Black Girl, Grad School

an amalgamation of personal politics, and my life as a Ph.D. candidate

Posts by Tamanisha J. John

Long Overdue, Grad School Update

Posted on 2019-03-14

It seems that I have been away from my blog for exactly eight months now. If you’re still following my writing even with my inconsistency, then, thank you. If you’re no longer following and just happen to be passing by and seeing this post, I also want to thank you, because you shouldn’t have to put up with something that is not consistent. Due to my inconsistency, I have merged my more personal blog with this one, so that all of my blogging is under one umbrella. Hopefully, this makes it so that blogging doesn’t seem like an overwhelming feat for me–in terms of thinking which type of post goes where, etc.– which may help me be more consistent when it comes to blogging. To…

Socialism 2018

Posted on 2018-07-10

On Wednesday, July 4th, myself (Vice Secretary) and the Vice chair of YDSA FIU were able to attend the Socialism 2018 conference in Chicago. None of this would have been possible for us, had it not been for the South Florida International Socialist Organization (SF ISO). SF ISO informed YDSA FIU about the conference in April of the Spring 2018 semester, and then secured our flights to and from Miami and Chicago for us. So, what is Socialism 2018? Much as the name suggests, it’s a gathering of 2,000+ socialists who believe that human beings should come before profit. The annual Socialism Conference “has brought together revolutionaries and activists to exchange and debate ideas to advance our struggles” for more than two decades. To…

Comps Results: 2/3; Why I Won’t Be The Angry Black Woman That White Supremacy Disrupts

Posted on 2018-06-29

I got my comps results on Tuesday! I passed my major and minor comps, but failed my core comps. This came as a shock to me, because whereas I anticipated failing 1 question on the core comps, I did not anticipate failing all 3 questions. I was passed by one core professor on 2/3 questions. But failed by the other professor on all 3. I posted the above status and then waited one day before I sent out emails thanking my committee’s readers. On the day that I found out, I also went to the gym to blow off some steam (and mostly lose some weight since the gym was planned before I got my results back). Most felt that there is no need…

Safeguarding the Fragile Male Ego in Academia

Posted on 2018-06-11

‘Hey, I think you should do it this way…not because what you have is wrong, but maybe it’d read easier like this.’  I found myself saying this to a male colleague last semester, instead of outrightly saying: ‘what you wrote makes no sense to me, no matter how much I re-read it.’ I said the former because I knew that if I said what the exact problem was he (1) would not believe me and (2) tell people just how much of a bitch Tamanisha always is.  Unsurprisingly, he had other males read what he wrote too, and I do believe that they told him the exact problem without any fluff.  These men would never be subjected to number 2—however, as a trusted female…

“Freedom Is Still More Expansive Than Civil Rights”

Posted on 2018-04-30

This past week, I was given the opportunity to present at the 19th Annual SALISES conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The theme of the conference was “Sustainable Futures for the Caribbean: Critical Interventions and the 2030 Agenda.” I learned a great deal from that conference and was able to see a lot of great presentations and take-in a lot of knowledge from those presentations… However, that is not what this blog post is about. That information simply sets the stage for my leisure reading that I was able to do on my way to Jamaica and whilst in Jamaica. I decided to take the book Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angel Y. Davis with a…

Tennessee Fails to Condemn Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and the Alt-Right…because to do so would be “Divisive”

Posted on 2018-03-16

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but presently, we live in a world where morality and ethics are increasingly seen as solely relative. This has allowed pleas for morality when it comes to our interactions with each other to simply be ‘liberal buzzwords’ and ‘emotional pleas,’ from those who fight for human rights and legislative decency and/or justice. No longer is this a debate amongst philosophers, but apparently, the debate has ended. This is troubling. I cannot think of any instance, where the persecution of someone based on race, for instance, is morally ‘relative’ versus ‘universal.’ Can you? In this climate, to question the morality of a white supremacist is considered ‘bashing.’ Therefore, it is implied that we must take…

Why Guns in Schools to Prevent Mass Shootings Does Not Work

Posted on 2018-02-25

Only in the U.S. could one propose more guns in schools to curb mass shootings. I wish that I was kidding, but I’m not. Early last week, I wrote a post about the Parkland shooting which occurred on Valentine’s day in Florida. After the massacre, 17 students and adults were left dead. In spite of their deaths, two days later, Florida legislatures tried to sneakily relax gun laws in the state by hiding it in an agricultural bill. Thankfully, that bill was put on hold once major Florida news outlets picked the story up. I ended my post early last week stating: What matters are those who died when they did not have to. What matters is recognizing the hurt and pain students (survivors),…

NRA + GOP: Thoughts & Prayers Do Not Stop Gun Massacres in the U.S.

Posted on 2018-02-19

On Valentine’s Day 2018, Nikolas Cruz walked in to his old high school in Parkland, Florida and massacred 17 students, teachers, and adults. As with many cases of mass shootings in the U.S., many people were quick to send their “thoughts and prayers.” Republicans and their supported decried “politicizing” the issue—or in other words, bringing up gun reform and control in light of the 18th mass shooting in the U.S. for the year. Unsurprisingly, most politicians in South Florida are beholden to the National Rifle Association (NRA), receiving large sums of money from the association. Needless to say, despite the massacre hitting home, most South Florida representatives were in the “not politicizing” camp. However, let me be very clear: the South Florida shooting did…

Volunteering in Little Haiti: Democracy Lives in US— and is under attack.

Posted on 2018-02-11

So, as part of blogging my politics as a graduate student, I think it’s also nice to—every once in awhile—also post about some of the fun things that I get to do in grad school. Something fun that I was able to partake in on February 8th, 2018 as a volunteer— was the “Democracy Lives in Miami” event. Going in, I was unsure of what volunteering would entail, but the event sounded interesting and would give MALOKA (a grad student organization) some CSO points. I volunteered my time from 5 PM to 8:30 PM—mostly signing people up who didn’t initially RSVP to the event, to the event, so that they could attend. I also got to walk around Little Haiti a bit—something that I’ve…

Trump’s State of the Union Addresses Corporate America, Sander’s Response to Trump’s #SOTU Addresses the Problems Facing the American People… Democrats Response Sticks to their “Stronger Together” Narrative to hide their Complacency with Trump (most notably, this is the same narrative which cost them the 2016 election).

Posted on 2018-01-31

Last night on JANUARY 30TH, Trump addressed the Nation. 70% of his speech, as dissected by Politico, was either “False,” “Mostly False,” or “Pants on Fire False.” This to say, that if you actually tuned in to watch Trump’s #SOTU, then you are most likely less informed about the State of our Union, than you would’ve been had you not watched it at all. Surprisingly, Trump starts off saying that the State of our Union is “stronger than ever”— who would’ve thought that just after a year in office, he’d “Make America Great Again?” Now, this is sarcasm which is hard to decipher in today’s political climate—but him saying that, should give you an idea about where the entirety of his speech headed. Essentially,…