Showing posts from March, 2014

Grad School Diary: I'll be Back Soon

Two big research papers need my attention, so I will be gone for a bit. Take care, Jane

Pinned from

Poetry: Yet Do I Marvel by Countee Cullen

Yet Do I Marvel
by Countee Cullen

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,
And did He stoop to quibble could tell why
The little buried mole continues blind,
Why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die,
Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus
Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare
If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus
To struggle up a never-ending stair.
Inscrutable His ways are, and immune
To catechism by a mind too strewn
With petty cares to slightly understand
What awful brain compels His awful hand.
Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:
To make a poet black, and bid him sing!

Listen to my reading of "Yet Do I Marvel" below:

~*~ Have a beautiful Wednesday! Jane

Opinion: People

At work, a large group of women came in to shop and man were they loud! The store being very small, there was no escaping. Their voices were very high so that when they spoke to each other it sounded as though they were shouting across a football field at one another. I was very put off, and so were my co-workers. We wished that they would lower their voices, but we dared not say anything to them. After all they were the customers, and it is the norm that good customer service means that the customer gets a great experience. That did not stop me from making some ugly remarks on their lack of civilization.

Fast forward three or four weeks later, I went shopping with my good friend whom I had not seen in forever. It was just the two of us and it was early in the shop (same place I work) and OMG how we were loud! I did not notice at the moment just how high our voices were. All I knew was that I was so happy to see my friend, and because I was so comfortable with her, I didn't mind …

Poetry: Untitled by Lorine Niedecker

by Lorine Niedecker
In moonlight lies
          the river passing—
it's not quiet
          and it's not laughing.

I'm not young
          and I'm not free
but I've a house of my own
          by a willow tree.

To say so much in so few words is one of my favorite things about poetry. 

Have a beautiful Wednesday.
--- Jane

Opinion: On No

What do you do when someone says no to you? I feel offended. I also often feel embarrassed and wish that the floor would open up and swallow me whole. It usually leaves me feeling small and insignificant and stupid for ever daring to ask. However, the defeat of a no is a personal feeling. When someone says no to us, it is not final until we agree with them. Hence it doesn't end with them it ends with us. When another puts up their rejection sign, it is important to remember that it is their right to do so. But we, too, have the right and the power to translate that answer for ourselves. Here are a few questions I have started asking myself: 1. What would an approval really mean? 2. Do I really, really want it? In other words, how much does it mean to me? 3. How should I try again? and 4. What are my other options?

Recently I got burned by a rejection. The ignoring kind, which has this way of making me feel so foolish and insecure. However, after I got over the uncomfortable feeli…

Grad School Diary: I Won't Miss You Flatbush

This winter is taking itself very seriously. And I approve. In the past, I have whined about the winters being too shy, this one has gotten me begging it to cease throwing out the white stuff. The beautiful thing about long winters is that when spring finally rolls in, one is most happy to welcome her, because by then one has really had it with the cold.
Tuesday was soo beautiful that after school, I stop by at Union Square to take in the traffic and people enjoying the precious 60 °F weather. I felt so happy to dash into Whole Foods for a year supply of apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and then walk up to my favorite park, Madison Square,  thinking to get a shake from the Shake Shack over there. I had to give up on the shake when I encountered a summer line; which means it was ridiculously long.
My undergraduate school was right up on 23rd street. It used to be that one can do so much after school. Even if to just stroll around aimlessly, or sit in a park and people watch, or …

Poetry: Blue in Green by Grace Schulman

Perhaps it was to see poetry through another perspective, the reason why I enrolled in my first poetry class; taught by one of the best Professors I have ever had, Grace Schulman. She changed my life. It being March and Women's History month, I thought the first poem I share should be from a female poet who has inspired me. And Schulman is someone I will never forget. She believed in me, in my writing, and that has made a lot of difference in my life. Below is a poem from her recent book of beautiful poems, The Broken String. (I've a signed copy!)
Blue in Green by Grace Schulman

Blue in green: baywater seen through grasses that quiver over it, stirring the air, slanted against the water's one-em dashes. Each blade is a brushstroke on thin rice paper,
unrehearsed, undrafted, no revision, right on the first take. In "Blue in Green," on tenor sax, John Coltrane fills the blues with mournful chords on scales older than Jubal's,
ending in air. He'd not played…

Opinion: Inner Cheerleader

You know how sometimes it feels as though it is just you against the world? What if it is not always so, and sometimes it is really mostly you against yourself? What if it feels as though the world is against you because you agree with the world about who you should be? Here is what I am saying; there are a couple of things about me that make me a bit unusual. Even my own family calls me weird, and my nicknames, for as long as I can remember, have often had weird or strange attached to them. However, It seems as though at certain periods when I have felt that the world was against me, it was often because I was siding with the world that there is something off about me. That being different is wrong.

How does one side against oneself? It comes down to not making enough effort to get to understand oneself. It is hard to understand others, but one can do a better job of understanding oneself if one pays attention. Acceptance, to me, is often easier than understanding. So one can accept…

Grad School Dairy: The Asantes are Cool

Part of the requirements for my graduate program is that if one does not speak a foreign tongue, that one takes an exams in a foreign language, and if one cannot pass that exams, that one takes a language class. I do speak four languages, including English but the three are Ghanaian languages and I didn't think they would be on the list of foreign languages of relevance.

Should I continue taking Chinese classes or should I finally take a dip into Latin, or should I just go back to good ol' French. That was my thinking. Waiting for one of my classes from last semester to begin, I tuned into a conversation amongst a couple of my peers who were discussing how they didn't have to take the exams or a language class because of the other languages they spoke. I chimed in and told them how I could not decide what class to take, and I know for a fact that I will fail the language exams as I've forgotten everything I have learned in Chinese and French (I am also horrible at tak…