I grew up in matriarchal home, so female independence was a strong influence in my childhood. Terms like “… a man should take care of the house maintenance.” or “… heavy lifting is a masculine task.” were never apparent in my adolescence. We did things for ourselves, so the need for a man’s aid didn’t seem as much of a necessity to me from a very young age. After I realized the social gender differences, I began to have fun with pushing beyond the means of my feminine role in society. I was a tomboy as a kid; cornrows in my hair and a hoodie slung over my broad shoulders was my daily wardrobe, it was simple and sporty. I had also made a promise to myself never to use my femininity as an excuse not to do something out of my predetermined societal role. But the odd stares from older women and men always intrigued me and it only got more enjoyable as I got older.

Nowadays it’s the small things that make me feel empowered to be a woman. Regardless of the grandeur in my life, the little things tend to add up; giving me a certain kind of confidence I didn’t realize was missing.

Concurrently, the thing that makes me the most empowered is going to the wholesale club (laugh all you want, but wholesale shopping can a very emotionally cleansing experience lol). There’s nothing like walking through those red framed sliding doors, with a platform truck trailing behind my extended arm. I walk into the space differently than any other day, as if my intentions are seeping through my pores. I’m walking, briskly, through the forest of aisles; because I only have one thing in mind and I won’t stop until I get it. As I approach the water pantry, I’m already mentally rolling up my sleeves; thinking of game plans, how many cases I need, and how I plan to maneuver the platform truck out of the tight space without colliding with other shopping carts. Once I roll the truck near the seemingly endless stacks of six-gallon water cases, I begin heaving each 50 pound box one by one. Chuckling at every man that offers his manly services and every other guy trying to take two boxes at time, vying to match my intensity and significantly failing at the attempt. Eight boxes later, I roll the 400 pound load towards the registers; feeling confident with every stride and every glance.

So what inspires you? What makes you feel empowered to be the phenomenal woman that you are in your everyday life? Or guys, what makes you feel motivated by that special woman in your life? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Happy National Women’s History Month, everyone! Enjoy the upcoming holidays!

Ain’t No Power Like a Woman Empowered


A couple of weeks ago, my older sister was watching Binibining Pilipinas 2018, a national beauty pageant that selects women to represent the Philippines in major international pageants such as Miss Universe. I happened to walk by when Contestant 15, Juliana Kapeundl, was answering her question.

 (See 7:25)

The question she was asked was as follows:

“Misogyny, or bias against women, has been very prevalent lately. How should this be addressed?”

In response, Ms. Kapeundl replied:

“I think this should be addressed by empowering women. We… women have to think, ‘We are not just women.’ We don’t need labels as mother, daughter, sister. We have our own individuality and we have to use it into [sic] our own advantage and let our strengths shine. So, as women, we have to empower our co-women to achieve an equality with men in the future.”

Beauty pageants have never been my favorite thing and I am quite wary of them. However, there are gems in the glitter and glam such as truly inspiring feminists and hard working women with exceptional minds, bodies and hearts. However, when I heard Ms. Kapeundl’s answer– midway through climbing the kitchen cupboard for some Nutella– I had to stop and think. Women come in all shapes and sizes and mindsets.

So, what was so wrong about women willingly choosing the role of “mother,” “daughter,” or “sister?” There is so much dignity in being a woman and the roles that these titles entail. I can see where Ms. Kapeundl is coming from, though. Women have always been the underdogs, the ones that society looks down upon as the “weaker sex.” But just because we are assumed to be this way, does not mean we are!

I, for one, do not want to empower myself by saying, “ I am not just  a woman” because this implies being a woman is bad. Ms. Kapeundl’s statement also implies that motherhood, daughtership and sisterhood are something that is lesser. But, no!

I am a woman, I am a sister, I am a daughter and I can very much be a mother (when the weather is fair and my career is set).

