Virtues from Motherhood: A Letter to my Friends

A Letter to my Friends,

In a few days, all three of you will walk across the stage at the Barclay’s center, solidifying the end of a chapter in your lives. I am so proud of each of you, and it has been a privilege to watch you grow and find success. I know each of you will bring such light and greatness to wherever you go next. Though I’ve only had the fortune of knowing you for two years, it feels like we’ve known each other decades and I know I’ve made lifelong friends.

My journey here at City Tech was shaped by you, your presence, your support and all our shared moments of laughter, triumph and at times relief. Until I got here I never had a real college experience, I was never apart of things on campus and I never felt like I belonged, but you all changed that. I looked forward to coming to school every day and sharing classes and breaks together made me feel like I was meant to be here and that I was going to be alright.

I will miss each of you so much when I begin my final semester here in the fall but I’ll share all the great experiences and values I had with you three with the peers I encounter before I leave. When I think back on all my attempts at college and all the times I tried and failed, it no longer seems like such a big deal because I’ve found such great success, and great people here. I want to thank you amazing ladies for letting me into your lives, for sharing your time and input with me, for dealing with me when I was on the brink of a meltdown and most all for being a friend when I felt like I had none. I will always look back on this time of my life as a flourishing, happy and most of all one filled with love and I will always tell my daughter about the experiences I’ve had at City Tech. Congratulations!

Your friend,


Virtues from Motherhood: Am I out of the loop?

Let me start by saying, all things considered I believe myself to be relatively close to the loop, or what it represents but not totally there-yet. A few years ago, though I was so far from the loop it was semi embarrassing, I hadn’t earned any degrees yet, I was working an aimless retail job and just began supporting my kid. In 2014 I started to get my shit together, well the most important parts of it anyway, education, career and all that fun stuff like bills, car insurance and so on. So needless to say, socializing and dating took a backseat, so even when I tried to dive back into dating, I was somewhat taken back by the dating scene, and I still don’t know if it’s me or if my generation is just a mess.

If my generation is just a mess, I won’t feel so bad but I find myself grappling with the same issues every time I date, granted not all at once but the same themes recur. Now I’m not trying to nit-pick or bash anyone or anything I’m just sharing my qualms with the dating world as a 20-something year old single mom.

Let me start with the nice guy, who’s also painfully lazy, this guy is dynamite he’s friendly, social and patient but he lacks motivation. He either just has a HS diploma, some or no college and is totally complacent with it. Back tracking for a second, some people do just fine with only a HS diploma because they get into a trade, union job or open their own business, the kind of guy I’m talking about is okay with his 15$ an hour, he doesn’t want more. That’s totally fine, but not for me, I worked too hard to be complacent and I worked too hard to share the fruits of my labor with someone who doesn’t share the drive I have. I’ve gone on dates with really nice guys that I just can’t bring home because they have nothing to bring to the table other than their charm.

The next guy on this list is the too over bearing guy, he’s got it all together he has a career a portfolio he’s established, but he has no social receptors at all. I went on a couple of dates with a guy a little older than myself who on the third date started talking about marriage, buying houses and so on. Absolutely not. That’s just too much, because not only am I sharing my life I am sharing my daughters and that kind of zooming relationship isn’t going to work for me as a mother.

The last kind of guy, or theme, I seem to find in the dating field is the “I’m working on it” guy, which wouldn’t be an issue if he was working. I don’t mind too much when a guy doesn’t drive, because after all its NYC, you don’t HAVE to have a car, but it just shows a little added responsibility and a sense of mutualism in a potential relationship (I won’t always be picking up and dropping off). But, when you’ve been in the same place for years and don’t seem to know how to bring it all together I can’t stick around, while I’ve had my fair share of struggles but I also knew when it was time to kick it into gear.

