How Corona Has Affected Me by Grant Johnson

Grant Johnson Pic

Grant Johnson who is a middle school graduate will be attending Cass Tech this fall

How Corona Has Affected Me by Grant Johnson

Hello my name is Grant Johnson and  I attend University Prep Science and Math Middle School. I have been attending this school since six grade and I have been waiting to participate in the eighth-grade activities. My school had many activities planned and my parents paid a lot of money so that I could participate. My friends and I were looking forward to getting out of school earlier than all the other kids at my school. I don’t like how Covid-19 has affected my eighth-grade year.

One of the main events that we were supposed to do as eighth-graders was to go to Washington, D.C. for our senior trip. Sadly we were not able to go because of Covid-19. We were going to go to several museums, malls, and monuments. Since the trip was canceled we did not get a chance to stay in a hotel with our friends, and have fun on the long bus ride. For the trip we were able to choose our roommates and we could be in groups with whoever we wanted.

The eighth-graders at my school have always gone to a Tigers game. For many years the eighth-graders have walked to Comerica Park and attended the Tigers game all day. I enjoy going to the Tiger games because I love the food and talking to my friends about the game. I love doing the wave and singing and clapping to the little chants. My favorite activity at the games is when they have people dress as cars and run around the field in a race. Now because of Covid-19 I can’t make those great memories with my friends.

The last thing that I can’t participate in is the eighth-grade dance. Last year many of my friends went and they had a great time. Many of the girls already purchased their clothes for the dance so they were really upset when it was canceled. I had my eye on a suede jacket that won’t be purchased now. Covid-19 has ruined the end of my eighth grade and I am not happy about missing the activities.

 

Making a Negative, A Positive by Justin Golden

Making a Negative, A Positive by Justin Golden

My name is Justin Golden, and I am an 18-year old Junior majoring in Finance at Wayne State University. I completed my sophomore year two weeks ago, and although it was my sophomore year, it was my very first year at Wayne State University. Overall, my first year was pretty decent. I got an actual taste of what being a college student is truly like while joining a club and making friends in the process. The year was up and down, and due to Covid-19, I had to complete school in a fashion that was totally new to myself and millions of other students around the world. This journey was very different, and we’ll go through how I was able to successfully navigate through it.

Why Wayne State University? Simple. It checked off everything on my list. Growing up in the city of Detroit, I never minded or scoffed at the thought of moving out of state for college, but I knew that if I had to go to school in Michigan, I would be pretty content with my decision. Fast forward to high school, I was confronted with the task of having to make my decision of where I’d be spending my next 3-4 years. I graduated from Cass Technical High School, the best school and one of the most academically challenging schools in the state of Michigan. My GPA was okay, but my SAT was really high and that, along with my resume, is what ultimately got me admittance into Wayne State University, among other schools like CMU, Western, Eastern, Ferris State, and so on.

When it came to my decision, I weighed my options based on every school’s demographics, academics, whether I knew people at the schools, the culture of the school, and if they excelled in my major. And money, of course (unfortunately). Wayne State checked off every box on my list. They were close to home but still in the heart of the beautiful midtown/downtown Detroit area, their average GPA was a 3.3, I knew many students going there including my best friend, they had a brilliant culture and had their OWN business school, the Mike Ilitch School of Business. With that being said, they also gave me some scholarship money, and the rest I was able to cover with a small number of loans. The rest was history. This led to my decision of attending Wayne State University.

My first semester was slightly tougher than expected. It was different, I had to deal with adjusting to being a real college student while managing working full time and having a business on the side. I had 5 classes so I was a full-time student as well. Socially was sort of challenging because I knew a couple of people, but besides my best friend I really didn’t have anybody to talk to constantly and I was never really on campus because I was always working, and I lived at home to save myself money and stress from staying in a dorm. My first semester of college was challenging but I knew that it’d only get better from there and that the best was yet to come.