Daughters are taught early that the world is hard and to brace themselves. Young girls and teens alike know the weight of their role as the daughters of the world. We learn to mature ourselves and find our own place in the tricky puzzles in the world.

As for sister, they are the cornerstones. My older sister has been my best friend and compass since very early on in my years. My younger sister allows me to aspire to be a good example and a strong leader.

Mothers are double edged swords: gentle and nurturing yet solid as oxen. My mother is the one my siblings and I turn to for corny jokes and cooing, but she literally keeps our house running and in tact. She works daily and yet comes home and still manages to do more work on top of what she’s done already.

Being a woman is being more than the world expects. If we are aiming for equality, then we should speak, dress and live for the job we want. We can’t allow ourselves to feel lesser or weaker because we aren’t. I firmly believe that all of humanity has their purpose. No one is weaker or stronger. Rather, without one, the other is rendered lesser. We should be working as a whole and not against one another. Lift your sisters up, yes, but never believe that we are at a disadvantage.

Ain’t no power like a woman empowered.

Nothing Without a Woman or a Girl

a woman working in a kitchen

Image by: Jeff Rosenberg

Being a woman has been seen as a weakness for years. It is a badge of honor that comes with many exclusions. Personally, I have faced a lot of adversities in my life and unfortunately being a woman was one of them. In this society, women are viewed as weaker than their male counterparts and are usually placed in “easier” job profession. My whole childhood was surrounded by a fellowship of women. I grew up in a household in which my family entirely consisted of women; my mother, my grandmother, and my two sisters. I was always raised to be independent and to not feel the need to accept the opinions of others. This enabled me to create my own goals outside of what was often presented to me by worldly views. So many women have paved a way for the world in which we live in today, one that is not perfect or completely accepting of the roles that women can have in the job force but one that has greatly improved on this subject over the years. In the culinary field alone, we have so many amazing women who have made it possible to normalize the idea of a woman being in the kitchen cooking or baking on a restaurant quality scale, not simply in the confines of her family’s kitchen. Some names range from Julia Childs, Martha Stewart, Pati Jinich, and Lidia Bastianich.

Being in a profession as a pastry chef, it is a career path that is generally chosen by women. There is this unspoken assumption in the culinary and confectionery world that readily explains that culinary because it is more grueling or is often thought to require more effort is a male-dominated occupation while confectionary is for women since it requires precision, intricacy, and elegance. I do not believe in the power of gender roles as it can be too overwhelming in trying to deeply read into what society views as what is acceptable based on gender. Everyone should be able to do as they please and follow their dreams according to their own goals and dreams not directly stemming from the society’s point of gender norms.

a cake covered in rainbow sprinkles

Image by: Butter & Scotch

There is a bar and bakery hybrid restaurant located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that is centered around women empowerment. Butter & Scotch is an establishment that is own and operated by women. Though the staff isn’t all women, it does evoke a sense of female leadership as the owners of this bar/bakery are women in a profession of bartending and baking that combines the occupation of pastry arts that is more female-dominated by gender norms and the career of bartending that is more androcentric. It has all the fun of ordering a slice of cake or pie while also offering the opportunity to enjoy an alcoholic beverage to accompany the amazing selection of desserts. This one of a kind restaurant also donates one dollar from each cocktail to Planned Parenthood to benefit women’s health. It is truly a haven for the empowerment of women and to change the view of the restaurant world in terms of a woman’s place in it. So I say a toast to all the women out there, and a Happy Women’s History Month!




