bus hit a TSA car in the middle of heavy traffic in NYC! That’s the story I’ve been telling everyone since I came back to Smith from break. Yes, I had a hectic and stressful time traveling from New Jersey visiting my aunt.
Here’s the story:
I got on the Peter Pan Bus in Noho like normal and we were making good timing until we got close to NYC. The traffic was bad and when the bus hit the car the driver pulled over and we all had to get off and WALK in the RAIN to the Port Authority. It was only a few blocks away, thankfully! I was dodging cars and I almost got run over by a bus, but it was sort of fun!
After Turkey Day: On the way back I missed by bus and I had to wait in a ridiculously long and unorganized line for the next bus. I finally got onto one and when we got all the way to Springfield the bus driver says: “So, I don’t know where I’m going, you all have to direct me.” Clearly, we were all like QUE??? I immediately used the GPS on my phone to get directions and I proceeded to the front of the bus to help this poor and misguided bus driver. He had some long and complicated directions to all of the colleges except Smith!
By the time I gave him the directions we were in Holyoke, MA (very close to Smith), but the majority of the bus told him to go to Amherst first (much farther away from Smith than Holyoke), so the 4 Smithies on the bus were the last to get off. Anyway, once we got to Noho the driver realized that he could take the 12 foot 3 inch bus under the 11 foot bridge (by Local Burger), so we had to get off and walk to campus (almost 4 hours late)!
So, as you can see I had a crazy time getting to and from places during this break, but I’m THANKFUL that I’m back here. Note to self: NEXT YEAR, STAY AT SMITH!