Thursday, July 26, 2007
A Sip of my Tea (aka: Updates)
(picture courtesy of Rod 2.0...one of my faves)
Hmm....that's a hot lil' title, no? For those of you not hip to the lingo of the 'kids', the term 'givin' the tea' refers to offering up your business at free will. Since a lot is going on as of late, and I'm trying REALLY HARD not to go overboard with lengthy posts, I'll offer up a small lil' sip of my tea...
1. Adjusting to life in West Los Angeles
I knew moving to L.A. proper would be an adjustment, but I had NO IDEA that I would be affected so much by how things go down here on the West-side. Although I've been exposed to very affluent environments, living in one has proved to be quite challenging. I now live in an area of Los Angeles known as Westwood, home to the campus of UCLA. To drive my point home, here's a lil' map of Westwood and it's surrounding communities. Anything look familiar?
Quick geography lesson...Westwood is wedged between the well-to-do communities of Santa Monica, Bel Air (remember Fresh Prince?), Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. Case in point, folks got CASH around here and arent afraid of letting you know it. Coming from a modest, yet respectable upbringing, on several occasions I've been appalled at the behavior of the rich folks. Blowing through red lights, walking to the front of the line like they own it, trying to address me in "brotha talk" because they think it's funny, spitting in the face of the homeless, bragging over who's designer bag cost more, kids cursing out their grown parent without a beatdown afterwards (oooh lawd I almost pulled a Madea on this bad ass kid), crazy shit pure and simple. Throw in the fact that the heavy majority of the black folks live on the other side of town (LA is a BIIIG town), and we have a cultural hot mess on our hands. Pray for me before I go upside Caitlin and Broadie's head!!!!
2. UCLA, a cultural and academic oasis....until classes start.
Within the overpriced, undermannered dynamics of Westwood lies this gem known as UCLA. I admit it, I ain't even started school officially but I'm already claiming my Bruins! Even though we black folks are still subject to the "3% and under rule", I feel a certain level of peace here on campus. It feels amazing being among the best of the best academically, athletically, artistically, and professionally. I'm seriously like a kid in a candy store. I have an amazing faculty mentor, a great support team, my future classmates seem cool as a fan, and this campus is the bomb! It's stunningly beautiful...i'm talking the landscape, architecture, AND the student body....even though there are a shortage of us brothas in academia in general, but the ones I've seen so far on campus....FIRE! Can u imagine how insanely hot it is to come across a Taye Diggs look-alike that just happens to be a recognized cardiologist or engineering professor? TOO MUCH. And don't even let me get started with the Sports boys...let's just say I have all the motivation in the world to step it up at the gym....these boys don't play!
Speaking of men, the refreshing thing about UCLA is that I see more brothas that are living "out loud" and not worried about what the hell other people think. For me, experiencing that is RARE. Makes me think that opportunities for dating on campus could be a reality and not a wishful thought.
Another thing I love about UCLA is how you can find just about everything you need on campus (except for a haircut, lol). The dance and performing arts department here is off-the-chain, meaning that when my knee gets to 100% I won't have to go searching for dance classes elsewhere. Top notch medical and dental facilities are in walking distance. Hell, they even have an experimental day spa on campus where you can get your metrosexual on! And let's not forget the amazing sports teams and venues...I'm HELLA excited to see my Bruins Football and Gymnastics up close and personal!!! Can't wait!
That is, until the beginning of the school year. Once classes start, this school will OWN ME. For 10 weeks at a time, I'll be eating, sleeping, and drinking UCLA and the School of Public Health. I shudder at the thought. But it's all good though...I like where I am, I feel at home, and I have everything I need withing grasping distance. IT'S GONNA BE ON AND CRACKIN!
OK, enough tea for today. Time to get dressed and show these fools who's running thangs! Please believe it!