California Travel Journal Ch. 1

Travel Journal Ch. 1

March 10, 2017

Woke up at 7 this morning and woke Jess to join for the ride to Journeyman at 8. I wasn’t feeling energized and woke up a couple of times during the night. The night before, Bri from Pride drove us to Mayuri Indian Restaurant where we ate dinner together and talked about social constructs and family. They told me a story about someone writing Trump’s name on the wall of their residence hall. It was down the hall from their room and it hurt them to watch the black janitor scrub it clean. I wasn’t sure what to say when they told me that they were probably hired to make FSU seem more “diverse” and neo-liberal. I was more aware of how Puerto Ricans are targeted as a minority group by a dominant system of racism and I tried to take on their perspective. I have no idea what it feels like to know that the people who died in Pulse June 12, 2016 were mostly Puerto Rican. What would it feel like to be in their shoes? I can’t even fathom…

I packed my bike into the duffel bag Bob is letting me borrow for the 7 days I’ll be in San Francisco and Oakland. Haley and Elise drove me to the airport at 5:30 a.m. Haley was with me checking my bag and I appreciate them so much. I feel better knowing that they’re looking out for me and want me to feel comfortable. It’s my first flight at night and I expected lights to shimmer, and they do. They certainly do…

Ritual Union / Crystal Film – Little Dragon

I’m excited to see Shah and meet Mar. I’m not as worried about my bike because I know I can only control myself at this point. I also hope nothing is broken. Even so, I have enough funds to replace or repair the parts.

Layover in Atlanta for 45 minutes, then I’ll be in another plane for 5 hours, arriving at 12:20 a.m. (3:20 Eastern).

I don’t need to worry about putting my bike together until after I write the paper about Agnes Varda’s The Gleaners and I. I’m in a documentary class and the midterm is a 5 page essay. I’m also thinking about TedX FSU and Full Frame. After I finish the essay, my plan is to go on a ride to Santa Cruz, but I think I could settle with taking a bus and a train because I’m exhausted from the jet lag and lack of sleep. I could do the ride if I had a change of clothes, snacks and water. I just know I need to rest…

Biking to Journeyman with Jess this morning, I was aware of low pressure, pollen and mold weighing down the corners of the brain. I felt heavier than usual and more irritated. I caught myself complaining about people driving and Jess was positive. I appreciate how patient they are with me. Hung, Dave and Paulina biked with us to the coffee shop when we met up at the Integration Statue on campus at FSU. We shared conversations about social constructs and I enjoyed talking with Paulina about perspective and worldview.

Shah told me they have fun plans for us when I’m in Oakland on Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing the places they go to and the communities they’re part of.

Paulina wants to move to Spain and I hope they’re able to fulfill their dream. I feel present within myself and I have a feeling that I’m getting sick. Sleeping at Shah’s house will hopefully be relaxing. When I land in SF, the commute to their house may be foggy because I’ll have not had much sleep. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep on the next plane, but I’ll try to.

I’m thinking about mom and Meghann, who sent me a message that expressed how much pain they’re in from the multiple surgeries they’ve had. I feel bad for them. My experience was nothing like theirs and I’m sad that so much trauma and pain exists, but so glad they’re resilient survivors.
I hope to write about my experiences and feelings in this journal every day.

Definitely sick, but looking forward to sleeping at Shah’s. I think I keep going back to this guilty feeling about spending money because I grew up in poverty and I know the economy will go to shit in the next couple of years because people who think they run the world are investing in oil, water and food that isn’t sustainable.

I’m going to allow myself to use this money to have an amazing experience in the Bay Area. This could be my only chance and I don’t worry about the money now.

My gut is heavy and most likely to the 3 clif bars I’ve eaten in the past 5 hours. I haven’t had real food all day and I feel weird because of it. I need a vegetable or somethin’. I’ll bike enough to keep the weight down, though.

Gleaners and I on Saturday
Shah’s plans on Sunday
Monday plans for biking – put bike together – research routes, visit bike shops…
Plan trip to Santa Cruz
I want to use Artifact Uprising to print the photos I take during this trip
Pat Maurer is cool and I’m excited to collaborate with them

March 11, 2017

I’m worrying about writing my paper about the Gleaners and I. Shah and Mar walked around their apartment nude this morning and I was surprised to realize how much it didn’t bother me. I think they’re transparent about how they feel and I feel fine around them. I’m mostly tired and un-centered because I haven’t slept in so long. I don’t want to join Shah for their friends’ birthday gathering and would prefer to go to sleep when they leave. My eye are puffy and baggier than usual and my brain has been sore all day. We went to a coffee stand in downtown Oakland where Shah’s friend is a barista at Red Bay. I had a cortadito and Shah got their usual; a dirty chai. It was delicious and I woke up more after finishing it. I took photos of the street while Shah led me through the city pointing out the gentrifiers. I talked to Kristen on the phone while in Berkely Bowl and couldn’t focus on picking out food and talking at the same time.

