Sunday, January 31, 2010

Poetry SLAM

I had loads of fun a couple days ago at the Poetry Slam. Part of the Big Bang! Arts Week, the Poetry Slam involved a poetry slam competition amongst students, an open mic, and a preview of Daniel Beaty's latest piece. For those of you not familiar with poetry slam, an example would be Biracial Hair. It's spoken word.

Watching piece after piece performed with poise, confidence, and passion, I was moved to no ends. Topics ranged from love to a hyperbole of swagger to hometowns to materialistic culture to adequate housing. Each one was truth projected with spitfire, stabbing fingers, and fierce eyes. After Michelle, the winner of the competition, perform her final piece, I had chills. It was awe inspiring.

One of the crowd favorites was Hometown. It was simple and had a message that connected to everyone in the room. Have pride in your hometown, don't be afraid of your accent, why do you have to be from New York City and not just New York? Of course, my ramblings about his masterpiece of a performance does not capture the raw feeling of having someone perform his or her original piece in front of you. In all seriousness, I do encourage you to attend and support a local poetry slam.

Friday, January 29, 2010

cold weather prompts...

I went for a run this morning. I felt like the negative degrees in Celsius warranted long pants and a warm hoodie. Unfortunately, with my boyish haircut and a baseball cap, this made me look like a prepubescent boy trying out for the middle school cross country team. While I'm sure I got some double-takes because of gender-confusion, I did not get honks by guys in trucks, which I appreciated. I know that I shouldn't take shelter in the fact that I am hijacking social stereotypes to escape my issues with the way society views the female race... but ah, I do.

I was talking with a close friend of mine, and she revealed that she felt like the girls of her pledge class melded into one person. Not talking about humans trying to achieve portmanteau, she was addressing the fact that these women, probably of different personalities and backgrounds, were buying into the social ideal of looking a certain way. They looked like clones.

Of course, this brings up the question about UVA "culture." Does the typical UVA man wear penguin-studded shorts, Northface outerwear, sunglasses holder, and a UVA baseball cap backwards? How come I am attracted to anything that walks in something other than salmon-colored slacks and boat shoes? Will I ever understand why UVA girls seem to reach a consensus that Northface and Uggs are the way to go?

The answers to these questions are up to you, me, and every UVA student here on Grounds. For example, I do not wear Northface and Uggs. I have friends who do not wear Northface and Uggs. In fact, they don't know what Northface and Uggs, and they happen to be from out of the country, where Northface and Uggs are just not known. The fact that UVA also includes these friends and me, as well, answers these question. I am also a UVA woman.

The UVA Men's Basketball Team lost yesterday. Apparently they shot one in in the last seconds of the game, and went into overtime. Unfortunately, that is where they lost. We're still number four in our league! Go, Hoos, go!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

back to school musings.

There are so many deadlines around this time: summer internships, scholarships, and positions for next year. A lot on my to-do list for winter break involved finishing applications, and while I did start everything on my list, I didn't finish it. Oh, well. It's just a pain juggling readings for classes and doing applications so that I don't miss deadlines.

Did anyone make New Year's resolutions? When I talk about these with my friends, a lot of them scoff at the futility of my resolutions. Are you really going to run every week? Are you really going to get eight hours of sleep? Are you really going to be positive all the time? Realistically no, but having these resolutions puts me a step closer to my goal. Perhaps I will run every week, but probably will sleep at least six hours. I want to conserve money. I want to read more. I want to have a 4.0 GPA. My plan don't end with just making the goal, but I need to continue with steps. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It's on everyone's mind. The death of a UVa student. The news headlines. The disorganized aid. How do I help?

With all the groups around grounds rushing to get students, faculty, and staff involved, I wonder what I can do. Stephanie Strom gives us the answer with her article, "Teaching Americans What Haiti Needs: Money" (Nytimes.Com).

Ways to give aid have become easier and manifest themselves through different tools, revealing the power of social networking and texting. For example, you can text "HAITI" to "90999" to give $10 to the American Red Cross. This has led to $24 million for aid. Washington Post has a list of charities that collect donations. UVa has a website devoted to updates about the relief for Haiti.

Let us not be idle.