Author Archives: Amber

…And Holiday Cheer

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As I reflect on an eventful, fun, lightly stressed, laid back semester, I am reminded of previous laborious, demanding semesters that left me worn out. i can truly say that I am thoroughly happy to say that I am a GRADUATING senior!  For me, the fall was always the hardest because the classes were harder, financial aid was a pet peeve, and not to mention miscellanous, uncontrollable visits that were unwelcomed.

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The most stressing aspect of this fall was the LSAT. I think it’s fair to say that most graduating seniors find their senior year very stressful because we are trying the balance classwork and graduate, law, and/or medical school applications. I was preparing for the LSAT the entire semester, and I’m quite thankful that I only have 12 credit hours. It’s not easy to balance the two, but it is possible.

Now that spring will be creeping upon us soon, anxiety and stress will creep in. It ‘s not just waiting anxiety, but the ultimate question: “How will we deal with REAL life after   undergrad?” It’s something we all must face one day, and for us, it’s a lot more sooner than we think.  And at the end of the day, fear  of the unknown is what scares us the most.

So as I and several of my classmates celebrate our winter break with our families, in the back of our minds we will be thinking of LIFE in the midst of holiday cheer. For me, I already feel it. It’s not just fear, it’s excitement and  eagerness. We’ve made it half-way through the year, and it’s almost surreal. It’s amazing how time flies and how soon you’re forced to become an adult.

As I close this final blog, I am happy to know that in themodst of holiday cheer, I have had an awesome semester and I’m looking forward to my last semester.

 

Happy holidays everyone!!!

Sweet Dreams

Instead of discussing current events tonight, I decided to reveal a creative writing sketch. I’m an English major, so I write in my spare time. Let me know what you think!

I saw you in my dreams last night. Or at least I thought I did. I could’ve sworn that was you wearing playful laughter, delivering crude jokes, and staring deeply into my eyes, If I don’t know by now, I guess I never will. At least that’s what they say. Forgetting you was apart of my plan, but from time to time I recall remnants of you.

Never thought puppy-love could evolve into an endless, painful love that served as an insatiable thirst for fresh air. Instead, the moon and the stars aligned tonight. He is your horcrux. Oooooh…just my type!  Well, at least physically; tall, dark-skinned with a mahogany, toned huskiness. Kissable full lips, beautiful, dark brown eyes coverting nostalgic memories of abandonment. Yes, abandonment. That’s one thing I’ll always remember about you-you were abandoned too.

The burning office wasn’t the only thing that burned that night. Your soul was burning with incessant questions: “Why me? Daddy, don’t you still love me? How could you abandon me?” Your dad left you and your mom to fend for yourself in the brutal, Indiana winter. I’m sorry it happened. But more importantly, I’m sorry WE never happened. We could’ve been so much more.

I guess that attracted me, huh? Hmmm…your pain turned into love and I tasted its sensitivity. I missed that. How sensitive you could be while being an asshole at the same time. So tall, brown, and handsome. You were my baby…

But as I sit here and reminisce about last night, I refuse to ignore our love. The cold, December nights, making love with our kisses by the river, the carnal desire of foreplay, but most of all, your soul. Your soul. Your beautiful, priceless soul. Your soul is what I miss. It’s empty now. No more affection for us. Well at least not from each other.

 

Sweet dreams. I could’ve sworn I saw you in my dreams last night.

Saturday Night Live and Black Women

So Kerry Washington has become the phenomenal black woman not only on the big screen, but Thursday night prime time television as well. Because Washington is so universally popular in the media, did her presence on SNL truly matter?  Is it vital that SNL display and promote African American women as comedians on their show because there aren’t any present?

According to Eric Deggans from NPR, “Lots of SNL fans, wary of notions that something subjective as comedy can be yoked to a racial quota system, are pushing back. They ask, bluntly, why should we care? My answer is pretty simple: Because it will make the show better. ” I have to say that I certainly agree.  There is nothing like black humor. Back in the 80s when Eddie Murphy appeared on the show, he would poke fun at unfortunate situations for African Americans at the time. Why? Let’s face it: Black comic relief relieves stress and  helps one look at the bright side of life. It increases television ratings as well.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have that representation because black women never truly get the full representation they deserve in Hollywood. Of course, this refers to black males as well, but it’s even harder on black women. Tina Fey’s appearance in the 2000s was groundbreaking for women, but again, black women were left out in the cold.

What Deggans illustrates so beautifully is the conflict between sexism and racism. SNL promoted Tina Fey, but refused to include a female black comedian. Sure, you had black men such as Kenan Thompson, but even he was discriminated against. At times, his assumed his role in the portrayal of a black woman. Deggans said alot without saying much at all.

Washington’s appearance was welcomed but still viewed as unfair. SNL should have black women on their show regularly, not once every blue moon. Diversity still matters and  the only way we can resolve the conflict between sexism and racism is to establish equality amongst all representations of ethnicities.

False Alarm

Yesterday, I was scheduled to take the LSAT at Xavier. Due to the concern of Tropical Storm Karen, it was canceled. Of course, with Dillard being overcautious, residential students were scheduled to evacuate yesterday morning. I couldn’t say I was upset. My test was canceled, and I was supposedly going to evacuate to my hometown and spend time with my family.

I say all of this to say that in the midst of the “storm, ” I was surrounded by fortunate events and mother nature’s tranquility. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t go home, but I took it as a blessing. This premature fall break allowed me to take a step back, regroup, and  refocus some ignored elements in my life. One of these elements just so happens to include prioritizing my time around crucial events such as the LSAT. Now I have two more weeks left to study and prepare!

