Freelance: Scooter magazine kid lit reviews

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism

kidlitpic

I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to upload this, but TA-DA! Check it out–my freelance book reviews for Scooter magazine’s spring 2013 issue. I swear, reading Scooter makes me long for the privileged and plush lifestyle of the city’s finest kids…that I never had. It’s a Missouri thing. So when Editor-in-Chief Peter Feld asked me to re-join the Scooter team again (cue journalista montage) as a book reviewer, I couldn’t say no. Well, I could have, but why would I turn down an excuse opportunity to indulge my inner only child again and pour over children’s books for a few weeks?? Exactly.

Working with Scooter is always great fun, and has been from the beginning when I met Peter in the Observer’s office as he furiously checked emails and made plans. The photo shoot for the inaugural issue was AMAZING (my first and most expensive Starbucks run is still one of my favorite summer ’11 memories), and writing about kid’s books this semester really helped me put my college self into perspective–at the end of the day, it’s all just about making arts and crafts while dealing with life’s little manifestations of hell (ohai, racism and bullying!). Click the photo or click here to read on!

Books reviewed: 

“Scandal” Live-blogging 5/2

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It’s going down.

Mellie is threatening to expose Fitz and Olivia on live TV unless he lives Olivia. Spoiler alert: Cyrus is probably the mole. Huck is feeling a bit better, thank God, and I noticed Ms. Quinn has discovered eyeliner and lip tint. Jake is following Olivia around as per Fitz’s request, but he wants in on her life. Cyrus is living in the wee hours doing damage control between Mellie and Fitz. Here we go!

10:05: Abby, you’re officially unhepful and useless.

10:07: Mellie lost that baby weight, triple chin, and got some new clothes!

10:12: Charlie is all about pastries and sweets…a man after my own heart.

10:22: “If you want me, EARN ME!”

10:26: “The last woman to sleep with the President ended up dead in the Patomac. I want you alive.” -Huck is about his business.

10:27: GUYS. Guys. Lest we forget, wisdom from Olivia circa 2×15 (Boom Goes The Dynamite): “Let Mellie be.” #Scandal

10:30:…I officially cannot.

10:45: Fitz loves being President more than he loves Olivia. Stepping down, time to watch like a normal person.

My Tufts Daily Column (4/25): It’s Complicated…But Not Really

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Guys, so many feelings about all this, and updates on my role at the Daily. Know that even in this column, I was censored and threatened that my words wouldn’t see the light of…print…? For now just read and tell me what you think.

Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders It’s… complicated. But not really.

By Brionna Jimerson

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013

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Question: How do you exist in this system without allowing it to consume you? How have I existed for four years at Tufts and in the Tufts Daily, and how will I exit both, not necessarily at peace but intact? By “complicating” — that is, questioning and assessing — them both, and always with a spoonful of salt.

This is my last column before the Commencement issue, and I want it known and marked that with this column, there is power in “the record,” in claiming space for language and experimentation, and I think I am outgrowing these three inches. But there is success — if this space for critique and voice was not open before, it’s open now. Please, fill this echoing void with consciousness, purpose and fun. A little fun.

You have probably never been to the Daily office. It is below Curtis Hall — down the driveway, next to the UGL office. Pop in sometime — the office is small and the walls are painted teal. This is where the editorials are discussed and written and the phone calls for additional sources go unanswered. This is where the writers and editors — all students, and none of them paid for their time and energy — work for upwards of 40 hours a week on end to inform a campus dialogue. The Daily has an institutional history, and it has been largely absent of brown folks, not for a lack of trying or interest. I was the first black managing editor of the Daily, and though I’ve been loved and cared for I feel I have been severely disrespected. I have watched and helped the Daily operate for four years, and I’ve worked alongside some of the strongest women I know. They came, saw and left. Why did they leave? Why did I stay?

I stayed because you deserve better. You deserve to read great articles about complex “issues” that don’t speak about you as a subject or topic in a policy report. I stayed because we require a prominent place at the table, not for representation but for respect and autonomy, because I have known too many women of color to take “medical leave,” their lives compromised after spending four years on this campus. How did we let that happen?

I stayed because some of the most opinionated people on this campus with the most to say literally cannot afford to pay the fee (time) because they are — you guessed it — already overbooked, overlooked or overwhelmed. I have lived in two worlds at once, and right-minded editors of semesters past — Alexa Sasanow, Gabrielle Hernandez, Bianca Blakesley, Amsie Hecht, Laina Piera, Annie Sloan and myself — have tried to make the Daily into a respectable house, though it is built on privilege and systematic supremacy of the “Tufts in general,” not “Tufts in ‘particular.’” Yes, my language is coded. No, “safe spaces” do not exist. Yes, you can break the code. Just try.

