Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
Our group began planning ways in which we could best execute the project. With that said, we all had different understandings of what we hoped to accomplish by the completion of the benchmark. After some discussion, we agreed that the mission of our group is to raise the city’s awareness of the frequency and general amount of home abandonment in Philadelphia. We took into account ways in which information is successfully conveyed to us, and applied things like social networking, visual art, and film into our project.
One of our first ideas was to have a small-scale model of a Philadelphia neighborhood, emphasizing the ripple effect of an abandoned home. It was my job to create the model and my initial thought was to make it using birdhouses. The model would then be placed in an open urban environment with a QR code attached. We considered places like Rittenhouse Square and along side the Schuylkill River. As we continued to flesh out the details of the QR code and which of the many places we could have placed it, we came to the realization that birdhouses are not easy to come by. So we ditched the birdhouse idea, and stuck to flyers.
The division of the workload wasn’t an issue for my group. Since we hoped to have an up and running website, flyers posted throughout the city, a video (PSA), social networking pages (Facebook and Twitter), and a letter addressed to Mayor Michael Nutter, there was definitely enough work to go around. Korah and Michael paired up to work on the video and website, while Anthony and I wrote the letter to the Mayor and composed the flyers. We collectively shared input on the social networking sites and did so seamlessly. Overall, we successfully divided and conquered.
With Drake being my favorite current-day MC/artist, for my sculpture I chose to light up Drake’s eyebrows using a parallel circuit. Specifically his eyebrows because they are his most famous physical feature. With three bulbs in each eyebrow, the bulbs brightness is at its peak and powered by a 9-volt Duracell battery.
As an individual who is bi-lingual, my personal experience with balancing different languages has at times proved to be trickier than one would think. Being born and raised in a place where the majority of the people I encounter on a daily basis speak English was quite different from the language I spoke at home. My parents are immigrants from Ethiopia, where the official language there is known as Amharic. The language is apart of the many Semitic languages that are native to that area of the world. As an Ethiopian-American I would initially master English, before being able to learn Amharic. Once I turned 7, my parents would send my brother and me to Ethiopia, to spend a whole summer with extended family before school would start. There is where I would be exposed to a different lifestyle, one that was exceptionally unique from my life in the United States, but ultimately being forced to take up a new language.
It all started when my uncle Tilahun would greet us at the airport.
He yelled out, “Enkwan dena metachu!”
This means “Welcome home/here!” I smiled
hesitantly, for this man was absolutely new to me, but I knew I was with
family. My brother at the time would be the one to engage anyone in
conversation for he had already managed to master the language. He replied
back, “Enkwan dena kwayachu” which translates to “Glad to be here.” We made our way to baggage claim to get
our luggage and soon afterwards we were in the back of my uncles old-school
truck. The trip to his house took forever, as my brother and I would
occasionally glance at one another, while we both looked out the windows
observing what would be our new home. We finally arrived and would be met by
four of my male cousins who were eager to see our faces. We made our way inside
and were shown to our rooms, as we were starting to unpack, my grandmother came
in, “Tsion, yene lidge adegeshal, ende enastash te meshlialish” which
translates to “Tsion, my child your getting big, your starting to look like
your mother.” I replied back with
the little Amharic that I knew; “Egserestelin” (Thank You) and I smiled. My
grandmother knew that I had a lot to learn still, while she hugged me.
Yet, I would manage to pick up the language relatively fast, for over the next the couple of weeks, the biggest lesson I would learn wouldn’t come from my family, but from the kids in the neighborhood. It was a warm day, I wore my white dress that my mom had bought back in the states and I was eager to show it off. I was accompanied by one of my younger cousins, for he was my guide while my brother was away with my uncle exploring the city. My cousin introduced me to his school friends and I met two other girls named Gelila and Wusho. They were friendly, with two white bright smiles, long hair, and their jean jacket outfits. For a second, I even thought they were twins. One of them carried a jump rope and the other a bright set of colored chalk. “Enechawet!” said Wusho, which meant, “Let’s play”. I replied back, “Ishe”, which means, “Okay”.
