Monday, October 24, 2016

Greetings 10.24.16

Where did the semester go???
We're already about halfway there, guys!

OMG... OMG... OMG... OMG... OMG... OMG... OMG...

If you're anything like me, you're also like the lion pictured above (Ryan is NOT a bear, he is a LION-- common misconception).

ANYWAY... Why not take a break from the midterm Madness..?

Come join us this Tuesday, October 25th 2016 @ 12:15 PM to 2:45 PM. We'll be in the Woody Tanger Auditorium putting on the darn bestest Open Mic anyone anywhere ever did see-- You'll see!

Put on something fancy. Come sit in the audience. Support your classmates and colleagues by clapping, waving your bowling hat in the air, and yelling "ENCORE!"

Get LIT! Come take over the mic for a while... Spit lyrical fire and/ or shake that thang!

You can't go wrong, you guys!
Let's showcase the wealth of talent we have here at Brooklyn College!!!

See you there... :D

[Oh! ... And WELCOME to this week's blog! :D]

~ Clinton

News Briefs 10.24.16

 U.S. Involvement in Yemen vs. The Trump Show: Who Wins?

Air strike in Sanaa, Yemen's capital
On Sunday October 9th the second presidential debate was broadcast, and Donald Trump once again succeeded at holding the nation captive with his ridiculous and over-pronounced antics. The debate took place the same weekend as the leaked "trump tapes," recording he and Billy Bush's lewd conversation before an appearance on "Days of Our Lives" in 2005. With Trump being in a much more heated position, we Americans marveled with mouths agape at his jittery and childish behavior during the entire debate. While this was going on however, a United States naval destroyer was firing missiles at the control centers of the Houthi rebel group in Sanaa, Yemen. 

Being a person who doesn't use social media, I knew little about the debate other than the few minutes I watched [in agony] and I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on in Yemen. When I did follow the news however, whether it was through social media outlets, television, internet, apps, etc. Trump dominated for sure. But by some miracle, I fell upon an article that award winning author and Brooklyn College Professor, Moustafa Bayoumi, wrote for The Guardian concerning the subject: 

"The Trump show has managed to bump all the serious and necessary policy debates not just off the table but out of the room."
-Moustafa Bayoumi

With all the anxiety that the impending election has been causing in Americans and the problems that lie ahead for the country, it seems as though there's a lot to be afraid of. And believe me, there is. But there's so much already going on now that many Americans simply aren't aware of. While the candidates are busy making obscure arguments about eliminating ISIS, there are U.S. military regimes active in the civil war in Yemen as we speak. The country is both entertaining and exciting war and Americans are completely oblivious to it. Why aren't these things being broadcast? Why wasn't the debate interrupted for a "Breaking News," headline on the attack? Why aren't Americans being generally informed on the military actions their country is taking? Why is it that civilians in Yemen are being bombed everyday by rebel and Saudi troops (with U.S. backing) while Americans are not only unharmed but completely unaware? 

And situations like these are tricky; now that much of warfare is done with drones and air missiles, the casualty numbers are rampantly growing. Often times, innocent civilians, American troops, and the rebel groups being targeted all get caught in the blasts. These methods of warfare know no bounds, and apparently, if we look at current U.S. military activity, neither do we. 

In the closing statement of Bayoumi's article, he makes very important observations of the current standing of candidate Clinton in the race, and her chances of winning. It's important that we as voters, are careful not to get caught up in the rhetoric concerning why we don't want Trump as president, but rather focus on why we want Clinton; and "she's not Trump," isn't enough of an answer. Being that many of her stances on political issues are still quite questionable, we need to question who we'll we be voting for and what the effects of that will be. 

It's unfortunate that these are our options; that this is the place our country has lead itself. But there are still strides to be taken, and accountability to be dealt. Let's hold ourselves, our leaders, and our country to it.

One love,


Scam "Artist"

Love is a strange thing. When I read this story on the BBC website, I had only joked about blogging about it with fellow intern, Chris, but after reconsidering, I realized that there was no way I could not blog about it. It is too amazingly ridiculous to not write about. Blogger's note: this is my second attempt at writing this - my first draft was deleted, and I unfortunately do not think I will be able to truly recapture my initial thoughts. 

