Saturday, March 11, 2017

Puerto Rico, my heart's devotion.

5 girls, 8 days, 3 Islands. 

// Culebra + Flamenco beach
// Viejo San Juan + eating our weight in Mofongo + chocolate/grilled cheese sandwiches + Señor paleta
// Castillo San Cristobal 
// Cavernas de Camuy + Cueva del Indio + our free upgrade of a jeep
// Vieques 
// El Yunque
// El Morro

Another place crossed off my Latin American bucketlist.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

looking back on Faces of 97.

Do you ever get this profound sense of project idea overload? There are too many things I want to do with my life and not enough time. I want to tell the beautiful stories of fearless individuals, but I also want to work in the legal landscape. I want to plan and host really amazing gatherings and travel the world. I wish I had all the time in the world to craft and learn to take beautiful photographs and edit podcasts. In short--I want it all. 

I distinctly remember a time when I was six or seven, and I had the sad realization that there was no feasible way for me to do all the things. I had dreams of being an olympic swimmer but also a ballet dancer but also a singer but also really good at the piano but also be president of the United States. It was a crushing thought; if there's anything I'm looking forward to in eternity, it's the infinite amount of time to perfect all my talents and gifts. 

Faces of 97 was one of my many fond projects. I regret that this year I haven't been able to be as faithful to the project (& this isn't necessarily my way of saying I won't be continuing the project anymore). The project has metaphorically left the back-burner and somehow ended up spilled on the kitchen floor. 

Storytelling and interviewing still continues to be a great love of mine, but sometimes the medium or form may change. I'm grateful to everyone who jumped in the handcart and helped me make Faces of 97 possible. 

To Lauren--for letting us film in her cute little house + for being a fabulous co-interviewer
To Arielle--who lent her time and talent in the form of filming and video editing & for listening to my jumbled idea and really helping to piece the idea apart and make it work.
To Russell-who helped create a little logo for the cause!
To Chase--for stepping in when Arielle moved out of the ward 😢 and really being the one to suggest we reboot
To Meg--for helping with video editing and encouraging me that this was a good idea

I couldn't have made Faces even 1/2 of what it became without the help/support of these humans!! I will be gone for a majority of the remaining Sundays left in this semester, so the likelihood of new Faces of 97 coming out from now till then is slim, but there is this glimmer of hope called spring + summer. 

& in true Lauren Flores fashion, I have another project swirling in my mind like the leaves in the Pocahontas colors of the wind segment [you know the one!]. That other project feels timely and sort of is taking precedence in my mind in a nagging, can't ignore type of way. 

I'll always have some sort of Faces project going on. I love the word and the concept much too much to let it wither into insignificance. 

Here's to a plethora of projects and the people who make it all possible!


Friday, February 17, 2017

The semester of civil rights.

(Jenna, Me, and T.Betti at the MLK Walk of Life & Commemoration--from the Daily Herald's website)

Really, a more appropriate title for this post would be "the year of civil rights." I mentioned in a previous post, that while registering for classes this past fall, I was hit with a hard wave of FOMO. I wanted to take every undergrad class with a civil rights focus. I literally typed in "BYU Civil Rights" into google, and I'm so glad I did.

It is because of this google search that I discovered the Civil Rights Seminar offered at BYU--a class that meets once a week, and delves d e e p into everything leading up to the civil rights movement. There was a whole application process, and twelve of us were selected for the class. Why so selective? The culmination of the class is a trip to Georgia & Alabama to visit some of the most historic sites of the movement.

The happiest part about this? Three of my closest friends from my racial minority & group relations class from last semester are in the class along with Tbetti! So much of my free time this semester has been devoted to remembering the civil rights movement and celebrating diversity in Utah.

As a confirmation of sorts that I'm headed down the right educational path, I got my grades back from last semester, AND HOLY WHAT A CELEBRATION!!!!! I got the highest grades of my law school career to date, I made the deans list, and even had the top score for a class! (By way of reminder, last semester I took the 14th Amendment, Federal Indian Law, and Criminal Procedure Adjudication) I was on cloud nine the day grades came out. I had worked so hard last semester, and really before checking grades I thought, "whatever they are, I know what I've learned, and I know how much I've loved learning about it." I was so happy I treated myself to my first burger of this year! haha.


This semester my love of civil rights continues with Civil Rights Skills, Evidence, Law & Public Education, plus an internship with the greatest mentors I could ask for. It seems a very appropriate year to be studying all this; I'm gaining the tools and skills I will need to fight for what's right in an ever more hostile future. In light of all this, I feel so blessed to have such great opportunities at BYU. I have been richly blessed.

Apparently I was on BYU's insta story? Who even knew that was a thing!? I'm so out of the social media loop these days. 

Loving came to BYU, which was perfect because it was only showing at two other theatres in all of Utah. &&& this meant I got to cross another thing off of my BYU Bucketlist (yeah, still working on that!)
#37 See a movie at the Varsity theatre

Embracing Diverse Voices is a art exhibit currently at the MOA. We went to the opening celebration featuring a beautiful gospel choir. It brought me back to my childhood in Compton when every Sunday I would hear the loud gospel music from the baptist church across the street from my house complete with it's loud drums and powerful voices. Melodie was on cloud nine during the whole thing, "You better sing!! I'm writing the First Presidency and telling them THIS is how MoTab needs to sing."

Emmanuelle & I went to the Women in Freedom Movement at SLCC where we got to hear Angela Davis speak! Emmanuelle even got her book signed. My favorite part of this whole experience was Emmanuelle's commentary: "Angela Davis is silencing her phone." "Angela Davis is laughing." "Angela Davis and I are breathing the same air."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Soy Chicana. vol 4.

While drafting this post, I realized it's been over a YEAR since I did a "soy chicana post." Unacceptable! The small consolation prize I gave myself? most of these pictures technically were from 2016...so, there's that... 

But fear not, I was every bit of Chicana in 2016!

#1. I decorate my law school carrel to remind me of why I'm at law school (because sometimes you need tacos for motivation).
#2. I get the cutest doormat for my apartment, because being greeted in Spanish just makes coming home that much greater.
#3 I make the occasional bath of Mexican wedding cookies.
#4 When friends from the mission wanted to get together, I suggest a tasty Mexican place for breakfast. Their chilaquiles are the BEST.
#5. I buy Mexican themed gifts for white elephant parties, and then debate whether to keep said gift for myself. Taco Truck Taco holders you guys!!!!
#6. I buy Mexican themed fairytales for my unborn daughters. You know how some people buy clothes for their future children??? I've never been that person, but when I saw this book at the Museum of Art on campus, I couldn't resist!
#7. I turn into the impromptu photographer at my cousin's daughter's quinceñera.
#8. I come home to gifts on my bed from roommates who know the key to my .
#9. I suggest Salsa soireés as a going away party theme.
#10. & finally, when my mejor amiga wants to meet up over winter break I naturally suggest we check out the greatest dessert place Paramount, CA has yet to see. 
**Just realized that ALL of these photos are from 2016. ooops. Better late than never, no? Here's to more Chicana days ahead.