Tuesday, February 24, 2004

it is black history month

and I honestly intended to post this before now, since there are only scant days left to February, and certainly, right now that is both a blessing and a curse...but I did want to post a poem I found a long time ago in my beloved Norton Anthology of Poetry, 4th edition, that caught my mind back in first year. You can find the poem and more information on its author, Langston Hughes here.

Theme for English B

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you--
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it's that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It's not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me--who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white--
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me--
although you're older--and white--
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

You should also check out Derek Walcott, you're interested in a black writer who is not American. His poetry is incredible, and he has a piece called "The Muse of History" which is both excellent and essential for anyone interested in Carribean lit (though I can't seem to find it online).

Monday, February 23, 2004

it's a good thing I work well under pressure

yeah, yeah, I know...it has been a long time, kids. so let me recap the last few weeks for you:
+applications to grad school: mailed off
+seminar on "the education of the artist" and Stella Bowen's Drawn From Life: done
+short feminist theory paper on gaze, desire, and homosocial relationships (sadly titled "Girls Gone Mild" in fit of believing in one's own wit): done
+job interview in Toronto for job in Ottawa: done; ambiguous feelings on potential outcome
+reading week: too short; too little accomplished
+job interview for SMATH: done; little doubt that will be offered job
+paper on the relationship between gender and the art of Stella Bowen in conception, reception, and interpretation of Drawn From Life: done
+phone call from UOttawa telling me that have forgotten to give them my birthdate on application forms, thereby preventing me from being entered into the computer: now fixed
+phone call from Carleton telling me that they have not received letters of reference, which are needed ASAP to submit my application for financial aid, and which were posted on February 10th, tracked, and marked as received by Canada Post: in the process of being dealt with

So that leaves me with:

+fixing the reference letter problem
+making a doctor's appointment
+writing a 15 page history paper which have not started writing nor researching, nor indeed, even picked a specific topic
+calling landlord to fix things for next year
+preparation for two seminars being given next week
+preparation for test on Franz Fanon
+finding a topic for web based learning module on Shelly Jackson's Patchwork Girl
+shopping for bridesmaid dress
+trying to implode