If you notice the impact my body has made in the Daily, know that our impact is there. I saw them trying to erase me, you and us and decided it was time to let them know. In the words of Kenya Moore, the queen of fan-induced shade-throwing showdowns, “Do not come for me unless I send for you.”

If you are brown and are interested in working at the Daily or, better yet, maintaining a literary and historical space of your own, tweet me so we can figure it out.

Now this is the hard part, letting go of the frustration and imagining and building a future beyond the scope and traumas that Tufts students, administrators and bystanders have enacted on its own community. We are moving from property and into personhood. Your silence will not protect you, but maybe we can find your voice. Yes, I just said that.

Dedicated to N., V. and K., and the great John Kelly, who, reminded me that we can be Christians and “radicals” at the same time.

My Tufts Daily column (4/11): Seeing through the optics of whiteness, a love letter to Black Tufts, and the erasure in “incidents”

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My Tufts Daily column, about Black people at Tufts, the white gaze, and the erasure in  “incidents”, complete with honesty (how refreshing!) Check back tonight about the process of writing this column, and more candid musings on the difficult miracle of, well, being. 

Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders

A truly purpose-driven love letter

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013

I have been truthful from the beginning about my not quite knowing what I am doing with this column, but I have not been completely honest with you for a while. I think with the first column I had an intent to be the “true Brionna,” but I wanted to welcome you (but not all of you, not every voyeuristic eye that’s consuming me as a Tufts black woman for my “story”) on the journey as I explored myself and this (ex?) plantation we call the Medford/Somerville campus (look up that Tufts history, the Royall House and Ten Hills Farm, and sit with it).

In the beginning, I wanted to feature and connect with the often institutionally neglected black population here, because I wanted to speak to you publically, in one place at one time and on the record. I wanted this column to be far-reaching, but it can’t be at once universal in its message and critical. Every week when I started to write with intent and purpose — to talk to you about greatest triumphs and the disturbing underbelly of the college experience and the difficult miracle of existing at Tufts — I could feel the sincerity draining from my words.

I became preoccupied with how I’d be perceived by the white oppositional gaze of Tufts and the high schoolers visiting the school, clutching the Daily and their visitor brochures as they shuffle around campus while someone walks backwards and spouts about pre-major advising and meal plans. I am having that “Simba, you have forgotten me” moment, and now I am in the middle of the part where Simba has all kinds of epiphanies.

Even though I do a lot with this oppressive language (English), I fear I haven’t been doing enough, because I haven’t been honest, and even now I can’t be, but I need this on the record.

I love you, black people at Tufts, even (especially!) strangers, and I smile and say “hi” because I know that some days we feel like we are disposable at Tufts, like we are numbers, counting and learning tools on which our administrators and classmates work out their personal and academic development. So I smile at you, so you know I see you, and the least I can do is acknowledge your presence, because being present here isn’t always easy or healthy.

I do not think that survival can be understated in this moment, on this Thursday, when I still live in Sunday night, when my friends and I were dispersed around campus and, collectively, our worlds stopped with an email that announced the white supremacist “graffiti” on campus in Bello Field. The email read as coolly as an announcement about parking closures due to snow. What followed — a plea that members of “our” community  “reach out to friends and colleagues in the Tufts community as sources of support and comfort” — said to me, “If your feelings are hurt, if you’re not safe leaving your house, if you’re having violent, real flashbacks and recalls of what this is, try to feel better even though there’s no black counselor at the Counseling and Mental Health Services to turn to, even if you needed to.” The “graffiti” on Tufts’ property is not an “incident.” An incident exists as a singular moment. This is just the most recent (or publicized) manifestation of a symptom of the disease of what exists.

With these 600 words, I wanted to make this space in this Daily, so you could see and know that you are here, lovingly made and remembered by me, on the “record.” But I have acted, at times, under a constant optic of whiteness and fear, and my friends and fellow survivors deserve better. So over the next couple of weeks, I am giving you — not all of you — my best, as much as I can.

My Tufts Daily column (3/28): Degrees of Separation

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Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders

Degrees of separation

 

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013

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What's gonna keep me warm at night? That's right. Those degrees.

