Friday in Pictures+Words

Fridays are supposed to be my day off. Keywords: supposed to. One thing about my current schedule is that I work on Saturdays. I don’t really enjoy that but I’ve gotten quite used to it. I use Fridays to plan care/doctor’s visits, grocery shop, sleep “in,” dream about working out, and pay bills. Believe it or not, I do need a whole morning to pay bills. Planning, setting up payments, browsing online, and deciding what my “splurge” will be that pay period takes time.

Yesterday, my day went a little different.

I woke up and went to work from 9ish-2:15ish. I work at a middle school and yesterday I had a pretty good session with a bilingual (Spanish-English) 8th grader. She requires support formulating sentences that are clear in meaning and grammatically correct. She basically writes the way she talks, in a “stream of consciousness” that tends to leave the reader confused because her thoughts run all together. I am trying to work with her in a way that she can understand that there are certain things we can say but not write. That there’s nothing wrong with the way she speaks, however, when we write we have to stick to conventions. We revised an essay she had previously written, and she seemed to trust me and enjoy the editing process. I enjoyed being able to code-switch and hopefully give her some functional strategies whenever she has a writing assignment. I’m thankful that I’m able to work with students supporting them academically, and teaching them that writing is a beautiful thing and not something to be feared or detested.

I don’t know if you caught that a couple of month’s back I glazed over the fact that my new iPad mini was stolen at the middle school. Before lunch I got a call from a gentleman who said his son bought an iPad for $100 from someone, they took it to someone to try and “unlock” it and my “stolen property” message popped up with my number. He decided to Do the Right Thing like Spike Lee. 🙂 Let’s pray this intention has a happy ending.

Lunch was a nice free treat. I got to choose from this spread.

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After I left the middle school, I headed over to Howard University to attend the Honors and Awards Program for the Senior Dental, Dental Hygiene and Postdoctoral Dental Programs. While at Howard, I worked and became very close to one student doctor in particular. All dentists are not “people dentists,” some could really use some lessons in bedside manner. My student doctor taught me that first and foremost patients are people. This has been something that I know firsthand as a speech therapist but now I hold other professionals to the standard. Dr. Brown is the sweetest person and most gentle doctor I’ve ever worked with. I had to go support. I’m a baby about any dental work, therefore, it’s not often that I acknowledge someone is gentle, knowledgeable and all-around great as she is!

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Somebody was getting the Graduation “side-eye.” lol

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After I left Howard, I needed a place to go and do some paperwork. Coffee shops tend to be the go-to places, however I had picked up a flyer about this new-age “shared work space” called Cove. When I typed it in my GPS, there was one location like 8 minutes away at 1624 14th Street in Columbia Heights. I’ll write another post soon as to why this is my ideal “productivity” place. Whoever thought of creating this space should be making big bucks soon because it appeals to: artists who are suddenly struck by the muse and need a quiet space to release, self-employed folk who can’t work in the busyness of coffee shops, academics who need “group-friendly” spaces for studying and or writing dissertations, ANYONE who is perpetually distracted at home, and a person who travels around the City for work and needs an “office-on-the-fly.” I sat in my corner of productivity for about 3 hours. All because the first trial was free. Thanks Cove! Check here to see if Cove has arrived to your city!

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Don’t mind if I do!

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All in all, I can say that although it was a “busy” day, it was a good day. I didn’t spend the day dreading about work the next day, and I got to enjoy the day at my own pace. Every other Friday is also payday and I can’t be mad at that!

Looking forward to more productive Fridays, on my watch!


PS- Congrats to all the 2015 graduates!

Friday in Pictures+Words

Everyday DC Sights

I’ve been trying to honor DC with a post for a couple of days, now. Life keeps getting in the way. As I’m officially a DC resident (15 months counts, right?) I’ve come to know this place in ways only a non-driving, loan-budgeting graduate student can. So, here are some of things I’ve come to learn and know about DC.

Mumbo/Mambo Sauce– I have no idea where the craze for mumbo sauce was born. I don’t even know how to spell it because of DC’ers unique pronunciations. The sauce is reddish/burgundy in color and can be requested at any Chinese food establishment to be devoured on wings, among other foods. Although I’m not a big sauce person, I tried it. It tasted like a concoction of barbeque and hot sauce mixed together. Nothing to write home about. But, still, big enough to get a mention.

