Today in Art History we were all discussing how massive corporations are trying to influence/manipulate our choices in what we purchase:
Professor: I don’t get manipulated Student: Are you a consumer? Professor: yes..(says hesitantly) Student: then in some terms you’re being manipulated everytime you buy something. Professor: So, what does Picasso want to express in this painting from the 20th century.
I have never been big on birthdays, not really sure why. This one so far feels like most. I am doing alright now but a smidge sad that I have no one here to celebrate with. I do have me roomie and I am going to go out with her and her friends tonight. But it is just that, her friends. At least in the past when I wanted to do something low key for my birthday I could just call up a couple of people the day before and throw something together.
I know I just moved here in September and shouldn’t have a mass of friends yet, but still a bit odd to be kind of alone on such a ‘special day.’
28 is today - 30 tomorrow! ..and I am completely cool with it all.
Yesterday I went and found a box to place everything in our apartment that reminded me of us.
Yesterday I found the cutest picture of you on the fridge when you first arrived in America. Yesterday I watched myself put a sexy framed photo of you into a box.
I found oatmeal, CD’s, DVD’s, unopened mail, a picture frame that all was yours and made me think of you.
Yesterday I placed all of your belongings and our memories into a box for safe storage and out of the way of my eye. Yesterday I thought placing all of these things away would make it easier for me to move on from what was, Yesterday.
I taped up the box and sent it off, Yesterday.
When I returned home I found more memories. I quickly learned that you cannot box everything up. You will always be here with me.
Today was day two in Photo 2 and it is going alright so far. The professor is an interesting fellow for sure. Not sure how to best describe him. He is the guy that knows a ton of information and would be the guy you got stuck in a corner with at some dinner party. Him eating some finger foods and while explaining the technical aspects of the liberation of Venezuala, all the time the pigs in the blanket falling from his mouth.
It will be an interesting quarter.
The first project is a bit confusing to me. I am not sure really what he is grading on. He sent us out on Monday and told us to walk around the block and take 100 random photos as we walked. Since I had to take the rental car back I knew that Amtrak was on the way there so I stopped and walked around the building and just snapped different shots at different levels not really sure what he was looking for. Today in class he told us to pick our favorite six. Then he went on to teach us how to do split tones and just some basic edits in CS5. Next Monday we have to print onto 8.5x11 3 Split Tone photos and 3 regular photo edits. Makes me a bit nervous on what I am being graded on..I guess the execution of what he taught on Monday?
Anyways..the phots I am going to submit are below in the blog.
Just as I was about to lay down for a nap a song filtered into my itunes: Save Me by Nicki Minaj.
I thought that I had heard just about everything that was good from her and that was before this song. I am not sure if it is the beat or the mix of words, but I love it. It may be my new jam until I play it out.
It gave me strength to avoid the bed to escape Savannah.
I drove for miles just to find you and find myself all these screams all these voices in my head you gave me strength gave me hope for a lifetime I never was satisfied
This time won’t you save me This time won’t you save me Baby I can feel myself givin’ up This time won’t you save me This time won’t you save me Baby I can feel myself givin’ up
It’s not your fault I’m a bitch I’m a monster Yes I’m a beast
And I feast when I conquer But I’m alone On my throne All these riches I came this way All this way Just to say
I thought about writing this tomorrow but I am kind of awake now, so why not. I have to be up in 6hours to take that car back so why not waste some more time here in online land.
Not going to speak about the entire trip here until another time. I just wanted to write down some thoughts while they were still fresh in my mind.
I am sure that I had realized it sometime before but it wasn’t until yesterday that I thought more deeply about it. On this trip I decided to camp some of the route. Not necessarily to reconnect with nature more so that I have been without a job since May and am on a short budget string. It wasn’t until my second camping spot of the trip that I had a mini realization - everyone out here is so friendly!
I first thought before that everyone who camps must just be country folk…and country folk are typically just overall nice people. However, this island was made up of a lot of different families so I had to scratch that out. It came to me that we’re kind of out here on this island all alone and at the will of God. We’re kind of disconnected from the rest of the world and we’re a walkie talkie away from contact with the outside world. The next ferry isn’t coming for another 14hrs, eek!
As I walked down this ‘path’ and encountered everyone’s smile I realized that they were not just acting graciously and friendly, they were just happy to see another human - i believe. When we live in the city and suburbs we do not smile at everyone that passes by. Often times we look the other way or sometimes may even push someone out of our way..we’re so busy! Even in confined areas where it can be awkward like at the grocery we avoid small chat and eye contact. We’ll look aimlessly for peas when we’re just trying to mark the next thing off of our list.
