Long weekends rock
05.27.02 // 7:04 p.m.

I found my wallet Saturday morning in the drawer of my desk at work where I usually store my keys and wallet. I feel like such an idiot, and a little confused too. I noticed my wallet was missing when I was at work. I must have taken it out of my bookbag and put in the drawer then a minute or two later when I needed it to get my Bruincard to clock in, it was "missing." Whatever, I'm just glad I found it.


The 9th Annual Raza Youth Conference was wonderful, though not without the standard problems. For the past 9 years MEChA's consistently improved on RYC and the concurrent parent conference. Every year, usually on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, over 1,200 high school and middle school students, plus 200 of their parents and 60 of their little brothers and sisters, make their way to UCLA for a conference focused on the importance of higher education and working for positive change in your community.

The day is packed with a motivational speaker (this year columnist Roberto Rodriguez), danza Azteca, academic, cultural, political and career-based workshops, a chance to meet with other students, lunch, a college info fair, childcare, high school aged closing speakers, and more entertainment. It's all free for the participants, we even pay for transportation for some. The planning process starts in January and the committee works hard to fund raise and outreach to the students.

This year I didn't participate in the planning as I had before, but I made sure to show up bright and early on Saturday to help out with anything from cleaning up to facilitating a Tlatokan (talking circle). It's truly amazing to see so many brown faces (RYC isn't limited to raza, and students of different ethnicities are welcomed too) at UCLA, I wish it could be like that all the time. I feel like we do the work of the university in outreaching to these students from LA and the surrounding areas (like the Central Valley and Coachella Valley). We just do what we can to ensure that more students from our community are pursuing a higher education.


So, RYC was not all I did on Saturday. I snuck away during a part of the day I wasn't really needed, and headed over to the Radisson in Culver City to meet up with other okayplayers from all over. I felt really shy and mainly stayed and talked with those people I'd already met, Victor, Chris, Lamont, Tim, Cherisse, Johnny, and Jahbryll. We went to a park in Westchester for a picnic, but I didn't stay too long because I needed to get back to RYC.

Later that night I dressed up to go out to Sunset for some fun. That scene is so not me. I finally really understood why Angelinos have a reputation for being fake and so into images. I had fun, but I'm in no rush to return. Its too crowded and expensive!

After having caramel shakes at Norm's I stopped by my apartment to change and less than 10 minutes later I was back at the hotel. For some strange reason I really wanted to smoke out. I haven't done it since July and passed up a few opportunities. I didn't get back to my apartment until about 6:30 a.m.


3:06 p.m. I finally got out of bed. I got ready and went to campus for Jazz Day of the JazzReggae Fest. I only heard a little bit of Jimmy Smith's set and all of the Christian McBride Band's set. I really liked Christian McBride, but I was kind of too cold to truly enjoy them.

I scored some pretty jewelry, some cute shirts and a nice canvas bag. I probably spent more than I should have, but I couldn't resist.

I watched the bands with Ingrid (the current director for SPEAR, the Pilipino equivalent to Calmécac), her boyfriend and Paul (continuing SEA CLEAR director, the Southeast Asian equivalent to Calmécac). I discovered that at one point we would go to GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) at Dibble Elementary together on Fridays. I promised to visit her when she moved up to San Francisco for grad school. I'd be so glad if she was still director of SPEAR. She could have offered so much support because of her experience.


Sunday evening I drove home to spend some time with the familia and do laundry. It feels good to be here just chilling and procrastinating on the book review I need to write. I don't want to go back to school, but that's not unusual.

More nonsense later.

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Me siento: lazy
Escuchando: the Mi Familia soundtrack

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