15. Pirate Roller Derby!

In November we all went to Carroll County and saw our first roller derby.  The night we went was pirate themed and we had a blast.  We had a great time hearing all of the names the skaters give themselves – Scary Poppins was our favorite – apparently once a name is used in roller derby it is registered and no one else in the country is allowed to use it.  Pretty cool.  If any of you have never been to a roller derby I would suggest finding one close by, it is tons of fun for everyone!

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16. Urban Mulberry Foraging

In the first week of June I started noticing the purple spots on the ground that are the dead giveaway for ripe Mullberries.  One day (between big work events) I walked all over Baltimore and found several trees and picked berries.  It was really an incredible expirence.  The trees I was foraging from were right next to a fairly well trafficed sidewalk so I had many conversations with passing pedestrians.  Nearly everyone had something to say from people being concerned that the berries were poisinous to hearing stories of lazy childhood summer days spend sitting in Mulberry trees to recipies I heard it all.

What was so amazing to me was how people really responded, it gave me a deep sence of place and community.  I felt a connection to humanity as I talked with these people – offering them my sweet treasures, and shaking their hands (hoping that not too much purple juice rubbed off on them).

The next day I baked the mulberries into a pie and served it to my housemates and the mulberries again brought together a community.

17. Our Very First Encounters with Baltimore Public Transit

When we arrived at the Gilead House in August last year none of us knew where our internship placements were going to be – it was the program’s first year and they were still getting a lot of logistical stuff worked out.  So during that week we had 2 group interviews with two of the different worksites.  For some reason (I’m pretty sure I was the main person behind insisting we do it this way) when we went to these interviews we decided to take public transportation.  I guess the thought was that we could learn how to do it so it wouldn’t be so difficult on our first day, but now I cannot believe we did it.  Not only was in at least 100 degrees both days but we soon discovored that when Google Maps says it will take 45 minutes to get somewhere they mean if everything is running on schedule, which in Baltimore is NEVER the case.

It took at least two hours for us to get to both interviews and we were dreadfully late.  We were all glad that our interviewers understood the perils of transportaion in Baltimore and were more than understanding.  And we were glad that they were group interviews so at least we were all late together!

19. Jillys

Friends had the Central Perk, How I Met Your Mother has MacLaren’s and we have Jillys.

Located on Reisterstown Rd Jillys became our local hangout. A great place to listen to live music (even if the guy won’t take your requests), play cards, and watch Ravens games.

20. Roadtrip

Spontaneous trips to Annapolis must include a Spice Girls sing-a-long.

21. Connecting with LVC and JVC

During our year we were able to connect with the JVC and the LVC. It was nice having other young adults going through a similar program to hang out with and get to know. 

Whether it was game nights, meeting at farmers markets, or dancing the night away…

From all of us to all of you. Thanks for the memories.

 

 

22. Meeting Issa Rae

There is a web phenomenon called The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. It follows the life of J an awkward black girl. It sounds almost too simple to work but it does. The creator and star Issa Rae has brilliantly made the show into hilarious way to bring to light issues we all face.

Through Issa’s writing she has given a voice to many black women who feel ignored by the mainstream media. Jamie and I were lucky enough to meet Issa Rae and Tracy Oliver  (producer and plays Nina). At first I thought they were comedians/actresses who came to promote the show. I soon learned they were both Stanford graduates and they created the whole show from the ground up.

They both talked about changing hollywood and putting more black women in production and in front of the camera, not in stereotypical roles. They both talked about meeting with network executives who wanted to cast J as video vixen Lauren London and completely rework the show. Of course, they politely said ‘Thanks but no Thanks.’ And that is what this show is about. Staying true to yourself and to your audience. I hope that the success of this show can be a wake up call to media executives who see minorities as tokens and are afraid to take a chance on something new.

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