Some key background: In 2009, a 62-year-old Swedish native by the name of Maria Grete had created an online dating profile, after being goaded by her friends to do so in an ongoing joke that had followed an ugly divorce. The artist turned art teacher quickly forgot about the whole thing, until one fateful night when she decided to check her profile, only to see that she had gotten lots of messages from potential lovers, including one man by the name of "Johnny". Full disclosure, this was not actually the man's age. He described himself as a 58-year old Danish man who had been raised in South Carolina, US, and now lived in England as a civil engineer on his way to retirement. 

Soon after their initial conversation, Maria and Johnny hit it off, and began to regularly message each other. The following is actual dialogue between the two at the time. Please do not judge, as I'm sure we've all said some pretty sappy things in the "heat of the moment."

Johnny: "I wish I could see through your eyes and see what you like to see"
Maria: "I like to see the truth, and often the truth is more beautiful and greater than people dare to realize"
Johnny: "You talk in parable´s. I can´t wait to see you"
Maria: "I cant understand how you can think so dedicated of me, when you have never met me. That scares me."

With conversation going like this on a regular basis, Maria and Johnny decided that a phone call was soon necessary. They began communicating via phone  (him off of a U.K. number, so he seemed pretty legit) and Maria admitted to Johnny that she wished him to visit Sweden so she could meet him. Johnny agreed, saying that he only needed to first visit Nigeria for a once-in-a-lifetime job interview that had come up. The plan was for him to visit soon after. It is at this point that I should mention that Johnny had also told her that he was a widower and a father of a young boy named Nick. Maria in retrospect also claims that she could not pinpoint his accent, but that he seemed endearingly sweet. 

Maria received a message from Johnny not too long after with some shocking news. While in Nigeria, his son Nick had been shot, and there were no branches of his regular bank in the town they were in. His plea was clear. He needed money, and fast. Maria rushed over to her bank to transfer over the money, recounting how anxious she was to save the young boy's life. After sending a large sum of money, Johnny wrote her back claiming that it wasn't enough to pay unforeseen medical bills, and that more was going to be needed. Maria happily obliged. After three exchanges like this, and tens of thousand of euros sent, Maria began to realize a sad truth. She was being scammed. She cut all ties of communication, and decided she would be more wary in the future. One would think the story ends here. It does not. 

Three weeks later, Maria received a call from Johnny. He apologized profusely, admitting to the whole rouse to being a scam for money, so that he could support himself and his family. When coaxed by Maria to admit his true identity, he owned up to actually being a 24-year-old Nigerian "419" scammer who despite the advice from his fellow scamming team, had fallen in love with one of his "clients, Maria, and felt horrible for lying to her. Even more interestingly, Johnny did not want to continue to hurt people like this, and wanted out. Maria, who at this point realized that her feelings had not completely dissipated, said that she still wanted to meet him and for the relationship to continue. 

Unable to get him a visa to visit Sweden, Maria flew to Abuja. With Johnny waiting for her there, tears in his eyes, Maria says that it was like she "knew him all her life."  It was during her two week visit that Maria Grete got to meet many of Johnny's scammer friends and how many of them, like Johnny, felt compelled for various reasons to scam all around the world for money. This was a trend she learned that was popular throughout West Africa. After Johnny and Maria agreed to let their relationship remain plutonic (plot twist), Maria decided that maybe there was a bigger reason why why she had come to visit Nigeria. She felt compelled to help this people reform their lives in a more productive way (bigger plot twist.) After coming back home to Sweden, she remained connected to West African news. It was through this that saw that there was an arts exhibition being highlighted and an idea was sparked. 

Maria soon travelled back to Nigeria, along with Uganda, and began hosting art shows and exhibitions where young men (and women) could display their own art, along with educate themselves on various artists and art styles. Through these, she began to raise money to help men like Johnny find their way. She raised enough money to help send Johnny to college in the United States to finish his degree and to become an oil worker. They remain great friends to this day and he recently purchased one of her paintings. Maria Grete is now a regularly scheduled lecturer in Nigeria and Uganda, traveling to promote art and find young men and women to whom she can help express themselves. 

