“My job is to notice…”

Most recently I have felt internally challenged by some of the events that have taken place on campus this year and in the three previous years that I have attended this institution. I have also been concerned and confused by the ways in which these events have been “handled.” I mention this again, as I did in one of my earlier blog posts, not to beat a dead horse, but maybe to save a live one. On the first page of the syllabus Dr. McCoy lists the values of the campus as being learning, creativity, inclusivity, civic responsibility and sustainability. These are values that she emphasizes in all of her classes and tries to instill in her students, however a question that often comes to mind is what she wrote about in her personal blog post today. The question of whether or not the small impact of her classroom and a few other professors, actually reflects the values of the campus overall. I want to draw your attention to the epigraph by Dionne Brand, “my job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice.” I intend to demonstrate the validity of this statement through many examples that may seem unrelated at first, but ultimately explain the root of my everlasting internal challenge that I have faced at Geneseo. Continue reading ““My job is to notice…””

Procrastination, Growth and Less Pressure

I put off writing this final blog post more than Ricky Rice kept putting off using the bag of drugs he was carrying. Procrastination can come in many forms, some that are positive and some that are negative. In my case it was negative because I avoided something that could have been done earlier and bettered my writing, while he avoided something that would have set him back years and possibly ruined his opportunity for growth. That is the one thing that I will say Ricky Rice has demonstrated in Big Machine, growth. While it proved that ultimately he had no idea what he was getting himself into, he still developed as an individual along the way. It is not common that you hear someone say that procrastination can lead to growth which is why it is particularly fascinating that in Ricky’s case, it did. Continue reading “Procrastination, Growth and Less Pressure”

Allowing the Face of Goodness to Surprise You

Naturally as a historian it is my job to be inquisitive about both sides to every story. Of course not every historian does this, in fact many don’t, but in my opinion it is the best way to examine history and extract the truth from any story. In asking questions about both sides of a story or being more inquisitive into the life of someone who has always been portrayed as a villain, you will find that things are often not what they seem or not what you have been told. I find this especially interesting in today’s time where social media and digital media in general plays such a heavy influence in the ideas and beliefs of people around the world. Take a moment to think about that. An idea about a person or group of people can be shared around the world instantaneously whether or not it is truthful. For some this plays out well and they are able to transcend into fame and fortune, but for others, this spread of information can make them unable to exist comfortably in any spaces. Continue reading “Allowing the Face of Goodness to Surprise You”

Afro-Futurism… What the… Never mind

Throughout our African-American literature class, a common place that I have found my self is in the realm of “what is actually going on.” This is not just a recurring question but an entire “realm” of confusion. Surprisingly I have been becoming progressively more comfortable in my un-comfortability with the texts we have confronted. This process was not easy for me for a number of different reasons, the first being because I had aligned in my own mind, based on my own cultural experiences, what was normal and what was abnormal for all black people ever. Which after typing it out, sounds awfully ignorant. I am pleased to acknowledge that this class has opened me up to texts that I may not have chosen on own prior to this class and expanded my understanding of literary categories and sub-categories. Continue reading “Afro-Futurism… What the… Never mind”

Once Again We Must Address Consent…

What legitimizes a group of people who feel they have been done an injustice on the part of another person or group of people? This question has been circulating around in my mind all week considering the recent events that have taken place on campus and the way that they have been handled or addressed by some of the faculty here. Do people reserve the right to decide when someone else has hurt them? We talk a lot about consent in this class and what the standards of consent are, but I am beginning to realize that people struggle with understanding the nature of consent and how, in my opinion, it should be applied to society. Continue reading “Once Again We Must Address Consent…”

Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Post “My Theory Between ‘Big Machine’ and ‘Us'”

First of all, I would like to thank Analiese for her post, specifically because I did not draw the connection between the movie being called “Us” and the U.S. This was something I overlooked on my mission to watch a Jordan Peele movie without carrying expectations of repetitiveness, like I wrote about in my last blog post on anticipation. There are probably plenty of small clues I overlooked in the Peele film. Anyway, I would like to discuss the brilliant comparison of “Us” to “Big Machine.” Both works deal with inner meanings and workings that really do apply to the overall status of American capitalist society. A concept that I think, as college students, we often have the privilege to overlook, even when it is put directly in our line of vision. Continue reading “Response to Analiese Vasciannie’s Post “My Theory Between ‘Big Machine’ and ‘Us’””

Anticipating Repetition in Jordan Peele’s “US” (No Spoilers)

Talented screen-writer and actor, Jordan Peele, just debuted his new movie Us in theaters last week and the box office went crazy. Jordan Peele is fairly new to the horror movie scene but has come in strong from his 2017 presentation of Get Out which grossed $255 million dollars with a $4.5 million dollar budget.  Ever since Get Out, Peele’s fans have been anticipating his newest horror film. Continue reading “Anticipating Repetition in Jordan Peele’s “US” (No Spoilers)”

Whose Story is it Anyway?

When thinking about ownership in the context of literature, I can honestly say that I am at a crossroads. While I would agree that the author should maintain ownership over their ideas and the ways that they are interpreted, I also feel like the reader deserves some creative room for interpretation. In other words, I don’t think it’s entirely on the part of the author to dictate how their story is understood, because that limits the creativity of the reader, however the author wrote the story with a purpose, which they also deserve to maintain. I would equally agree that it is the job of both the reader and the author to meet in the middle to develop an understanding of how a story should be interpreted. Which brings me to the philosophical question, does the reader read for the author or does the author write for the reader? Continue reading “Whose Story is it Anyway?”

The Question of “Why” in a Cycle of Growth and Shrinkage

One of the most important questions I ask when attempting to understand tradition in any realm of life, social, religious, or cultural, is the “why?” I have never been one to take things for what they are, I am inquisitive, however tradition seems to be one of those things that I have trouble getting to the bottom of. As a historian I seek the roots of all things because I believe that it leads to a more modern understanding of present-day issues.

Continue reading “The Question of “Why” in a Cycle of Growth and Shrinkage”