When I was applying to colleges, none of my potentially first−generation college−bound friends had the nerve to entertain the thought of a gap year. I never thought critically about the prospect of volunteering on a political campaign or working full−time at an internship before delving into the overpriced pressure cooker that is higher education. “College is not an option; you will go to college,” my grandmother would say at the outset of any conversation we had about higher education.

A lifetime of being looked over and professionally punished for not having completed a college program had taught her that, while academic pursuits and interests were just dandy, college degrees breed opportunity, for better or for worse.

In my high school, the graduating seniors wrote their university acceptances on paper stars outside the college counselor’s office. I watched for weeks as stars were decked out with bubble letters of household name institutions and filled up like laundry lists of acceptances. I asked a student why he had not written anything down (as if he had to explain his decision−making), he said, “College isn’t for me.” I realized that I, like most of our peers, had assumed that the college would bring with it the promises of its magical symbolism. We had not taken into consideration the fact that so many of us truly are not “cut out” for endless lectures, rote memorization or academia.

But what about our peers, the foot soldiers who maintain that college isn’t the right option, and the strength it takes to actively reject the social flogging that comes along with actively deciding against college?

A great friend of mine inspired this column about the foot soldiers who opt out of college in pursuit of work, stability, discovery, duty or an unknown number of other quests and decisions and how they are judged without any regard to the internal work required to make such a decision. It is as monumental a choice to choose, at 18, an institution where you will live, study and be molded as it is to choose to be shaped in the “real world.”

Not until relatively recently in Western educational history did lawyers, doctors, journalists and architects pursue higher education to learn their trade instead of the usual route of apprenticeship. An added emphasis on “formal” education instead of vocational skill makes it easy to judge the individuals who choose not to go to college because they know that it’s not the only option.

The concept of a college education is extremely complex, way too intense for 600 words, and every day, it’s being further complicated, glorified and debunked by those inside and outside of the “ivory towers.” College degrees try to connote that a person has chosen one life path over another, aligned herself with another set of goals and expectations over another, and the parallel is to be drawn stiffly between those with degrees and those without who instead attend the school of life.

We are going to call these degrees of separation. Let us consider the self−knowledge (or −awareness, or a lack thereof) that it takes to do that and the people who are not in college because it was not for them, because it was not made for them. These spaces weren’t made with everyone in mind — we can be honest about that. From what is taught to which programs are funded and underfunded to how dissent is “managed,” it is clear. So when someone can break from that and know it’s not for them, that is why they are they judged, put down as “go−nowhere” people. They are seen this way because they refused to enter into situations that could do more harm than good, because they don’t subject themselves to these environments.

My Tufts Daily Column (3/7) — 73 Days, but who’s counting?

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Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders

73 Days — but who’s counting?

By

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013

Brionna Jimerson column

One of my best friends’ Twitter byline reads, “May 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m. in the J Field,” the time and place of his graduation ceremony. I think he is over the 76 Days celebration.

Anyway, last Sunday we celebrated the 76 Days Celebration after Blizzard Nemo pushed back the 100 Days Celebration to last Sunday’s less symbolically trendy date, and members of the class of 2013 (and some subversive and hungry 2014 kids) filled the Alumnae Lounge, dressed in the most semi of semi−formal and ready to mingle awkwardly with classmates. It felt like pre−frosh orientation all over again, except this time there were free Jumbo magnets, sunglasses, portfolios and muffulettas.

I did a couple of laps, talked to some acquaintances, gave awkward hugs to folks I haven’t interacted with since freshman year, stood around a table with my friends, made firm plans to get lunches and dinners (finally! No more “should!”) and watched the slideshow of photos that all looked the same. It took a while for the gravity of the moment to sink in — that in 76 days I would be referring to Tufts in the past tense, and my friend’s Twitter bio would come to fruition. While we are angst−ing it out over the next few stress−filled weeks, my friend is planning — at the ready and excited — to put Tufts in his rearview. But how did we get here?

The 76 Days Celebration probably had good intentions — an excuse to enact “tradition” and get us all feeling warm and cozy about our Tufts career, just in time for alumni giving, before we forget some of the emotional and physical trauma that accompanies growing as people in a foreign environment on our own. We were nostalgic for 2009 in that lounge, but tradition and the whole thing is making me feel claustrophobic, like there’s something expected of me, and unless I agree with all of the fluff I’m unworthy, when in reality I’ve worked my ass off, and it’s a celebratory time. I’m alive. We’re alive. Where is the dance floor?