This weekend, I found mother nature quite confusing, yet comical simultaneously. For me, it was symbolical. Senior year has been something similar to that of a storm; overwhelming and scary until I faced the fear. Now it’s gone. I am thoroughly happy to say that in the midst of a storm, it could actually be a false alarm.

Now, I am relieved.

The Object of Caring

After discussing and reading Nel Nodding’s “An Ethnic of Caring” in class,  I began to let her philosophy marinate in my thoughts. As she explained “natural caring” and “ethical caring, ” I reflected on my actions, loved ones, and strangers. I questioned how much natural and ethical caring  I portrayed,  in which left me in a state of confusion and at times, guilt.

As humans, it’s only natural to naturally care about someone or something because they/it aligns with our morals and/or is close to our hearts. Thinking about this formula of life obligations also caused me to think of my loved ones or those I consider friends. Do they naturally care for me, or is it fake?  Do they “love me” because they are labeled as my “friend?” As friends, do we ethically care because it’s the right thing to do?

And the same thing goes for family. Do we naturally care about our family because it comes from the heart? Or do we love them simply because they we have to? I’ll always remember my elders telling me to forgive and reach out to the family members who hurt me. Even at the age of 21, I still can’t grasp my mind around it because it’s illogical. I’m the victim, yet I’m supposed to extend an olive branch because they’re “blood?”  To sum it up, they advised me to be the “bigger person” because it’s the ethically correct.Family is supposed to love  you because you’re related to them, but a lot of times I feel like we confuse this love or caring with it being natural. My elders certainly don’t perceive it this way, but it’s true.  Why are so many families dysfunctional and divided?  Why is that we can go years, even decades without speaking to one another? I just know that the care I would have for my boyfriend would be natural instead of ethical because it just flows. It’s not something forced. Once the chemistry is there, it comes naturally.

So is it wrong to ethically care about your family? That’s up to the individual. As humans , it’s only natural to exude the binary elements of caring, but in return, it keeps us aware. I take it as a forewarning. Be cautious of your loved ones; you can never be so sure that they naturally care about you. A lot of us only care out of obligation.

Is Timeless Literature a Thing of the Past?

On Thursday, my English professor sent me an article discussing “Invisible Man” banned in Randolph County in North Carolina.”Invisible Man” was supposedly banned because, “It was a hard read” and didn’t have any literary value.   In the same week, Toni Morrison’ s “The Bluest Eye”  received the same criticism and was banned in the Ohio school system, which is ironic because Morrison is originally from Ohio. Also, the setting of a lot of her novels are based in Ohio.

Both of these novels are revered by scholars and literary critics as timeless literature in which explore and thoroughly discuss blackness, racial inequality, and identity. They also serve well in African American literature and history classes because they tend to intensify discussion.  In my opinion, eliminating these novels from America only starves people of quintessential knowledge of black identity and the issues African Americans still face today.

How are these novels devoid of literary value? If anything, they illustrate a harsh reality that is hard to accept, yet necessary to acknowledge. Pecola, the protagonist of “The Bluest Eye” wished and prayed for blue eyes because she believed she was ugly; that’s what she’d been told as a child. Many African Americans still face this reality today because they fail to embrace their chocolate skin, course hair, and dark colored eyes. Little do they know that this mentality has caused low self-esteem which stems from heavy conditioning of Europeans.

I will admit that “Invisible Man” is hard to read, but it is a good read. Again, something that’s necessary to acknowledge. It’s like reading a realistic nightmare, only difference is that there’s no escape; you’re actually living it if you’re black in America.

These novels are timeless because they beautifully expose the harsh reality of being black in America. Although these books date back to mid-20th century, they’re still pertinent because racism and low self-esteem still exists. Without these novels, African American youth will continue to miseducated and uneducated because they will be unaware of who they are and what they currently face in America.

 

Indian Rape Culture and Women Equality

While I was browsing CNN tonight, I stumbled upon the New Delhi rape case involving a 23-year-old woman who was gang raped by four men on December 16,  2012. The young lady was on a bus ride home with her male friend after seeing  “The Life of Pi.” The drunken men beat her male friend up and took turns raping her, Not only was the young woman brutally raped, but they sodomized her with an iron rod. The damage from her internal organs was so severe that some of them had to be surgically removed.  She perished two weeks after the heinous act. After a tedious seven month trial period, the court finally sentenced all four men to be hanged on Friday.

Throughout the duration of the trial, protests were held by victims of rape and others who denounce the rampant, ubiquitous act affecting women and children. India is currently receiving much attention from the media due to increased awareness of their rape culture.

In the last 20 years, rape has increased in India by 336%. What’s the cause? No one has a definite answer. In fact, every 22 minutes a woman is raped in India.

It’s difficult for me to adjust to the thought of “rape”  being associated with  the term, “culture.” It’s deplorable to know that rape has its own culture. In India, this culture tends to prey on women. In the last decade or so, women’s rights have been politically pushed and but socially, it’s significantly slower for men to adjust to the idea of women actually having sovereignty. After all, it’s still a man’s world in 2013.

Universally, how does this case speak to women globally and internally?  After decades of social movements and enforcement, it’s sad to say that women are still seen as the lesser sex who has little or no value to humanity. In fact, millions of women are raped in underdeveloped nations like this everyday, but when they report it to the law, they are blamed for being raped.  Where’s the logic in justifying rape? Are women humans or objects?  Does a woman ALWAYS have to be perceived as a loose woman to legitimize the brutal attack?

After reading this horrible case, I was heart broken  but I was slightly optimistic as well. This case is increasing awareness to this culture which will hopefully lead to a permanent ending to such events.  When it’s all over, I hope to say that women will be viewed as honorable, beautiful creations and treated equally as her fellow man.