It’s what you don’t do.

I know you love me, I don’t need proof.

Listening to Hiatus Kaiyote and Lianne La Havas with Mar and drinking Henny and orange juice. Did a lot of note-taking and planning for the Gleaners and I essay due tomorrow.

Have been feeling guilty for spending money on coffee and food at Farley’s and at the supermarket.

Something about this area and the way Shah and Mar behave is making me more aware of how I haven’t been doing the same. I’m making comparisons with myself and the people around me. And I’m seeing similarities. Like the bulk food and streets and how people are driving bikes and cars.
I saw someone driving an electric car on the expressway going to Berkely. I want to go to sleep now. 21:30

March 12, 2017

All I want to do today is finish and submit this paper due by midnight. I’m 3 hours behind, so it’s actually due by 9. Shah wants me to go to the conference at their school today and I’ll go, but I’ll be leaving for a coffee shop to write and focus.

There are times when I feel like I’m not being the real me with Shah.

Notes on African Ways of Knowing Epistemologies – ROAR Conference

March 11, 2017
10 a.m. Sunday
African Ways of Knowing
School for Consciousness and Grounding

Anthropology and Social Change (for context)

Balanced faculty is diverse: Iran, Congo, Yugoslavia

Based on principles of participation, integration, co-collaboration, co-research

Create texts about your own experiences in a field of study that connects to decolonizing your experience.

Like Varda involving the self in their research – it’s decolonial! (Spellcheck is telling me that decolonial isn’t a word! Hah!)

One’s racial identity is brought forth in research

We are in a brave/safe space, open for dialogue.

Euro-centric learning is harmful.
We must deconstruct it to unlearn how it is harmful.
The English language doesn’t allow us to connect spiritually with reality…
So we need to learn how to reframe and rename ourselves and our ideas.
We need to unpack a means to an end.

Black Women’s Defense League

Neo-Liberal Globalization is an issue…a serious issue.

One organization doing awesome things is called San Francisco International Hip Hop

Discuss: research and experiential learning activity, then Q&A

Mahal (academic)

Clarify what it means to be subjective vs. objective

The whole self is brought into the room because multiple aspects of one’s identity (race) integrate into the whole sense of self.

It’s easy to feel rejected when there aren’t enough people representing your identity with you.

Counter-hegemonic – what’s that mean?

Anecdote on “flipping the script of racism”

When the chairs are set up linearly in a classroom, it doesn’t feel right.

The difference between African and Western Grand Narratives is between a circle and a square.
African spirituality is cyclical while Western ideology is ephemeral.

Epistemology = way of knowing, way of understanding, a perspective, a point of view.

AWOKE – African Way of Knowing

Share knowledge, that’s being AWOKE or simply, “woke”.

They traced their lineage to Congo healers.

Hip Hop – pop and lock

Ballet – something about beat can be internally sensed…
Dance is AWOKE.

A note on one’s global point of view involves being multiracial.

Pyramid of religions that lead to spirituality.
Can’t build African Self with religions of Western narrative.

Black Lives Matter
Saying “all lives matter” is similar to going to center for heart disease and asking the importance of all organs. – leading to one road of shared experiences involves the erasure of all experiences.


Expressive arts, psychology, mental health

Interplay -> movement dance, healing, and play

Art from 60’s to hip hop = connect and dissect and change and evolve

When proverbs are used as law…the oral tradition is suppressed.

We need to protect the soil

Soul music, the Lumpin (connects with Black Panthers)

Living in the City – Stevie Wonder

Fight the Power – Public Enemy

Proverbs used in doing, (hip hop).

Bone-breaking, turfing on BART (dance, culture)

What’s the queer black feminist lens POV?

Uruba Slaves – gather under protection of darkness – drum beat raises spirit – proverbs – hip hop metaphors –

Connect vitality of whole life experience with consciousness.

Denise Boston – workshop

Insurgent cosmopolitanism: pluriversality

Shah studied gender to see self and push boundary of gender and sexuality by queering spaces. You push the boundary and blur the lines of binaries (gender, sex, race, etc.)

For example, you can “queer the space” by asking that people introduce themselves with their preferred gender pronouns (he/her/ze/them/etc.)

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