Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To Serve

My first mission upon graduation is to use my major to benefit someone else.

No matter how small the issue, the group I'm focusing on, or the amount of money in my pocket, I want to use film and media to draw attention to the issues that matter - that should matter if they don't already.

I grew up in a neighborhood that nurtured me and taught me what it meant to be a good girl, a good student, and an even better person. As I grew up, things began to change. The toddlers that I watched move on to elementary school became eighth-graders that started doing drugs with the older kids during dewy mornings at the bus stop. Cops began to show up regularly on my street because one of our neighbors used to beat his wife, though he appeared to everyone else as a half-way decent guy.

You couldn't go to the gazebo without seeing spray-painted genitalia or every curse-word known to man sprawled on every piece of wood that wasn't kicked from its foundation. If the drainage ponds weren't trash cans for all, they were near-death traps for kids that dared each other to go out onto the ice after it snowed, no matter how thin the layer.

No one cared anymore.

It became the norm to overlook the small things that once made our community beautiful. It was acceptable to rip down the net within the tennis court and allow children  to play, though no rackets were in sight despite the "Tennis Playing Only" typed boldly on the sign outside of the court. Every walk from school featured broken glass from spent beer bottles, crushed cigarette cartons, and other trash that could've easily been discarded in a waste bin.

With media, I want to erase fear. I want to erase doubt. I want to obliterate and unravel the horrible standards and assumptions that we've allowed to run and ruin our lives. I will help my community take back its power by seeking out the good still left within it, inspiring the youth that will eventually make the important decisions in our world, and outing those that pollute our streets and our ambitions.

 I want change, and many before me have said that it starts with your contribution.

So I vow to make something great happen, no matter the size.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Brainwashed? No. Hopeful? Yes.

First thing's first, I have a confession.

 I date a Republican.

Yes, cat's out of the bag, I believe I've fallen in love with a non-Obama lover. The scandal. To be perfectly serious though, the difference between the two of us has caused me to seriously think about my political affiliation and how its evolved since I was admitted to American.

I liked Obama first and foremost because he was mixed.

Knowing nothing of his policies, the way his religion influenced them, or any of his backstory, I latched onto the fact that like myself, he came from the beauteous union of an interracial couple. Other than Halle Berry and Alicia Keys, I had no other blaucasian public figures to look up to. At least, not that I was fully aware of.  I was in 9th grade, enrolled in a Local, State and National Government class, and it didn't take much to inspire me.

Four years later, I started to realize exactly why I remained a supporter of Barack Obama. No longer was my enthusiasm based solely off of a biracial man being the first to lead our country. Now, I am starting to realize that I support Obama because I believe that he's doing everything he can to support me.

I am a poor college student. Like myself and the millions of my peers knocking out 4-6 classes a semester just to hope to get even a whiff of a job, I'm worried about the state of our nation in terms of its students. We are under-represented, under-appreciated, and under-wanted in general. If it weren't for the amazing financial aid package that delighted my eyes on December 16th, 2011, I wouldn't be sitting in my dorm room, a student of one of the best universities in the USA. But just because I am, does not mean my future is ensured in any kind of way.

Barack Obama knows what it's like to be burdened down under a pile of loans. He's had to use every square inch of his intelligence to get him to where he is today, even if he didn't have the money to get there in the first place. I have no money. I also have no hope that a sour-faced old man with the indecency to say that he loves this country, yet doesn't trust it with his bank accounts, will fight to make sure that my no-money having self can stay in school when I'm already struggling to stay for my second semester. The same man that I see on TV, that avoids questions, kicks out his own supporters based on sexual orientation, and that can't take an ounce of criticism, scares me.

But I vote for Obama just because he's black.

My boyfriend is a Republican. My boyfriend's parents are Republican.

I am a Democrat. My parents are Democrats.

I believe that college students need someone to create a brighter future so that we may truly contribute to the world some day. I believe that women should have the right to determine any and everything that happens to their bodies, especially if it could potentially cost them their life. I believe that one president did not screw up our economy so thoroughly in only 4 years, no matter what party he originated from.

I believe that I, and every other person in this country, have a right to love and marry whoever they want, regardless of gender. I believe that we created this country to be an open door to the persecuted, the destitute, and the talented - with limits, that door needs to remain open. I believe that guns belong in the hands of our soldiers, and not the hands of thieves stalking the pathways behind my high school, killing innocent people in cold blood.

I believe in hope. I believe that one day I won't be on the streets, borrowing computers in the library to piece movies together and have them graciously played at local theaters. I believe that I'll be able to raise kids out of a small apartment, and make enough to buy them everything my parents struggled to give me and more. I believe that it's possible to dream big and achieve even bigger. I believe that I can and will do great things one day.