I expect that I will feel more anxiety in the coming weeks than I felt in the whole of 2012. The countdown was initiated on the day I boarded the plane for pre−orientation in August 2009, and now I am coming out on the other side (yes, I have been in a portal−bubble for four years). The event may have been good in its intentions, but in my experience initiating countdowns brings with it the “should,” and we know how useful that is. But I don’t feel tethered to the Hill, the dining halls, the traditions; I’m ready to practice what I’ve been learning and to see what sticks. I’m ready to live on my own terms, sans a block schedule. Cue the claustrophobia.

When it’s “tradition” time, we don the brown and blue in the name of “community.” I think of my friends at Tufts, many of whom I’ve seen fall apart and shed themselves, only to come out stronger — and traumatized, to be honest — on the other side, ready to pack Tufts up and run for greener (and hopefully less steep) hills.

Between the celebrations, senior nights, senior dinners and other forced and inauthentic bonding moments, I’ve realized that so much time has lapsed between mindlessly wandering to the dining halls three or four times a day (remember when that was an option?) and now, fretting over projects, research, financial security and the simple things, like where the heck do we go from here? I motion for a collective nap and reassessment of life. Who’s with me?

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/features/brionna-jimerson-respect-your-elders-1.2815757#.UXa-vLXvvzx

My Tufts Daily Column (2/14) – A B.A. in “Minding my own Business”

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Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders

A B.A. in ‘Minding my own Business’

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

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Working on my Ph.D in My Business. The coursework is hell.

To date, I’ve named and claimed over 15 majors over the last four years. Now take a breath, and smile−−you are officially more decisive than I am. For about a week, I was a biology major, and then political science for upwards of a month. Somewhere between being a child development major and an International Literary and Visual Studies student, I was in engineering psychology, but I’d rather not talk about that part of my past. We will call those the “bad weeks.”

I went from one major to another for about three semesters−−but in secret, I had declared a psychology major in my freshman fall semester as a placeholder. During my sophomore spring, after earning decidedly average grades in every psychology class and realizing that I wasn’t as passionate about the field as I thought, I went to an associate dean, sobbing and riddled with uncertainty. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Not unlike most freshmen and sophomores (and juniors−−you know who you are), I was undefined, undeclared and insecure with my scholarly self.

After more trial and error than I care to admit to, I declared a major in American Studies, and I finally felt like I’d found my academic home. I nested in the basement of Eaton Hall and followed professors like Christina Sharpe, Sarah Sobieraj, and Jean Wu around campus like a lost academic puppy.

Considering Winter Storm Nemo: You’re walking knee−deep in snow (probably waist−deep for me!), with hundreds of companions on your left and right. Stay with me here, I’m a sucker for weather metaphors. The only road behind you is the one you’ve trudged−−and ahead of you untouched (academic and social) snow. Some folks have their next steps planned out, with freshly shoveled and salted gravel beneath their feet. And there I am−−without salt, shovel, sand or as much as a “Hey, kid! Go that way! There’s less ice that way!” So each maneuver is a virtual first, and that makes it all the more important and shaky as hell. Each step is the first one ventured, and I am being monitored from afar and compared to the steps of others. Cue the insecurity.

Still, most phone calls with my mother are reduced to a despondent pause, followed by a sigh of uncertainty on her end. Then it comes: “Brionna…what is your major again?” My mother knows this. She’s known for two years now, but each time she asks I can’t help but feel like she wishes I’d spontaneously change my academic direction toward something a bit more “marketable,” as she says. “I’m an American studies major, mum, with a focus on institutions and power in the US,” I tell her from rote. Another sigh. “What are you going to do with that?” Then there’s my answer, and her perplexed “Oh…what’s that mean?” I explain. Next, the contented “huh” before she politely moves on to the next topic of listless conversation. The silence between first generation students and their parents can be deafening.

I’m at the point where I want to say, “I’m going to do whatever I darn well please with my degree, thankyouverymuch.” While you don’t have to welcome the probing, I encourage you to find sound footing in your (un)chosen major. It’s just life, it’s only undergrad, it’s about realizing that you don’t have to sacrifice anything, you just can’t do everything at once. Worst−case scenario: you stalk professors via Twitter, and blindly enroll in each of their courses each semester. And that’s the worst that can happen.

