This past weekend was the homecoming of my recently graduated high school, Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. I was unable to attend due to the late practice I had for Essence. I had my boyfriend go and be my spy, recording all memorable moments and giving me and evaluation of the Queens of Halftime. I learned that during my absence, most of my friends who were apart of Da Cru, a group established my sophomore year in high school, composed of close friends, were at the game. Knowing that made me extremely upset because most of my friends were either an hour, or further, away from home; seeing my friends at the homecoming game was my only chance. Saturday I would be in South Carolina and Sunday everyone would be departing back to their selected colleges and universities. Along with the thought of missing the embracement of my close friends, I was also unable to get back into the stands I once danced in and do the stand routines I grew fond of with my old team. I view the videos of the alumni’s dancing with the current Queens and a feeling of loss was felt. Would I ever be able to return to my old school and experience the joy of being a proud alumnus of MLK when I am being consumed by Clark Atlanta University and Essence? I’ll find a way or make one. Though it seems I am unhappy with my choices, deep inside I am ecstatic and will make use of the time I have. I was still able to go see my friends late Saturday, early Sunday morning and Sunday night. Seeing them all for the brief moment was good enough for me and the joy received from my presence was also welcoming. The time doesn’t matter when you’re with loved ones, it’s the moments we have and what we do within that time. Do you still have close friends like this?
In May of 2008, I auditioned for Martin Luther King, Jr. High School Queen’s of Halftime. Within minutes after audition, the results were up, and I had made the team. Practice began immediately the following week. I had no idea of the complications I was about to endure. I started off on the team as “aye girl” or “you, yes you.” I simply smiled and responded when talked to and went along with whatever the situation was. As time passed, my new name became “number ___.” It was a step up from the previous names, but not where I wanted to be. I continued to work hard daily, looking at the ground every practice because there was always something our old heads disliked, and when we were wrong we push the ground, did pushups, and extensive workouts. I simply smiled and responded when talked to and went along with whatever the situation was. Even the coach, for the times she was present at practice, went along with the number names given. After the first game of the season, the term “new girl” and “princess” was applied and in order to keep that glorified name, there had to be progress, dedication and responsibility show. I simply smiled and responded when talked to and went along with whatever the situation was. After a while the coach and old heads began remembering names, though the names were incorrect. My name was now “Jaylnn”. Every practice when the coach or old heads would call out Jaylnn, I would hesitate then notice they were calling me. I simply smiled and responded when talked to and went along with whatever the situation was. Near the middle of the season, I had begun to become accustomed to my daily task. My name had then gone from “Jaylnn” to Jacque, my properly given name. My first year upon the Queen’s of Halftime was difficult and drove me close quitting, but I stuck through my decisions and by time I was in my senior year in high school, I was the co-captain. Now attending Clark Atlanta University, I am a new member of the Essence Danceline. I am no longer a phenomenal Queen. I have been rooted back to the beginning stage of dance. I am a rookie, and because I entered the team in the fall, there is a possibility of me being a rookie my sophomore year. I do not plan on letting that occur. I shall work hard, practice, learn the material assigned and as I do this, I shall simply smiled and responded when talked to and went along with whatever the situation was. Dancing is my passion and there is no replacement. It seems like a lot to go through but it’s worth it at the end. Wouldn’t you go through the complications in order to do what you are passionate about?
