Good advice for the Class of 2018 .. & You

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Let my misfortune be some advice for you

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Image via Psychologies: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/always-losing-stuff

I keep losing things. And double-booking myself, having to then cancel on friends. I have too much on my mind!

It’s the busiest time of the year at work and there have been some staff changes in that I have a new editor working. None of this is bad. The new editor is great, and she’s not “new” in that she was promoted from another department. Also, I love this time of the year: spring lectures, conferences, award ceremonies, and, of course, Commencement!

But I have a couple of medical appointments coming up that I keep thinking I CANNOT FORGET ABOUT and a trip coming up with my mom that I have yet to finish making all the arrangements for.

So, it’s one of those things where my mind is always swirling, and I feel I’m always in a rush. And let’s not forget sleep. This overactive mind hasn’t been letting me catch my Zzzzs.

Adding to this is the fact that some friends I don’t see often have been giving me the guilt trip because I can’t come to events here and there. And that’s not wrong on their part. The way I’m reacting to it, with slight anxiety and guilt, is what’s wrong here.

It’s why I walked out of the gym last week leaving my wireless earbuds in the locker. It’s why I just walked off the bus without my super practical yoga bag, which had my very beloved and less than two months old Jade yoga mat and Manduka hot yoga towel, makeup and other accessories, and, perhaps most important, my breakfast and lunch.

Here are some things I should keep in mind, and so should you, if you’ve been a bit overhwelmed and forgetful as of late via Bustle:

STRESS

Stress’ tentacles can take hold in pretty much any of your brain or mind’s functions, and that includes your memory. A study in the journal Science found that stress can activate an enzyme called “protein kinase C” in the brain, which can short-circuit our short-term memory (not news to anyone who has ever had their mind go blank right before a huge test or high-pressure wedding toast, of course). The enzyme deflates our ability to focus — especially when we’re coping with multiple stressful situations.

A single stressful situation can make us have tunnel-vision focus, which is why you may forget your house keys on a day when all you can think about it a big meeting at work. But if you’re trying to navigate your way through multiple stressful situations? Forget about it (literally).

MULTITASKING

I’m sure you’ve read about how multitasking ten projects forces you to do about one-tenth of the job you’d do with any of them if you just focused. But it turns out that that spread-thin focus isn’t just bad news for anyone trying to do a decent job — it’s bad for your memory, too. Overextending yourself with too many tasks can cause stress, which can cause your memory to fail you, and frequent interruptions can make it hard for your brain to form new memories.

So only one tab open at a time from now on. Ha ha, sorry, just messing with you. But maybe try to keep it at somewhere under 10?

LACK OF SLEEP

In case you were somehow not already obsessed with your chronic lack of sleep and all the health problems it can lead to, it can also cause you to forget important birthdays, bat mitzvahs, and dental appointments (OK, maybe you forgot the dental appointment on purpose). Missing sleep can lead to stress and anxiety, which in turn can lead to forgetfulness, which can then lead to more stress, which can then lead to more forgetfulness.

It’s kind of like the circle of life, if the circle of life was only made out of things that are horrible.

WHAT ABOUT MY YOGA BAG?

I already left a message on the bus company’s voicemail. They’re kind of an informal company, so I’m not hopeful I’ll get it back. So I’m doing that thing where I’m trying to be positive and I am thinking that if the bus driver keeps it, and gives it to his wife (if he has one), maybe she’ll be curious about the yoga mat and start to practice. Namaste!

 

‘Even The Hate Mail I Get Reveals the Contours of White Privilege’

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 2.52.50 PM.pngWritten by Mark Naison, professor of history and African American Studies at Fordham University in New York:

My Black friends have always told me, “Mark, if you were Black, saying the things you do, acting the way you do, you would have been dead a long time ago.”

If you think they were exaggerating, read the article “The Ugly Truth of Being a Black Professor” in the April 29 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education about the death threats and insults the African American philosopher George Yancy is repeatedly deluged with when he comments about issues in commercial media. The great Fordham Theologian Father Bryan Massingale has had a similar experience, as have my friends Johnny Eric Williams and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, who teach at two of the nation’s top colleges.

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Dr. Naison with colleague Father Bryan Massingale

This is startlingly different from what I have experienced when I comment about race in America for CNN (“‘White supremacists by default’: How ordinary people made Charlottesville possible“), or other media outlets. I get hate mail. I have scores of people telling me I should never be allowed to teach. But I have NEVER received a death threat or a rape threat or an email that begins ‘Dear n…..r Professor.’

Black people in positions of academic leadership, commenting on the issues of the day, bring out a kind of insecurity in too many whites that is easily transferred into violent fantasies, and in some cases, into violent actions.

No one should underestimate the power and prevalence of White Rage in this country. It is quite literally life threatening to Black people, even when they reach positions of influence through their talent and hard work.

Cultural Groups Bring Live Music and Dance to Fordham University Campus on Bronx Celebration Day

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Marzarte Dance Company performs at the Second Annual Bronx Celebration Day at Fordham College at Rose Hill. Photos by Michael Dames

At the second annual Bronx Celebration Day on April 21, a Mexican folk dance troupe, Marzarte Dance Company, held hands with Fordham students and local residents for an energetic chain dance around the Walsh Lot of the Rose Hill campus.

Folklorist and choreographer Martha Nora Zarate-Alvarez, who heads the Bronx-based ensemble, said the group’s lively performance represented the traditions of the Huasteco and Jalisco regions of Mexico.

“We wanted to showcase the importance of Mexican culture in the Bronx and traditional Mexican dance,” said Zarate-Alvarez, who was dressed in a multicolored tiered skirt. “Mexican culture is more than just mariachi music.”

Bronx Celebration Day was presented by the Bronx Collaboration Committee, a division of the Fordham Club, and co-sponsored by Bronx Community Board 6, Fordham University Commuting Students Association, Fordham Road BID, and the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer at Fordham University.

Read more here.

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Yasser Tejeda & Palotrév

BOOGIE DOWN AT THE BRONX ZOO”

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 10.09.57 AM.pngYou guys know I LOVE the Bronx Zoo. What could make them even cooler? Well, they’ve teamed up with legendary rappers and street artists from the Bronx for a new series, “Boogie Down at the Bronx Zoo!”

First off, there’s a song, which you can stream below. Nothing like legendary MCs rapping about zoo animals! This is wonderful for school-aged children, but I love it, too!

These events, starting on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and continuing weekends from May 5 through June 3, will include artists and performers from a diverse representation of Bronx cultures. Think Sugar Hill Gang, breakdancing, Doo Wop music, and salsa and mambo, too! And there will be Cuban and Puerto Rican food, as well as Italian food from Arthur Avenue.

And there are great video teasers for the series. For instance, in this one, Grandmaster Caz talks about how the the Boogiedown borough inspired them. And he says the Bronx Zoo (and the Yankees) are synonymous with the borough!

Here’s a video starring Garndmaster Melle Mel:

Grandmaster Melle Mel and Scorpio of the Furious Five take the stage April 21, May 12, and May 13. You don’t want to miss it. Learn more.

Purchase tickets here.