Why I Write: Celebrating National Writing Day

For most writers, me included, writing is a release. It’s our art. We do it because it’s our talent and it makes us feel a certain way when we do it. In addition to that, though, here’s a few other reasons why I write:

I write because I have experienced things in my life and I like to share those stories for people who can relate. I like to offer solutions and a different point of view for those seeking insight. I want to inspire millennial women to speak up for themselves, recognize their worth and demand the respect they deserve.

I write because America elected a president who’s inexperienced, disrespectful and unwilling to see beyond his own disturbed mind. I want to show the uninformed Americans that he preys on by spreading “fake news” and encouraging rage, hate and prejudice that they made a mistake and it’s time to correct it.

I write because I know how to score a good bargain and I want to share that information. I want people to save a little cash and still look great. I want people to know to walk to the back of the store, check the clearance first and if they don’t find something with a red tag that they love, then they should work their way up to full price. Duh! 🙂

I write because I want people to know it is possible to care about pop culture and politics. It is realistic to have a passion for both.

I write because I want moms to know that it’s okay if they’re not perfect, it’s okay that they may lose it every now and then and that it’s okay to throw their hair in a messy top knot and handle business in a pair of leggings. #LikeABoss

I write because I want people to know about the shows I watch, the influencers I love and the music that gets me going. They may just love it too.

I could probably write a whole book about the reasons why I write but I’ll stop here. You guys get the point, I’m sure. Writing is something to celebrate and whether writing is your profession, your art to share with the world in your free time or something you do for yourself in a private journal, today is your day! Happy National Writing Day!

-D.O. ❤

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Opinion: Why Comparing President Donald Trump to Celebrities Doesn’t Make Sense

Celebrities have been quite outspoken about their negative feelings toward President Donald Trump. The defense of Trump sympathizers is to respond by drawing attention to things these celebrities have done and said. They point out roles they’ve played or materials they’ve written.

Ben Shapiro’s response to Stephen King’s tweet is the example that stands out in my mind, although, I have seen similar comments countless times.

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Now, while I completely agree with Ben that this scene is disturbing and horrific but comparing a horror fiction writer to the leader of the free world is apples to oranges. I also took King’s tweet sarcastically. His mention of a “severely fucked-up mind,” to me, is like he’s also poking fun at himself by referencing the type of mind you’d have to channel to write books like his. I think this went way over Ben’s head. Comparing the man who wrote a fictitious book about a psychotic clown who preys on children to the man who represents the United States of America to the entire world is just asinine.

I have also seen mention of people who adore Hugh Hefner but don’t particularly like President Trump. Yes, Hugh Hefner created a men’s magazine that sexualized women. Yes, he’s had multiple young girlfriends at one time. Hugh Hefner, though, does not make decisions on behalf of the United States of America. Hugh is not the face and the voice of the U.S. Agreeably, Hugh Hefner would have had no place in politics. He was in the entertainment business and people adore him for his place in that particular industry. He is an entertainment icon. What most may not know is, he’s actually a veteran. He was in the Army from 1944 to 1946. While he didn’t spend much time in the military, he voluntarily joined before being honorably discharged. Which is more than we can say about President Trump who avoided the draft. Yes, I just threw a little shade. 😎

Now I’m going to tell you why I am so passionate about these apples to oranges comparisons. Celebrities do not make decisions about our healthcare. Stephen King’s books have zero impact on women’s reproductive rights. Hugh Hefner’s lifestyle has no impact on LGBTQ rights, although he was an advocate for the cause. Neither of them were or ever will be in charge of making decisions about immigration, armed forces, civil rights, the national budget and foreign affairs. The list could go on an on. We’re going to be much more strict on who we have in the oval office than we are on who’s books sit on the shelves of our bookstores and who’s lives we celebrate when they pass.

This comparison makes sense if we’re comparing celebrities to Donald Trump, the reality star, but once he swore in as the President of the United States, actually once he decided to run for office, he was no longer just an entertainer. He is our leader and he needs to represent us with class. He has yet to do so and I hope we continue to hold him accountable for his words and actions until he either changes or is removed from office.

