Tag Archives: college

If God’s Been Good Then Make Some Noise (Fatman Scoop Voice)

Last night was one of the most rewarding nights I had in awhile…..know why?

Last night was rewarding because I actually got to present myself and my business to a group of my peers in a leadership class I’ve been taking since the beginning of the year!

Most people I went to school with years ago have already gone back for their masters, failed, or racked up a few additional degrees since graduation. Me on the other hand…I’ve been working. That’s it. Working and nothing more.

Yeah I’ve embarked on business ventures of my own outside of my full time day job, but I’ve done nothing that was really school related until now. Until now, I never really thought I’d even WANT to go back to school! My last semester of college, I worked WHILE I took my final classes, and that was TRULY a sacrifice. The commute, the fatigue, the homework, my relationship at the time — it was stressful. I told myself that I never wanted to do that again!

So when I was approached TWICE to take part in this emerging leadership class this January, I was a little hesitant. Eventually (after some prayer and convincing) I showed up and now, halfway through the course, I’m here typing this blog post; having just completed my first presentation (non work related) in years!

Though my class is small, I’ve met so many other emerging leaders who also manage their own endeavors and know the delicate balance of juggling your full time job and your hustle. I’m making connections, but not only that, forging new relationships. I’m not saying I’m meeting the people who will be my future BFFs, but cool people who I wouldn’t mind hanging out with. Genuine, good people!

I must truly say that I’ve struggled for almost 5 years with how I WANTED to ‘do’ my life and how God wanted me to do it — and though each day isn’t all sunshine and peaches, I know who holds my life in Their hands and I know that He has plans to PROSPER me, not to harm me, but to give me a hope and a future! If I would’ve gone my own way, I would probably be homeless in Atlanta right now, a struggling photographer sleeping on someone’s couch. I’m thankful and humbled that God hit me with that spiritual stop sign when He did. Though people may look at my life and feel I’m not living up to my potential, I’m doing okay. I work hard every day to really tune into God and ‘do’ life the way He wants me to — because at the end of the day, He will give me BETTER, when all I can ever do of my own merit is just GOOD.

I’ve already been blessed beyond measure and am ACTIVELY walking towards my wonderful destiny! I’m proud to say, as of right now, I’m not doing good….I’m doing God. ❤

– Joc

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Forever.For Always.For Love – Traits of a Godly Marriage

marriA college friend of mine posted this photo on her Instagram and I immediately did back flips in my mind! I love every single last thing about this piece of art! When some people look at this photo they may say “Oh ok, yeah marry someone who loves God.” — but to me (and my analytical yet creative  mind), I saw SO much more than that!

I took notice to the cracks on the couple’s faces – to me, it shows brokenness and imperfections. But then also notice that the closer their faces are to the bible (and  each other) there are no cracks. This said to me , when you put God first in your marriage, two imperfect people can come together and be made whole in God. Their love will not necessarily allow them to tolerate MESS, but to be able to love forgivable flaws and help their spouse triumph over past hurts and mistakes. 

I also noticed that their hands are intertwined together beneath the bible – to me the artist is saying that the couple is in this thing called marriage/life together – equally yoked – and putting God’s word above their own “thoughts and feelings”. Also I took notice to the fact that their ‘free’ hand is place individually on the bible which could illuminate the point that when you are in a godly marriage….that once you give of yourself to each other…you won’t have to worry about “making sure your wants are met” because your individual needs will already be met by your spouse. 

Looking at this beautiful piece, I can also see that the lower half of their bodies are grayed out, but as I work my eyes up to the top of the photo they are in color. The symbolism that came across to me suggests that the colorless, black-and-white pigment symbolizes the old self and ‘their old lives’ – aka their pasts. Even though I’ve never been married, I know that when you truly love your spouse and have God in the center of your marriage, you will be granted the strength and grace to work beyond your spouses past and help build and empower the man or woman of God they are RIGHT NOW! The black-and-white color transforming upward also says to me that this couple is committed to  ‘dying to self’ and has been renewed as one with their spouse through the love of God. Love is not selfish. Real, godly love at least.

