What I’m Doing and What I Want to Do

I am so excited for this summer.

Starting next week, I will be taking an online course for about a month in contemporary British literature.

Next Saturday, once a week for three weeks, I will be teaching spoken word to active elder adults under the Creative Aging Network in Greensboro, North Carolina. I have interned with them before, and taught classes with them before, it will be great to see my supervisor and everyone else again.

On June 11th, I will be part of the Mixed Millennials panel at the Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles, California. It has been amazing, being in contact with their platform on Twitter for a while, sharing my pieces with them there, and now I’ll be able to share my pieces in person!

Starting June 17th, I will be interning with World Horizons’ USA chapter Hillside Missions working in ministry for refugees at their nonprofit. My goal is to work on their art team so that I can do arts ministry.

In early August, I will be training under the Interfaith Youth Core to become a Better Together Coach, where I will learn more about interfaith leadership and help students at the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Chicago, Illinois. The Interfaith Youth Core has helped a great deal in getting ECU’s interfaith organization up and running, so it will be great working with them more closely!

After this summer, I will be a senior in my undergraduate programs at East Carolina University.

I will be graduating in the Spring of 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and English. I will be applying to the University of California in Los Angeles, the University of New England, Appalachian State University, and ECU for graduate school.

My goal is to attend a graduate program to obtain my Master’s in Social Work with a certificate in a field of expressive arts therapy and/or social justice.

Let’s see how it all goes.

“Which Parent is White?”

You, as an individual, have every right to be curious about the people around you. Questions are always welcome. However, how you ask them, can have consequences of negatively affecting the person you’re asking.

I have lost count of the amount of times someone has asked me “Which parent is white?” when asking me about my racial background. Normally I calmly respond how both of my parents are mixed race, and I still do, but I’ve come to realize the issues with that particular question.

  1. The assumption that every mixed race person, particularly a light-skinned mixed race person, has a white parent.
  2. The assumption that every mixed race person has white descent in general, whether they are light-skinned or dark-skinned.

Both of my parents have white descent, therefore, I happen to have white descent, but placing mixed race identity in a simple binary isn’t good because every mixed race person is has a variety of mixes and backgrounds.

Moreover, when people ask which parent is white, it comes across as if multiracial identity is beautiful only if whiteness is somewhere in the mix. That’s not cool.

I love conversations where people ask “How do you identify?” instead of immediately asking “Which parent is white?” I love conversations where people ask me what growing up was like in the backgrounds I identify with, instead of probing at how “exotic” I am because of blackness mixed with whiteness.

Just food for thought. Let me know what you think.

Poem: Questions

Note: Sorry it’s been a while. I wrote this for my world religions course last semester. This poem is a mix of the questions I’ve had and questions others may have too.

If He has the whole world in His hands,

And His hands are big and we are small,

Why did He decide to take the time to create something,

Yes, I said some thing,

So small?

Isn’t pointless for Him to hear all of the

Simultaneous white noise we call prayer?

And does it ever cause a buzzing in His ears to hear such moans

And few cheers of thanks, friendship,

Hope, or joy,

Amongst the majority of threats, complaints,

Anger, sadness?

Why create the outer space people refuse to explore

Since they’re not living there?

With all of this omnipotence,

Why is it confusing to differentiate

Between free will and predestination?

As if they play enough tennis as much as

Angels and demons?

If we have the choice of whether or not to choose Him,

Why are we so pressured to please Him?

Religious texts says He weeps,

He smiles,

He has eyebrows that furrow in frustration,

But does He ever…sh••?

P••?

Has He ever fallen in love romantically,

As many people proclaim platonic love,

Yet use bridal metaphors to explain His existence.

Has He ever wanted to run away from us,

Due to our ends having no future?

If He is too big for us to understand,

Why do people believe in Him in the first place?

Why aren’t they angry being compared to ant-like children

Since they find Him “too big to understand”?

Do they not find it insulting, depressing,

To be so miniscule compared to

The one gigantic being labeled at the tippity top

Of the food chain?

Why is it that others believe they’re entitled to answer these questions best,

And not Him?

Awesome Update II

Over a month ago, I submitted a video to the YouTube channel The 100% Mixed Show, a channel that provides content about mixed race identity and mixed race issues. In my video, I followed the format of their #Mixstory guidelines, where I talked about growing up multiracial, the good things about being mixed, the hard things.

Fortunately, that encouraged my sister to want to submit her own #Mixstory to the channel. I was so glad to help her record her and submit the video for her. Check out her story below! I’m so proud of her!

Moments in 2015

2015:

I have been wearing glasses for the first time in five years. I still wear contacts, but it’s cool to switch things up every now and then.

I flew on a plane for the first time in seven years to Atlanta, Georgia in January. I took a second plane to Chicago, Illinois in August; it was my first time in Chicago.

