When I first read this prompt I was stumped on what to do. To be honest, I was supposed to complete this five days ago but kept pushing it further and further into the week. I thought about who I should talk about very hard. When I think about leaders that deserve recognition, I think about my father, my mother, and my two older sisters. All of them have a thankless job, being a parent.
My mother and father come from the Dominican Republic and are my biggest influences. I have talked extensively in this program about how much family has affected me and changed me. I never truly acknowledged how much they’ve done for me in my life. They are the ones I listened to when I wanted to learn Spanish by eavesdropping into their conversations and arguments. I used to think what I got from my father was a bad temper, it was really passion. I used to think that I got my complexion from my mother, but it was my heart that I got. These two people with no education past high school always pushed me to be better each day I woke up. My parents have the thankless job of raising me while being kids themselves really. In a new country, with new struggles, and just one boy with two daughters to raise. They were hard are me a lot, but life was hard on them. I am grateful for the things they have given me, especially those I used to resent. I used to resent my stern face and demeanor, but I embrace it. I am a reflection of two hard-working parents from the Dominican Republic who worked to make sure I had it better than they did.
This is where my sisters come in. They were my parents when our parents were working for hours and hours. They were babies themselves raising another. They came to this country knowing no English at 10 and 7 years old respectively. They taught me how to be honest, thoughtful, and humble as well. I was treated better at times because I was the baby and I understand that gets frustrating. They never hated me for it and always reminded me that I am fortunate for the life I have.
I thank my family for making me a person with compassion and dedication. I thank them every day by paying it all forward any way I can.
I think that making change in any community is tough because each community has it’s own soul. With every soul is unique quirks and features. They also have trauma as well. Personally I think that I can make change in this community by giving back. Change isn’t made without something to give in my opinion. What I mean by this is that if I wanted to decrease homelessness in my community, more shelters would need to be funded and opened. I think that to make changeI would have to give back to the community to keep paying it forward. I think that the sense of community is gone on my block particularly because of gentrification and different faces coming in and out. I’ve been in the same community for the last ten years and know almost everyone. In the last five years, I’ve seen different faces and don’t really talk to many people. I think to restore the feeling of community would bring real change to my community. It always has been on my mind to give back when I’m successful like donating school supplies or food to those in my community. I want to give those who are in this community who are less fortunate than I was growing up to have opportunities and help everyone along their way like I plan to.
I spent a long time thinking about this question because I wasn’t satisfied with my original answer. I was going to just talk about my interests and say I’m no expert in one single thing. I sat and thought about my interests and that’s how I got to my answer. I am an expert when it comes to technology. It doesn’t really phase me if it’s a specific user interface, platform, computers, or anything. I have been the person my family goes to whenever they need help with their phone or the television and that hasn’t changed. As I got older, I would help in my high school with projectors, sound systems, and computers and it was something I enjoyed. I think what attracted me to technology was always having it in my house. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where gaming consoles, televisions, and phones were always being switched or upgraded. I was exposed to various forms of tech before I learned how to even use or understand them fully. I don’t really have someone in mind that I look to as highly regarded in the tech world that is the experts or authority besides the various companies that develop them. I am always excited to get my hands on a program or device with zero knowledge of it to learn how to work it. I think I will be this way forever.
Yesterday’s sneak peek presentations were so well made and very inspiring. I’m beyond ecstatic for the 21st to see everyone’s project and to just enjoy it all. I wanted to share the early episodes of my podcast along with the most recent in case anyone would like to listen. Below I will embed my favorite episodes so far and will provide the link to the actual podcast site.
Hello everyone and anyone reading this blog post. It means a lot to me. It feels like a long time since I’ve written a post even though it’s been a month or so.
I am grateful for this opportunity to always have a place to go to read other people’s thoughts on prompts or life and share my own! Man have things been rocky these past couple of weeks. Besides participating in the panel a few weeks ago (one of the top highlights for me this year so far) I have been struggling. Everyone can attest to being drained in this pandemic. I’m no different right now. I have hit a wall this semester for the first time in my academic career that school isn’t a safe haven. Previously in my life, I could lean on the fact that I could see friends or be assigned something that would change my perspective or give me insight into new things. My esteem for learning has shifted into just trying to make it through each day in this Zoom life we find ourselves in.
I recently read a book called Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo + Me by Ellen Forney for my Literary Genres class. I really loved this memoir. Long story short, the author has Bipolar 1 and detailed her journey. After years and years of struggles, she finally found her balance. This was very inspiring for me because that’s something I’ve been struggling with for a year really.