No more than 3 weeks ago I was abundant with joy for the fact that I was now a member of the Essence Danceline. I had wanted nothing more than to dance with the band. It felt just like high school once more. Yet, the coach had picked an awkward time to include me and the other girls who made the team. We started practice the first day of homecoming week and continue on till this very moment. I am ecstatic about being on the team, though I have a lot to catch up on. The only upsetting situation was that I had recently bought my homecoming pass for $55.00. I wasted my money for no particular reason and now I would be missing the homecoming week activities. A sigh of relief came once my boyfriend told me that he would pay me back my $55.00 and take the pass. I had my money back, but the satisfaction of money only lasted temporarily, knowing I still was going to be missing the events of my first university homecoming. What even makes the situation at hand even worse; I had to abide by the practice dress code for the rookies every day. They did not just wear all black with a pony tail in their hair like the team I can from, they wore black, red, white, grey and zebra clothing. I did not have any of the clothing that was needed and I had to get it from somewhere immediately, or else. Lucky I just received my $55.00 for the homecoming pass and I had a boyfriend who was willing to rush me to the West End Mall and help me shop. Once I gathered all my needed attire, the total for everything equaled to almost $55.00. So not only was I missing homecoming, but I also was broke again. Through all the chaos I still progressed and tried to grasp the Essence style of dance, being stiffer and stick my moves. This proved as a challenge during the week, along with the minimum hours of sleep and work that had to be done. Unfortunately, I did not make the tryouts for the halftime feature for the game and was forced to sit in the stands the day of the homecoming game against Miles College in all black and watch our team lose. I would describe my first university homecoming long, tiring, upsetting and enjoyable. I expect myself to re-tryout for Essence next year, knowing I would have to go through the challenges of homecoming again and miss all the activities, just too possibly dance. Is the possibility of dancing worth missing out on my university experience?
My schedule for the week is acceptable for me. My classes begin no earlier than 8 AM and end no later than 1:30PM. Though when I reach the middle of the week, Wednesday, I see that I have to attend First Year Seminar from 2 PM – 3:15 PM. Honestly, when I first knew of this class I thought it was unusual and unneeded, believing that we were the only university that has to take a course about the history of the school in order to graduate. Upon entering the class I expected it to be rather boring and information that possibly will not be retained. The way the upper classmen talked of the class made it seem purposeless. As I continued through the class, I found most of the information was easy to retain and grasp from memory when needed. It is still impossible to believe that many failed such a rudimentary class and are having to retake it now. First Year Seminar is a widely taken course, classified by different names, and is taught to educate the incoming freshmen of the history and glorified moments their school has prospered through. From all that has been learned so far makes me proud to claim my university and proclaim that I am a freshman at Clark Atlanta University and will graduate from this same school. Some interesting fact that I am sure to hold onto is that Clark Atlanta University is the consolidation of Atlanta University (1965) and Clark College (1969) in 1988. The promenade that I walk down daily to get to class was donated from the Olympics, many names of building and streets that surround the university are named after illustrious alumni and that I am being taught by some of the alumni of the school and its parent’s school today. It is a phenomenal to know of your history and we all should continue to do so. It is sad I can look upon many upper classmen and see that much history has not been stored within their minds. I plan on not becoming one of those upper classmen, but becoming a magnificent scholar who is about to trace her victory and prosperity back to her roots. Why would one want to tarnish their education over a simple subject and not learn from the past?
So at times you can get out of hand,
Yeah you make me mad…make me wish I could,
I know I should leave you, diss you, but never hit you.
I’m not even going to shake you up.
Because you are mine.
Not mine like an object, but mine as a lover,
My girl, my bestfriend, my worst enemy, my teacher and listener, my everything.
You are mine.
And you fail to realize that my smile shall stay each and everyday,
Just from the thought of being with you and the moments shared all makes it worth it, always.
The way we are I hope it forever stays.
Because this is who I fell in love with and continue to each year, month, week, day, hour, minute and second.
There’s no other way I want it to be.
So why do I smile, just look in the mirror and you shall see.
You are my reason, the definition of my eternity.
Do you accept the response to why I smile?
I bicker, I argue, and nag you to death; putting the entire world upon your chest
And still you smile, though you can’t even catch your breath.
Picking at every little thing, sometimes the mind can get lost
Forgetting the manners that were taught.
Making acceptions and saying one thing while actions are yelling to the top of my lungs,
Now that ain’t right, but it doesn’t matter cause whatever I say is right.
With the neck turning and hand all in your face,
“Who is she? Just tell me the truth. You aren’t no good.”
Putting you out of your place.
And still you smile.
