Goodbye Medgar Evers College, Hello Sweet Briar

Goodbye Medgar Evers College, Hello Sweet Briar

From Black diaspora to pearls.

I often elicit curiosity from peers when they discover I am from New York City but decided to trek to Virginia for college. The simple answer is that it is easier to roll out of bed and get to class in five minutes than it is to take a bus and a train, neither of which will ever, within the wide expanse of time and space, ever arrive on time, and there is never a guarantee of a seat. Commuting back and forth each day to my last college in Brooklyn was exhausting. I often took a nap shortly after arriving home. After two years at Sweet Briar, I have grown used to living away from home and appreciate the ease of getting to class.

Apart from the travel, there was also the community. Each college has its own unique culture. My last college was very laid back and casual, and few tended to stay on campus if they were done with classes for the day. I met most of my friends at the office for students like myself with learning disabilities. It was the one place on campus I could call my home away from home. I’d hang out and study there between classes and take my finals there as well. I’d go there for advice and a shoulder to cry on. At a midpoint of two Brooklyn blocks, this place was my safe haven.

My last college was also newer and was founded in 1965. It was established in the memory of Civil Rights activist, Medgar Evers. The community of Medgar Evers College is primarily Black, and represents many in the Black diaspora. Writing across the disciplines was emphasized so each class I took was writing intensive. Even greater than strengthening my skills in academic writing, African and African American literature, history, and viewpoints were treated as equals among Eurocentric viewpoints. I read British literature from 800 AD to the 18th century, but I also read "Dream on Monkey Mountain" by Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucia poet and playwright and "Ruined" by Lynn Nottage. My classmates often shared firsthand experiences of the issues present in the plays and novels we read.

One of my favorite experiences was in my Creative Writing/Playwright class in spring of 2013. It was the one in which I read the aforementioned plays. After weeks of writing our one-act plays and reading the plays of notable playwrights, we had table readings. If I can recall correctly, we table-read three plays each class for two weeks. The professor, wanting to draw attention to the parts she found, worked well on how our individual background shaped what we wrote. One woman in the class wrote about a post-apocalyptic world in which one of her characters wrote poetry on the walls to cope with the bleak reality. Another play had two settings most of the play, a bench and a payphone. The gravity was in the dialogue. My play, the polar opposite, had many settings. In the class, I learned when the dialogue is written with care, it can make off-stage events stand in for additional scenes. Pacing was not my strong point, and to a lesser degree now, it still is not.

Sweet Briar has a drastically different culture in many ways because most students and faculty live on campus. My last college was a commuter school, and Sweet Briar is very much a residential college. My sandbox became much larger. I feel more comfortable diving into new experiences because women pique my interest in new activities and subjects, and encouragement is always present. There is also a plethora of extracurricular activities available that are not present at Medgar. It was part of my decision of leaving. I am a woman that becomes restless and easily bored. In my first year, I rode, took voice lessons, started a club and went on a hike. I also became very exhausted at my new school but it was the kind of exhaustion that is punctuated with renewed vigor. The verdant campus and the ice cold misty air at 2 a.m. after a long night of studying in the humanities building Benedict is the most pleasant thing to walk through rather than the sound of early morning delivery tucks vying for room on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway as I make my way out of the 24-hour Dunkin' Donuts.

Each place has its own baseline, Virginia a little lower, but the experiences I’ve had with others have been far more meaningful. New York’s baseline doesn’t span more than a beat. There is convenience to living in New York City, many options I could choose from after a day of classes. Options I could walk to but there was often wasted time and opportunity, the wasted time looking for something good and usually fattening to eat or a movie or shopping trip and the missed opportunity for deeper human connections. Going away to college, if one does not spend too much time in their room, affords opportunities to connect to others. I’ve spent more time than I care to mention talking with my peers in the dining hall and more often than not it’s academic. The city lights have not been as invigorating as a prolonged conversation with classmates since I began school at Sweet Briar.

