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Feb 6 / Yakeem Tatum

A Break The Broke In Time And Broke Off Too Soon

Does the title of this blog make sense? I hope so. If not, allow me to elaborate. Unless you got where I was going. Did you? Well even if you did, I’ll still clarify. Don’t want to leave anything up to the wonderful and creative thing that is the Human Imagination. Winter Break came in time like a blanket that had come straight out of the dryer when you are cold. It was like laying down in your bed when you had a super busy day dealing with people that you can’t stand to deal with, but you have to stand to deal with because you are moving from this place to that place at work. It came in time and was appreciated. On a side note: Whenever I am in a time of relaxation or at the start of break. I always think towards the future and go, “I am going to be thinking, no hoping, to be in this moment that I am currently in right now, so I should enjoy it for future me.” Seriously that’s what I think at the start of any trip or time that is set aside for myself. So when Winter Break began, I found myself becoming a selfish individual in the realm of me doing what I wanted to do, because I wanted to do it. This liberating feeling made me stay in my room, sleep a whole lot, play video games, hang out with friends and family and be by myself. It was GREAT!! I remember thinking about the AWFUL semester I had and acknowledging that there were many others that had WAY worst semesters than I did. So I felt a sense of gratitude. I also thought about the reason for my trials and tribulations. On another note: I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that last semester had a positive affect on me. I mean, I left that semester stronger than I was before it. I made some connections that are beneficial to me, and have a deeper appreciation for “struggle.” I also have the understanding that my struggle is not equvalent to the struggles of some other people. I am just grateful for my situation and the place that I am and was at. In conclusion: break started and ended and now I am doing another show. What show? Find out in the next blog post.

Dec 6 / Yakeem Tatum

This Semester was NOT my Favorite

November came and went and here am I, done with a show and I have another one to go. Great start to the blog already. Was wondering how I could top my last one. I began to think, do I disregard it? Be my own true self? Then I thought, “Why am I thinking about that?” Just write what you feel and see what happens. See where it goes. The show that I did was A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I played Lysander. The role was not an easy one. During my audition, I knew that if I was to be cast in anything, that it was not going to be this show. I KNEW this. I mean, I had never done Shakespeare before and during the audition, I didn’t even know what I was saying. And to top that off, I didn’t even read for Lysander. I read for Oberon. My knowing that I was not going to be cast in the show turned out to be false in the grand scheme of things but it made me think of something. It made me think about the way in which I judge myself. This semester has not been one filled with smiles and rainbows for me. It has been a gut-wrenching nightmare capable of bringing tears…. to a person not as masculine and manly as me, for I would never cry… because that is not what men do and I am a man…. a strong man… So manly that I must capitalize the word MAN…. (Quite the run on sentence.) But the semester was rough and I am normally one to go with the flow, well sort of. I plan, but leave a lot of wiggle room within the plan because I know that life happens, and when it comes to my life craziness is the norm. The things that were happening to me were outside of the school. They were personal and familiar (think of family, not like similar… just a little guidance for your understanding). This year, I became a Resident Advisor, but of course, the year that I become a Resident Advisor a rule is created that, guess what, directly affects me. This rule was that Resident Advisors could not work on campus outside of working in the Barnes and Noble Bookstore or working with Aramark, the on-campus food services. Did I spell Aramark correctly? Oh well, it doesn’t matter because I can’t work for them. Yeah, that was the point I was getting to. Why? Well before I get there, I’ll get to why RA’s (Resident Advisors. Just clarifying so you know from now on) cannot work on campus besides the places I mentioned. It has to do with the rule, oh I’m sorry, the law that says that college students are only allowed to work 20 hours a week on campus. Well the year that I became an RA the position was considered a job, and it technically is a 24 hour, 7 days a week job. The point is that the RA position takes the 20 hours a week college students are allowed to work. This meant that I could not use my work-study, which I was using in the Theatre department because my busy schedule that comes with being in the Theatre Department revolves around the Theatre Department so I could work while doing things that were requirements for my degree. With this being taken away, I am unable to work. Why? Because my schedule is quite literally, class then rehearsal. Class not only means class either. It entails me having to usher for shows (a requirement) and do a non-performance class (another requirement). This leaves me with not a lot of time to work. Going back to the dining services (Aramark) and the Bookstore, RAs can work there because they are not apart of Wayne State University. I, however, cannot work there because they will not hire me if I am only available to work 2 to 4 hours a week. I probably should have mentioned this earlier I come from a low-income household, so there isn’t much money as it is and RAs do not get monetary compensation. We instead get free room and board, which I am extremely grateful to get. The thing is that, outside of Wayne State University, how am I, a person that comes from a low-income household with a small family, supposed to live. Now I knew of this new rule before I took the job, so I prepared. I racked up my money in the summer to survive. I, however, did not account for emergencies, because the amount of time that I had to work during the summer. SIDE NOTE: I spent half of my summer in Moscow, Russia studying the Stanislavsky Method ( a form of acting). So with me having money, but not having enough to live with on top of taking care of emergencies, of course, 2 emergencies happened, and my money went from “Yeah that’ll do” to “Well, my wallet is choking”. On top of that my mother said: “Well, I am going out of town, see you when I get back…. whenever that is.” My lack of money resulted in me having to drop a class because I could not afford the book and program to access it. So I guess how am I gonna get the need things to pass my class is a part of the question. So with that bag of not goodness, I found myself falling into a pit of… not goodness (didn’t want to use a different word) that crept into my academics. This all translated into me becoming incredibly negative towards myself. And I didn’t even realize this because I didn’t acknowledge it, which is not good, might I add. So everything hit me even harder when it did hit because I had been trying to ignore it. This lead to me seeing a fault in myself. I am extremely hard on myself and think that I am always inadequate. Even when I am confident I think I am inadequate. This strange realization would not have been possible if this semester did not happen the way it did. With that being said: I am not happy that it happened the way that it did. I am instead grateful. It has helped me realize something about myself that I am working on.

