May 29, 2010

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After graduation, I decided to take the week off to enjoy myself and to just relax after a hectic semester. I ended up having a second week off after emailing the Rev. to ask if I could start working the following week and only getting the response "Blessings on you Jhanzelle! Right now I am swamped with Annual Meeting. I will write next week." This second week off was not as enjoyable as the first so I decided to call the Rev yesterday to see what's up.

She answered in her usual cheery voice saying "Oh hunni, hi..." Then there were a lot of words and finally those awful words came out. "Listen hunni, they cut my budget this year. I could really use your help, but it seems as if I'll have to do things on my own from now on. I'm really sorry." Basically, I no longer have the summer job that I had for the past 3 Summers (and Winter breaks).

I worked at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Elkins Park as an assistant to the Rector from June 4, 2007 until January 21, 2010. Although it was quite boring and uneventful most of the time, it still had its perks and benefits. That job was good to me. From sophomore year until this very last semester of undergrad, I was able to buy my own books and have money left over to last throughout the semester without being a financial burden to my mother. Therefore, I am grateful for the years that I have worked there. I must admit, though, I am a little sad. It would have been great if I was notified earlier about the cut so I could get a move on with looking for another job, but I believe that things happen for a reason. God must have something bigger and better for me to do this summer.

As soon as I got off the phone with the Rev, I cried a little bit. (Yea, I had to let it out). Then about a minute and a half later (no lie), I rushed to to search for recommendations and the first thing I found a summer internship for a Microbiology Lab assistant. No, I haven't taken Micro, as I did not want to have to spend another semester with the professor who taught that course, but I sent in my resume and wrote a bangin' (<--- lol... I love being in Philly...sometimes) cover letter nonetheless. My attributes, work ethics, knowledge gained from undergrad, and faith should help me win this one, but if not, I'm not worried.

May 26, 2010

Dresses! Dresses! Dresses!

It's that time of the year again. Spring has ended unofficially and it's hot and humid outside. You know what that means? It's dress season! Well, it's always dress season.

Dresses can be paired with thick leggings in the Winter months for a classy and warm look. They also come in different textures, such as sweater materials, to help us ladies maintain warmth. I also think that winter white is an added bonus. ;-)

In the Spring, there are fun styles, colors, patterns and lengths than can be worn, paired with a lovely cardigan and accented with cute wedges or peep-toe flats.

Summer is THE best! There are dresses of all lengths (especially short) and even more fun and bright colors. These dresses can be paired with cute sandals or breathable flats and are an easy outfit for any day/occasion/circumstance.

In the Fall, the color palette changes again to warmer colors like burnt oranges, darker greens, browns, bronzes, etc and they can be paired with boots; A cute pair of cowboy boots or just a pair of ankle boots could work also.

I love dresses so much that I'm thinking of starting a collection. Not a collection where I'll go out of my way to travel the world to find a particular dress (although that would be more than awesome) but I plan on collecting dresses to mix and match with other pieces throughout the years. Hey, I might even get some memories attached to these dresses. ツ

May 22, 2010


Last week, around this time, I was sitting in the Hot Hot Heat at my commencement ceremony for undergrad. I am proud of myself. It has been a rough 4 years. I have faced many ups and downs. I came to the realization that college courses require much more effort than high school courses. I've discovered my strengths and weaknesses. I have also gained many friendships, a few mentors, a new outlook on my dreams in life, and a new love. It's been a hard 4 years, but with the grace of God, I made it through.
Congratulations to the Drew University Class of 2010!

May 21, 2010


Alicia Keys recently released the video to her new single "Un-thinkable". She is gorgeous (and so is Chad Michael Murray). I also really love the concept of this video. It includes the issue of interracial dating, which even though we are living in a new era, there a still some reservations among people when this issue arises. I have noticed among the Black community, especially among African Americans, that there is an uproar when it comes to interracial dating. Don't get me wrong, many people are completely able to look beyond physical appearances to see beautiful connection between two people... love. Others, however, are still hung up on race and things like "Why black men choose to date/love/marry white women" or "Why Black women choose white men, etc". I actually have a friend from Drew, who, whenever I tell him that I am in a relationship, the VERY first question that he asks is if it's a "White guy". I called him out on it, asked him why he's always so concerned with race and he wasn't fully able to explain. I'm guessing it's just a thing with this country. I don't know. On the other hand, with West Indians, people from the Caribbean, etc. their main concern with their women dating Caucasian men is that they may have a "rich man" to "take care of [them] and to buy [them] expensive things". This mindset is just one big mess. Love is love. Love sees no color. Love has no price. Love has no limits nor boundaries. Love is a gift from the Most High and therefore:
"-- Love is patient.
-- Love is kind.
-- It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
-- It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
-- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
-- It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
-- Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away"