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/features/brionna-jimerson-respect-your-elders-1.2810900#.USFBKaUqbQh

My First Tufts Daily Column: Respect Your Elders

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This semester should officially be known as my “Daily” semester: I’m working as Managing Editor, I’m writing for Arts/News (when I damn well feel like it, or when there’s an exceptionally amazing episode of Real Housewives on), and I’m  a Features columnist! Cue the daily Daily overload. My weekly Features column is called “Respect Your Elders” (because I’m all of 22 years old. I’m elder.), and chronicles my Tufts experience thus far with unsolicited advice, and delves into the significance of being a first generation college student. At the outset I was worried that writing such a personal and widely applicable column would be appropriating my life/story, but I’m confident that my target audience (read: Tufts students who rarely if ever see themselves, their experiences, concerns, or thoughts reflected in the Daily) will appreciate my efforts. My column comes out e very Thursday, check it out *here* and here)

Brionna Jimerson | Respect Your Elders

Notes from a senior (active) citizen

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013

BJ Column

Hi! I am Brionna, a senior at Tufts, and you are about to go on a semester−long adventure with me. I hope you brought your quest cap, and buckle up. It will be bumpy, it will be uncomfortable, but stay tuned in and keep reading — it will befan−freaking−tastic.

For starters, let’s discuss the purpose of this column. This column every Thursday will serve as a cautionary tale for some, a beacon of hope for others and a makeshift space for me (this is where it gets bumpy), but it’ll highlight and capture some of my musings on Tufts as a second−semester senior preparing to leave the Hill for greener, but perhaps equally steep, hills in the “real world.”

My time at Tufts has been peppered with bouts of activism, reflection, long nights at Tisch poring over something−or−other and midday naps that somehow turned into up−at−3−a.m.−rants, but it hasn’t been short of insight. So, let’s begin somewhere near the beginning.

I am a first−generation college student. What that means, for me, is that I am the first person in my family to attend college and I’m the closest to graduating of anyone in my family. As a result, much of my Tufts experience has been a very fly−by−the−seat−of−your−pants sort of adventure, with no road map, color−by−numbers or eight easy steps. Yes, I bought all of the “secret to surviving college” books pre−matriculation, and yes, I read them cover−to−cover. I have yet to encounter a (inexplicably) naked roommate, and being a “collegiette” for me doesn’t involve sorority life. I will be discussing and reviewing aspects and stories from my Tufts experience through the rearview mirror of my college career. We will go over how showers kept me going during sophomore year, the “major” question you field from your family (and other inane questions, like the equally maddening follow up, “What are you going to do with that degree?” We’ll discuss the degrees that nobody talks about — the MRS. and MR. degrees — and look into what it means to be an active citizen at Tufts, fighting a good fight even if it’s unpopular or misunderstood.

But let’s be clear. In May I am graduating with a B.A. in American studies, not a Ph.D. in the psychology of higher education (that is a thing), but my experiences and thoughts are still here, so that is that.

Over the years I’ve undulated between social groups, levels of activism and levels of academic engagement, but everything always comes back to that insipid Stephen Schwartz lyric from the musical “Wicked:” “There are bridges you cross you didn’t know you crossed until you crossed.” Therefore, that’s part of what this column is. It’s me looking at the bridges I’ve crossed in retrospect, bridges you’re probably coming up to on your walk through Tufts, and ones you’re dancing (or being dragged) across now. We’ll look at overcommitting, dreams deferred, G1 student life, liberal arts anxiety (I’m suffering from it now!), finding your genuine interests, activism, impact, the types of people you meet at Tufts and exactly what to do when nobody is answering your calls on a Thursday night. Because, let us face it, we have all been there. Right? Oh? Just me? Ok. I have invested myself, my heart, my joy and energy into this university, and now that I have a moment to reflect on it I want to share my musings with any lovely reader with five to 10 minutes to spare looking for a quick and interesting read. If at any point you have qualms, you know what to do — send an email or find me on campus. I’m five feet tall, so finding me shouldn’t be too hard. Challenge accepted? Ok, let’s go.

On Twitter imbalances, being a people hoarder

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism, The New York Observer

Alright, full disclosure. I hoard. I hoard people.

Before you Google episodes of “True Life: I Hoard…People…?” (spoiler: they don’t exist), and consider signing me up for an intervention (please don’t, it’s my last semester, and I don’t got time for that), remember back to about a year ago when I discussed the airy sensation that accompanies purging your inbox, or FINALLY downsizing and consolidating all of those newspapers)? Remember that?

Good.

Now remind me.

Gather around kids, I got a story to tell.

Recent article: Substance unsurprisingly lacking in “Real Housewives” reunion special

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Any excuse opportunity to turn my reality TV habit into writing is a welcome one! I’ve been into RHONY since season one, day one (for the record: Bethenny all the way). The season finale of season five left me wanting. In short: ‘meh’ and transparent. Even for RH standards. Is it the editing, or the ladies? 

