Falling Hollywood.

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        My sophomore year I took a speech class where I had the pleasure of meeting Bill. Bill is so cool that I won't use his last name.  However, there is a story about Bill's name that I will share later.  I often speak to the people in my class because it always helps to know someone in case you forget a homework assignment, or need a partner for a project.  It turned out that Bill rode the bus like me, so after class we'd sit and wait impatiently in the cold for the M4/26. Bill wore this really cool fire engine red hat, so I could always spot him in the crowd at Bruno's and we'd exchange hellos. At first I thought the coolest thing about Bill was his fire engine red hat, but then I discovered that he played base in his own band, Falling Hollywood.

        I am still a pedestrian, but Bill inherited a car.  During a trip to the mall I had the privilege of listening to Falling Hollywood's new demo, Fires. There was a quality to the music, it didn't sound like an amateur band at all. The best way I could describe it is crisp; every stroke of the guitar, every pound of the drum, was accounted for.  If I didn't know it was Bill and his homeboys, I would have thought I was listening to Star 104. Each song had a different vibe and there wasn't anything cliché about the music. I was relieved that I could honestly say I was impressed.

 Bill informed me that Falling Hollywood personally records all of their music with their own equipment. Some of the songs were recorded live. Falling Hollywood is a local sensation, performing all over Erie, P.A.  Their popularity is continuing to grow as more people are being exposed via internet. It was pretty cool to learn that Bill was living this alternative lifestyle as a rock star.  I figured I'd shot him out now so when he's famous he'll owe me one.

ABC: Fashion Show 2010

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Saturday night in McGarvey commons the Association of Black Collegians hosted the fiercest event on campus! Yes, it was fiercer than Kinsey 6 (although that was awesome too)!! The show was packed with entertainment provided by host Robert Parker and Ryan Horton, a dance performance led by Ara (who is too cool for a last name), and a step performance choreographed by Samirah Gittens. There to "Rip the Runway," was a quaint selection of models that thrilled and captivated audiences with curves, abs, attitude, glamour, dance, humor, and total "Fabulousness."  There was a little something for everyone in attendance.

The Fashion Show wasn't traditional by any means. Scenes such as "Wildlife," "International," and "Rockstar," highlighted recent fashion trends on campus. Different pieces used were animal prints, furs, and colored, ripped, and acid washed skinny jeans. Some familiar scenes were "Swim," "Old School," "Bedroom," and "Business."  The music was provided by D.J. G, who is also a Behrend student. With the music, hot bodies, and hot clothes, the Fashion Show was a hit and a major success for ABC. It was recorded and will be available on DVD shortly.

my hair =)

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A number of my friends are going on all these crazy diets and trying to lose ridiculous amounts of weight, but the only thing I really want to do is grow out my hair. My biggest concern isn't the length of my hair, but I just want it to look and feel healthy. I have made a number of attempts in the past, but now I am really ready. I am not so worried if I have to wear a scarf everyday or a sloppy ponytail. I figured that this would be the perfect time since this is an environment where people are not too concerned with their appearance. Everyone just throws on their favorite pair of sweatpants and head out the door!

I know plenty of girls that style their real hair and I am trying to become more comfortable with styling my own hair and still feeling like a million bucks. My mother always did hair so it was easy for me to get any style I wanted, with weave. I always had really pretty braids and nice sew ins. Eventually I could style my own hair with weave. I am trying to reverse my thought process now because I was always under the impression that when my hair was out, it wasn't done. Wearing weaves is just like wearing acrylic nails. It is really convenient and pretty, but it is expensive and takes a lot of maintenance.

It is funny because when I tell people I am going natural they think I am about to get a "Big Chop" and stop getting perms, but I am just going to stop wearing weaves. If I don't see the results I want then I will reconsider getting a "Big Chop." A "Big Chop" is when a girl cuts off all of her hair that has been relaxed and basically goes all natural. I figured my hair is growing and I don't need to take such drastic measures!