A woman’s place is in the home

From the 1st first to the 31st of March we, as a nation, celebrate women’s history. As stated by National Women’s History Project, March was proclaimed Women’s History Month since there was an absence of female history in the grade school system. By time of the mid-1970’s, Sonoma County, California was the first in the nation to proclaim that the week of March 8th was to be acknowledged as “Women’s History Week” in 1978. President Carter professed the week of the 8th to be “National Women’s History Week” soon following the California trend in 1980. Seven years later, in 1987, Congress announced March to be “National Women’s Month,” celebrating the successes of American women. So in light of the 1987 affirmation, I would like to commence in my own acknowledgment of the immense “bad-assery” of women in architecture and engineering. Although there are numerous infamous females in these fields, I would like to bring attention to three women that, I feel, pioneered a change for both architecture and engineering in the past two centuries.

an image of kate gleason wearing one of her infamous hats

Image Credit: ASME

Kate Gleason

According to ASME, Catherine Anselm Gleason was the first woman to enroll into the Mechanical Arts major at Cornell University at the age of nineteen. Gleason was born on November 25,1865 in Rochester, New York. She got interested into mechanics due to her father who was a machine shop owner. Although her interest was always present, they were never really conditioned until her older brother, unfortunately, died due to typhoid disease. She then took on his role, helping her father in the shop and learning the trade. Once she became of age, she attended Cornell University and was later the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (aka ASME) after graduating in 1888. She went on to globalize her father’s business, making  it the successful Gleason Corporation that is still used today.


an image of nora stanton blatch

Image Credit: Cornell University

Nora Stanton Blatch Barney

Based on an article by Cornell University, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was the first woman to graduate in the Civil Engineering program in 1905. She was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England on September 30, 1883. As the age of fourteen, she began to study mathematics and Latin at the Horace Mann School in New York and spent her summers at home in England. The Blatch family moved to the United States in 1902 and Nora soon began the Civil Engineering program at Cornell University. She graduated in 1905 and went on to build bridges, subway tunnels, and water supply systems in New York. Apart from being a Civil Engineer, she was also an architect, real-estate developer, suffragist, social activist for female equality rights, and even an author.


an image of louise blanchard bethune

Image Credit: Austin M. Fox

Louise Blanchard Bethune

As reported by Buffalo Architecture and History, Louise Blanchard Bethune was the first female architect in New York and to be inducted into the American Institute of Architects (aka AIA). Bethune was born on July 21, 1856 in Waterloo, New York. She was tutored at home until the age of eleven by her father who was a principal and teacher of mathematics at Waterloo Union School. After that age she was placed into school and later graduated in 1874. For the next few years, she spent time grooming herself to be prepared for the architectural program a Cornell University. Instead of attending the program, she radically turned down the opportunity and took an apprenticeship as a draftsman (or draftswoman per se) with a highly acclaimed architectural firm in Buffalo owned by Richard A. Waite and F.W. Caulkins. From 1876 to 1881, she honed the trade of architectural drafting and design. In October of 1881, She opened an an architectural office, in which, she co-owned with soon-to-be husband, Robert Armour Bethune.

Happy Woman’s Month!

Good afternoon City Tech! With the last week of March ending really soon, I’d like to close it off with respect to women. To the child bearers, beautiful feminists, sophisticated and educated women, this week goes to you, all of you. Know that your efforts are appreciated and respected.

We, as a whole, have come a long way. Can you believe that back in history, we could not vote? Nor go to school? Scary times, but I’m grateful that we live in a generation where things are almost at an equivalent level.

In response to this week, I wanted to give a shout out to a special lady I hold dear to my heart, Roshni Singh. She’s is my boyfriend’s aunt, and an amazing and generous woman who looks out for so many people. Ever since I met her, I felt like I had blessings come my way. She’s most likely an angel In disguise. Chachi, if you read this, know that I love you so much and I want to thank you for everything you do for me and Lokendra. You make us both happy and you’re basically family to me. Whenever I see you I immediately have a smile on my face. I love talking to you and I feel like we connect on such a deep to earth level, like an instant bond. Your charisma and character is what drives me for the future, I sometimes think to myself, “ I want to be like her, I want to be an amazing and generous mom with a loving family.” You’re my inspiration for the future I wish to have with Lokendra, and I want you to know that because you deserve the recognition, and all the love you can possibly get.

blogger Genny with chachi ( aunt )

Advisement Isn’t Always Great Advice

woman sitting on top of a mountain

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “Women for Wakanda”, where I discussed how the Dora Milaje , a group of fearless women, that protected Wakanda, the throne of the Black Panther as well as themselves. These women stayed loyal to their personal beliefs, and their purpose no matter who stood in their way, or questioned their abilities. After writing this post I thought back to a time where I had to stay true to my personal beliefs, after getting some advice that made me feel uncomfortable and a bit discouraged. This moment in my life, where I questioned my ability occurred during my first few semesters of college.

