This week has been an absolute shitstorm. It was one of those “when it rains, it pours” weeks that makes you want to crawl under your covers and not come out until life is back to normal. My grandmother is still dying, withering away and scared to close her eyes, while my heartbroken grandpa watches on with the slightest bit of hope that she’ll pull through. She won’t. On top of that, I’ve been going through other family drama, a job shakeup and heath concerns to remind me of life’s oh-so impeccable timing. All in a week’s work, right? During this time of complete instability and emotional exhaustion, dating has been the last thing on my mind. Keep reading »
When I first went into college, I was adamant about not “going greek.” I will not buy my friends and I will not subject myself to the ridicule of being hazed, I thought. I knew some of my girlfriends would decide to join sororities and some would not, but regardless of who came and went, I knew that my true friends would remain close to me. After a year in college, a few of my hallmates convinced me to attend a rush event, where I’d have the opportunity to visit their sorority and get to know the members: it was nothing more than an informational gathering with food and “mocktails” (drinking was prohibited), so I decided to humor them and go. I left there that night feeling like there was a whole new world outside the confines of my dorm room; one that not only broadened my horizons socially and allowed me to meet a ton of fascinating women of different ages and from different backgrounds, but one that would also give my daily routine some structure. Members were required to obtain a specific GPA, remain involved in a certain amount of extra curricular clubs and activities, and uphold the values of the organization— these requirements would be monitored closely or else you would lose your membership. Before I knew it, I was recruited and decided to go for it. Keep reading »
When you marry someone and sponsor him for immigration, you declare loud and clear for the government, your employers, and your loved ones all to hear that you have created a new family. You gain legal rights and spousal privileges. Your credit ratings affect each other. Your taxes change. You send thank you cards that you both sign. Both socially and on paper, you are a new family unit. Look at us — Kale and Jessie!
But that’s on paper. Words on paper don’t represent emotions. Couples who dated and even lived together for a long time probably already feel like they’re a family — and I would agree they are one. I don’t believe a family is “a family” only when it’s recognized by the government; I have friends with strained biological family relations who consider their real families made up of close friends a “family of choice.” The concept of family is really a mindset. So, when in a relationship or a new marriage like ours do you actually start to feel like a family? Keep reading »
I think I may have had a small mental break down last week. I knew it was coming, I was all tight with emotion after some of the responses I received on an open letter I wrote to some New York school teachers who wore NYPD shirts to school on the first day of class– in a largely minority school. When I skimmed through the comments section, I noted an almost sheer disregard for the humanity of the men I referred to in the piece who were murdered by police in the streets. Men like Eric Garner, Michael Brown and John Crawford, whose unfair deaths justify the movement against police brutality. A movement intended to end discriminatory judicial practices. One that most certainly should not be opposed by teachers of minority students.
To many White readers, the issue was simple: the NYPD deserved support from teachers, even if they mess up a couple of times. After all, not “all cops are bad” and most of these guys were doing something wrong anyway. Keep reading »
I’m on the advice panel for I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, a blog where adult victims of sexual assault share their stories in the hope of helping younger girls. I do believe people, automatically, when they tell me they’ve been raped. Why wouldn’t I? When I give advice, I try to focus on what the victims can do to validate themselves, to get some stability back in their lives, to show their bodies respect, to get some perspective on the psychological effects of trauma — just like everyone else on the panel does. We don’t jump to “BURN YOUR RAPIST TO THE GROUND! DESTROY HIM!” The fate of the accused is not the point of the blog; it’s the fate of the victim that matters to us. Keep reading »