Alex in Transit(ion)

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I will never forget what it was like coming back to Albany after living in Potsdam for four months. In such a big city, I thought that my absence wouldn’t be recognized and to my surprise, I was dead wrong. When I visited the shops and bars along Lark Street, the workers would give me a variation of “Alex, where have you been?” It was then when I realized that you don’t need to live in a small town of 300 people for your neighbors to care about you. It can be done in a city with a population of 97,856 as well. 

Albany has become my home and just like any home, there’s an innate desire to take care of it and make it better. Before I leave for grad school, I want to get more immersed in the community than I have before. My job has enabled me to meet a lot of great people with some solid ideas and I really want to make them come to fruition. For example, if things fall the way I’m working to make them to be, I really would like to organize a Bicycle Safety Awareness night for the youth because, as a cyclist, I can’t tell you how many times it breaks my heart to see kids riding the streets not only without helmets on, but often they ride against traffic and I feel that one of these days we will have a tragedy on our hands. Along with that, I’m thinking about organizing a fundraiser to help raise money to buy some helmets for youth that can’t afford them. Thankfully, my neighborhood association meeting is coming up after a three month long recess, so we will see! Finally, after talking with another woman about the recent sexual assaults in our neighborhood, I’m also thinking about organizing a SlutWalk. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, the first SlutWalk began earlier this year when a Toronto police officer said that in order for women to protect themselves from sexual assault, they shouldn’t dress like sluts. Women protested against his remarks by marching; some dressed in regular clothes and others dressed in provocative clothing. Some of them carry signs with messages like this:

Since then, the movement has grown into an international phenomenon and has become one of the most successful feminist movements in recent years. I think it would be a great idea since we have a large number of colleges in the area and if we got the right organizations to support it, we could help make this a safer city. I can’t tell you how many times I have been harassed by men on the street and feared for my personal safety. This may not be a comprehensive solution but women need to let their voices be heard that we are not accepting of this behavior in our community.

This is what I love doing and even though organizing keeps me up nights and I work so hard, often for free, the end result is worth my time. 

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so here’s a couple of goals I have

Starting in October, I’m going to be brushing up on my Italian, Spanish, and French. Yes, I know, it’s funny that I don’t know the language I grew up with but for some reason or another, we were never taught Italian and it frustrates me that I cannot speak with 85% of my family. When I took Italian in college, it was a beautiful experience to be able to talk with my father in our family’s language and then after I entered the real world, I lost it because I moved two hours away from my family. That is going to change. I know my grandparents don’t have a lot of time left and for once, I want to be able to have a real conversation with them. 

Also, I recognize that if I want to succeed in my career, I need to learn how to speak Spanish fluently…because I don’t want to end up like Michael Bloomberg. I took Spanish in college but I wasn’t very good at it because I kept reverting back to French, which was the first language I learned in high school. When I was in Montreal, even though my French was very rough, I was still surprised at how much I retained. Since I’m interested in living in Quebec one day (Montreal est dans mon couer), I really want to be fluent in French as well. I was so good at it in high school and honestly, I wish I went farther with it. 

These are lofty goals which is the reason why I’m not giving myself a deadline. The great thing is that these are romance languages so they’re all related to each other but like I mentioned before, it is very easy to get them confused. It will be a journey, but I know that this will be so fulfilling. It’s a big ol’ world out there and it’s time for me to go and explore it! 

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Another night in the woods

A couple of days ago, I was in Crossgates Mall because work gave me the night off and I was wandering around Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s really weird but I really enjoy browsing through sporting goods stores. Is it true that you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl? My dream is to live in a major city and completely immerse myself into living an urban lifestyle but I also know that the country is always going to be my home. I’m looking forward to the day when I have a family of my own so I can bring them to Anawanda Lake to teach them how to swim, pick blueberries, and make s’mores on a raging bonfire. Sounds idyllic right? That was my childhood.

When I was in the store, my eyes were all over the fishing poles, hunting knives, kayaks, hiking boots, and most importantly- the tents.

I concluded that my life will be made once I obtain all of those and put them to good use.

Looking at that sentence and also knowing what kind of partner in crime I’m looking for, whenever he appears, I’m realizing that I will have one atypical wedding registry.