When I first started college I wanted to become a Radiologist because I thought it would be the perfect field for me. I worked as hard as I could to get good grades to be accepted into the program, but I realized after numerous conversations with my mentor, and family members that the program just wasn’t for me. However, before I came to this recollection on my own I had an advisement session with a Professor in Fall, 2013. This professor took one look at my GPA and said to me you “should consider transferring to another University or Hospital” if  I wanted to continue in the major. Although I had almost completed all of my prerequisites for the program he advised me to either change my major or transfer out to another college entirely. As he continued to advise me, I was so upset that I made an appointment to be advised and I was given the advice to leave a major that I wanted to be in so bad.

Can you imagine dreaming to join a profession and then having those dreams crushed by someone who tells you, you can’t do it? Well, let me be the one to tell you that the feeling is horrible in the moment, and it will be one of the moments where you feel insides turn, and your heart will drop a bit. However, the positive part of this advisement session is that I learned, that sometimes in life you can’t let other people dictate how you should plan your path to success.  I also learned in that moment that the negative experience I had during my advisement session was just a minor setback for a major comeback. I realized that in my own time, and at my own pace I would figure out where I was supposed to be and what major would be a suitable fit for me.

After that advisement session, I didn’t immediately change my major. Rather, I discussed the issues that I was having with my family , and then my mentor at the time, and they informed me about a few majors that may be more suitable to my skill set. After researching the majors she provided to me, I finally stumbled upon the Professional and Technical Writing major. After reading the degree requirements for the major, and the coursework I would have to complete I decided that I would try this major out. Since entering this major I have never been happier with the required coursework, as well as the professors I interacted with. Not only have I learned an abundant amount of information from my professors, but I also have great advisers.

Since joining this program, all of my advisement sessions left me feeling excited, full of pride and most of all supported by the faculty in my school. Unlike advisement that I have had in the past, the advice that I have received since becoming a part of this program has encouraged me to do my best, and made me feel as though the professor I was conversing with actually cared about my future. Each adviser that I spoke with took a significant amount of time out of their busy schedule to spend time with me. They went over my degreeworks with me, and they asked me about my goals and aspirations for the future. They also spoke to me in an inviting tone that didn’t make me feel uncomfortable or like they were rushing to get me out of their office. Our conversations may have been brief, but they were enlightening and they helped push me to do the best that I could each and every semester.

I think that a major issue I have with the advisement process is the way that some advisers convey their personal opinions about a student’s academic success. As students we are still looking for guidance, and we can be very impressionable. Advisers are our map that helps us navigate through the difficult world of academia. If we as students receive advice that negatively impacts our confidence, there is a possibility that those words can potentially be very harmful to our work ethic and our interest in school. I know that professors are busy, and advisement adds an extra load to the work they have to complete but I do wish that the quality of advisement could be amazing throughout all majors, regardless of a student’s success rate.

If I could suggest some basic improvements for the advisement process, they would be:

  1.     Advisers should smile more often and seem interested in the student in front of them even if the student’s GPA isn’t up to standard.
  2.     Advisers should provide more options for struggling students rather than telling them they should consider other majors or other schools.
  3.      Advisers shouldn’t express the negative thoughts or opinions they have about a student’s academic career, and if they do, they should present their ideas in a manner that is appropriate and befitting the situation.
  4.     Lastly, advisers should have empathy, and consider how difficult life might be if they were in the students shoes they are currently advising. This suggestion is really important in my opinion because in life it’s not always about what you say, but how you say it. In my experience an advisement appointment can turn into a catastrophic event really quickly depending on the advisers attitude, and the way that they convey the information to the student they are advising.