Then, we got to my second semester. This is what changed everything. With the few friends I had left, I was forced to become social. I actually was already a very social person, and had won social butterfly in my graduating class, but it was just not in my focus to connect with new people from college especially since I didn’t stay on campus. It’s always hard for commuter students to connect. But, eventually I did. I joined the world’s largest professional business fraternity, called Alpha Kappa Psi. I was one of the 20 students accepted from a pool of about 170 individuals.

It was one of the best things that could’ve ever happened to me. These people were all new to me but I grew really strong bonds with the 19 other inductees that came in the 8-week pledge process with me, in which we would do modules and fundraisers and hold events every week to help ensure our access into the fraternity. These professional events and classes were our form of hazing. Without doing these, you would be denied official acceptance to the fraternity. These people grew to become my very close friends and it naturally made me more social and active around campus. I was doing good academically, as well. But, Covid-19 happened.

The Coronavirus forced us to shut down the school as well as all of our events and everything that we had put into place. I was beginning to be very comfortable in my situation and had some of the best stages of my life with school and my social life going really well, as well as my business. But, Covid-19 had an impact on all of that. With me having to school from home, everything changed. I was taking 4 classes, all worth 3 credits at least so I was still a full-time student. But, it’s like my work DOUBLED in all of my classes. And instead of having usual hands-on help, I kind of had to figure out more things on my own because some teachers held online lectures and some just gave us work, work, and more work. It’s as if they forgot that we had other classes besides theirs, and each teacher started to mimic the next as far as giving out work was concerned. It became by far way tougher than the first semester.

Along with school, I also had things to complete for Alpha Kappa Psi. The school shut down while we were still in our pledge process, so we still had to complete modules, host meetings, and events virtually, and complete group projects that were hard as well, including our fraternal exam we had to take to be initiated in the fraternity. In addition to all of that, I didn’t have a functioning laptop so I had to take care of everything from my phone. This whole coronavirus made everything very hard but in addition to God, I got through it through two things, focus, and prioritization. Focus is something that can be very hard to achieve, especially with students our age. It can be easier to focus at school because you’re in the atmosphere but we were at home in our comfort zone so focusing became ten times harder. I look at focus as an acronym, “following one course until successful.”  So that’s what you need to do.

Justin Blog Pic

Justin’s Keys to success:  Focusing and Prioritizing

Maintain the course until you become successful in that class, that relationship, or that business venture. Whenever your focus gets off task think to yourself, “is whatever throwing me off task really more important than what I’m trying to finish in the long run?” and I promise if your focus is more important, than your focus will get the best of you. Failure is inevitable, but never permanent. Focusing is very hard, but if you get off focus, “dust yourself off and try again,” as Aaliyah says.

Prioritization is very important as well. You’ll never focus on what goals to complete at specific times unless you prioritize. This can be prioritizing goals, friends, or tasks you need to complete in order to be successful. Map out whatever you’re looking to achieve, and prioritize the steps needed to achieve it in order of importance. Prioritization can help every single day. If you map out your day, complete your daily tasks, you’ll feel MUCH better at the end of it. Remember, success is never easy! If it was, then everybody would be successful.

So, maintain your focus, constantly prioritize and keep the course! This Coronavirus has taught me a lot about others and a lot about myself. I had to become more proficient in time management, communication, and I had to better my focus. We are surrounded by negativity in today’s society, but I always try to have the most positive outlook as possible. Glory to God, I look at all the good things I’ve been able to accomplish during this challenging time, and I’m grateful for the things I’ve learned. So, remain positive and your outlook will be better than you expected!

 

 

A Pissed Off Senior by Gabrielle Jackson

 

Gabrielle Graduation Picture

Proud U of D Mercy College Graduate Gabrielle “Gabby” Jackson

 

A Pissed Off Senior by Gabrielle Jackson

I remember as soon as the 2019-2020 Fall semester started, I was claiming myself to be a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy. I saw that my status said “senior” on my portal and that I had less than 30 credits to accumulate.  I could not wait to put “Detroit Mercy Alumna” in my bios on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Everything was smooth during the fall semester, and I even made it to the Dean’s List, which has only happened one other time, so I felt like I was on top of the world.