-D.O. ❤

I Visited Cleveland City Hall Last Month And It Was Awesome!


A trip to City Hall may not seem like a fun way to spend an afternoon but with my new found passion for government, I was stoked to be there.

I reached out to a family friend, Councilman Zachary Reed of Cleveland’s Ward 2, because my good friend, Deemyi, needed to interview a local political figure for a class assignment. I also wanted to pick his brain a little since I’m looking into a Master’s in Political Science. He, luckily, got back to me that same day and scheduled a meeting with us at the end of March. Deemyi and I were so excited and so grateful.

We took a half-day from work, we’re co-workers as well, and walked over to City Hall in the rain. It was well worth the short, rainy journey as we got a lot of great content and we even ran into Mayor Frank Jackson.

Deemyi is currently studying to obtain her Master’s Degree in Health Education and Promotion. She asked Zachary about his thoughts on the HR 610 bill sponsored by Republican Congressman, Steve King. According to the official Congress website, “The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.”

Furthermore, unfortunately, “the bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs,” Congress.gov explains. This rule HR 610 would “repeal requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements”. Deemyi does not support the bill for obvious reasons.

Councilman Reed, explained that the he and his colleagues wouldn’t actually be initially involved in finding solutions for the bill if it were to pass. In Cleveland, the CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District would be more involved than he would, personally, but he did mention his preference on the reach of the vouchers. He would prefer the vouchers be valid not only in private schools or for home schooling but in public schools in surrounding suburbs as well.

He then went on to talk about the importance of ensuring that every child is fed a nutritious meal during school hours as that could be their only balanced meal they receive that day due to their potential situations at home. He discussed after school programs and initiatives that even go as far as feeding some children dinner before they return home. I couldn’t help but feel sad that our federal government would want to take that away. Why? Because they personally have never experienced going without nor will their own children ever go without so, they just don’t care? That’s really upsetting.

I enjoyed listening to Deemyi and Zachary talk back and forth as it was a learning experience for me. I gained more understanding on the bill and had a chance to see how passionate they both are about children having access to a great education and the resources needed for healthy living.

A younger gentleman popped his head in the office we were talking in and invited the Councilman into a conference room to speak to a group of elementary students. Zachary and I still had a few things to discuss so he invited us to tag along with him to see the students. The kids were so excited to see him and he spoke to them with such kindness.

Mayor Frank Jackson walked into the conference room to speak to the children too. He took a few moments to speak with Deemyi, Zachary and I and even took photos with us. He expressed his concerns with HR 610, which was awesome for Deemyi to get a statement from the mayor for her assignment as well. He was friendly and so willing to chat with us.

On our way out, Councilman Reed gave me some much needed advice about my possible future in political science. He told me to focus on the issues are important to me and find a way to get involved. He said that people typically get into political science because they see a need for policy changes and want to help make those changes happen. I got to thinking and he was definitely right. With PoliSci, it’s not really a traditional career path where you start at the bottom and work your way up. It’s different than that and almost more difficult. I have a lot of planning and thinking to do but I haven’t even gotten through my prerequisites yet so I have plenty of time to find my purpose.

Councilman Reed formally announced that he is throwing his hat into the Cleveland mayoral race just yesterday! As he’s been a friend of the family since I was a child, I couldn’t be more proud of him and am ecstatic for his new journey. Mayor Frank Jackson is also running for re-election. I wish them both the best of luck! May the best man win! ❤

Thank you, Councilman Reed and Mayor Jackson for your time and your insight. Deemyi and I appreciate it more than you know.

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Zachary mailed me signed copies of our photos!