My reason for bringing this experience to your attention is to let you know that I have faced adversity in my life and I surpassed it. I know that it may be difficult to move past negative feedback, or criticism because words hurt. However, people’s personal opinions, no matter what position they hold do not define who you are, and what you are capable of. I left that advisement meeting feeling negatively about myself and my promise. However, if I had listened to the adviser and left the college to change programs, I would never had found out that I’m really passionate about writing. If I had listened to what my adviser at the time said I may not have taken courses that afforded me the opportunity to get my essay published in City Tech Writer and to win a prize at The Literary Arts festival. I also may not have become a member of The Futures Initiative Program and The CUNY Pipeline Program, which have been pivotal in my success as an academic.

My decision to stay in New York City College of Technology and struggle to find my promise, helped me discover my passion. What I’m really trying to say in this essay is you can listen to the advice that people give you, but you don’t have to follow what they say. There are a lot of people in the world who will tell you how they feel, and what they feel you should do with your life. You have to know for yourself what you want, and if their advice benefits you. Don’t let people say things to you that will make you stray from your path. Follow your own mind, and remember not all advisement is actually applicable advice.

Now that I have shared my story with you, let me know have you ever been in a position where someone told you that you couldn’t do something? How did you feel? How did you handle this situation?

Ain’t I A Woman?

Women’s History Month may be coming to an end, but women will continue to leave their mark. Earlier this month I talked about women in my personal life that inspire me. Then the other day at a meeting at work, the icebreaker question asked was “If you could speak to one famous or well- known woman, past or present, who would it be?”

Immediately I’m thinking Beyonce! Period.

woman throwing up peace signs

GIF Retrieved from Giphy

Then I said, Oh no, girl, think bigger: Michelle Obama!

woman dancing

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Oh I got it this time–Angela Davis!

woman walking into courtroom and putting fist up

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

Noo, Neffi! Oooh Coretta Scott King!

woman sitting in front of mic at press conference

Photo Retrieved from GeorgiaEncyclopedia

It was so hard, because my God, there are so many fierce women I would love to converse with if I had the opportunity! Ugh!

Well, it was getting closer and closer to my turn so I had to get it together LOL.

man sweating heavily

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

All eyes were on me now and I finally made the choice of who I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet. I chose Ms. Sojourner Truth: former slave, anti-slavery activist, and big, bad, and bold feminist!

When I was in middle school and Black History Month rolled around, we would learn about African-American men and women of the past who made a mark in history. One year we were assigned a specific person to do our report on, and I was given Sojourner Truth.

painting of woman sitting at table

Painting of Sojourner Truth Retrieved from History.com

I remember being upset because I wanted someone “more famous” like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, or Harriet Tubman, LOL.

young boy upset in car rolling his eyes

GIF Retrieved from GIPHY

After actually doing my research and learning about this phenomenal woman, I learned that this woman who I dreaded doing a report on was a part of the reason I have the rights I have today, like the right to vote and to participate in politics, the right to own property, and more. Often taken for granted, women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries realized that they need political power, such as the right to vote, to bring about change. They saw that this was how to get their voices heard and included, and how to fight for the rights and equality women deserved. Sojourner was a big part of that, and if you don’t know about Sojourner Truth, well, let me tell you.

According to History.comSojourner Truth wasn’t born with that name. Her real name was Isabella Baumfree and she was born right here in New York (one of ours, yes!). She was a slave who escaped and went on to become one of the most well-known abolitionist leaders and powerful human rights advocate in the 19th century, alongside other abolitionists including Frederick Douglass. She dedicated her life to speaking out passionately on the subjects of women’s rights, universal suffrage, and prison reform.