All in all, I want an equal I want someone who might be a work in progress but the progress is real, it’s tangible and we’re both able to grow. I don’t want to ever be the “bread winner” I want to be a teammate, someone who I can hustle with, in careers, in education, in life and in experiences and I’ve yet to find it. Some have one but not the other, some I’ve tried to stick it out while they figure it out, but the short of the long is I don’t have all that time to spare. It kind of feels like I’m missing something, is there some dating power card I didn’t pick up along the way or was oblivious too. I see my peers with these great relationships or flawless ability to date and I’m like“what gives?”  Maybe that’s the next part of my life I’ll figure out, and I just have to be patient or maybe life is telling me to wait I have much more growing to do.

Academic Self-Discovery

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The field of Health Information Management is growing rapidly. Over the last few years, the federal government has invested billions of dollars in the field to promote the design and development of a robust health information infrastructure. As a result of private institutions following suit, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 16% growth in related health information jobs.

Virtues from Motherhood: A Poem for Mom

Let me tell you something about my mom and I.

Ten years ago, I was a rebellious teenager and we didn’t get along, but she loved me anyway.

Eight years ago, I got pregnant as a teenager, but she loved me anyway.

Five years ago, I was struggling to find a balance between who I wanted to be and where I was, but she loved me anyway.

Two years ago, I graduated college with my associates degree, and she was there to cheer me on.

A year ago, I said I wanted to take more credits to finish college faster, and she was there to cheer me on.

When I can’t make sense of something, she’s there to calm me down.

When I’m not seeing the whole picture, she’s there to shine a light. When I just need someone to talk to, she is there to listen.

When I feel lost in the world, she is there to guide me.

You see no matter where I’ve gone in life, or how many times I’ve strayed from the path, she has always been there calling my name, holding me accountable, and for that I will always be thankful.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and best friend, I love you.

Academic Self-Discovery: Literary Arts Festival pt2

My favorite things about the literary art festival is the celebration of writing, the creativity the space carries and speaking to the guest speakers. From participating in this event i have gotten the chance to meet two writers, Mary Gaitskill and Rowan Ricardo Phillips. It is always nice to question a writers motive behind their work and tell them your own ideas from reading their work.
Tall man with arm around shorter young woman

The Donut Shoppe

a tray of chocolate glazed donuts covered with rainbow sprinkles

Image by: Robyn Lee

I am finding that as my skills as a pastry chef improve, I am gaining a better appreciation for the bakeries and small shops that are in New York. Not just the most popular but the small places that you appreciate as important in your life…that are popular in your life even if they are not widely franchised. One of the most appreciated desserts in America is donuts because they are viewed as a breakfast food as it is usually paired with a cup of coffee or can even be a dessert. It has become such a centrical part of America’s confectionery world.

Aside from the readily franchised shops, there are so many other doughnut shops that are considered mom and pop shops as they are not franchised which makes them more unique. There are so many Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme’s, but I further enjoy small shops that are not so widely franchised which allows the quality of the product to taste better as it is being freshly made instead of mass produced. And fortunately, New York is home to many mom and pop shops especially for something as delicious as doughnuts. There is Doughnut Plant, Dough, but my personal favorite is in Brooklyn named Donut Shoppe but is also known as Shaikh’s Place. It is located near the southern end of Brooklyn on Avenue U and is a 24-hour shop. The story behind the name is that the current owner who is named Shaikh Kalam was once just a native of Calcutta before moving to America to better himself by attempting to receive a college education. When he began working at this coffee shop called, Donut Shoppe with the original owner of the shop, Carlo Radicella. Kalam became so invested in his job role that he began to be a baker in the shop and was working long hours to reinvent a way to make better tasting doughnuts that were less dense and less oily. He somehow created a foolproof way to make doughnuts that were light and airy in texture with a balanced level of sweetness. He was able to adjust his recipe by changing the amount of time that the dough proofs before being fried as well as the temperature of the frying oil that the doughnuts are fried in. When the original owner had a stroke and his health declined, he promoted Kalam to be the head baker and eventually he took over the shop in the 80’s.

a box of a dozen donuts

Image by: Mary Bakija

There are so many flavors to choose from such as Boston Cream, Glazed, Powdered, Jelly filled, Vanilla Sprinkled, Chocolate Sprinkled, Strawberry Sprinkled, et cetera…the flavors serve such a variety to the customers. The prices are so affordable and are inexpensive. When you purchase a dozen of doughnuts, you receive a baker’s dozen which costs a little less than eight dollars. The doughnuts are absolutely delicious and I would suggest anyone to go to Shaikh’s place to eat a great doughnut. It is the perfect balance of doughnut as it has both the chewiness of the dough as well as the crumble of a cake.