The slightest moments can bring a tear, a water fall, a hurricane that seems to never seize.
A hug isn’t enough, nor a kiss on the cheek.
The slightest incident can set me off the edge, bringing anger and mistrust,
With the over-dramatic gestures and such.
“I hate you” sometimes being the first thing to come from my death trap of which I am unable to restrain,
Not thinking before spoken into existence, then regreting it all with deep pain.
Such pain that is easy to show and hard to hide or put aside,
So many crys for an understanding, getting so weak in the knees, getting tired of trying,
But yet my ground is held stern.
Because weakness is not an option; because my mama wasn’t weak, nor my grandma, nor my great,
So those walls that were established when we first met won’t come tumbling down so easily mate.
This is a weekly routine for you and I….
And still you smile.
And still you smile, wrapping your arms around me, embracing me, loving me, treating me like a goddess of perfection.
No matter what; the ups, the downs, the lows, the highs, the lefts or rights… you are there.
And still you smile.
The ending of August brought promising opportunities and many aspirations to mind as Ms. Harmony Bell took her first step onto the campus of Clark Atlanta University. This prosperous day marked the next step in life for Bell. This put her closer towards her goals and ideas she hoped to exemplify, brightening her character, making her more alert and focused. With her path set Bell’s ambitions with within sight, making her the better business woman she hoped to become.
Business seemed to be the main focus in Bell’s life growing up. It was not hard to decipher her intended major, from being a part of FBLA to FCCLA and hosting as a manager in high school, Bell was well on the path of preparing herself for her career. Being from Charlotte, North Carolina, a large town with a dignified name, Bell wanted to leave her roots and start her own growth. Though she loved her city and state, North Carolina did not have her requirements when in search of the college/university that would best support her major. She handled her “business” and caught sight of a school that held business on a high pedestal and provided many favorable circumstances. Bell is here in Atlanta, Georgia, ready to make her mark across the abundantly known city.
There was not a turnaround on Bell’s decided major once arriving at Clark Atlanta University. After attending many meetings and transitioning “From Paws to Claws” with roommate, met on her first day of arrival, she knew she was able to call Georgia her home. As a freshman, first year is what counts the most. It helps transitioning from high school to a university, but freshman year accommodates you in recognizing that you are your own person now, and that you are your cause and effect. Bell now stays focused more consistently and hopeful for the day her refund arrives. “I plan on going shopping, getting my nails done and saving the rest of my refund”, a wise decision despite all the temptations surrounding. Growing too attached to living on campus is not in mind by junior year Bell plans on venturing further into the heart of Atlanta, purchasing her own living space, permanently becoming a Georgian. While she continues to prosper throughout her life, she’ll always remember her roots and her main inspiration in becoming a jewelry merchandiser/store buyer, her jewelry box named “Sexy Chocolate”; her beginning, middle with no end.
One week and a day ago, during a late night fire-drill, my email notification on my cell phone started to ring. I did not disregard the message, though more important situations were on my mind at the time, like me having to stand outside in the cold with only a tee-shirt on. The notification came from Ms. Kema, the Essence Danceline choreographer and coach. It had been at least one month since me or any other of the girls who made it to the final cut have heard from her. We assumed she had no interest in neither of us, she forgot about us, or she was simply trying to get money from all those who tried out and had no further needs of us; yet we were all wrong. The message simply read that she was apologizing for the late notice, hoping that I was still interested in joining the team and that I am now officially a member of the Essence Danceline. My heart was overwhelmed with joy as I began jumping and yelling, “I’ve made the team.” I embraced all my close friends and quickly dialed my mother’s number because she was the first I wanted to inform. Though ecstatic about my admission to the team I had no idea about what my expectations were from the team and entering upon homecoming week proved to be a greater challenge than believed. We danced from 5pm to 11:30pm, or 12 midnight, with minor breaks in between. I was being pushed past my limits and over worked because of it being my first week on the team, homecoming week and being a rookie. With the rigorous work we had I began to have many flashbacks of my first year on my last dance team; it was very unpleasant, but had its good days. Homecoming week was very hectic, but the veterans told me that after this week pasted the days would get a little easier and go by quicker. Though I did not make the auditions for the field feature, I still had to participate in all the practices and attend the game, sitting and smiling in all black. As the days continue, I am learning their style of dance and customizing myself to be the as close to perfect as I can be rookie. Dancing is never easy, it comes with hard work and dedication, as any other sports does. I am honored to accept my invitation to the team, and slowly but surely, I am working my way to the top. I’ve been given a challenge and accepted it. I believe I will make it, do you?