Before I started this adventure I talked to women that had really nice hair and weren't so dependent on the hair salon so I could have some type of insight as to how to nurture my hair. I took some notes, spent a little money in the hair store, and kept going from there. For the month of January, the first few weeks of the Spring Semester I have been in a trial period. Before I came back to school I went to the Doobie shop and had my hair blown out. A Doobie shop is a Dominican salon (in most cases) where  they wash your hair, give you a roller set, and then leave you with the curl, wrap your hair in a sort of beehive, or blow it out with a blow dryer until it is really pretty and bouncy.

I was so nice and convenient. However, after the first week of being back I had to moisturize my hair and it kind of killed my wrap. I can't give myself that salon look I love when I try to wrap my hair so I have been finding other ways to style it.  I have been using this Shea butter leave in conditioner and it works pretty well. The only style I have been doing is like this curly fro thing! I part my hair and put the leave in conditioner on my hair at the root and the ends, and then I braid my hair. In the morning I take out the braids and my hair is curly. I have to do a lot of teasing so the parts aren't as visible.

This style normally last me three days. I have been washing my hair every Friday and deep conditioning it. I have only blow dried my hair once. In the past three weeks I have only straightened my hair with a curling iron three times. The directions I was given told me to not put too much heat on my hair, keep it moisturized, keep it conditioned, and to get hot oil treatments.  My trial period is coming to an end and I am about to be fully committed to nurturing my hair. Just me, maybe a little help for the hot oil treatment, but I am excited to see where it takes me.

wasted potential

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Wasted potential

So for about five hours I was having a heated conversation with a Haitian friend of mine about race and just her utter discuss with the Black population in America. Prior to this intense conversation we have discussed a few issues raised by her loose comments concerning black men and her reservations to befriending black people. I personally took offense to her brash statements, but we talked it out like big kids, agreeing to disagree.

Well, last night I don't know how the conversation started, but her main claim was that she is disappointed with the Black people in America.  She resents the fact that although she is here in America, trying to do something with her life, the majority of Black people, selling drugs, using welfare,  not making proper use of advantages great or small to receive an education, are making it harder for her to excel and be taken seriously. She stated that no one respects President Barrack Obama because in its entirety the Black race makes a mockery of him and everyone else that is trying to do well.  She said that in Haiti you either live or die and that Black Americans are weak and ungrateful and we don't have the drive to succeed although we have all the resources.

I expressed to her that the comments that she made and the reasons that she used to draw her conclusions are not new and they are not unfamiliar to me. Also, I had no intention to refute them, only to make her understand aspects that she may not have taken into consideration, and furthermore to apply those same criticisms that she has for Black people for herself.  Also, I cannot account for her experiences in Haiti, but her time in America has been short and limited. People often don't talk about what they know about. She doesn't know what it is like to be Black in America. I wanted her to know first and foremost that the generalizations that she is making may be influenced by other generalizations made and overwhelmingly accepted. When she makes these generalizations she must consider that she has met me and other Black students on campus that don't fit her  criteria for the average Black American.

 She may not have had the privilege to meet other Black people who don't meet the stereotype, but I have.  Furthermore, I said to her that if you see a problem then fix it; otherwise, you're just one more person with an opinion. I had to plainly express to her that whatever opinions about Black people she has she cannot just impose on every Black person that she meets. There are a very small percentage of Black people on this campus and she was extremely rude to most of them when she got here. She couldn't understand why I took offense to her statements and why I wasn't feeling the same anger and resentment she felt towards other Black people.

Especially since when she make reckless comments I take offense to that because she is imposing all her beliefs about Black people on me. I take it extremely personally because it bothers me when people have everyone else figured out, but they don't know themselves. Also, I am not at a place where I can disassociate myself from my people and not think she is attacking my father or my sister. It's like when I am in a classroom and student makes a comment like "I don't really like Black people because x, y, and z" and then they'll turn to me and say "Ooh, but no offense to you Chasity. I like you, just other people." She makes me feel that same discomfort that I feel when I am with other non blacks that criticize and judge.