Substance unsurprisingly lacking in ‘Real Housewives’ reunion episode

TV Review | 2.5 out of 5 stars

Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Season five of “The Real Housewives of New York City” wrapped this Monday with Part II of the season’s reunion. This is an episode fans looked forward to, giddily anticipating half−hearted — or heartless — apologies, quick zingers and a parade of Louboutins and statement dresses. But this season’s reunion left us wanting more. It felt like the reluctant gathering it probably was, as none of the women seemed particularly interested in rehashing old problems or reopening wounds.

Boston Fashion Week: Merrily we flow along

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Thanks to the ever-impressive and talented photographer Justin McCallum, I found myself at Boston Fashion Week on a blustery September weekend! Long story short: the fashions. My god, the fashions.  For a full photospread, visit JumboSlice blog, and read below for my take on several of the weekend’s best shows! Did I MENTION THE FASHIONS?

Merrily we flow along at Boston Fashion Week

Collections by designers Yousif and Mendoza stood out

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012

Boston Fashion Week is not for the faint of heart. In the past few years, designers and show producers alike have upped the creative ante with an interesting mix of household name brands, Boston fashion titans and left-of-center fashion industry up-and-comers. This year’s shows featured surprisingly wearable pieces alongside artistic creations that could make even Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly crack a wince — or so we dare to dream. In particular, the Boston Fashion Week shows for Firas Yousif Originals and Sam Mendoza created an undeniable buzz both outside and inside the tent, due to their mix of ethereal pieces and shockingly approachable cuts that still managed to convey chic and whimsy.

Firas Yousif Originals, photo courtesy Justin McCallum

Firas Yousif Originals is a force in the Boston bridal gown scene and beyond, with “bridal,” “evening” and “flirty” couture collections. At Boston Fashion Week, Yousif capitalized on a sense of manufactured nostalgia that’s done well in the fashion scene for the last couple of seasons, with side bouffants, patterned textiles and 1950’s Vargas Girls-esques ilhouettes. Imagine what would happen if Paz de la Huerta’s character Lucy in “Boardwalk Empire” had a run-in with Christina Hendricks’ “Mad Men” persona and you’ll be in the ballpark.

The Presidential Debate, through the lens of my Twitter

Journalism

Tonight, while watching the debates, I have my Facebook and Twitter pages open, and both are overflowing with quips, quick memes, and reactions.This new lens of political engagement is fascinating, as a generation of activists and slacktivists take to their keyboards and burn up the servers with 140 characters or less, and overstuff my newsfeed with social-political whimsy.

9:54: I came late to the game, so far, my Facebook tells me:

1. Obama is indeed not Big Bird.

2. Trump is a welfare queen (from Facebook: “WHY didn’t anyone think of calling it “corporate welfare” before????? Donald Trump, welfare queen!”)

10:12: “Big Bird” is trending on Twitter.

10:15: “Two minutes on the role of government,” says the moderator. Ok. Let’s go.

10:18: @ljoywilliams: 15 minutes left and no 47% mention??? #TWIB2012 #debate

10:19: @justinpequeno: YES LET’S TALK ABOUT EDUCATION!

10:21: IMANI ABL @AngryBlack Lady: Romney: “Poor kids.” “I mean lower-income kids.” “I mean ragamuffins.” “Hey Jeeves! WHAT ARE WE CALLING THOSE PEOPLE NOW?” #debates
10:23: Kelvin Perez Macario: “FAIL. Romney quotes the Declaration of Independence and called it the Constitution
10:26: I don’t think these anecdotes draw the resonance the candidates think they do…they seem like stalling tactics, false equations, skirting.

Latest article: Africana Studies launches new major and minor

Journalism, Tufts Daily

Most of my friends, family members, acquaintances, strangers on campus, and the poor souls who follow me on Twitter know about the fairly-well documented struggle for an Africana Studies DEPARTMENT at Tufts. This struggle has morphed into a program, not a department. This documentation exists in the Daily, the Observer, and other outlets, but it lives on outside of the press, a documentation that has been firmly and indelibly printed on the bodies and minds of countless Tufts students and faculty, past and present. My musings on Africana Studies at Tufts is a topic more suited for my moleskin and not for this blog, but maybe someday soon I’ll be able to share it with the world. No, I’m not being melodramatic. Suffice it to say, it was a joy to be able to write this article for the Daily. After lots of back and forth with the editor, I’m at peace with the article, but this subject is a very intriguing and personal one to me. Let us regroup, and get back to work. -B 

Africana Studies launches new major and minor

By Brionna Jimerson

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Photo: Courtesy Sophia Wright

The Africana Studies program is finally a reality on the Hill this semester after years of negotiations, including a student-led march to Ballou Hall last November.

