Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Post-Graduation: Home And Heartbreak" (Part 1)

     I'm going to start this post a little differently but you know me, I aim to please. Start nodding your head!

"O's the Biggity best
They say no diggity yes
They way I hit em, and split em, with rhythm 
Figgidy fresh
U gotta love me like tennis

They call me Michael the menace
Lieutenants all wanna sentence
U know I'm  hip hop's apprentice 
Shiggity shake, miggity make, make these sounds
Miggity make, biggity brake, break it down
Fresher than a fashion show, give em fast or slow
Let me tell you rappers yo, this is how you battle O

I'm full of Big Puns
U know its fuck the world, so I got alotta sons
Killing emcees, I don't spare one
Even on a Sunday, I don't spare nunZZZ!" 

     Haha. I'm clever aren't I? In doing my writing and my music I realized that I am still getting used to the idea of referring to myself in the third person. I was downtown somewhere talking with this other musician about Das EFX. They were this mid-90's, hip hop group whose "one trick pony" style was to add "iggidy" in front of many of their words. So the above verse was my attempt at that style and quite frankly my dear, it's not bad so I might still use it. Don't bite me! I especially like the line "Run! I'm full of Big Puns" as that line is a big pun in of itself. So YES! I am virtually giving myself a pat on the back right now. The conversation shifted to my music when I began by saying "Michael O." I remember thinking how weird this sounded as it came out. In my long quest to be "cool" I always envisioned that the coolest people were those that were understated. There was no need to be braggadocios they were simply cool, like Denzel Washington. Mind you, in real life, Denzel might be an asshole but my point is well taken. However I've realized that when you attempt to do anything, people are going to be critical regardless of what you do. If you cannot accept failure then you are  not ready for success. Thus, If I can't get excited about my own shit, how much more people who could careless about me. So if shameless, self promotion is part of the game then I guess "Michael O" (I hope you're smiling) has to engage in this behavior.

     Michael O and the rest of 1502 graduated the University of Michigan in 2010 and not to boast, but your college graduation did not have the governor AND President Barack Obama speaking. You might have heard of him. Graduation, for me, was surreal and almost a blur. I treated it like a matter of fact as I am not certain that I really internalized it. Logically, graduation was a good thing but if I displayed any excitement then it was due to the fact that I was "supposed" to feel that way. Senior year was the best year of college and it was because of the rest of 1502. I feel like a broken record saying this but SENIOR YEAR WAS THE BEST YEAR OF COLLEGE AND MY LIFE, BECAUSE OF THE MEMBERS OF 1502. I learned something from each and every one of them and if you have ever met people that have personally touched you then you can relate to my sentiments. You could try to put 5 individuals under one roof and I don't think that you could beat the social dynamic that we had. Stev and Wheeler were on the track team, with Chin managing, Cass played volleyball for the U and I used to play soccer so together, we had a nice cross section of the groups of people that we associated with. 1502 was situated off campus, on the corner of White & E Stadium and the mere fact that we were constantly able to draw others to journey out to our house meant that there was something truly special about the 5 of us together; a fact that is still discussed in Ann Arbor. So this idea of "graduation" meant an end to all of this and I was hesitant as I was unsure as to what this would bring. What I was certain of however, was that I was NOT moving home.

     Home for me is like that dreaded Friday morning, 8 AM, one hour discussion section of some class. You should probably be there, but they make it oh so hard. I am still convinced that there are some malevolent schedulers that purposely schedule those Friday morning discussion classes, for those students that embody the term "Thirsty Thursday." Assholes. Anyways I take no pride in saying this but the last time that I spent extended time at home, when I eventually left, I vowed that I was NEVER living there again. This was the summer after my sophomore year and due to finances, I was on the brink of dropping out of school. My father had been part of that 2008 economic meltdown as he was laid off from GM. Economic frustration prompted him to leave the country vowing to never live in the States again. Langston Hughes once asked, "What happens to a dream deferred?" In my experience the children suffer. My mother who had taught me to always persevere no matter how bad things seemed actually suggested that dropping out of school "might be the best thing for me." It is one of the most hurtful things that she will ever say to me. It magnified how dire things were for my family. If I left Michigan, I was done with school because I was not starting as a freshman somewhere else. Thus more out of fear than anything else, that summer was spent applying for EVERY type of financing imaginable to afford my return to school. Even a summer job around my mother's house in Farmington, a suburb just outside Detroit, was impossible to secure as students like me, who returned home from school during the summer, had been beaten to the punch by more desperate job seekers. That summer I heard so many "No's" that you would have thought that it was my name. I felt so alone and somehow responsible for the things that were happening around me. The only joy I felt that summer was spending time in Ann Arbor, every other weekend with Grant. We were supposed to hang out since freshman year and we never did so it was by chance that we ran into each other and on a whim he invited me up to crash at his house. Hanging out with him was an eye opening experience because it dawned on me that this was the "true" college experience.  I will forever be grateful of him for that summer because it was his gracious act that eventually led me to meet the rest of 1502. Thus when I FINALLY secured the loan that afforded my return to school, it was a foregone conclusion that I was NEVER living at home again and at the time, I truly meant it...



  1. You're way too good at this blogging, I read your first two at work today and I'm trying to get to sleep now and you've got another update, give it a month and you'll be on our level, OneaWeek...

    Joking aside man, good reads and this one really hits home, man. I'm glad you consider us great people in your life and I didn;t realize how similarly we feel about some of these things...Living at home is roughhhh...

  2. Yea man...I haven't even gotten to the Easter trip, just trying to set the scene first