Token Black Girl

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Teachable Moment

I'd like to be a teacher. I am working at it currently and cannot wait to make it through the monotony of the teacher credentialing process. Most of the content is informative at very least but showing up to long classes and the homework can be a real drag. To be honest, just this last week I was seriously considering quitting. Things had been going very poorly in my life and I had the sinking feeling that I was flying out of control. In my life control is a big deal. I was feeling very down and things seemed to be getting worse before they got better. You know the old saying that when it rains it pours? Yeah well my life was looking like a level 5 hurricane. I thought that maybe I should take a break. Maybe this was all too much and I could pick school back up when my life was in less chaos. Teaching can wait right? It waited this long, it won’t go anywhere.

Token Black Girl continued

Okay so last week I vented and I thought I completely got it all out of my system, but once again this week I felt the enormity of being the single solitude black student in my credential courses. I have a new teacher this week, one whom I feel I will really do well with. I have already learned a great deal from him in just one sitting. The man is a great teacher, I can already tell. So despite the fact that I am super tired (haven’t slept in more than 24 hours) I find myself actually hanging onto his every word, I am truly engaged, until he brings up Ebonics. As usual during this discussion I studied the complexities in the varying textures of the carpet as to avoid being called on as the token black student yet again. I have issues, I know. But back to the discussion of Ebonics and why I was so repulsed by it. This has been recognized as an official language by the American Society on Language or some such organization that makes these kinds of decisions. I appreciate that my teacher did take time to admit that this organization is largely white run, but still I sat in semi disgust. Again, why are Anglo - American people making all the calls regarding Black American language?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The token black girl

I am in a highly reputable teacher credentialing program at an excellent private university. While I love the program that I am in, it is in dire need of some diversity. I've experienced this before, and its no big deal. I attended a predominately white private Christian college for my undergrad studies and I loved it there. However I keep having similarly uncomfortable situations. In the track that I enrolled in, I am the only black student. That’s not a huge problem for me. I get along with my classmates, and my learning experience has been a positive one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happiest Place on Earth

This year I bought a season pass to Disneyland on my birthday. I had only been to the park once before with an ex boyfriend shortly after high school. He didn't like to stand in lines and was opposed to taking pictures with Disney characters so all we did was walk in circles for 2 - 3 hours arguing and I never really got a chance to experience the park. This year when my big sister and her husband took me for my birthday, I had the time of my life! Okay, so I turned 27 and not 7 but I had a great time. I never would have believed that Disneyland was so magical.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Independent Woman: The Controversy "Part 1"

It seems that these days there has been an epidemic of rap and R&B songs giving tribute to the independant woman. Woman did in fact begin this craze (i.e. 'Independant Women' - Destiney's Child / Charlies Angels Full Throttle Soundtrack), however it has spread to momentous porportions. My question is what exactly does it mean to be an independent woman, why is it sudenly so popular and at what point to you cross the line between independence and seclusion. I feel like I have a lot to say on this issue, so I will break it up into parts. Part one - what does it mean to be independent and where do I fit in?

Okay ladies, what does it mean to be independent exactly? According to the definition is as follows...

In-de-pen-dent /ˌɪndɪˈpɛndənt/ [in-di-pen-duhnt]
1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker.
2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free
3. rejecting others' aid or support; refusing to be under obligation to others.

Thats a good start I imagine, not being influenced or contolled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc. I'd like to think That I am pretty good at that one. Before I continue please know that by no means am I saying that I myself live my life as a perfect example of independence, not at all. However I can only express my own ideas with any level of honesty or authenticity, as I see it. I feel that I am rather good on not being influenced by others, particularly in opinion or conduct. I am an outcast, I always have been.

I was that kid in school who dressed differently than everyone else. You know that girl, the one who would wear clothes that were so far from in that she stuck out. Yup, that was me (don't worry, I bloomed in college... at least apparel wise). I cherished having ideas of my own and literally despised those that followed a crowd or trends. I took the word 'trendy' as a matter of offense. Yes I was THAT girl. I can't say that I have changed much. Okay so I dress more socially acceptable, but all and all I am extremely difficult to disway. I enjoy hearing opposing opinions from my own, mulling them over, weighing the pros and cons, adapting my argument to them and in the end holding true to my own. I feel like that is a fantastic quality to have, unfortunately I get a lot of crap about it. I have literally been told, "Do you always have to be so different?" or "Wouldn't it be easier to just be like everyone else, just for this one thing?" (For the record I am not that annoying chick who has to disagree with everything for the sake of disagreeing; I hate that chick too, probaly more than you.) No, I cannot change my opinion just to fit in, or to make life easier on you. I cannot blend myself into obscurity for the sake of the team, nor does the team have the right to ask me to.

I also find this to be an issue when dealing with men romantically. It seems that they all say that want a woman to be independent, but when she begins to behave independently they start having issues, particularly men of my culture. They'd like me to be independent enough to pay my own bills and pick up my own tab after dinner, but once we have a differing opinion I shoud transform to the So Cal version of a Stepford Wife. "Whatever you like dear, of course dear, you are always so right on!" Yeah, not going to happen in this lifetime, at least not from me. I have been told by multiple women 'thats why you're not married now! You have to let the man be the man. Let him make the decisions, let him feel like he's in control. You have to learn how to submit" One day someone will have to explain to me how that works. I work just as hard as he does if not harder, I earn just as much as he does if not more, and I can do very well for myself, yet I should hand control of all I earned to him, starting with my dignity and self respect? No self respecting Independent woman would do such a thing. We, and I qoute, are not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction. In short, I answer to me and God, period.

When you do for yourself you really arent obligated to anyone. The downside to that is if you fall, you fall alone. If you mess up, everyone knows you did it. When times are tough you trudge through them alone. That can be hard, trust me on that one, but are amazing experiences that teach you so much about who you really are and what you are really made of. Nobody said being independent was easy or glamorous. Don't believe everything you see in the music videos, they have stage crews and make up artists to make their independence look amazing. Unless you have a personal assistant and stage lighting, I suggest you trade your stilletos in for combat boots because independence rarely comes without a war.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

I'm a black woman with a blog, you can expect that I might have something to say about the days events. Before I can even begin to speak on the Inauguration I have to rewind to Election Day. On November 4th I waited to vote until the very last minute of the last day, unlike most members of my family. I got off of jury duty at 4pm and raced to my polling place about 20 minutes drive away. My sister in law was in a local hospital in labor, preparing to birth her first child into the world. I break every known speeding law in the State of California to make it to the polls and then the hospital. There is no way I would miss my younger brother, my only male sibling, becoming a father.