Archive | December, 2011

Profound Hip Hop Quote #47: A “Rek” in the 25th Hour

31 Dec

“We are in the 25th hour it’s now or never
We got to get .. forever remember
Time waits for no man
what’s your plan? “

—“25th Hour” by Reks (Produced by DJ Premier)

ReksWith less than 24 hours left in the new year, I pondered, “what would be a profound rap song to close out 2011?”  Then I thought about the song 25th hour by Reks (Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme).  Now if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out who or what in the world REKS is, I was in the same position of wonderment about a half a year ago.  My husband actually put me on to the Boston native who has a butter, quick witted flow but has, for the most part, remained in the underground circuit.

On his third studio, he paired up with DJ Premier to deliver the “25th Hour.”  Most people, at some point, are guilty of saying, “I’ll get around to it tomorrow,” “I’ll start my goal in the new year,” or “I’ve still got time.”  Nevertheless, there are moments when the sense of urgency is building, and “it’s now or never.”   Think about all of the goals, hopes and dreams that you might have deferred thinking you have more time to get around to achieving them.

It’s necessary to have that passion and determination to get to your destination in life.  On countless occasions, people have asked for more time or wished that they had just one more hour in the day to get tasks accomplished.  Let’s say there was a 25th hour….how many people would use it effectively, and how many would use it to get an extra hour of sleep?  Remember, as Reks says, “Time waits for no man…what’s your plan?”

Please feel free to share your thoughts

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
Reks not  uses a hyperbole. “We are in the 25th hour”  is an exaggeration utilized to stress the importance of time or lack thereof.  Also, Reks utilizes personification.    “Time waits for no man”  Many people have uttered this adage; however, time is given a human characteristic as though we can negotiate with it.


Ten Things I’ve Got Planned for 2011: Mission Completed (January – December)

31 Dec

Tanya Harris' Vision Board1. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was the ideal body.  Therefore, I will keep working out four to five days a week to be nicely toned for the summer of 2011.
Since August, I’ve not only been using the “Perfect Sit-Up” at least six days a week, but I’ve also been completing cardio exercises with Wii Fit as well as “Your Shape Evolved” on Xbox Kinect such as yoga, step aerobics and kick boxing, which is a lot of fun. With the change in weather  (cold and rainy) as well as the days getting shorter, it has presented a bit of a hurdle with consistently  and walking and jogging six to seven days a week outside.  However, the Nike Plus program continues to keep me motivated , so I’ve been walking on the treadmill in the college gym or even walking the halls to cover mile miles which has been quite invigorating.  The app “Lose it” is still beneficial, and as a result of using it, I have become far more cognizant of what I’m eating.  The Active Women time release vitamin and adding flaxseed and wheat germ to my meals to get more nutrients has been helpful too.

2. My intellectual, spiritual and creative journey is essential for my well-being, and I will be sure to submit a blog entry at least once a week.  Stop by when you can to check out my new entries.
This is my 83rd blog submission. and even though I was shooting for at least 100 entries by the end of the year, I am satisfied with my achievement.  I often underestimate how busy I am going to be when the semester begins, and the balancing act begins from August through mid December.  I did, however, surpass my goal of 1500 by the end of the year by getting 2420!

3. I have many gifts, and writing poetry is one of them, so I will relentlessly assert myself to become synonymous with the spoken word and poetry slam circuit.  Who knows, I may complete enough poems to publish a chapbook or have some choice entries in major publications.
 Even though I have not been writing as much as I think I could have, I’ve still been working on ideas and writing down daily musings.  Check out some of my spoken word performances on You Tube.  You can find me under Anonomz.

4. People often say, “It’s a small world,” but many of us have yet to leave our own neighborhood, city, or state, let alone the country or continent for that matter.  I plan to travel more extensively this year and hope to visit outside of the country…perhaps for a destination wedding.  I haven’t done any traveling since getting married in the Dominican Republic; nevertheless, it was a memorable experience, and I’ am looking forward to traveling to a couple of places in the new year.

5. Everybody is busier than ever and cannot spare a moment for family and friends even though vast amounts of technology are supposed to help people get more done and have more time,.  I will make a more conscious effort to reach out to family and friends and demonstrate my appreciation and love for them the” Old fashioned” way: the occasional phone call, letters, visits and tokens of my appreciation.
As previously stated in August,  I’ve been channeling my energy into those whom I spend time with and see regularly and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated, and maybe one day the others will have time to fit me in their schedules.

6. I love writing and refuse to die with my many stories being left untold; as a result, I will begin working on and brainstorming about  other literary ventures such as colorful stories and children’s book ideas and see where it takes me…maybe to the best seller’s list one day!
I love writing, and have been incorporating it into my everyday schedule which has actually been rather busy these past few months.  I have a gratitude journal and occasionally jot down ideas throughout the course of the day.  I also purchased a few books which I’ve been reading to help me with the writing process.  Even though I know this goal will more than likely span into the next couple of years in order to have a completed project, I am fully immersed in the process.

