I’ve been trying to find the words to explain my feelings about finally graduating from college. Although it took 5 years, I wouldn’t take the extra time back for anything in the world. Here’s what I’ve come up with: this extra year has given me a chance to do things I’ve never done before: take an art history class, do some creative writing, create a website, make new friends, and find my career path. I am so privileged to have the opportunity to take this extra year and focus on me; I finally like I can graduate college with a strong finish.
Sometimes I feel like we go through life without fully expressing our appreciation to those who have been there with us through thick and thin, and I want to take the time out to thank all of you who have walked, talked, drank, cried, and laughed with me throughout this year. It has been a long, hard road being an outcast from 2011 graduating with the class of 2012, but you all have given me the opportunity to immerse myself in without making me feel awkward (Shoutout to the Tricolon series). It has been an honor to be your friend, confidant, acquaintance, and sister. I hope we will continue to stay in touch.
This year, I’ve had the pleasure of taking 4 classes with Writing & Rhetoric professor Michele Polak, and she is one of the major reasons I am leaving college with something substantial for the workforce. I thank you SO much for sitting in the Pub/Rosenberg with me from time to time to calm me down, give me feedback, and essentially molding me into a strong woman with rhetorical, feminist theory under my belt.
I’ve met so many amazing William Smith first years, sophomores, and juniors who are ready to face the world of Feminist Activism, and I am so glad to be passing the baton to a strong, dedicated, passionate group of soon-to-be leaders. I have had the opportunity to see you grow from curious little feminists to women who engage in feminist theory and utilize it within their everyday life. You will do wonders, so continue to be the change you wish to see in the world.
I am finally ready to go into the world with the education I’ve received and the courage to succeed. To my mother, I wish you were here to watch me go on that stage to accept my diploma, but I’ve carried you with me for these past 4 years, and I always will. You have made me a strong, independent woman who is ready to face whatever is thrown my way.
Peace out my fellow G-Fems, and I will see you in the real world.
Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor — Bare. But all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’…
I’ve been trying to find the words to describe the woman who the biggest inspiration in my life, but fell short today. I could go on and on about how I miss my mother and how much I wish that she was here with me, making plans to come to my graduation, to watch me walk down the aisle and accept my diploma, to hug me and tell me how proud she is, but I won’t do it. Not this year.
My mother has played such an influential role in my life since her passing—- she was a major reason I went into Women’s Studies, why I became so close knit with estranged family, and why I’ve become who I am today. She’s been a posthumous beacon for me and I am POSITIVE she is guiding me through the trials and tribulations of life as my guardian angel. Now I have a problem with organized religion, but I do believe in spirituality, because I know all the family I’ve lost are looking down on us and guiding us as we make decisions that can change our lives (when I say us I mean my whole family).
Now even though today is a sad day for me, it has given me motive to become reflective of all that has occurred since these 4 years have passed. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become close knit with estranged family members. Growing up, we were all so disconnected, and there could be many reasons on why this happened, but one thing that’s for sure is I couldn’t say 4 years ago that I would be traveling to Miami to visit my family there or plan events for Puerto Rico with cousins I hardly knew growing up. It’s such a blessing to be able to have so much support from family who you assumed growing up didn’t care. I am so grateful and appreciative of them and wanted to thank them for the love and affection they’ve shown me.
To my mother:
You have given me the necessary tools to become a phenomenal woman. I hope you know that I carry you wherever I go. You are my spirit, my drive, and my motivation to be successful. I love you, always and forever.
At 6 years old, my mother moved us to Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY because it was more affordable to live there (in 1997). By 9 years old, I was in 5th grade, reached puberty, and started to biologically mature. Every day I would walk to the bus stop 2 blocks away to go to school. Occasionally, our…
Last night, Troy Davis was executed at 11:08pm in Georgia, despite the fact that 7 out of 9 witnesses recanted or changed their testimonies, 3 jurors changed their minds, and the lack of evidence there was for the case. Our American government believes that if you are “guilty beyond a resonable doubt” that you will go to prison, but what happens when there is too much doubt? This is the end to that question.
I have never thought about the complications behind Capitol Punishment, but after hearing about this case and the implications for the lethal injection for Troy Davis, I am absolutely appalled and resent it. How can we let a woman like Casey Anthony get away with murder with the amount of evidence that was clear in her case, and let Troy Davis DIE even with there being too much doubt?
Troy Davis did not die in vain. As a society devoted to justice, it will be served PROPERLY. And when the truth comes out, there is no turning back the hands of time. You have killed an innocent man.
I stand with Troy Davis. I stand for Troy Davis. I am Troy Davis.
I have been thinking a lot about my role in the reprojustice movement and why I’m involved in it. These three questions came to mind (thanks to the student leader retreat for the original questions- tweaked them a bit)
- what was the first memory you had of being involved with the reprojustice movement?
- what is one thing you are extremely proud of in relation to the movement for reprojustice?
- what is your overall goal for the reprojustice movement?
It really got me thinking about why I became involved and continue to be. If you are struggling with your position in this movement or any movement, think of these questions and you will find your answers.
If you are a woman, you would not be in college. You would not be able to vote. You could not play sports. Contraception is illegal. So is abortion. You’re expected to marry and raise a family. If you must work, the only jobs available to you are in cleaning, clerical services, or teaching. And you have no legal protection on the job if your boss pressures you for sex or makes lewd comments. Your husband can force you to have sex, and, if you were sexually abused as a child, most likely no one will believe you if you tell. If you are sexually attracted to women, you are considered mentally ill and may be subjected to an array of treatments for your illness.
-Susan Shaw and Janet Lee remind us of so many milestones we have achieved since Feminism came into play.