In no preferential order:
1. Labour Day- West Indian Parade.
Carnival for me always needed to have meaningfulness, and for that, the most sensible part of the celebration for me is J'ourvet. This year we had dinner for our Dimanche Gras at a backyard party at my roomate's friend's house. We went back to my apartment and tried to get some school work done...fail. We left home at around 5:30am to meet the bands. The beauty here is in the coming together of all parts of the Caribbean and all our variations of the mas. It was wonderful to play J'ourvet again after so long, the laughing, the people, the colours, the drums, the iron, the after-tiredness. THERE WERE NO ELECTRONIC MUSIC TRUCKS WITH DJ's ON THEM. The ritual was returned, and it was wonderful.
2. Trip Back Home.
This was interesting to me for the most bit. It really helped me to evaluate life and put things into perspective. The things I want to change when I get back, the things I want to do for my parents when I start making the money, the friends who are really friends, the family that does not ever forget you. How much I have changed and been forced to grow over the last year. It was a time for observing, rest and learning.
3. Californication i.e. Vacation in California
I went out to spend time with my uncle and his family. Northern California is a beautiful place. The weather may be a tad chilly for Summer time, but at least it's consistent and less extremes than this end of the continent. They showed me a really good time, Cooked me loads of food, took me shopping, taught me things about my grandmother that I did not know before, they even indulged my laziness. Chillwave music is my west coast discovery. I miss the frozen yoghurt shop too. Low fat and delicieux!
4. Brave New Voices 2011.
What can I say? BNV is always magical. The difference in this year was being able to sit back and see young people confront fear, push through struggle and overcome themselves. It is always an adventure and nurturing experience to be around Youth Speaks. I'm already looking forward to working with them in 2012. BNV is the cause of so many long-lasting friendships and networkingships in my life. The work is work and is sacred.
5. Parents' Vists.
My mom came in August and my dad passed through NY in October. I am overly happy to have had spent one on one time with them. Our relationships have changed, now that we're all adults :) and so my relating to them has changed. They respect me and my decision making and continue to offer guidance when needed. I love and appreciate them both, so much.
The people around you will always be shifted to make room for other people. I can say at this point that I am so gracious to God for surrounding me with so many beautiful people. I am thankful for every single one. It seems as though I am one called especially to love over distances. My boyfriend, my parents, my family, Kelby in France, Dej and Ivy back home, even Jar was away for the holidays. The people far away from me are always the ones I am closest to. The earth ain't that big though. Also, I am forming some really meaningful relationships with college faculty, committed to help me in any way they can.
7. Changing majors to read for a BA in Theater and Social Change.
If you know me well enough, you would know how much of a dream is being attained here.
8. Relevant Work
It is the most rewarding feeling to sit in a classroom, and learn about what you are actually interested in learning about. This year I've been able to dabble in Black Theatre and African American music classes. Both very theoretic and academic approaches to the artforms, but very edifying and helped me to rearrange my thoughts on our work and our process. Theater and music is about life. Classes like these have helped me understand why we live how we live.
9. Relevant Work (Part 2)
My teaching assistant job with Brian has progressed through its first year and it has been a wonderful learning experience for me to be on the other side of the class room. It is remarkable how much these classes actually align themselves to what I would like to accomplish professionally when I go back home. Who knows, maybe I might be able to design an entire syllabus on performance poetry in due time. Matter of fact, heh. I will.
10. Making the Brooklyn College Slam Team.
Confession: I hate slamming. It is unnecessarily nerve-wrecking and unsettling. I am however elated to be part of this historical formation of the first ever BC Slam team, and I look forward to raising awareness on campus on the artform, and looking for ways to expand our work beyond the mic and stage and do some innovatively impressive performance ish. I am looking forward to building this team, this club and this campus. P.S. They've started an unoffical cypher club on campus, and this gets me excited. 2012 is also a year for new misogyny-free rap writing and feminist owning of these cyphers. I'm about to challenge myself.
11. Discoveries on art and process.
My Directing and Performance Technique classes in the last semester have done much to raise my level of self discovery and themes that constantly appear in my work. These themes are Ritualism, Feminism, Multiculturalism, use of Language and Music as a subtext. These seem to be influences that I cannot escape from at any given point. I'm chill with them though :)