When The Snake Strikes Back

March is the month of the woman, when spring brings forth new beginnings and birth a new season supporting constant growth and life, just as women do. In light of March being Women’s History Month, I decided to research different women artists and stumbled upon one I was already quite familiar with.  

I am no stranger to Zora Neale Hurston’s work, specifically her poetry,  and when I ran across her short story “Sweat”, I instantly felt the need to write about it. “Sweat” is an ironic story where what has been said will come back to bite you in the end. It is a story of faith, culture, and a spotlight on many issues women faced during the time it was written.

“Sweat” was written in 1926 during a time where women were seen as no more than a caterer and housewife, made to serve their husbands and birth children. Contrary to this, in the story ,the wife, Delia Jones, and husband, Skyes, had been married for 15 years and had no children. I felt this was because of the hidden hatred developed overtime by the two characters. 

Also a contrary to the housewife and breadwinner stereotype, Delia was the breadwinner of the house as a washerwoman and Skyes was unemployed. Though Skyes was unemployed, he still found time to entertain and maintain his mistress’ lifestyle and be seen as the “big man” of the town. There were numerous times where his mistress would even wait for him outside of Delia’s home showcasing the ultimate disrespect.

Delia, though somewhat phased by this, did not allow this to break her, instead Delia stood by her faith and did what she was always known to do, sweat, work and pray.

Running across the story, I had many speculations of what it could  be about, but after reading it, I understood the action of sweating to represent the frustration Delia felt within her marriage, how much she worked (often overworked) and even the turmoil she would face with the abuse within her marriage.

The days of Delia’s abuse and suffering of her husband’s infidelity would end once a snake is brought into their shared home by Skyes. Unknown to him at the time, the conjuring of chaos would be the cause of his very demise. I will not explain the plot of the story nor summarize it because I feel that this is a good read and should be experienced first hand by the reader.

I encourage anyone who reads this blog to read this short story, it is no more than 15 pages and can be found online. Reading “Sweat” will take no more than 30 minutes of your time.

“Sweat” is a well-rounded story with a high climax and satisfying ending. It features the conflict of an abusive marriage, women’s struggles, and infidelity. It also features a display of broken stereotypes that challenge the way of the times.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed reading this and hope you will do the same. If you do decide to do so, please let me know how you feel about it in the comments.

Back to the bookshelf,


Tackling Self-Esteem and iNsecurity: Supermodel-SZA

 Released in the summer of 2017, SZA’s debut album, CTRL, gave many people a relatable grouping of songs which ventured into the workings of today’s relationships, insecurities, self-love, desire and so many more topics heavily affecting today’s’ generation. CTRL, as explained by SZA, is an album all about the concept of her control over her personal life. This album features 14 songs, each being unique and different than the last.

The opening of this album is a song featuring SZA’s vulnerability about a toxic relationship which leads to her questioning her beauty, her worth and analyzing her insecurities worsened by this relationship.  This song is none other than “Supermodel”.

Supermodel Sticker by SZA

“Supermodel” is introduced by SZA’s mother in a short skit. 

“That is my greatest fear
That if, if I lost control
Or did not h
ave control, things would just, you know
I would be… fatal”

As previously stated, CTRL is an album all about the concept of controlling certain aspects of our life. What can we control? How much control do we have? Do we have any control at all over our life? These questions, unfortunately, are not answered in this album, but it does call the listener to question these things.

Following the skit is an acoustic guitar chord which SZA describes as sad in a video interview with GQ. The song easily put me in a relaxed space on the first listen causing me to really sit and hear the lyrics with a cleared mind. 

I would describe the first verse of “Supermodel” as SZA’s coming clean  moment. It is in this verse that she reveals a moment of unfaithfulness to a partner after being abandoned by them on Valentine’s Day. I would even go so far as to say this song is a message directed towards them.

“I’m writing this letter to let you know…” begins this songs leaving it to  be interpreted as a letter. As the song progresses so does the direction of this letter. It’s a tennis match between a letter to herself and her past lover. She pleads for his validation of her beauty and love as she simultaneously questions why she can’t stand the thought of being alone and why she puts up with his lack of validation and love.

As the song progresses into the chorus drums are introduced to the song creating a rhythm which instantly lulled me. Still seeking validation from her partner on her outer beauty, she still ventures on to question why she isn’t comfortable with her own self.