In camping it is as if we have returned to ourselves. friendlier. We’re so happy to see another camper and have lacked any contact for the last hour that a human being standing before us is remarkable and a joy. We will pass one another and nod our hello and offer a pleasant greeting. Sometimes even we will exchange friendly conversation. This interested me to see this in the wild. It is like we have been brought back to our roots. We enjoy the contact from another person in the ‘wild’.
It reminds me of a time when I was backpacking across Europe all alone when I was about 18. I had been on the road for about 2 weeks when I had not heard a lick of English. Then all at once on my train departing from Milan to who knows where now, I overheard some UK people speaking a row in front of me. I recall very vividly my ears and eyes perking up. I had felt so alone the entire trip even though I was surrounded by thousands daily. It took these unsuspecting 3 soles to relight me.
We go through our lives daily standing tall and owning our day..throw us into something unknown and sometimes we can be unfamiliar on how to react.
p.s. never go camping alone! It may be one of the loneliest feelings ever.
Two days ago I was scrambling to get ready to meet my friend Tee & Brandi down the street at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. If you’re not familiar with this restaurant, it is a staple here in Savannah. Also overheard that it was named one of 50 places you must visit before you die by some editorial..good luck on the hunt.
As usual there was a line all the way to the street when I arrived but gave me the opportunity to chat them up and see what was going on. We discussed what had gone on over St. Patty’s day and what all trouble everyone got into. About 40 minutes later we were inside and sitting at one of the few communal tables inside. This was my second time here and everytime you come there are always interactions amongst everyone. As you’re passing around the bowls of sweat potatoes and fried chicken you generally just engage in harmless chit chat with the complete stranger next to you. I think it is great cause you meet a lot of interesting people.
This occasion was interesting as the gentleman next to me, Aaron, was just embarking on a roadtrip that was going to take him around this country. He told us that he quit his job back in 2004 while working with FEMA during Katrina. He was about to turn 30 and appeared to just be fed up with the corporate world. He decided to set out and travel in his car working odd end jobs from city to city to learn from people what their American dream was. I thought this was pretty interesting but I didn’t pay him much attention considering I was with my friends and wanted to spend some time with them. I mentioned to him that I had just spoken recently in my speech class on the American dream but in a bit of a different light. I was more focused on the old American dream. The dream where you could not graduate from highschool, work in a factory all your life next to your father and brother and retire happily with a good pension. However, this dream for immigrants and Americans alike is all but almost gone.
Aaron kind of put me on the spot with his question of ‘what is your American dream?’ I am not sure if I have ever thought about it actually. You would think I would have had one in mind since maybe…18 or so. not sure. I am not sure that I carry with me a dream but definitely a drive to better myself, do really well in school, and to hopefully attain a job that is fullfilling to me in many aspects.
He made me rethink again what was the American dream. All I could think of was what is was not.
There is often talk in the media of two Americas. The East/West coast and then everything in the middle. Poor folks from North Carolina down just get completely left out - poor souls. I see it a little more than this. With the boom of the interstate from our famed President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bless this man. He had a vision of opening the west and commerce with something called the interstate - who would’ve thought?! In doing so, many communities that missed the on/off ramp and that had thrived once on the highway sytem now had just been pushed into the shadows. The interstate did a lot of great things to this country for sure. It’s funny to me when everyone points the finger at Walmart for killing mom and pop shops..but when the interstate bypassed your city, did this not have the same affect. While parts of the country flourish your seems just to remain the same as it did years ago. Think it is an interesting study.
The American dream of the past was fairly simple. Live within your means, put your children through school, secure a good job and stay there for all your working days, save up enough to buy a home with a white pickey fence. Now Americans are just trying to keep the white picket post of foreclosure out of their front lawn.
America is ever growing and ever changing. What a great place it is to live and dream whatever your lil mind can dream up.
I just got a 75 on my final in speech then for my elevator speech, i choked. I was trying to go for a funny theme and when looking out at everyone their faces were so serious and i just lost it all. Stumbled miserably. I threw in the towel and then decided just to do something completely different. I started over and gave something that was improptu - wow that went miserably as well.
As it has been lately I have been doing some of my homework at the very last minute. This persuasion speech will be given tomorrow and I have not rehearsed it as of yet. It probably won’t sound anything close to this as I just want to speak from my heart. I hope that one of these ‘kids’ will take away something. Thank you to B.Carver for the quote at the end, love it.