EducationUpdate.com explains that in 1827, the New York Anti-Slavery Law of 1827 law was passed. You would think this means Sojourner would be free and all would be well. Well that was not so. Biography.com tells us the story of how her master refused to free her, so she ended up running away. Later on, she became a preacher and that’s when she changed her name to Sojourner Truth. Sojourner means “traveler,” and she did just that–spent her time traveling and delivering lectures that support her position on social issues. She was involved in the anti-slavery movement, and by the 1850s she was involved in the women’s rights movement as well.

As part of one of her lecture tours, at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention held in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth delivered what is now recognized as one of THE most famous abolitionist and women’s rights speeches in American history. Read the original transcript of her speech that was posted in the Anti-Slavery Bugle newspaper on June 21st, 1851.  My favorite excerpts are:

“I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and eat as much too, if I can get it.”
“If woman has a pint and man has a quart- why can’t she have her little pint full?You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much- for we can’t take much more than our pint can hold.”

Such bold statements by Sojourner highlight her unapologetic plea for gender equality. She challenged racial and gender inferiority and inequality by reminding the audience of her combined strength and female status. Read the speech; it’ll give you chills. Just amazing.

She closes the speech with:

 “But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, and he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.”

I mean, can you imagine being in that room watching her speak to this crowd so strongly?? I want you to remember that this is the 1850’s, with slavery only recently abolished, and women being seen as inferior beings and “property,” yet here she is, standing up to it all!

This speech, although it’s what she’s most remembered for, wasn’t the only fierce thing Sojourner did. She was a BOSS in the courtroom, winning almost every case she took to court. I read about three iconic cases that she won on NotableBiographies.com and SojournerTruth.org. You can read about them by clicking on the site links. First, after she escaped and sought freedom, she sued for the return of her five-year-old-son who was illegally sold into slavery in Alabama and won that case. Then, in the mid 1860s, when a streetcar conductor tried to violently block her from riding, she took it up to the highest in the company and made sure he was arrested and ultimately fired. She won! Then even more wins: Sojourner was a part of a religious group and a couple from that group falsely accused her of trying to poison them. What did she do? Sue them for slander. What happened? She Won. BOSS.

woman looking into camera holding glasses

Photo Retrieved from BeSoBossy

Sojourner is an inspiration to me and I am thankful for her actions in the past because they have paved the way for my present, and the future of little girls all around the world. Imagine if we still couldn’t vote? If we think we’re going through difficulties now with this current administration, just imagine how worse things could have been in the past or could be now?? I mean recently we watched a disturbing meeting happen where a table full of male lawmakers sat and made decisions regarding funding for healthcare for women concerning abortion and women’s reproductive rights….without a woman around. What?? Make it make sense. Read it about it here.
“Hey guys, thanks for knowing what I need better than me.”

group of men sitting at conference table

Photo Retrieved from VP Mike Pence Twitter

So as we close Women’s History Month, I just wanted to talk about this woman that I am grateful for who had the “audacity” to stand up and speak out for women’s rights in a dangerous time. The advocacy continues on today. From Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Author and Social activist Bell Hooks who speak out on women’s rights and what it means to be a feminist, to any woman who has realized that she wasn’t getting equal treatment or pay and spoke up, to every single woman who marched in the Women’s March, our fight lives on and our victories continue to roll in. Happy Women’s History Month, darlings, and just remember: The fire doesn’t die out on April 1st.
Make history everyday!


Love You, Neff!



Women Empowerment in “The Final Reel”

by Robine Jean-Pierre

an unraveling reel of film

courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Last week, City Tech put on a play called “The Final Reel,” directed by Mark Lonergan and produced by Parallel Exit, in the Voorhees Theater. I was personally invested in the show, since our professor, John Huntington, had us participate in the load-in and other technical aspects of pre-production. We helped out in both my Technical Production and Sound Systems classes. I heard a lot of good about it but had no idea what to expect.

