Day 62: PGCPS

From the age of 8 to 14 years old, I’ve attended a couple of public schools in the one of the most bottom tier school districts in Maryland. The school system were constantly guessing of what was going on with me and just ultimately tossed it in the side, leaving my immigrant parents extremely confused and frustrated and restless for a quite a long time. The kids and were ignorant and picked on me almost everyday and the teachers weren’t interested in figuring out what my plight, always singling me out in front of the whole class and made me like a retard. As a result, I withdrew from the real world and started escaping from reality and lived in my head for a very long time until I was 29 years. I never paid attention in school, wasn’t into my studies nor I was interested either, I was pretty much friendless, was impulsive, stubborn, sullen, moody, rude and depressed leaving my parents helpless and stressed out and having sleepless nights about me. I lacked understanding about boundaries, sarcasm, metaphors, cynicism, personal space, facial expressions and body language from other people and most importantly, I lacked any feelings of common sense. Lastly, I made choices and decisions that were unorthodox and inappropriate for a very long time that alienated my family at times, drove away my private school classmates, and people who I assumed were my friends up until I was 29. That’s shows how little this county had done nothing to help kids with autism like myself. No autism programs, no special Ed schools, no nothing. I never come from a broken home, or family or state, I came from a very broken school system like pgcps that made me behave badly like I did and think they way I did and made decisions that I can’t take back because this county didn’t have the audacity at all to help me and my family. I don’t wish on anyone to go through what me and my family went through at all. I hope it’s not too late for the next generation of autistic kids and their families. Dont send them to public schools to attend, take them to a special Ed school. It will save their life, period. #autismawareness #pgcps #specialeducation #kids #bullying #schoolsystemsucks #autism #schooldistrict #families #education #teachers #accountability #brokensysytem


Day 61: Jane Fonda

While I’m always rooting for everyone black to get their Kennedy Center Honors each year, I’m beyond surprised that the incomparable Jane Fonda hasn’t gotten yet for her groundbreaking body of work for 6 decades. Fonda defied the establishment and became one of the few actresses that had portrayed three dimensional female characters back in the 60s and 70s, which was rare in Hollywood back in the day. She would make history as the first child of a previous Kennedy Center Honoree, her late Father Henry Fonda, to receive one as well. Her roles have been personally uncompromising in its depth and quality. Not to mention her breathtaking and revelatory performance in her Oscar winning role Klute is one of 100 greatest performances in film history by Paste Magazine. Fonda created a fitness empire with her trademark at-home exercise videos. She also formed her own production company and produced classics like Coming Home, 9 to 5, On Golden Pond. She was named one of Quigley’s Top Box Office Stars 5 times. She not only has critically acclaimed films but commercially popular ones as well. She Influenced a bunch of successful film actresses after like Meryl Streep to Brie Larson. She worked with iconic actors like Jason Robards, Robert Redford, Robert DuVall, James Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, Michael Caine, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Pryor, Katherine Hepburn, Jack Lemmon, Cicely Tyson, Jeff Bridges, Diane Keaton, Anne Brancroft, Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, Alan Alda, Robert De Niro, Dolly Parton and many more. She has not won all four awards in competitive categories for the EGOT but she has received at least one nomination for each of them.
Her Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Nominations make her one of the actresses to be nominated for an EGOT.
It’s time to for the Kennedy Center to Give her flowers while she can smell them for her contributions to American culture and motion pictures. She’s way long overdue for it. #kennedycenterhonors #kch #films #janefonda #movies #lifetimeachievementaward #kennedycenter #movieactress #oscarwinner #emmywinner #afi #hollywood #goldenageofhollywood #fitness #henryfonda #nepo #egot #honors #oscars #activism

Day 60: The Best Man Franchise

This franchise has been a staple not only to me but to the whole black community. Prior to that, there was no films that portrayed black characters in a more educational, well rounded light. Each of the characters were flawed, funny, sexy, engaging and three dimensional and non stereotypical. Everybody saw themselves in the these characters. This franchise made me wish I had lifelong college friends. UMGC was fine but it was never my cup of tea school to attend at all (I had to attend, not wanted to for complicated reasons) since it was a hybrid online accredited university and there was no people closer to my age at the time to befriend. Had I gone to Towson, UMD, UMBC, Morgan State or Bowie, maybe things would have been entirely different for me. While what’s done is done and I’m certainly proud of getting bachelors degree, I would have definitely been much happier and thrived better at a real traditional college than an accredited college. That’s the difference. It is what it is though. Just wanted to get this off my chest. #thebestman #collegefriends #friendship #hbcu #morganstate #umd #college #movies #blackcommunity #autistic #whatifs #bowiestateuniversity #towson #thebestmanfranchise #umbc

Day 59: Carmy Berzatto

For those who know me best, I have been a sucker for watching tv since I was an infant. But I didn’t watch it for me to be inspired and do something with my life professionally, I did it to get escape from reality and be entertained due to me living in my own world at the time. So I couldn’t really relate to the endearing yet flawed iconic tv characters that have grace the screens and kept the viewers captivated with their engaging storylines except for Steve Urkel. However, after watching the whole flawless season of the new series, the bear last summer, I finally saw a character that I could really relate to on an internal and external level. Carmy and I share a lot of common. Like the character, I wasn’t build to be confident, I was extremely shy, was scared to speak up for myself sometimes, didn’t have a lot of friends, was struggling in school profusely due to short attention span and learning disabilities, barely graduated high school at 20, never went to a traditional 4 year college, didn’t have any girlfriends, wasn’t an independent thinker, and I don’t think I’m hilarious. His monologue spoke to me because I always felt like the black sheep of my conservative Muslim family due to those reasons and also my past inconsiderate behavior. The bear is a must see television because of brilliant dialogue, well written characters, and relatable storylines. While I’m not a cook myself, I see a lot of Carmy in me. I finally saw myself again on screen. #blog #blogger #thebear #carmyberzatto #siblings #blacksheep #inferior #escapefromreality #autismawareness #school #television #tv #autism