We started jumping rope and would take turns when one of messed up and got caught up in the rope. They taught me different words as we played while they sang songs. I would repeat what they would say and gradually I would end up managing to speak more fluently. The sun was soon making its way westward, which meant that we needed to go home. We said bye to one another, “Chow Tsion” and I replied back “Chow Wosho” “Chow Gelila”. My cousin and I made our way back home, to find my brother drinking coffee with my uncle. “How was your day, Tsion?” my brother asked, “It was good, I think I’m getting Amharic now”, I replied back.
If it wasn’t for those two girls that would spark my interest in learning Amharic, I think I wouldn’t have ever let myself learn. My parents were amazed to see me speak it so fluently, when we came back, because I was able to understand every word they would say and be able to respond back. This relates to James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn’t A Language, Then Tell Me, What is?” in which he states, “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order to not be submerged by a reality that they cannot articulate.” This factor is what forced me or influenced me to take up a new language, because of the situation that I was placed in. Ultimately, it made me draw further connections to people and further/better my communication with others.
Nosotros fuimos a Perú
Tambo Del Inka Resort and Spa Valle Sagrado
Esta en Urubamba River en Perú. Nosotros los quedamos aquí para dos semanas. Fue $250 para una noche.
La Plaza Mayor
Es en Lima. El capital de Perú. Fuimos para tomar fotos y el a ver la iglesia.
Es un cuidad que es famoso en Perú.
La playa nosotros venimos aquí la noche de visitar.
Es la cuidad blanca es muy famosa para la iglesias. Pero yo y Lupe fuimos a las compras y comimos mas en la cuidad.
cuidad es muy grande. Nosotros visitamos la playa pero es muy aburrida.
Es una famosa cuidad en Perú para las playas. Muchas personas pasar el tiempo en la playas. Yo y Lupe visitamos Máncora mas por qué es muy ocupado y divertido.
Es en un mas grande canon en el mundo. Por esto nostros visitamos una vez.
“Are you sure you’re not even part Indian?”
Rarely this is intended to be a joke, but more of a genuine question. Even so, this scenario becomes all too old. The fact that people have the audacity to tell another person what ethnic background they come from, seems to confuse me even until this day. At this point of the conversation I’m bored, irritated, and surprised that I’m still entertaining this person.
There was always a question of whether or not my family and I would move back to Ethiopia, permanently. Having a name like Tsion Habtamu isn’t the easiest to live with in America. Tsion (See·Own) or Zion in English has a biblical root, and at a young age, I was taught the meaning of my name. Since then I’ve always been confident of my identity. When I first enrolled in school it was amusing and interesting to hear teachers and other students struggle with my name.
To me it seemed liked the simplest name to pronounce, and at the age of 5, I also thought everyone was living in my world. Attending the same small school for majority of my childhood made it much easier on me growing up. But coming to SLA was a wake up call, not everyone was used to hearing my name. I suppose that the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve coped with standing out. Your name is supposed to define who you are, and I’ve had difficulty with deciding whether or not I thought my name did just that. This doubt was purely influenced by people who were unwilling to accept who I was. It was only rather recently that I fully accepted my own name and background, and conversations like these make me realize that not everyone will always accept me, and I have to be ok with that. My patience for society is running low, but I attempt to keep a positive attitude towards those in my surroundings.
“I think I would be the one to know where I’m from,” is how I would normally respond to this question. Most people take offense at this point, but often forget how it must feel to have this conversation numerous times. This isn’t to say that people aren’t particularly amazed by name, in a good way. I’ve had soon-to-be mothers ask me to repeat my name in admiration, promising that they will name their daughters’ Tsion. Those are the same people who inspire me to live up to it. And to the rest of society, my apologies for not being named Sarah, Hanna, or Ashley. My apologies for being different.
If you talk to other people form other countries you can tell them how it feels in each season.