Following several years of negotiation between the student body and the administration, Tufts’ new Africana Studies program is settling into its first month on the Hill, complete with a new director, a set curriculum and student interest.

TV review: Tepid relationships, stereotypes hamper “Basketball Wives LA”

Journalism, Tufts Daily

Tepid relations, stereotypes hamper ‘Basketball Wives’

TV Review | 2 out of 5 stars

By Brionna Jimerson

 

Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In recent years, VH1 has begun to catch up to television’s endemic lifestyle−based reality shows by targeting a different demographic of status−conscious viewers. The cable station has produced shows like “Basketball Wives,” “Baseball Wives” (2011−12) and the much more tragic, less decipherable “Basketball Wives LA” with mixed and often disappointing results. Season two of Basketball Wives LA kicked off — or rather fell off — with a recap of the action from last season, which included backstabbing, heightened awareness of the cameras and a group of women searching for social belonging among their peers.

The show begins with Jackie Christie, wife of former NBA player Doug Christie, talking with her husband about her failed friendships with the other cast members. The self−appointed queen bee of the posse, she feels the other ladies should apologize to her for their accusations that she started last season’s drama. However, Jackie seems hesitant to actually give up her grudge, preferring to lament about it to anyone within earshot, like her husband and devoted friendSundy. Jackie says the women are jealous she has everything they want and that their drive is low.

We then learn that Laura Govan, sister of castmate Gloria Govan and girlfriend of former Orlando Magic player Gilbert Arenas, is back in Los Angeles after moving to Orlando, Fla. She confides that she hasn’t even spoken to her own sister in over a year, adding weight to the argument that when the show isn’t filming the women rarely confide in one another as friends, let alone as sisters. Gloria is in the midst of planning a dinner with the other castmates to sample recipes from her new cookbook. Yes, Ms. Govan is writing a cookbook, which seems to be the career path of choice for several celebreality stars, including the wildly successful Bettheny Frankel of “Real Housewives of New York” and the wildly tacky Teresa Guidice of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

Gallery review: MFA jewelry exhibit brings sparkle, like Beyonce. Or…Jordin Sparks.

Journalism, Tufts Daily

MFA jewelry exhibit brings sparkle to the Museum of Fine Arts

Exhibit shows jewelry’s importance and influence through history

By Brionna Jimerson

A south German rosary from the mid-17th century, bequest of William Arnold Buffum.

“Jewels, Gems and Treasures: Ancient to Modern,” curated by Yvonne Markowitz of the Museum of Fine Arts, is a study in the appreciation and significance of various jewels and precious pieces over time. Spanning centuries and six continents, the show features studio jewelry, diamonds once belonging to film legend Joan Crawford and a suite owned by Mary Todd Lincoln, as well as 17th−century south German rosaries and a Nubian crystal pendant dating back to 712 B.C. The exhibit calls into question the multiple functions of jewelry, and it displays pieces that range from the protective to the decorative.

First (print!) article of the semester! Interview with Provost David Harris

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism, Tufts Daily

New university provost David Harris brings experience, fresh ideas to the Hill

By Brionna Jimerson

Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 09:09

Provost David Harris sat down with the Daily to discuss his history at Cornell and his future at Tufts.

As a sociologist, dean, Obama administration advisor and the interim head of Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center, new Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris has a past steeped in administrative experience that he says will inform and benefit the work ahead of him at Tufts.

Harris’ appointment, the result of extensive and prolonged efforts of a Tufts search committee, follows former Provost JamshedBharucha’s departure in March 2011 and the temporary appointment of interim Vice Provost Peggy Newell soon after.

It is one of several major administrative changes Tufts has made in the last few years including the arrival of University President Anthony Monaco in 2011.

The university provost is the chief academic officer at Tufts.

In this position, Harris will represent the academic side of the university in all meetings at the senior level.

The university’s deans report to the provost, as do the vice provost and associate provost.

Harris’ responsibilities include overseeing the organizational structure of the Tufts curriculum and the overall academic growth of the university – areas to which he hopes to bring an interdisciplinary approach.

“I’m heavily involved in interdisciplinary [education] not because it’s the cool thing to do, but because it’s required to answer critical questions you want to answer,” he said.

Updates!