Day 58 — Kennedy Center Honors

From the moment George Stevens Jr, the creator of the program, has stepped down from his role, the honors has his lost some of its authenticity. They stopped focusing on traditional and fine arts. Also they recently been honoring the artists that are popular but not really groundbreaking: George Clooney, Amy Grant, Hamilton for example. It has now become the Grammys since the newer producers took over it. There are a bunch of more older and accomplished artists like Mick Jagger, Denzel Washington, Alan Alda, Liza Minnelli, Jane Fonda, Burt Bacharach, Francis Ford Coppola, Dionne Warwick, Tommy Tune, Patti LuPone, Arturo Sandoval, Harrison Ford, Alan Menken, Sophia Loren, etc that are long overdue for this once in a lifetime distinction. Today, however, the choices rarely inspire much enthusiasm; the honorees are respected but hardly iconic; the annual telecast of the ceremony is a superficial spectacle full of cultural solecisms; and audiences who care primarily about the traditional arts that are central to the Kennedy Center’s daily activity find little to interest them. That needs to change. #blog #blogger #kch #kennedycenterhonors #givingpeopletheirflowers #awardsshow #medallion #film #television #cbs #theatre #music #dance #opera #ballet #classical #georgestevensjr

Day 57: Bill Russell

We lost one of the greatest players not only in basketball but in all sports. Bill Russell was a trailblazer for the black community. He had low equal pay during time on the NBA. He dealt with constant racism but always kept his head high no matter what. He was a powerful civil right activists alongside the late great dr Martin Luther king. He demanded black folks like us to be treated equally and with respect. It was a long battle for sure. On the court, his multiple championship career has influenced every black nba player including Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Step Curry, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and more. His coaching also made an impact because it proved that black people have knowledge of the game than people let on. He will forever be talked about like Sidney, Martin, Cicely, Madam, and Rosa are still talked about. He changed not only the black culture, the sports culture but also the culture of the world. For that, we owe you in debt, Mr. Russell. God rest your soul. #blogger #blog #nba #blackcommunity #billrussell #sports #basketball #culture #icon #trailblazer #impact

Day 56: My High School graduation

10 years ago today, I did what most people thought it was a impossible feat to accomplish due to my neurological disorder that I was suffering in silence from a very early age. When I was attending one of the toughest college preparatory schools in the Washington DC area and was suffering profusely academically and socially, that’s when my psychiatrist finally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome after numerous tests on my performances throughout my years at PGCPS. He also told my parents not to expect to graduate high school let alone college too. That didn’t deter them to help me to do the impossible no matter what. That’s when they found the harbour school and the school helped me and my family tremendously. If wasn’t for this school, none of this would be possible. My only regret is that I didn’t know what I wanted to do professionally after harbour. But this school helped me finally finished long delayed journey of mine. I’ll always remember that emotional day. #blog #blogger #autismawareness #highschoolgraduation #2012 #naysayers #againstallodds #autism #10yearanniversary #highschool

Day 55: Insecure

In the 90s, Black shows like Martin and In Living Single were the it shows when it came to representation of our culture for young men and women while making the mundane and ordinary and being extremely funny and relatable. In the 2000s, Girlfriends was the only show that filled that void for a while. I was very young to connect with the shows since I was a kid at the time. It wasn’t until Issa Rae’s groundbreaking hbo series called Insecure spoke to my generation of black people. What made Insecure appealing to all of us was that the characters were awkward, flawed but also vulnerable and don’t have the answers to everything. My 20s were a complete mess because I was living in my own head thinking I had the answers to everything and that led to impulsive decisions after another. But later realizing I was wrong and I’m still young and have a lot of maturing to do. The show was able to tap into that accurately. Insecure has paved the way for shows like twenties, run the world and dear white people. Insecure will be talked about like living single and a different world is still about. #blog #blogger #insecurehbo #issarae #blackcommunity #livingsingle #mygeneration #martin #influence #blacksitcoms #blackcomedy #20s

Day 54: Sidney Poitier

As a young non verbal shy black boy of immigrant parents, Sidney forever changed the trajectory of how black people should be seen on the big screen. He portrayed positive male roles not the stereotypical roles that black actors were limited to playing. He made me feel seen by watching mirror life as a strong black man with integrity. He made fell in love with films other than Denzel Washington. He opened the doors for the man himself, Will, Mahershala, Michael, Chadwick and many more. We owe a huge debt to Sidney for breaking the glass ceiling for the black community in Hollywood. Without him, there would be no us. #films #sidneypoitier #blackactors #movies #hollywood #pioneer #icon #hero #inspiration #thespian #blog #influence #classics #immigrants

Day 53: Escaping from reality

Escaping from Reality— Stemming from the trauma of severe school bullying and depression, I tend to socially isolate myself from the real world to forget about all of it by watching TV and live in my own imaginary world. I have done it for a very long time since I was like 8 years old. That’s why I was ignorant and naive about pretty much everything: boundaries, harsh realities, classmates, friends, different generations, what’s reality and what’s fiction. It’s also the main reason I made the most petty, impulsive, unsophisticated decisions in my 20s that alienated my family, friends and former classmates alike. I simply didn’t know any better due to me escaping from reality most of the time. So the lesson to younger autistic people: don’t escape from reality no matter, just face the real world and fight for another day. #blog #blogger #autism #ignorance #escapingfromreality #realworld #isolation #depression #alienation #harshreality #lifeistooshort #hardlessons #impulse #pettiness