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I am...a New Yorker
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[Previous entry: "Searching for Signs of Intelligent Life"]

Tuesday, July 16, 2002
The Reconciliation
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Enjoying...
The Met again. This time I saw some Impressionist and modern art. I went specifically to see "Splendid Isolation," the art of Easter Island. There was only one of the famous stoneheads. Most of the pieces were carved from wood, though it is rare on Rapa Nui.

Stumbling...
Into exhibits of African masks, Peruvian jewelry (nose crescents, crowns, ear stretchers, etc.). Also saw totems, canoes and statues from Polynesia.

Astonishing...
That Kylie Minogue has a career 14 years after "The Locomotion."

Drawing...
For the first time since I was 10, thanks to this remarkable book by Mona Brookes.

Quoting...
"I feel as if I have three eyes, instead of one. Or, rather, three hearts."

-Alice Walker, on being black, a woman and a writer.

Sweating...
But it feels good, because I'm out walking and because it's not as hot as that horrid first weekend in July.

Smiling...
At a man with his daughters, one about 8 months old strapped to his chest, facing forward, like a blossom. The other was 4 or 5, hopping alongside him, holding his hand. I could not help but be warmed at this picture, because they seemed so happy and he spoke to the older girl so sweetly."

Overhearing...
The man tell his daughter, "I just remembered, we have one chapter of Matilda to read tonight and then we need to return it to the library," as we approached the Jefferson Market Library.

Seeing...
A woman walking around in a pink, satin prom dress on Sixth Avenue, near Greenwich. It's July, she must be hot as hell.

Painting...
With acrylics on a bust of Nefertiti. Fang has had one of these for years and I always loved it and wanted my own. I found it in a bisque shop on Seventh Avenue South. They have sphinx, cherubs and all sorts of statuary. Now I need to try selling this stuff.

Reading...
Still Dostoevsky. It's dense and hard for me to get into at this point.

Eating...
A porterhouse steak, courtesy of Rob, who will often buy the food if I'll cook it.

Watching...
An interview with Alice Walker, from which this entry's title comes.

Hillary Clinton's A&E Biography.

I am...the embodiment of the richness and potential of this country.

Like my homeland, I have not appreciated all with which I've been blessed. I have not used it to help others, nor even to help myself grow to my full potential. After 6 years of working, I am anxious to submerge myself in academia and creativity. I am working at every angle to make this happen.

I may need to be humble and receive my degree from CSU Fullerton. I never wanted to do that, which is why I transferred to San Francisco State. CSUF was difficult, I never got a day off from the racism, from being told I didn't belong and was only there because of Affirmative Action. Of course, the irony is that the CSU system only looks at grades, not test scores or extracurricular activities; only a C average is required for admission.

I'd remembered having a 3.3 GPA in community college, which might be passable to getting me into CUNY or NYU. Barnard, though I could see myself there on my visit last Friday, seems a distant dream now that I've seen my transcripts.

I guess my priorities changed when I arrived in SF, and it became more about being in the City, than about going to school. I didn't realize I'd taken at least one Incomplete every semester at SFSU. As a result, I have 5 or 6 Fs on my record, instead of the 2 I'd expected from CSUF.

If I could go back in time, I would kick the ass of my 21-24 year old self. I know it was difficult, because money was such an issue. I was in the Journalism program at SFSU, which grades on a professional level, so that a B is considered a top grade. An A was nearly impossible to earn, as that represented a piece of work that could be published in a major daily, say The New York Times, without any editing. Even professional journalists require editing.

I was severely disappointed when received a C on my first story in my Reporting class. The department chair, however, was ecstatic. She said it was like an A in any other course. That's little consolation as I review my transcripts 6 years later.

Further, most journalism courses required 20 hours of outside work. Reporting was a particularly hairy course, as it required attending city council and planning commission meetings and the like. I remember begging my boss to change my schedule around so I could cover my city, Albany.

On the other hand, financial aid required 12 units for full time status. I always said the Reporting course should be 5 or 6 units, so that students get an amount of credit comparable to the courseload. I was working 30 hours per week, plus an additional 20-30 during the holidays (e.g. finals). So I see why I have those incompletes. But it's so disappointing and embarassing to see all these years later.

I am trying not to dwell on the negative. I made a lot of mistakes and it took 10 years for me to do it. I've fixed 2 major, financial stumbling blocks in the last week. Another block should be fixed in the next 2 weeks. Once that's done, I can return to school and work on my academic shortcomings.

Oddly enough, as I finish this entry, a Tony Robbins infomercial is on, and here I've been tapping into my personal power. I've done that many times before, but have not maintained it. That's the tricky part for me. I will remind myself of the miracles I have made happen time and again, in just a few days or weeks. Imagine if I applied my full potential everyday.

[Next entry: "In the Dark"]
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