Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3-14: Vision Boards: Where We're Going...

Tonight we had Giordano’s pizza and started by talking about some field trips we might take. Some ideas we came up with: go see “The Color Purple” on broadway, go rollerskating, and go to the salon! So far members have been writing about their lives; Meghan, Shannyn, and Jen want to create new experiences for them, which will definitely give them plenty to write about (thanks to Tom for his help networking!).

Our activity tonight was very hands-on! Building off last week when we created poems about “where we’ve been,” this week’s focus was “where we’re going.” We created vision boards (collages) to represent things we want out of life. We cut out pictures, words, and phrases from magazines and drew symbols and sayings in order to create a visual representation of some of our dreams. “They” say that to get what you want out of life, you have to envision it first.

Here are some of the things we see in our futures:

Love, family, nice cars, diamonds, more love, travel, sisterhood, careers, and fancy shoes!

Some specific expressions from the boards are:

Si, me llamo Eboni

X-Press myself!



Perspective: some things are worth sharing

Singing and dancing is my thing

Open Road

Living Chicago

Forever Love

Model Citizen

Wifey material babe!

I’m young and sexy

A welcome home

Next week we’re going to share the boards and use them as a springboard for some writing activities!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

3-7, Our Poems: Where We've Been

We modeled these poems and lyrics after Mary J. Blige's "Take Me As I Am." These words represent our hearts; they give a glimpse into "where we've been."

She is slow
Everyone calls her a hoe
she's a good girl

When she on the block
they say she suck cock

I been feelin' like shit
I told my boyfriend my biggest secret
he snapped
I don't think he loves me no more

I been left behind
I out my mind
because I had a lot of deaths in my family

I done found relief
I been left at peace
Cause I know that they’re gone into a better place

She’s been thru a lot
She’s been left to rot
Because her mother was on drugs

All her pain is gone
And their relationship is strong
Now they are like two love bugs!

I’ve been through the tough things since the age of four
Didn’t take long for me to feel hurt and bad for what I had endured
By the age of 14, had my very first love of my life
Times passed, grew apart, felt such hurt and sorrow
Graduation day, so relieved, almost didn’t happen
But that little hit doesn’t mean anything at all
Good times always come and go, jut let it flow the way it goes.

I’ve been through some stuff
Chics talking buff
She’s been fighting constantly

I’ve been feeling guilty
Talking to dudes and hurting them deeply

I’ve been feeling sad
Trying to act all bad
When she’s hurting deep

I been scared a lot
I been left behind
I been hurt before
I been happy and sad
I been left alone
I been called names before
Like you “yellow bitch”
I been fighting too much

She’s been told she was wrong
That she wasn’t that strong
She knew one day she would leave

She finally had enough
She proved she was tough
She has so much more to achieve

She’s been idealized
She’s been prized
But they can’t really see in

She’s been on her game
She’s been proving her name
A strange dreamer, she keeps livin’

Monday, March 5, 2007

What we've been doing in our kickoff meetings!

So far we've had three meetings; the first two meetings we did some fun ice breakers so we could all get to know each other. We want it to be a safe, trusting environment because we know that sharing writing can be a difficult thing to do. So far we KNOW the girls (and guy) have heart and lot of jokes up their sleeves! We've had some good laughs, some overly rowdy moments, and some poetic writing...

Now that we're getting into the actual writing activities, we'll blog after each session to report where we are in the creative process and what we've written. Last week we analyzed the first two stanzas of Mary J. Blige's song "Take Me As I Am":

She's been down and out
she's been wrote about
she's been talked about constantly

She been up and down
she's been pushed around
but they held her down NYC

First, we talked about what the lines mean. The girls vibed with this because they all knew the song. Then, we analyzed the language more closely to see what Mary's lyrics were "doing." The girls noticed the rhyme schemes and how Mary used "she" instead of saying "I." We talked about why she decided to do this, and then we worked on composing our own mini-songs about where "we've been." This is so hard, but we made some progress. This week we're going to pick up where we left off, continuing with the theme of "where we've been."

Who we are: not your typical writing group :)

We are a hip new writing group at Cabrini Connections! We meet every Wednesday from 5-6 pm to share food and stories about our lives. The group was started by Meghan Bacino, Jen King, and Shannyn Nellett to provide an outlet for Cabrini students; we believe that the written word is a powerful form of expression, and somewhere along the way someone has inspired us to write and dream bigger. We've joined forces with CC to help kids express themselves, and we have some pretty lofty ideas of what we can do with their writing!

Based on the kids' interests, we're going to write genres such as journal entries, letters, song lyrics, poems, and short stories. Meghan and Shannyn write mostly creative nonfiction, and Jen is creative with visual forms of expression. We plan to bring in a diverse crew of writers to add different flavors of expertise (ie: screenwriters, rappers, fiction writers, etc). We're doing a lot of networking, and we plan to keep the activities fresh, fun, and meaningful!!

Some of our long term goals are to (1) have some of our members perform at the year-end dinner; (2) build a compilation of student work; and (3) look for other publishing/performance venues. It will take time and practice, but so far so good. We've already seen a lot of heart and humor :), and we love working with the kids!! Once we get a core crew, we will have the students add their own profiles to the blog.