After finally returning home to Detroit at around 2AM the morning after my last final, I had the pleasure of waking up to the looming deadline of another final paper I still had to submit. Summer couldn't start until that was finished, and of course I didn't get it in until eight minutes before the deadline. Alas, it was submitted and I was free. FREE. Looking back at it, the final paper offered me a good opportunity to reflect on the material of the semester. Because the class was based on the elections, it gave me a lot of academic and otherwise practical context to mentally support the summer election swing. November can't get here fast enough.
After finals, I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother on a trip to L.A. One of my best friends, Paul, also tagged along, and after an awful flight on Spirit airlines (never fly Spirit), we made it to LAX relatively unscathed.
In L.A. we did a little bit of everything. We visited The Getty, went on an impromptu (and moderately sketchy) tour through Hollywood, visited a museum, tried the "famous" but surprisingly disappointing Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles (we have a restaurant in Detroit named Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles which is much tastier, at least in my opinion), went to the beach in Santa Monica, and participated in other touristy things. A good time was had.
Most excitingly, I was able to catch up with some of my favorite Obies! I quickly learned last year that one of the greatest benefits of being a member of the Oberlin community is having a world-wide network. Every time I travel someplace I'm delighted to be able to meet-up with a friend. This time, I was able to connect with my fellow Bonner Scholar, Priyanka, and superstar California-native Charlotte.
College Debate 2016
Shortly after coming home from L.A., I went back to the golden state to participate in the first ever College Debate conference, an initiative sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. Myself and other students from various institutions around the country gathered at Dominican University of California to represent our state in a forum dedicated to promoting issues that matter to youth. An awesome line of speakers mixed with powerful conversations resulted in an experience that I was truly honored to take part in.
Fortunately, it's not quite over. Part two starts September 6th!
The Best Internship Ever
The week after I returned from #CollegeDebate16, I started what turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life. This experience truly warrants its own post, but time is fleeting. To say that I gained more experience than I could have possibly imagined is an understatement. I was fortunate to work in the Office of Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit on the communications team. Doing anything from drafting press releases to blogging to working on City social media, I spent every day tackling new tasks, challenging myself to exceed my limits, and realizing that my future is limitless.
The Formation Tour
Only the second day after starting my amazing internship experience, I experienced what it meant to experience Beyoncé live at The Formation Tour. Iconic. Some of my best friends came with, and that made it all the better.
(No one had hot sauce in their bag, just an FYI.)
Summer Sixteen Tour
After I had over a month to recover from Beyoncé, Drake and Future rocked the house. My friend Alicia came with and we both saw him live for the first time. Incredible. Even though the guy behind me managed to spill his entire...beverage...right on my shoes we still had a blast.
New York City
As sad as I was that my time in City Hall had ended (for now that is), I had no problem hopping on a plane to spend my birthday weekend in New York City. I stayed with my friend Brendan, a now repeat guest on the Oberlin Blogs, at Fordham University in the Bronx. I was able to spend time with one of my mentors, Atif Lodhi, who helped me navigate NYC public transit from the airport. I also got to meet with, as it always goes, some Obies! Sammie Jo, Max, and Roman to be exact. The highlight of my trip was being able to sit second-row and see Cynthia Erivo, Heather Headley, and Danielle Brooks absolutely bless the stage with their talents in the Broadway Revival The Color Purple. Danielle even signed my playbill!
Hanging With Friends
Throughout the summer I was fortunate to do a lot of this. Dinner and lunch dates, movies, walks along the beautiful Detroit riverfront, graduation parties, and all of the above made for a restorative summer. Fellowship with those I care deeply about has always brought me great joy; this summer reconfirmed that.
It wouldn't really have been summer without taking a plethora of photos capturing some of its greatest moments. Because I have so many, I decided to forgo attempting to post them all individually (which is extremely complicated and unexpectedly time-consuming) and to throw them all in a pretty Flickr album.