Sometimes I sit and wonder.
What it’d be like to be a bug.
To spend all day,
Crawling or perhaps flying.
Incessantly searching for,
Whatever it is they need.
Why even bother?
I realize not much is different.
And a little bug.
Our search coincides,
Around that which is inside.
Their world, my world.
Both revolve around the same thing.
One tiny life except upright.
Walking, or perhaps running into decay.
For the past 15 weeks, I have worked on a research project examining social justice issues in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. The local chapter of Not In Our Town (NIOT), a non-profit organization that fights against bigotry and discrimination, commissioned my graduate sociology class to ‘hold up a mirror’ of the Bloomington-Normal community, reflecting back the good and the bad.
The project was wide in scope. We conducted focus groups and interviews, analyzed crime and segregation data, produced GIS maps, analyzed archival research and performed case studies of best practices employed by other community organizations. What we found was both disheartening and hopeful.
The results from this project were publicly presented to local residents, community leaders, elected officials, as well as faculty and students of Illinois State University.
Prior to the presentation, I participated in a radio interview with the local public radio. I was joined by two of my colleagues who also participated in the research. Some of the findings that were shared in the radio interview can be found HERE.
The professor of the course, Dr. Frank Beck, also interview with the local radio station and shared some information about the project as well as some of the findings. Further information from that interview can also be found in this article.
Overall, the project was very rewarding. We learned a lot about the community we all live in. I am excited for the future of Bloomington-Normal and for the implications of our research.
The man, he gets drunk off wine
To this girl, his medals shine.
With privilege and honor
He comes down upon her.
As if with each beat of the chest
He shows he is the best.
Behind the mask, is his true grime
Each day, living a crime.
The man, he goes to smother
In his eyes he must have her.
In search of his crest
He holds tight to her breast.
He now, hard as pine
Exposes he really is swine.
To him, she is a goner
He did his best to con her.
In contentment, the man rolls over to rest
The blade, she drives it through his chest.
The flatland has mountains too.
You just can’t see them,
you can only feel them.
The mountains, they come in waves.
other times not so much.
Very rarely are they quiet, the mountains.
Sometimes a low drone,
other times a screaming whine.
They, the mountains, are always cold and rarely warm.
Sometimes chilling to the bone,
other times cooling sweat.
The flatland has mountains too, I say.
You just can’t look upon them,
you can only be within them.