Swan Song. … Not.

SWAN

{ except it’s not, because … }

SONG

{ I Can’t Keep Quiet I am naive. I know this. I am too nice. I know this too. People can’t take me seriously. I get it. But what I do not get is any City’s Clique Problem. Follow My Lead. }

Top 10 11 Reasons why Cliques are Destructive to Rochester

Because Ima go Wherever I Want, When I Want,
even when you Make Fun Of Me.
Ima Ask Out Whoever I Want.
Ima Say – No Thanks – Whenever I want.
because { … }
I’m not in High School Anymore.

  1. HIGH SCHOOLGrow Up Y’all. We already made it. We do NOT need to convince ourselves or anyone else that We are “making it,“. We already have. Leave High School in High School so that, as Young Adults, we can more Fully Grow. So we can Own our Accomplishments, and truly enjoy them. Actualize our Full Potential. Please – We Deserve this. Now.
  2. BE FREEHave you ever said or thought – “I can’t go there: they don’t like me?” … As an Adult?? In your own City??? … I have … { raised hand emoji }. More than once. Tragic. This is a Tragedy. We live in the Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. Stop the Madness. You can go anywhere you like. Rochester is such a Beautiful City with Incredible Intellect, Culture, + Creativity … and Food! We have some of the best, most fresh / artisanal food … nello mundo. Represent. Support your Community. Go where You Want. This is True Freedom. Our World is incredibly Oppressed. We are not. Rise Up. Rise Above. Do You. Freely. Please.
  3. INFERIORITY COMPLEXThis not US. This is not Rochester. This is Trump – our President of the United States of America. Rochester – we are far better than this, and we know it. We have Nothing to Prove to Anyone. We are our Own City, with our Own Identity + Culture. We literally, #ROC On. Literally. So what’s the deal – way do we hate on each other. We can’t we say Hi to each other or join a Cause just because we want to? … The thing is: We Can. But, I have to say, in my own experiences — whenever I try, and I don’t want to join the “tribe,” the “group,” the “crew,” or the “clique,” I get shunned. Hella. It is not right. We are Complex Human Beings with a Humanity, + we Owe it to Ourselves, or Community, + our City to more Fully Realize This. Unite.
  4. CULTURAL IDENTITYDown with “The Other.” I learned this as a student of English Literature while studying at the University of Pittsburgh. I learned this while living in Manhattan as a grad student at Teachers College, Columbia. This is a rather complex thought, so bear with me. { I know you can. You smart. }
    1. First – We as a smaller – medium sized city owe it to ourselves to harness + hone our Cultural Identity. We are trying, and we’re succeeding on the one-hand.
    2. Second – as a burgeoning city, it is okay — and in fact — we do need to look toward other city’s for an exemplar: this is just how it works. { We do not need to become that city, but we do, in fact, look up to it. Truth. } 
    3. Boston + NYC – I’m not tryna hate on Boston: I love Boston + hold it dearly to my heart. But I can attest, primarily from the testimony of 2 dear friends who hail from Boston (and 1 still live there now), that Boston is a Cliquey City. Clique-y AF. Ain’t no body makin no new friends in Boston, okay. I’m not saying that New York City is any different. But I am saying that, from my perspective + personal experience, it has been. I have an equally good friend who was born / raised / lives in Brooklyn now, and I can also say that I lived on the UWS { Duke Ellington Blvd, holler } in Manhattan for 6 months. { Which doesn’t sound like long, but it’s probably longer than you – so : respect. } New York City is the Great City it is because it melts, blends, infuses, + sets the example before anyone else. 
    4. We are #Roc. – So Rochester … who are we more similar to? A city in another state. Or a city in our home state. A city where we share a similar Hipster / Cafe / Cocktail / Culinary Culture. We, in fact, are quite similar to New York City. And NYC is it’s own force. It’s own entity. It is a True Melting Pot, + I think we — Rochester, NY — deserve some Respect, too. We absolutely do. We will not get it by being Clique-y High School. We just cannot grow in the way we need, if we are separated by Groups + Business, separated Economically + Culturally. So, Rochester, let’s Grow + Fully Actualize into our Own Cultural Identity.
