Thursday, September 27, 2012



Just finished a one page reflection only to realize when uploading the document (Due Sunday) that there was a prompt to which I should have reflected upon.



(its a couple expletives...but its still the most motivational song I heard in a while...sing with me.)

I made it.

 It was a long week. Knocked out 4 papers. Did ALL the readings. Participated in class. Met  some new friends. Hung out with GAPSA--->[Penn graduate students given a university budget to look out for other graduate students academically, professionally, and socially.]. Shout out to Jolly's and 1/2 off flatbreads!

Life is long. Celebrate sometimes. Tomorrow night = 

 (that's right, that's a dance party in the art museum. I'm gonna make some paintings sweat.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why American Students Can't Write

The Atlantic wants a debate. Don't worry, Penn GSE Reading/Writing/Literacy students will have the final say. And by final say, I mean a a well-read scholarly critique that you don't necessarily have to agree with, but be open to...

Why American Students Can't Write

In "The Writing Revolution," Peg Tyre traces the problems at one troubled New York high school to a simple fact: The students couldn't write coherent sentences. In 2009 New Dorp High made a radical change. Instead of trying to engage students through memoir exercises and creative assignments, the school required them to write expository essays and learn the fundamentals of grammar. Within two years, the school's pass rates for the English Regents test and the global-history exam were soaring. The school's drop-out rate — 40 percent in 2006 — has fallen to 20 percent.

The experiment suggests that the trend toward teaching creative writing was hurting American students. In a debate about Tyre's story, we asked a range of experts, from policymakers to Freedom Writers founder Erin Gruwell, to share their thoughts on Tyre's story. This page will be updated with new entries each day through mid-October.

Continue Reading at the Atlantic....

How would you respond?

I was passed this note during my Fieldwork today. (Ms? Oh ok.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet My New Undergrad Friends.

Check out the Penn Hip Hop Initiative on Facebook.


Here's a clip of an interview with the founder.

 Jon Iwry (J-Boy to his fans) is a hip-hop artist from right outside Washington, D.C. A sophomore in the College, this four-time winner of Penn’s Got Talent will be performing original music and freestyle rapping at this year’s Spring Fling in the Quad. He also has a radio show called “Check the Rhyme” that airs every Tuesday at 6. And Jon is starting an on-campus group called the Penn Hip-Hop Initiative, which he discusses below.
Q. Tell me about the club you’re starting. What’s it going to be like?
A. This semester I’m starting a music appreciation club called the Penn Hip-Hop Initiative (PHHI). We’re aiming to create on open community on Penn’s campus that appreciates the vast world of hip-hop and fosters the creative presence of talented artists on campus. We want to open it up to everyone as broadly as possible, and hopefully even beyond the Penn Bubble. We’d like to become a platform for making and distributing hip-hop music for the local community, including other schools and venues in the Philadelphia area. Commitment won’t be too demanding, but it’ll definitely be worthwhile and fun. It will get started in the fall, when people (including myself) aren’t busy with finals and flinging. We’ll probably start off with public screenings of hip-hop documentaries, graffiti tours through Philly, public speakers, and stuff like that; anything is possible, and based on the many creative ideas people have proposed so far, the Initiative has only good things in sight.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


(love the Discovery Channel. the reason you need to be 1080p HD.)

It could have been all over. 3 page analysis paper for EDUC 533.

I heard thunder in the foreground. I don't care about thunder. Let it roll. Then Bam!

House goes black. Surge protector sounds.


Initial reaction: What the Fudge!!! <----yup, I said fudge, not even censoring that. Blame the Christmas Story.

Lights come back on. Computer stays off.

Now I am on my knees.  "God, please let it autorecover"

Press the power button. Start Windows normally.


Open Microsoft Word.

Thank God. I guess now I have to go to church tomorrow.

Friday, September 21, 2012


(if you don't know Big KRIT....please do the knowledge)

She's printing, logging off and going home. I'm still here. I've been in this seat since 4:00 (It would have been 3:00 but I caught up with some of my friends in the IEDP program and we had one heck of a chat about present day US education v. the rest of the world).  I've been typing away at this ambitious paper schedule I have for next week. It goes:

Monday: 4-6 pages due of a critique to our Autobiographic Early Literacy Sketch to Elementary Reading/Writing/Literacy Curriculum taught by Dr. Campano

Tuesday: 4-6 pages due of an interview with someone who shares the same cultural/ethnic experience as us to Multicultural Issues in Education taught by Dr. Gadsden.

