Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Is A-Callin

That's home. I really like this picture for some reason.

I am scared about coming home. Well I should say that I just had a scared moment.

My life is comfortable here. Not in the way that I dont miss my friends and such. But it is a nice thing to be able to redefine myself. My biggest thing about being abroad is that I can be who I want to be at the moment and no one will challenge who I have been in the past.

I have always felt like long term friends and family can hold people back sometimes. When people have known you for such a long time they expect things of you. When you change, sometimes its challenged. "Well you used to do such and such, why you doing this now?" If I want to change something about my personality because I dont like it anymore or something that I do in my life is no longer functionable, its hard to change. Especially if it is something that is hard for you to stop. If I want to stop cursing or stop shopping as much or exercise more, or go to the movies more, or whatever and I have friends that do the opposite, it can be frustrating. Im just saying, when EVERYONE is new around you, its so easy to reinvent yourself.

Its been a great experience though. Because I have been given the opportunity to see what I dont like and what I do like. I am getting to know myself much better. Theres some things that I do, that are inherently ME and I love them sometimes and hate them sometimes but appreciate them. I am loud and obnoxious at times, I will always be a picky eater, I love to talk about politics but only to a certain point, I hate debating all the time, I need to listen more, I love to wear dresses, I like to take walks, I love eating fresh food, I dont like clubs, I like bars, I like cider (which I dont think they make in America..?), I love being affectionate with my friends and loved ones. I like these things. I want to be able to continue with them. So how in the hell am I going ot carry them all over to America without reverting to my old self? I can just stay firm in what I need from me and from other people. My needs are important too.

I was talking to my friend yesterday about the things that I will miss about England. Thats why this post is coming up. I just feel anxious. I dont want my old life. No, I dont. I just dont. I was at my wits end. I like to not be so stressed and not to be so stimulated. CALM does not always equal bored. Eating is not a hobby. I have been taking walks here more. I love to travel! I need to travel more in America. When I get extra cash, im hopping on the Greyhound! Maybe I will choose one place to go this summer. Even if its by myself. I have also learned that its okay to travel by myself. Not too long though, or I get bored.

So, this post doesnt really have a closing point. Its just rambling and such. I am sure I will be okay. My mom says I just need to be committed to doing whats best all the time and I think thats true. I will figure out how to transfer stuff from here to Akron.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Love It Here!

So, I noticed that I have not been talking much about being in England lately and I should. I gave my friends this blog address so they could check up on me. So this is how I am doing.

I feel so torn. I want to go home because I miss my mom and friends but I love my friends here! They are so awesome. Their so sweet and kind and we all mix very well. Very respectful and polite. We laugh a lot. Its a very...light friendship with all of them and thats the kind of friendships I love. I shall definetely stay in contact with all of them. Theres Marjge, Virginie, Marion, Petra, Lucie, Lawrence, and then there are the boys, whom I also adore. Everyone is just so halarious!

I am a lil sad because the girls are going to Scotland and I cant go because I have exams and also, I went to Scotland. My money is so tight that at this point if I add any more trips, they certainly wont be somewhere that I have been. But that doesnt matter because I have an exam on that monday. I hope they have fun though. Then there is a trip we might go on the friday before I leave. I have a feelings I wont be sleeping at all the friday before I leave because I have to pack and I will be gone all day in either Oxford or Cambridge. I prefer to go to Cambridge so that is where I hope we go.

I will be sad when I leave everyone. I am considering moving in with a roommate when I get home. I have gotten used to living with people again. And I like not being alone. Even if that means having to hear people talking till 3 in the morning. Camilla (the girl, who would not stop smoking. Did I go into detail about that. I will soon, but its old news) is so disrespectful. She just talks loud and slams her door well into the night. If this was America I would cuss her ass out. But I dont want to be an American stereotype. haha.

So, last saturday we went to the movies. It was Andre and his girlfriend Anya, Margje, Virginie, Marion and my other roommate Fiona. We saw "I Love You Man." It was so funny! I want to see it again when I come home, if it is at the dollar movie because seeing it with Europeans takes away from the laughter. I always feel like I am the only one laughing in the movie theater, or I am scared to laugh because I dont want to be loud. Whereas, at is so freaking different. People just hack it on up laughing at movies.