Round-about’s– These dizzying road diversions are abundant in the District. If you’re driving, get ready to yield and cautiously exit at least 2 to get from one neighborhood to another. 

Go-Go music– You can only appreciate this music genre (locally born) by listening to it. So do it. Basically every popular song you know, has a Go Go version. It’s more about the beat and the mood it puts you in. Learn about The Godfather of Go Go, Chuck Brown.

Don’t Own a Bike here– I don’t know what the statistics are on bike theft in DC, but I have heard that people “saw” U-locks in broad daylight and no one does anything about it. I read an article in the free newspapers that were giving commuters tips on which TWO bike locks to purchase and how to lock their bikes down to prevent theft. There’s currently a Tumblr for people to list-serv their stolen bikes. Sad, but true. Also, if you’re in the mood for an amusing true-life bike theft story, read the City Paper’s Ride it Like it’s Hot column.

Howard University’s Homecoming– Anybody who’s anybody knows there’s nothing like Howard’s homecoming. I didn’t attend this year’s festivities but it is something I look forward to coming back and being apart of as alumni.

New Balance sneakersDC folks love them some New Balances. Don’t ask me why.

And now for the visuals:

Row-home kitty…
Sculpture Garden
World-War I memorial during the March on Washington 2013
Metro Bus.
Mouth of the underground metro
Inside the metro station
Fall in Columbia Heights
Capitol Hill


Have you ever been to DC? If so, what were your lasting impressions? If not, would you like to visit?

Everyday DC Sights

Haiti: Part 1

This is happening!


I literally could not sleep on Saturday night (March 9th) as the time had finally come to accept the fact that THIS WAS REALLY HAPPENING. I was going to spend 8 days serving in Haiti! This is the second time in my school career where I had gotten the chance to travel somewhere that made people go… WHAT? WHY? ARE you crazy? Are you serious?!

The first place was back in 2008 when I decided to take Spanish classes in Guayaquil, Ecuador (you can read more about that experience here). Everyone thought it would be more appropriate to go to Spain or Argentina…but I’m a bit of a non-conformist. This time around, I didn’t tell anyone that I was going to Haiti until the week of. Considering that I don’t know how many opportunities I would have to have an all-expenses paid trip to serve, I considered myself not having anything to loose and everything to gain. AND I WAS TOTALLY RIGHT!

We landed in Port-Au-Prince around 2pm to the heat that typically greets you on most Caribbean islands. The only difference was that this heat was not humid in nature, but more dry heat. The mountains that surround the landscape are not green, but brown, but still very mystical in nature. The name given by the original inhabitants of Haiti (Carib tribe and Taino Indians) is Ayiti or Ayti (sounds like eye-ti) meaning “mountainous land” or “land of high mountains.” After we loaded all our luggage and everyone in two vans, we were on the road.


Riding through Port-Au-Prince, there was much to see. The streets were constantly busy; full of colorful and creative buses (the first car you see on the right side of the video), street vendors, lots of people going about their business, and dust for days (most main roads were paved, but not all of them).

Chillaxin at the lounge area upstairs, which we renamed Busboys and Poets.

When we finally reached the compound, we were in for a day of Haitian food (more on that in a later post- for the FOODIES!), acclimating ourselves to the compound, and getting to know one another. It was a nice relaxing Sunday. I tried to get some school work done with the hopes that our power didn’t go out. This compound, and trip, was not meant for divas or for people who are anti-bugs (I don’t think any Caribbean island is made for those who can’t embrace the outdoors). I’m pretty low maintenance for a chick 🙂 and was more nervous about mosquitoes than anything (thank God for OFF! and sleeping nets).


As I mentioned in my previous post, we stayed at the compound of the Haitian American Caucus, which doubles as a school for the community (shameless plug: If you’re interested in a long-term volunteer opportunity in Haiti, visit their website). Monday morning around 7:30am, we heard the children running around downstairs playing basketball and awaiting their Flag Ceremony, a daily routine likened to our Pledge of Allegiance. During the Flag Ceremony, the children sing a hymn and then recite their national anthem while being led by their director. The first day included hearing screening, dental screenings and infectious diseases education (on malaria, the importance of washing your hands, etc) and we also got the opportunity to help with the English language classes in the afternoon. It was a busy day, but so rewarding!

Lining up for Flag Ceremony!

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Dental screenings
Dental screenings
Hearing Screenings!


Stay tuned for more!

MOTS (Moral of the Story): Go against the grain!

Haiti: Part 1