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Of Signs and Motivation

Hey folks! Welcome back!

Grad school is a circus and mah di bigges’ clown. And for my next act ladies and gentlemen, I will juggle family, friends, work, and assignments whilst crossing a 2-year long tightrope…on a unicycle… while riding backward… blindfolded… with my arms tied behind my back.

It’s weird you know, at the end of the last semester, I thought I had it all figured out. I felt like a real SLP. I felt competent in my ability to assess, and remediate fluency disorders. I thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. Fast forward to this semester, where I’m in a school setting for my clinic placement and I’m right back down at ground zero. I know nothing. I am an idiot. I don’t belong here!

And just when it seemed super bleak, my hope was restored. There I was walking in the hallway with my mind occupied with due dates and mistakes of the past and questioning my sanity for the tenth time this week.  I walked into a professor I had met once or twice but never really had an opportunity to have much interaction with.

She looked super excited to see me and said: “I was just talking about you the other day!”

The first thing that came to my mind was: “*insert expletive here* what did I do?”.

I responded with ” Oh! What about?”

Without skipping a beat she responded, “I was saying how smart and sweet you are and how happy we are that you’re going to school here.”

DAY MADE!!!

I can do this guys!!!!!!

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Midnight Mutterings

Loose strings.

Broken wings.

Frayed beings,

afraid of being.

And I’ve been thinking

of all these things.

Must be thin skin.

Insecurities built in.

Always have been,

and all they bring

is constant sinking

into a big bin.

Played out violin.

Wait something’s missing.

Weight of fears and sin.

The tears begin.

So it appears,

crystal clear

that we’re all here

and life’s unfair,

but we don’t care.

Do we?

Sue me,

For thoughts unholy.

Just trying to show the

picture wholly.

 

Don’t try to hold me

back.

All this baggage to unpack.

Scrap that.

Just tough chat.

Backtrack,

rewind,

til we find

peace of mind.

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Homesick

Friends, a piece a homesickness lick mi ussi but give thanks, I only have 5 weeks left before I touch down in my favourite place in the world. Naturally, I turned to music to assuage my yearning for home. Pree dis!

This song came out back in August, right in time for the Emancipendence holiday and showcases everything I love about Jamaica. I checked in with the producer and artistes responsible for this gem; the remedy to my homesickness. They each had something different to say about the song and this just goes to show there are many levels involved in making a cohesive body of work.

Wavy Jones originally created the beat and had intended to upload the track without vocals. Lucky for us, the music gods spoke to him and he decided instead to use the upbeat and happy track to highlight the greatness of Jamaica. He reached out the Blvk Hero, Jeeby Lyricist,  and Kione Zaire and the four met up for a writing session.

Blvk H3ro wanted to convey the harsh reality of Jamaica. He acknowledges that Jamaica is a beautiful country with great potential. For H3ro, even though we are a nation rolling in high debt, “we’ve got a good thing!” (Lexxi note: we’ve got a good thing if only our leaders would realise the gold they have in their hands!!!)

Jeeby starts most of the lines in his verse with “I am” which makes it clear that for him, the beaches, the flora and fauna, the talented people, the music, the culture, the black, gold and green embody what it means to be Jamaican. His verse screams: “Jamaica, wi likkle but wi tallawah!”

Kione tried to capture the feeling he gets from the thought of growing up and being alive in the Caribbean. (Lexxi note: It’s an experience that is like no other and it shows in the way we walk, the way we talk, and the way we dance. There’s just something about living in the blessed indies!)

A few weeks after their writing session, they made their way to the studio and “Blessed Indies” was born. Fun fact:”100lb” was also recorded on that day… so technically, they’re musical fraternal twins!!! I love this song but I wish it were a little longer. For me, I think it ends a bit abruptly but you know what they say: “Always leave them wanting more.”

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Lessons from Mommy

Where all my Nintendo 64 users at? You’re in the middle of an amazing race in Mario Kart and the game freezes, what do you do? That’s right! Take out the cartridge, hit it a couple of times, blow it, put it back in, restart and: “Welcome to Mario Kart!” Well, after two intense weeks of studying for midterms I was a suck-out bag juice and I needed someone to hit restart. That someone was my mommy!

Mommy and I  spent time playing phone-tag this weekend but when we finally connected, we were on the phone for two hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time and that was exactly what I needed. She finally signed up for the floral arrangement course she’d been thinking about since I left for college four years ago. I told her I was proud of her for trying something new and joked that she learned it from me. That’s when it dawned on me that I had actually gotten it from her.

