• What?! She won?!- (Home & Class: for about 3 hours).

What a shock! Starring at the numerous messages and notifications on my phone and computer screen. With my jaws dropped. Thinking to myself, he really did that?! It was a tie! Mike Pence selected Betsy DeVos.

Betsy DeVos is a wealthy Republican donor with almost no experience in public education. DeVos is a billionaire who devoted most of her life promoting charter schools. Yet she was confirmed by the Senate as the nation’s education secretary, but on with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Mike Pence. It was the first time a vice president had been summoned to the Capitol to break a tie on a cabinet nomination. It is insane because the victory came after weeks of protests and two defections within her own party. The vote was 50–50. 51 votes is needed to ensure confirmation. As if the announcement of Pence selected wasn’t enough, DeVos then showed up to Howard University. For what?!

I don’t see how or what DeVos could help Howard, but besides money. I’ve told numerous students that the legacy of Howard is slowly dying out. There is no such thing as the “old Howard” anymore. There is this new slogan going around chanting “this is the new Howard.” What does that even mean? I came to Howard to get the experience. If one would go to any school or even hear stories of other schools, they would hear the same thing: college is a STRUGGLE! Many stated that having DeVos at Howard was a good idea for money. So are we selling our morals and souls for a dollar now? If one stand for nothing, they’ll fall for anything. Howard made it this far without money. Don’t get me wrong money is needed to run a few things, but there is something about DeVos’ money. It seems dirty. What was said behind those closed doors about the future of Howard? Why was the pop up of DeVos a secret? Why couldn’t there be a platform at the most prestigious HBCU so that whatever she had to talk could be shared with the community of Howard students, staff, alumni, etc.? I’m just not getting it. I do believe that President Frederick is doing the best he can for the present and future of Howard, but it was just done wrong. First of all, she draws criticism for her lack of support for public schools, and many critics urged senators to vote against someone they saw as a billionaire donor with limited understanding of education and reaction to the choice of Howard University as her first visit as secretary mirrored some of that split. To some, the visit served as an important symbol of her commitment to equity in education. To others, it was a photo op, devoid of substance.

I don’t want to stay stuck on this topic, but I just feel that the visit was for show. Howard do not need yet another person to make promises and not fulfill them. If you’re going to be of help and service then do that. If you’re not going to help then do not help. In a statement, DeVos said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Howard University President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick and several student leaders this morning. We had a robust discussion around the many challenges facing higher education and the important role of HBCUs.
“Howard University plays a unique and valuable role in the fabric of our higher education system, and I am honored to help celebrate its 150th anniversary. I look forward to visiting many schools across our great country and continuing the discussion on how we can increase access to affordable, quality higher education.”

In a class discussion, it was argued the visit of Betsy DeVos. The reason being is because so many things have changed since Trump’s arrival into the white house. He is making so many executive orders. President Trump said while campaigning that he would ensure funding for historically black colleges and universities. I just want us to be great and move forward, however; the fate of Howard should not lie solely in the hands of those who have shown slight hate in those who are not on their level.

  • What is it was Frederick Douglass in the same situation as President Frederick? (Class & Professor Sandridge’s Office Hours: 2 hours total).

Bad idea! Bad, bad, BAD idea! Frederick Douglass, although portrayed as such a great leader, should NOT have hosted Betsy DeVos.

I read an article (or post rather from Tumblr) that was titled “Let’s talk about Anna Murray Douglass and her fuckboy husband Frederick Douglass.” To get a small recap of who Anna Murray Douglass, she was born free and met Douglass when he a slave. She sold many of her belongings to get money to help him escape. They then moved to New York City and got married. “When Douglass started touring and working with white abolitionists, he started treating her like shit because she was illiterate.” This is the same man who took money from his wife to escape from slavery. It seems as if Douglass got bold. He not only treated her like crap, but he then moved in a white woman in the house. That woman moved out and then he moved in another white woman who stayed there for months at a time for 20 years. He then married a white woman a year later after Anna died.

I shared that post to say this: if Douglass did that then I am sure he would have let Betsy DeVos walk all over him. One of the most frustrating things to me is turning a back to your own people. I felt that is what Douglass did and somewhat of what President Frederick did. We weren’t given an explanation and we weren’t given the ins or outs of the conversation. We are constantly told to stand up for something, but we are also bashed for it. I am not understanding. How can you teach someone to “go hard” for what they want in life, but then get silenced for doing so?