Perhap my FAVORITE part of this piece is that this is an image of a couple is kissing the bible! This to me not only states that this symbol represents the God in their marriage, but also drives across the message that they can love EACHOTHER THROUGH God. The artist could have EASILY depicted the couple kissing each other’s lips and merely holding the bible below in their hands,; but he didn’t. This man and woman are kissing each other THROUGH the bible which says to me that when you love God first, you will truly be able to love your spouse as you should.

 Anyone who knew me back in school knows that I LOVEEEEE breaking down poems, literature, and art for symbolism. When a piece can make me think, the person who created it is beyond talented. Anyone can draw a stick figure, or write a rhyming poem – but when it has a deeper meaning – it’s all love in this corner! 

I have decided that when I marry, this MUST be the first piece of art my future-husband and I will put in our home. Not only to remind us of why we love each other during the challenging times, but also get this principle engraved in the minds of our future-children early on. 

AHHHH I could honestly take this photo, tape it up to the sky, and look at it all day. Love is beautiful, but a GODLY LOVE….whewww children ain’t nothing like it! I can tell you that I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father that He thought enough to bless me to be born in a household where my parents are the EPITOME of this picture and more! They have been together going on 36 years and the ONLY REASON they are together is because they made a vow long ago that they would put God first in their marriage and sure enough, everything else followed. They often tell younger couples around the town who are thinking of heading down the aisle “Marriage is a job. And like any  regular job you may have, some days you can’t wait to go to work, and some days you just don’t feel like it.” – but like any job, you think of the benefits that come with that job, and of how it enriches your life, and this motivates you to keep pushing through those “ho hum” days. The same goes with marriage.

Perhaps this is why I ‘love’ love. Especially black love. I had great examples and I want (and will have) the same for myself. In my late teens/early twenties I was in such a hurry to catch up with all my little friends who were getting married out the gate and kept wondering why I was still single. But now I realized that my life was a mess. I partied too much, drank too much, and did everything that would NOT attract a quality man of God. Yet I kept wondering why I always seemed to end up with clowns. Now years have passed, I am living as a woman of God ought, and all I can say is THANK YOU LORD from saving me from marrying into a big pile of mess!!!! (insert praise break here) haha

I have learned to be patient and use my time as a single woman to establish myself professionally and spiritually, so that when my designated man of God arrives, I will know it and be able to throw him a little leash to let him know “I see you boo and I’m ready”. haha This painting just got me all excited again for the years to come and of the wonderous blessings God has stored up safe for me!

WOOO HOOOOO!!!!

– Joc

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Black Women Are Spending Too Much Time Going to School & Not Enough Trying to Get Married – My Response

This morning one of my friends from back in college sent me a link to this article: Black Women are Spending Too Much Time and Effort Going to School, They Should Be Spending That Time Trying to Get Married –  by Jamila Akil

READ THE ARTICLE ( http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-women-spending-time-effort-school-spending-time-married/ )then come back here and read my response.

 This is my response: 

As a single, black, educated woman in her mid twenties I was immediately aroused by the title of this article. 

The main points (that I feel) the author seems to be making are: 

  1. Although more black women are enrolling in college, they are second to last (before black men) in college completion rates. 
  2. Some black women seek numerous degrees to compensate for not being married 
  3. Earning a bachelors is beneficial to black women because it helps them earn more, lower unemployment rates, and learn networking skills. 
  4. Black women seeking miscellaneous graduate degrees later in life won’t boost their chances of being promoted where they are currently employed. It only places them deeper in debt and working harder to catch up. 
  5. [According to some reports] the people drowning in debt are either single parents or people who had gone back to school later in life to obtain another degree. Message to black women: chasing degrees < chasing a husband & a family life 
  6. Instead of focusing on finding a husband who can share the responsibilities of raising children and managing finances, black women chase degree after degree in hopes to reach financial freedom on their own. 

