Author Archives: Ruket Negasi

Absence Paper– 24h

Tired is the least you can say. Exhausted does not quite match it. Drained out is probably a bit closer. However, I would like to say I was completely dead for 24 hours. Pulling three all nigthers in a row does that to your body. Not only is it school load that is killing me but also work load. I really thought I could balance work and school, but shit is hard when you go above and beyond to stay on top of things. Things such as bills, bills and more bills.

This one particular day I just couldn’t get out of bed. I tried to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t. My body made it clear to my mind that I just had to put everything on hold for 24 hours. My body convinced my mind that the coming 24 hours would make me whole again and make me function as a wonder woman afterwards. My head was way too heavy to lift to check the time. First I blamed the prose workshop classes, however I found those classes entertaining despite the fact that the class starts at 8am, so I couldn’t really blame them.

Not only is the pressure coming from school and work, it is coming from friends and family. I have been receiving a lot of complaints from my loved ones. I try to stay in touch, I try to call now and then, I show that I care, but they have no clue the shit I have to go through. Not many know that I pay out-of-state tuition, that’s like $6300 a semester for 12 credits.

I don’t have the luxury like most CCNY students to live with family members and not worry about rent. Instead I live in a crappie NYC apartment that barely has any hot water and I am stuck paying $900 for one single room.  Had I known that this was what I was getting myself into before moving to NYC, I would have probably had stayed in Washinton D.C.

Absence Paper– Group Work

I have no idea why some professor would torture some students like this. Group work is pointless if you can’t choose your own group members. Some are just in college without a purpose, which is just a waste of time and money.


I had the unfortunate to have knuckle heads in my group.  Everyone knows that communication is the key in any group; if there is no communication between group members the mission has already failed from day one.


The first group member, A, is the type that rides along the work process without actually doing shit. Apparently he is one of those type of kids who had others doing things for him. He was pretty much the type who was born with a silver spoon. First time I met him he seemed alright, he would say some impressive things in class. This group member also happens to be the kind of student that plagiarizes. Our group was assigned to put together a twelve pages of literature review. We all agreed on doing three pages each and have our part done two days before it was due. I voluntarily took upon the leadership role and made sure everyone did their part. Our paper was due on a Monday, and we agreed to have our part done and uploaded to google doc by Saturday. To my surprise one two group members uploaded their part, including me of course. One of them, group member B was the type of person that does thing last minute so he didn’t upload his part until Sunday night, mad late. Group member also submitted his part late Sunday night, however his three  pages were all plagiarized. This dude also left the footnotes highlighted in blue, which made it clear to me that he pulled it all out from Wikipedia. I was furious. What kind of dumbass expects me to put my name on plagiarized paper. I had no choice but to pull an all nighter. I had to read three different articles, and connect them all up to three pages. In other words, I had to skip Prose workshop, call in sick at work to finish this paper because the other students didn’t have the time to do it. So much for team effort.




“I’m so annoyed right now #fuckcandycrush”

“WTF!! Really tho? Of all days #fml”

“Just made my day 🙂 #feelingblessed”


It has become a place where you can go to share your thoughts and feelings. A place where you can seek for approval before trying something new. A place where you can go to ask for advice before making the wrong decision. A place where you can tell who cares and who doesn’t.

A place where you can play games with new and old friends. A place where you can receive invites to parties, film festivals, concerts and games. For most people it has become a playground, which means the more friends and followers you have the higher status you gain. For many it has substitute the morning and evening prays. I am sure Zuckerberg, Systrom & Krieger and Dorsey didn’t see all this coming.

The thirst for attention has grown, hence we take photos of everything we see, everything from what you had for breakfast to selfies. We turn to it when we are lonely because that’s when we seek for attention the most. The more “Likes” the better. The platform has become our spotlight, and it has become our job to function as our own publicist. We would unintentionally go the extreme route to produce more comments and likes on our posts. The platform has become an environment where our paparazzi can follow us. We take photos of everything we see or experience. As our own publicist we strive for creating our own image, an image we fail to build in the real world. Amore, Mayfair, Rise, Hudson, Valencia, X-pro II, Sierra, Willow, Lo-Fi, Earlybird, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977and Kelvin are just a few out of many tools used to refine and enhance our pictures. The short, chubby and sweet girl next girl has suddenly become a Victoria Secret model in a matter of minutes, #DUCKFACE! The number of selfies people take was probably not forecasted by Systrom and Krieger a few years ago.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are just a few of many social media tools given to us to explore.

#Chillin, #Friends, #Homemade #TGIF, #Classic, #Love, #Funny, #YOLO #Swag, #Legendary

Walk into any house party or restaurant and you are likely to find people who are not really interacting with each other. Instead they are staring at their smart phones. As if people forgot how to socially interact with one another. “Taking some time off my grind to chill with friends, #Friends #feelingsoblessed, #Chillin #Goodtimes”.

Technology has made it more affordable to connect with people all over the world. Nowadays no one really has the time or the money to meet up with friends. However, the social platform has pushed us much farther apart by creating the illusion that we are in fact connected. We only highlight the best moments of our days, making it seem as if we are living like rock stars every day. This tends to lead to jealousy which in turn makes you less happy about your life. It drives you to compete with posting better pictures, and posts indicating that you are always on the go. The social platform essentially creates an egocentric environment. It is there for you to make it all about you and your life. It has become our journal to share with people we chose as our audience, #deardiary. Difference is that you create your posts and tweets in a way to get attention. For instance, you are having an ordinary day except that your waiter served you regular lemonade instead of pink lemonade. Your posts would read something like this to draw attention.