This is a love story, not about a person falling for another person, but rather a person falling in love with a nation and its people. I have so many thoughts and questions, but alas I must keep this piece of new...brief. Until next time, stay golden everyone. 


Remembering Mariana Walker

For the sake of my liver I skipped the third presidential debate; my feeble personality simply isn’t provocative enough to offset a struggle with alcohol. Apparently, Senator Clinton carried herself with ferocious poise while the true Lord Voldemort spouted bile-flecked inconsistencies. At least that’s what the cacophony of media coverage has informed me thus far.

I sit here, typing in the midst of an actualized brute who masks his slick of toxic waste with Cheeto dust, and try to squelch the mob of palpitating emotions (Fury, mostly. And Shame. Fear. All augmented by the undercurrent of depression that I’ve been ignoring for months). I’m not naive enough to believe that these feelings will miraculously dissolve upon the election, in which the sausage-fingered racist is slated to lose. To be honest I hate hearing “I can’t wait for 2016 to be over,” because it won’t end there. The political theater of the United States does not crescendo into a fight to the death between the two candidates, in which the loser’s ideals die with him. The subtext of “I can’t wait for this election to come to an end” is “I can’t wait to pretend as if this had never happened.”

You know, there’s a stigma that us millennials are stalwart in our sense of entitlement, and despite the visible nuance, I won’t dispute the stereotype in this instance. If there is anything, anything that the American people, regardless of their generation, should collectively believe that they are owed, it’s a capable adult at the helm of our democracy.

So yeah, I ignored the news this week. I locked myself in my basement apartment.I threw my phone to the side. I zoned out in front of The Dick Van Dyke Show reruns. I wrapped myself in my giant fleece blanket and swallowed Halloween candy by the pound.

Then I called my parents.

And the subject of Mrs. Walker came up.

Now, some of you may have heard about the music teacher who had a crowd of choir students sing to her from outside her home moments before she succumbed to ovarian cancer. When I got wind of her students' touching gesture, I was stung. Because I was one of her students.

And I had no idea that she had cancer.

Three summers ago I had trekked down to Texas to visit my family. Hugs, copious amounts of barbecue, and the chorus of “When are ya done with bein’ a Yank?” marked my arrival. At some point in my visit, I decided to tag along with my little sister to Alvin Junior High so she could pick up her schedule for the upcoming semester. I recognized one, maybe two familiar faces of the teaching staff as I waded through the mob of preteens and their helicopter parents. As I exited the gymnasium with Abbey's schedule in hand ("You're taking Introductory Latin? Why?"), I caught a swarm of excited tweens surrounding the Great and Powerful Mariana Walker. She looked just as sharp and vivacious as the day I met her:

Mariana Walker. Facebook.

She wouldn't let go of my hand.

My meek middle-school self mustered a "Hello" to strengthen the customary handshake when she was introduced to me as my music teacher. In response to my docile greeting, Mrs. Walker had smiled mischievously, and held her grip. She leaned in, towering above me (this was all in front of my mother by the way) with a look in her eyes that could crumble steel, and declared that I would not be released until I agreed to sign up for Choir. "Because," she affirmed, "I can tell by talking to you that you can sing."

Naturally my mother loved her.

I tried to fling that same poignant greeting from ten years prior, hoping that it would have an impact. But the crowd was too hungry; she was the most sought-after teacher, whether or not students were even interested in music. I waved, but she was too consumed to notice.

A few weeks later my mother had run into her at the grocery store, and relayed my visit to Mrs. Walker. She apologized profusely for not recognizing me, and asked my mother to thank me for giving her a copy of Harry Potter all those years agoApparently my prepubescent self didn't want Mrs. Walker to live unknowing of house elves, boggarts, and butterbeer. She still had the copy.

I so wish I could remember.

In her youth. Facebook.
I do remember that in a school district that taught from heavily edited textbooks (“'Reaganomics' was effective." "Slave-owners were largely benevolent." "Hiroshima? What’s that?"), she utilized her medium to slyly challenged taboo subjects, such as white privilege. For example, I recall the quiz she gave after assigning her students to watch West Side Story, and answering "Explain why the Puerto Rican characters seem stronger than the white characters?”