Wednesday: 4-6 pages due of an autobiographical sketch of our language and literacy experiences as adolescents to Dr. Thomas

Thursday: 3 pages due to Dr. Epstein on whether Penn should be involved in fixing the broken Philadelphia public school system in Community & Art Partnerships

Yup, there goes the weekend.  Except for one thing.

I'm not going to be here much longer because I got my study break. Two tickets to go see Big KRIT, Slim Thug, Mic Stew, and my Philadelphia hip-hop family at the Blockley.  

Then sleep. Then shower. Then back to this seat. Its going to be a long weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Welcome to University City.

Penn Parking Wars!!

(yup, Parking Wars was taped in Philadelphia.  Everyone knows that PPA don't play!)

Hey everyone, I know this is no formal introduction but still I have to get this off my chest. I'm trying to figure out parking at Penn. I live in Chester, PA--on the other side of the Philadelphia Airport (my hometown, and the only town I have ever called home).  I have no complaints about living a drive away from Penn.  Its only 20 minutes. But what I do have fathom....PARKING!! 

The world is becoming less friendly to the drivers of the world. Gas this morning was 3.8-something everywhere I went. Still don't know how gas is priced other than "you are going to pay it anyway!"

It's not Penn's fault per se, as they have a number of options for student parking rather than it is my frugal-ness that says to me "hey, you don't have to pay that."  Read more about them here. 

There are a couple options that I have found so far...

  1. 40th and Spruce. Pass CopaBanana. On the other side of the light is paradise. Free on-street parking that is closest to GSE at 37th and Walnut. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a secret.  But when I pulled up, I realized it was very well known. IF YOU CAN FIND A SPOT, TAKE IT!!!
  2. 39th and Market. In front of the University Square Apartments.  This was my aha! moment.  12-hour on-street parking in front of a high-rise apartment building on one of the most popular streets in Philadelphia.  1$ an hour until 8pm where after 8, parking is free.  Not bad because I usually get here sometime around 1, and pay until 8. With spare time, I paid $6.75 to get my car until free time beginning at 8:00.  The parking meters accept cash, coins, and card. As well as this new SmartCard option. I personally just use my debit card everytime. Between Market and Chestnut on 39th, you can also find 4-hour parking for the same rate.  Not bad when the longest GSE course is 2.5 hours if you are just in-and-out.
  3. Right outside GSE-37th and Walnut.  Yup, you guessed it. You can park right outside the door.  Not exactly literally, but about 15 steps from the door. This parking is premium. 3-hour parking at $2.00 an hour. If you have 4:30-7:00, you could possibly get in at 4:15 and pay until 7:15 for $6.00.  But if you are like me and like being around GSE, that means that you must make it to your car before your parking expires because as everyone in Philadelphia knows too well: PPA dont play!  
Other options:

Get a bike!--If you live in the West Philadelphia area, perfect.  Biking gives you exercise and cost you nothing after purchasing the bike.  There are plentiful bike racks and even bike lanes on the streets surrounding Penn.  Hey, look out for the environment. Bike!

SEPTA-SEPTA is interesting, it has its pro's and con's for someone who lives outside the city. I took SEPTA in to Penn a couple times to see if it would be feasible. Here's what I came out with:  If you are good with wait time and being able to get readings done while on public transportation, DO IT!!  However, if you want to be home when you want to be home, take your chances driving.  It's not something that's an everyday commitment. Sometimes I ride; sometimes I drive.

(Plus about SEPTA: The entertainment factor.  SEPTA at any time, especially late is utterly hilarious for us people-watchers.  The personalities you run into are bound to create some good stories.)


Sunday, September 16, 2012


...I'm feeling like the Eagles did at halftime. time to make a comeback.

Would you like to be my follower?

 ...having the same last name as a famous man always gave me an icebreaker...even if their famous for being an elder White friendly neighbor and I'm a 24-year old Black heavily hip-hop influenced rising educator. Somehow our destiny's are intertwined. 

Welcome to my blog. I want to give you an eye into the Penn GSE experience from my perspective...DISCLAIMER: I won't type "IMO", I'll just assume you know that. (and IMO is  "in my opinion"--I assumed that as well.)  Look out for an introductory post in the next couple days when I get time. The Eagles played the Ravens today.  Sadly, there's no extra hours to add reading and papers so you can digest what a slip-by that was...