What’s Happening Wednesdays:

I wanted to be a pediatrician, even before I could spell it.   In elementary school, I spent time learning all 206 bones and different muscle groups.  I went to a summer camp called “Blood and Guts”.  I brought home pigs eyes and dissected a cow’s brain.  I was getting an early start on my medical career.

That is until I took my first chemistry class.  It was a complete disaster. I broke the stirrer, nearly started a fire and generally made a mess.  Nobody wanted to be my lab partner and I couldn’t blame them…

And while my math and science grades had plateaued, I was excelling in International Baccalaureate English classes.  I’m not sure how I came across the applications for summer programs at Xavier University, but I applied for both the science and liberal arts based programs.

At the time, Xavier was sending more black kids to  medical school than any other HBCU.  At least, that’s what it said in my mother’s Essence magazines.

I didn’t get into the math/science program, but they invited me to come spend six weeks on campus for SuperScholar/Excel program so I got on a plane for the first time, by myself, and I flew to the Big Easy.

It was my first time away from home, and I had just the right mixture of fear and excitement.  I was met at the airport by a familiar face.  Our parents were friends and they had pre-arranged my transportation (and our marriage, which did not work out as they had planned.). I fell in love, not with the boy, but with the city, the culture, the food.  I swore I would get married in the square at the St. Louis cathedral.

The people I met  were as beautiful and as spell-binding as the city.  Mike and Jawanza (insert sixteen-year old girl swoon here), were exactly what every girl at camp hoped to see when they landed on campus.  But my favorite thing about the people was that every single one of them reminded of someone from home.  Leonard oddly reminded me of my ex-boyfriend.  Monique from NO reminded me so much of Monica back home that it kind of freaked me out.

I met a life long friend and learned some very valuable life lessons, a few of which are listed below:

  1.  Never ever walk past a black man, especially an older black man without speaking. ( It will delay your journey.)
  2. It ain’t as long as it’s been and it ain’t as short as it’s gonna be.
  3. Question everything you’re taught and every one who is charged with teaching you.
  4. You know more than you think you know.
  5. When all else fails, Dance!

I never made it to medical school.  I never even made it back to Drexel Hall.  But My brief time there changed my life.

Mama Radford

Bonus Lesson:

Talk that stuff, now roll with it!

2 thoughts on “What’s Happening Wednesdays:

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