I could be your supermodel if you believe If you see it in me, see it in me, see it in me; I don’t see myself” is the core of this entire song. When most people think of a supermodel, myself included, they think of high-confident people with charismatic energy and discipline about themselves. In these lines of the chorus, SZA wishes to be seen of a woman with confidence and status while she also fails to see it in herself causing questions concerning her self esteem and insecurity.

These are all very true topics that are relevant in today’s society. Comparisons of one’s self to “supermodels” or social media personalities, the normalization and often times praised culture of toxic and unhealthy relationships, the seemingly non-existent control people don’t think they have of their life. SZA did an amazing job putting all of these topics into one song with the lyrics while the actual musical production of it is sweet and calming.

The song goes on to the second verse which still talks of her seeking validation and wondering coming to the conclusion of why she chose to stay in an unhealthy relationship, which wasn’t love. And the chorus plays again and as the song closes it features the backing vocals of Pharrell, music artist and producer.

This song is a contemporary masterpiece, dissecting into the vulnerability of SZA, leaving something so relatable and beautiful behind it. I thoroughly enjoy this entire album and recommend it anymore, no matter what genre of music you like there is surely something on this album to satisfy your musical palette. I will be leaving links to the GQ interview previously mentioned and a link to song on YouTube. Be sure to check them out and I hope you enjoy the musical artistry of SZA and Supermodel. 

Thank You for Reading,

A Girl Lost in the Garden with Pretty Little Birds <3


Why H.E.R’s “Take You There” Will Be Played @ My Wedding

Peaking from the opening of a poorly made living room fort at Disney princess movies, I would always daydream of my future wedding growing up. Who would I marry? What colors would my bouquet be? What talking animal would I have as a sidekick to help me navigate life? A question that didn’t really cross my mind up until the later years of my childhood was what will be my first dance song?  And another is what will be on my “special day” playlist?

While some of those question remain unanswered, I have figured out one  song that makes the cut to be featured on this playlist. That song is none other than “Take You There” by H.E.R.  She is known for her entrancing voice and thought out lyrics. This song features both her amazing song writing skills and her melodically gifted voice. There is no further explanation needed as to why this song and many other by her will be featured on my wedding day/special day playlist.

The Simpsons Cartoon GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The songs opens up posing the questions of “Where’d you go? Who you know?” Now, my initial thought when I first heard this song was it’s just another sappy heartbreak song. I’m pleased to say that I was mistaken. As the first verse ends, the pre-chorus hits. Now, this pre-chorus is responsible for me to not second-guess this song as one of many to be featured on my distant future wedding playlist.

“It’s about time for making up
The times you wasn’t with me waking up
Lying if I said I didn’t miss your touch
I need it to, I needed to
Needed to distance myself from you
Oh, just to know you were the truth
So come closer won’t you, won’t you”-H.E.R “Take You There”

Wanting nothing more than to be close with her lover H.E.R uses her skills of writing lyrics to express her yearning in such a loving and not begging way. When I first heard this, I was immediately put in such a calm space. The way that she was able to express her love for this person without blatantly stating it is so impressive. Enough of me gushing over this pre-chorus, lets move into the chorus. 

In Love Hearts GIF by The Valentines - Find & Share on GIPHY

“With you Heaven is a place on Earth and I will take you there” is my favorite line from the entire chorus. From the way she sang it to the way it was written everything is just *chef’s kiss*. To be willing to offer someone something so vast and metaphoric and for a person to make you feel like that, I am here for it.

The song continues to display H.E.R’s love for her person in her expressing of wanting to be close with them for the time made up. Some may interpret this song as two past lovers rekindling, I, however, interpret this as a meeting of soulmates finally.

In short, H.E.R has not only stolen her lovers heart but also mines. #STAN There are multiple reasons why this should be played at every wedding but this short analysis is why it will be played at mine. Down below will be a link to the song. I hope you guys will give it a listen and enjoy it just as much as I do.

Heart Years and Heaven,

Certified Lover Girl <3


Too Poppin’ 2 Be Sad On Your Birthday: Breaking Down Amine’s Dr. Whoever

Coming in as the opening single of Amine’s EP/LP/Mixtape/Album (his words not mine), ONEPOINTFIVE, which was released on August 15, 2018, is a song that would touch base on mental health and wellness within the black community. Amine calls this song a “therapy session” between himself and the listener of the song. He releases his most vulnerable thoughts in the style of song that he dare not discuss with his homies. This song is none other than “Dr. Whoever” which features an opening monologue by Youtuber, model, and influencer, Rickey Thompson. 

