Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Financial Literacy Workshop!!!!

It's crazy how things work out sometimes. I just blogged about needing a financial literacy workshop for folks.... and BAM! I received this email from a fellow UCLA Alum. today. Sometimes we just gotta throw thoughts out into the universe... ha. (or just cyberspace. ha)...

"Nosizwe Chimurenga will be going over the 'bricks for a strong financial house' and what people should be looking for when investing and spending their money. The workshop is designed for people at all incomes and stages in life."

with Nosizwe Chimurenga
Wednesday, July 29th @ 6:30pm
Citi Building @ Marina Del Rey
12731 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles

Upcoming workshops and events:

Thursday, August 27th @ 6:30pm
Community Coalition @ South LA
8101 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Sounds

let's get to know her a little bit more..

and let's read about her a little bit more..
Zee Avi

She's cool. She writes her own lyrics too. haha.

Concert Date: Aug 27.

Understanding recent events in US/Global Economy

(use these clips in your gov't/econ. classes as starter points!)

I just got back from Day 1 of an economic summer institute seminar I signed up for. The focus of this seminar is the connection of the current financial crisis with history--drawing comparisons with the Great Depression (though we call today's crisis a "Great Recession" instead...not quite sure why...).

Anyway, I have to admit that I was truly fascinated with the topics we discussed and learned about in the seminar. We began class with this Frontline video clip (Part 1-3). I was a bit reluctant to even go to this seminar bc our HW reading, Krugman's The Return of Depression Economics, was a bit dense for me (I have trouble understanding financial terms bc it is so confounded). So I entered the class feeling a bit intimidated by my financial illiteracy.

We started the seminar with this Frontline clip and I was hooked. All the questions/confusion I had regarding these gov't giant bailouts in 2008 such as with Bear Stearns, were explained thru this clip and thru this seminar.

I realized that it is highly important to gain this financial literacy. For instance, what exactly is meant behind subprime mortgage lending? Yes, we may understand the basics that it is a loan given to a borrower who might be less likely to repay a loan (yet is given the loan anyway with the belief that when housing market picks up, the borrower can refinance or pay off mortgage by selling the house in the future), but to understand why this subprime mortgage loan had such a sweeping impact on particular regions such as CA, we would have to understand that the subprime mortgage lending was tightly interconnected/interweaved with other investors and financial institutions that it was just difficult to "unwind." This applies to Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, etc. Our own personal money was tied up in this messy web when we "deposit" money into the banks or when we take out mortgages...etc. etc...... This interconnected mess is termed, systemic risk. This is why even though the probs. may have been caused by decision making in Wall Street, we felt the affects on "Main Street" (which would be us...the people).

Anyway, this seminar provided me with a deeper interest in Economics and feeling a sense of urgency on becoming more financially literate. Financial terms are fully loaded and will guide folks on money management (or just being smarter with our money).

I think it's important that this type of financial literacy class/seminar is accessible in working class communities. We work hard for our money. It would be nice to know other options/opportunities to invest/save our hard earned money for long-term benefits for our families and our own communities. It almost appears that it is limited just to the elite....

Monday, July 20, 2009

(500) Days of Summer

I saw this film today. Not too sure how to explain my liking of the film, but I'll try to explain my after thoughts: I think I like it. I liked it for it's soundtrack. It started off with a song I really like from The Smiths (so that's a plus). I liked it for it's simple story-telling format (nothing new or groundbreaking, but defn. suitable for the storyline). I liked it because it isn't the typical "love-story" we all are accustomed to seeing in Hollywood films (though I believe this is an indie-type film). I liked it bc it is a story of a young man who falls " hopelessly deeply in love" with the young, independent, "free-spirited," and unique woman (usually it's the other way around).

But this is where I have trouble: I think I don't know if I can say I fully liked the film bc I didn't know how to feel about the young free-spirited woman and her actions with the young man. I want to defend her and say that this young woman is not at fault for any pain involved bc she was upfront with her feelings and intentions the entire relationship/interaction with the young man. I want to say it is the young man's fault for deciding to pursue the young woman with the knowledge of her feelings. However, I found myself disliking the young woman for contradicting her own words and "misleading" the young man.

But this is where I begin to see the reality of this situation and begin to appreciate the film as well. I appreciate it because as much as we dislike or disagree with this young woman for "misleading" the young man, I realize that we all have experienced this situation before, whether we were the young woman who is upfront with our feelings/intentions yet contradicts with our actions at the expense of another's feelings; or we are the young man who, despite the knowledge of the young woman's intentions, go thru with "gray areas" of a relationship. Gray-area meaning there is no official label, we say we are friends, but we carry on an intimate romantic relationship.

I guess by watching this we either confront ourselves with how we are when we deal with other people's feelings in romantic relationships/friendships, or we just remember our past experiences and our old ways.

Anyway, I also appreciate the film for it's message on fate/destiny and "the one." I know we all have our own opinions on this topic, but without spoiling the rest of the film, I do want to say that sometimes the brutal truth of futile relationships is that maybe that one other person was never able to find/feel what you may have felt for them; and as much as that other person tried so hard to feel it (bc he/she really wanted to feel what you felt) by giving it time or putting in time (which most times causes frustration, pain, agony, confusion for both parties), sometimes both parties just have to accept the truth in the end that it just won't work out.....

....and that there is somebody else out there more compatible and this "somebody else" could just be anybody.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Notorious A.I.G"

Another slow-jammin the news...

"AIG likes it rough." ha

So much for a "free-market" enterprise type of system.

Monday, March 16, 2009

President Barack Obama comes to the school I teach in!

'nuff said.

HA. More updates on Thursday..

Whack status #1: We won't be able to attend the townhall, even if it's in OUR VERY OWN SCHOOL! EVEN IF WE, TEACHERS, AND STUDENTS, bust our asses everyday to provide the best education for the students... where's the justice in that?

ESPECIALLY when Pres. Barack Obama serves as the epitome of hope for many of the students who come from single-parent working class families...... He is a hero to many of the students at MC.

This "ticket-only" business has got to go! PRIORITY SHOULD GO TO STUDENTS.