Here is the blurb from the City Tech Theatreworks website:
“The Final Reel is inspired by the iconic films Sherlock Jr and The purple Rose of Cairo. An eccentric historian discovers the holy grail of silent films: the final reel of a forgotten classic thought to be lost to history. As he presents the film for the first time in a hundred years, his bumbling assistant accidentally steps into the movie and falls in love with the heroine. The two-love birds step back into the modern world and the heroine is left to make a fateful decision – one that changes every night of performance with the help of the audience.”

Watching the rehearsal that afternoon, hours before opening night, was definitely a rewarding experience. I was fascinated by the technological creativity, the excellent acting, and the hilarious plot, with humor reminiscent of classic shows like Tom and Jerry. To top it all, what I did not expect was a deeper underlying theme that unearthed itself toward the end: women empowerment.

Perhaps what no one is expecting is that this aforementioned heroine happens to be the real Penny, the actress and playwright straight out of the film from one hundred years ago! She explains that it had all been a part of her plan to escape her own era, and “time travel” to one in which women would finally be recognized for their full potential and talent. It worked and now, here she is, in New York in 2018, where that dream could finally come true.

The “bumbling assistant” mentioned in the blurb earlier introduces her to the crowd (us in the audience), to which she feistily replies, more or less, “I don’t need an introduction, bucko. I can introduce myself, thank you very much.” It is hilarious and somewhat gratifying to realize just how bold, loud and sassy she is in real life–especially after having observed her charming, gentle and submissive demeanor when she was still in the silent film. Her “true colors” certainly were not expected of a woman during her time.

She explains that, as an actress and playwright, she had been marginalized and objectified by the men of her day. She was often treated like a doll rather than a dignified professional. Now she has the authority to write her own plays, act her own character, and fully put her talent to use, without any glass ceilings over her head. And her love interest will be her assistant, waiting on and submitting to her (willingly) rather than the other way around. The Voorhees Theater would not have to be closed after all.

I appreciate the fact that, although the play was quite lighthearted and comical, it presented us with a talented and intelligent woman who took herself seriously and earned everyone’s respect. And what better time to put this play on than in March? Happy Women’s History Month!

Life After Undergrad: Love yourself like you mean it

Three words, eight letters, say it like you mean it. No, I’m not talking about telling your kids or significant other that you love them every chance you get (though you should because life is short). No, I’m talking about reminding yourself that you love who you are unapologetically, every day. Self-love is the foundation for every other type of love we have in our lives, and it’s arguably the most important. For years in our adolescents (and sometimes beyond) we critiqued everything about our appearance, tried to be thinner, more athletic, have better skin, and so on; but now we’re adults and how many of us can say those habits haven’t followed us far into our 20s? I can admit that it followed me, and haunted me brutally after I had my daughter Ava, I couldn’t understand why I got such bad stretch marks, why I didn’t “snap back” and why that baby weight hung around for 10 months.

In all of this self-doubt we forget to love the good parts, how kind we are, how organized we can be, how good we are at crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Every morning I used to wake up and think of all the things I HAD to do, run through a mental list of these tasks that I had to check off and complete; but more recently I’ve started ignoring that mental list and finding positives like, today’s weather is going to be beautiful, I can’t wait to do _______ or just reminding yourself that you’ve got this. When you wake up feeling like you’ve got a handle on things and not the other way around you just feel better.

I’m far from perfect and I know I have my flaws but I’m slowly learning to turn even those into strengths, I’m learning to share, to let people help and most of all to trust in my abilities and what I can do. I try to face challenges or setbacks with poise and patience and not feel like everything has gone to shit because when I let that feeling of panic take over I ended up creating problems that weren’t there to begin with. Everyone has a new year new me goal (if you say you don’t- you sir are a liar!) even if they don’t broadcast it to the world and you know what; good for you. You owe it to yourself to be the best version of yourself that you know how to be—and love the crap out of yourself while doing it!

Look Book


I am an average dresser at best.