Gabrielle Cap Pic

Gabby’s Decorative Graduation Cap

Fast forward to the year 2020. It came and I was all in, I was ready. I registered for commencement, ordered my cap and gown, went to my grad salute, trying to figure out who I should hire as a photographer for my senior pictures, and was already trying to determine how I was going to set up my open house to celebrate with friends and family afterward. Welp for all I care, 2020 is canceled and just to keep it PG, it can kiss my donkey. Coronavirus done came through and just took my happiness away. My commencement got postponed and everybody keeps on looking at me as if I am overreacting because “commencement was only postponed, not canceled.” That is completely beside the point because May 9th, at 2:30 pm, in Calihan Hall is all that I had on my mind as soon as they determined the commencement date.

Gabrielle Car Pic

Gabby posing with her first Car “Blu”

The week of graduation wasn’t all bad because I did purchase my own and first car, in my name and everything and her name is Blu. It was still obvious that I was in my feelings because I was nowhere near as excited as I thought I would be signing off on all my paperwork and pulling off in a car that wasn’t a hoopty. I also still celebrated with my little family of 5 on the actual day and had a little drink, so that day turned out relatively decent.

At the end of the day, I just hope that I can get a formal commencement because this is a major milestone in my life and I have gone through too much B.S, even though I have a B.A, to have it taken away from me.

Signed,

-A pissed off senior

“Wake Up vs. Stay Woke” by Butch Ford

 

Coronavirus Crisis

“Wake Up vs. Stay Woke” by Butch Ford

It’s week seven of being confined in my home. And there’s not much to do other than observe, learn, accept and change. If anyone comes out of the Coronavirus crisis the same as you entered it…you should seriously consider getting your life in order. Things have become so vivid and crystal clear. So why is it so difficult for “some” to see what’s going on?

“Stay woke” is a trendy term that gets tossed around far too loosely by the masses. But what does it really mean? You must first WAKE UP before you can “stay woke.” Let that sink in. What are we missing here? There’s a bounty on our heads, and we’re focused on things of irrelevance. The government shut down is real. But it’s not being taken seriously. Why are we in such a hurry to purchase superficial items that we are programmed to depend on? Why is there a rush to re-open beauty supply establishments, beauty and barber shops, nail salons & tattoo parlors? These aren’t essential businesses. But they’re establishments that rely on the African American consumers to survive.

It saddens me to see a generation of people lost and in need of direction and purpose. Where are our community leaders? African Americans are losing our lives senselessly by other African Americans and everyone else…for that matter. While we’re busy twerking on social media and filming each other committing unspeakable acts against one another, the enemy is stocking up on firearms and ammunition. And they’re teaching their youth how to defend themselves and protect their assets.

We need to WAKE UP! Does it really matter that your designer mask matches your outfit on the daily? What’s wrong with giving yourself a mani/pedi? Save that stimulus package. We’re not out of the woods yet. Why are we standing in line to purchase $200 pairs of Jordans during a pandemic? Why are we still congregating in large groups socializing? Hospitals and Funeral Homes are over-crowded and haven’t a clue what to do with the astronomical number of sick and deceased patients. And we’re acting as if there isn’t a care in the world.

Y’all better WAKE THE F*** UP and stop talking about stay woke. This ain’t no joke. So why are we the only ones laughing? Get your life and priorities in order.

 

Butch Ford

A Change Gonna Come by Klassy K

Faith

A Change Gonna Come by Klassy K

Home Skilllets! I hope all of you are well and staying home, staying safe. Prayers go out to all who have lost a loved one to the coronavirus, natural causes, or illness; rather, it was a friend, family member, or stranger. Just know that we will get through this together at some point. For those that have the virus or know someone that has the virus, stay prayed up, take supplements (vitamins) and seek hospital care. The pandemic has affected everyone’s lifestyle, including work, clubbing, going to the park or movies, vacation plans, concerts, sporting events, going out with friends/family, and or just going over a family member’s house to have Sunday dinner. Basically, the simple things in life we once looked forward to, and now it’s all put on hold until further notice.