I look back at the post from September and the tone has definitely changed. While I still feel all the sentiments about me having hope and being cheerful, my tank is on E right now and that’s okay. I have been a workhorse all my life and it’s time for me to take graceful strides instead of charging. Didn’t expect a horse metaphor in this post but let’s keep going! I have been recently setting up everything I need for the big project at the end of the year. I plan on doing a podcast. The image for this podcast was very different in October. I envisioned it to be a lot of inspiring content with a focus on being a reminder for people to keep pushing and find inspiration. I have since changed the focus to be an expressive outlet which I can go to like this blog. I wanted to do something to inspire others but not it will be to keep myself inspired. I have hit this wall and want the podcast to be a way to overcome it while also flexing my creativity. Last year my project was an Instagram page where I answered questions with various photos and I really loved it. I want that same energy with this podcast. I want to still be a motivator but also speak on things happening to me at every scale. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I can refine what I want the message to be and how I will execute it. I think I would love to include anyone on it who is willing and also would love to be on anyone else’s podcast if it’s for a project or etc.
This blog post has been a little bit of everything and I love that. I want to end it by answering our formal prompt for this month “Who is a Woman who inspires you”. For me, it’s three beautiful ladies that have changed my life in so many ways. The three women are my two older sisters and my mother. These three women raised me with love and helped me build my character. My mother instilled in me not only responsibility because I was the only male in the house, but she made sure to still protect me any chance she could. It didn’t matter that I was a six-foot giant, she was still Super Mom for me standing at five foot five. My two older sisters gave me love and many valuable lessons on how to treat people and myself. The three of these women changed my life in so many ways. One of them literally gave me life. They inspire me to be true to myself and continue fighting no matter what. I’m dedicated to always making them proud. If I could pay them for the sacrifices and time spent on me, I wouldn’t have enough money. The way I can pay them is to pay it forward and remember to always tell them they are appreciated.
My experience in the Webinar last week was amazing. With time to digest the webinar, I can definitely say that it was an important moment. I felt over these few weeks that just by having the program this semester and being up and running regardless of the circumstances in inspiring. To have space to still have these important conversations gives me hope that not only our program is resilient, that so many can stay resilient. Diving into the talk, there was so much that resonated with me. The talk centered around education, COVID and education, and inequalities in education Whether it was powerful sentences from Tressie McMillan like “Your job isn’t to change the institution, the job is to not let it change you”, “extract as much from the institution more than what they’re doing to you”, and “People will encourage you to forget where you came from, don’t let it break you”. This resonated with me because these are words that everyone doesn’t have the privilege to hear and internalize. In the webinar, Carla Shedd mentioned the unfortunate situation that many students at Georgia State University face. She gave a concerning statistic that stated students were seven times more likely to drop out because of money, not because they couldn’t handle the work. The determinant for them was two hundred dollars. This statistic made me truly grateful for the opportunities I am afforded. This webinar truly reinforced that change happens with education. I truly believe that a first step to bringing more equity in higher education is through conversations. We need conversations that have all parties open to learning how progress happens and how to cause the change. Being able to be apart of these conversations sparked the thought in me that I can bring change on many different levels. I can bring change on my campus by being apart of clubs and organizations that can be open spaces for conversations about change in High Ed to happen. In my community, I can continue giving back to my high school programs and be a guide for students to help them get to the next level. A song I leave you with is “Lifeboats” by Jorja Smith. This song fits the ambiance of where my mind was during the conversation. I recommend taking a listen. Until next time I hope you’re doing better than you were the day before.
“Have a good time, enjoy life. Life is too short to be bogged down or discouraged, you have to keep moving. Put one foot in front of the other, smile, and just keep on rolling” – Kobe Bryant
For the past few days, I pondered about what I would say in this blog post. Like I do for most of the prompts we get, I tell myself to speak from the heart. I believe the hardest about this prompt for me was my change in perspective. I don’t see myself being swayed by perceived “challenges” because I can grow from everything without fear. Being asked this a year ago I would’ve said I’m worried about 10-page papers, boring lectures, and failing horribly. I would’ve been worried about doing well and imagining the year being one of the longest in my life. The year was grueling but not because of school. Quite frankly, freshman year was an amazing experience for me. For a moment in time, life paused for everyone. Not to drown you in COVID talk, but I truly do believe that it came at a time where I was going through a much-needed change. So after acknowledging that Moses pre-March is a completely different person from the current Moses, what do I think will be a challenge going? Well for starters, a challenge pre-COVID or not was waking up in the morning. Besides that, I see all the “challenges” that may come this semester to be a chance to show resilience. Challenges that came to my head immediately are burning out, being tired of zoom, and having the drive to still get things done from home. A challenge that everyone can attest to is getting through this Zoom filled period of our lives. But even in that, I’m excited about what’s to come. Listening to professors every day for two hours doesn’t fill me with hope. This program gives me the spark and attitude I need to keep strong. The challenge of not burning out and having some kind of breakdown due to being overworked is intriguing to me. I’m a person that prides being a workhorse, but that isn’t always healthy. Taking time for myself, while planning carefully what my days and workload will be has been a joyful experience I wouldn’t experience a year ago. This is what I look forward to, I look forward to taking everything and growing because of it. That mainly sparked the idea to have a podcast be my project for this year. I know that I have a special and unique perspective that can help my peers and the world. My journey through reaching a high point in my life through, spirituality, therapy, and an array of books is something I would love to share. I look forward to the conception of that project and an amazing year with all of you.