What is Jazz?

Dear reader,

Have you listened to jazz music recently? Did you like it? Is it your first time listening to it, or have you been listening to it for a long time?

My first experience with jazz was when I was about eleven or twelve when my piano teacher gave me an assignment to listen to a jazz artist. I was able to find a collection of Ella Fitzgerald’s best songs and once I listened to it, I loved it at once. I listened to it day in and day out, even when I was going to sleep. It was like a new world was opening right in front of me, and inviting me to explore more. As soon as that collection was listened to quite a few times, my dad offered to get some more CDs for me, to which I happily accepted.

When I was listening to CDs from about ten years ago, I always wondered if jazz ever survived to the modern era and what that sounded like. After a few years, through iTunes, I found out that there were more modern jazz artists as well. Curiosity led me to explore other artists like Sara Gazarek and Gretchen Parlato and I found them to be wonderful to listen and even dance to. It was then that I realized that jazz is more than just a genre of music. It is a timeless art that spans over 100 years and would continue to grow!

So dear reader, what do you think about jazz? I’ve told you my story, now start your own. If you listen, continue to listen and explore different artists. If you haven’t listened, why not start now? Try different artists both old and new and see which one(s) you like best. The choice is up to you

“Change is always happening. That’s one of the wonderful things about jazz music.” – Maynard Ferguson

-Kinya

 

Walt Whitman in Metaphors

If Walt was a color, he would be a rainbow because there are many different aspects that can be taken away from his poetry and his poetry often has a deeper sense of meaning.

If Walt was a food, he would be a salad. Whitman’s exploration about many different topics from exploring nature to city life to his personal experiences through poetry make him an interesting poet to read from.

If Walt was an animal, he would be a bird. He is able to retrieve aspects of an issue that may seem unrelated at first, but eventually turns out to be a beautiful and intricately complex nest of ideas.

If Walt was a season, he would be spring. His love of nature is present in many of his poems and he even talks about ordinary things in nature like the ocean and the forest as “miracles”. Spring is a season where the plants can begin to appear after the cold season of winter, and Whitman also took a new approach to poetry by seeing things from a new perspective.

If Walt was a day of the week, he would be Friday. The end of the week can be seen as freedom and a chance to relax. Whitman thinks that freedom is a very important aspect in poetry and the expression of that freedom is important as well.

If Walt was a word, he would be liberty. “The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.”

If Walt was a season of life, he would be infancy because he has a great curiosity about everything, no matter its size or importance to others. He has even been quoted as saying “be curious, not judgmental”.

If Walt was a musical instrument, he would be a harp. In his poetry, he speaks about topics in a way that resonates with many people and is said in a gentle but understanding manner.

If Walt was a outdoors activity, he would be climbing up a mountain. His way of writing challenges you to think deeper than you expect and it is challenging to get to the point when you fully understand his point. However, once you do, you will be amazed at how far you have come.

If Walt was a natural phenomenon, he would be wind. He is able to go through topics in a way that not a lot of people would have thought of. As a result, when you read his poems, you may not necessarily know what he is going to say next or what angle he is going to approach a situation from.

If Walt was a personality type, he would be a commander. He is able to lead the way in exploring a new type of poetry that others during his time had not thought of before.

If Walt was a demeanor, he would be welcoming. Whitman is open to people talking to him and he will also try to have a conversation with who he is talking to. “Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?”

If Walt was an American holiday, he would be Independence Day. Whitman has a strong sense of patriotism for America. “The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”

If Walt was a music genre, he would be classical. He is a poet who starts out with a theme in a poem and is able to approach it from different angles without detracting from the true purpose of the poem.

If Walt was a phrase, he would be ‘appreciative of nature’. “After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains.”

 

A Resume To Remember

Dear reader,

This post will offer you some useful advice on how to make you a candidate for a potential job, and what mistakes that you should avoid. Writing an effective resume will help you get that dream job and make yourself a stronger candidate for consideration.

First things first: how should it look like? It should have a clear and logical structure with bullet points highlighting important information such as accomplishments. The initial look is important because if poorly formatted, it will not be considered as highly and your credibility will take a hit.

After you’ve figured out a suitable format for your resume, it’s time to fill in the information. A few key points here are to write down accomplishments that you were a part of, and not just focus on what job positions you had. Employers will be looking for someone who was able to be a problem-solver and what they themselves did. Also avoid putting any irrelevant information because the information may not necessarily be in context and the person reading your resume will get lost.

One final to make your resume stand out is to quantify your accomplishments. That way, you can state the amount of skills you have in a certain area and give the employer an idea of where you will best fit into the organization. If selected, then you will be able to play from your strengths and be able to adjust a little easier to what you are being asked to do in the company or organization.

