DionRabouin.com (sort of)

What black history month should be about

Posted in Essays, Opinion by dionrabouin on February 3, 2012

(Column for the Greater Far Northeast Reporter)

Malcolm X was fond of saying, “Our history did not begin with slavery.” Yet every year that’s where Black History Month lesson plans in schools across America begin. They begin telling the story of our history – black history – in chains.

Young black school children don’t learn that our people mapped, calculated and erected some of the greatest monuments ever, like the pyramids, the sphinx and the obelisks (after which the Washington Monument is modeled) or that our people were literally the lifeblood of some of history’s greatest civilizations.

Black History Month lessons never begin with Haile Selassi I, ruler of Ethiopia, who could trace his ancestry to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and beyond that to Kush in 6280 B.C. Never mind that Selassi actually has the most ancient lineage of any human being in history.

Black History Month lessons certainly never begin with one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever seen, Hannibal, an African who conquered and extended the rule of the Carthaginian Empire into Italy, Rome and Spain. Most school children (and most adults, truth be told) don’t even know that Carthage, Hannibal’s homeland, is in Africa.
The lessons don’t even begin with the kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, Kush or Ghana, all of which rivaled the dominance and territorial acquirement of ancient Greece or Rome. They don’t begin by teaching school children about the ancient Egyptians who were clearly black Africans and who had arguably the most influential civilization of all time.

Ever heard of the Ishango bone? What about the Lemobo bone? No? Well, they’re only two of the most important developments in the history of mathematics. The Lemobo bone, dating back to around 37,000 B.C., was one of the first calendars ever created and the Ishango bone has been called “The oldest testimonial of numerical calculus” in human history. Both were created by Africans.

Our history isn’t taught in popular culture and it is conspicuously absent from the history that most professors in high school classrooms and on college campuses deem to be important. That’s why Black History Month was created. It wasn’t a chance to glow over the achievements we’ve heard about time and time again and to recount stories of the Bad Ol’ Days and what we did to get through. Black History Month was a time to bring to light the stories of people from Africa who have contributed so much to who and what we all are today in human society.

When Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week in 1926, his goal was to teach children and adults throughout the African Diaspora about the proud history and tradition that Africans have. He wanted to teach young boys and girls in the US and around the world that Africa was and is so much more than people living in huts, hunting antelope and dancing around campfires. He wanted all people to know and understand that being African was not something to be ashamed of, but instead should be a point of pride and exceptionalism.

Woodson, one of the first black men ever to graduate with a Ph.D from Harvard, doing so in 1912, was devoted to teaching all people about the contributions in our society that come from Africa and Africans, and it pains me to say, so far we have failed in his mission.

If you don’t believe me, find anyone still in school, I’m talking K-12, and ask them to tell you something about black history that predates the slave trade.

During the month of February you can generally count on lessons to begin with some anesthetized retelling of a black historical figure like Frederick Douglass, the great orator who counseled Abraham Lincoln and wrote numerous articulate and effusive tomes about his life as a slave. Or they’ll begin with Abraham Lincoln “freeing” the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation (and will conveniently leave out the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually free any slaves Lincoln had the authority to free and allowed slavery to continue in the Northern states where his words could actually have carried some weight).

At most schools you’ll be lucky to get a lesson beyond Martin Luther King’s dream and Rosa Parks’ defiant bus ride. Perhaps some devoted professors will pay a nod to Booker T. Washington or Jackie Robinson or in recent years President Barack Obama, but that seems to be about where it ends. Those people were all luminaries and pioneers, bellwethers in their fields and certainly worthy of our admiration, but they are not the whole of Black History.

Black History Month is about Mansa Musa, the King of Mali who extended the empire’s reach into one of the largest on the planet and imposed the system of provinces and territorial mayors and governors we still use in the United States today. It’s about Lewis Latimer, the man who invented the filament that took Thomas Edison’s light bulb into the next century. It’s about Robert Abbott, the United States’ first black newspaper publisher and one of the nation’s first ever black millionaires.

Black History Month is about Kwame Nkrumah, Bill Pickett, Imhotep I, Samori Toure, Belva Davis, Crispus Attucks, Dr. Ivan van Sertima, Fritz Pollard, Stokely Carmichael, Aaron Douglas, Denmark Vesey, Tousaint L’Ouverture, Nat Turner, Shirley Chisholm, Mae Jemison, Fred Hampton, Scott Joplin, Ramses II, Zumbi dos Palmares and hundreds of other men and women that you have never heard about.