We are trying to do all we can to stay active, sane, and healthy. Some of us have resulted in streaming, going to the store to buy essential items, zooming, or face timing with our friends/family members. Maybe even some of us are doing social media challenges or trying to do some exercise in our home, helping kids with assignments and coming up with other things to try to normalize our lives as we once knew it. This virus just “creeped” upon us like TLC and straight jacking up our lives like Ice Cube. It’s been boring. Hey, dull sounds good right about now, especially with everything that’s been going on with people dying, sick, or out of work. Please remember Home Skillets, this to shall pass.  We all must do our part in stopping the spread of the virus. I’m with Governor Whitmer.

It’s only so much social media, challenges, streaming, and going to the refrigerator that we can take. I need some stimulating entertainment! Not “the over” 18 activity, but I actually miss seeing the Detroit Pistons lose.  I missed the Detroit Tigers game day opener and even watching the Detroit Red Wings run up and down on a cold ice skating rink wishing someone could bring them a cold pop like Sweet Brown. All jokes aside, though, I miss watching sports, and I am a female, so you know I’m bored. If it’s not the Superbowl, the draft, All-star games, championship games, and maybe a competitive game that I might want to see, not interested. The men are more so sport fanatics then females, in my opinion. I guess that’s why men athletics get more attention than women athletics. It’s all about money, and which one generates the most money.  Like C&C Factory, things that make you go hmmmmm.

Well, I don’t know if you heard the NBA and MLB are thinking of having empty seat games. Basically, it’s going to be a bunch of rich men playing like its practice, but it’ll be against an opponent. Due to social distancing, the games will be televised. Ironically, some countries are already doing this.  It won’t be any time soon here though; many speculate in June. The WNBA draft was last week, which you probably did not know about, but I bet you know about the NFL draft? You know why? Right! Well, read the last two sentences in the third paragraph. The NFL draft starts tomorrow, April 23rd through the 25th. It’ll be a virtual draft. The Commissioner, Roger Goodell, will be announcing the draft picks from his house. This year the Detroit Lions have nine picks which one of them is the 3rd overall draft pick. Sport media outlets are thinking that the Detroit Lions will either pick an offensive tackle, defensive end, or quarterback. Yes, you read correctly, a quarterback!

Yes, we already have a quarterback, Matthew Stafford, but I’m speculating that he is going to want to be traded or retire. He had two back surgeries, been in the league for over 10 years, his wife had brain surgery, has two small children and he is over 30. Time for some new blood. I am hoping that the Detroit Lions franchise makes the right choice and pick Tua Tagovailoa, a junior quarterback from the University of Alabama. He is young, talented, and fine! Oh yeah, he can play too! Google for footage/stats. If they pick him, I will gladly spend $200 for nosebleed seats, ha! Who am I kidding? I’m frugal, and I’m social distancing. LOL.

On the last note, I would like to dedicate this blog to my friend and co-worker Latonja Degraffenreid-Smith and her husband Ricardo Smith. She recently lost her father in law and his father Rev. Richard Smith due to the coronavirus.  I would also like to dedicate this to the front line workers that risk their lives every day to save others. All we can do is pray Home Skillets, for continuous strength, because the pain never ends. God bless.

Klassy K’s Sportz Korner, an “opinionated” sports blog

-A contributing writer for aheartfullofconversations.com

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

What the Hell You Mean Stay Home? by Chellyz View

edwin-hooper-Q8m8cLkryeo-unsplash

What the Hell You Mean Stay Home! by Chellyz View

A few weeks before the “Stay at Home” mandate, which means only leave out for essential business, I was feeling too busy! Every day after work, there was something to be done. My son had rehearsals, and my daughter had appointments. I attended meetings here and there for personal development, the new semester of my weekly Biblical Bible Class was beginning, off to an empowering event, outings with a few friends, and there were extracurricular workshops for the kids on an early Saturday morning. That’s the shortlist. I told a few of my co-workers; I needed a moment to rest and take a break from all the extras in life. Who knew it would happen like this! Suddenly, the whole world was disrupted. This terrifying nightmare isn’t what I imagined, planned, or ordered.

