Friday, August 22, 2008

Gettin My Mind Right...

I'm here
but I'm restless
too early to act
and anxious
I need to unpack
and memories
carried in my heart
to let go
and release
so that I can start
the most i can learn
so that I
can give more
and have more to earn
I'm ready
I'm tired
but can't speed up time
and so
to get through this
I'll work on this rhyme...

I wrote that this morning, after waking up freakishly early and waiting for all of the orientation stuff to begin. I met with my advisor today and they had some sort of luncheon [with which my vegetarian options consisted of hummus and pimento sandwiches... I now know to eat before I attend anything~ like with holiday functions at home]. Then we attended a dedication. There may have been something about a walk and some goodbyes or something, and I felt myself getting all misty eyed when the school president gave his speech about the parents supporting and encouraging their kids and letting them go. I know exactly why I got restimulated by it. I just was trying at that point to fight back tears as I averted my gaze from the empty lawn chairs beside me. I must've been visibly agitated or something, because one of the ladies that I'd met from academic services came up and gave me a hug... and honestly I needed it too much to be weirded out by it [thank you rc].

Anyway, we attended a dedication ceremony and had lunch with our advisors. Then, I got to forgoe the next part of the schedule, because my living arrangement is different than everybody else's so I just talked to some of the women from the African Student's Union about my career plans and went home and did some laundry. I have to tell you, I have never really used faric softener before, but what a difference it makes. I once heard some comedian joking about how married women mark their territory by using fabric softener and my goodness... I can see why. Who's going to want to leave that!?!

The only reason that I even had it to begin with is because I wanted some sort of memento to remind me of the time that I submitted an idea to procter and gamble's website for them to provide individual packets of laundry detergent so that I could travel with it or not have to haul the massive jug down to the laundry room, particularly as the economy got worse. They sent me a reply that said that they were already providing smaller portions at their laundromats [which, completely defeated the purpose of what I was trying to accomplish...] This happened back in the late winter early spring.

Lo and behold, to my surprise they must've changed their minds because a few weeks ago I was headed out of town and found individual packets over in the trial section of Target of all places. They deviated from my idea a little bit, as I requested it in powder form as an eco-friendly alternative [as it saves gallons of water] and had it in liquid form. But did that stop me from buying it? Certainly not, because I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would need it [which is why I submitted the idea in the first place]. And, I finally had to break down and use it today. Which constitutes a need for me to just buy a case and keep some on hand [J-I-C].

Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. Find somebody to fund the patent from here on out instead of letting corporations rip off my ideas or make it myself. I come with ideas for stuff like that all of the time. I'm particularly excited about some ideas I have in store for re-revolutionizing and redefining how we use health and beauty packaging [from both the enviromental aspect as well as the economic]. But that's going to take time to get prototypes together and locate a mechanism to get [or build] the equipment, and I've got plenty of time, so long as I don't just chuck off my ideas on multi-million dollar corporations who get ahead by ripping off other people's ideas. But I put it out there. So I guess it's kind of public domain because I didn't protect it like I should've.

If there's one thing that I've learned is that if you find yourself in a pinch and just really need to get something done, there are plenty of people out there willing to do the work for you if you allow them to take the credit of your ideas. (9/11 vigil @ Michigan State anyone?) I didn't get credit for that until many months later [not that it was about that... which is primarily why I let it fly]. Some poor jerk is about to find out that his idea for the individual take a long roll of toilet paper, which I carry on my keychain was ripped off from Proctor and Gamble. The worst part about it, is it was probably some mid level jerk who intercepted the stuff from the website and is collecting a phat bonus because of it. Oh well. But I digress...

At least I get to kind of do the kinds of things that I want to be doing. I've spent a ridiculous time on inner growth and translating the product of my inner consciousness into outer manifestations. Evidently it's beginning to payoff. I'm getting ready to start college in a few days. I just finiished Phoebe Eng's book and I must say. Warrior Lessons is a remarkable read. I liked her book as much, if not more that Sandra Anne Taylor's. I've been doing a bit of summer reading to try to keep my mind where I like it, open and full of useful information. I still haven't finished Amit Goswami's Quantum Creativity, but that is because I had to go back and re-read some passages.