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism, Tufts Daily

Alright, last year. Let’s go.

Updates: School has begun *cue the Scream 2-esque freakouts and fear*, I’m still a News editor, but my primary focus is execing New Media. So far, so good! Once I get into my academic groove I’ll be able to focus intensely on NM, and The Daily.

Check out JumboSlice, the blog for The Tufts Daily! We’re doing big things over there! Latest post:

This weekend in Davis Square

by BRIONNA JIMERSON on SEPTEMBER 7, 2012

This weekend, don’t let your fun begin and end at Fall Ball! Take time to explore the newest arrivals in Davis Square, while you still have time to spare! Whether it’s for a study break or a full-blown adventure, get to know Davis on a more intimate level, and you’ll find the Square has much more to offer besides the T station and CVS.

iyo1

iYo Cafe

The latest in self-serve yogurt, the locally-owned iYo Cafe’ is a double hitter, serving yogurt AND espresso that some Tufts students can only describe as “addictive in the most beautiful way.” The establishment has been open for just over a month, but already has built up significant foot traffic in the Somerville community. Clyde Swarsden, a Somerville native and high school student, said he ventures into Davis at least twice a week for “a two-fer: brain freeze and caffeine fix!” 234 Elm Street, 617-688-2407

pburro

The Painted Burro Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar

Amidst the microbrewery craft beers and seemingly endless stream of creative tapas and small plates in Davis, The Painted Burro is a welcome change from the usual Tex-Mex style fare. Yes, they serve empanadas. Yes, the on-tap margaritas already have a cult-like following of Somerville and Cambridge folks who head to The Painted Burro after 5 pm, like clockwork. But The Painted Burro’s  Mexican beer and tequila selection is sure to convert even the most staunch Jose Cuervo devotee! The restaurant features an ever-evolving menu of Latin American options that transcend the expected mainstays, and includes inventive flavors like  the “pork ‘conchinta’, a pork and spicy citrus achiote served with pineapple and serrano salsa. Check out The Painted Burro for brunch or dinner! Open for brunch from 11am- 2pm, open daily from 5pm-1am. 219 Elm Street, for reservations call 617-776-0005

adamfalafal

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Finally! A grab-and-go restaurant to give Anna’s Taqueria a run for its money! Amsterdam arrived in Davis over the summer, and since has been making the rounds with the lunch crowd, and those seeking nourishment (a la Moe’s) just before the bars close. For just under $7.00, you can be the proud (though temporary!) owner of a falafel pita that’s bursting forth with your choice of fresh veggies, hummus, and tender falafel balls. Not to mention they serve traditional Belgian style ‘frites’ (french fries) with delectable sauces like curry ketchup and garlic cream. Why are you still reading this? Go NOW! 248 Elm Street., 617-764-3334

 

punjabigrill

Punjabi Grill

Punjabi is one of the newest arrivals to Davis, having only a couple of weeks under its belt. But this Pakistani and Indian cuisine restaurant’s spectacular lunch buffet is bound to make Punjabi a mainstay in Davis. The Bihari chicken was a big hit for Somerville resident and Punjabi enthusiast Rusty Gershwin, who “has carved out a small monthly budget for Punjabi, it’s just that good!”  Punjabi’s Pakistani selection is perhaps the best in Boston, to date. With dishes served up in both Indian and Pakistani culinary style, you’ll be hard pressed to find a flavor that’s not at once challenging and delicious. 236 Elm Street, 617-718-1599

The Davis Flea, Sundays, 10am-4pm

Davis Flea

No matter your class year, the Davis Flea may be a new sight for you, and it’s definitely one worth seeing! A weekly market that began in earnest this summer, The Davis Flea features vendors from the area, selling their wares both old and new, at remarkably low prices. Being hip has never been this easy! Buy some vintage-inspired jewelry, antique flatware (there’s a stall for those), fresh produce, or just peruse the vendors’ wares for whatever catches your eye. 52 Holland Street

Photos by Jodi Bosin / The Tufts Daily

We’re gonna have a good day.

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism

This exchange happened a couple of days ago. I can still feel the dull, throbbing burn. 

My boss, to me: “Brionna, send me your story ideas for Basic Black?”

Me: scours emails I sent to myself, my Google Docs, notebooks for story ideas from earlier in the summer

Her (one minute later): “Did you send them yet?”

Me: suddenly aware: “…You mean the daily story roundup?”

Her: “Yes.” sweet smile

Me: “…”

   

Struggles, man. But I adore this job. And my  boss. Just to be clear.