Sunday, May 20, 2007

Knowing when (and when not to) Give Up

My Grandmother sent me this article as an inspiration message, and I agree: Success does await you if you don't give up too soon.... but only sometimes. So how do we know when these times are?

If you really know me, you'd know that they aren't too many things in life that I want that I don't have to work for. And the things that were handed to me just didn't mean as much. I actually like to work hard, to put in work, to earn my due. In all my endeavors there have been many times where I didn't get what I was seeking and sometimes I look back and wonder "what if?"

What if I had spent a few more hours on an application? Maybe I have attended a different university, or be working full time right now. What if I hadn't decided, that as good as I was, that running track was a hobby and academics would be my selling point? Maybe I would be training for the '08 Olympics. What if I didn't give up on anything? Would I still be trying? Or would I have gotten everything I wanted.

How do you know when to give up and move on to the next challenge? No one wants to be called a quitter...but everyone has. Everyone has given up on something they really wanted. Everyone has decided that enough was enough and moved on. But everyone has had something that they were willing to keep trying…and gotten.

I really feel Grandma on this article, but the title taken out of context could be useless in the wrong hands. Each individual has to know their limits and hopefully understand what things are worth continued pursuit, and what things are wastes of time. Pick your battles…continue to fight the ones you can win. Stop wasting time on those you can’t

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Before We Were Colored

I attend The University of Alabama and in many aspects our Greek systems is somewhat elite. It’s like the way we do things are just different than other Greeks on other campuses. We’re known to have elaborate probates that we charge to get into, many of are Greeks amplify the stereotype of their organization, and when we see Greeks on other campus we are sometimes in disbelief in the things that are seen and done. In other ways it seems our system is really fucked up. The same problems and negative stereotypes manifest in generation to generation in a never ending cycle.

The other day I was a NPHC event and someone suggested that we all take a unity picture of all the Greeks. A silence literally fell over the room, and then there were sounds of disgust. People returned to eating and talking and the person interested in the picture continued to encourage the unity picture. Finally people finished eating and at her persistent pushing she got people to slowly to move towards the couches. It was really sad how long it took to take the picture. What was even worse was the tension that could be felt in the room. It was really that bad. Even in the unity picture the Greeks were still separate. True there was a lil intermixing, but only between the groups that don’t have social problems anyway. A lot of people didn’t want to participate in the picture because it would be fake. I’d have to agree with that point. It would be fake, because it doesn’t truly exist across all of NPHC.

What I don’t agree with is how prophites basically brainwash there neos to dislike the groups that they dislike. It’s almost like learning how to hate is unofficial part of their process. I understand that not everyone will get along, and I’ll admit that there are people that I don’t like that happened to be Greek. But that’s just it, I don’t like them…not their organization. People tend to assume that a person and their org are one and the same, and completely forget that they are individuals.

What’s amazing that people allow their personal beef to grow into chapter beef. Wait, I don’t even think they allow it to happen, they force it to happen. They go back to their prospective org’s and talk up the situation to make it much worse than it really was and getting everyone else wound up in the process. Now org A is ready to fight org B just because someone bumped into someone else at the club or someone looked at someone funny in the Ferg. Just sad.

But we weren’t always Greek. We didn’t always act like that. Yes people were still messy, and groups still beefed, but it wasn’t the same. The groups were smaller, the beef didn’t last as long. Most people’s freshman and sophmore’s they were friends with the people in the very org’s they’re feuding with. They were friends with the same people they are ready fight with now…and probably don’t even know the real reason they’re fighting.

It’s ridiculous how letters and influence changes people. People need to learn to think for themselves. To stand on their own. To allow letter and colors to just be that…letters and colors. To act like they did before we were colored.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back in the Days when I was Young, I'm not a Kid anymore but Some days I Wish I was a Kid Again

This past weekend a kicked it with a few friends, honestly not even some of my closet friends. Actually I just met one of them this weekend. But the fact is I had the most fun I'd had in a LONG time. It was really like back in my freshman year when all we needed was each other to entertain ourselves.

We started off  Friday night drinking, then took it to the strip for a min. From there we hit a few sets. Me and my boi's was tired of the last set we were at and decided to head to the Legacy (aka the Venue). One the chics we was with was poutin cause she aint wanna go. We was like cool, do your thing, but the girl she road with wanted to follow us. She walked in the door with a stank look on her face but as soon as we made it upstairs her whole face lit up. We all danced, drank, and had a great time. Afterwards we went to IHOP and laughed and talked..finally made it to bed by 5.

The next night nothing was going on so we chilled at my spot watching T.V., but that soon evolved into playing thinking and drinkin games. I mean the four of us had a ball. We decided to go rent a movie but realized blockbuster was closed so we ended up at the park. Four grown ass people in the park playin dodge ball and monkey in the middle. The cops ruined that moment but we wnet back and kept playin games till about 2 or 3. I had a great weekend.

It all reminded me of my freshman year in paty when no one had cars and we would spend all night talkin and laughin about nothing. When we would walk 15 deep to burke for dinner. When we played kick ball on the quad. When we had water fights at rose. I hate that all those are just memories. I miss those days.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Semester's Over

The semester is officially over, I am officially a 2nd year graduate student and life is really good. Though not extremely exciting. This has been the most boring semester of my entire life.

I only took one class in the hopes that my research would pick up. It didn’t. I kept running into dead ends. Well, not dead ends…put more problems than we were expecting and we didn’t have the money to alleviate the problems. Hopefully after the summer I will have the equipment to complete my research so I can defend my thesis and get the hell on with my life. Not that I have anything against UA or Tuscaloosa…I’m just ready to move on. UA is no longer MY UA.

Back to the boring semester: I was sitting in on another class to get some background on my research but I didn’t have to study or take tests, so after my 2 classes, no homework, and no research I would go home, lay on my couch and watch TV…for hours. It was sad. I continued my workout plan from the Fall (got a lil more defined), but other than that I was really bored. So finally I decided I hated being a bum and got a job at night at the CTL as a tutor and bought a new video game to play on my free time.

So I guess the most interesting thing that happened to me this semester is the bad hair cut I got a while ago. It was refereed to as the “broken bowl” or the “monk” cut. Of course I got clowned on for 2 weeks straight but I got thick skin and took the jokes in stride and maintained my composure. So I let the hair grow out and rocked the mini fro for a sec but I had to cut it off for a visit to a research lab, plus I couldn’t have that look goin back to my intern this summer. Keeping up a fro is a lil too much for corporate America.

So I am a lil excited about my intern. I am goin back to Ford but I am looking forward to the change of scenery. Going back to nice weather and friends I made last summer. Since it’s a few of us returning from last year we’ll probably start kicking it from day one. My job will be cool too, they got me working on components for Ford’s V6 engine. Only bad thing is that they got me workin in a damn factory. It’s cool tho, with what they’re paying me I can’t be too mad.

I lucked up with my housing situation for the summer tho. A friend of mine that is leaving for the summer is letting me house sit her place for cheap…which works out perfect since I have to pay on my rent here in Tuscaloosa.

So that’s about all that went on this semester…at least that’s meant for the world to know about it.