My name is Bria and as you can see by the name of this blog, I am from the city of Grenville in Grenada. Where is Grenada? Well it is at the southern most tip of the Caribbean islands, right before Trinidad. Since we are part of the Lesser Antilles, we are not know as much as you can say …Puerto Rico, Jamaica or Cuba. But no matter how small the island I am proud to be a Grenadian! I currently live in Los Angeles, California…pretty far away from home you might say, but LA or the City of Angels I like to say is like my second home and I also call myself a native Angeleno!
Update currently in Kansas So I may need to change up the name of this blog !
Uh wait I’m in NYC…!
Now as for what this blog will focus on? Well I like to think of it as a way to vent but I got my inspiration from a great novel called ” Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche , the main character, Ifemelu ‘s blog on her experiences as a Non-American Black inspired me so I may through in some perspectives from that. I also hope to get friends to write their blogs and post them here… Hmmm I don’t know what else to add…
Oh Enjoy this beautiful picture of my hometown Grenville or La Baye as it’s known in French.
This is like the equivalent to how people who get tattoos and piercings get addicted to it, yea so this is my obsession and by extension an update on my last obsessions post on nail art, since then I have added to the nail art collection. I also accept recommendations if you have any 🙂 .
One of my favorite things I ended up making during my time in the US that I grew to love was salmon croquettes! I don’t know how I came to be into it but I made it while I lived in LA and I grew to like it. Anyone I ever made it for has also loved it. Over time I have added things to it that goes with it pretty well. Below is my recipe for it that I concocted recently.
1 can of pink salmon – shredded
Garlic Soy Sauce
Green onions, onions, and garlic chopped
Garlic and onion powder, cumin, paprika, old bay, and black pepper
Oil for frying
Drain the can of salmon and debone it. Shred it up smaller as it will be very chunky! After this add your chopped scallions, onions, and garlic, add all your seasonings, and mix together. Once mixed thoroughly, add about two spoons of mayo and mix together. Add the egg (not beaten) and mix it in. The mixture should be a bit wet but stiff. Add your breadcrumbs at once and take a bit of mixture in your hand and try to form it into a ball and see if it stays. If it does not, you may add some flour to the mixture along with a bit of breadcrumbs to help it stay better, make sure the mixture is not too wet. If it forms a ball, great! You can now start heating your oil on the stove and while that is going start forming balls to your desired size (not too big). When the oil has heated up appropriately then you can flatten the balls and put them in the oil. Let it fry on both sides for about 2-3 mins. Remove it and let it drain on a plate with tissue. You can eat it with eggs and bread or English muffins.
My mother’s birthday, September 22nd, is always a hard time of the year for me, even harder than the day of her death.
This year, I did the usual and took the day off, then my coworker, who I am close with, was going to be off on the 23rd, the day after my mom’s birthday, as her sister had the same birthday as my mom and they were going the day after to have dinner. She convinced me to join them in Little Italy and therefore I decided to do myself a favor and ask for the next day off, which made sooooo much sense as I was going to Atlantic City that Saturday and would need to be up the next day pretty early.
I dedicated the day to my mom by going to a candle-making workshop put on by Wick and Pour! They used to be in Far Rockaway but moved to Manhattan and I could not be happier! The experience was great and I was joined by a good group of young ladies. They were sweet and we all took pictures together. I didn’t take their contact information but I figured we would meet again someday. I made a nicely scented candle that reminded me of home called ‘Sorrel Rose’. After the workshop, I went to get Ramen at the place nearby called Zutto Ramen and it was absolutely delicious. Then I swung by Il Figo due to the rave recommendations of my co-worker, I tried some gelato which was super satisfying and filling surprisingly.
Then came time to go to Atlantic City with the church, I quickly realized that gambling was not my thing and went off to explore the Atlantic City Boardwalk…. note to self please bring a friend and wear sneakers next time! It was super weird to be going by myself but I did not mind the alone time. I also loved going over the Verrazzano bridge and getting a great view of NYC and New Jersey. I can’t wait for my next adventure to StonyBrook University which hopefully would be a nice break too!
