New York City public schools got a new Chancellor this week! The former elementary school principal and newly appointed Chancellor, Carmen Fariña, showed up to her first day on the job on Thursday, with a copy of We Will Make Miracles under her arm.
Shortly after, “Winter Storm Hercules”, as it’s being called by people who insist on naming the weather, dumped 10 inches of snow on the city and prompted the Chancellor to close all the schools. Chancellor Fariña plans to focus on our city’s middle schools, which is awesome, but not today, kids! Because we’ve got a snow day!
Snowed in? We got you. Good people, we present the RLB Winter Storm Hercules Carmen Fariña Snow Day picks list!
RLB Winter Storm Hercules Carmen Fariña Snow Day Picks List
1. Stop messing around and watch Beyonce’s self-titled visual album (BEYONCÉ) from start to finish.
Explicit content for mature audiences only, A.K.A. grown ass women and men who can handle truth and beauty. Queen Bey is serving up so many different kinds of truths here– truths about being a woman, a mother, a child, a lover, a friend– you need to give yourself the space and time to experience the project as it was meant to be experienced. It’s a vulnerable and empowering self-portrait. It’s sexy. It’s sad. Beyonce gives herself a new nickname. Beyonce destroys a bunch of her childhood trophies. Just, watch it.
2. Once you’ve fully immersed yourself in the act of ruminating on the complexity and dissonance of the female experience, get on Netflix and watch The World Before Her.
The images from Beyonce’s Pretty Hurts are still pageant-walking through your brain, the perfect primer for this documentary about two very different groups of young women in India: the 2012 contestants in the Miss India competition and a cohort of girls attending a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp. I know.
While many are interviewed, the film focuses on two thoughtful women who dream of shaping the future of their country, and the extreme choices they are making to do so. There is a scene in which the pageant contestants are asked to cover their torsos with sheets in order to have their legs judged fairly (sometimes having nice hair or a pretty face can skew the ability of the judges to score the legs objectively, a producer helpfully explains). There is also a scene in which an eleven-year-old girl proudly declares that she used to have Muslim friends, before she understood what it meant. Then someone teaches her how to fire a gun. The film’s most fascinating moments highlight the similarities between theses experiences, not their differences.
3. Looking outside, deciding not to leave the apartment, then eating a flour tortilla. Highly recommend!
4. Pop some popcorn because you’re on a roll! Before you get back under the blankets though, grab some tissues because if you are like me, you will cry while watching Somewhere Between.
“I don’t know if I can ever consider myself fully Chinese or fully American, I’m always going to be sort of somewhere between.” This documentary follows four really remarkable young women who meet through a network of Chinese adoptees, and follows them as they journey to the provinces where they were adopted to discover what awaits them there. The filmmaker dedicates the movie to her own daughter, Ruby, who was adopted in China.
“I hope SOMEWHERE BETWEEN will start a dialogue about what we see, who we are, and the changing face of the American family. This film is about these four girls, and the 79,562 girls growing up in America. Right now.” – Linda Goldstein Knowlton
As always, I love seeing portraits of the true diversity that exists in our world, but on top of that this film also features some amazing young people who are out there making a difference for others– one of the young women speaks at conventions for adoptive parents, and then there’s the story of the The Little Girl in Pink. I’m telling you, get the tissues.
5. Maybe then, if you are feeling productive, you could write something in your pajamas, and/or consider taking down the Christmas tree, as the person who you live with has requested.
Happy Snow Day! XO (you love me like xo)