I have competed in the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia for the first time along with two other slam teammates out of the five of us. We made it to the semifinals and placed 17th out of 68 teams! We met fabulous poets such as Neil Hilborn, Rudy Francisco, and Aja Monet at CUPSI.

I went to the Interfaith Youth Core Conference in Atlanta, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois to receive interfaith training to being East Carolina University’s first interfaith campus group. So much has been done this year in interfaith work! I’m so proud!

I started working at the cultural center on my campus, and then started working as a tutor for student athletes on campus.

I participated in a Faculty Forward protest for the first time, and I went to an LGBTQIA Pride Parade in Durham, North Carolina for the first time.

I saw the first season of Daredevil on Netflix and enjoyed it along with the third season of Orange is the New Black!

I chopped my hair into a pixie cut, and I am loving it when it’s natural and when it’s straightened. It’s been growing out, so I’m now going to let it grow out.

My sister graduated high school.

I constantly questioned what I was going to do for graduate school.

I have been published in ECU campus media and online media.

I became an intern for The Black Sheep Articles @ ECU, first as a staff writer, then as a paid intern as chief campus editor.

I met Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), a non-profit that invests in recovery and hope for those struggling with suicidal thoughts, addiction, and self-injury. I purchased a TWLOHA t-shirt and a poster that has a quote from Tworkowski’s If You Feel Too Much.

I attended the Urbana ’15 Missions Conference in St. Louis Missouri with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. We talked about faith, social justice, cross-cultural efforts, and we worshipped in variety of cultural music in different languages all the way into the New Year!

I have been blogging for over a year.

Resolutions from 2015:

More writing on this blog, but include short stories, not just prose, poetry, and rants. [Achieved!]

Express genuine joy, not force joy or happiness out of me. [Getting better.Achieved!]

Attend a missions trip for the first time. [CHAT Program for Spring Break. Achieved!]

Participate in more interfaith events. [Dude, yes!! Interfaith Pirates Better Together at ECU is doing such great work. Gonna keep it going! Achieved!]

More praying. [Yes and no. Fluctuates. Mostly yes, I believe. Achieved!]

Try painting over the summer. [No. Didn’t get the materials as intended. Unachieved.]

Complete the Star Wars series and the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit series before the year is out. [Completed Star Wars; including The Force Awakens. Not Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. Achieved?]

Do more research as I read the Bible. [Achieved!]

Resolutions for 2016 (trying to stay as realistic as possible):

Score well on the GRE when I take it in February.

Intern over the summer with World Horizons in Richmond, Virginia.

Be accepted to at least one out-of-state graduate school.

Find new ways to to take time for myself while also finding new ways to use this blogging space.

Meditate more along with writing prayers and being more active in prayer.

Read my great grandpa’s work on the missions he did in Africa.

Continue learning how to be more honest.

Audition and perform in a play.

A day late, I know, but here’s to a Happy New Year! Whoo hoo!!

Published (VI)

During my freshman year, I had an English Project where we were assigned to write a research paper on a common belief. I chose to write mine on the common belief of creativity being able to be taught, where I agreed that one can be taught to express their creativity, but not creativity itself.

Writing that paper, researching about creativity is a unique, innate thing, and how it can be used as a source of healing, moved me to change my primary major from sociology to social work, while keeping my secondary major, English.

A few months ago, I received an email from The Lookout, my university’s undergraduate research magazine, saying they were accepting submissions. I asked whether or not it had to be one this year, and they said to submit whatever I had. I submitted two papers, and the one that I wanted in there the most got accepted!

The link is here if you would like to take a look at all of the awesome research: http://issuu.com/lookout_2014/docs/lookout_2015

It’s so great that there’s research in there that students are actually passionate about in this issue.

Published (V) and an Awesome Update

This year is my second year published in my university’s Expressions Magazine, a literary/arts magazine representing minorities on campus. The issues keep getting better and better, and I have more pieces in it this year! Yes! There are some pieces you guys may recognize, such as “Girl at Mirror” and “Enough.” I decided to submit those two poems. I also submitted a poem called “Living with Depression” that I will upload on here eventually, and a short story called “What Are You?” which I will upload as well. It’s a really good semester, being published a lot. I’m really proud of myself.

I’m also proud of being part of an ongoing project called The 100% Mixed Show. It’s a YouTube channel that accepts video submissions about various people from around the world growing up mixed race. Other videos on there about questions about mixed race heritage are on their channel as well. Here is my submission, if you would like to check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxzcxsLHRpc. Also, check out other people’s stories! And, if you would like to submit, the guidelines are right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVRQ4g2YU98 (if you’re worried about editing, they can edit it for you).

I’m gonna make a post about another publication, which you will have to find out more about by reading that post once it’s out.

It’s been a pretty good few weeks.