Point #1 – Haven’t done much research on this but from witnessing this happen to many of my friends who got pregnant or fell on hard times and couldn’t pay tuition; I can see how this may be accurate. By including this info the author is basically trying to say by enrolling in college and not completing, you’re still responsible for paying back loans, etc; so don’t enroll if you’re not serious or don’t have a clue of what you want to do with your degree. I can somewhat agree with this because while yes, traditional college/university is not for everyone (ie/ some musicians, factory workers, etc) not everyone knows what they want to do when they step onto that campus. Shoot, I can vouch! I was dead set on pursuing a medical degree since the 7th grade and that lasted until my first semester of college when I nearly flunked out by taking Chemistry, Biology, and 2 Chem Labs when I passed Advanced Placement Bio with a C in high school. Via electives and some good soul searching, I changed my entire pathway by the end of my sophomore year; just in time to get into my core classes. This point could be worded differently as not to generalize the issue.

Point #2 – I think it’s very fair to say that this point is valid. I know PLENTY of women who throw themselves into their work to compensate for being single. Unfortunately, even I teeter on the verge of being one of those women. I was able to get out of a terribly draining relationship about 3 years ago, and to keep myself from dating again too quickly, I decided to go into overdrive towards working on accomplishing my life goals. After all, you can do more while you’re single than you could EVER do married/in a relationship; reason being, you only have yourself to answer to and don’t have to take anyone else’s feelings or schedule into account. Now 3 years later, I find that while I am making progress in my career, I am SO busy I find it hard to find time to spend time with family and friends…let alone get back out on the DATING CIRCUIT! I understand that if you’re not married, you have NO CHOICE but to support yourself, but the key thing is to not get so career oriented that you feel like you ‘don’t need a man’. PSST you are lying to yourself and to God if you say you don’t NEED a man. We are designed as women to be one with man and men with women. The only one who obtained perfection being single was Jesus Christ the Savior and regardless if you are of the Christian faith or not, it’s evident to see when you look around that humans need one another in some way or another. Regardless if it’s the bus driver to driving your kids to school or the bathroom of the attendant cleaning up the restroom in a swanky restaurant, or even the electrical guy who operates the traffic lights in your city…WE NEED ONE ANOTHER. So for anyone to live, let alone a woman, as if they don’t need a soul; that’s bologna – defiant, oblivious, stale, moldy bologna. Work because that’s what you love to do; not because you’re trying to fill some other void. It won’t work.

Point #3 – Like I stated before, a college degree is not for everyone; however, I do feel that everyone deserves the right to have the college EXPERIENCE. There is no other place on earth like college where you have the opportunity to interact and work with people from varied backgrounds. The jocks, the Goths, the poetry kids, the ‘artsy creatives’, the sluts, the Greeks, the Afro-Centrics, the nerds, the kids of mixed raced and other ethnicities – you’ll meet some of EVERYBODY in college. If you only interacted with all black kids or all white kids or kids who lived in your neighborhood; the college experience forces you to get out there and shake it up a bit. This point is valid. College can enhance a black woman’s appeal. Professionally and romantically.

Point #4 – This point is not so black-and-white. Once again, it depends on a woman’s particular situation. If you’re a high school math teacher with 15 years of experience and your boss tells you that in order to become state certified or become an administrator you have to have your maters; then by golly you need to invest the money and get that degree! Ideally, the salary you will make once you’re promoted will end up paying you back the money you invested in school. The same goes for those who want to be surgeons. If you’re an RN, and want to become a surgical physician; you’ll need more schooling to get that extra pay rate. Now if you are a single mother of 2 working in HR at a bank, and currently paying back the $120,000 in loans you owe for your BA in Business, chances are a masters degree in Psychology with a concentration in Political Science is not going to help you get closer to that promotion to Chief HR Officer you so badly desire. Hard work ON THE JOB and networking will most likely land you that promotion before any degree will. Before going after a degree black women in particular need to think; will this really help me in the long run. If it’s not, you’ll basically be breaking your back and sacrificing potentially meeting the husband you’ve dreamt of all because you’re too tired to date juggling school, a job, kids, and trying to hustle back all of those additional accrued loans.

