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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

By tomorrow, I will have experienced all program components of Public Allies in only 3 days time.  Breakdown:

Yesterday:
9 Hours of Placement
2 Hours of Coaching
2.5 Hours of TSP Planning Meeting

Today:
7 Hours of Training

Tomorrow:
4 Hours of SPEAK UP!

It’s all coming together, and it feels like as an entire cohort, we’re really onto something different, something good, something unheard of according to the Program Managers.  Still vague, still confusing, but I think we’re planning something great.  Note to self though: after all the planning is through, execution and adaptation are still key.

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Came across this video awhile back, and every time I watch it, it’s as good as the first time. A lot of the things that SuperB touches upon is how his community shaped his identity…or should I say how his community confused his identity?

I’ve always believed that the community you surround yourself shapes how you view yourself and the Public Allies Los Angeles community has been the community of support, challenge, and knowledge that I needed at this point in my life. I can honestly say that I’ve changed a lot through the program and it’s not even over.

Watch the video. If you find a connection with it, maybe PALA is for you.

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Got a haircut today.  Some conversations from the Manila Barbershop close to Santa Monica and Vermont went as follows:

“You Pilipino?” “Opo.”  “Talaga…?  No half?”  “Hindi po.”  “You don’t look like a Pilipino.  Pilipinos don’t have this one (pokes his comb at my beard).  That’s why Pilipinos don’t know how to shave!  Maybe you’re from Mindanao? Di ba?  Oh, so how do you want your hair?  Like mine?”

10 minutes later… “Oh, sige…  Now I’ve made you handsome!”  “Now???”  “Oo, oo,  kasi, before you were ok, now you are handsome!”  “Kahit ano po…  magkano ba…?

Did exchanges in the barber’s chair touch upon sensitivities and tensions I had brought to the surface around exclusion/inclusion with regards to Pilipino identity, and the Fil-Am community?  Yes.  Was I still very happy to be in a barbershop my dad used to bring me to when I was a kid?  Yes.  Where else around LA do I get to see a bunch of lolos and lolas watching a Laker game, shootin the shit, and doing random stuff like moving an exercise bike out of the barbershop and into one of the pare’s nearby apartments?

Do I feel a strong sense of inclusion in this tiny barbershop community?  Not really.  Do I feel a strong sense of exclusion due to the perceptions that manifest in the interactions that take place there?  Not really.  I suppose it’s more nostalgia that keeps me coming back.  Oh yeah, and my usual barber here looks kinda like DJ Rhettmatic

 

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