7. Health is necessary for longevity.  To continue  improving my financial, physical and spiritual health, I will conduct research and keep working on the economical game plan, exercise regularly and meditate , and read and apply spiritual and motivational literature on a frequent basis.
Now that the wedding has come and gone, the saving begins with purchasing a house.  My husband and I are doing really well with the monthly contributions towards this goal, and I am hopeful that we will be ready to start looking for a house in the new year.  Also, I’ve paid off my car loan and am in a rally good place financially to get the occasional want, not just needs.   This year, I have been exercising regularly, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and taking vitamin supplements.  I am happy to report that I have not been sick all year, and I think my exercising and eating healthy foods has a lot to do with it.   I’ve also been doing more meditating, specifically transcendental meditation, two times a day for twenty minutes a piece, and I do feel more balanced and relaxed.   The brain exercises have certainly improved my mental acuity.  I’m also on my third set of lessons for Rosetta Stone’s Spanish courses and am enjoying the learning process.  I can honestly say that I feel fantastic!  

8. “You should be an actor!” is what family, friends and even my students tell me.  I used to act when I was younger and loved being on stage, so I will explore my theatrical abilities by taking a college level acting class in the spring 2011 semester staring January 10.  It’s going to be interesting potentially being in class with some of my own students, but it will be fun I’m sure.
My acting class went extremely well, and I finished the course with an “A!”  I learned a great deal from the experience and would love to take another course.  For my final, I actually performed in a scene as a drunk southern belle which is totally out of character for me.  You can check out my scene on You Tube under Anonomz.

9. As a person who  has finicky eating habits, family and friends jokingly say, “A fancy restaurant for her is a place that serves pizza, chicken or turkey burgers.”  I enjoy fine dining and feel guilty that people are limited in their restaurant selections when going out with me. In an attempt to break out of this habit, I will try at least one new food item every other month…once a month if the mood strikes me.
Out of my ten goals, I am extremely proud of achieving this one because it was initially the most difficult.  Interestingly, trying new foods has actually been much easier that I thought it would be.  Once I tried the fried calamari, the shrimp, eggplant, sushi and plantains, to name a few, the rest were no problem.  There’s something liberating about trying different foods.  Maybe it’s the ability to step outside of my comfort zone and to do something daring.  Perhaps trying new foods is just the beginning.  After this, I might feel more comfortable with trying different hobbies or activities that I would normally shy away from.  

10.  Lastly, in recent years I’ve learned that I cannot be everything to everyone, but year after year I still try to make family, friends, students, and colleagues happy sometimes at my own expense: monetarily, physically and emotionally.  To use an analogy, I love filling up their glasses of water, but I have to make sure my pitcher of water remains filled too in 2011.
I’m steadily improving in this area and have found that the more I say “no” or “I’ll think about it” so that I am not overwhelmed, the easier it becomes.  I still have to get over the guilt issues, but I’m happy with my progress..

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

All the best,

Tanya

What once was “the new year” is almost over in less than 24 hours.  Did you manage to stay on track with the things you had planned for 2011?  Please feel free to share.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #46: It’s Like a Jungle Sometimes, So Listen for the Message

3 Dec

“Don’t push me ‘cuz I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to lose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under
It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under “

—“The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

The MessageWho hasn’t heard the statement “It’s like a jungle sometimes?”  Released over a three decades ago, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s  rap song, “The Message” still reigns true today and is a timeless classic; why would it not be profound?  Of course, some of the references made in the song may not apply today or may have evolved into other issues, but most people who grew up in the 80s or even the 90s are familiar with the hook and sing along passionately as they swing on vines and vines of problems and truck through the muck and the mire of life.

There is a sense of urgency and intense emotion expressed in the hook.  “Don’t push me ‘cuz I’m close to the edge.”  How do people really know when they are “close to the edge?” Most use their intuition and draw conclusions based on how they are feeling, what they can see, how their current circumstances look and sometimes what others tell them?  Why do some people invite the “edge” and view it as an opportunity to improve their survival instincts rather than a frightening ordeal where they will not survive should they be “pushed” over the edge?

If you agree with the statement, “It’s like a jungle sometimes,” then why not plan accordingly?  If you see the “edge” coming or know that its approach is imminent, why not strategize how you will handle it?  Will you jump to the nearest vine, try to back pedal in hopes of preventing the inevitable, jump clear over the edge because you just can’t take it anymore or do nothing and pretend that the edge does not exist, resulting in your eventual downfall?

We all have our own jungles involving work, school, finances, relationships, family, etc. Our survival instincts are what keep us “from goin’ under,” but it is our preparation and intense training for the “jungle” that not only makes life bearable but challenges people so that they cannot only see what they are capable of handling but to help them get to the beautiful aspects of this “jungle.”  Who do you think would be the most industrious and resourceful and manage to fair well in life: the person who has tackled the swamp, quick sand and crocodiles of life head on or the person who constantly complains and is too scared to face the challenges presented, focusing more so on the gooey swamp water rather than how they are going to successfully get to the other side by finding a vine? How are you surviving in this jungle of life?

Please feel free to share your though

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
The Message uses the simile, “It’s like a jungle sometimes”  to demonstrate how difficult and challenging life can be.  To use a jungle indicates that it is quite likely that only those who have survival instincts will make it through.  Also, the song uses an idiomatic expression which contains a hyperbole.  “Don’t push me ‘cuz I’m close to the edge.  I’m trying not to lose my head…”  Of course, there is not a literal “edge,” but the phrase suggests that he is unable to endure any more of the circumstances of life and that the next issue may result in a nervous breakdown.  Furthermore, a person cannot actually lose his or her head, unless there was a guillotine  or another sharp instrument involved, but a person can lose his or her mental capacities due to being overwhelmed by stressful situations.

Take a look at my rendition of “The Message” for my students.