Those are a few tips that I have to offer about how to make your resume strong. However, there are more resources out there than just my blog post. Go out and explore what other tips there are and format a resume that you are proud of. Good luck.

-Kinya

Where is the Truth?

Dear reader,

These past few months, I have most recently found myself asking this same question. Where is the truth? Is it not around anymore and are we all just wandering in a post-truth world?

The word “post-truth” has now become a large focus in world news today, especially with the U. S. elections. During the campaigning season and the competition between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with both sides bashing each other about what their plans hold, I asked myself, where the truth is in the situation? Also with the issue of fake news websites posting information that was incorrect or biased, but nevertheless being used by people to spread information on social media networks, I had to wonder where the truth was.

A few years ago, I had an experience in wrestling with truth. I was talking to a friend who was strongly opposed to something and she said that what she believed was the truth. When I heard that, I questioned if what she was saying really was the truth and what basis she had for believing it. When I looked it up a few hours later, turns out that my friend was right and what she opposed to was indeed a real issue and that the information that she told me was true.

Truth is now a more important aspect than ever before because of recent events. Even though you may hear something, it may not necessarily be true, because it might have come from a source with biased, or even incorrect information. If I am to pass along a piece of advice, it would be this: be careful of what you read or hear, because it might not be true. Keep asking questions and dig deeper into what you hear to find out the truth instead of falling in the “post-truth” ditch.

-Kinya

 

True Meaning of Life

Dear reader,

When you think about “truly living”, what words or phrases come to mind? Not letting anything get in your way? Realizing your true potential and seeing what you can do? Make something that you’ve dreamed about since you were a child into reality?

The definition of “truly living” changes from person to person. How you decide to interpret that phrase is up to you. Personally, I think that truly living is where you are happy with what you have achieved and realize that you are comfortable with your circumstances. However, don’t forget that even though you may be happy, try to challenge yourself and reach even greater heights.

In terms of challenges, one of the major obstacles that you can come across is none other than yourself. If you think that you can’t do things, then you won’t make an effort to even try anything, and therefore be dealing self-inflicted wounds. Sometimes, I find myself in a rut where I don’t know what to do. However, when I get into those situations, I realize I have a choice. I can either sit around and sulk all day, or try and find a silver lining in the midst of the dark clouds.

“Truly living” is a very interesting phrase to use. It is something that is very much open to interpretation depending on your own thinking style. So I ask you once more, dear reader: When you think about “truly living”, what words or phrases come to mind?

-Kinya

The Melody of Poetry

Dear reader,

Poetry is a very interesting and powerful form of communication. Instead of speaking in prose, one is expressing ideas in a way that has meter, rhyme, and rhythm among other aspects. It can also be a way to connect to other poetry that one has previously experienced.

Depending on the poetry that one reads, they will experience different ideas. For example, Walt Whitman has poems about transcendentalism and realism, William Carlos Williams deals with modernism and imagism. What makes poetry significant is the fact that each person has his or her own different views and even though some may be similar, others will be vastly different.

In my personal experience, poetry is a way to express my feelings about a certain issue or to explore different perspectives of something. I also use poetry to thank people who have had a great influence in my life. For example, when I was about 14 years old, I was going through a difficult situation and I was able to talk about it with one of my teachers. She was able to help me through the problem and she was willing to lend a listening ear whenever I needed it. When I found out that teacher was leaving, I was very sad and wanted to find a way to thank her for all she had done in my life. I felt that no amount of words I could speak would express my gratitude, so I turned to poetry. I wrote her a poem, and she was very appreciative of the gesture.

So what does poetry mean to you, dear reader? What do you think poetry is significant for? I’ve explained my reasons, so go out and find your own.

-Kinya

Rebellion: Good or Bad?

Dear reader,

I have been thinking about the concept of ‘rebellion’ recently. Is it good or bad? Does it undermine authority as a powerful force?

Rebellion is defined as “an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler.” People rebel against things that they may not support or believe in and allows them to be heard about issues that concern them.  That sparks a strong movement in some cases. Those rebellions spark change for what may lie ahead for those people in the government.

For example, with the Civil Rights movement in America in the 1950s and 1960s, black people in America were fighting against the inequality that they were facing. There were many changes in America over the years sparked by the movement. However, in some people’s opinions, the issue has not been fully addressed. Even today, there are some protests that go on about other sensitive topics, and they get noticed for the message they are trying to express.

Rebellions are a drastic way for people to have their voices heard if multiple efforts to do so before have failed, but are they really a force for good or bad? What do you think, dear reader?

-Kinya