Without completely pacifying the situation or the negative aspects of Black Culture as it is perceived and marketed, I am not going to abandoned or neglect a race, a people, a lifestyle, that has influenced me; for better or for worse. People are a product of their environment. You are going to do what you know. I was fortunate that for my whole life I wasn't accustomed to interacting with only Black people. I am fortunate that I have spend enough time around white people that I have tough skin and some remarks that they may make don't hurt me all the time.  Because after a while you get used to the disclaimers "I didn't mean it like that," or "I'm not talking about you," or "no offense."

I know that God has blessed me to experience living in many different neighborhoods that varied in income, social stature, and race. Many neighborhoods are homogenous. There is one group of people, one mindset, one general income, and one standard of living. I was able to see different family structures and different ways that people manage money. I was able to see that people had old parents because their parents waited until they were financially stable before they had children. I was exposed to different standards of living. Like with religion, you can only be accountable for what you know.

One main thing that she was saying was that people have a choice in life and that Black people always choose the easy route, which is more than likely the wrong thing, like selling drugs, or having babies and dropping out of school. She completely discredited the hurdles faced by black American's in comparison to the hurdles faced by Haitians, saying "ooh well" and "so what."   I reminded her that God won't put any more on you than you can bear and that it isn't her right to say that any person's trials or tribulations are insignificant.

I listened to her and I tried to remain very clear with these specific points. What she is saying isn't completely false or incorrect; however, it is not an opinion that she should be content with having about a group of people that she now has become apart of since she entered America. I know that we used to be Kings and Queens and d I see progression of our race, in myself and other people I know that are taking strides to be productive. Also, when God does bless me with a career I won't forget where I came from and to help my people.

She was upset with me because I was defending the Black people in America. So I wanted her to understand that she is Haitian. Clearly we could have another debate where I was attacking her people and I would expect for her to defend them tooth and nail. Therefore she cannot neglect the fact that she can make statements and honestly talk about her feelings without a complete disregard for my feelings. This is my thought process. I can say whatever I want about my sister and how crazy she is and how she gets on my nerves, but I would never give anyone the right to talk about her to me in a negative way. She is my sister and because I love her unconditionally I can recall times when I have disliked her, but that is my right.

Finally, I am a really pointed person, and I give advice upon request. It has been my experience that you shouldn't hold anyone to a standard that you don't have for yourself.  You learn more when you listen so I have been trying to be a better listener. In the mist of our extremely long conversation I noticed that my Haitian friend had not met a standard that she was imposing on Black Americans.

When she mentioned black people being ungrateful I agreed. I said you are correct. My father always mentions to me that foreigners come to America and take full advantage of our educational systems while Black students are less than motivated. I recalled my experience as a freshman and acknowledged that I took for granted my opportunity to excel in college. 

I brought to her attention that she had the same experience as a Black American because she was ungrateful herself and despite her hardships and how great they are in comparison to a Black American she fell victim to the same mistakes. I reminded her that she made choices that didn't have school as her first priority and did not do as well as she expect her first semester.  She had plans and goals that she didn't achieve because she became distracted.  In that light she should see how easy it is for people to make mistakes, but she was stubborn and saw no resemblance in her experience and my experience.

It is hard to have conversations with people because no one wants to believe that there are alternative ways of thinking. No one wants to admit defeat. No one wants to feel real emotion or discover real logic that surfaces from a passionate debate. I couldn't imagine texting the conversation that we had or having it over the phone. I don't know at what point who would have hung up on who.  Talking about race is so hard because people don't know where to place or accept accountability. It is such a sensitive topic. This conversation was hardest for me because I was debating with some one who was supposed to be on my team.  It made it more real the issues that were extremely undeniable, that I may overlook with love.



off the books.

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I deactivated my Facebook.

I can't make Facebook work for me. I just felt overly exposed like I was giving everyone too much access to my life and my whereabouts. During orientation we met all these cool people that were using Facebook and MySpace to make money. My Facebook should have come with a manual because Facebook hasn't done anything but make trouble for me.

