Monday, September 22, 2008

Today's gig at Tarrant County College - South Campus - in FW

I arrived at about 9:55am for a 10am scheduled appearance on-campus at the "Student Living Room" at TCC-South. Fortunately, the students didn't actually come in until 10:15am, so I had some time to prep the dvds, digital projector, my notes. The first session drew about 120 students (and some faculty members). Right off the bat, a student had questions about my "male chivalry" poem; this is a piece that leaves some people scratching their heads, which is cool. A little discussion about it ensued, and it tapered off when I made a joke about men eyeing women's asses when they hold the door open for them (and how men's motivations are not always gentlemenly, no matter the honor of the gesture). Showed both clips from "She: Bike/Spoke/Love" and the Ray Santisteban video adaptation of my "On Language" poem. The students positively responded to these with applause and laughter. After that session, I was approached by a number of students who asked where I "hang out" and how they could be in touch with me. (Hopefully, a few of you have found me here on myspace...) I really enjoyed meeting a very earnest student named Danielle who told that she plays guitar. Also, visual artist Jeremy shared a few ph.numbers with me for possible collaborative purposes. He's going to be at the big F6 Gallery "Heavy Hitters" show this weekend with some new art, and I mentioned that I already have plans to be there. I love seeing new connections forming with cool folks, fresh faces with stuff to share.

The second session was smaller, maybe about 80 students attended. I was a bit more alert (I'm not a morning person) and lively in this presentation, performing a coupla my "slam-type" poems for the crowd. A young woman asked me if I could freestyle, and I sidestepped that one by singing a melody that came to me in a dream--a melody that might be the chorus for a hiphop number. I kept encouraging the students to get involved in the community beyond the campus, to get out and experience culture (of any kind), and to learn their world with curious mindsets.

The administrative staff who coordinated my visit seemed very appreciative of what I had to offer the students this morning, and have invited me back to TCC-South for a future roundtable or symposium on race relations. I look forward to that event, and hope to forge a longlasting relationship with that academic institution.

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