Making Adventures in Memphis, Pt. 2

Hiyoo! Today on the blog, I conclude my recap of my recent research trip to Memphis. In this post, you will find out if Beale St. is really as fun as everyone makes it out to be and why the National Civil Rights Museum should be on your list of museums to visit. Read on, fellow readers/bloggers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 3: Presenting @NCUR, Bar-B-Que & Night on Beale St.

Friday was our most eventful day since we presented our research at the conference and spent the night on the town after. Armed with our research poster and business casual clothing, we made our way to the University of Memphis to share our findings with everyone. Looking back now, I had a wonderful time explaining our experiment and findings to those that stopped by our poster. While a majority of people had heard of Kinesio Tape, many were surprised to learn that the tape does not affect muscle recruitment. Basically, what we found was that using KT Tape solely to enhance muscle performance is not effective because our results weren’t significant enough to prove that it does have an effect. I am really thankful that I had this opportunity to travel to Memphis and present my research because it made me realize that research is a passion of mine and I hope to build more on it in the future.

After we presented, we went back to the hotel to look for a place to eat dinner. We decided on going to Corky’s Bar-B-Que. Honestly, I have nothing but praise for this restaurant. The waitstaff was so welcoming, the food was delicious, and the prices weren’t expensive at all. I ordered a bar-b-que pulled pork ย sandwich with a side of hush puppies and my bill was less than $10! The portion size was very generous, I could barely finish what I ordered. If you are in Memphis and are on the market for some good food at an awesome price, check out Corky’s!

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Later that day, my team and I decided to celebrate by hitting the night on the town. A common place to visit that was recommended by our Lyft drivers was to go to Beale St at night. To say that Beale St is lively on a Friday night is an understatement. Beale St on a Friday night is LIT, literally! The street is closed off, allowing visitors to walk around and bar hop, but at night, the lights illuminate the atmosphere. It kind of reminded me of a mini Vegas strip. The live music and street performers truly made Beale St feel like the Southern version of Las Vegas. Because of NCUR, a ton of students were there to celebrate, drink, and dance the night away. My girl friends and I went to two clubs and danced the night away. We went to Club 152 and Jerry Lee Lewis; both had live DJs and both played Top 40, Hip-Hop, and a little bit of EDM. I gotta say though, when we were at Jerry Lee Lewis, it was so crowded that whenever the beat dropped and people started to jump, I thought the floor was about to give out (and we were on the second floor!). I’ll be honest and admit that the Memphis music scene (hip-hop wise) doesn’t even compare to California’s, but I commend the DJs for trying.

Day 4: Final Day of NCUR, Visiting National Civil Rights Museum & Memphis Zoo

With NCUR coming to an end, we attended the last plenary speeches.ย The first speaker was Terri Lee Freeman, the president of the National Civil Rights Museum. In the beginning of her speech, she explained the role of the museum is not only to share the culture and lessons from Americaโ€™s Civil Rights Movement, but to also serve as a starting point and inclusive center welcome for all people to peacefully protest the injustices occurring. Throughout her speech Ms. Freeman talked about the importance of civil rights and political awareness and how both are imperative in order to progress society. Ms. Freeman emphasized that understanding opposing viewpoints, instead of naively putting your own opinions as the only viewpoint, is important in creating social change. I thoroughly believe this because if you donโ€™t know or understand why different people have various convictions, youโ€™ll never truly know if your own convictions are true in your mind. I thought this was a nice prelude to the second speaker, Daphene R. McFerren. McFerren is the executive director of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. Not only did McFerren build on the points that Freeman made, but she even made calls to action to motivate and inspire us to be proactive in being socially and culturally aware. Freeman gave documentary recommendations, such as 13th by Ava DuVernay and encouraged us to talk with people that have different opinions.