I still get a little bit fuzzy on certain aspects of the Many Worlds Interpretation of the Uncertainty Principle and how that translates into Correspondence. If something actually exists, how could it presently only be considered a possibility? I get that in relativity it could presently [or in the past] not have existed, but when it comes to present manifestations I don't quite understand why uncertainty is applicable. It would seem that at that point of present confirmation of the existence of something that it would yes, correspond, but in turn emerge as the only manifested possibility [as represented by some newtonian deal], unless we're talking about some sort of subjective methodology of measurement, which then, to me ceases to be science. Add to the equation stuff about Schrodeger's cat and the Wigner principle and all sense of rhyme or reason goes out of the window.

At least I can feel confident that I won't completely accept some new far fetched idea until I have some sort of confirmation that it kind of makes sense. It's nice to have that going for me. Oh, that reminds me...

There was some discussion that came up in relation to the school motto: "God has made of one blood all people's of the earth" in terms of how it related to the school's founding principles of inclusion and diversity. Ironically, I had just finished reading the last chapter of Eng's book in which she relayed her experience speaking in a forum in which she was confronted by someone who challenged her idea of inclusion by asserting that: "loose ideas like diversity have diluted people's efforts to fight discrimination..." There was more that he said in reference to the context that he more or less felt that by assimilating or relying upon other groups to aid in the process of any particular [rather his context was much more specific] ehtnic group's ability to take ownership of it's own community's liberation and community development.

I didn't grow up with this particular perspective, but I have grown to see quite a bit of validity of this perspective as I have gotten older and been immersed in some of the deeper issues within my own community and the internalized oppression that takes place as a result of that. I do kind of feel that there are plenty of issues in particular that I wouldn't want the ruling, privileged class to be included in because they wouldn't understand the historical basis for it or know how to deal with it without infringing upon other people's right to work those kinds of things out for themselves.

Even Gandhi, kind of felt that it was a bit presumptuous for the British government to be trying to play the role of guardian and mediator when they were alien to the problems that existed in that particular country, even though I will admit from time to time, in extreme cases that intervention may be necessary... but there should be some sort of active task force present to seek out those who are most qualified and accountable for determining who should take on the responsibility of controlling the local government. It certainly shouldn't be the foreign party. I could see them protecting whomever the people would want in place or overseeing safe elections, but in terms of tyrannical rule, I don't think so.

On the same hand, I was on the other side of the equation this summer of being the person of privilege coming into an unsafe and veridically "barbaric" environment trying to "fix" things and ultimately only creating problems for myself~ which only caused it to internalize it even more. Here it was I had become Rudyard Kipling's stereotype, and I wasn't even a white man... and while there were things going on that I had to intervene in [against my desire of course]... my better judgement told me that I never should have put myself in that position in the first place. I thought that by "slumming it" that I'd be able get a little bit of character development and make a positive impact upon the environment by being cool and leading by example, but really, I was the only one who came out affected and it's going to take a lot of inner work before I can let go of some of that internalized oppression and be able to experience anything fully without being overly cautious and paranoid that there is some underlying devious thing accompanying it.

I know that it seems that my acculturated perspective could be misperceived by some as militant or uncooperative [and to some who don't understand where I'm coming from, they may even perceive me as being flat out racist] but I assure you that I am not. I was actually reading some of the stuff Goswami was talking about in relation to all being one in terms of consciousness, [which is kind of ironic actually] and I had some questions about that as well. To put it in a metaphor, my understanding of it is this:

A blade of grass is totally different in its manifestation than maybe another blade. It may be similar, come from the same source or be from a different area entirely, but it is not the same blade of grass as the other. By the same token it is all still grass. It has the same composition, or similar makeups and characteristics that allow it to be defined as such. The thing that we must still remember to consider, however, is that even though it is all still grass, as we define it; what it means to be a blade of grass in the prairie is different than what it means to be a blade of grass on a golf course, or in the woods, or by the beach, or in the desert.

