Anda di halaman 1dari 2

Rachael Ladele

January 12, 2016


JUMP: Pathways to Medicine
Homework #5: Public Health Due Jan 12

After watching the video, I almost automatically reflected on how fortunate I am to never
have had to face situations of sexual abuse at any stage in my life so far. For me, watching the
video made it more difficult to think of a time that justly fit the prompt. I have lived in Columbia,
South Carolina for most of my life, which already is a factor on how I might have been treated as
a black person in the US. Also, my parents are not just black, but Nigerian and Liberian
immigrants which just adds another twist to my familys and my experience in the US as people
of a darker complexion.
I didnt actually realize that the event that I will talk about bothered me so much and still
affected me until a few days ago when I was talking with my friends. In high school I was a slight
theater geek. I had always considered myself to be a good singer, actress, and dancer. I had
done ballet for almost 10 years, I sung in my church choir, and took theater class for a few
years. Around high school my passion for theater and applying my triple threat skills had died
down, but I still happily participated in the musicals my high school would put on for my first
three and a half years at my high school. It was a great way to spend more time with my friends
and sing and dance; all of which were things that I loved to do. Despite the fact that I truly
enjoyed these things, I never really paid attention to the roles that people were getting. It wasnt
until senior year that I noticed that it was only the children of the rich mostly white people who
were getting the good roles, because their parents are the ones who donate the most money
and pay for their kids to get voice lessons from the musical director no matter how good they
actually were. The students like me who werent as rich, fair skinned, or skinny were given
ensemble roles or the occasional no name supporting roles of the supporting roles. My senior
year came around and that spring the big musical was to be Fame. I knew that I wanted a
bigger role. I no longer was content with being ensemble or a second degree supporting
character. I wanted a name that mattered. So I worked harder on my audition process. I played
roles in a few productions outside of the school and even did the more serious acting play, Little
Women, with the theatre club in the Fall. I worked harder than I ever had on my audition pieces,
spending weeks to decide which song to sing, going over Broadway musical soundtrack after
Broadway musical soundtrack until I had found my perfect song. The audition time finally rolled
around and I knew I was going to blow everyone out of the water. I was ready. I walked out of
the audition feeling like I had never done anything better in my life. The cast list was to come up
the next day during lunch. I was so excited. I knew that this was going to be the time when my
natural God given talent of musical theater was going to be recognized and rewarded
accordingly. Boy, was I wrong. Lunch time comes around the next day and I go to look at the
cast list. I start from the top of course, expecting to be somewhere near there. No. I looked
further down. Not there. Further still. Nada. Then finally right where the name of the teachers
begin is mine. Rachael Ladele- Ms. Sherman. I was so confused. I couldnt understand how one
could put forth so much effort and time and planning into something and still not get what they
were working towards. The planning part was definitely an indication of my devotion to getting a
better part because I tended to be a procrastinator. It made no sense. I then went back to the
top to see who had gotten the big name roles. The ones who were going to have their names
first in the playbill, and have everyone be so amazed when they told them what role they were
playing. It was of course, the people who always get the roles. The really skinny, basically white,
rich ones who can afford voice lessons from our musical director or have their parents make
donations to the department. I, of course, talked to my friends about it and we reached the
conclusion that I should quit; and I did. It was one of the most awkward things I have ever had to
do. To avoid any great altercation, I lied and talked about how I couldnt handle the added stress
of another musical with my workload that quarter. The real reason was that I was angry and not
in agreement with the way that roles had been assigned. No one should ever be looked over

Rachael Ladele

January 12, 2016

because they are black or they arent as rich as the other students or because they look more
like a fat Beyonc than a Taylor Swift. It should be based off of merit and the precious amounts
of effort put in. I think although the experience was unfair, I learned a lot from it. I learned that
just as I felt I had been treated unjustly in a system that is corrupt and misleadingly labeled that
that is just the way the world unfortunately is sometimes. Ive definitely felt this way in the first
few years of my undergraduate career. Not due to feeling cheated because someone richer than
me gets all the As, but because you can put in so much work and effort and still get surprised
when you get a test grade or assignment back. (You cant buy As at Hopkins).
As trivial as the trials of musical theater may sound to some, I cannot imagine having to
experience this every day. I felt primarily confused and unsure of what had happened. I then felt
unwanted and untalented. This caused me to feel like I had been wasting my time trying to
develop my skills. It all felt very pointless at that time. If I was supposedly quite good at
something, why couldnt I get a decent role in a musical? If under this strain of inadequacy and
ineptitude for a continuous amount of time there is no doubt my social skills would have been
affected negatively, ultimately leading to depression and low self-esteem which both can lead to
other health problems.
Im sure that somehow each of us have acted like the theater teachers at my high school
or have felt like I did when I looked at the cast list with the expectation of a good outcome only
to have it turn too quickly into a disappointing reality. I think one could reflect on my experience
and extrapolate its meaning back to where we are as a country and the way that we treat people
who may not look like us, or share our religion or culture and take the time to ask ourselves that
just because that is the way the world is, is that really how it should be?