I think it would be fair to say that we came out of the plenary inspired, because the next thing we did was visit the National Civil Rights Museum. I truly love visiting museums. Whether it be a science or art museum, there is something about witnessing art and learning about new concepts that I find cathartic. I am very glad we decided to go to the National Civil Rights Museum because I had never have I felt so angry, sad, yet motivated by the experience. Seeing the various exhibits and pictures illustrating the protests, violence, and struggle drew many parallels with what is going on today. If you don’t acknowledge the fact that history is repeating itself, then you need to check your privilege and change your perspective by taking yourself out of it and try to understand it from a different viewpoint. I really do believe that the National Civil Right Museum is a must see in Memphis because the experience is truly enlightening.

Later in the afternoon, a friend and I went to visit the Memphis Zoo. It was a pretty relaxed afternoon seeing the various animals. It was here where I realized how heavy the Southern accent can be. The majority of the visitors were (I would assume) locals and their families. During my visit there, I couldn’t help but think if my Californian accent sounds just as strong to them as their accent did to me. It’s common to think that we don’t have an accent because we’re used to hearing it, but in reality, we have much of an accent as other people from different regions.

Day 5: Returning Home

The trip back home included a layover in Dallas and then straight to Sacramento. It was pretty uneventful, but I got a taste of “Everything is bigger in Texas” when I was at the Dallas airport. During our layover, I got hungry and went to Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast. They have a combination special that includes two donuts, a small order of tater tots, and a small coffee (hot or iced) for just $4.99! The amount of food in this combo is pretty mind blowing but what really got me was the size of my iced coffee. My small iced coffee would be considered a large by California standards and definitely an extra large by Philippine standards (and I don’t think that exists there tbh).

So that concludes my Memphis trip! Although it took me about 1.5 months to get around to writing it, I finished! I enjoy writing trip recaps because it allows me to express my creative energy and look back at my adventures. Now that I have graduated from college, I have more time to devote to my blog by going on more adventures and develop my writing. Speaking of traveling more, I am visiting London and Rome with my family next Month! I AM SO EXCITED, can’t you tell?! ๐Ÿ™‚

Peace, love, and blessings,

Samantha

Follow more of my adventures on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

How to Get Free Products Using Social Media

Disclaimer: This blog post in NOT sponsored by Influenster in any way.

Yes, you got that right: you can get free products using your social media! I recently discovered the website, Influenster, and have been having a great experience. In essence, Influenster is a site that has honest product reviews from its users and utilizes social media analytics to measure its users social media influence. Once the user syncs his/her social media accounts on the site, an ‘Impact Score’ is made and is used as scale to qualify the user for a free box of sample products, also known as a VoxBox. Each VoxBox has a different theme and has a variety of products.

Looking back, I’d say that the time it took for me from signing up to actually receiving a box was about 3 weeks. I created my account on May 2nd and connected my social media, received an email about being on the shortlist for a VoxBox on May 8, and found out that I would receive one on May 10. The Glow VoxBox came in seven days later.

The shortlist is Influenster’s way of letting you know that your account is on a ‘shortlist’ of names to get a VoxBox. By completing different surveys on the site, you make your own profile of what products you like (and don’t like). This helps Influenster sort out which types of VoxBoxes you’d actually like to receive and essentially try out the products and review them.

Since I previously reviewed various beauty products, I was on the shortlist to receive the Glow VoxBox. The free products included:

  • Nail polish from the Sinful Colors Desert Divas Collection- Super Cooper ($1.99)
  • Not Your Mother’s Naturals Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Repair+Protect Leave In Conditioner ($8.99)
  • Flash Tattoos: Child of Wild ($25) & Chloe, Dakota, Lena, Nikki, Zahra ($20)
  • SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask ($14.99 for 6 oz.)
  • SheaMoisture African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Wash & Scrub ($9.99 for 4 oz.)

*The total amount of the Glow VoxBox (retail size) checks out to be $80.96 (and I got this box for FREE :O)

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Overall, I am very happy with the free sample products I received and am excited to try them out! I don’t know about you, but the feeling of getting a package delivered to you is exciting, even moreso when you know that you got it for FREE. For those that are curious to see what Influenster is all about, I highly encourage that you visit the site and maybe even make an account. If you are curious about the products I reviewed prior to receiving the Glow VoxBox, click here. I will most likely write up my product reviews on my Influenster page and not on the blog because it is more convenient. Until next time!