“That DID NOT just happen #fml #soannoyed”

Most likely you will receive comments asking for more information and the answer would be something like this;

“Too pissed right now, txt u later”

In reality we are seeking attention which happens to be much easier to obtain via social media. If our goal is to be happy we will in the near future rely more on social media than we do today. Unfortunately the younger generation is trapped in this social media world; it has become their only way of socializing with other people.





It is all over the news! “They can merely not be held responsible for something they don’t understand”, was one statement said by an old lady at my office. A father was struck by a truck while crossing the country in memory of his son, who committed suicide because he was bullied in school.

Being different is sometimes a very cool and popular thing, while some are just born with it others chose that path of life style. However being different can be seen as something that is not acceptable by the norm. Growing up, the word cool was something I remember as the four golden letters because everyone I knew was trying to be cool and be seen by so many. Wearing the latest designer clothes and riding a cross bicycle to school was seen as something very cool and automatically put you in the center of coolness. Not only did I not wear the latest designer clothes but I did not have a bike because my parents couldn’t afford it. On top of that I was different for just being the only black girl in school.

I made it through the first day of school, and as expected Michelle, Sandra and Jenny were all dressed up looking like the model girls from the cover of H&M’s catalog collection. Being a little over a decade old my mama would pick out my outfit for school, although my brothers were given the liberty to choose their own outfits. They say that a boy will always be mommy’s little boy while a girl will be daddy’s little girl. That saying pretty much summarized my relationship with my mama. She always told me that girls at my age back in Eritrea cook and clean for the entire family. In other words if she was ever to take me with her to visit it would be an embarrassment. Living in Scandinavia and being around Scandinavian children is the main reason to why I am not the perfect daughter, according to her. Her focus and attention always went to my brothers, it seemed as if I was just a burden.

I could possible not know what Emma was feeling other than that she wanted to feel wanted and popular too. She always came dressed nice and neat like she was going to church. At recess she would try and tag along with us to the playground, although I knew the other girls were not so fond of her. I tried to figure out what she was lacking other than her taste in clothing. Maybe her mother also picked her outfits out or maybe she just liked to wear church clothes. She looked like a typical Swedish girl; tall, skinny, blue eyes, slightly tanned skin and golden blonde hair. Yet the other girls didn’t find her cool; at least not cool enough to hang out with. During recess Emma agreed to play the tagger all the time, I couldn’t imagine how exhausting that must have been for her. However, she managed to get the attention of the other girls.

One day, Emma didn’t show up to school, and I was asked by the girls to be the tagger. I hesitated when I was asked but agreed at the end. Ten minutes later I was exhausted and didn’t feel like running around like a headless chicken at the playground anymore.

Me; Hey guys, I don’t feel like being the tagger no more.

Michelle; Why not?

Me; Because I feel exhausted, why can’t one of you be the tagger?

All of a sudden the other girls didn’t feel like playing tag no more and said;

“It’s getting too cold outside, lets just go inside and wait till class start”, said Michelle.

Michelle was the only child in her family. She had her mother, step-father, grandmother and grandfather’s full attention every day. Every morning her mother, grandmother and her two dogs would walk her to school. I would watch her as she waved them good-bye and gave her dogs kisses. She could have just walked to school by herself, since she only lived 5 blocks away. It seemed like she requested a whole entourage to take her to her own playground.

Math class was the only class time I could sit and daydream about what I would do if I had enough money to buy cool things, like a new freestyle, or a portable cd player. There was no point of paying attention in math class because my baba told my brothers and I how people in our bloodline are horrible with numbers. Therefore I didn’t see the point of even trying to learn more than being able to count my future money. Class ended a lit bit earlier this time, Mr. Kent asked me to stay after class. At that point my palms were all wet from sweat because I had no idea what I have done wrong. The only time you are in trouble is if you are asked to stay inside while your classmates were in recess.

Mr. Kent gently said; Please have a seat right here Ruket,

I was trying to look him in the face without being too obvious but I found myself starring down the floor as I slowly walked over to the chair right next to his desk. He gently closed the math books and the note book he had in front of him and pulled out a yellow folder. He looked up and smiled. The smile felt like it was an indication of “its okay you are not in trouble” but I couldn’t hold myself to keep my mouth shut out of respect, I asked him;

Me; Mr. Kent did I do something bad.

Mr. Kent; No Ruket you are not in trouble.

Before he could continue Ms. Jessica walked in the room. Ms. Jessica was Mr. Kent’s teaching assistant, she was a hip and cool lady but she had her days. There was a rumor that was going around that Mr. Kent was going to propose to her but it wouldn’t be so cool because he was twice her age. Ms. Jessica walked in and took a seat right next to me. I couldn’t help but drying my hands on my sweat pants because I didn’t want them to notice how nervous I was. In the back of my head I was thinking of all the possible things I have done in order for me to be sitting inside while my friends are out being cool.

Mr. Kent; How are you liking school?

Me; It is okay, I really like recess.

As I smiled and looked out the window to see my friends play while I was stuck inside.

Mr. Kent; Well the reason we asked you to stay in is because we have some concerns over a classmate of yours. Emma’s parents has reached out to us both and informed us that Emma has been coming home crying every day since school started this fall.

Me; Why would she cry? Emma is nice to me.

Mr. Kent; She feels as if some students are being mean to her and tease her for no reason.

My first thought was; how on earth did I miss this, why was I not part of the teasing? Was I not so cool enough to be part of the teasing group?

Mr. Kent; We would like to put a stop to this and we would like you to help us identify the students who are part of putting Emma down.

All of a sudden I became speechless. Not so much to Emma being picked on, but to why I was called in to the teacher’s office and inform him as if I was a spy. Spies are cool but not cool enough. This means that I was not seen as part of the group, just an outsider. My efforts to melt in the center of coolness has failed, I had failed.