Last night, I watched Precious: Based of the Novel Push by Sapphire. Now, Precious has been nominated, and has won numerous awards; Mo'Nique even won an Oscar. And generally, I like to Oscar nominated pictures, but I was extremely reluctant to watch Precious. When I first saw the trailer, I was excited by the film. I knew it was going to be good. But once the reviews came out and my friends saw the movie, I only heard one thing: "It's so hard to watch." Lee Daniels, the director, is known for making really gritty movies (Monster's Ball). So, it wasn't that difficult to believe. Every time I had an opportunity to watch the movie, I avoided it. I just did not want to be depressed.
However, there was a screening of Precious sponsored through my African American history class. I didn't go to the screening, but I knew I needed to get over myself. So, I went to the RedBox and rented it. It was just time for me to watch it.
The verdict --------->>>>>> I enjoyed it. It was really good because it raised some really interesting and difficult questions. Like, why do parents abuse their kids? What motivates them? Mo'Nique's character attempts to answer some of these questions.
To be honest, I see girls like Precious in Memphis all the time. I usually assume that I know their story, but after watching the film, I realized I don't know anything about their lives. Even more, I used to think I had problems. Now, I realize that I dont have a problem in the world... Precious got problems. The movie helped me put my own trivial concerns in perspective. It helped me realize how very blessed I am.
This weekend is our National Act concert, and Three Six Mafia is headlining it. There are a lot of people on campus excited about this show, but I am just not into it. I'm from Memphis; I was raised on their music since I was a little kid. Whether they have a new record or not, Three Six Mafia is always in continuous rotation on the hip-hop stations back home. Its just how popular they are.
What the guys on campus dont know is that Three-Six has been known to put on some questionable shows. For instance, there is usually a rap concert called Crunkfest held in Memphis every summer. Crunkfest invites rappers all across the nation to come, and Three Six is one of the headliners. Three Six will show up to the concert late, and usually under the influence of something. Even more, Crunkfest usually gets shutdown for a shooting or something. One year, someone associated with Three Six was responsible for the shooting! It was just a huge mess.
If Three Six does show up (on time), they will probably send more of there obscure members. I'll be shocked if DJ Paul, Crunchy Black, or Juicy J come out on stage. I'm also expecting them to use Wabash as a platform to debut some "new" material. I doubt if they'll play any of the classics like "Late Night Tip," "Who Run It," or "Side to Side." I'm just not getting my hopes up about this concert. But, we'll see.
I recently watched a biopic about Paul Robeson, and I found his story interesting. Robeson left home to attend college at RutgersUniversity. This was a huge deal because he was the only Black student at the time. He was extremely successful in school. He was even initiated into Phi Beta Kappa.Since freshmen year, this has been a personal goal of mine. I’m not sure I will get inducted, but its encouraging to know Robeson helped pave the way so young African Americans, like me, can join that prestigious society.
Furthermore, I really admired Robeson’s talents as an artist. He was so accomplished at an early age. When he was fresh out of Rutgers, he was starring in plays on Broadway. How amazing is that? His singing voice surely aided his success on stage. He has a powerful bass voice. In the video, he sang Old Man River. I’m not sure if I had ever heard it sang quite like that. I was deeply touched.
Robeson’s transition into film was more problematic for me. Although he was getting casted for multiple movie roles, he was propagating stereotypes about Blacks. I wonder if he was aware of the impact his acting career had on the Black community. It’s so complicated because Robeson wanted to be a star. Should he have sacrificed his career in movies and waited for roles that would portray Blacks in a positive light? I don’t know. Most likely, he would not have been cast as frequently. On the other hand, Robeson was very well paid. I would argue that he was one of the wealthiest Blacks in America during the 20’s and 30’s. He was able to lead a good and comfortable life. What more could a man ask for? He was able to provide a wonderful life for his wife and son. Many Black during that time could not say the same.