The march from slavery and the Civil Rights Movement clearly demonstrated the struggle and the power that black people are capable of, but it’s not all we have contributed to the world.

It’s time we used the month of February to extend the dialogue beyond that banal and onto the tremendous accomplishments of Africans throughout history who have advanced math, music, language, the sciences and so much more for thousands of years. Then and only then will we truly be celebrating Black History Month.


Children of the Corn – The Craziest Thing I’ve Discovered in Years

Posted in Essays by dionrabouin on December 4, 2009

I’m not sure how I can explain to a casual hip-hop fan how ridiculous this is. I’ll try this. Imagine if you found out that Jimi Hendrix used to play in a garage band with Barry Manilow, Sting, Randy Rhoads and Neil Pert from Rush. You’d be interested, right? What if you found out that when Janice Joplin was a teenager she sang background vocals for a group that included Cher, Donna Summer, Olivia Newton John and Florence Ballard. That would blow your mind, right?

OK, that’s how I feel about the discovery of Children of the Corn. Apparently this gangsta rap group from Harlem consisted of Big L, Ma$e, Cam’ron, Bloodshed and McGruff. If you only recognize a couple of those names, don’t beat yourself up. In this little analogy Big L is Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin. Most hip hop fans know that Cam’ron and Ma$e have a history together, but I had no idea they were cool – and in a group – with Big L and the fact that they were in a group with Bloodshed, who’s probably the greatest MC no one has ever heard of (he’s the Florence Ballard and Neil Pert of the group) is even more ridiculous.

I found their mixtape on Datpiff , and it’s a little crazy. I honestly had no idea Ma$e and Cam’ron had it in them. I’d heard that Ma$e was a gangsta rapper before he met Puffy and sold out, but wow, this sh*t is violent…and offensive. Check out the video below.

Why we weep for Michael Jackson

Posted in Essays by dionrabouin on June 29, 2009

I was listening to a radio show host talk to a caller about people’s reaction to Michael Jackson’s death. The caller was making the point that I’ve heard a lot of people make whenever someone famous dies and there’s widespread public mourning, that this person was just a musician or actor or artist or the like and that, while they were talented, they certainly hadn’t done anything to deserve this kind of adoration or the uninhibited shows of grief and remorse.

He pointed out that at this very minute there are soldiers in a foreign land fighting for this country’s freedom, doing so not for monetary gain – they certain aren’t compensated properly – or for any sort of glory, but simply because they love America.

And there’s credence to this thought, but what these soldiers and other assorted underpaid purveyors of truth, knowledge and the American way: teachers, public defenders, community activists et al. never did was touch the lives of millions of people. Sure, it’s cliché, but no less true. Michael Jackson literally impacted people’s lives; people he didn’t know and will never meet; people in all six inhabitable continents, in almost every country of the world know and adore Michael Jackson’s music.

It’s not just that Michael Jackson’s music was enjoyable or that it gave you something to tap your foot to, MJ made us feel something. He’s been producing great music for so long that there is almost no one alive today who doesn’t have some sort of memory tied to a Michael Jackson song. I remember my mother giving me my first Michael Jackson cassette tape when I was six years old. I remember practicing the Moonwalk in my mirror for hours, trying to figure out how Michael did it. I remember being ecstatic to go to Universal Studios solely because my mother promised me we would get to see Michael Jackson. I remember finally getting the courage to sing in front of people and the first song that came to my mind was “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

And this is why we cry for Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson was a part of each and every one of us. In one way or another, his music permeated our lives and his presence was an undeniable and inescapable part of us. You can’t say you don’t have at least one happy, glorious, unforgettable memory that involves a Michael Jackson song.

The amazing thing about Michael Jackson’s music is that it transcended generations. Parents and children alike could listen to it. Even in my rebellious-mid-90s-grunge phase, I could still sit back with my mother and enjoy and old Jackson 5 tune. Songs like “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Rock With You,” “Smooth Criminal” and so many others still get played on the air – even before he died – because they’re timeless songs. Some artists die and radio stations will dig through their catalog and dedicate an hour or maybe sprinkle a song here and there in throughout the day to memorialize the artist. When MJ died, multiple stations played nothing by his songs all day. These stations had more than enough material to fill hours of time with number ones and timeless classics that meant so much to so many people.