When I had the opportunity to work remotely from home and slow down a bit, I wasn’t bothered. I am at a place where I love being in company with myself.  I enjoy streaming and watching a movie or mini-series with the help of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime with or without the Fam. I act a fool while having my private dance parties jamming to Classic R & B, Trap Music, the latest hits, or Old Skool Hip Hop. I debate with the online radio as I consume the information. Let me not forget my participation in Praise and Worship services by watching Kingdom on Facebook, googling a sermon online, or listening to some Good Ol’ Gospel Music to Lift My Spirits. As you can see, I didn’t have a difficult time adjusting because I can be an introvert at heart. However, this is not the case for everyone!

The Stay at Home Order could be a life sentence for many. The order can be very depressing and challenging for those who don’t know how to rest, deal with loneliness, trying to escape abuse, or may not have a place of their own to call home. Yes, some people don’t have a home to stay in.  This order can be overwhelming by not being able to socialize with others in the outside world, and you may feel isolated while working from home. Seniors who are homebound may feel helpless. Students are missing their teachers and peers. Well, maybe not the students who felt bullied at school or the personnel suffering from burnout. Young folks want to be young and live their best life. In times like these, we must be creative and obedient when the order is to “Stay Home,” if possible!!!!

If you need fresh air, open a window. I am going to sit on my back porch (not in a large group). If you feel lonely, phone a friend, start a group chat, or contact a distant or elderly relative. Keep a journal. Color. Do a crossword puzzle. Read a magazine or a book. Oh, you can talk to other members of your household. Exercise. From a spiritual perspective, read the Word!!!! Play board games. Organize. Find a free online class. For those who live alone, find virtual meetings that might pique your interest. Call a hotline if you feel you can’t cope. Ask for resources. Senior apartment building managers develop a phone buddy list for neighbors to check on each other.

I know there are many activities we can do to keep our minds right, but follow the rules and only go outside if you must. I know there are the front line and essential workers that don’t have the option to stay home. I am praying for your safety. I am forever thankful for your service. Too many precious lives have succumbed to this devastating illness.

Doors Closed

Yes, I know this is not going to last forever. I have hope. I try to be as cautious as I can when I must go to the store. The hub doesn’t have the option to stay home, and he still must go to work. I replace Fear with Faith. Yet, let me be honest. I have moments when I feel afraid or burdened with grief because I hear of an individual dying, a loved one is suffering, or someone else sharing a story of how this disease invaded their lives. I fervently pray that Covid-19 doesn’t show up at my door.

Many lessons are being revealed. We must learn to listen, pay attention, and guess what? Do something many of us don’t know how to do. Stay Home! We will find out how disconnected we are in our lives because we have been connected to what we thought was important. As stated in an earlier post, this lesson is more profound than just washing our hands. It is a lesson about how the Earth is being cleansed from selfishness, greediness, disobedience, and understanding we should not idolize material things.

Our biggest enemy is ourselves. Many of us don’t want to follow the rules. We want to be above the law. How dare anyone tell us what to do. Many continue to congregate in large crowds, people are coughing on produce as a joke, some megachurches are still holding Sunday Services, and there are other examples where we won’t stop moving. We won’t listen. The Holy Spirit, or what you believe in, is trying to tell us to be still, take heed, and become more disciplined. Once we learn how to do this, then the process of true healing will begin in this nation!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

RESOURCES:

https://detroitmi.gov/departments/detroit-health-department/programs-and-services/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.mi211.org/get-help/crisis-services

https://psychcentral.com/lib/depression-hotline-numbers/

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/03/15/list-food-services-provided-for-children-students-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Featured Image:  Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Coronavirus, you suck! Sincerely, Everyone by Klassy K

Dear Coronavirus

Dear Coronavirus, you suck! Sincerely, Everyone by Klassy K

Dear Home Skillets, we are gathered here today to live through this thing called life. I know we have dealt with a lot of viruses, and it’s been a very long time, but I’m here to tell ya, it’s something else, the coronavirus. I wondered what Prince was thinking when he wrote the song, “Let’s go crazy,” cause that’s exactly what is going on in the world today. From school closures, travel restrictions, some businesses local and private shutting down, college institutions, etc. Even all sporting events canceled, including NFL, NBA, College: March Madness, golf events, etc.  It makes you wonder. How did this happen so quickly?