But anyways, I will talk more about my experiences in the next few posts. I dont feel like proofreading this one either.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amos 'N' Andy

For my representation in cinema class, I have to talk about representation of race of course. Race, Gender and Sexuality but I am concentrating on race for my final essay. I am reading Bell Hooks "Reel to Real" at the moment. So, she was describing her first accounts of seeing a Black woman on television ( I know, that's not cinema right? Gr) and she talks about seeing Sapphire on the Amos 'N' Andy show. And I think to myself, hmm...that show rings a bell but I have never seen it. And when I thought of Sapphire I thought of you know, Sapphire. One of the key Black women stereotypes so I wondered if this is where it started (and I think so). So I skip on over to youtube to watch some clips. I was just disgusted.

I am well aware of the racism in television, radio and movies over the years. So, I am not surprised that this show existed. I just feel so icky when I see that people find this shit okay. It's not that people watched this back in the day and it was okay that makes me feel icky. I assume that. I assume whites of this time enjoyed this show. Whites and Blacks actually. Blacks were desperate for their representation on television and we took what we could get I think. The same goes for "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times" or some other show that swore up and down it was progressive just because it had Black faces but those Black faces only perpetuated stereotypes. But to know that there are people that still excuse the "Amos 'N' Andy" show as just "good humor" or a show in which they dont see race, they just see funny characters, amazes me. Especially people that are saying that their not racist (my point being here, that their not identifying as a racist but are accepting racism) and just praising the show. It's amazing.

And of course, the Internet is a great place for racists. Since out right racism isnt accepted in society anymore (subtle and institutional racism, well of course, thats still accepted) people can just pick out a cool Internet name like Jiggabookiller, Niggerhater, Deportanigger, and just racist it on up on their favorite websites...which I am convinced their number one website is youtube. Seriously. So I read these comments under the lil clip of the show, and I just end up being totally disgusted. These people making these comments are seriously everyday people. I'm sure its just Bob from the rec or Jim from accounting or Suze from Public Relations. Mm Hm Suze too.

It just kills me. But it encourages me as well.

Heres some clips. The last two are of an interesting segment about race in television that was obviously made in the 80s.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can You Deny...

My cat's cuteness!? No, no you can not. Because Tabitha Sammantha is the cutest lil cat eva! EVA. I just thought I would share.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I have finally read Beloved by Toni Morrison and I am so elated. I had to read it for class, which is usually the sole opportunity I have for reading books nowadays. Well, I could make time but my procrastination usually doesn't encompass reading books, though it should. I love Beloved. Reading Toni Morrison's novels always make me feel closer to myself, closer to my past, closer to my ancestors. I don't want to give the book away but it really talks about the breaking down of people and families. And what the past can do to you. Just the knowledge and the ability to remember. It was just a wonderful book.

We discussed the book in my American Literature class. The discussion didn't piss me off, but as always, made me feel uncomfortable. And this is why I wanted to talk about white privilege in the classroom. It is really frustrated being the "only one" in the classroom. In this case, I was the only African-American but at home, in most cases, I am the only Black. I would say less for my social work classes. But I have my two minors, which are English and Women's Studies. And then general education requirements. There always comes that uncomfortable feeling when race is brought up because you know its going to get awkward; a comment will be made, a giggle will happen when it shouldn't, someone will ask you to expand on something because they think you know everything about it but most importantly, that they feel you should be the educator of if so. I have often, many times, been student AND teacher in a classroom. In the beginning, I appreciated it. Then I hated it. Now it's a little of both.

I hate that this is even a worry. White students don't expect to have to answer to their race in the classroom. It's frustrated when I am othered in a discussion. It's..."So your the other, teach us whites about what this Black idiom means or why would this Black person be upset at yadda yadda." It's like....I do not have my Ph.D yet and I do not get a salary. It is not my responsibility to be that person. I will when I want but when I dont want to, I don't. I will say I don't know or just shrug. And as far as laughing goes, that really boils me. I mean. SERIOUSLY. We were in my film class, watching a clip from Birth of a Nation...and I swear I heard a giggle. I swear. Maybe, just maybe. I was imagining things. But I know for a FACT I heard LAUGHTER coming from the back of the class when we watched full medal jacket and a joke was made. What do you do to stop 5 men from raping a white woman? Throw them a basketball. WTF? Who is laughing at that? I just want to get up and punch someone in the face. It puts me in an awkward position. And I hate it. Do I say something? Do I just sit here? Is someone looking at me to see a reaction? My body gets hot. Being the only Black in a class can bring up many issues. Black woman? Oh, well even more. It's just annoying sometimes.

But todays discussion of Beloved was enjoyable. Although I have a cooky ass teacher that laughs at everything. He's just one of those know what I mean? Like those people that just laugh at everything by just...shit, laughing. And mostly it was about slavery. It bothered me to an extent. You would have had to been there to understand. But yea.

Beloved is an exceptional book. I need to go watch the movie again. Is it really that bad?