Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bullet Point Summary of 2009

I am trying to find out whether this year was a good one or not...

-Winter Semester was pretty cool
- Had my own room
- Met my now good friends
- learned Bachata
- NCORE (definitely one of the amazing parts)
- Twittering with awesome ppl
- NCORE (because it was two awesome :D haha im punny...not really)
- Cut my hair
- Got into Graphic Design program
- So far, I've been able to keep my standards when going out
- Summer job at my old elementary school as a camp counselor
- BEAUTIFUL summer period
- picnic with my sister included
- Went to Phantom Ranch and sat in a meadow while reading and watching bumblebees
- roomed with a decent roommate
- failed epically at any attempt to establish a relationship with a man (as per usual). mostly due to a combination of fear and shallowness
- discovered twitter
- resulting from NCORE, started going on blogs and websites one race and pop culture.
- learned for the the first time about Elon James White, TWIB, and iLL-Literacy
- Started to really invest in hip-hop
- got closer to my neosoul roots (lookin at you erykah badu)
- started writing poetry again
- got appendicitis and spent 2 weeks in the hospital
- had stomach pain for the remainder of the year
- VP of Hapkido but only being able to go for the first 3 months
- learned bachata
- learned from my NCORE class and from my awesome teachers
- changed for the better

hold on, my mom says its time to go out so i will finish later

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

General Going-Ons

As I wait for the 100th episode of bleach to load and stream on my computer, I guess I can take some time just to write. It's been a little while since i last decided to write something (besides this morning). In all honesty, i miss it. I still have the journals that I used to write in when I was younger. It's always interesting to see where my mind was at 1, 3, 5, even 10 years ago.

Anyways, a lot has been happening. Back in New York with the extended family. It's weird how everything has changed but if I dont think about it, I can transform (only temporarily though) back into the person i was only a few years ago. By that I mean when I hang with my cousins. I can, for a few moments, knock out the awareness that i have been trying to arouse, and enjoy my cousins jokes, silly antics and such. Sometimes it's okay because we really are just silly. however there is always a word or a phrase that wakes me up again like "wait, did she just say that?". before i used to rant, rave, and scream about it but all that got me was silent treatments and a really terrible time in new york. i dont just want to get by though by being silent. i dont do silent. but my cousins are in love with their ignorance. try to tell them that something is wrong, they shut down. there really is no talking to them about stuff that matters. so like a good little uncle tom, I sit and ignore their ignorance because when I try to say something, it only shuts them down. so im not sure what to do about it.

anyways i am having fun. especially when just watching silly videos on youtube.
-Oh great, I had been wondering whether my mother could still punish me if im no longer a teenager. i've been arguing with my parents alot more lately. especially my mother. i admit that i have been a lot more self-interested since i got home. being away at college has really spoiled me. no waiting for other people to get stuff done, my schedule being up to me and no one else, not having to put up with habits and bickering from my sister and parents. of course i've missed my family but i never really missed living with them. I've missed my house and cat but i didnt miss being stuck in the house with chores to do that arent things i have done myself. especially doing everbody else's dishes. definitely havent missed that. it's not necessarily that i am just lazy and hate doing work. it's more about the fact that my parents groan about cleaning up after ourselves, yet when messes are made by them, they expect me and my sister, but mostly me, to cleam up, telling us that it is our chore. i ask to have like a specific idea of what they want me too do around the house but it gets changed up so much that times that i thought i was done, they come up with more stuff to do

and i know im ungrateful and spoiled but really mom cant you carry up your own damn suitcase? you are not needy nor weak. groceries i understand, cleaning up the family dishes when i've used my share, fine, but cleaning up a room that i havent seen in 3+ months just because my sister can keep her stuff clean?

and yes, i totally own up to the fact that im a selfish, spoiled brat. but damn, there are some things that i think people should be able to take care of themselves.

right now my mom is mad at me for not answering her when she was calling me. thing is that i had my headphones on at the times so i couldnt hear her (i had turned them up to tune out my little sister. also she is mad at me for not helping move the table when i have been moving it my own damn self for that past 4 days.

so i am choosing to let them go to my cousins house without me because a little space to think is appreciated. and also im kind of tired of relatives at the moment

Yet Another Argument

So, as I have written before, I have an interesting relationship with my Sociology class and the people who teach it. What happened about two weeks ago was another argument about race and it's place in the perspectives that this class teaches. Unlike last time however, this argument was with the TA, whom I dont talk to all that much since he usually teaches the Supplemental Instruction.