Labour Day in the US to me has always been a unique experience. Ever since I lived here I have always associated it with the ‘watered-down’ version of carnival that happens in the Brooklyn borough of NYC. NYC has a huge Caribbean population with the most concentrated in Brooklyn. The neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, and East Flatbush are known for hosting most of these populations. I, myself live in Crown Heights. I live along the famous Eastern Parkway that runs from the beginning of Crown Heights from East New York into Prospect Heights near Prospect Park. I walk along it all the time as it has the Eastern Parkway Mall, not an actual mall but more a walking path that people every summer sit or walk along for exercise or leisure. This parkway is blocked off from Ralph Ave to the Brooklyn Museum as this is the start and end route for the parade. I did not attend the actual parade this year as I feel like I have outgrown carnival but I did see the kids’ version of the parade that occurs two blocks south of Eastern Parkway on St. John’s place. It was how I got my start in carnival as my mother made sure I participated in bands. Enjoy the photo dump!
Now and then I participate in professional development offered by Human Resources, I am this close to getting my diversity certificate (it’s pending a paper from me which I have been procrastinating on) and one of the sessions was about intergenerational differences.
The first time I tried to attend this session, it was supposed to be in person but it did not happen due to barely anyone attending the in-person session, I was rather disappointed..but a few weeks later there was an online session for this professional development again. I would say this was one of my favorite training sessions that I have had thus far, with the exception of the first session I had for my diversity certificate.
We separated ourselves according to our generational groups, I was with the Millenials since I was born in 1993. I had a solid group of folks, we were open and able to discuss the questions given to us for the activity and we found that we all were thinking the same thing. In sharing with the rest of the groups, I realized some of the assumptions and biases that I had about each group. Even thinking now, although my brother and I are both Millenials, he is more similar to Gen X and I am more similar to Gen Z.
This topic is important to my work as soon I will be encountering Gen Z but Gen Alpha college students. It is important for us to understand how they learn best and how to share the information with them. We should never be out of touch with trends our students are engaging in and this should keep us on our toes to be in the know or question them.
I can say for my office there is such a broad spectrum of generational differences. Our admin and Director are both Gen Xers but I will say that our office admin is not out of touch with this generation and but my director kind of is.. he is getting better at it. Then we have me and one of my grad assistants who are close in age and Millenials and then the last grad assistant is a Gen Zer. Honorable mention for our student worker who is also Gen Z. So many differences across our office generationally but we all love and care for each other!
I spent the time in Connecticut with a long-time friend who I did not have the time to meet up with. It so happened that we both had the time off at the end of the week in July. They wanted to take me to see the beauty of the state, which indeed it was, but also some places that I ideally wanted to visit.
It’s not often that one can feel that a place is a home away from home but I had this experience at my friend’s house with their family. After I left I realized I was long overdue for some talk therapy, especially from someone I can relate to. Some time away from the city was needed as I loved the abundance of nature in Connecticut. In some ways the nature and winding roads reminded me of Grenada, not to mention riding in a right-hand drive vehicle (real icing on the cake).
First I visited their town and nearby area. Close enough to NY but just far enough. The next day we took a scenic drive up to an area near the border of Massachusetts. Prior to that we visited this wonderful tea shop (as I love tea!) and played mini golf…first time playing and I loved it, I almost beat them too!
The next day we visited New Haven, I have this bucket list about visiting Ivy League campuses and so I saw Yale, ate downtown, and had a driving tour of the area.
Thursday was the day of the longer drive, this time it was to the town (if you can call it that) of Mystic where in recent months passing by on the Amtrak train is was mystified by this area along with New London because of their proximity to the ocean and overall beauty. I have seen the Mystic Aquarium all over my TikTok page and I wanted to go! Unfortunately, it was a bit smaller than I thought but still a good time. After that, we proceeded to the Mystic Seaport Museum, which is apparently the most visited place in Connecticut? I was not sure why. It was a beautiful place.
My time here and there was sprinkled with video games which I have not indulged in since undergrad playing with the Wii in the Multicultural Center with friends.
Now although I expected to get stared at in general while in this state, whew! It was a lot, and it came from both BIPOC and White people. It’s like damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
I was so not ready to leave and I am so excited to visit again in the Fall! I hope to post more pictures of my trip from my camera soon.
Wow, I realized I have not been here in a while…… I promise it hasn’t been too bad.
There have been so many exciting changes in my office. The biggest one is that we recently had the addition of graduate students to help us with adjudicating cases in the office. They are also sharing their workload with the office of Residential Living.