Point #5 – I can’t really speak on this point because everyone has whatever debt they have because of different reasons. Some people in these positions mentioned in the articles are actually debt free and have no problem getting out of debt; while some are just gargling above water. But as a single black woman myself; I do find myself weighing out what type of life I want to have. I call myself a “traditional progressive”. While I am all for women’s rights and independence, I have the deep desire to be somewhat of a traditional wife and mother. I have no problem with my husband making more than I do – I actually WANT to marry a man who brings home more than I do. To me, that will give me more time to take care of my home and wifely duties when I get home from working and I don’t have to depend on a nanny most times to take care of my kids. I want to be present as much as possible for my kids. I don’t want my assistant calling me telling me they took their first steps or have them come to me at age 30 asking me why wasn’t I there more. I want to have a career but will eventually lay it down when it comes to my family. I plan to work now while I’m single so that when I do settle down and get married; I don’t have to work as hard outside the home and take care of my family with minimal distractions.

AND FINALLY…

Point #6 – I agree. This ties into her to the other points surrounding this similar message. There are some women who chase degree after degree in order to feel accomplished or to garner the ‘oohs’, ‘ahhhs’, and admiration of their peers. At the end of the day, a straight man doesn’t want to marry another man; he wants to feel needed, necessary, wanted. I’m not going to get into whether you as a black woman need ‘his’ money or need ‘him’ to kill spiders, or need ‘him’ to cut your grass; the point is, you need to let ‘him’ like you do sometimes. If you spend your time stacking all of these degrees on your mantle some men will be intimidated and immediately shut down any attempt to get court you. Some women, ESPECIALLY black, degree holding women, don’t understand this but I’ve had enough discussions and have listened in on enough panels to know that this is the way it is. Think about it this way: 

Guy:

Extremely attractive, holds a BA in Hospitality Management, spiritually mature, funny, caring, has one kid, and manages your local Best Western. 

You:

Attractive (hopefully haha), hold a BS in Political Science with a minor in Ethnic Studies, Masters in Political Science with a concentration in Finance, you’re currently going to school for yet another degree while you simultaneously work for Bank of America Corporate (doing whatever) and have no kids. 

Poor guy would have to have nerves of steel to get past any hesitation that creeps up as hearing what you do. You’re thinking, ok, this is a pretty nice guy whose working his way up…but he’s thinking, here’s a woman who is accomplished and makes way more than me; I’m just gonna leave that alone. I’m not saying that that any secondary degree you hold is invalid, but come on, unless you’re working on becoming the CEO or COO of your company what are you taking out loans and busting your butt for? Richard Branson never completed high school and he is the CEO/Founder/Creator of Virgin – which over the years has expanded into the communications market, music industry, and transportation market. 

To round my thoughts out and to a close, if you are a black woman in your 20s or older, I would encourage you to save this article to your FAVORITES tab or print it out and keep it in a notebook or drawer. Shoot, if you’re in high school and you can comprehend and appreciate this article I’d suggest that YOU do the same as well! It’s never to early to get a head start on your life. Learn from the prior generation so that you don’t have to make the same mistakes or missteps that [we] have.

Ps. Thanks Keesh and Ash for sharing this! You guys are so classy! ❤ 

– Joc

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Let’s Take a Trip BACK to….College!

Ya know, some days I wish I could rewind back to my college years JUST for some of the classes I took! If you can afford it, I would suggest college for ANYONE! Sure tuition is a bit of a rip off, but you learn SO much about yourself…and not just about what’s in those overpriced books. Thankfully I was morphing into a pretty cool person so I had the opportunity to snatch up a pretty rad (yes, I said rad) course load! Take a minute to think back on some of the courses YOU took while YOU were in college…you’ll never learn stuff like that ANYWHERE else!

 

Joc’s FAV Courses in Undergrad:

Film Studies

– Spanish 3-5

– Graduate Level Poetry/Advanced Creative Writing

– Shakespeare : The Comedies

– Shakespeare: The Tragedies

– The Bible as Literature

– CULT FILM STUDIES!!!!

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There is not enough time in the week to explain the highs and the…higher highs I experienced in each of these courses! I can honestly not decide on which is my absolute fav! You meet so many different people in each — I think that’s why I am the way I am. I love to learn about people and why they do what they do or think how they think — and what better way to do that than to sit beside them for an entire semester!

If I don’t hurry up and wrap this up, I’ll end up rambling MORE AND MORE so with this…I bid you all adieu!

– Joc

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