Pay it Forward . . .Charter Day Weekend

March 11, 2007
Man, what a weekend.
From a Secretary of State and new perfume to funerals and meeting my new boss (as I claimed in my prayers:)
So Thursday night I find out I indeed have a ticket to Charter Day Dinner ($250 a freaking plate), hands down the swankiest event the University has of the year. I haven't missed one yet. This year I went with the honors program. I feel obligated to go to the convocation Friday morning and man am I glad I went. Even if it just to wave the freakin program during the Alma Mater,Howard Ceremonies are always fun. Well, true to my style I get there right when it starts and have to wait outside a minute as the president and trustees walk by and make their processional. Who I didn't notice was with him until I sit in my seat is former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The speaker Ike Leggit, Montgomery County Executive was interesting . . and had a GREAT voice:). General Powell said a few words and I truly felt inspired and glad I go to HU!
So the event is over and now for the important part . . .I have to get a dress for Saturday's gala. Last year this girl had a gorgeous white dress I LOVED and I knew I wanted to wear white. I lucked out and found a dress . . .then felt self-conscious about wearing white so early so I got these black and white earrings I thought would keep it from being too spring-y. Driving back my dad calls to say he's in the city as he and his brother and sisters came up for a funeral of a cousin - his 2nd cousin I never met. I felt weird, but after some persuasion from him I decide to go to the funeral the next day since I do know his mom and other family.

So Saturday morning I have to cut my cousin's trip a little short who goes to Hampton and was in town for spring break as I get ready for the service. I start in this charcoal dress, then feel weird to look like I am in mourning for someone I never had the pleasure to meet. I end up in this green and white dress - one of my faves and feel comfortable. The service was not nearly as weird as I thought and was a straight 1960's deep south funeral in downtown DC in 2007.
lots of soul singing.
His mother, my aunt lula bell, a pastor, even did a hallelujah dance as she's giving the eulogy.
Absoulutely amazing . . . and beautiful. *Pic= the dress I wore to the funeral. Well right there Im at the Color Purple which I have to see when Fantasia starts and I also want to see Rent on Broadway before Frenchie leaves in May. Im thinking rush tickets Saturday after next. Wanna go? my bad . . .I digress.
So, Saturday Night .
I get dressed and hit the Hilton. The decorations and everything seems to be upgraded as the stage is set up like Founder's library. It was great seeing friends and it took each of us like 5 seconds to recognize each other because everyone has cleaned up so nicely. After losing 30 minutes looking for parking I finally relaxed as I sip some red wine and check the star studded program and enjoy the moment.
President swygert, who ironically was on the front page of Metro section in the Post has this sick black tux with like slivers of silver pin stripes.
A company donates $1 million.
They announce the university has surpassed its goal to raise $250 million in five years over 9 months before schedule.
Dinner is served.
One of my mentors on campus Mikel Husband, who runs University Communications and does the alumni magazine stops by. We chat, he confirms he saw Danyel last week like Brad had said and says something else that still makes me smile.
Now, I didn't get Time Inc Edit, this internship I wanted and what I had planned to be my Plan B to finding a job, and honestly It didn't bother me one bit. It truly wasn't for me and I'm not questioning God when I have been soooooooo blessed.
So anywho, as that door closed Mikel Husband tells me how Danyel mentioned me to him and I am trying to be on my best behavior at this swanky event but am grinning from ear to ear. I then tell him of my deep admiration of Richard Parsons, Time Warner CEO, who is on stage and the official planner of the night's events. He says I should go say hello. I know there is no way Im going up there, smile and take a pic with him and he moves on.
I enjoy the first two courses and then go speak to my surrogate magazine mommy Prof Lamb and we chat. She tells me she just took some students up to meet Isabel Wilkerson - Pulitzer Prize Winning former Hilltop editor and Im so sad she didnt see me to ask to join them because Isabel is another one of my idols. And she's so gorgeous!
Mikel/Mr. Husband (not sure what i am suppose to call him:) comes back and says Mr. Parsons is up there and not surrounded by people and I should go speak.
I do my best doe-eyes and beg/ask Prof Lamb to come with. She agrees and we head to the head tables on the stage.
We get there.
Im cheesing.
She introduces herself and me. I'm on.
He has these kind eyes so I feel comfortable saying how I use to work at one of his magazines and how much I am enjoying this event he put on.
He ask what magazine I tell him and ironically I had just emailed Angela the day before and tell him that. He is like the Time Inc God and he's talking to ME!!! He says how great she is and then in the most casual way, "Yeah, you should go back. Tell her I said so." He could have been kidding but i'm still on a high just to meet him and those 2 minutes were grand. And you know I'd absolutely LOVE to take him up on that advice and told him so:) Now let's just all keep praying a position reveals itself. by the way, seen the new issue of Essence with Terrence Howard on it?
So me and Professor Lamb keep moving down the table and get to Ms. Isabel Wilkerson and my admiration for her grows ten times! She is so nice and interested as we talk and makes me really excited that if you work hard enough your dreams will come true. I then am so glad I read her bio in the convocation program the day before as she is totally surprised I know she was on the Hilltop staff as a freshman.
So I head back to the table for the last course and dessert which was this sinful espresso truffle which really was a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream drizzled in mango and raspberry sauce that is in no way in my kanye workout plan!!!!!!
I'm already on a natural high, then that chocolate one when Bebe Winans tears it up followed by the hilarious and amazing Yolanda Adams.
The night's honorees were all amazing, especially DC mayor Adrian Fenty. I know I'm late, but who knew he was THAT sexy? I need to go hang out at the law school! He was funny and charismatic and gave me a little hope as he found his wife when they were both at the school.
After a fabulous and looooong night i head home with a car full and fulfill my duty as chauffeur.

I'm wound up and wide awake.
I get on the computer and am reminded I am blessed to have absolutely wonderful people in my life.
First D. Chedwick Bryant offers to send me Paloma's perfume that I was dying to smell! How nice was that? I'm excited as I'm told it's perfect for formals so next time I'm ready:)
Then I head to my soul sister Darby's blog and she shouted me out. I was already feeling a little like a wannabe rockstar and that just added to my high.
So with so much feeling right with my world I felt a feeling I have been feeling lately, and what Yolanda Adams made a point of reminding us all to do, GIVE BACK! I may be perceived as flighty at times but Im not a flake. That's why I was so embarrassed of falling off as a mentor in Big Sister/Big Brother last year.
Waking up this morning, I decided to stop wallowing in the guilt and emailed the program director and even if he doesn't want me back I'll find another way to donate my time in a way that helps somebody other than spoiled me.
Well, I know this post was WAAYY long. Thanks for the release.

-Queen Wanna-be who had-a blast at the-ball


  1. Elle* said...:

    MY! Aren't you just the social butterfly! lol, but seriously, meeting the CEO of Time Inc must have been awesome, and yes, ma'am I got my fingers crossed and am praying for you to get that job! Oh, and I'm emailing my professor now about the 22nd. There is a group assignment due that day and I'm not sure of we have to present it or not. If not, I will do it early, delegate to my co-leader and go the conference!

    BTW, Flyy White Dress girl!
    P.S. I was thinking about being a Big Sis for summer.

  1. LaurenAshleigh said...:

    You look BEAUTIFUL!!!

  1. Richard Parsons!!!?!?!?!

    Oh.my.goodness. I would've been so nervous but you handle it well. I'm jealous.

    Please don't forget about me when you take his job. ;)

  1. shani-o said...:

    Great update, I was riveted! And I'm so happy for you, Charreah... you're doing great, and you looked fabulous!

    (BTW: Call him Mikel... I did when I interned in the Howard Center.)