Sweet Briar is a hidden gem that many people I know had no idea existed when I began my sophomore year in August 2014. Sweet Briar is predominately white, very different from Medgar in a lot of ways because of that. The biggest is that the continent of Africa is often neglected in most courses in both the English and history department. On the cultural side, I honestly do not understand preppy clothing for the most part, or pearls, though many of my classmates are convinced it is a wardrobe must. I border on hipster, and most of my clothing is navy, cranberry, forest green and black. There was culture shock in the first few months. Strange looks were thrown my way when I said I did not know what puffy paint was.

Honestly, those are the small things. Humorous but, not at the root of what was most difficult. The hardest part in acclimating was finding myself all over again. I did not fit the Suzy Sweet Briar type and initially, it made me feel like an outsider and brought on intense loneliness. What made me feel a part of Sweet Briar were the traditions. In my sophomore/ first year I was assigned a senior to give a gift each month for their impending commencement date. The tradition is called Secret Sophomore, and you reveal yourself at the end of the spring semester. The woman was in my Education 103 class, and we also carpooled together for our field experience. The tricky part was to not let any of her gifts align with what we talked about on our weekly car rides and stick to the email. In my toughest weeks, putting together baskets and painting for her made me feel more connected to her and Sweet Briar. The traditions, many much older than my mother, my grandmother and myself, send the message that we are part of something much bigger and have inherited something much greater than differences that lie on the surface. Despite how different Sweet Briar and Medgar Evers College is, both places shattered preconceived notions I had about others and have made me a more educated person, both academically and personally. My path, although different from many of my Sweet Briar sisters, has made me who I am, and I would not change anything.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Lisa L. Young

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Two Inspiring Movies Everyone Should See

Movies that take you on an emotional roller coaster.

I have always loved watching movies, especially ones with inspiring and emotional storylines. I get very invested and intrigued (maybe a little too much), but I love having that whirlwind of emotions throughout the entire movie.

Recently, I got the opportunity to see two amazing movies that I think are very important and had a huge effect on me. The films were “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name”. Both of these films came out in 2017 so they are fairly new. They are making a huge impact and receiving a lot of deserved recognition.

“Lady Bird” has such a special storyline. It follows the relationship between a mother and daughter in such a realistic way. As many girls know, a relationship with a mother is not always an easy one and the film really captures that frustration.

It follows the life of a young girl that is about to leave to go to college. So many things change for girls during this time and there are so many emotional challenges and obstacles. I absolutely love how this film displays this situation and many relationships in a very graphic and honest way. I think it is so important for young girls to watch this film and channel all those feelings. It is incredibly relatable and it reminds girls to be courageous.

“Call Me by Your Name” is seriously one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It is a love story, which we have seen is countless movies, but this film displays a relationship in such a unique and beautiful way.

The best thing about this movie is that it is awkward at some points and maybe even a little uncomfortable. I admire this because love and relationships aren’t always magical and perfect. It expresses a type of love that is so unapologetic and pure. I could watch it over and over and still have the same inspiring feeling at the end. If you are a fan of emotional love stories or small independent films watch this movie. You will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Connor Limbocker

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A Tale of Two Corey's Part 3

Just when you thought it was over...Again

Here we are once again on the same topic. As I have previously said, this story will always remain unfinished no matter how much information gets out, the "Truth" or how things will be finished.

If you are unfamiliar with this whole thing, I would suggest reading part one and two but I will do a little quick refresher. Corey Haim and Corey Feldman were two of the biggest teen idols of the 80's. Their stardom was short lived due to them both being sexually abused at a young age as well as heavy drug use.

In my previous articles, I have clearly shown what side I am on and that is Haim's. Feldman has given me enough reason dislike everything he stands for and the way he treats his best friend. Like every good story, the plot keeps getting thicker and worse with every word that falls from his mouth.

If you were lucky enough to catch the movie, you saw the things it showed. On the Lifetime Channel, they aired a movie appropriately titled "A Tale of Two Corey's" (Maybe he read my articles) and was based on the 2013 book that Corey F. has written about his life. It was about play by play of course minus many little things here and there. It, of course, did Feldman justice but did it do Haim's? Of course not.