The opening lines of Rickey’s monologue begins with him saying, “Sad on your [redacted] b-day?…Don’t you realize you popping?”

Rickey Thompson GIF by Coach - Find & Share on GIPHY


This opener definitely hit home for me and I bet a lot more people can find it relatable. While birthdays are meant to be a day of celebration for an additional year of life, I, just as many others, often feel a sense of dread that comes along with it. Rickey’s monologue basically tells the reader that they are too fly to be having a birthday pity party. And Rickey is most definitely correct. 

Amine released this song just a little over a month before my 15th birthday. With little else to do, I was quick to learn this song and it’s become a tradition that I listen to it the day of my birthday before doing anything else just for the opener. 

Although “Dr. Whoever” starts off on a light note, Amine jumps right in with his therapeutic flow of words that will be shared with the listener. The first few lines, “I sit here and tell you my problems…I’m s’posed to be open and honest” is Amine’s way of letting his more vulnerable side be shown to his fans and a way to let down his guard so the therapeutic nature of the song is on full display. Further into his first verse he explores his growing up. He speaks of his firsts, his lasts and even his current situations involving family and love. 

“Dr. Whoever’s” chorus follows the first verse further deepening the illusion of this song being a therapy session between he and his fans/ listeners.  Amine said in a  GENIUS interview, “‘I gotta make sure every intro I do, you and me connect at least.'” Amine delivered on his promise with this song as the introduction song for his album, ONEPOINTFIVE, as “These intros ain’t meant to be bangers; They meant for you and me so we’ll never end up as strangers.” acts as the opening line for his chorus. While these line are pretty straightforward, they further reveal the vulnerability he has as a black man in his music.

Verse 2 of “Dr. Whoever” transitions into a more up tempo beat as does Amine’s subject of rapping. He does this with many other songs of his. It allows the beat to match his words and for the listener to feel more connected to it. Amine speaks on his unexpected success and accomplishments to show just how ‘popping’ he is, which I’m sure made Rickey Thompson proud.  This verse serves as reasons not be so sad and down on your birthday and be thankful for growth and success.

Period Reaction GIF by MOODMAN - Find & Share on GIPHY


The chorus plays again after the second verse as the beat dies back down to a more mellow one as verse 3 plays. Verse 3 is where Amine closes out the song with the original message of the lack of mental health knowledge and access to therapy within the black community. He asks of the rest of the black community to open up and be vulnerable about their emotions, because often in the black community we are told to brush them aside. “To all my [redacted] with some melanin, let your feelings settle in.” Even though he preaches of this action of ‘feeling’ he realizes that he “should take that advice.”

The song closes out with yet another monologue from Rickey Thompson. This outro to “Dr. Whoever” states that the person should gather their thoughts and turn up for their birthday. “Dr. Whoever” serves as a way for Amine to connect more with his fans, but I also found much needed comfort in the relatability of his words. I definitely recommend that you should give this song a listen, especially if you would like more insight into the struggle of mental health within the black community, and if you want to discover a dope new artist.  Links will be left down below of the song and his GENIUS video breaking down the song himself.

Until Next Time,

A Girl Who Wants An Amine Hoodie For Her Birthday 🙂


I Bid You Farewell

Final room checks and moving carts help to signify that the end of the school year is here. Exams are being given left and right. Journals and yearbooks are being signed by the ones we’ll miss and the ones who have made this year so special. The overall atmosphere is reminiscent.

The growth I have experienced my junior year alone has impressed me. I came into this school year nervously and timid. I had a bad procrastination problem and would often question my reasonings for  being here. As time grew on, I learned to do things a little more consistently and not saving things for last minute. Is my time management the absolute best? Of course, not, but It has improved which is worth celebrating. As far as being a writer, I’ve always been confident in my literary abilities. MSA showed me to remain humble but still have the upmost confidence in any piece that I’ve written.

My writings have become more defined and can easily be traced back to me. I have found my writer’s voice which is a difficult thing to do. I have found a defining piece of myself as a writer. I am grateful to have discovered my voice at MSA. I still have plenty more to learn and experience and I can’t wait to do so. I can’t wait to be challenged more and come into my artistry as a whole.