Peace, love, and blessings,

Samanthaย 

Catch me on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Brown People and Flying

So it has been a while since I added a chapter to my Brown Gal Chronicles. Now that I have graduated college, I have more time to devote to writing more content! As I reflect other the past few months, the question that always lingers through my mind was “What aspect of your Filipino American experience haven’t you written about yet?” To me, a big part of my Filipino American experience is dealing with racial generalizations. From other people asking me to help them with their math homework in school (Math is my weakest subject tbh) to people talking louder at me just because my skin is darker, I’ve had my share of unpleasant experiences. The most recent one happened back in April when I traveled to Memphis for NCUR. It occurred on the flight going from Sacramento to Houston.

Something really interesting happened on this flight. I was assigned to a middle seat and was the first to get to my row. As people more people were boarding the flight, a nice young black man sat next to me in the aisle seat. We introduced ourselves and patiently waited for the rest of the passengers to board. When the lady assigned to the window seat in my row came, me and the guy both got up so she could pass through. As this happened, an older white woman explained that she was supposed to sit in the aisle seat, the original seat the guy was previously in. As the guy was moving to another seat, the older white woman said to him, โ€œIโ€™ll happily sit in that seat if you want to sit next to your bride [referring to me]โ€. Both the guy and myself exchanged looks of shock and โ€œI canโ€™t believe she just said that!โ€ I replied to her with, โ€œOh weโ€™re not together!โ€ and she replied โ€œYouโ€™re not?!โ€ Just the way she said it implied that the fact the young man and I aren’t romantically linked is crazy. The whole interaction was a little funny but also weird. What kept going through my mind at that moment was โ€œNot all brown people who are sitting next to each other are actually together together!โ€ So, as a person of color, the lesson learned is that other people will make incorrect assumptions about you and actually voice them, you just have to kindly correct them. What I hope you, the reader, take from this is to never make assumptions about the people around you and never voice them because it will make you look like an idiot, a racist one at that.

So yep, that was the most recent encounter I had dealing with racial generalization. I am aware that it could have been worse and my experience may be considered benign. To be honest, I actually wasn’t angered by what happened, just shocked. Maybe the lady didn’t grow up in a culturally diverse atmosphere and genuinely thought that all brown people exclusively date other brown people. But then again, I will never know.

Until the next chapter,

Samanthaย 

Come say hi on: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Right Now, Currently, This Month: May

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The May cover on my planner ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello lovely readers (mom and friends, I see you!) IT’S MAY! I cannot believe that it’s already May! This means that I am graduating from undergrad in just 9 days and I am feeling ALL OF THE FEELINGS (happy, excited, scared, terrified, etc). Since my last blog post, I’ve had some fun exciting experiences. I’ve been more consistent in getting back on the road and logging in some miles and also going to yoga class at m university’s gym. The most exciting experience though was going to Chance the Rapper’s concert for the first time! I went with my brother and I can honestly say that the concert was fantastically amazing! I would definitely go to another concert again because Chance is such an amazing and humble artist, he’s a great live performer, and his concerts are just SO LIT!

Anyways, here is my monthly musings of what I am up to and what I am currently listening to:

Loving: my family + friends

Eating: more vegetables

Drinking: coconut coffee (It’s finals week!)

Watching: Netflix series of Dear White People (discover your wokeness, peeps)

Going: TO GRADUATE

Reading: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Texting: friends

Playing: nothing? More like stu(dying)

Celebrating: Graduation

Listening: DAMN. (Kendrick Lamar)

Buying: SAVING

Pinning: graduation cap ideas

Planning: my summer

Visiting: Europe (hopefully! fingers crossed, prayers up)

That’s basically it! Now back to study mode I go. Have a great week! ๐Ÿ™‚

May the Fourth be with you,

Samanthaย