Powers To Things Needed To Be Done

Powers To Things Needed To Be Done

Apply them.


Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done. -- Frederick Douglass

I learned how to advocate in five minutes and thirty-two seconds. I stood in front of a judge who dressed in a long black robe and whose eyes peaked out over the top of gold-rimmed glasses. I advocated for a man I'd only read about, advocated for him so he would not lose his life like he'd lost that of his wife. I advocated for him for five minutes and thirty-two seconds, and he was found not guilty.

I became an advocate for others when I learned I had opinions, when I spoke in class with the skills I'd learned in five minutes and thirty-two seconds, when I refused to let my male counterpart explain to me in oversimplified terms that "mansplaining" doesn't exist. I became an advocate for others when I used Le Chatelier's principle to demonstrate to impressionable minds the phenomenon of ocean acidification, when the teacher they placed their faith in stated the impossibility of climate change and nearly doomed the students to a future of non-ending, nonconstructive debate.

I became an advocate for myself when I told my father I couldn't maintain my grades or my health moving between his house and my mother's each week, when I clung to my composure as he told me I was selfish, when I hugged him but maintained my decision to live with my mother. I became an advocate for myself when I spent a night writing instead of sleeping, crying instead of resting, desperately attempting to communicate in 650 words the internal conflict I faced my junior year when my father told me he was transgender - and the terror of not being able to communicate with the most honest truth my fear I had ruined my opportunities of applying what I learned in five minutes and thirty-two seconds on a global scale.

Change cannot occur without the ability to communicate "things needed to be done". I have learned the urgency in developing the means of sharing knowledge; I have learned the satisfaction that accompanies conveying an idea wholly to another.

I've learned the necessity of choosing the best means of communicating, a short story to demonstrate the efficacy of fiction in inciting an emotional connection, a novel that plays on grecophilia in 1983 Germany to overcome censorship and share a social critique of the communist regime with an oppressed audience, or a five minute and thirty-two second opening statement to a jury to save a man's life.

I is imperative students develop the skill of communication, in any course or program. Communicating is how I effectuate change, and choosing the best platform for communication is a skill I emphasize and practice rigorously.

The use of literature in effectuating change is often overlooked, and should strongly be considered in this era of social and political discourse. I am inspired by Christa Wolf, who overcame censorship in communist East Germany (1983) by masking her critique of the system's usurpation of individualism in Cassandra, and by Kurt Vonnegut, who develops anti-war sentiments in a fictionalised, Kafkaesque existentialism in Slaughterhouse-Five. These authors demonstrate the ability of creative language to effectuate change, in the same way I have learned and chosen to exercise my "powers for things needed to be done".

I have spent four years becoming an advocate, four years of making coffee at three o'clock in the morning, of sweaty palms and heart palpitations, driving to the Jefferson County Courthouse, playing my guitar and singing for patients at the Littleton Care and Rehab Center, painting pictures of a house I hope to raise my children in, discovering my mother's suicide note and convincing her she is not selfish for leaving my father, researching the use of inhibitors to block the secretion of mood-altering hormones, making memes about the Treaty of Versailles, and learning all that I could about simply communicating, to arm myself to the fullest capacity with a passion to effectuate change.

I am an advocate, for myself and for others. I write, speak, and smile. I am an advocate, and I use what I learned in five minutes and thirty-two to exercise my "powers for things needed to be done".

Why do I write?

Why wouldn't you?

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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!

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.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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How To Know That You're In A New York State Of Mind

"New York is the city that other cities can only dream of being."


A New York State of Mind does not mean you reside in the city, it is a way of life that you live, in which only some people can handle. Here's how to know if you are in a New York State of Mind.

You've got goals, baby.

Setting your mind on your goals, knowing that you'll achieve them is the number one step. You'll do anything to pursue your goals, which is what any good New Yorker would do.

You're not afraid to be alone.

New York is one of the largest cities in the world, which might make it one of the most lonely. Being okay with being alone is a trait only some can hold.

You keep life moving at a fast pace.

You want to do things, and you want them now. Like the queen Ariana Grande says, "I want it, I got it."

You are accepting of all people.

People are people, and everyone deserves the same love as one another, and if you're in a New York State of Mind, you know that.

You know that failure is not an option.

If you fail at something, you don't just quit and give up, you simply find a new, and better way to do that task.

You stay authentic to yourself.

You know who you are, you don't need to prove yourself to anyone. If they appreciate you and want you in their corner, they should make that clear to you.

You have a plan for everything.

You are prepared for whatever is it that is coming at you.

You know the sky isn't the limit, because you're reaching for the stars.

People will think you're crazy, or your dreams are too big. If you're in the right state of mind, you simply ignore them. There's no point in dwelling on other people's thoughts, when you know what you want.

Possessing these personality traits, shows that you are in fact in a New York State of Mind. If you are, you're a bad ass who knows who you are and what you want, and you'll get it, no matter what obstacles life throws your way.

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