  5. POVERTY, SEGREGATION, + INTEGRATION – How Dare We. How. Dare. We. … Rochester, NY has the best Public Schools in the Nation, and The Worst. Rochester, NY is Incredibly Affluent, in the Top 10 most Poverty Stricken — Extreme Poverty — Urban cities in our Great Nation. ENOUGH! NO! WE CANNOT GO ON LIKE THIS! I do not apologize for all Caps, because they are warranted. “Separate, but Equal, is Inherently Unequal,” Brown v. Board of Education, 1954. Rochester, NY cannot Grow + Thrive into the Urban Cultural Center it is with our continued Disparities. How can we expect our Community to grow when the very Cultural Scene of Rochester, NY is so separated? How. 
  6. EAST V. WEST  –  I am Over It. I am an Offender of it. Not because I graduated from an “East Side” high school { which may as well be a “West Side,” so far as farer East Side school districts are concerned, even though Irondequoit High School is a paradigm of Educational Excellence, in spite of  because of its growing Urban Population … }. Namely, because of East vs. West within the Town of Irondequoit. When I am Wrong, I Call Myself Out, First: And I am wrong to Differentiate my High School Education based upon East V. West. We all need to Call Ourselves Out, more. For the Sake of our Country; For the Sake of our Humanity. Language is Power. I concede that some Rochester Suburban School Districts out-rank others. And I contest that this is primarily a concern of anyone who has children or will soon have children attending these public schools, because — if you’re not yet — who the f. wants to pay those property taxes anyway? Come-on: ENOUGH. Enough is Enough. We are One. We All make our City Great. 
  7. MEAN GIRLS‘Nough said.
  8. HEATHERS‘Nough said.
  9. GOSSPI GIRLTotal satire of the snobby, privileged, uber wealthy NYC scene. Well, Rochester, we have our own version of this scene. And for anyone who thinks Gossip Girl — the TV series, not the book series { as I’ve not read them but know that almost every youth at the LAB School for Collaborative Studies in Chelsea, Manhattan, where I student-taught in 2007, has } — is lame, you’re right: and if you don’t think it’s Satire, you are, perhaps, missing it. Whether the creators intended for it to be, or not: it is. Learn to see yourself through others’ eyes. And then laugh.
  10. CAN’T BUY ME LOVEHave we learned nothing from Pop Culture? Let alone ’80’s movies?? { See Heathers, above. } I mean really. We can’t we ever learn from our past? The time is now. Learn. Act. Grow. Do. 
  11. #SHOPLOCALI do not Shop Local to be Cool. I am not Any Cooler than You. Everyone is Equally Cool. Only Evil is Not Cool. Okay. I Shop Local because I grew up in Poverty, until my mother went back to school to become a Chemical Engineer thereby Graduating in the Top of her Class from the University of Rochester — even as she gave birth through an Emergency Caesarian to my younger brother, who then had to be operated on at 3 days old — when I was in the 4th grade. I grew up in Poverty. Do you get that. I was shunned by almost every Teacher + ever Student in the Catholic School to which I went, until we moved to the Suburbs when I was headed into the 5th grade. I was told I was stupid. My older brother, who has a near-genius-level IQ: He was told he was Stupid. He could not read until the 4th grade, and he is the most prolific reader I know — more so than my younger brother, who has a Masters in Rhetoric from Miami University of Ohio. Do you get this. I grew up in Poverty. I was bullied every single day since the day I was born until I was 10, and beat-up almost every single day in ‘Da Hood of Rochester, NY.

This is why I Strive to Bully No One + Advocate for Everyone.
{ This is what I do in my Career, as  Career Advisor at a local non-profit. }
Do you get that. I Shop Local because it it Sustainable + Responsible.
Integrating our City is also Sustainable + Responsible.
Do Both. As Much as you Can.

Separate, but Equal, is Inherently Unequal.

My AdviceEveryone go to Lux. This is the greatest Social Melting Pot of Rochester, I have ever seen. Then think – How many people of different Socio-Economic Statues, Races, + Cultures hang in your crew??

Let’s get With It Rochester. Let’s Be Real.
Let’s Be Free.
Let’s Be One.
For the Cultural Identity of Our Community.
For our Growth.

Because Ima go Wherever I Want, When I Want, even when you Make Fun Of Me. { . . . } I’m not in High School Anymore.

Much Love,

#standforthesilent

#integrate

#LocalLegend

{ or so I’ve been told }

#weareone

#Roc.

X.

Leave a Reply