Dreaming, Living, Reading

Dreaming: about being in Madrid, being at New Paltz, and exploring  a whole new country all at the same time 

Living: in Bronx, New York, wishing times were better, people were kinder, and young lives were living much longer 

Reading: nothing solid currently. Though, I would like to purchase The Very White of Love, A Sin Such as This, and A Thousand Years of Solitude soon

p.s. On Thursday, I bought a ‘happy planner’ for my best friend, Melisa, and each month had a space to fill in on what you were dreaming about, where you were living, and what you were reading. I thought that was a unique portion to include in this ‘happy planner’ because you would always be able to look back and remember your goals, see what you were up to, and reflect on what you’ve achieved and how you’ve evolved from month to month. Here’s to dreaming, living, and reading!

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This is America

political protests gone wrong, twitter wars, same news, mass shootings, forest fires, terrorism, Trump admin, shock, families torn, angry public, others unbothered, some confused, the rest completely ghosts

fireworks, young activists, new movements, families reuniting, music gathering crowds, food joining cultures, sprinklers on, sun out, others happy, some bright, the rest giddy with drinks

p.s. I spent the 4th of July at my great grandma’s house hanging out with my cousins and talking about the rest of the summer.  I thought about why the 4th was so different this year. It landed in the middle of the week, and too many people are so unhappy with America’s current administration, conversation, change or lack thereof, and its politics. But my circle and I did our best to celebrate the best way we knew how– between family. Happy belated birthday, America. I’m not forgetting all that’s been done in the past to make you better.

The Beacon School’s Blue Demons

When I was 14-years-old, I chose this school because I wanted to write. This was very much a English languages arts school in my eyes, and I became better as a person and writer because of it. The English and History instructors at this public school were known for their passion, intelligence, and influence on their students (and still are). I met the best English teacher here, and I became friends with the Guidance Counselor, and became close with my own advisor. These 3 women pushed me to take advantage of different opportunities, and supported me in my professional and personal endeavors even after I graduated. Here is where adults became my friends, and students became my sisters. I connected with these teachers and friends during my junior year and into senior year, where adulthood started to seep into my teenage life. My first year, I hated Beacon. By my last year, I was forever grateful for Beacon. And still am. I would have never met strangers who became friends, friends who became sisters, and opportunities that became life-changing. Beacon is where I learned to: write a damn good essay, analyze a book, critique writing, advocate for myself, speak with poetry, and connect with people outside of the classroom.

p.s.  I reunited with some Beacon gems at this restaurant called ‘blockheads’ Tuesday to catch up on our lives. Beacon is a part of our past, but it brought us together in the future. We were all asked to show our ID’s, and realized we were all getting a little older, and a little wiser. Here’s to our little group of beacon alumna, Beacon’s blue demons!

p.p.s Blue Demons is Beacon’s mascot

Trying to be a Better Journalist

watching the news more at different times

looking into people’s work I admire on different mediums

reading more articles stemmed from social media

showcasing journalism friends’ work

sharing the things I read and see with others

talking all about it

keeping in touch

p.s. Today I did some journalistic work by looking into things I’ve been wanting to for a while. Time to make more journalistic moves! Let’s go!

Beach Bum Bites

seasoned cheeseburgers

garlic & pepper shrimp skewers

coconut icys

Doritioz and Cheetos

ham and cheese sandwiches on fresh bread from the bakery

and sour watermelon candy

p.s. Up above was my favorite part of yetserday’s  menu at the beach. Summer food is so bad, yet so good. Here’s to my favorite beach bum bites!

Bronx Meets

Every time you meet a person you can talk to, you feel a rush of ‘happy’ adrenaline. As a journalist-in-the-making, meeting new people is what you live for. Meeting new people with stories to share is even better. Meeting new people in the shoes you want to walk in, in the place you want to do it in, are moments you won’t forget.

p.s. I met journalist, Jessica Cunnington, from News 12-The Bronx on Saturday night at the Bronx Night Market in Fordham Plaza. I spotted her in the crowd, introduced myself, and we exchanged smiles, convo, and contact info. In between, I watched an amazing drum performance by “Tony” Anderson, and tasted great local Bronx bites with my Grandma and Dad. What a cool night. Here’s to being a part of my local Bronx community!

