Just gonna start by saying this week has been such a whirlwind of events and lack of sleep… but I’ve enjoyed every single minute.
From meeting new people in the basement of our complex at 2:00am, to exploring campus, to eating like a queen every day, to seeing concerts and a hypnosis show, to getting to know the campus and my classes in depth.
But one of the things we college newbies have done together as a residence hall sticks out in my mind.
We went to this auditorium to watch a video presentation all about diversity and how it was so much more than ethnicity and skin tone and nationality. The upperclassmen students spearheading the presentation all introduced themselves with a poem, structured in a basic format, beginning every line/sentence/idea with the words “I’m from”. They were so moving and personal. After the presentation, our group got into a circle discussion about it, and then had the opportunity to write an “I’m From” poem of our own, just to show that diversity encompasses the fact that we’ve all had different experiences, we’ve all come from different walks of life, that we all have different ideas and personalities and interests.
Reading them aloud in front of the circle was nerve-wracking, but also so empowering… something about the fact that everybody embraced such a heavy moment of vulnerability really knocked it down to the basics of being human, and it was so nice to appreciate a concentrated, unfiltered version of the people I’m going to be living with for the next year.
I thought I’d share my poem here:
I’m from a tope house built in the 80’s in suburban Virginia.
I’m from the ever-lingering scent of clean laundry and dog fur.
I’m from a fridge covered in art projects from every year of school because my mother thought they were pretty and worthy of praise.
I’m from a bookshelf of books overflowing, and stacks of wires and filled journals that hold bits of me and my dreams.
I am from a passionate, loving mother who has defied death and popular opinion more times than I can count, and a gentle, intelligent father who instilled within me an insatiable curiosity for all things technological.
I’m from 5 beautiful siblings, with their own gifts and abilities.
I’m from homemade french toast every Christmas morning and a packed-to-the-gills van leaving for the beach every summer for two weeks.
I’m from “I love you”, “do your best”, and “don’t care what other people think or say”.
I’m from unbreakable familial ties not set in blood.
I’m from God is good and blessings are many.
I’m from BBQ chicken and Dad’s gourmet rice (or Chinese food when my mother has had a long day).
I’m from humid as hell and truckfuls of snow.
I’m from dog walking and jogging and the pressure to succeed.