by Yasmine Alwan on February 27, 2015 in Must Reads with No Comments »
On writing his last book, The Brief Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz states, “This was a perfect storm of insecurity and madness and pressure and you name it…. Every now and then you catch one, bro, and I caught a f****** bad one.” Click below to read more from a piece published by New York Magazine.
by Yasmine Alwan on February 24, 2015 in LEC Scholars with No Comments »
When I was unable to find a good paying job with my Associate’s degree in Business Management, I decided to enroll back in school. There was a college fair at my previous college, and I met a representative from MCNY there. I picked MCNY because the classes are smaller, and the schedule is flexible — I’m a mother of three. I was born in Jamaica and I immigrated here when I was nine. My goal is to complete my Bachelor’s degree and start my business afterwards – I would like to start a transportation company.
by Yasmine Alwan on January 30, 2015 in Must Sees, Uncategorized with No Comments »
Here’s a short audio piece from Radiolab about euphemisms! Comedian George Carlin rails against descriptors that whisk away the “unpleasant” from view, while writer Adam Gopnik defends ‘em.
by Yasmine Alwan on January 6, 2015 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
When I was a kid, my mom brought me to the Women’s Talent Corps, which was how I first got familiar with the College for Human Services. My mother was a barmaid on a 125th street at the time, and somehow she got plugged into the Women’s Talent Corps program that Audrey Cohen had started. My dad was an alcoholic who prided himself on being the first “Negro” in the NY city post office – he had a congressional award that he had over his bed that he always used to point out. After the divorce and the domestic violence with my dad, my mom decided that she wanted to do something with herself, and wanted to be a paralegal. She was self-educated, only having a sixth grade education, but she was determined that she was somebody.
There was a lot of talk, these new terms going around, like “empowerment” – that’s what pulled folks to gravitate towards going after the American dream. What they were saying was that education was going to be the way.
I am at MCNY and it feels like a natural order of things. I got my BPS and now I am getting my MBA. My mother came through the system (MCNY) and I look up to her. She was my first role model. It was all about making my parents proud of me, because if they were proud of me, that’s what made me happy.
MCNY’s whole-system approach, the idea that there were a bunch of systems intertwined, was new for me. There was a lot of energy floating around the college. There were a lot of people who looked like me, who had the same values that I had, and some of us even shared the same culture, so I could feel comfortable here. It was a nontraditional, experiential – I didn’t know the term “hands-on” until I got here! I started college at a late age and was very fearful of starting school. There were a lot of people who were also adult learners and that helped me anchor myself here. Some of the professors I met made me feel like I could do it. I am a fearful person, and I always wonder if I can share the same space with educated people, often feeling inadequate. When I got here, there were a lot of positive people and my negative self-talk began to disappear. I started growing, and thinking out of the box. I wasn’t so shallow, with the-I’m-black-and-you’re-white mentality. MCNY has played a role in helping me grow up. If I hadn’t come here, I’d probably still be doing barbering on 129th Street and Lenox in my small, small world.
by Yasmine Alwan on December 12, 2014 in Must Reads with 1 Comment »
In The Case for Black With a Capital B, Lori Thorps considers the evolution of the descriptor “Black.” In particular, she unfolds how political and cultural disenfranchisement — that is, racism — has been reflected in rules of capitalization in the US.
by Yasmine Alwan on October 28, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »
Here’s an NPR audio piece about poet and scholar Jamila Lyiscott. She explores the different meanings of being called “articulate” as an African American who speaks highly polished, academic language.
by Yasmine Alwan on October 14, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »
What if success isn’t about “doing it right” and is instead about one’s ability to tolerate failure? As this New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?” by Paul Tough details, at the prestigious private school Riverdale Country School, the headmaster champions characteristics such as grit, curiosity, and zest over specific academic skills as the true route to achievement.
by Yasmine Alwan on October 2, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »
Some facts and figures from Harper’s Index (September, 2014) regarding education, race, national energy politics and more. A statistician’s dreamboat! Possibly profound, disturbing and hilarious for the rest of us.
by Yasmine Alwan on August 15, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »
In New York Times article, “Taking Fares, and Writing in Between,” Rohter (2014) shows how Syrian poet-in-exile Osama Alomar does just that from the driver’s seat of his cab in Chicago. A pile of dictionaries ride along with him in the front seat, and a notebook at the ready. Writer Lydia Davis calls his work “very imaginative and vivid and exhilarating,” and I find his grit and dedication also an exhilarating reminder of what little moments can add up to.
by Yasmine Alwan on August 14, 2014 in Must Sees with No Comments »
At first glance, the picture below might seem familiar –an old map of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Looking more closely, you may find this map increasingly curious… Armenia? Spain? Athens? Along the Amazon? In fact, this image is from the first text book for American school children, a textbook written in 1824 by feminist and innovative educator, Emma Willard. She created this map and diagram for students to memorize European history, in this case the progression of the Roman Empire, by diagraming that expansion visually onto the course of the Amazon. If you click onto the map below, a link will take you to version of the map that you can zoom into and see much more clearly.
Some LEC students have found it helpful to do thought maps too — of a different kind — as an initial method of visually organizing their ideas. Below, you can find an example of a thought map (about thought mapping) from the internet. Click onto it to find a link.
And here is a picture of Aston Powell, BBA 2015, standing in front of his thought map.