With a mix of old school event t-shirts, the same two or three pants and some semi-fancy tops, I’m more often than not wearing the same thing I wore last week. If I had the monetary means, I’m sure I’d dress in cooler clothes. But then again, I’d be too lazy to go shopping or pick them out, so maybe not.

(Materialism is a lot of work, I might as well stick to t-shirt and jeans…)

I asked my sister what I should write about in my blog today and she suggested I do one about my personal style. A recent social media trend has cropped up: #2012vs2018 and I began thinking about my own evolution and whether I’ve changed much at all. I thought about it for a little bit and I decided I should go fishing through my parents’ Facebook photos so as to provide you with a “look book” of sorts.

Below, you will find the style evolution of your dear Pebbles. We shall begin our journey somewhere in middle school, where I truly decided it was time to dress myself:


Middle school was peak awkwardness for me– Peak insecurity, too. 

I tried super hard to keep up with what other girls were wearing and ultimately failed. My parents never took us to Abercrombie and Fitch or gave a moment’s thought to Uggs. I felt resentment towards not being able to dress just like everyone else and that frustrated me. Because of this, I decided I would try to emulate some other things I thought were cool. Mainly, skater boys.

If I didn’t stand out as a “girly girl,” why couldn’t I stand out as a girl wearing some sick skater shoes?

Turns out, Vans are expensive. But, Nike came through with the dupes. They looked close enough to the “coo”l stuff that it was a-okay. As for the rest of me, I wore baggy t-shirts and cut off jeans in the summer time to finish off the look. (I believed fully that I was ballooning with fat and I wanted to hide it under something.) In the colder months, I had my trusty green cargo pants. (I thought I could emulate Kim Possible, but I looked like a thrift store reject pile instead.)

This Low-Effort tomboy vibe continued on to the earlier years of high school. Though, I decided to start dabbling in more traditionally “feminine” cuts of clothing and some makeup.


In high school, I spent the first two years looking over my shoulder and still trying to incorporate the more popular items into my outfits. But, again, I couldn’t afford 80% of those things and that made me feel sometimes helpless.

At the end of my sophomore year of high school, however, I lost a few friends who had moved on to other people who were more socially advanced than myself. Instead of wallowing, though, I decided I wouldn’t mind it and decided to do well for myself, by myself.

Junior and Senior year became my era of independence and just like shoulder pads in power suits in the ’80s, my dress sense sort of began morphing to reflect my new ready-for-power attitude. My love for Men’s Wear, a love that continues, began and I started taking inspiration from the looks of the semi-casual male professionals who whizzed by me on the streets of Manhattan. A balance of masculine elements with just enough femininity to distinguish me from the cringe worthy middle school experience.

I felt comfy and put together.

I wore these jeans from Old Navy with large patches on them so often that I wore them out sooner than I would have liked. I also almost exclusively wore my faux leather dress shoes, save for gym days.

My senior year also marked the first time I had ever put on a suit and it was the dopest feeling.


Now a-days, I continue to enjoy any occasion I can wear heels to. But in the day to day, I’ve learned to refine my love for jeans and a t-shirt. I do put in thought to what I wear, but I’m continuing to learn to dress for myself and not what others think of me. I don’t think I’ve ever actually CHANGED, but rather simply evolved and added new elements to a basic look I’ve been wearing all these years. It was never actually the clothes, but my relationship with those clothes because of my developing confidence…

While searching through old photos, I realized something. I was lucky to have developed a sense of self assurance earlier on. Despite never quite owning the newest and coolest thing, I’ve learned to embrace who I am and what I love. There are still those out there that never quite feel at ease in their own skin, never quite like how they look or feel…

“Confidence is hard,” a friend once told me, and it is. I wish I could go and tell others that they should love themselves always. I wish I could shoot super rays of self-love towards all the people around me, but I can’t. Loving yourself is a personal journey. You can’t force someone to love you back and the same goes for loving yourself.


All art by Pebbles!