This school year has not only helped to define me as a writer but it has also pushed me to be a “better” version of myself. The literary lab is a place where I have developed in more ways than one. The literary lab is where I discovered the power of vulnerability and the power of kind words and discussion.

I learned how to critique without being too critical. I have learned to share space while still maintaining boundaries. The literary lab has become a home away from home. A place where coffee can be smelled upon entrance, wood floors being scraped by squeaky chairs, laughter and the furious sound of typing fingers on a keyboard are the beat to an undiscovered indie song is where I have become a more defined me.

This is not my year in summary but my year in progression. No matter what happens once this school year ends, I will remain grateful for the experience and the growth I have been given and shown.

Shouting my Last Hoorah,

A Rising Senior

To ’23.

The sun is shining just a little brighter. The days are lengthening. The winter blues are finally gone. MSA is preparing for the new batch of future artists coming in, and working hard send off the seniors who worked hard to earn their name here. I would lie if I didn’t say these transitional moments have my future heavy on my mind.

Senior year is quickly approaching the class of 2022.  I don’t know whether to run for the hills without stopping or embrace all that I’ve done leading up to my finale. It has never been smooth sailing or an easy path but it has been worthwhile.

My junior year alone, I discovered so much of who I am and the person that I want to be. This discovery did not come without discomfort or challenges but I wouldn’t trade anything for it.

To the incoming juniors, Class of 2023, I hope MSA finds you well. I hope you discover the best version of yourself. I hope your future here at MSA is kind to you and pleasant. 

I can’t speak on behalf of the entire Class of 2022, but I promise to help each of you along the way, helping you navigate this new life much like I did. There are going to be nerves but I swear coming to MSA is like finding your own community that becomes your family.

We are excited for the next school year and for the new faces and artwork that is going to be seen on campus next school year. But, also, let’s enjoy this summer break y’all. I don’t know about anyone reading this but I know for a fact that I need my break.

I’m going to miss everything on this campus, but one thing I know for sure is that it will always be waiting for me.

With an open mind and heart,

Taylor Noelle 

Room 402

Often I wonder, “what’s ahead?” As an overthinker and a person who tends to live in their head where anything I desire Is real, I think about my future a lot. I think about other people’s future a lot. I think seemingly non-stop or at least until my breaths slow and my eyes shut for the few hours of sleep I manage to get.

Just last night, April 26, 2021, the night of the pink moon, my roommate and I got into one of our many nightly discussions. These nightly talks usually consist of how our day was then lead into any and every topic. We usually have to stop each other from talking when we realize we’ve been talking for far too long.

On this particular night, I was sitting in my bottom bunk bed and she was sitting at her computer mustering up motivation to complete work. Little things like that is what I’m going to miss most about my life at MSA.

Room 402 will be missed and the memories it holds for me. The door handle takes a certain finesse to open it. At any given moment, you’re sure to hear me playing music and softly singing along. It smells faintly of citrus and lavender upon entrance, but more often then not, the smell of food overbears it. Both my roommate and I  like to operate on full stomachs.

I’ve mentioned my roommate in previous blogs, but I can’t help but mention her again. Not to brag, but I have thee best dressed senior of the class of 2021 as my roommate. I love it here!  She has seen me cry more times than I’d liked to admit and each time she would offer me comfort as best as she knew how.

We’ve given each other motivation speeches often throughout the school year. She has really made my first year at MSA go smoothly. I hope to be as gracious and generous as she is my senior year. I admire her and all of her many talents.

Probably Standing by the snack desk,

Taylor Noelle (1/2 of ROOM 402)

*I forgot my room number, hopefully this is the right one, if not, lets pretend friends. It’s been a long week lol 🙂



Guilty On All Counts

“I can’t breathe.” was a phrase heard around the nation on May 26,2020. This phrase was chanted throughout protests turned ‘riots’ all due to an incident that started with a supposed counterfeit $20 bill on May 25,202o outside of a Minneapolis corner store.

George Floyd was a father, a brother, an uncle, a son, a partner and so much more. But, on May 25, 2020 the police officers who were called to respond to a possible counterfeit $20 dollar bill saw him less than human. Video shows the last moments of Floyd’s life that all but sparked backlash and a swift need for justice.

