Once Upon A Ride

It’s probably my worst kept secret that I do Uber driving as one of my sources of income. I don’t mind either; I’m grateful for the opportunity and anything keeping me from working retail again. But BOY, does that not make the hardships I run into with the rideshare experience any more pleasant.

This job is very simple; take people where they’re going and don’t hit anything on the way there. So why does such a simple job run into so many problems? I can talk all day about my laundry list of Uber gripes, but I might want to come back to this topic once or twice again, so I’ll talk about two for now.

1. “English *insert trademark Samuel L. Jackson swear here*! Do you speak it?!”

Look, this isn’t one of those “This is MERICA, we only speak ENGLISH here” rants. Uber is inheritly a visual application and therefore anyone can use it. But when a problem arises? I suddenly can’t learn Spanish (or Portuguese, or Creole, regular French is okay though) to address the situation. This typically combines with another Uber issue to create a massive headache, but sometimes it can be a real pain all on its own too.

Recently, I picked up from Jersey Gardens mall, which has about half a dozen different entrances. My passenger naturally put just the actual mall as the pickup spot, so I had to call and confirm the location. Great, a confused voice speaking in Spanish answers the phone. Thankfully Uber has a message system that I was able to see her text with; it was a message saying her English wasn’t very good. Well, I appreciate the honesty, at least. A quick message through Google Translate told me they were at the food court, as I figured, by the location of their pin. Thankfully, the actual family were just glad to see me. I’m just glad there was no confusion. as to the destination.

No, I’m not kidnapping you. Or taking you to Flavortown.

2. Did you hear about this guy doing this thing with that girl and their friend?

The second, is drunk discussion. I like driving late at night, so I’m no stranger for the bar crowd. But the discussions that happen in the back of my car (which is a public space when passengers are in the car and therefore I can be as nosy as I please), whoa. They have beginnings, middles, and ends, and enough exposition for all people in the stories for me to have some sort of opinion at the end of it all. Yeah, Janet sounds like a real bitch. I usually get asked for my input anyway, so I have to have an opinion either way.

But the absolute craziness of some of these stories, and the people telling them. Do you know that the average Hoboken pasttime for those living in those lovely riverside penthouses, is cocaine done off of glass tables? I don’t think I was supposed to know that, but I heard it anyway.

Happens more than you think.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but these are two that really are more common than you think. They don’t really hinder me from doing the actual driving job, and sometimes it keeps things interesting, but overall it’s stuff I’d rather deal without, you know? As long as everyone gets where they’re going and I get paid, it’s all groovy. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m kidnapping anyone who has a bad payment method. I’m sure someone has though, and that’s why pepperspray is quintessential. Thanks for hearing my TED Talk.

“Keep Ya Head Up”

adult alone backlit black and white
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Once again, we are back for Thesis! Storytime: last week I was feeling extremely insecure about my early proposal (#2) that I submitted. I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning just to make sure what I had was good enough, even though I had no idea what I was doing. Needless to say, I don’t think I did that great of a job, but I am still pushing through! As per my previous blogs, I have become very passionate about language, identity, power and the combination of these things when it comes to African Americans and their dialects.

I will be honest, I don’t have much to say in my blog post for this week. However, I will let the notes I have been taking speak for itself. Here were some of the key points and quotes that stood out to me:

  • Tracing the history of BEV, Dillard (1972) notes that early slave traders purposely mixed slaves speaking different languages “so that the slaves could be more easily controlled.” To communicate with each other, the slaves relied on pidgin versions of Portuguese, French, and English that they “had learned in the slave ‘factories’” of West Africa: Slaves sent to French- or to Portuguese-speaking areas found it much easier to communicate in Pidgin French or in Pidgin Portuguese than to find an African language in common; they restricted contact of most of them with their masters precluded their learning the standard language. (p. 22) (pg 123) Elanor Wilson Orr: Twice as Less: Black English and the Performance of Black Students in Mathematics and Science (1987) Chapter 6: Prepositions in Black English Vernacular
  • Speaking of the difficulty BEV speakers have in learning standard English, Stewart (1969) makes the point: And even though the overall structural difference between Negro  dialect of the most nonstandard kind and standard English of the most formal kind is obviously not as great as between any kind of English and a foreign language like Spanish, this does not necessarily make it easier for the Negro-dialect speaker to acquire an acceptable standard variety of English than for the speaker of Spanish to do so. On the contrary, the subtlety of the structural differences between the two forms of English, masked as they are by the many similarities, may make it almost impossible for the speaker of Negro dialect to tell which patterns are characteristic of nonstandard dialect, and which ones are not. Indeed, this may explain why it is that many immigrant populations have been able to make a more rapid and successful transition from their original foreign language to standard English than migrant Negroes have from their own nonstandard dialect to standard English. (pp. 168-69) (pg 126) Elanor Wilson Orr: Twice as Less: Black English and the Performance of Black Students in Mathematics and Science (1987) Chapter 6: Prepositions in Black English Vernacular
  • Language acquisition is a subconscious process; while it is happening, we are not aware that we possess any new knowledge; the knowledge is stored in our brains subconsciously. Both children and adults can subconsciously acquire language. Also, both oral and written language can be acquired. (pg 1)Stephen D. Krashen: Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use (2003)