PS. I thought I had published this blog on November 30th. Turned out it was saved to my drafts. Looks like another funfilled anicdote will be coming soon.

Oct 18 / Yakeem Tatum

Me Writing on the Internet??

Now I regularly have one sided conversations with readers that are either myself (when I am journaling) or my teachers …..(when I am forcibly journaling for class), but this is different. This is on the World Wide Web. Where I can’t just say something that I want to keep to myself or between my professor and I. This is for anybody that comes across it to see. That instills a bit of responsibility and a bit of power within me. I can say something that could land me or others in hot water. I mean, backspacing is a thing, but once it’s unleashed into the world. That is where it stays. All of this power and responsibility reminds me of my favorite Super Hero. Kite Man….. you thought I was gonna say someone else didn’t you. I mean I set it up and everything. Before I hinted at a possible mentioning of a hero. I brought up keywords, hoping that you as the reader would begin thinking about a particular hero. I wanted you to go on a personal journey with me. I even stepped away from the words going back to the topic of the Internet, all so I could sneak up on you and unleash the thing you were waiting for. But right when you thought I was going to go there, I didn’t. I went to another place. Kite Man? Who is even Kite Man, you may be asking? If you don’t even know who I was talking about before, you may be asking, “Who were you talking about?” Those are quite a few questions. Before I answer them, I want to thank you for getting to this point. For taking this interesting dive into who I am as a person, although you don’t really know that yet. Maybe you do though. I mean this blog, so far, has taken you almost on a roller coaster ride of in cohesiveness. Perhaps this is similar to Pulp Fiction. If you are not aware Pulp Fiction is a Quentin Tarantino film, where some of the dialogue can come off as unnecessary and irrelevant, but it all serves the purpose of building the characters. Could this blog be like that? Could it be allowing you as the reader to understand who CFPCA Dean Delegate Yakeem Tatum really is? I must say the numbers of questions being raised is increasing. Perhaps I should answer them. I mean that could be the only reason you are still reading this Blog. To finally get the conclusions that you are longing for. That you are hoping for. What other reason would you be reading this? Goodness, yet another question. Will it stop? I guess not. Starting off, I am Third-Year Theatre Major on the Acting BFA Tract. I love writing and riding my bike. I grew in downtown Detroit and have two friends that are Detroit Police Department Officers. I also play video games… not as much as I want to because of school, but I try to get a gaming session in about once a month. Oh and I am Resident Advisor.

Whoa. That just turned into a bio for a dating website. I apologize for that. Do not think that you will get generic bits of writing from me on here. Oh no. That stuff is boring for me to read, so I definitely won’t be writing like that. This is very unconventional. Do I apologize for that? (Another question) No (but this one has an answer). I guess I should answer the other questions that I raised. Stop the unnecessary suspense. The hero that I was hinting at before I mentioned Kite Man… Yeah I am going all the way back to the top of this blog. Did you forget about that? (Another question again) I bet you thought I forgot. Well guess what. I did not! Now the hero that I was hinting at before I mentioned Kite Man was… oh and Kite Man is a DC super hero I think. I don’t know much about him. I just know of him because of a YouTube channel that I watch. Speaking of YouTube channels, I have one. I like making YouTube videos. I make people mad with my opinions and it is funny. Oh yeah back to what I was talking about before. The hero that I was hinting at before I mentioned Kite Man was Spider-Man. That is my favorite Super hero. You didn’t think that I was gonna leave you hanging again, did you? Of course I was gonna spill the beans…. eventually. Y’know I am certain that some of you even skimmed the blog looking for the words “Spider-Man” to see if that is who I was talking about. If you did, I don’t blame you. Well, I mean you spoiled the surprise, but I still don’t blame you. Actually now that I think about it. Me making that italicized may make the word stand out and ruin the surprise. If you didn’t cheat, then I take my hat off to you. Oh and remember when I mentioned that I journal for my classes, because they force me, meaning it is for a grade. This is how the journals go. For the most part. They are just tailored to the class. This blog is tailored to me and who I am. Hopefully you are left with some answers.

See you in the next Blog.