  • Looks (Home & Office Hours: 2 hours).

The module in class for this week was titled “Spirits of the Material World.” The module was primarily on “looks.” I felt that the module was right on time in describing how society has been for the longest now. From Martin Luther King Jr. portraying being such a holy man to actually being someone who cheated on his wife. I am not downing anyone’s life, but I believe that whatever you do be good at it. Do not put on a front for the public view. Do not come off as this or that and be the total opposite. The reason I state that is because I believe one is more respected when being real with their self. Others won’t respect you anyway regardless, but having respect and no shame of self comes with being truthful to oneself. I would have never thought of Martin Luther King in such way if I didn’t watch several movies of him or read other history books about him because it is always overworked how “perfect” he is. Learning the other side of Dr. Martin Luther King, however; allowed me to gain a new respect for him because it showed that although he was viewed as this “perfect angel” that he is very much so human ad makes mistakes too. There were no more pressure or stress in working towards something that actually don’t exist and that’s PERFECTION.

Key terms for the module were iconography, iconology, and material culture. Iconography is defined as pictorial material relating to or illustrating a subject; the traditional or conventional images or symbols associated with a subject and especially a religious or legendary subject; the imagery or symbolism of a work of art, and artist, or a body of art. Iconology is defined as the study of visual imagery and its symbolism and interpretation, especially in social or political terms. Material culture is defined as the material remains of a part society, including artifacts (man made) and ecofacts (biological). Examples from the ancient world include architecture, pottery, sculpture, grave monuments, temples, coins, wall paintings, mosaics, and more. The module was about looks in various forms. The module was also about Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great served as king of Macedonia from 336 to 323 B.C. During his leadership, he united Greece, reestablished the Corinthian League and conquered the Persian Empire. He also became Babylon and Asia and created Macedonian colonies in the region. He died at the age of 32 years old from mysterious circumstances.

I have a fear that we as a society is losing sight of what really matters because we are so focused on looks. We have to “look” happy, we have to “look” rich, we have to “look” healthy. We have to “look” smart. I wished we could take away things focused on looks like social media, extra glamourous things to focus on what really matters and that the heart. The way society is set up is in a way of materialism. We live in a society that promotes materialism and so we perpetuate this particular malady by instilling bad habits into our children. We teach our children that the measure of success and happiness in life is how much stuff you have. There what you have is what you are looked up to be. It is natural to want things, but not at the cost of portraying someone you’re not.

Our society is obsessed with looks. I came to Howard with my country clothes. 2 years later I still wear my country clothes. Do people say things about me? Sure they do, but it is important to me to be true to who I am. I am not this big city life. I am not about putting on a show for people. I do what is required and that is be confident within myself. Yes, I dress up for work, interviews, presentations, etc. but I am still true to who I was before coming to DC or Howard. There are people who changed their appearance to mimic those and the world around them to the point they have lost their self. Losing self identity is bad. I couldn‘t help but notice that our society is obsessed with physical appearance and looking like a “god” to the world. As a young female, there are some societal expectations that I am expected to live up to in order to be considered attractive. I have to be thin, well-developed, have clear skin and shave my legs. Basically, I can’t be my natural self.

Who makes these rules? One minute this is attractive and the next that is attractive. Everyday, we are bombarded with beauty advertisements in commercials, magazines, billboards and social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The beauty, fashion, and entertainment industry are famous for hiring women based on their looks. Even so, looks are important for all jobs and almost all areas of life. In magazines and on TV, celebrities are constantly being ranked on their looks. Girls get praised for their appearance rather than their accomplishments. This can cause self hate and hate towards other females. The emphasis on physical attractiveness is detrimental to mental (and sometimes physical) health. The effects of the media on young girls’ development has led to a rise in eating disorders, low self esteem and depression. https://truthloveunity.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/our-society-is-obsessed-with-looks/

I just wished we weren’t so caught up in looks. Instead caught up on achieving, becoming better people, helping others, loving others, and so much more. I wished that I cold go back in time and figure out who started this thing about “looks being everything.” If everyone could treat themselves as what art truly is then they would realize that the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

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