I do remember the school dance where she was chaperoning whilst knitting in a corner

I do remember wishing she would get "promoted" to the high school so I wouldn't have to be without her.

But I had no idea that she had cancer.

Good night Mariana, your farewell resounded more profoundly than my "hello" ever did.


Currently Reading 10.24.16

Big Magic

Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m currently reading this book and I wanted to share with you all the thoughts swirling around my head, like phantasms of knowledge waiting to burst forth. Writing about this book allows me to do just that.

Sometimes people condemn imagination, telling us to stick to reality. Why? 
“Life is fleeting,” they argue, and that we should make use of the limited time we do have productively. 

You ask those people who argue about productivity and a limited lifespan, “What is productivity?” They shrug and say it’s to go to college, get a well-paying job, start a family, buy a 3LDK house, and retire in luxury. That’s it. They want to stifle any possible hopes and dreams you may have in you. They want you to pursue your happiness defined not by your individual self, but by the values which they and society embody. They want you to live in fear of pursuing anything which entices your imagination. 

However, each and every person, once they look at the world through their imagination unhindered can discover a “lifelong commitment to the search for grace and transcendence.” This is a great way to become anything that “calls to your heart and brings you to life.”

One representation of a bundle of neurons.
Metaphorically, they are as dense and interconnected as we are.

The poet Jack Gilbert (1925-2012) once asked a talented student of his what they planned to do in the future. The student replied hesitantly that they would like to become a writer, but they were unsure about it. He then asked the student “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you say yes.”

Once I read this I couldn’t help but feel a torrent, a SURGE, of exuberant emotion coursing through me. When I read this, I was both shocked and jubilant; shocked because I never knew Jack Gilbert the person, I only knew about Jack Gilbert the poet; jubilant, because I remembered my high school teacher expressing his belief that I too have a jewel of talent waiting to be excavated and refined within me. 

Here’s a poem by him, one I’m particularly fond of.


I never thought Michiko would come back
after she died. But if she did, I knew
it would be as a lady in a long white dress.
It is strange that she has returned
as somebody's dalmation. I meet
the man walking her on a leash
almost every week. He says good morning
and I stoop down to calm her. He said
once that she was never like that with
other people. Sometimes she is tethered
on their lawn when I go by. If nobody
is around, I sit on the grass. When she
finally quiets, she puts her head in my lap
and we watch each other's eyes as I whisper
in her soft ears. She cares nothing about
the mystery. She likes it best when
I touch her head and tell her small
things about my days and our friends.
That makes her happy the way it always did.

So, what I want to ask all of you is this: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures hidden within you? The greatest hunt in the history of mankind is the hunt for your self. Each of us can transcend to discover the jewel hidden deep within us. I’ve no idea what the jewel hidden within you is, but I know that it exists; I know that the greatest result of this hunt is a meaningful, creative way of living. Go and explore yourself. Take the first step. 

Wait, what? You’re afraid? Afraid of what? Exploring yourself? Taking the first step? That society will judge you? That people will criticize and condemn you? 
Never fear, for I’m here… to tell you that 
You don’t need society to accept you. 
(You don’t have to limit yourself in doing what you want. You don’t have to quit your pursuit in becoming a doctor or professor just to find some "meaningful" career.That’s not what this is about. Both of those are meaningful careers within their own right. You can do something as simple as start being active in some previous hobby which brought you joy or explore some activity you’ve always wanted to participate in, such as sky diving. LIVE CREATIVELY).

Once you give something up because of society ostracizing, alienating, or condemning you, you’ve then discarded a piece of yourself. That piece of you then becomes a lingering will, waiting for the day (if the day ever comes) for you to piece it back in you. If not, then slowly but surely, you’ll become listless.

I’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer, romanticizing the notion of someone who works restlessly on their novel or text in the hopes of getting published someday. However, some voice of reason in me kept me from doing that. In reality, I was afraid. I made excuses. I never even tried. I kept listening to that voice of raison d’etat, which told me that I wouldn’t be able to write, be successful, or produce anything meaningful. 

Painting from the MET. My idea of a romanticized
writer working in the attic tirelessly. 