Anyway, many times in the class, the main professor has said repeatedly that classes on race or gender are okay as side ventures but you cant grasp the full perspective of economy, capitalism, and government unless you take a course like his that focuses on modest.

This phrase i have thought about a lot all semester. My opinion about it stays the same, that you cant grasp the full perspective of economy, capitalism, and government without investigating the intersections of race, class, and gender, because that is what the U.S. system is based on.

So, picture this: I am at a study session for the final, which is being taught by the TA I previously mentioned. After the session is over, I chat with the TA, along with a few other students. The topics were about Capitalist systems of government and the effect of alienation on it's citizens to keep capitalist labor running. Students start to leave and there is only me, the TA (white), and another student (also white). As we talk about the Sociology class in general, the TA mentions again the benefit of having this sort of "general" class. I responded with the fact that what was taught in class I had previously started to learn already through the courses and programs on race and it's intersectionality with class, gender, government, etc. He, at first, tried to get me to deny that i had learned such things from a "race class". And then he started talking about how issues of class, capitalism, and government cant be solved through learning about race. Race was more or less, a side business that would get solved later when issues of class were solved...yeah.

I tried to explain to him how my perception of class is one that can not be seperated from race or gender. he didnt get it. Instead he repeated how because of my "preoccupation" with race, I could see the bigger picture. In fact, because I was black, I was in fact, biased. I attempted to point out how neither of us were unbiased in this argument. Him being a white male was just as much a bias. (the student who was listening to this argument wasnt happy with this inference either)

And then he pulled the "I'm part Irish and the Irish werent white" trick. Key term in that phrase "werent". The I basically countered with how Irish and Irish Americans are very different and although Irish isnt white, Irish American certainly is. I tried bringing up the book "How the Irish Became White" but he switched back to the original subject.

He started to focus on specific arguments to prove that class was independent of race. like how is your black, you are not necessarily poor, but if you're poor, your poor... Which basically was his entire argument.

I tried to explain to him again, how i believe in the theory of intersectionality and how a "solution" to class inequality could not come without dealing with race because they are part and parcel of the same big picture. it was this perspective that i dont think he ever grasped. he kept saying how class and race were seperate. (and then accusing me of saying that race was the most important aspect when i say no such thing. I just didnt discount it as some "side accessory" to be dealt with later. which means never)

I even attempted a metaphor because at this point, I wasnt trying to change his opinion. I was just trying to get him to see my point. whether he agreed or not. but he refused to see it. I used Gumbo as a metaphor (i know, i know, but i was really hungry at that point. it was like 8pm and i hadnt had dinner yet.) Basically Gumbo or class, isnt gumbo unless it has all the ingrediants that make it gumbo in the first place. Class isnt just on category, it's a label meant to identify certain experiences and elements that does not exclude race or gender.

but eventually i gave up. he wasnt hearing me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Poem #3

Im basically writing a whole bunch of poems so that eventually at least one will be good. hopefully.

Let go, let go
Let go of your investments in the time, space, and feelings you shared with them. I tried to warn you before didn’t I? I told you that as good as it was then, they would eventually drop you at a time where you’re the most vulnerable. See that’s why it’s been just you and me. Which in essence is you and you. Just let go of the laughter inside of the inside jokes and let go of the hugs, the kisses on the cheek, let go of finally being part of something other than your own pity party cause you weren’t even invited to that. Its not that they don’t like you, its just that they didn’t care, something that you always suspected, something that I always told you. But you decided that since you never trusted before, you should probably start. You’ve always been left out, remember?
No matter how long the time, whether weeks, months, or years, they eventually tell you what you knew already. That you just not part of them, can never be part of them and so good luck on your search elsewhere.
What? You don’t want to let go? Please baby, what are you going to do? Even if they do pick you up again, for how long will they keep you? They’ll take what you give them and give you fool’s gold of self-worth and confidence back cause hey, you never mastered the whole “achieving self-contentment” thing alone, did you? Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. So let go of the mess, let go of them, because I will always be here in the back of your mind telling you and reminding you that you aren’t worth the time. You aren’t worth their time.
Now go ahead. Sit in the corner. Make sure to get some tissue