International Friends

My freshman year in college, I met a young woman from Japan. Her name was Yuka, and she celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family and I.

That same year, I met a young woman from Taiwan, whose name was Codi. Together, we explored Water Street Market in New Paltz for 3 hours.

The following year, I met a young woman from China, whose name is Holly, studying her masters. She became a source for me as I was writing a piece on international students looking for work on campus.

And if it wasn’t for The Conversation Partners Program, I would not have met any of them. This program has brought us together, helped us learn about each other’s cultures, and pushed them to speak English and ask questions, even when they were too shy to do so.

Spending time with them, having been a part of Asia myself, and helping mentor them, pushed me to study abroad, too.

p.s. I hadn’t seen Holly in over a year, and it was awesome to see her again yesterday, but this time in NYC. I love having friends from all over the world, and still being able to connect because of one experience. Can’t wait for the day I can visit Japan, Taiwan, and China. I too, was once an international student. I get it. And I can’t thank these women enough for pushing me to explore, too!

Piecing It Together 

As we go, 

we learn that not everyone cares 

that we were 

in 2 different corners of the world 

for part of lives

But as we go, 

we learn that that’s okay 

that this video production 

and those snippets within 

of our lives abroad 

will touch people, 

especially us 

As we go, 

we learn that 

editing with each other 

for ideas 

and technical support 

all boils down to 

patience 

and anger

and laughs 

and breaths 

and good times 

of a job well-done 

As we go, 

I wish I could be in that blue water 

and touch that kangaroo 

and smell that real rainforest 

As we go, 

we just realize 

we want to go 

back 

p.s. Joseph and I worked on his study abroad video yesterday, and so far, so good. We made a lot of progress. Here’s to some of the best parts of our lives! 

Claiming It All

laughter, friends, money, memories, lessons, music, dances, books, travel, family, connections, beach, sun, pool, pen, prayer, poetry, notebook, video, photos, tan, movies, plans

p.s. On Wednesday, my cousins came over to hang out, watch  a couple of movies (I highly recommend, Lila & Eve), and catch up. I saw a post about the very things we were talking about. So here’s to hoping we can claim it all this summer! Planning is half the battle.

 

 

 

 

The Bronx

I was asked if there were “bandillas,”

gangs,

here in the Bronx,

by an Uber driver in Madrid

the day before I got back home

I told him well of course,

but in my lifetime,

I’ve heard of them,

but never really have seen them

And back then, it was way worse,

I assured him

Not evening knowing for sure,

if that was true

I told him that I had lived in the projects for 4 years when I was much younger,

but that I remembered a lot

about my not-so-pretty surroundings

outside the walls of our cozy apartment,

the one that my family and I called home

I told him I lived in a much better place now,

and was ready to go home

and that only certain parts of the Bronx

were truly terribly scary and unreal and real

and then,

2 weeks into being home,

I hear about “Junior” Guzman,

15-year-old boy who was stabbed with a machete

outside a bodega

by a gang.

How could this be?

I always defend my home

the place I’ve grown up in

the place I’ve known all my life

the place that people say they have never visited when they come to NY,

unless they have family

Why is that?

How did this Bronx become my home?

The people

always

make the place.

Both are

unrecognizable.

How can this be?

“Are these same streets

where people

lose religion?”

The Bronx.

p.s. Yesterday I listened to this song linked below by Maino, about this young man’s terrible murder. It is a rap that gives me chills, and a message that makes me ache. Please give it a listen, and pray for “Junior,” his mother, his sister, his family and friends, the Bronx, this nation, and this world. May he rest in eternal peace, and guide has family from up above.

p.p.s https://soundcloud.com/executivenick/maino-couldve-been-my-son-ft-lyrivelli