His political life would ostracize him from not only the Black community, but from the American community too. Although not a member of the Communist party, Robeson publically approved socialism. This caused so many problems for Robeson. J. Edgar Hoover would keep tabs on Robeson, and the NAACP would turn their backs on him. How awful this must have been for him? He sacrificed so much for African Americans. He was always fighting for racial equality. Although he chose socialism as the vehicle to bring racial equality, I think it’s terrible that the Black community would turn their backs on him. I’m sure he must have felt so alone and isolated. Later in life, the Black community would re-embrace Paul. At least for me, I’m too sure if I would have embraced the Black community back. The many years of persecution and isolation would have been enough for me not to come back to America. However, Robeson was a better man than me. Although Robeson’s relationship with the Black community would never be the same, he re-entered the Black community.
Overall, I feel like he was a great man with an incredible story.
Its that time of year. 400 high school seniors have arrived at Wabash, and they are looking to earn some cold, hard cash (scholarships). As well, many prospects are interested in our fraternity system and would like to rush. This is the first year in three years that I haven't been in the driver's seat; that is, this is the first year I haven't been organizing Beta's rush events, ushering prospects back to our house, and being on call by the admissions staff. This year, I'm just trying to relax. I have a jazz band concert in an hour. We're playing two tunes; once that over, I'm going to the Phi Delt Bouts. In the five Honor Scholar Weekends, I have never, ever attended the Bouts. The Bouts are a boxing match that the Phi Delt house hosts every year. Its a Wabash tradition of 25 years, and I have never been. Tonight, I'm making time to go. Then, I am going to rush all nine fraternities tonight. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I think it will be fun. I'm going to put on a high school letterman jacket and walk around tonight to see how many bids I get. I'll probably get none because I have friends in all the living units, but I'm guessing it'll be fun.
Well, I only have 7 weeks of college left, and I still dont know what my next move is. I'm still waiting to hear back from grad programs. This is absolutely the worst part. I cant make any new plans because I'm stuck in limbo, I dont know if I've been accepted or not; I'm just waiting. The worst part is that I may have to wait until April 15th until I get a final answer. THAT"S A MONTH AWAY! How am I suppose to sit in the dark for another month? I check my email frantically every hour because I may get a message. However, I'm usually disappointed because there is nothing in my inbox from Clark or University of Houston. Its so stressful that I've been neglecting my schoolwork some. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to class. But nonetheless, I'm distracted. I'm watching my friends accept job offers and admission offers to law or medical school. And I cant say that I'm doing the same thing right now because I'm waiting.
Well, my last spring break has come to a close, and I honestly believe it will be one of the most memorable times in my life. Even when I sit down and try to recap my adventures, I usually manage to forget one or two funny moments. But thank God for digital cameras and your friends, right? They dont let you forget anything. Its kind of like the final scene in The Hangover when Doug, Phil, Stu, and Alan finally find their digital camera, and they are able to relive Doug's bachelor party. We wake up every morning and look at our cameras. Every picture, someone is saying, "No way that happen!" or "Why is there blood on my pants?"
Now I have to wake up tomorrow and get back to school. There is no way I'm going to want to go back to class on Monday. I'm pretty sure I have 2 papers due next week, but I'm not worried about it right now. I just had one of the best weeks of my life. Who wants to worry about schoolwork?
I cant believe spring break is almost over. This has been the best spring break ever. We've party since the moment we got here, and there has been no stopping. I think today we might go ride some go karts or parasailing. The weather is kinda crappy out today, but I'm not going to let that get me down. I mean, you gotta enjoy your vacation while you can. Even if it starts to rain, I will be hanging out somewhere. This spring break cost me a lot... remember how we got scammed out of our first rental house?
With everything I've been through, I plan on enjoying myself until we have to pack up the car.
Spring break 2010 has been amazing! I had no idea MTV's version of spring break could really exist. Last year, Gulf Shores was a pretty relax experience. There were a lot of older people. Panama City is the exact opposite. There are so many young people. There are kids from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, and Indiana. It is sick. There is always a party going on. You can either find a party in your hotel, on the beach, in a bar, or at a club... there is always something to do.