This is also an opportunity for me to directly supervise someone. I had sort of supervised the last grads at MIT but not directly. It was a good experience and I loved it. So with their arrival, I was excited, especially since one of them is from my alma mater KU.
However… I wish this was more organized, I saw how important it was to have a structure in my training and how I missed out on that as a new professional at this school, so I pressed my supervisor for some structure in training. He listened.. sort of.
The day they arrived was quite an eventful day and it was a long one for me. After that, it was sort of smooth sailing. Both of the grads were very open and honest with me as I was with them. They loved our office but seemed to hate working with Res Life. When I inquired more it seemed that our office was clearer on expectations than Res Life. Our training was smooth and clear and they were included in the office activities. I hate to say this but we seemed like a family. Res Life kept treating them like student workers and they are above that. Sometimes they felt like an AD (Assistant Director) and sometimes no one knew where they stood.
Then Res Life seemed to not want to work with them on schedules. Keep in mind both are students. I always stressed to them that they are students first so why the big deal? One is in Speech Language Hearing and the other in Higher Ed, I supervise the one in Higher Ed and I have been prepping her for the program and what to expect. But it seems that her going the extra mile to get a good well-rounded experience is not something that they like (other supervisor) they’re trying to block this! I was shocked at the passive-aggressive nature of their email to my grad when she tried to compromise and get a day off for something academic-related.
I had to speak up and say something to my supervisor in support of the grads and how I felt that we should step in as it seemed like my supervisor did not want to put his hands on the situation……but what the hell?? You have to!! You both co-supervise and if you lose them we suffer also!!!
A conversation between all of us is pending so I will update you on how that went later in the week.
So y’all, it’s been almost a year since I graduated from Grad School. It has been quite the rollercoaster of emotions, job hunting, mental health struggles, and finding myself. I never had been one to post much about my achievements on Facebook, and for job updates, I never posted anything pertaining to that except for updating my LinkedIn profile and you never saw the updates, you had to go on my profile to see what the hell was going on with me. I preferred it that way, the same way I barely told anyone I was working for MIT (major achievement) and if I did I really trusted or you knew long after I started. People seemed to have issues with black people who gained such recognition or positions rather than they did and I never cared for the attention. I boast in private! 🙂
But what I tend to realize is that my trajectory after Grad school was different than my white peers. They boasted about their jobs, achievements, or whatever! Most importantly, they were always happy to return to our alma mater. Why? I think my experience there was different… was it because I was black? One of two black people in my cohort? I do not see much excitement in returning to such a university to work for them. As a matter of fact, I prefer not to work for them. I needed a new experience. I knew the administration way too much and I was involved in DEI efforts and saw the struggles. I found out also that my mentee that was having a difficult experience like me, lack of support for students of color, especially in Grad programs, is becoming a bit of a concern for me. It is exactly why I got into DEI work with the Speech Pathology students and found my community with them. I am extremely grateful!
Why is it that our trajectory is so different? I feel like I did not like the majority of folks in my cohort, it felt a bit fake towards the end of the year and honestly, I think most were obsessed with not being like the previous cohort, where in fact I LIKE that the previous cohort struggled and was not fake, I had a few friends there, I can’t say the same for these…..
Lastly, that ‘invitation’ my cohort got to attend or join the hooding ceremony was sooooooooo ‘ if you wanna come you can come’ that I even wondered why I was receiving this? I can tell you right now that if I had to consider a Ph.D. program, I would do more vetting and make sure that the faculty was supportive or had more faculty of color to help guide students like me who WANT the best for themselves. I came to hate research after this program and the skills I gained were gained on the job, not even from class.
So although it is graduation season coming up and I am going back to Kansas for that, it also coincides with Mother’s day…..
Not my favorite day to celebrate anything. What’s worst is that my graduation last year also clashed with Mother’s day.
But I personally harbor resentment towards that day. Mostly because I don’t have a mother. But mostly because I don’t know what it is like to enjoy that day with anyone anymore. Any mother figure in my life is far away, not in my life or gone. I find myself searching for this contantly as I feel very lost.
‘Holidays’ like this tend to be all in your face and forget the mere fact that there might be people out there who do not have a mother, who might hide from social media posts dedicated to moms so that they don’t become triggered, or who might not want to ‘wish’ you a Happy Mother’s day. What’s so happy about the day anyways?
With that said, please cherish your parents everyday and not just one day a year!