-D.O. ❤

I Can’t Even: Paul Ryan and Double The Donald

Disclaimer: My posts in regards to politics will be quite biased so I apologize in advance. I am very liberal as you may already know or will come to find out. The good thing is that I’m a blogger and not yet a journalist so now is my time to provide my observations and opinions without getting crucified too much for it 😉

This past week has been crazy for me. Between Paul Ryan’s appearance on CNN, Donald Trump’s latest tweets and his long-awaited press conference, I am extremely concerned and quite frankly, I’m afraid. Let’s address each occurrence;

Paul Ryan’s Misleading Comments About Planned Parenthood

It’s no secret that House Republicans are pro-life and determined to defund Planned Parenthood regardless of how beneficial their services are. What really bothers me, though, is Paul Ryan’s clear attempt to  avoid informing the public that tax dollars do not fund abortions. His blatant effort to confuse people  in order to get his way, made me uncomfortable.

If you don’t want to watch the full video below, jump to 1:03 where Ryan discusses taxpayers and Planned Parenthood;

He states, “We don’t want to commit taxpayer funding for abortion and Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider.”

He then goes on to elaborate, “We don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization providing abortions but we want to make sure that people get their coverage.”

Now, I personally know that taxpayer dollars do not fund abortions. Women are to pay out of pocket for this. However, someone who is not informed on the subject could be led to believe, based on Ryan’s comments, that their taxes may be funding abortions.

Jake Tapper, of CNN, seemed to have similar thoughts as he called him out a little. He said to Ryan, “of course, taxpayers don’t fund abortions, right now, right? Because of the Hyde Amendment.”

Ryan looked as if he did not want to admit that what Tapper was saying was true. He stepped back and went a little silent for a quick second and then struggled through his next statement, “…because of the Hyde Amendment. But, they get a lot of money and…and you know, money is fungible and it effectively floats these organizations which then use other money. You know, money is fungible.”

Huh?

For me, this was tough to watch because it was so apparent that he did not want to introduce the fact that taxpayer dollars do not fund abortions and he didn’t seem to want to agree with Tapper either. This is a prime example that politicians, on both sides, do purposely confuse us for their own personal agendas. Scary!

Donald Trump’s Tweets About John Lewis

The President-Elect is no stranger to inappropriate tweeting. I’m no longer even surprised at the things he uses his platform to say. This weekend, the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day no less, he took to Twitter to lash out at John Lewis, a member of Congress. John Lewis stated, on NBC, that he felt as though Trump is not a “legitimate president” and said that he will not be attending the Presidential Inauguration.  Of course, our President-Elect would not let him slide on that comment. The worst part, though, was his choice of words.

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To say that someone like John Lewis is all talk and no action when he had been arrested 45 times during the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for basic human rights for all and marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King is asinine. He’s done more than enough and continues to make a difference as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district! (If you do not know who John Lewis is, I suggest researching him.) I just can’t believe he had the audacity to say that a Civil Rights leader is all talk and no action. What has Trump done that can even compare to John Lewis’ actions and sacrifices? How dare he?

John Lewis is pictured below.

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He really needs his social media taken away from him. He should not be allowed to Tweet. Our President-Elect refuses to stop his Twitter rampages. That doesn’t even sound right.

Donald Trump’s Demeanor Toward The Press

Being that I admire journalists and their craft, I was bothered by his disrespect to BuzzFeed and CNN reporter, Jim Acosta. If you have not watched Trump’s press conference from last week, below is clip of him speaking over Acosta, telling him that CNN is fake news and that his organization is terrible. He also refused to take a question from him. He also said that BuzzFeed is a “failing pile of garbage.”

Not only is this disrespectful, it’s scary. It shows that our President-Elect will shut out any media organization that goes against him. It seems as if he cannot take criticism and will not interact with people who oppose him. As the President of the United States, people will oppose you, they will criticize you and they will not stand with you on certain issues.

He, himself, opposed President Barack Obama, accused him of not being an American citizen and demanded he release his birth certificate. After all of that, he now gets upset when someone has something to say about him? #Confused He demanded that President Obama release his birth certificate but we have yet to see his tax returns. Sketchy! He’s called women fat on television. What? He mocked a disabled reporter on television! Ugh! But God forbid someone oppose him or have choice words about him.

We should question a President who will not face the press and we should be very cautious. We should question a president who seems to be afraid, himself, to face questions from the press.