Something in me clicked recently as I was reading this book. I don’t need to be afraid of anyone or anything. If people were to negatively judge me for what I do, let them, they probably have nothing better to do. 

I simply asked myself what makes me the happiest? When is it that I find myself entranced?
The answer I reached is when I’m living creatively, when I’m reading and writing. My imagination is my greatest comfort, bringing to life all sorts of literature, be they difficult and dense like The Brothers Karamazov, modern young adult fantasy like Harry Potter or comics like Tokyo Ghoul.

I began to ignore the doubts which would creep up behind me and began to write. I don’t write to please anybody in particular. I write because I have fun. As an adult (albeit, a young one), I have the perspective to appreciate the value of my own joy. 

What I’m saying is, please…
Live creatively. Go, pursue your own happiness. You don’t have to drop out of college and start a new career to do that. If somewhere deep inside you there’s any sort of inquisitiveness, then follow it, and see where it’ll lead you. 

Are you afraid about the people who will question your motives? Let them. After I began to write more and more for fun, someone asked me if I’m writing a novel for publication, and I said no, I have no thoughts about that. 
After that, their mouth became as venomous as a Cobra. They began to question my future, as if they knew what was best for me. How could they? What sort of narcissistic entitlement allowed them to do so? They reduced my writing — my happiness — to a mere “unproductive past-time.” I told them as respectfully as I could that I write for my sake, for my own happiness, and not for others’.  

Even now, as I’m writing about this, I find myself thoroughly happy. 
I’m living creatively.

Okay, good, you’re now thoroughly interested in living creatively. First, you’re gonna need to be brave. You’ll need courage. 

We all know that fear is the greatest enemy of bravery. Fear, however, is not something we should just discard, and there’s a good reason for that. As Gilbert says,

“Fear is boring… because it's the same thing everyday.”

That’s where you come in. All of us can feel fear. You’re not special in that regard. It’s a basic human reflex which has aided us in our evolutionary timeline. After generations of fear, however, it’s become mass-produced. It’s a product with which all of us are born with. That’s why sometimes we need to shelve that fear for a bit. I’m not saying become fearless, because,

“Creativity is a path for the brave, but it is not a path for the fearless… Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding the word scary means.”

Now, as strange as this sounds, I want you to craft your fear, to mold it into something you can conquer. Let your fear propel you forward in courage, towards a meaningful and transcendent life. Let not society and others dictate to you their values; follow your OWN values. Be brave. Be courageous. Find that right balance of fear and courage inside of yourself, because that binary is what’ll allow you to find your own creative way of living. Let it help you find that hidden treasure lodged deep within you somewhere. 

And remember…

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” 
- Confucius

Onur A. Ayaz

Poem of the Week 10.24.16

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, But still, like dust, I’ll rise. You may trod me in the very dirt
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may kill me with your hatefulness, You may cut me with your eyes, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I rise I rise
I rise.
-"Still I Rise"   by Maya Angelou
     It is not a surprise that I'm writing for Poem of the Week again.  I promise this time around I won't bombard you with mountains of poetry to both read and listen to.
      I honestly had a different idea in mind when I set out to write this article (i.e. laughing at my old poems), but as circumstance would have it, my inspiration pulled me in a different direction.
      When I was a high school, I had a wall in my room that I called the "Wall of Quotes".  It is pretty self explanatory, but it was essentially a wall in my room where I compiled all the words that touched my heart.  This poem was a feature on the wall.
      I had honestly forgotten about it's existence until I began to hear one of the stanzas in a commercial and almost instinctively started reciting the poem along with the voice on the television.  I quickly remembered how much I love this poem.
      As much as I love poetry, I am not very fond of analyzing it as a piece of written work.  Of course, I appreciate the metaphors and the imagery Angelou creates in this piece.  I love the way she equates her own rising to the rising of dust and even air.  I love the rhythm of the first seven stanzas.  I adore the way these stanzas flow so smoothly, especially when you read them out loud.  I equally adore the way she takes away this rhythm in the last two stanzas as she discusses rising out of the social constructs that try to make her ashamed of her race and her ancestry.  I love the way she trades in the rhythm for a continuous repetition of "I rise".  I love how the change in the rhythm of the poem and the increasingly frequent repetition puts emphasis on the last two stanzas.  I love the way the poem ends with three "I rise" as if the poem itself is elevating somehow.
      Even though this poem is a marvelous literary creation, I think the most amazing thing about the poem, and poetry in general, is the way you feel as you read it.  It is such a condensed form of raw emotion.  I judge whether poetry is "good" or not based on how deeply I connect with the emotions the writer has graciously chosen to display for us.  
     There is something magical that happens to you when you read this poem out loud.  Somehow, it becomes your mantra (even if you don't believe in those kinds of things).  I found this poem when I was at a very low point in my life.  When I read it for the first time, I felt myself rising with Maya Angelou.
     I feel like we are taught that we are supposed to love ourselves, but not too much.  What does that mean? Society looks down upon us for having low self-esteem, but we are equally frowned at if we love ourselves too much.  We are supposed to hate ourselves enough to be relatable, but love ourselves enough that we don't bother anyone else with our complaining.  It is honestly very confusing.  I feel like Maya Angelou laughs at this concept.  The poem revolves around her mocking the people that hate her and try to bring her down.  She retorts all the efforts to push her down by continuing to rise.  I strive to have her confidence.
     Even now, I find the stanza vibrating in my memory:
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
And so I rise. I rise. I rise.