The Spirit of 5 Pointz

Last week, I talked about the death of the legendary graffiti haven in Queens, 5 Pointz. This week, I wanted to do a small update-post about the spirit of this iconic spot. Good news: it lives on. Over the past few years, artists have been making their mark on another building merely a few blocks away from the original 5 Pointz graveyard. It seems to be an active building with employees working in it, but so far, everyone seems to be cool about it. Hopefully over the next few years, this will be a new spot for artists from other countries to visit and let their creativity be shown. If it ultimately fails, this new spot gave me the reassurance that a new spot will emerge, somewhere in the world. Although nothing will be as iconic as the original 5 Pointz, it’s heartwarming to see the soul of the movement live on. The power of passion will always outlive the power of money.

Virtues from Motherhood: Who’s really there?

I can’t begin to explain what a blur the last 6 months have been for me. The night before thanksgiving my grandfather was taken to the hospital with pneumonia, I prepared for another tax season, final projects started heating up and I barely knew which way was up. It feels like organized chaos that I just dove into and somehow managed to hold my breath long enough to survive.

I can hardly wrap my head around the fact another summer is beginning. I’m not entirely sure how I got through this rollercoaster year but I am certain the company I keep has a lot to do with it. A lot of relationships changed for me, friends and family alike, but so many more blossomed. I have met so many great people and been apart of so many great things that I might not have been part of had someone not literally dragged me to it. But that is what made me realize, people who really do care about you are going to force you to see your potential when you’re too distracted to see it yourself. I am grateful for the people in my life and the energy that’s surrounded me these last few months, not all are blessed with what I have.

For instance, some of the residents of the rehabilitation home my grandfather was in had nobody at all. These people are all alone in the world, nobody comes to visit them, their spouses have passed and some have children who don’t call, if they had any children at all. The night my grandfather arrived at the facility I was frazzled and confused about his condition and I didn’t really pay much attention to the other patients on the floor, I feel bad in retrospect because they were just trying to be friendly. After though, we found out most had no family at all, wives or husbands gone and now confined to the facility because they couldn’t live alone. Some seemed so sad and lonely and it really broke my heart, so whenever we go up to see my grandfather I make a point to say hello to anyone I see too.

I think it’s easy to get lost in our own lives, our own troubles and gripe about what we don’t have but we should all make a point to realize all we do have. While no family is perfect we should be grateful we have a table to sit at. Despite the people in our lives not being perfect, we need to be grateful those people are there for us, because some people sit quietly in solitude because those people in their lives have gone.

Academic Self-Discovery: Literary Arts Festival pt. 1

If you are someone who enjoys writing, plans to have a career as a writer or just have a literary work that you’re pleased with, I’m here The Literary Arts Festival. The Literary Arts Festival (LAF) is a writing competition that takes place every year to celebrate the writing of students, faculty and staff. Students are highly encouraged to participate in this event by submitting their literary work for the many categories that can interests them. Upon submitting their writing it must be anonymous and they can only submit one entry for every category.

Winners of these categories not only get to celebrate having their work be considered amazing enough to win but also win prizes and have the opportunity to read their work during the night of the festival. The festival itself is an awesome event that has entertainment such as the City Tech Step Team, cool introduction videos by the LAF volunteers, and guest speakers whose works students have been reading in class for that semester. This year we even had a singer serenading us with angelic vocals.

Last year I found out about this event from my English professor and decided to not just volunteer with the LAF team but also submit an essay I had written the previous semster. I sent my work just to take a chance on it. I was just proud of that essay and decided to submit it. Yet, one morning a friend that had also submitted her own writing texted me to let me know that I was one of the winners. Learning this left me in disbelief and delighted. It also reminded me that no matter the career path I chose, writing would always be something I’m passionate about.