 Then also, I have been more effective managing my time, but I check my Facebook too often! I check my Facebook more than I check my voicemail.  I use Facebook to keep in touch with my cousins and high school friends. Whenever there is a break coming up Facebook makes it easier for me to jump back in "the know," and make plans to hang out.

However, I have been noticing that Facebook is also keeping me connected to people I have disassociated myself from in real life. Even worse, there are stranger s that know everything from my favorite movie to where I go to school. My dad did help influencing me by bringing that to my attention. I am addicted to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and I think that I became too comfortable or excessive with the information that I was putting on major networking websites.

I know a lot of people that update their Facebook status with detailed information about where they are going, who they are going with, and how they will get there. Then pictures are posted to show everyone how much fun you had. My statuses are a little ambiguous, but anyone can look at my pictures and have an idea of who I fraternize with most often. I tried to make sure that all my friends on Facebook are my friends in real life, but that is no longer the case.   

I think that Facebook is cool. I just have recognized that, for me, I have become too excessive with the information I put on there, and relationships I have carelessly become a part of by accepting friend request. I cannot think of any real significant ways that Facebook helps me be productive in school. It really has only brought drama and confusion!

 A new year is coming and I know what most of my resolutions are going to be. This is day 1. It's a little weird checking my webmail without checking my Facebook too, but I will see how well I do. This is a personal decision to take a step in the direction I want to go in.

i got by with a little help from my friends

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During freshman orientation everyone emphasizes that the people to your left and right may not graduate with you. Returning for my second year of school I couldn't use my hands and feet to count the number of people that were not returning with me. Many of the people that made my freshman year amazing are gone.  Last year was so much fun and I think about why this year seems so boring.  A big difference is that last year, during the spring semester I lived in Lawrence Hall with all of my favorite people. My "bestest" buddies were Ashanti H., Kennia A., Kamille W. and Assi A. Kamille lived in Perry, but she was always kicking it with us in Lawrence even though all the snacks were in her room.  

I lived on one side of the building next door to Assi and Ashanti and Kennia lived on the other side. I used to run across the lobby all the time to borrow Kennia's blow dryer, borrow some plastic forks from Ashanti, or to talk to them about the night before. Whenever we would get ready to go out everyone would migrate to my side of Lawrence because Assi and I take years to get ready. Also, Assi would do everyone's makeup. Assi was like our in house Diva. Ashanti was always ready for the fun so she would be the first to be ready to leave.

 Music would be bellowing from the rooms.  My room would have heels, jeans I just stepped out of, and shirts scattered everywhere because I can never settle on one outfit. I would run to Assi's room and ask if she liked a shirt, then she would ask me the same. Kennia and Ashanti would be sitting on the beds texting to check on our ride or dancing around.

Whenever we had homework nights they were in Ashanti or Kennia's room. Ashanti has more music than anyone I know. She'd ask for anyone's music request and then we would sit around and do homework. During that semester we all had the RA class so whenever there was an essay due we would all sit around talking about all of our girly feelings and how much of ourselves we wanted to expose to student affairs.

 There were so many of us that we always had interventions. Someone was always doing something they had no business doing, getting on somebody's nerves, sad about a boy, grades, or family issues waiting at home. These talks happened randomly so they could be in anyone's room.  Everyone but Kennia I worked at Dobbins so sometimes we would go to Dobbins and eat with Kamille and Ashanti after they finished their shifts. We would laugh and update each other on all the trouble we had gotten into over the weekend.

 Everyone came to my room on Mondays to watch America's Best Dance Crew and then again on Tuesdays to watch For the Love of Ray J and I Love Money 2. That was like the only event guaranteed to be in my room. I left campus every chance I could at the drop of a hat. One time it took me a week to get everyone together to play Twister and when I finally got everyone in my room to play I ditched them! It was hilarious because I was like "Lock up when you're done. Have fun!" Ashanti always reminds me of that night!