Currently Listening 10.24.16

Had my Heart Since I was Three...

              Music is life! I truly believe this because music has the power to improve or worsen my mood more than a lot of other things. I am always in my own zone when I have my headphones plugged in and am bumping or bobbing to a song that I love. This is usually me listening to a song I love immensely.

               I  listen to several genres of music such as Soca, Calypso, Reggae R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop. If we're talking about currently listening (ALWAYS listening), let me share with you someone I have been slightly and unhealthily obsessed with since I was three. 

               Her name is Aaliyah Dana Haughton, also known as "Babygirl." 

               I love her not only for her music, but for her effortless beauty and unique style. Here is a compilation of Aaliyah's unique style in various music videos.

                I'll just leave this GIF right here for you guys to admire her beauty like I've been doing for the past *blushes* twenty years. 

              Aaliyah passed away at the age of 22 on August 25th, 2001. Though she passed away at an extremely young age, she is still known as the "Princess of RB." Thankfully, her music and character still resonates with many people 15 years after she passed away (especially with me). 

              I remember when she died, seriously! I was the saddest six-year-old around. My love for her was and still is no joke. Here I was when she died:

   Sorry for making this post a sob story, I am ready to share with you all why I love her oh so much.

  Her music speaks to me. I honestly can't think of another way to say this. When I am down, I turn on her music and am immediately feeling better (most of the times). I just love the variations, nuances and different ranges she was capable of expressing in such a short career. 

  Aaliyah's complex voice spanned from sweet, gentle, airy, breathy, harmonious, and low, (trust me I can go on and on about her voice), which is something special. 

 Not only did she possess the ability to sing with an amazingly soft, deep tone, she also had a beautiful head voice.

   In "Death of A Playa", Aaliyah displays her skill in singing in a lower register which is one of my personal favorites because I always remember mimicking her voice and trying to make it as low and smooth as hers.

"Death of A Playa"

   Though she is singing about heartbreak in "The One I Gave My Heart To", I can't help but feel happy because she is so aesthetically fulfilling. She belts through her emotions and I immediately understand and feel the music. 
  Aaliyah uses her beautiful head voice in "Let Me Know (At Your Best)."

     I love live performances of my favorite Aaliyah songs, (I think all of her songs are my favorite, so that's not really helpful) because I am able to hear her voice at the moment of the actual performance, not a pre-recorded track. 

"The One I Gave My Heart To"

Here is another live performance, "Journey to the Past."

    Okay, I will leave you guys with one more song that leaves me in tears almost every time I listen to it because this is the epitome of how I feel about Aaliyah Dana Haughton. 

"Miss You"

"It's been too long and I'm lost without you."

I Love You Too Babygirl!!!!!!! Forever and ever!

Had my Heart Since I was Three...

This is Kayla, fellow Trini signing out,

Love and Happiness.  Trini to deh bone!!