Everything that he says is becoming a big huge problem not only with fans or "haters" as he calls them but from Corey H.'s friends and family as well. He claims he is doing it for his former friend but I've never watched someone throw them under the bus as much as he has.

At one point in the movie, it had depicted a scene that he claims happened when they were teenagers that I cannot wrap my head around. I've spoken about it once but I NEED to bring it back up. When they were fifteen, Corey F. thought it was best to get Corey H. off his back by calling a guy who is twice his age to deal with the issue.

Now no one seems to see that it is a major problem considering that Haim had been raped by an older man a little while before. What "Best Friend" calls a man who can easily take advantage...No one including Corey F. himself sees that it is an issue. I can't be the only one, right?

The Lifetime movie had proved something I have been saying since I started this entire thing. Corey Feldman does not take responsibility for his actions in his friends demise and does not show any remorse or regret. Unfortunately we only get his side of the story since Corey H. has passed away back in 2013 due to pneumonia.

Even in the movie they had justified what I said which would backfire on Feldman. They had him as a teen yelling at Haim for taking movie roles and being the better Corey. I have been saying that he was jealous and many others can completely agree with it. He see's no wrong doing in his actions of his best friend being raped and he seems to turn the story around on everyone else.

Watching closely to the movie, they show Corey F. in more of a sympathy sort of way making him look like the innocent one of the two. Most of the drug use portrayed was done by Corey H. I know that he had struggled his entire life with addiction but I couldn't help but notice that difference. The picture depicted him as more of a saint who got sober while the other was portrayed as a problem to everyone.

After my first two articles, I had received two messages from two different women thanking me fro writing them. They are both friends with Corey H's. friends and personally know his Mother Judy who is also grateful me for these.I wanted people to read these and understand why this truth needs to be spoken.

If you are wondering why I back Corey Haim so much is due to various reasons. He is not here to defend himself on any allegation that is out there. He is not able to speak up against Corey Feldman and the things that he puts on him. Corey is not just a best friend or son or brother. Corey Haim is a man who had gotten unfairly treated in life and in death.

You've probably seen all of the interviews that Corey F. has been giving lately and boy, you were in for a treat after the movie if you caught it. Once again, the things he speaks of makes not any sense and I want to bring up one thing he said.

Weeks before Haim's passing, they had gotten a chance to hang out but not in the way I thought. Feldman had stated that Corey H. told him, "'If something happens to me or should I die before you, promise me that my story will be told.'" Now let me explain why I am confused on this.

These two had not spoken to each other in three years and out of the blue he is going to tell him that? Another thing is that Corey H. was not ready to face his demons himself so why would he want someone else to? I get that he would no longer be with us at that point but I'm not understanding the logic. Besides that, he was very, very close to his his Mother so why not have her instead of the guy you have had a rocky relationship with for the last ten years?

Where is this story going now? Well here is yet again another issue I have. Corey Feldman wants to make a movie about his book...Sound familiar? Yeah, I just watched it on Lifetime. Problem is, he wants it to be detailed and graphic. I'm sorry but I wouldn't want to watch a movie depicting sexual assault on a child like the way he wants to show it.

But before he makes it though he needs money, lots of it. He already had two donation pages raising at least $300,000 and guess what he's doing now? Yep, you guessed it, donation page 3 and wanting to raise a million dollars.

Every interview he does he brings it up and asks or shall I says begs for a donation. I'm not kidding, check out his Facebook or Twitter, he is constantly asking. I'm sorry but you just had a movie made (In which he got money for) which is going to be the same exact thing but graphic.

He had also Tweeted that if he doesn't see a rise in numbers on the donation page, he is going to shut it down because he's not getting any money. *Shakes head*, if that doesn't sound like a cash grab, I don't know what does.

Moving forward, will there be a part 4? I'm sure in time there will be one but for now I will still be following this story closely and the next nonsense that happens.

But just remember Corey, jealousy is an ugly thing and will backfire on you in no time.

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