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So, I have a dilemma

How do I truly acknowledge and accept who I am? I am strange but I am sick of wearing as some sort of badge on my chest. im tired of only trying to be "different" and not me. and the only reason why i do that is because people point out how weird i am without me trying but i dont know how to defend myself against my doubts and their words. i dont know if im doing this right

UPDATE: So after talking with twitter folks i think im going to insert a subtitle whenever i find "political cerebral answers". and i am not mocking the person who told me that because she's right. i need to stop hiding behind it

(for reference Im a 19-year-old, mid-class, black woman from the Midwest. The people I will be referring to are all female and either Latino or Black, middle class or working class. However I go to a majority white, rural school so finding a group of people who wont ask me if I tan is a little difficult which is why I hang with this group so much)

SUBTITLE: the girls im with are some of the few people of color at this school and i feel comfortable hanging out with since i dont have to brush over topics with them for the sake of "getting along"

For those of you who dont know me, I have very rarely cared about fashion. I also cared little about blending in. However things have been happening very fast so even just writing this out may help.

Recently I have gained a new group of friends. Especially two in particular. People who actually seem to like being around me and when I say strange or weird stuff (which happens often) they dont give me the side eye for it. most of the time they either agree or they laugh. mostly laugh. I have had little experience dealing with people and I dont usually hang with my peers but I have been enjoying their company. However there is this one thing.

I have never grown up to love shopping, to care all that much about style or fashion other than the few occasions that i go dancing (cuz i love dancing). I dont wear makeup and rarely wear anything other than beat up white sneakers or boots. So the girls Im hanging with are trying to change that a little. When I wanted to get a outfit to wear when I went dancing, I let them "kidnap" me to get some clothes. Now though, some want me to completely redo my closet. Mostly because all I wear most days are sneakers, jeans, a one size too big tshirt and a bulky sweatshirt. The thing is, I would hate to start nursing a dependence on mainstream clothing and fashion etiquette, which i have always prided myself on not having.

SUBTITLE: I hate changing the things that I like or am comfortable doing just because other people are doing it and not because I actually want it.

One of other the things keeping me from wanting to buy more clothes, accessories, and shoes is that fact that then I would be buying (literally) into the lifestyle that corporations and society tells me i need to have as a black female: the endless nail polish, jewelry, hats, scarves, makeup etc. and i really dont want that. i dont want to be anymore dependent on a system that i despise any more than i have to be. buying clothes that i dont need has never been a mindset of mine and i want to keep it that way.

SUBTITLE: I always compare myself to my peers and I like separating myself as a sort of defense mechanism because I have always been considered strange and so instead of trying to hide it like I used to, I project it until I seem as if I am fine being different. I very rarely find people that wont laugh at me because i've been laughed at by everyone else and it still pisses me off. So I try to fake like I have embraced it instead. TV and people I have tried to be friends with tell me that I'm too out there.
But it is no lie that I despise the manipulative nature of "mainstream culture" because it puts an emphasis on normality. and people tell me im not normal.

some of the people I am hanging out with are willing to let me go as far as i am willing so maybe its just a matter of me saying "okay, im good now. im done buying clothes". cause when i talk about capitalism, racism, or the inherent system of dependency on material items to gain human interactions like friendship and love, and the the inherent privilege that comes with that, nobody really listens.
SUBTITLE: I am starting to learn about capitalism, classism, racism, ableism, and privilege and whenever i want to talk about what i've learned or theories, im always shut down.

reading this post makes me realize that i sound like a 14-year-old. then again when it comes to people my age that probably is my maturity level.

MOST RECENT UPDATE:Yeah, I make simple things complicated and oversimplify the complicated. my dilemma that i posted earlier was less about my friends and more about my continuing issues with being laugh at by my peers and, as a defense mechanism, projecting my "difference" out with false pride. still not sure how to deal with that