It’s unfortunate that my generation grew up during the era of his scandal because for a lot of people that was their introduction to Michael. Certainly there was the odd behavior, the skin bleaching, the child molestation charges, the hyperbolic chamber, the nose jobs that never seemed to end and everything else that helped sell magazines in the 1990s and early millennium, but the thing that the older generations always had to remember was the music. Those of us that were introduced to him were able to look beyond the bizarre behavior and cling to our memories of the genius that was.

He was iconic and it was no accident. The red leather jacket, the glove, the high pants with the white socks, the fedora with the brim tilted down; if anyone else had even attempted any of these things they would have been laughed out of existence. But not Michael; Michael was bigger than life and anything he touched swept the globe and people embraced it the way they embraced him.

No other musician will ever be Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson released an album in 2001, long after he had done anything remotely musically relevant, seven years since his last album and it was number one in every country in the Western world. Michael Jackson had a tour planned for 2010, nine years after that album was released, which was generally considered a failure because it only sold 10 million copies worldwide, and he sold out hundred-thousand seat arenas in minutes.

Michael Jackson completely changed four different media: R&B music, black music, pop music and music videos. All four of those media looked completely different before him and all four would look completely different had he never arrived. Michael broke down walls and ushered in opportunities for artists that without him would never have seen the light of day. A lot of people have said that without Michael Jackson there would never have been singers like Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Ne-Yo, but without Michael Jackson there would be no RUN DMC, no Britney Spears, no Pat Bennetar, no Fallout Boy, no Will Smith, no Robbie Williams. Every single star the video generation has created owes their success to the paradigm that he created.

The video – the immortal classic – “Thriller” serves as the perfect parable for Michael’s time in our lives. He came on the scene, as he does in “Thriller” as the unassuming all-American boy. He took us out, showed us a good time and all the while flashed us that aww-shucks smile that made us trust him and want to love him. He showed us that he would always be there and that we meant as much to him as he did to us by offering us his class ring. “Not it’s official,” he said as he slipped it onto our collective finger.

But then, something happened. Michael wasn’t the man we though he was. He wasn’t the cute, cuddly, neutered sweetheart we just wanted to take home and snuggle. “I’m not like other guys,” he told us. And he wasn’t.

We saw a monster. Michael started to change. We could see that something wasn’t right as his appearance started to change – morph even – into something we didn’t recognize. We let out a collective scream as he became something strange and unfamiliar and shocked us all. Like his date in the video, many of us were scared and left the theater despite his insistent urgings, that “It’s just a movie.” I think in Michael’s mind it was all a movie. His videos, his performances, the media circus and his public persona were all part of a movie he was putting on to keep us all entertained.

Despite our fright, many of us let him walk us home. Thinking that what we had seen earlier was perhaps a product of fiction or maybe an overreaction on our part. We gave Michael our consent and believed in him and we let ourselves think that everything would be OK. There was a struggle between what we wanted Michael to be and what he was becoming. The dance scene where Michael becomes a zombie is a perfect illustration of his time during the mid-to-late-90s.

He has transformed into this ghoulish beast and is dancing with other zombies in a manner that is intended to frighten and appall us. He just gets more and more bizarre to the point that we’re not sure whether we should scream with delight or fear. But when he turns back around to sing to us, he’s Michael Jackson again. He’s the sweet, good looking, if somewhat frightening, boy we went to the movies with in the first place. He’s there to reassure us that despite the horrifying side of him we saw, he’s still the Michael we’ve known all along.

But after that one turn, he becomes the zombie again and there’s nothing left to show us that he’s still Michael underneath the zombie. He and the other ghouls chase us home where we can only attempt to hide on our couch, cover our faces and hope for the best.

As Michael the Zombie reaches for us, we cower, close our eyes and shriek in horror because we don’t want this Michael Jackson. We don’t know what he has become and it’s been so long since he gave us any sign that he still has any part of him – the part we knew and loved – left. And then it happens. We look up and the lights are on, everything is back to normal and he’s standing before us smiling. Everything that happened before was just a bad dream and once again, Michael is before us, with that same boyish charm and aww-shucks smile, stretching from ear to ear, reassuring us that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

As we begin to forget the horror of what’s happened over all this time, he asks lovingly, as if nothing’s happened, “What’s the problem?” He smiles again, and says, “Come on. Let me walk you home.”

We take his hand and all our worries gone. This is Michael Jackson, the Michael Jackson we’ve always know and always loved and knew would always be there. This is the Michael Jackson we always knew he was and we question ourselves for ever doubting.

And as we walk toward the door, ready to walk back out into the world with Michael, he turns to the camera and you see his wild, animal eyes flash before the camera. And we’re left to wonder, which Michael Jackson is real?

Michael once said, “If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” We’ll always love Michael. Not because of the way it began, the way it ended or anything in between, but because of the unbelievable show he put on and the way he made us feel. Michael never disappointed and he always gave us our money’s worth. His legacy will live on forever and no one will ever be able to replicate, duplicate or imitate what he’s done. He was undeniably the King of Pop. Long live the King.

Where I’m From

Posted in Essays by dionrabouin on January 10, 2009

Where I’m from you can always see the mountains to the West. They’re always there. As a kid I learned directions from the mountains: Never Eat Soggy Wheat or more fittingly Wheat Never Eats Soggy. When I left, everything was amiss, up was down; black was east. Without my mountains I was helpless to tell directions. Not that it mattered; everything was flat and every road led to nothing in particular.

Where I’m from you always lock your doors, your house, your locker and anytime your car stereo is missing it was probably your own fault. I’m from alleys of dirt where lavish lawns should be. Where I’m from you’re not scared of the crackheads as long as you don’t look at them funny. Where I’m from you only wear blue when you’re wearing another color and you never wear red. You take the garbage out to the dumpsters out back and you better wake up on trash day to get the last of it out.

Where I’m from everybody’s got a pit bull, even though they’re illegal and everybody knows which ones bite and which ones you can pet. I’m down the street from Hiawatha Davis and Ned’s, even though everybody still calls em Skyland and Junior’s. My father always told me to stay away from Junior’s when we were young, but I never listened. To this day, I still don’t know what all the fuss was about. There were probably much more insidious dealings going on than my youthfully naïve mind could wrap itself around, but no matter how many times we snuck off to go, it was always good.

Where I’m from is right off MLK. You can catch the 43 right there and walk a couple blocks. Where I’m from the air is thin and sweet. As soon as your flight touches down you can just feel that Rocky Mountain wind. It’s right off I-70 and Colorado, although even that doesn’t register with a lot of people.

Where I’m from isn’t anywhere near the suburbs and 10 minutes from downtown.

Where I’m from I don’t often see my people doin too much positive. There’s a lot of crime and even though the police drive through a lot, they don’t really seem to do much about it.

Where I’m from you can walk down the street going door-to-door asking people if you can mow their lawns for a nominal fee and make a decent wage over the summer. Where I’m from my dad’s friends look out for me and even people that don’t actually know me are “gonna tell Rene what [I] been doin” if I mess up.

Where I’m from there are about 10 check-cashing places for every bank. “You know if you just open a checking account you can cash as many checks as you want for free.”

Where I’m from no one has barbecues at Cherry Park anymore because of the shooting. Where I’m from you can hear guns going off just about every night if you really want to and not too many people bat an eyelash.

Where I’m from is a litany of places.

I’m from 28th and Adams where I’ll never be able to shake the memory of an alcoholic trying to kick the door in because he thought it was his house. And I’ll never forget how the police showed up – an hour after my mother’s frantic call for help.

I’m from East 31st Terrace, where we didn’t have a backyard, instead Mason lived in the house behind me and Blake lived right across the street. Where I could walk down the hill to get to school and I’ve never been more unhappy.

I’m from 33rd and Grape where my brother broke into our house and stole my Gamecube, my father’s guns and his quarter collection. He left the TV though, which was nice of him.

I’m from East 45th Ave, which no one can ever find when I give them directions. It’s full of lush hills, manicured lawns and covenant control, but the police still get called when niggas refuse to accept that their father’s six-figure salary inherently prevents them from being a thug.

I’m from Kendall Avenue where the kitchen’s a mess and nobody ever remembers to lock the door. Where there are five bedrooms, but half the time only half of them are occupied.

I’m from all over this great nation, I have loves and hates, I’ve seen beauty and some of the ugliest cities you could ever think of. But where I’m from in my heart is where the gold on the capitol buildings reflects the gorgeous purple mountains capped with white.

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College in 2023 words

Posted in Essays by dionrabouin on January 10, 2009

I remember coming to Ithaca for orientation. I didn’t have the money to go around the country “looking at schools” like so many of my schoolmates, so this trip was going to decide whether I would actually stick with it or not, and I’d already sent in my $250 so backing out would be serious business. Once I enrolled, I almost left a couple times: there was freshman year when I decided this school wasn’t worth it if I couldn’t get into the journalism major. Every professor in the illustrious Roy H. Park School of Communication had told me since day one that I’d better have well above a 3.5 if I wanted even a slight chance at getting in. I didn’t have well above a 3.5 and I wasn’t particularly blown away by the essay I’d written, so I figured I might as well pack it in.

I stated looking at other schools. I didn’t want to go back to Colorado. Maybe if I hadn’t grown up in the state it would’ve been a cool place to go to college, but as it stood I couldn’t see myself crawling on my hands and knees back to the state I had forsaken. As I started looking at schools I realized that every school I found myself partial to was a lot like…well, the school I was already at. I managed to get into Park and the decision just seemed to make sense.

I never went through that awkward adjustment thing they always talk about when you go to college, but there was another problem: I couldn’t get laid to save my life. Not that sex was absolutely essential for college survival, but everyone always tells you college is where you go to have ridiculous amounts of sex with ridiculously promiscuous girls and I apparently couldn’t find any. The worst part of not getting any was that I was trying so hard. I can’t even begin to describe the effect of trying your hardest to get something and continually failing on an admittedly prideful man. I also sucked at football, which I was counting on being really good at, and generally, my life was in the gutter.

There were two things that kept me at IC. I remember the first e-mail I ever got from Courtney Peck. I don’t remember what it said or any specifics, but there was an invitation to join Brothers 4 Brothers; they had food and they met every Friday at six. Looking back, I really don’t think I could have stayed at Ithaca College if it weren’t for B4B. It was like a support group for men of color on a campus that seemed completely devoid of any. We all sat around and talked about music, girls, politics and everything in between and for that one hour it was kind of like being with my boys back home.

There was also Intro to Poetry with Kevin Murphy. I’ve never liked a class. There’s never been a class that I can actually say I enjoyed. I’ve tolerated and learned from plenty but there’s never been a class where I was excited about the work and the class itself. Taking Kevin’s class at 9 a.m. made me think that maybe this whole college thing was what everyone was talking about after all. I remember reading Emily Dickinson and thinking “Eh,” and then hearing Kevin read it and explain it and falling in love with her writing. I remember the appreciation I developed for sonnets and haikus and sestinas. I remember writing six-page papers on 12 line poems and loving it. I think this is the class where I realized I could write anything about anything.

I honestly don’t think Kevin has any idea how influential he was on me as a writer, but he developed in me a deep appreciation for art that wasn’t there before This was the beginning of the change that college had on me. Then there was John Hochheimer. Hoch was part of the revolving door of journalism faculty the Park school can’t seem to or don’t care to keep around and he was one of the best. Hoch was the first teacher I’ve ever had who didn’t tolerate my bullshit. He demanded meaningful work from me, and if I didn’t do it he noticed. I’m not ashamed to say I made it through high school thinking I was an amazing writer and came to college and realized that I really wasn’t very good. If I’ve learned nothing else through four years of Park education I’ve learned that my writing is never as good as I think it is.

This realization created a monster. Once I finally realized that the drivel I was turning in wasn’t categorical brilliance, I started to doubt the validity of any and everything I wrote. This was not the attitude – or maybe it was – for a man with a 10, 18 and 30 page paper due in three different classes. I remember spending hours in the computer labs editing until 2 am.

The writing was the easy part. I could write until my fingers got numb and the words on the page stopped following a linear pattern, for pages and pages ad nauseum. But when it came to editing, I would rip through everything I’d written like an ex-girlfriend through once-adored pictures at the carnival. I would edit for days, literally days. I remember editing from 10 pm to 2 am, going to sleep and waking up at 5:45 am to make it to football practice, for an entire week.

It didn’t matter whether the professors thought my papers were good – unless they didn’t, in which case we had words – I felt a sense of responsibility to myself. This was sophomore year, the year of business. This was the year I laid my platform for the rest of my time in college; I was playing catch-up and get-ahead. This was the year when everything I thought I wanted to do and the person I thought I wanted to be got a little less clear. I came into freshman year looking for a journalism degree so I could write feature articles for Rolling Stone. I figured I’d go work for a small paper to start, maybe get a beat in Amarillo or Duluth and work my way up the ladder.

I think sophomore year of college – or its cultural equivalent – is where we all start to become the people we’re meant to be, or the people we want to be. I think this is the year when we become aware of the professional side of ourselves and really negotiate that with the personal side of who we are and who we want to be. Sophomore year pushed me to my limits and showed me what I was capable of and what I wasn’t. This was the year that I finally embraced the idea that studying was not, nor would it ever, be for me. Intermittent studying is doable, but I will never, ever pull all nighters with a textbook or even two-hourers.

The summer after sophomore year I got my first internship and moved to San Francisco with the woman I loved. Since the internship only paid $500 for the entire summer and my rent was $800 a month, I had to get another job. Environment California was where I learned what it was like to live in the grind; what it was like to work 9-5, come home tired and have to deal with a woman who can do nothing but bitch about how much (or little) attention you pay to her. I learned what life is like for everyone else out there whose lives aren’t exciting, they’re routine and predictable. My summer in San Francisco taught me that the typical, standard path of life that everyone looks forward to when they graduate from college, was simply not for me. I also learned how shitty San Francisco weather is in the summertime.

Junior year was spent away from Ithaca, first in the Rocky Mountains of my youth at the University of Colorado at Boulder – which I have to say to everyone out here because no one knows what CU is. This year was spent lying to girls about being on the football team and drinking indefensible amounts of alcohol. The world of work was made up of one class: Global Media Empires. Every student that took that class is now part of an indelible fraternity that was made by reading and re-reading every word in every text, finding notes from every possible resource and the 13-20 page final exam we all turned in. It was the hardest class I’ve ever taken surrounded by what was, at the time, my easiest semester of classes. Bella Mody worked us like Egyptian slaves and broke us like prized Broncos. In the end I think we were all stronger for having taken it, but if I could do it all over again I would run like the wind from that class.

During my semester in Los Angeles the work was work, and the work was easy and glamorous. My internship at The Hollywood Reporter consisted of sitting at my desk writing notes on facebook, listening with faux fascination to my editor’s stories and going to Hollywood parties and interviewing celebrities. This was where I fell in love with Los Angeles and got a little more direction in my life. I knew LA was where I wanted to be. I love LA because it’s one of those few places in the world where there’s literally no limit to what you can do. You can go anywhere and have moderate, conditioned, comparative success, but Los Angeles is one of those places where the ceiling doesn’t exist. This attitude is reflected in the people. Everyone says people in LA are fake and pompous, but I think everyone in LA is just deluded enough to think that they’re actually God’s gift to the world.

When I look back on my time in school I see freshman year as my year of struggle, the year everything shattered into pieces and I was left with the task of putting it back together. Sophomore year was my year of work, the year I put everything on my back and trudged through because I could see where I wanted to be and what I needed to do to get there. Junior year was my fun year, the year of excitement, the year when college was what everyone tells you it is. Senior year was (supposed to be) the year to kick back.

My first semester was one of the most difficult I’ve ever had. I was writing five articles a week for The Ithacan, taking 17 credits, acting on a TV show and trying to start a magazine, all while trying to put myself in decent position to get a job when I graduated. I’ve never felt happier than the day finals were over and I didn’t have anything else left to worry about. Second semester has been that semester I set myself up for, it’s been footloose and fancy free and I honestly can’t think of a single time I’ve been stressed out, save for those times when I realize I’m leaving school forever in a matter of months, weeks or days.

I see people running around this school at every stage of development (freshman through seniors) and I see a little bit of myself in them. I see the sophomore freaking out because he hasn’t gotten an internship for the summer and thinking he’ll never get a good job. I see the freshman losing her mind because she doesn’t like her housing arrangement for next year and she thinks her tight-knit group of friends will never be the same. I see the senior spending hours at the Friends lab finishing up their senior thesis paper, stressed to death because this is the capstone of their major. I see all this and I can’t help but laugh, because I know I’ve been there and I know for each and every one of them, somehow it’ll work out alright.