Poetry On Odyssey: She is Pride

Poetry On Odyssey: She Is Pride

A little deep for my first submission, but why not dive headfirst into the deep end?

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We sat on his floor-

A moment I had been taught to anticipate since childhood

A moment I hoped would dissolve the fear that lurked in my subconscious,

A moment meant to prove to myself that I was not an abnormality.


We sat on his floor-

Faces drawing nearer,

Two kids playing video games on the bedroom floor

Door not open, but not quite closed

I know now that that overwhelming anticipation was a cloak concealing the real culprit that lie deep within me

Her name was Dread


We sat on his floor-

heart racing

Stomach churning full of bad butterflies

trying to escape the cage that was my body with filthy desperation


We sat on his floor-

Our lips met and I felt broken,

No, not broken,

I felt nothing.

I felt empty.


We sat on his floor-

I texted my mom,

"Please come pick me up, I don't feel well."

I told a lie.

"My mom says I have to come home, she's on her way"

Another lie.


We sat on his floor-

I think we kissed again

My mind left my body, leaving it empty; defenseless.

Soulless on that floor,

head spinning in the worst of ways.

Chaotic like a train without a conductor,

Hurtling towards the unknown


Flash forward


We sat in my car-

I tasted mint in my mouth and felt the stage makeup plastered on my face,

My hair pulled atop my head in a boyish manner.

Everything heavy with hairspray, and a wave of overwhelming fear that made my head spin.


We sat in my car-

Again I told a lie.

"I have to run home, I forgot my charger"


We sat in my car-

Behind the high school,

In a silence I didn't entirely mind.

This time I knew exactly what to feel.

Her name was Fear.


But in that dark, crowded parking lot lurked a stranger.


We sat in my car-

Her hand on my knee, facing one another

My mind had thrown out all knowledge of human function.


We sat in my car-

My heart raced in my chest

Faster than a horse from the gates after being tied up for far too long


We sat in my car-

Under a street light in the back parking lot

She asked me "can I kiss you?"

Elementary by nature but sweet nevertheless


We sat in my car-

Before the word yes could fall from my lips in an eager, impetuous manner,

Her hands grabbed my face as her lips met mine with an impatience I hadn't expected.


We sat in my car-

In that moment the world stopped

I was exactly who I feared I was,

but in that moment I didn't give a damn.


We sat in my car-

The stranger in the darkness had finally caught up.

And just like that,

my pieces fell into place.

Fear transformed herself into someone else.


She is Pride-

In that moment

I was simply human.

One body connecting with another,

Null and void of anything anatomical.


She is Pride-

I am not broken,

Or abnormal,

Or as the religion I grew up in calls me,

Abominable,

A word I wish we could save for storybook snowmen.


She is Pride-

and with her she brought a friend,

One called Love.


I am not broken.

I am not broken, but by god, I am bent

And fuck yes, I will repeat it until I cannot anymore

I am not broken.


Neither are you.

Neither are those who came before us,

Brave souls who fought the battle that got us this far, some giving their lives to further a cause they so desperately believed in.

Often trans women, many of color.

Women who pioneered revolutions, rebellions, and protests, women who embody this name; Pride


Neither are all the others,

Those who fore fronted the fight for justice even when it was inconvenient, or outright dangerous.

And neither are those who will come after.

The young, queer kids that we look back on

seeing far too much of our young, terrified selves '


Hiding who they are because it is easier, or safer

and we ache with them.

Just as we ache to change the world,

Trudging just a little further, pushing just a little bit harder

so maybe they won't have to be afraid.

And one more time I will say it.


WE ARE NOT BROKEN

You are loved and we accept you

If you have no Mother we will be your mother,

If you have no Father we will be your father,

If you have no family,

Remember "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb."

A quote often turned into itself and given the opposing meaning.

We will be your family.


The only thing broken is society

And our hearts for those who have lost

or taken their own lives for loving who they love,

or simply being who they are.


She is Pride-

She stands for those too afraid to stand.

Speaks for those too afraid to speak.

For those not living, but simply surviving.

We've been here.

We will be here.

We will persevere.

She is Pride, and she will lead us.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

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This One’s For Africa

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Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.

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It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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