Yesterday, October 09, 2011, I had the most amazing, engaging, beguilement day ever. My boyfriend took me by the hand and led me to an unknown destination. When my eyes opened, an overwhelming feeling of joy and accomplishment swept throughout my entire body. I have never been to the zoo before. I’ve spent countless days babbling of how I wanted to, one day soon, go to the zoo to see all of the glorified animals in their natural yet unnatural habits, living and thriving. As my way was paid for admission into the park, within my first few steps, I encountered fresh, uplifting, floral, yet tarnished, foul, decaying smells. The many trees and flowers filled the air with their sweet, luscious aromas while the overbearing smell of the animal’s fresh feces tried to over power. The smells of neither bothered me though, I knew I was at the zoo and my expectations were set. The most mind blowing, astonishing, extraordinary sight my eyes caught a hold of when first entering the Atlanta Zoo were the cotton-candy pink flamingos. The extension of their legs reminded me of a graceful, pose, balanced dancer exemplifying an arabesque. My heart was taken and breath withdrew after I caught sight of monkeys and gorillas. The primate species are my favorite animals, yet when I saw the colossal, pumpkin orange, fluffy orangutans, all other animals seemed not to exist. Orangutans are my favorite animals of all and have always been; to see these bewildering, clever, charming mammals made my day complete. Our last destination before departing the zoo was the world of reptiles. I was introduced to many weird, unknown to my knowledge, deformed, largely grotesque reptiles. The build held snakes, frogs, lizards and other similar reptiles of many species. Fear and anxiety was brought to my heart being surrounded by many poisonous, endangered, homely and deadly animals. My overall experience at the zoo was wonderful and admirable. It was a very clean, collective park and assured me that the animals and grounds were taken good care of. I cannot wait for my next visit. If not before, does going to the zoo interest you now?
Medea has continued to be molded into many different appearances such as, one most commonly known, Tyler Perry as Madea. Though her appearance has changed, the origin of the true Medea and the emotion that all women know, and are able to connect with, continues to be shown. We first know of Medea from the famous playwrighter, Euripides (ca. 480 B.C.-406 B.C.). Medea is about the struggles and hardships many women went through and continue to go through today. Society was seen as a patriarchy, and Euripides brought this to the eyes of all viewers. There are several reasons why we can examine many remakes of the character Medea. She was a symbol for all women, showing that every woman has a breaking point and that certain things will not and can not be tolerated. Medea could be seen as also a back bone for many women who are situated in similar situations as she was put in, letting the men and society know that women are not objects, they are people and deserve the same respect, the same rights and the same equality. Many women put all effort into whatever there mind is set to wheter it’s relationships, work, person goals or aspirations; just as Medea put all of her energy into her relationship and was left behind for something “better”. Though now we see the current Madea as a hiliraious, out-spoken, tough loving woman, the character Tyler Perry produces still sybomlizes that of Euripides Medea; she’s a woman who also has a low tolerance, holding herself to a higher standard and making sure that she receives the respect and hospitality earned, not being afraid to get aggresive if needed to. Medea is truly the diary of all mad women, because all women are mad. They’re mad because they’ve face heart-breaks, they’ve been without anything, they’ve been lifted then quickly lowered and disregarded and women are putting there foot down and letting it be known as Medea said “-when once she is wronged in the matter of love, no other soul can hold so many thoughts of blood”.