I changed the topic of my speech over several minutes one day and one friend in particular was trying to direct me to go on a more silly/funnier note. Because what a lot of you don’t know is that I am actually not this serious outside of class. But, I made the choice to get all serious again - sorry. And that is what my speech is all about today; choice. What certain choices have I made in my life that I can share with you that may have you rethink a thought you have before you make the ultimate choice to do whatever it may be. What words could I speak today that would sway you. I am coming in with an open mind that one of you will hear something in my words and have one of those ‘aha’ moments.
I recall being about 17 and being in the room with all 7 of my aunt and uncles. Somehow I always managed to wind up in the adult conversations after all the other grandchildren had fallen asleep. My aunt turned to me that night in almost tears that her daughter was making all of the wrong decisions and what could she do. Not realizing that I had become Dr. Phil overnight, I simply told her just to let her daughter, my cousin, live it. I told her sometimes when we’re young we are tired of hearing what our parents have to say and we just want to get out there and live. I told her, let go and let her live. She may fall but she will come back. This made aunt Julie even more upset. I think now what was it that made her so upset? I believe to a certain degree we all cary fear of the truth. We like to live in the light but leave our mind in the shadow. The truth hurts at times.
Its like people don’t like to hear the truth. The truth that their mom has just been diagnosed with cancer. The truth that their perfect boyfriend may not be so perfect. The truth that they may never live up to their parents dream of who they want them to be..not what they want to be. The truth that the world trade center in New York City has fallen. I think as a society we enjoy living in this fog, haze, or shadow. Whatever you may call it. We have become such a society of the now and become a generation of ‘you’ve got mail’ that we have run to the unreality to escape the reality that is exists and the truth that surrounds us!
I am going to provide you with a few of my own truths and some of my own choices in life because I know that someone is going to be able to relate on some molecular level. I know one of you will maybe rethink something that is going on in your life — step back and reanalyze it. There are so many choices that I have made in my life — some much more drastic than the ones I am about to present to you but don’t worry, I am going to keep it pg-13 on ya. would hate to bring too much reality into the room.
I was in the 7th grade so I must have been about 14 - It was this time when I swore off the ladies. I was tired of living a lie to all of my friends and family. The only person that i told that i was gay however at this time was my mother. i just said to myself that i was not going to date girls anymore. as the years went on it just became apparent to everyone that i was gay so i never really had to say it. some friends stayed and some went in other directions. i am now in high school in my junior year at the age of 18 in the middle of science class when i stood up and announced that i was gay. Years and years of name calling, bullying, and living in a bubble, both my by own doing and by the students around me took it;s affect. I needed just to say it aloud thinking that it would make things easier..it didn’t. The National Institute of Mental Health said In 2007, suicide was the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. I was just moments away from becoming part of some pie chart. A few weeks later my mother found me on the floor of my bedroom unconscious from overdosing on OTC drugs that were in the house. I thought in that very moment that there was nothing to live for. I was in such a dark place and my brain was still so fresh. We were taught how to master equations, the periodic table, and encouraged to dive into another language. They never taught us how to cope with the realities of life.
After graduating from high school my first thought was not to continue my education in college. I pretty much wanted to just escape my environment.
So, I moved to DC with a friend and stayed in the area for about 4 years. Thinking that it was time to move on, I did and went onto New York City. I moved to the city in a bit of fear still feeling like a farm boy and afraid of it eating me alive. I moved there with a job but without anywhere to live thinking it would be easy to find a place. I moved in with my uncle and everything was going great. Two weeks later he asked me if I wanted to go have a drink at the bar around the corner and I said yes. Half way down the block he let me know that Herman, his partner, confronted him earlier in the day and told him that he had to choose over him or me. I was not chosen. About an hour later I was on the street with all my belongings in a suitcase and nowhere to go. The National Coalition for the Homeless estimate that there are nearly 1.6million people in the US that are homeless. I had just become one of them.
I know that the topics I give speeches on in this class have been on the heavier side. And I surely wouldn’t be giving this type of speech to you if we rewound my life a couple of years. I have made a few slips in my life and it is just my hope that you can learn something from me in the short time we have come to know one another and hopefully make better choices for yourself. It is said with age comes wisdom and hopefully this is true. Wouldn’t it be great to have learned what I know now when I was 18,19, even 25?!
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross