So Many Thanks

So Many Thanks

I spent 9 days in my hometown.  And it’s a testament to the fact that I’m moving into a different phase of my life because I was not diving into my car on the last day.  I was really sad to leave.  Being around my family and in my hometown really makes me feel like a more complete person.  If I didn’t love my job as much as I do, I would be in relocation mode I think.  I think the Sagittarius in me feels stifled.  I’m ready to roam, even if there’s a chance I would be roaming back to the place from which I roamed years ago (or maybe I’ll roam northward or across some great body of water–who knows, but I’m getting restless and feeling unfulfilled).

The week was filled with various emotions, but overall, I’m thankful.  For the ability to feel and handle those emotions, to have people who love me, to have been able to spend time with my remaining grandparents, to have a base that reminds me of what’s important and can reel me back in when I’m wandering too far.  So my birthday was last Monday, and since then, I have embarked on my Road to 29 mission.  Instead of waiting until 2010 to start a new year, I started one Tuesday.  This year I’m making myself my priority.  And I’m not just saying the trite cliche that you hear around New Year’s Eve.  I’ve already started exercising and eating better and making time for what makes me sane.  So I may chronicle some of it here, but y’all know how I get when I’m busy.  🙂 One of my goals, though, is to go back to what I said before and delete some of this busyness.  Especially when alot of it no longer makes me happy or is even vaguely enjoyable.

As I’ve alluded to in my blog once or twice, this year I’ve grappled a lot with my spiritual health.  A lot has happened in 2009 that affected me to the core, but this week, I felt some sense of Walk in the Light/beautiful light/ain’t it wonderful how the light shines and some You told me you could keep me/but I’ve turned it away…Feeling so very weak/you say I can be strong/I feel I’ve gone too far/You tell me to come home/You love me still. I guess it’s just something about that verse “Train up a child…” because spending some prolonged time in the place where I was trained just helped me feel reconnected.

Now, I have plenty to blog about from the last week.  Including a part two to my blog about the proposed merging of schools in MS and a couple of stories from my hometown adventure.  So I will (seriously… I really will!).  Until then, I’ll leave you with a hymn my pastor led us in yesterday at church.  Be blessed!

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev’rything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge;
Take it to the Lord in prayer:
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee;
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Just Say NO to MS Merger

Just Say NO to MS Merger

So this article was published earlier this week, and a few people have asked my opinion.  Well… Here goes.

It took me a while to mozey on over here because while I do think this is a case of racism (and a dash of sexism), I don’t think that argument is sound or viable enough as the schools chosen are of the smallest of the public universities in Mississippi.  I am opposed to the merging of MS’s universities, but not just because of said -isms.  Lemme tell you why.

1. I do think there needs to be some reform in higher learning in the state.  But I think that reform needs to happen across the board.  Yes, duplication and underperformance is an issue in some of the 8 public institutions.  I’d like to see what the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or some other commission that includes representation from each university is doing/can do to encourage partnership across schools in various areas and to discuss and strategize coordination of services and other planning and policy issues.  I really think that a commission should be able to come up with creative ways to address issues.

2. I think it’s mighty coincidental that Delta State wasn’t mentioned in any of these articles.  Delta State, which is across the street (literally) from Mississippi Valley and which has a student population not much bigger than Alcorn State and which has been having some financial and operational issues itself, was not one of the schools proposed to lose its identity.  That bothers me.  A more believable proposal would have been to set up some kind of cooperative if not merger with Delta State and Valley.  Not Alcorn, Valley, and JSU, which are nowhere near each other.

3. Ok, so SWAC and small universities may not be much to some, but it would seem to me that the governor of the state would consider the dynamics of each of its HBCUs.  Different histories, different focuses, different cultures.  I really can’t imagine ALCORN of all schools becoming Jackson State.  LOL how hilarious.  So ok, you say you will save $35 million (which is less than 10 percent of the state budget), but how much money will be lost on rival games and activities, that bring in ticket revenue and tax revenue?  Oh yeah, I forgot, usually the numbers of people attending these types of events are underreported.  Hmmm…

Over the past few years, every so often, at least once or twice a year, I hear talk of the significance and need for HBCUs.  And of plots to get rid of them. Well, as an HBCU grad who has attended (and earned multiple degrees from) private and public institutions, an HBCU and a PWI, they are definitely needed.  Especially in the South.  Research has shown that HBCUs have a profound impact on the education of minority students, in term of graduation rates, percentage of students in scientific fields, and even in percentage of students moving on to and finishing graduate school.

4. I really can’t comprehend how significant savings will be realized if the campuses stay open.  The HBCUs are past what I would think comfortable driving distance is for students or teachers who want to teach at multiple campuses.  But I could be wrong.  I don’t think it’s that feasible to share staff or to close entire departments.  Unless he’s planning to fire presidents or something.  I’d like to see details of the savings forecast.

5. Finally, it seems every time MS is in a budget crisis, which could have been somewhat buffered had Barbour taken the stimulus money (he rejected $56 MILLION), education is taxed.  That’s not cool.  Education is the linchpin of hope and rising above expectations.  If you want to attract residents and businesses, you have to have a strong education system, from Pre-K to graduate school.  If you want to attract young professionals, they need options on continuous training.  If you want to strengthen your homegrown talent, you have to teach and train them to hold the skills you will need in the future.  Education needs to be added to–not taken away from.

I hope this proposal is thrown out of the window.   I hope those at the Capitol today make an impact on the viability of passing this proposal.  Happy Friday!

Julie, Julia, and Joi

Julie, Julia, and Joi

So I have started watching Julie and Julia, a movie about girl in NYC that creates a foodie blog based on Julia Child’s cookbook to prove to herself and to the outside world that she can finish something (and to give her something to do outside of her dreadful job).  It’s kind of inspiring me to cook intentionally and write about it.  Bell’s Best is the cookbook that is ingrained in my memory from my childhood.  I’m pretty sure that the way I cook and bake certain items are rooted in that book.

So maybe… maybe not.  We’ll see if I’m still inspired once the movie credits run. 🙂 Happy Friday the 13th!

My Being vs Their Interpretation

My Being vs Their Interpretation

If you know me, you know I’m not that into poetry.  But Monday night, at the end of my Junior League diversity training (and I unexpectedly got LOTS from that seminar), one of my fellow provisionals recited this poem.  It really moved me, so I’m sharing it.

I am an idea
Conceived in the mind of the Universe
And interpreted in the minds
of the individuals I meet

Within myself I am constant
Yet I am as ever changing
as the people who interpret me

I can control my actions
But I can not control their thoughts
Therefore, I must do what I think right
And let others —
Think what they will

This was featured in Footprints in the Mind, published in 1979 by Javan Press.

What Would Our Ancestors Say?

What Would Our Ancestors Say?

This article really spoke to me today.  It’s something I think about quite regularly, so I’m glad someone who’s not lazy/distracted about posting like she should wrote her thoughts out.  🙂  One of my favorite parts:

Celebrating the freedom of not being a slave is like celebrating a father for taking care of his children: You’re supposed to take care of your children, so why should that be celebrated? To a soul in bondage, however, anything above and beyond basic human rights should be counted a positive. Right?

You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches and then pull it out six inches and say you’re making progress. – Malcolm X

So check check it out.

Back To The Future: What Would They Say? | Clutch Magazine: The Digital Magazine for the Young, Contemporary Woman of Color.