Please Press Play on this video before reading this post. I think it will help!
The biggest take away I have had from my entire experience here is that anything you do, anywhere you go, things will be the same. You will fall into whatever routine you choose. Only here there's a little bit of Jazz to it. There's something magical about New Orleans and Tulane, that I can't explain to those of you who haven't be able to experience it. So, I'm most sad about losing that little bit of magic when I go back to school. I can try to replace the magic with cows, but it won't be the same.
Here's what I'll miss:
Driving through the Quarter with my windows down and the radio off. The sights and sounds of the quarter are enough to delight the eyes and tickle the ears. Enough jazz down there to keep you wanting more.
Hearing the bell of the streetcar. The only tourist trap that's worth it. Speeding past cars and areas of the city without a single care. Cause no matter how many daquiris you've had or how long you've been at the casino, you're going to get home.
Standing in the Louisiana heat. I've complained about it all summer. I start sweating profusely the moment I step out of my apartment. But there's a culture down here that looks past the sweaty faded t-shirts to the person you are, were, or hope to be. You can see all that in the Louisiana sun.
The Food. I could list everything I've tasted since I've been here, but I won't. I know that there is food here that I may never taste again in my life. So at least I can mark New Orleans cuisine off the bucket list.
The Rain. What can I say. The rain here is phenomenal. The clouds roll in heavy and purple. They anger the earth with thunder and lightening. Teasing you with nothing but humidity. Then all of a sudden the clouds lay waste to a city that is already below sea level. You can batten down the hatches all you want to but you'll be soaked. And as soon as you dry off and get comfortable inside, the rain will stop, the sun will come out, and nature will have won.
Tulane. It's as simple as that. I have been indoctrinated in the culture here. I've spoken to many people as if this is where I work, learn, belong. It became so easy to become engulfed in this community. The hard working students, and the astute staff members that make it seem so easy, as if it isn't work at all. The "One Wave" aspect of everything that encompasses the Olive & Sky Blue. The funny thing is, I barely saw a student all summer, but they way they were missed by the staff speaks volumes about the campus community.
The Arts. I walked through the quarter on my last Saturday here and I bought some art, I watched kids tap dance in sneakers, I heard an ole' brass band giving it there all, I watched a people paint as if no one was watching, I was heckled by psychics, I saw a man covered completely in silver pain frozen in a pose, I was offered free admission into a club, and watched an old man dance with his wife, I sample some of the world's second best pralines (sorry, native Charlestonian can't give that one up) all on the outskirts of Jackson Square. Bacchus and the Muses have nothing on this city.
This summer was supposed to give me insight into my future, my profession, where I may want to work and live. But this summer gave me something more. It gave me unwavering perspective. I now know I can live and be anywhere (including Blacksburg) and add my own jazz to it. You have to take what you are most passionate about and storm into the streets. You have to make it known that this is what you love, regardless of the blood sweat and tears you've faced. That's the magic.
So this year I return to grad school with a renewed (and slightly more positive) attitude, a motivated spirit, and a strengthened will power.
I am extremely passionate about giving the students in BV an amazing first year at Virginia Tech. When it comes to building community with these gentlemen, nothing makes me more excited.
I want to make social justice and diversity more of a priority on my plate, in my halls, and with my department.
I want to reconnect with my fraternity and the other NPHC organizations that teach and mold leaders of color.
I want to work closely with Student Conduct and understand their processes and procedures.
I won't overwhelm myself with anything else.
I want to drag these passions of mine on the Drillfield and let it be known that there is magic in my work, there is jazz in my heart, and there's a little bit of NOLA in everything I do.
Thanks for an amazing summer, Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana, until next time...
Laissez les bons temps rouler. J'adore Louisiane. J'adore la Nouvelle-Orleans. J'adore Tulane.
I know I will continue to blog some experiences here, especially my Half Marathon/Marathon conquest.