For 9 minutes and 29 seconds, Derek Chauvin (ex Minneapolis cop) kneeled on the neck of George Floyd as Floyd pleaded for his “Mama” and continuously repeated the phrase “I can’t breathe”.  The other three officers (Thomas Lane, J.Keung, and Tou Thao) did nothing to stop Chauvin nor help Mr. Floyd. Bystanders and people of the forming crowd around the incident pleaded for Chauvin to stop and even offered to help George Floyd in his plea for air.

The total lack of humanity and care gave the nation enough fuel to make changes until big ones came. Even during a deadly pandemic, people marched for justice for Floyd and many others. Even today, they are still marching.

March 29, 2021 is the day the case of Minneapolis v Chauvin for the death of George Floyd started. I’ve been sure to follow this case since I first heard about it. Testimony from the witnesses, both defense and prosecution, stirred emotion and provided insight into the trauma witnessed the day of George Floyd’s death. The ages for witness start as young as 9 years old. 

Throughout the entire trial, Chauvin spoke only once. He only spoke to use his 5th amendment right, of not testifying. Other than that, he was shielded behind a face mask due to the pandemic keeping a calm demeanor as he awaited his fate.

The jury took a little over 10 hours to come to a conclusion of Chauvin’s fate. He was found guilty on all 3 counts he was charged with which are, 2nd-degree unintentional murder, 3rd-degree murder, and 2nd-degree manslaughter.

Today, April 2o, 2020, justice has been given to the family of George Floyd. Justice has been shown to the United States people. Accountability for careless and deadly actions by Derek Chauvin was given. But, even in the midst of this small judicial victory, black Americans are still being slain by the police as if it comes in their job description.

Today is a small win but not the end of the road. The fight must continue. We will take this day to rest and continue the protests tomorrow. As a black person, we can never enjoy small victories too often because something usually follows behind it. 

I am happy to see justice being served rightfully after being denied many times before.

With a hoping heart for justice,

Taylor Noelle




Handsome, in Black

tight coils expand when pulled

your marked melanin skin

glimmers in the sun


  You’ve always caught my eye


Nose, Wide and Flat

a feature of yours I favor most


eyes deep set and Brown

draw me closer in

hard to escape but

easy to get lost in


I’ve imagined our next encounter,

This Moment

where things have progressed,

headspaces cleared

hearts willing and ready


Here Comes My Favorite Part


Strong, built arms to engulf me

providing a missed comfort

my equally wide nose

catches whiff of your scent

Cocoa and Pine

Finally, I get sense that I’m back home

I am once more entranced by You


Lost in the stretches on your coffee brown skin

I realize that this is paradise

my own slice of Heaven

a Holy experience

etched black



Free of worry

Full of love

Engulfed Entirely by Brown

This poem entitled, “Brown”, won me my first Scholastics Award. I did not expect this poem to win.  I didn’t want to submit before. After I got the opinion of a friend and peer, I had decided that I would submit this piece and it was the only one that one. I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say but don’t be so hard on your creations. I’ve noticed that writing I usually don’t take an initial liking too usually get the most praise in workshops.

Please, never doubt your creative abilities or your talents. You are gifted and special in your craft. Nurture it. Take care of it. Work on it and watch it blossom into what you knew it could always be.

Harbor Your Potential Friends.

Noelle Noelle





Connectivity is Cool

The week of March 21 is the week I feel as if a made a tiny breakthrough. In no way, shape or form am I the most vulnerable or open person in a room. Quite honestly, I give as little information about myself as possible. My reasoning behind that is simply that I am introverted and shy. I have conditioned myself to accept my introverted ways and live in my own little bubble.

Speaking from experience, it is okay to allow people into your bubble, not every person is a terrible beast or  monster with impure agendas against you. I won’t go into detail, but one of my literary assignments this week was to write about resiliency, hardship, pain and joy. These can be heavy topics, so every literary including the wonderful, Mrs. Sibley, expected tears. And boy, were there tears.

Through those tears, we all connected and saw each other in a different light. Learning of each others highs and lows gave us a chance to really see each other. Not just looking surface level, but getting a sense of why people acted and presented themselves as they did. 

That is the most vulnerable moment I have ever experienced in that class and I am grateful. I am grateful to have had that moment. I am grateful to feel just a little closer to everyone in that class. I am grateful to say that I can always depend on my fellow literaries.

I still am very closed off and nonchalant, but I can’t help it. If any of you read this, I genuinely love each and everyone of you and I am proud of our growth. 

Hoping for Many More Days of Connectivity,

Another  Person Who’s Doing the Best They Can