The same goes for people. We may come from the same origin, or if you don't believe that, we most certainly are derived from the same primordial soup. We have genes and DNA and a chemical composition that determines that. But because our environments and our experiences are so different, and even in instances where they are similar, there is a vast difference in significance in each and every individual, some noticable and some in ways that are much more subtle. One seemingly insignificant person could simply provide the roots necessary to keep their environment flourishing and intact [as in grass and erosion] or provide nourishment and life to something greater [maybe not a cow, but a mind or a movement] that will in turn be a part of a system of things that are necessary to sustain a greater purpose. And there are all other kinds of grass/people metaphors that I could use [we could simply be used to move things, or process waste, depending upon how that stuff is allowed to be deconstructed].

So our differences matter as well as the ways in which we are similar. The universal truth is that we are both. It is in that variance and in our differences that we are challenged as we try to achieve balance, we are conflicted, and we are challenged creatively toward progression and transcendence. I know this is coming out of multiple schools of thought, and believe me, I'm a lifelong scholar of them all... But I think that coming from all of these perspectives and having experience with these bi-linear schools of thought [assimilative & inclusive versus acculturative viewpoint in which race and class really matter] I think it will be interesting to further understand the point where these dichotomies converge. But if not a liberal arts college, I don't know where else I'd really get a chance to observe it.

It seems though that the faculty here are genuinely committed toward our success and development. You certainly wouldn't get this level of attention anywhere else. I'll definitely be interested in hearing more alternative perspectives of it. Perhaps it could provide me with some further insight. I'm just trying to be as receptive as I can, but it's honestly going to take a little bit of time for me to get immersed in things to the point where I can leave that baggage behind me and just take the lessons from it and move ahead. Unfortunately, that is going to require me to sift through some of the misinformation I'd taken on as well, but it shouldn't been difficult. I can already feel the difference in my consciousness between now and several months ago and how differently I've handled and reacted to challenging situations. I just hope I continue to move in the right direction and don't let myself get caught up transferring my stuff onto other people.

Already I've had to kind of scold myself for trailing off into negativity from time to time. I seriously have to tell myself "don't mess around and sabotage this experience. Get it together!" in order to snap myself out of my distress. I also have to really notice and stop myself from my compulsion to want to do things and fix things for people. They don't have any ibuprofen or can't find the health food store or bike shop and I'm like I'll find out and take them there. But now I have to stop myself at scribbling down the phone number or address. I think it's that corporate service upbringing of never saying no and going the extra mile. It kills me to not do all the work for other people, but if I'm going to survive here, I'm going to have to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise it'll be all about other people and I'll be scrambling to fit myself into the equation. I'll get it figured out though. Now that I know it's a chronic pattern I can begin to really work on it.

I know I put this up on the other site, but I was a big fan of my results from this self-actualization assessment. I retrieved these test results from the following site:

Thank you for completing Self Actualization Assessment
Your Score is 123 out of 150

This score indicates a high likelihood that you are self-actualized. This means that you are someone who has peak experiences which show you the meaning and purpose that you have. You may do this through spiritual or other means. You are very open to exploring how events fit together and the meaning in various situations. You are interested in how you can contribute to the human condition, add value to other people?s lives, and leave a legacy. You are likely to have developed yourself to the person who you want to be, and to explore and enjoy your passion in life.

I've got my science, and my poetry. Pretty soon I'll be able to work on some artwork and I'm getting an education. I'll be learning a skill that will be in demand and will benefit people and the environment. And I'm terribly happy with the person that I've emerged as and how much it is in alignment with who I have aspired to be. What more could I ask for? I almost kind of feel like if I didn't have all of this other stuff to look forward to that my attitude could've easily shifted toward, "well now what?" But as long as there are things to be worked on or improved upon, there will always be something for me to do, something for me to contribute. Now I get to decide what those gifts will be. Yay!

Sorry for the long post... But while I'm thinking about it, I'd like to give a shoutout to two of my favorite people [who don't even know it yet] Mikua Rai and Yetunde. I got to see them perform at Cenci in Atlanta this summer and believe me, had it not been for their influence I would not have gone in the same direction after having endured what I did this summer. They were like my "big brother" and "big sister" but on this transcendental level. I love to watch them perform, but to hear them speak and to watch how their presence and energy just fills up the room will forever be etched upon my mind and there will always be a place for them in my heart. Plus there two of the best contemporary orators I've heard. Big Ups!!! Thanks for holding "the movement" down.

To check out Yetude check out her site:

You can find Mikua's site here:


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