~I Corinthians 13:4-8 (New International Version)~

May 9, 2010

Wedding Sunday

I fell in LOVE with Wedding Sunday on WE tv this semester. Every Sunday they feature wedding themed shows such as: Platinum Weddings, Girl Meets Gown, My Fair Wedding with David Tutera (my fave!), and Rich Bride Poor Bride. In a way, I'm secretly getting ideas for my future wedding (however far away that is), but I also just enjoy watching weddings because they are absolutely beautiful. I enjoy watching some shows more than others, mainly because some of them are overly extravvagant and the price tag seems unrealistic, but I guess I watch those shows for ha-has.

Right now, as I take a second study break, I'm watching Disney Dream Wedding: w/ David Tutera. I guess it's just a show that portrays the princess weddings women dreamt about since childhood and it's breathtaking. :-)

Ok, ok. Enough swooning. I think I'm good now.

Wait, now I'm watching the wedding ceremony. This couple looks like they are so in love. This is beautiful and like the wonderful googler that I am, I found pics of the wedding featured on this episode:

Eric & Courtney's Wedding

May 7, 2010

Pretty Girl

"Pretty Girl" by Semhar ('rahmes100' on youtube)

"It has a name"

So, I'm up late watching Oprah. She had a 29 yr. old lady named Anna, who was born with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on nerve tissue, producing skin and bone abnormalities (Nemours Foundation). Anna's form of the disease was commonly called "Elephant Man's disease" but she hates that term and considers it to be derogatory. When Oprah asked why she hated the term, Anna's response was "I find it derogatory because it has a name".

I feel the same way when people refer to certain eye conditions as "lazy eye" or "cross-eye", because they have a specific medical term: strabismus. Strabismus is a disorder in which the eyes do not line up in the same direction when focusing. This example his close to home because I myself have exotropia, one of the subtypes of strabismus, where the muscle of the eye turns outward. It usually occurs in childhood and can be corrected with patching, the use of special glasses or surgery. As a child, you don't notice flaws in your physical appearance like that, but as I got older, (probably about 7th grade), I finally noticed the full effect of my exotropia. I finally realized why people were not clear who I was talking to as I looked at them and tried to start a conversation. Once I noticed my exotropia, my self-esteem completely diminished. The derogatory and ignorant comments became so unbearable during my first semester of college (2006), that I begged my mom to allow me to have a correction surgery which I was able to have a few days before the Spring semester began.

I guess the moral of this post is that making ignorant remarks about someone's physical appearance can be hurtful to that person. Isn't it enough that they have to live with that disorder?

May 5, 2010

Beyond Her Smile

This is a quote by my sister, Opal:
"Dentro de mí hay una luz, ateniendo por anos de dolor; por los inviernos más fríos y las noches más oscuras, pero todavía esa luz ha logrado ser aun más brillante tras los años; y allí se queda, dentro de mí."

"Inside of me there is a light, holding many years of pain; by cold winters and dark nights, but still this light has managed to be brighter after years; and there remains inside of me"

In concordance with the title of my blog, Beyond My Smile, there are things that occur in our lives, that no one would ever know about because they were never able to derive it from the smile that we emit. Not many people know about my abusive past, and they probably would never know because of the smile that I put forward every single day. I am one of the most joyous persons you'll ever meet, even though I'm not always that happy because we all do experience intermittent hardships. This is the same for my sister. No one would know what she was going through because she doesn't show it. She's a tough cookie, and because I am 10 years her junior, it took me a while to understand what she was experiencing and exactly what she HAS experienced. She hasn't started coming to terms with her feeling and emotions until recently, and I think those emotions are displayed in her quote. I do hope that she is able to get beyond her pain so that there is nothing for her to hide behind her smile.
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