My mom grew up in a poor family and even though she wanted to be adventurous she simply could not afford it. She promised herself that her children would have the life she wanted growing up and she saw that through. I had my first dance class when I was four and I always had some sort of non-academic program every year since I was 6. These included cooking classes, art classes, foreign language classes and my personal favourite, music classes at Edna Manley College. I even went to cricket camp where I realised I was not made for sports.

In my household, getting good grades was very important but my mom taught me there was more to this world than work. She planted in me a desire to try new things and watered it every opportunity she got. Now, I fertilise the product of her hard work frequently by seeking out opportunities for adventures. I’ve taken up ceramics, latin dancing, and drumming, and each activity came with a new set of challenges that made the hard work I put in totally worth it. I have an evergrowing bucket list of things I will try eventually and I promise to take you all on the journey with me.

I would like to challenge you all to try something that scares you. Promise me you will stick to it even if you think you are terrible at it. You will grow, you will improve and your confidence will increase. We all need to find that one thing we absolutely love that can let the light in our darkest days. Wi cya jus a gwan an a guh suh. There’s more to life than the 9-5.

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Are we becoming too sensitive?

A recent trend on Twitter has been the question: “What is Twitter angry about today?” This not-a-joke joke emerged as it seemed every day there was some grand, world ending debate going on. We’d be in a huff about everything from standards of equality right through to the superiority of one music genre to another. At the end of the day someone makes an ass out of themselves and the discussion topic disappears for a few days or months. Missed it the first time round? That’s just fine, because you can rest assured that it will rear its ugly head several times in your lifetime. Everyone has to get a piece of the pie right?

All of this has me wondering, are we becoming too sensitive? In my cultural class the professor invited two Muslim women with slightly different beliefs to speak to the class. A common thread in their stories was how some people were often afraid to approach them, and those who did were afraid to offend them by asking them questions.

Isn’t it funny how our attempts to be politically correct are hindering our chances at making friendships and meaningful cultural exchanges? We’re so hung up on our differences that we forget we are all human beings trying to navigate this overly complicated world.

An example brought up in the class discussion was how we’ve moved away from saying Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays because not everyone celebrates Christmas. Our guest speakers mentioned how they would often respond to Happy Holiday wishes by saying Merry Christmas. For them, the focus is not on which holiday is being celebrated but on the wishes of happiness.

At the end of the day, if you look at how different cultures celebrate their holidays, family, friends and food are often at the core. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, we’re more similar than we think we are. Yes, our differences contribute to the beauty of the world but it’s full time we realised our similarities are what connect us to each other.

 

I hope this is what you needed to hear today. Go out and bridge the culture gap!

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Good Bye New York, Hello North Carolina Pt.II

Welcome back friends! Not sure how you got here? You can find Pt.I here.


We piled all of our stuff into the rental car, programmed the GPS, and we were off. We would be at our hotel in 10 minutes. Our GPS’s name is Nuri by the way because my family names everything. Anywho, daddy opted against updating Nuri before we left home because he did it in May when he came to my graduation. Not much could change in 4 months right?

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We’re driving along and we’re on a highway that Nuri doesn’t recognise. Now she a work overtime and a recalculate out hell and we a drive pon a road weh lead to God he knows where. We decide to get off at the the next exit so we kept going; ever ready for an adventure.

The further we go along this highway though, I’m noticing less and less cars until, I kid you not, it’s just us. Never before have I encountered a highway with just one car. A wah dis? We finally make it to an exit and by this time our ETA is 40 minutes. I assess our surroundings and mi feel mi hawt drop right dung a mi belly bottom.

If I thought I was in country before, Ha! Friends, there were tractors. Tractors!!! Naturally, I start panicking. I have an iron-tight grip on the arm rest and my breathing is shallow. My eyes are darting from one side of the road to the other. This was how I would die. As far as I was concerned, there was a snake seconds away from infiltrating our car.

Never in the history of ever has telling a person to calm down ever aided that person in calming down but that’s exactly what my mother did. She gave me no choice… I bit her head off. She has since recovered.

I soon realised that snakes would be the least of my worries. The trees we passed were covered in huge ass spider webs. Whatever mek dem web deh, cudda draw weh smaddy. I did not sign up for this. These are the kinds of things schools should put in their brochures!

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What the hell is that?

Nuri eventually guided us the hotel. It was in a heavily populated area with an abundance of cars. I knew I’d be safe there for the night so I knocked right out. It has been two weeks since and thankfully, there hasn’t been any snake sightings.

Phobias are exhausting.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

By the way, check out my new logo!!!

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