I was always the "jokester." The first time we ever hung out the recorded a video of me dancing like a jerk. For the rest of the year they would sporadically watch it, they even hooked it up so they could see it on the TV.  Whenever anyone was said they would watch the video so we could laugh. We made a lot of memories.  It wasn't like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or like the girls on Sex and the City, but it was one of those great friendships.

crossing the line.

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   I am outraged by the new Reebok commercials. They have really taken the idea that "sex sells" to the extreme. "Better legs and a better butt with every step." The commercials that are in heavy rotation to advertise this new sneaker are inapropriately representing the slogan and value of the sneakers.

     The whole commercial is a close up of someone's butt and then they pan to the sneakers. I think that it is wreckless for advertisement agencies to put that stuff on television during regular hours that children watch television.

   It is almost wierd that I am offended by the commercial because most commercials are trying to attach some type of sex appeal. I think that I am most used to seeing it in fragrance commercials and condom commercials. Also, I think that they have a degree of class, but these Reebok commercials are excessive.  





bah-hum-bug <3

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It is near impossible to participate in the festivities of Christmas when you are away at college. This is purely my opinion, but I am sure that many of my fellow friends would agree.

When you are in college you have to first accept that you're taking on another life. It's like the "you at school" and then the "you at home" I can expand on this theory in another blog. As an overview, it just means you have different priorities, responsibilities and freedoms that shape and developed your character in different ways.

Anyway, the "you at school," has to study for finals, in most cases is broke, and are just hoping that you are still able to submit a Christmas list to your parents. You may celebrate with friends at school and exchange gifts, or save up some checks from the cafeteria to pick up a few things, but Christmas for "you at school," doesn't really start until you are released for Christmas break.

Christmas break is when you have the freedom to suppress thoughts about how well you did on your final exams, if you picked the right classes for the spring semester, and when your next tuition bill is due.

Christmas I lovely, but it is hard to be in the mix of Christmas at home, when you are not home. Congratulations for those who can do it because it is a difficult task.


o0h man

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In all the Super Sweet 16 episodes there is only one party to have ever been crashed. How in the world could two people weasel there way into a party at the White House and shake hands with the president? It really deteriorates the legitimacy of excessive airport security.

On the George Lopez Late Night show, which I have become a fan of, he said something along the lines of "You can't stop dressed up white people." Is race a factor? Is is truly safe to say in a country where we are all equal and love diversity, is there still racial superiority?

Could a Black, Latino, or Muslim couple successfully get pass security without proper identification and crash a party at the White House?


so little time

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This is the part of college that does not get enough recognition in movies, music, and television shows. Its finals week and instead of the two minute clip of somebody cramming that you see in movies, everyone is panicked, spending nights in the libraries and computer labs. Engineers and Biology majors are not the only people working hard. I was in the library from 3:00 until 8:00 yesterday revising one paper. OMG. Two portfolios, 3 final exams, one speech, and then if I survive, Christmas Break.

Finals are personally a challenge for me because I channel all of my energy into what is due when it is due. This doesn't work during finals week because you can have more than one exam a day or exams 3 days straight. I was a little effective over Turkey Day break, but I am still feeling the pressure. Finals are a big deal because no matter how great your grade is, in most classes you can drop one or more letter grade, depending how well you do.

Studying in groups is always nice, but I learned that working in groups, for me, isn't always best. It is like knocking down dominoes. When one person gets distracted, everyone loses focus. Then ironically you spend your time talking about how bad you need to study and how much you don't know! Also, you can study wrong answers!

My plan is to have everything ready and reviewed while I still have time to ask my teachers questions so I can make sure I'm not studying in vain. It's hard to learn from the book sometimes, but I go to the book. I rewrite my notes; do homework problems, review exams and exam study guides. I have to have a plan of attack and execute it because otherwise I will fail all of my exams.

Everyone is going about preparing for exams differently. Some people have more pressure or motivation to do well than others. The key thing is to remember that your paying to be here and your grades are a reflection of how much you appreciate you parent's efforts to keep you in school. It's better to study than to not study at all because at the end of the day your grades are all you have to show for the time spent in school. (p.s. Facebook pics don't count)