In my mad run to be able to see and do 'my' things these ten days, I've gotten to watch some movies that I've wanted to see (or revisit) for awhile. One was Mad Hot Ballroom. I've heard about the movie, but when it came to Cedar Lee it suffered the same luck The Squid and the Whale, Murderball and Mrs. Handerson Presents have suffered: neglect by distance. When they are screened so far away and I have to drag Rob to the theater it only provokes an argument, such as the tantrum I threw for Bad Education. So I got this from my source of all things cool and free: the public library.
Anyway, this little movie about middle-schoolers competing for a Ballroom prize could easily be an allegory for the life of the disenfranchised: brown and black -and some white- kids from the poorer and less favored neighbourhoods in New York have a chance to change their school lives and become someone -even if only for a short time, while 'learning for life' thanks to the discipline and cooperative work that ballroom dancing requires.
That they also become the vehicles through which their parents and teachers reach their own dreams makes it even so much more powerful. Being an immigrant in the United States post-nine-eleven is not a joke. The mentality of this country is twisted at its best, with its xenophobia disguised as collective pity for the less-privileged. And being brown and poor is no help at all. So the stories of these kids, who candidly talk, dance, laugh and cry for the camera and their views of the world are as touching as the best drama out in theaters right now.
I came to think that I'm actually a privileged, lazy, whiny bitch. I have a job, I have a good husband, I could have graduated already and I'm still complaining. Oh, my life has not been easy, but That was the past and shouldn't I just shut up and do something? I sometimes wonder what is it that keeps me from doing some things. Is it inertia? Is it procastination? Is it fear of succeeding? Fear or failure? Inmaturity? I need to find out. It's just too damn annoying sometimes to figure myself out. When I think I have 'me' solved, something else comes along that makes me doubt.
I am good at what I do. I know I get things done when they need to be done. I'm organized and efficient when I need to. So why am I not able to finish this damn dissertation and graduate already? I know it causes me problems with Rob, it may cost me the job I have, because they'll obviously choose someone already graduated and still, I cannot move.
I should take a page from those kids' book and get off my comfortable ass and do something already. If kids from public schools in New York can muster enough discipline to get themselves a trophy, why can't I write ninety pages of boring academic writing? I need to do something.
And that's good enough for now.