For instance, yesterday Spinnickers, a local club, hosted a free concert. Luke Bryan performed for 2 hours straight, and it was awesome. There were so many people crowded into the club. Once Luke got on stage, they tossed like 20 beach volley into the crowd, turned on a foam machine, and tossed t-shirts out to everyone. Even more, Bryan put on a good show. He performed some of his bigger hits like "Do I," "We Rode in Trucks," and "Rain is a Good Thing." I'm not a huge country fan, but I enjoyed his show.
Furthermore, this trip has also been brought my pledge class closer together. Will Hoffman, one of my pledge brothers, just got a job offer in Pittsburgh. The job is an incredible opportunity, and he accepted it immediately. However, he opened up the other night that he is terrified of starting this job. He's worried about moving to a new a state by himself. I told him that being nervous is natural, and he doesn't have anything to worry about. There are tons of young people in the city; he is sure to make friends.
I guess we're all finally realizing that we only have 7 weeks left together. I guess we better make the most of it.
My senior spring break begins today! We got all our spring break plans finally straightened out, and we're still going to Panama City Beach. Throughout my college career, I've devoted my spring breaks to mostly scholarship and service. This time, I'm looking to have a stereotypical spring break. You know, relaxing on the beach, coolers of beer, MTV camera men, Evangelist ministers walking up and down the beach trying to save drunk spring breakers from eternal damnation, volley ball on the beach, long lines to get into dance clubs... basically, the spring break that happens in the movies.
I'm excited. There are so many Wabash guys going this year. There are at least 20 Betas going down. I know there are a ton of Lambda Chi's going. Even Wabash Christian Men are going on to Panama. I'm really sure what everyone's plans are, but Panama is really small. I'm sure we all will run into each other. And I'm sure there will be some funny story that emerges out of it.
Every semester, each living unit hosts a dinner for faculty members. This year, I'm in charge organizing Beta's. It's been a lot of work, but it has all been leading to today. Three weeks ago, I created and printed off invitations, and I have been passing them out religiously to the faculty ever since. Because I wanted them all to feel welcome, I personally walked around and passed these invitations out. As it looks like we're going to have a big turn out tonight, I think it made a big difference.
This week, I've been so busy finalizing the menu, buying decorations, and making sure the dining room is clean. Of course, some things really aren't up to my standard of excellence, but some would call my standard unattainable. What can I say? When things are done, I want them to look first rate; I honestly don't be in doing anything half-assed, especially a faculty dinner. However, over the years, I've learned that some things are beyond my control. It might not look exactly how I want it, but that doesn't mean it wont look good.
After class, the rest of my day will be devoted to setting up. I've tried to be as systematic as I can. Some of the guys think I've put too much thought into this. I disagree; I think attention to details can really make the difference from a good dinner to a kickass dinner. I'm sure the faculty will enjoy themselves no matter what, but I want to put Beta's best foot forward.
A few weeks ago, I told you that I watch the Jersey Shore. Back then, I thought those kids were the most vile people I had ever seen in my life, and I still do. Well, MTV is now interested in expanding the franchise. Yeah, they want to exploit more minority groups for a profit. Here's a casting call for a developing show:
“Are you the RussianSnooki or The Situation? Are you a super outgoing and fun-loving Russian-American that sometimes sneaks kalbaska, pel’meni and vodka from the fridge? Can people hear the Euro/Techno/Russian music blasting from your car before they see you pull up? … The cameras will roll as you do what you do best—eat, drink and PARTY. Here’s who we’re looking for: Outgoing guys and girls between the ages of 21 and 30 who would be willing to spend one summer living in an all-expense paid digs in the New York City area and consider themselves to be Russian-American (or from the former U.S.S.R, including the Caucasus). We’re searching for people throughout the entire U.S. including: NYC, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, L.A., San Francisco and beyond. You must love attention and be the opposite of camera-shy…..”
What really blows me away is that there will be hundreds of video tapes sent in to MTV studios in the coming weeks. Everyone wants to be a celebrity.