What I don't believe is that any of that will ever happen with Mitt Romney, or anyone else of similar political standing, as President of the United States.

UsBundles College Scholarship

I can't learn online. 12 years in public school and the first two months of life on AU's campus has solidified that in my mind. If it's not reflective Facebook posts for a grade, or reading a terrible copy of a future textbook, it is some unnecessary addition to the challenge of how I learn in school.

In my opinion, traditional schooling is better than online schooling.

It's all too easy to ignore your laptop for a day, or to go the extra mile to "forget" to check up on your assignments and classwork. Seeing a teacher's face changes things. Being able to ask questions, interact with other students, and jot things down not only connects the student to the material, but invites him or her to get everything they can out of their education.

Computers put you right in touch with your search engine of choice. Databases allow you to scurry through centuries and decades alike, all at the push of a button or a couple of dashes across the keyboard. But online schooling has its limits. I can't actually ask a computer a question. I have no body language or sense of emotion to help me understand my progress, the same way a gentle smile or a head shake would instruct me in a classroom.

More importantly, I find it impossible to develop the proper relationship between a teacher and his/her student over an Internet connection.  In order for me to learn from someone on a day to day basis, I need to be able to see them, hear their voice, discover their quirks and their habits. I need to be able to trust them. To me personally, that can never come from online schooling, no matter how in-depth the material or experience is.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I see what you did there!

Seeing all those photos on Facebook, for a split second, made me wish I had registered for Eagle Summit next week.

If only it weren't $100+ for a day and a half.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I haven't thought about it until today, but I'm pretty excited to get to school and experience all those awkward ice-breakers.

61 days.

Oh, and good luck to all the Eagle Summit kids! Kinda wish I was there with you.

Friday, June 15, 2012


In about two months, I'll have a totally new home. No dirty dishes to grumble over in the kitchen, no random sibling battle royales; no nothing.

Please understand, I love my family. With every piece of my being, I can say that even 40 minutes away will sometimes feel like hours and hours.

But come August? I'm done with kitchen duty. Sure I get classes and a [hopeful] new job, but this is gonna be great.

My roommate and I are already clicking, I have friends going to school in Baltimore, and I can pretty much come home in less than an hour?

I can't even begin to express the joy I feel right now.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Speaking of Roommates....

It's still mindblowing to me that come this August, I'll be living with at least one other girl that I've never met before. Obviously, this is a given in college life. A plus is that it won't actually be too shocking to me, because I was lucky enough to be a youth correspondent this past summer at the WJMC Conference at George Mason. While I did have my own room for the week, I did share a suite and a bathroom with three other girls, who I unfortunately didn't get to bond with until the night before we were to depart for home.

This time, I get a chance to make a totally new set of memories. I'm not going to school with the naive idea that my new roommate and I will be best friends. For one, I've had a bestfriend since the 7th grade, and I don't see her going anywhere. Even if me and my new roomie are tight, we'd have a totally different bond than the one Taylor and I have.

Second, if in the possible case that I end up in a situation like my friend Tori, where my roommate and I are less than savvy, I'm prepared to deal. Not everyone in the world will love or even like you. It's alright.

What I am hoping for is someone I can live with. This is the girl I'll probably be up late at night with, cramming for finals or lazing away with when neither of us can be bothered to leave the dorm. I've poked around on the 2016 Facebook page for AU, and I've checked out the exclusive website for our class as well, but I don't exactly want to go the whole "HEY, YOU SEEM COOL, LET'S ROOM TOGETHER, K???" route.

I don't have a particular laundry list of the perfect roommate, but I guess I need to have something in mind when I'm making my profile next week. I'll attempt to make some kind of list, which if at all purposeful, will make it a little easier for me to finalize the whole Freshman process.

A good roommate for me:

  • wouldn't smoke (cigarettes, pot, hookah, anything smokable...)
  • wouldn't party extensively
  • knows the balance between living with someone else and asking for privacy once in awhile
  • picks up after herself (I'm no one's mother, and I'm not interested in acting like it)
  • sleeps on a somewhat regular basis
  • asks for something when she knows it isn't hers
  • shares some common interests, but has her own quirks and talents
So far that's all I can really come up with. I guess when it comes down to it, it's more matching yourself up with someone else based on your own habits. I'm hoping that I don't end up in a situation where someone lies in order to get a neat-freak that'll keep the room tidy or a nerd to pass homework off on, but we'll just have to wait and see. I'm actually in the process of seeing if I can request to be in a triple instead of randomly ending up in one. Am I a little wacko for that? It's the price difference in room & board that's motivating me.