In conclusion, my lack of words on this blog post does not mean I am not working hard. (As per the picture below). I went a little overboard at the library, but I couldn’t help myself! Next week, I will have a more concrete post for you! Until then, check out the notes that I’ve gathered over the past week! (These are just the notes that are typed.)

‘Til Next Week!


Thesis Notes Links: 

Stephen D. Krashen: Explorations in Language Acquisition and Use (2003)

Key Words and Other Notes

Elanor Wilson Orr: Twice as Less: Black English and the Performance of Black Students in Mathematics and Science (1987) Chapter 6: Prepositions in Black English Vernacular

Previous Blog Posts! (From Most Recent to Older):

I Ain’t Changin’ Nottin’ Fa Nobody!

Things are Heating Up

Wish I Thought of a Reading List Sooner!

Almost Done~


Hope the week wasn’t too bad for everyone! I had a rather busy week tbh. Tonight was rather busy actually. I got out of work quite late because of some issues (gotta love retail) and because of all that, this post is probably going to be another short and sweet one. Hope you don’t mind!

This week, I got through a lot of content. I’ve been working on the last two sections of my thesis together. I’m finding it a little challenging to word exactly what I want to say about degenerate art 2.0 which is holding me up a little bit. But, that said, I did get some good content down. I was a little unsure of my start but once I got into the “meat” of the subject matter, I kind of found my groove. I’m focusing mostly on the expressive aspects of new media and on the importance of this moment in creating and propagating it. I’m not trying to prove anything with my work so much as demonstrate the importance of not dismissing new media for a perceived lack of inherent meaning. More, I’m trying to give voice to this moment and to emphasize the meaningfulness of my generation. This has been personally enlightening research just as much as it has been intellectual. I think it’s important to emphasize that even seemingly meaningless work can have a profound impact on ourselves and our experiences of the world.

So, that’s how the degenerate art 2.0 section of my work has been going. I’ve also been filling in my methods section as well. That’s not quite as challenging as the other sections as I’m really just recalling what I’ve done thus far. It’s a bit cathartic to realize and relay how much work has been put into this project. For most of the process, I’ve felt like I’ve been lagging along. I’ve felt like so much more could be done and I’ve not been taking the work seriously. But, reflecting on all the work I’ve done makes me feel a bit of pride. I’m happy to see all the pieces coming together.

That said, I’m still concerned about some aspects of my work. Mainly, I’m concerned about Research Days. I’m worried about what work I’ll have prepared to present. I really want to get a website together for my thesis so there’s something, in addition to the E-Lit piece, for people to peruse so that they can get a sense of my project. I’m hella concerned about having enough time to finish my metalworks piece. I’ve just been so busy with work and the writing aspect of my thesis that I feel like I’ve let it slip through the cracks. I got the foundation of it done but down I need to assemble all the pieces. To ensure I have enough time, I may need to meet for thesis class earlier and head right to the studio around 4:30. I just don’t think it’ll be done as well as it should be if I don’t rearrange some of my schedule.

This week has had its ups and downs. I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making on the writing side of my thesis but now I feel I need to work on its presentation. I feel like I need to kick it into maximum overdrive if I want to be presentable by Research Days (and I do). So, I’ve definitely been busy and I’ve come far but I’m going to probably be even busier these next few weeks. Story of my life~


~Till next time~