The coronavirus pandemic started in late January of this year, supposedly started in China.  But how do we know if that’s actually true? If you go to the CDC website, it will show you how many other countries, including the United States that are infected. I know some of you are wondering, how did so many people from China travel to the different parts of the world? Was it transported by airplane, boat, car, train, etc. one could only assume? But one could also argue, was it airborne? If not, how would you explain it, because the virus spread so damn quickly? It went from 22 cases in China back in January to over 90,000 cases around the world? Really?

But the real question I want to ask is why your President just recently addressed the nation only a couple of weeks ago? Why did he go on national T.V. and tell us what we already knew? But what’s so sad about all of this, it’s something that we ALL should do daily, wash your hands, cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and if you/or your child is sick, STAY HOME!  So, once this is all over, I betcha you will re-think next time about bringing your ill child to school, daycare, or over the babysitter’s house because you don’t want to guess what somebody else “might” get. This coronavirus is nothing like a common cold or flu. I know Spring is coming up and some of you may start sneezing, you may say you have allergies, but that does qualify under the coronavirus as well.

It seems like ever since ex-Piston Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson were traded, the coronavirus came out the blue. Just kidding, but now Piston player Christian Wood recently tested positive along with Two Utah Jazz players. Now, Kevin Durant! Don’t know when we will be getting some sports entertainment! Sports could ease the craziness that is going on, but others may not even care. However, we gotta be careful. I was looking at WWE the other night, and they played in an empty arena. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I guess in the meantime, all you die-hard sports fans can watch re-runs on YouTube, pray to God for a cure, or that the virus will soon subside. Well, I guess all of us should do that.

I have to say this is truly an eye-opener for me, this is nothing like the other viruses that we have encountered, like SARS, Ebola, etc. Somehow, we have not heard about them anymore? It’s also crazy that some new virus surfaces around elections or every other two or four years and who came up with the name? Corona? Like the “foreign” beer?  Hey, home skillets, it makes you wonder. But please reach out to your love ones, stop driving your car on E, buy food in bulk (especially toilet paper), if you can afford it, have some rainy day money in your bank account or under your mattress. God helps us all!  

– Klassy K’s Sport Korner: A contributor writer      for http://www.aheartfullofconversations.com

COVID-19 by Butch Ford

Coronavirus

COVID-19 by Butch Ford

The Coronavirus or COVID-19…what is it? Where did it originate? And what’s up wit it? We all would like to know. There are several different theories. But only selected individuals genuinely know the answers to our questions.

The definition of a pandemic is the outbreak of disease prevalent over a whole country or the world. Well, this is what we’re facing today. And it’s scary. But should we be? I’m not a conspiracy theorist; however, I have raised my antennas.

I honestly don’t know what to believe. Is this whole thing legit? Or is it a distraction? Are we being lied to or manipulated? It’s all very confusing to me. I saw a graph outlining proof wherein every election year, a new epidemic miraculously surfaces. Coincidence???

Sadly…I don’t put anything past “The Powers That Be.” I’ve lost trust in the system. Although alarmed, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was part of a bigger plan or a hidden agenda. I’ve heard mumblings that if the country is under the State of Emergency, the Commander in Chief reserves the right to postpone the election and retain office for an additional two years. I’ve also heard others mention that the current headlines take the attention off the stock market…which is quietly dropping.

Professional and collegiate athletics have suspended operations indefinitely, and international travel could potentially be in jeopardy. Universities have canceled all in-person campus classes and have plans in place to resume academics on-line.  I ask that everyone keep your eyes and ears open. This could very well be an actual catastrophe of epic proportions, or it could be all smoke & mirrors. We don’t know yet. Everything is such a big secret. Only time will tell, but we need answers. Until we get them…stay safe and take care of one another.

 

Butch Ford