It may seem like something small but it’s everything, really. The press has the ability to ask the president questions that we can’t personally ask ourselves. The press is our voice with a golden ticket into the White House and the ability to face the president. If he shuts them out, he’s avoiding giving us, the American People, answers. We will only know what he chooses to announce and that is frightening.

I’m interested to see how this all plays out. I truly hope that things will get better and that people will  be held accountable for their words and actions. Regardless of my feelings toward the President-Elect, I do want him to succeed in his role and represent all Americans. If he succeeds, America succeeds. I just want to know the his heart and mind are in the right place.

Stay informed! I urge everyone to remain in-the-know with local, national and international news. Even if it’s just a little each day. theSkimm, is an excellent way to get daily recaps via email of current events around the world. It’s never boring and always brief.

If you guys have other fun ways to get news updates, I’m open to learning about them. Please feel free to reach out!

-D.O. ❤

 

 

“Why you call it Late Registration? Cause we takin these muh’f*ckers back to school”

Kudos to those who get my Kanye reference! ❤

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Me in Clark Kent Mode

Anyway, I’m going back to school! Attaining a Master’s Degree is something that has always been a goal of mine but I was never sure of what my concentration would be. I thought about Journalism or English. I definitely have a passion for writing but didn’t really see the value as my undergrad is enough to pursue a career in those areas. An MBA has much value but my heart isn’t in the subject of just strictly Business. I knew I wouldn’t perform well. I hit a road block. Without knowing what my concentration would be, there was no way to move forward.

It finally hit me after this very confusing election, Political Science!

Now, this does not mean that I’m knowledgeable in the subject but I find myself wanting to know and understand more. We had a huge problem this election year with propaganda which led to misinformation and ignorance in American voters. As awful and confusing as this was, it inspired me. I want to be a resource to people who are looking for facts.

I want to do that in a couple of different ways;

  • Freelance Writing. I never thought Political Journalism would be something I’d want to do. I always thought I’d focus on fashion, beauty and entertainment. I’ll still write about these subjects on my personal blog, of course, but I’m definitely striving to also be a contributor for a political publication.
  • Teach Poli Sci courses. I’d like to teach students while they’re young, high school age to freshmen/sophomores in college. They’re either about to hit voting age or between 18 and 19. I want to influence young voters to think for themselves and research facts prior to casting their votes. I’ll need my PhD to become a professor and a teaching license to teach a high school class so, more and more school is on the road ahead.

Now that I’ve decided on a concentration and possible career paths, a few things need to happen before I even start;

  1. I have to take both Microeconomics and Macroeconomics as they’re prerequisites for the Master of Arts in Global Interactions (MAGI) program at my college of choice. MAGI is their version of Political Science. (I took both economics courses in my undergrad but we’re not even going to talk about what grades I received lol. I was more of a Communications course type of gal!) So, this will be round two for me. I just enrolled in Micro and will start January 17th!
  2. Cross reference the classes I took in my undergrad to make sure I have all other prerequisites. Literally crossing my fingers that I do or else I’ll have more classes to take before I start.
  3. Take the GRE and score in 50th percentile or above. I just got my Kaplan study guide and will be cracking that puppy open very shortly. It’s huge and overwhelming but I’m ready for the challenge.

I’m so excited to get going on this very big goal. I’m nervous as well but I know all of the hard work and stress will be worth it. There are quite a few female politicians right now along with Hillary Clinton, of course, that are so inspiring to me. Politics is male dominated and not to mention, lacking diversity. As a minority woman, I’m excited to add to that diversity. You might not see me running for any political office but hopefully you’ll see my words published and my name on a class schedule 🙂

My experience in deciding to go back to school is proof that it’s never too late. I graduated college in 2009 and here I am stepping back into the classroom setting. If you’ve been wanting to go back to school and aren’t so sure or may feel discouraged, please do not hold yourself back or stand in your own way. You can definitely do it! “Better late than never, it’s orien-tation!” (More Kanye 🙂 )

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please do not hesitate to contact me (My customer service attitude is showing there 😉 ) Or, If you want to share your back-to-school story and/or any advice, I’d love to hear from you.

-D.O. ❤