Sidelines and Sessions

2010/07/30

DREAMers, ACT NOW!

Filed under: Uncategorized — spsukaton @ 5:19 am

I think Feinstein would pay more attention if we lit up the phones on every single one of her four district offices and her office in DC. Here are the numbers and a potential script:

LA: 310-914-7300
SD: 619-231-9712
Fresno: 559-485-7430
SF: 415-393-0707

DC: 202-224-3841

Script:

Hello, my name is <first name, last name> I am registered to vote in <county in California> and I am a student at <school> in <city>. I was informed about the hunger strikers outside Senator Feinstein’s Los Angeles office and I support their demands. Please inform Senator Feinstein that I request that she produce a written and signed promise to:

1. co-sponsor the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act as a stand-alone bill
2. vote to push DREAM out of the Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor for a vote
3. Rally support for DREAM among her colleagues
4. vote to pass the DREAM Act into law as a stand-alone bill

The United States Student Association has decided to back DREAM for the second year running, and as a student, I hope that the Senator will keep my friends, classmates, and colleagues in mind. Please pass the Senator my greetings and thanks for her support of students so far, as well as my urgings for her support of DREAM. Thank you.

Thanks again for all your help!

If you don’t live in Cali, please feel free to tailor this to your Senators and Representatives.

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2010/07/27

Eternal Return.

Filed under: Uncategorized — spsukaton @ 6:56 am

I’m a predictable creature.  Everything comes back to writing and reading with me. Always.

Such was the feeling after the shock from winning a Jim Murray Memorial Foundation scholarship wore off.

Jim Murray was a legendary sports columnist for the LA Times before his death in 1998. His wife, Linda McCoy-Murray, established the scholarship foundation that bears his name; she was also the bearer of good tidings for me today.

I was as surprised as I am overjoyed now. I found the application on a bulletin board in the Daily Bruin office, applied on a lark (a week or so before a deadline) and went through a couple rounds of edits with the scholarship counselors (who are wonderful human beings) and completely forgot about the application.

I mean, I was going through some things – all of which boiled down to not knowing what do with my life and leaning towards hipsterdom. And it’s ironic that I was awarded a scholarship tailored to aspiring journalists a month after I resigned from a newspaper I spent three years either idolizing, working for, or both.

Let’s get one thing straight, though. I am still a journalist and writer (as if that wasn’t obvious to my dear friends!) albeit one who’s taking a (much-anticipated) sojourn through student political life. Consider Carey McWilliams or Taylor Branch and you’ll see what I’m shooting for.

But that’s the point, really – whatever I do or have done, luck or fate or God or my subconscious or whatever keeps pulling me back to storytelling and truthtelling.

I am, beneath my politicking and my organizing and my activisting and my student advocating, a craftsman telling truths and spinning stories from sentences. The Adventist preacher in me, the historian, the theologian, the organizer, the chant leader even the saxophonist and singer – every other rushing current of my personality flows into the ocean of ink at the center of my being.

I am a writer, of a specific type. And I continuously return to that, no matter where I go – hence the title of this blog.

Religious scholar Mircea Eliade posited that archaic human religion consisted of returning to the origin of things, as the virtue or power of things lies in their origin. Huston Smith emphasizes this in The World’s Religions, pointing to how animistic traditions’ rituals have people performing “reenactments” – every hunter is a re-enactment of the original Hunter, ever killed beast is the same the the prototypical hunter killed.

If that’s true at all, then I am, at bedrock, a writer. I return again – to observation, to wordsmithery, to this blog. I circle, hopefully spiraling upward. Care to join me?

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