See Ya, 2014: Another List

I heard someone say that lists were annoying, like those end-of-year lists or the ones that comprise a lot of Buzzfeed. But hasn’t this been the year of Buzzfeed? So, a few someones must enjoy a good countdown. And as much as lists require ten times less attention than a well-written essay, they are so wonderfully tidy. So I made one, too, for this blog, because I can. Here’s my top 5 favorite post thus far. Happy New Year and thanks so much for reading.

5. Prince & Patrice Do Hollywood — Once my brother and I reached California, we took a side trip to LA for the day. With no plan, we wandered into one of the funniest days of my life.  Continue reading

Time to Take a Breath

I am the type of person that can sometimes put great pressure on himself. My job at LAL ended about two days ago, and I miss the experience tremendously. I met some fantastic people, and the Fordham University campus was so very beautiful to wake up to; however, like all things in life, my job has come to an end.

After sitting at my grandparent’s house for just a day, I have already grown restless. After having done SOMETHING every day for the past month, to be sitting on my ass for even one day does not seem right. Yesterday, I let the restlessness get to me while looking on job search websites and applying to the ones that I found to suit me. Today, though, I took some time to think, and here is what hit me.

Taken at Fordham University
Taken at Fordham University

A Case FOR Facebook

Any of my true friends can tell you one thing about me: I do not have a Facebook. From both friends and random people alike, this declaration has been met with a variety of reactions: surprise being the first, followed closely by admiration. In rare cases, there is indifference, but the first two definitely trump all others. The responses of admiration always make me laugh the hardest internally, and typically go something like this:

“Oh, that’s so good!” “That’s not something you hear everyday!” “I can understand why!”

These responses are then met with reasons why it’s good NOT to have a Facebook, as if I need the reassurance that I am making a wise decision. I always want to say, “No likes necessary,” because that’s the type of person I’ve always been; however, it has not always been the case that I have been Facebook-less.

Rewind to that fateful day in tenth grade, when my mother busts into the house to declare that she must, I mean MUST, see my Myspace.

“Jumaane, you could be doing drugs. You could have guns in this house. I don’t know WHAT you’re doing. I was listening to the radio, and I need to see your Myspace.” Continue reading

International Students

IMG_1797I have always been more intrigued by people from other countries than from America. In my undergrad, I had the pleasure of living in the International Residence Hall. I noted that the students dressed better and danced/partied harder than Americans. My job with the Language School here in Bronx, New York has again proven these two observations correct. I’ve seen 15 year old girls in gladiator sandals and overalls that ACTUALLY looked good, as well as more than my share of Nike sneakers in various colors. I have also been told about weed and clubbing by 16 year old males, and I’ve used the term straight-edge to describe myself more in this one week than in my entire life. Imagine their surprise when I said I have never smoked weed (and don’t plan to in the future).
Overall, this job has been very enjoyable. I took a group of 20-25 foreigners to Times Square on a subway, with more ease than I thought I would have. This success is largely due to the iPhone & my coworker who was on the subway as well, but I chalk it up as a success for myself nonetheless. On this excursion, the words No Child Left Behind brought a smile to my face. Tonight, we had a carnival, and I had the ‘pleasure’ of being pied in the face for the very first time in my life. One student complimented me on my running abilities, comparing me to the great Usain Bolt. To me, I felt more like an gazelle being chased by ten lions.
The lions won.
Of course, it hasn’t all been perfect.

Continue reading

My Next Step

I have been out of California now for almost two weeks, and the feeling is somewhat bittersweet. I think it could be more for the lifestyle, however, than the location. Who doesn’t want to wake up to beautiful sunlight before a morning run and a little sightseeing? While I loved California and do miss my sister, I am well aware that I need to be thinking about my next move.

Enter New York City. I have accepted a month-long engagement with a language school to begin next week. The feeling? Excited, but also nervous as well. I’ll be working with foreign students who are trying to learn English, and it will be a live-on arrangement at a University. I really like working with younger people, but I also think of how I was as a teenager: not bad, but talkative, which was not conducive to a learning environment. I’ve been thinking about the disciplining aspect of it, and what my style will be. Continue reading

Making Marks

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I have this thing about beaches. Whenever I go to one, I like to:

a. Sing a bossa nova standard called Dindi by the water.

b. Write my name in the sand.

The first one makes sense: I’m a singer. But the second one, I’m not too sure about. I remember the first time the name writing habit stuck. I was in Wilmington sophomore year of college for a conference, and our delegation stopped at the beach. I diverged a little from the group, and then wrote my name in the sand, along with some crush whose identity is none too important now. The second time I returned to Wilmington for a Spring Break trip, I did the same thing, exempting the crush. My name stood there, alone, in the sand: Jumaane.

At Ventura Beach, I would get to make my mark yet again, but this time, it would be on the complete opposite coast. Why do I do this?

I think, for the most part, we would all like to be known for who we actually are. In me, there has been the desire to be remembered exactly as I am, and how I see myself. This wish is not unique, and it is just that: a wish, a hope. I’ve sometimes struggled to remind myself of that fleetingness. Then I saw the Fault in Our Stars. Continue reading

Albuquerque

I don’t think driving through a state is necessarily enough to know if you want to live there, but New Mexico is quite lovely, at least from what I’ve seen. The mountains are spectacular, and I’ve always been a fan of some sunshine. New Mexico has quite a lot of both. Today, we made our way from Arkansas to Alburquerque. I went through three states that I’ve never been in before, but New Mexico has been my favorite in terms of scenery so far.

Green fields for days. Huge domes, buttes, valleys, and other nature terms I may not be using correctly. Basically, New Mexico is fantastic.

Driving through, I became interested to know the history of the land, not just from the perspective of The United States or Mexico or politics, but just the general history. Who lived on these plains before, and called them home? What are some of the animals who made this space their own? What did this place look like 300, 500, maybe 700 years ago?  The future doesn’t intrigue me so much as the past. I became so interested to know this land from its own point of view, and I think that is a good thing. If you’re looking for an escape from what may be familiar to you, look no further than New Mexico.

And avoid Little Anita’s restaurant at all cost once you get here.