My Year in Review

Hi, for the first time in 6 months!

I’ve missed you dearly. 2016 has just flown by, so this post is to update you on everything I’ve been up to (since June) and provide ample excuse for my extended absence from the blog. I’ll try to keep this short, but half-a-year of life is a lot of ground to cover.

  • June: My work with the kindergarteners came to a bittersweet end. I miss those kiddos so much and I can’t believe that, as I type this, they’re already halfway through first grade.
  • July: I began a summer job as a graduate program coordinator for a nonprofit that administrated a summer internship program for high school and college students. It was my first time working with “big kids” and I really enjoyed it. Performing site-visits to some of the many companies and organizations that the students were placed in was probably my favorite part.
  • August: I said goodbye to the tri-state area and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to begin work on my master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE, pronounced “hugsy”). I’m studying Technology, Innovation, and Education and loving every minute of it.
  • September through early-December: Classwork, homework, group projects, all-nighters, campus job as a Junior Learning Designer, happy hours, chill sessions, naps, laughter, tears, confusion, and every emotion known to mankind. During this time, I was also blogging in two other places: my Books of Color 2016 blog (#BoCo2016) and the HGSE Admissions blog! (See, I didn’t fall off, I was just using other platforms.)
  • Mid-December to Now: After finishing my first semester of grad school (YAY!), I’m now at home resting and enjoying winter break with my family and friends.

Looking ahead to January (because I’m a planner, even while on vacation)

  • 1/1-I’ll be taking a January-term class at school, so I return to Cambridge on New Year’s Day.
  • 1/3-I turn the big 2-5. A whole quarter-century of life. Crazy.
  • ~1/23-I will be beginning my dream internship at WGBH (the place where Arthur, Between the Lions, and ZOOM were all made) with their digital kids production team. To say that I’m elated is a gross understatement.

So, now you’re all caught up!  Here’s to hoping that it doesn’t take me another 6 months to write my next post.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We Are Not Invincible

This is not the tone I expected my first blog post of 2016 to take on, but it’s been weighing on my heart and I need some relief.

Today is January 1st. It’s a day when everyone is so full of hope and enthusiasm about the year to come. We’ve made it through 2015 and now 2016 is here and it’s wide open. The possibilities are endless. The future looks bright. This will be our year. The world is ours.

How trite of us to think this way. 

As I type this, I’m getting ready to attend the funeral of a dear neighbor. Yes, on the first day of 2016, I’ll be saying goodbye to a person who has been a fixture in my life since the day my family and I moved into the ugly, grey (but wholly our own) one-family home across from hers. I was 9 when we moved in. My grandmother would pass away later that month. It was January.

Our neighbor, who we lovingly called Ms. Smith*—partially out of respect and partially because we never knew her first name—was a kindred; a fellow West Indian who was generous with her friendly waves and smiles. Although I didn’t know her well enough to call her a close friend, she and her family were part of the fabric of home to me. And now she’s gone.

That is why, reader, I’m writing to remind you that neither you, nor I, nor anyone you know will live forever. For some of us, this may indeed be the last new year we have the pleasure of celebrating. Don’t be cocky. Don’t behave as though you’re invincible because the immutable truth is that you aren’t.

So, savor every moment you have. Tell your love ones how much they mean to you. Work hard. Play hard. Don’t leave tasks for tomorrow that you can do today. Don’t take anyone or anything for granted because things can change in an instant. Acknowledge that forever hasn’t been allotted to you and take the finite time you have on this earth to make it a little bit better. And maybe a bit more neighborly.

-Monique

* Not her real name