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Posts published in “Day: October 23, 2007”

The end is a beginning (pt. 2)

Angie

Between the sweltering heat and sticky humidity, you would think it was still summer. As I walked to class on my first day as a graduate student, mosquitoes swarmed my bare legs, viscously biting to survive. Survive just as I had that summer.

Rather than joining the workforce after college graduation, I chose to continue my education, much to the surprise of my parents, who assumed that I’d be well on my way to a high-paid executive position with some Fortune 500 Company. Instead, I found an internship in New York City that would engage my mind and my time until school started in the fall.

But that wasn’t the only thing that surprised them. I had also gotten out of a three-year relationship with someone I considered my best friend, and losing him felt like losing a part of myself. Essentially, I bid my parents adieu and left for New York boyfriend-less and confused, but full of hope.

I still have trouble sometimes with this transition from being a “we” to an “I.” There are times I feel lost, uncertain and unable to contain my emotions. There are also times I find myself wondering more about what he is doing than what I have just learned in class. But I’ve realized that there will be moments like these, and eventually I will learn to move past them.

This learning process began in the summer, in New York, where working through my pain and my pride, I found myself enjoying life. At first, every day felt like a constant reminder of what I no longer had. The Whitney Museum hosted a blinding “Summer of Love” exhibit featuring the psychedelic colors of 1967 and photographs of John Lennon. The company where I interned held its “Summer of Love” outing in a roof-top loft littered with a few souls brave enough to wear the complimentary tie-dyed T-shirts. Even the W Hotel, which I passed daily on my walk to work, illuminated the fluorescent words “Summer of Wuv” on the lobby floor. Everywhere I went, the phrase followed.

But beyond my “Wuv”-ly reminders, I found new adventures, cuisines and people. I spent my free time tracing Richard Serra’s sinuous bronze sculptures at the MoMA, outfitting myself with fashionable confections at Bloomingdale’s private sale, daydreaming as I overlooked the night skyline from the Empire State Building, and representing my burnt orange Texas pride at a Yankees game. Life was different, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Returning home to Texas, summer faded into memory. Although the exposure to a different place and lifestyle was an incredible experience, it left me even more uncertain about what I want to do with my life. But I’m reminded of a curly-haired aspiring actress I met on a ferry who said she wished that when she was my age, someone had told her, “It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do now.”

It’s okay. I’m okay.

The end of a relationship is never easy. The start of a new life chapter is also a difficult journey. But we all should know, there are plenty of opportunities to discover yourself. To trust yourself.

Summer of Love or not, I am Angie, and that’s okay.

* * *

This is just the beginning. An introduction, if you will. This is the start of what we hope will be a long journey, and a good conversation between us and you, our readers. We want you to enjoy this column and to join in our adventures. We would love to make you think, talk, and especially respond. (See our contact info below!) Because we have stories to share. You know, just between us.

Kristan Hoffman and Angie Liang have been friends since middle school. Kristan is the daughter of newspaper publisher Gilbert Hoffman, and both she and Angie worked for the paper during summers. Currently Angie is a graduate student in advertising at the University of Texas in Austin, and Kristan works at a graphic design firm in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kristan and Angie would love to hear from you! Email JBUcolumn@gmail.com.

East Aldine district increases deputy patrols

NORTHEAST HOUSTON– Faced with an apparent increase in crime occurences, the East Aldine Management District has taken steps to combat the problem.
The EAMD public safety committee met last Monday, Oct. 15th with Sheriff’s Captain Tommy Wilson to finalize a plan for additional deputies to be put on patrol.
Also attending the meeting were Public Safety Committe chair Gerald Overturff, Shirley Reed, Reyes Garcia, Craig Richard, and Mike Ledbetter.
Capt. Wilson presented a proposal for a “proactive unit” that would be dedicated by contract to the district. This unit would not conduct normal calls for service, but instead would target areas of the district for aggressive zero-tolerance initiatives to stop crime. The unit would work out of the Aldine Storefront Sheriff’s office, under the supervision of a full-time sergeant. It would work four nights a week, from 6 pm to 4 am. These nights would be Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. However, at the discretion of the sergeant some flexibility will exist to assign different times for special needs.

At the District’s monthly board meeting last Tuesday night, they voted unanimously to approve a contract in the amount of $453, 175 for this unit, of four deputies and a sergeant, and to renew the commitment for two additional parol deputies and a nuisance abatement deputy that are now in effect.
The committee discussed the impact of public safety upon the economic development in the East Aldine district, and concluded that heightened public safety initiatives such as the Contract Deputy Program and the Proactive Unit will increase the quality of life for residents, thereby improving the business climate and subsequent sales tax collections. Higher sales tax collections would in turn allow EAMD to continue and expand important public works projects such as water, sewer and mobility.

Aldine ISD Board lowers tax rate by 33 cents

During the Oct. 16 Board of Education meeting, Aldine ISD Trustees unanimously approved setting the 2007-08 tax rate at $1.277 (0.14362 for the interest and sinking and $1.13338 for maintenance and operation) per $100 valuation. The new rate, recommended by Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dr. Keith Clark, represents a 33-cent decrease from the 2006-07 tax rate.
“For all of you in Aldine who have been hearing about tax increases, I’m sure you are pleased to know we have a decrease rather than an increase,” said Board President Marine Jones. Jones’ statement was well received by those in the audience who voiced their approval with a sustained round of applause.
The tax rate will allow the district to maintain and oversee the public schools in Aldine ISD, to pay outstanding bonds in the succeeding year and provide for other lawful purposes.
Proper notification of the new rate was posted and advertised a newspaper and at every Aldine ISD school and support facility.