Journal #7 for Ideas in Antiquity

By: Rikita Spencer

October 8, 2020 5:12pm

After we took the weekly quiz, we went deeper into the meaning of Ned Week’s (The Normal Heart) name and the contradiction it displayed. His first name was Alexander, mimicking Alexander the Great, whilst ironically his last name is Weeks, synonymous to the word “weak”. By no means do I think the character of Ned is weak. If anything, he’s the strongest character in the play. I think the fact that he did have issues he could improve upon made him vulnerable to the reader, but I wouldn’t say in a weak way. So this concept opened up a discussion about names and what they mean. Everyone has a name. Most people are given a name by their parents when they are born. When the mother finds out she is pregnant and is proceeding with the pregnancy, she is already coming up and thinking of names. A name literally defines you. It figuratively defines you too. It is our invisible badge whilst walking through the world. it is our identity. People will never have met you, and judge you on your name alone. Look at corporate America, having an eccentric, non-traditional, unique name will make them look at you sideways. Some times you are not even considered because of your name. Like I said, its with untraditional, unfamiliar, and non-culturally specific names. So Dr. Sandridge put us in groups to discuss the origins of our names, what they mean, and how others may perceive them. I was grouped with my Final Group project mate, Ms. Ernestasia Eugenia Edwards. I say her whole name because its relevant to the meaning behind it. She told me she was directly named after her father. Like seriously, they almost have the name. Her Dad’s name is Ernest Eugene Edwards. So when she was born, they literally just feminized her name and boom, you have Ernestasia. So since all three of her names start with a E, it’s like E cubed instead of E squared. Triple E. That is so cute to me. At first I was like, wow that’s really cool. As I thought about it further, I thought about others who are named after their parents. Do they disassociate from the name? Do they feel trapped because their names are the same or similar to their parents, creating no individuality? I can sorta, kinda, not really relate. My name is Rikita Grace Spencer. Rikita is my father’s middle name, and Grace is my great-grandmothers middle name. I asked my paternal grandmother where she got Rikita from. My father was born during the beginnings of the Cold War. Nikita Khrushchev was the Russian Soviet leader or something like that. He was a prominent figure and always in the news. My grandmother said she just replaced the N with and R and got Rikita. So the origins of my name are Russian but its a popular Indian name too. My great-grandmother’s (my father’s maternal grandmother) was Evelyn Grace. All of her children had different fathers. My dad said he put Rikita Grace together because a part of his name is Rikita and Grace like honor and divinity in religion so “the father’s Grace” So yeah that's the story of yours trulys name. What is very funny is, ever since I can remember, I was called Grace. I responded to Grace. My parents gave me the nickname of Gracie-Pooh. So once I started grade-school, I went by Grace. Of course you have to tell teachers that because Rikita is official and what is on the roll, and my birth certificate. So yeah I used to strictly go by Grace because Rikita was so unfamilar to me. I remember in sixth grade when they gave us our textbooks that we had to return at the end of the year, she wrote Rikita Spencer and I scratched it out really obviously and put Grace, so when the end of the year. She looked annoyed that I had “corrected” my name. I started going by Rikita in the ninth-grade, not correcting teachers on the first day and going by what was on the roll. Like I said, it wasn’t that I didn’t like Rikita, I was jut so unfamiliar with it. Now, I absolutely love Rikita. It’s a strong name to me, because of all the harsh consonants. It’s really funny because now I prefer people to call me by my God-given name, that is on my birth certificate, Rikita. You don’t see a lot of Rikita’s. I was the only Rikita in my school. I don’t know any famous Rikita’s. There are so many Grace’s because it is a common name. I get mad when people (my family and old associates) call me Grace. I associate the name Grace with childishness, Rikita is grown woman. It has a lot to do with when I stopped wanting to be called Grace, and when I began preferring Rikita. It was as I was entering high school, a new phase of my life. I shed Grace years ago. Rikita is here and in charge.

October 13, 2020 11:07am

I feel like my sister is a person in my life that I know personally that I would say has shown the most and best leadership in their course of their life. My sister was extremely young when she first started showing leadership. When my mother became sick, my sister had to step up at a very young age. I’m talking she was a toddler herself. As my mother battled with her sickness through the course of our childhood, she continued to display her leadership. For the longest, my older sister was our leader. She stepped up when my mom didn’t have the strength to, and watched out for us and carried us even when she didn’t feel up to it. Then, my sister graduated from high school and was off to college. I was very happy for her but also, sad and scared. She was a crutch for my brother and I when my mom was dealing with her own personal battles, so with her absence, I worried what would happen. Before she left, I thanked her for stepping up, even as a small girl, to be a leader for my brother and I. My sister helped us with homework, helped us eat and made our food. She was open-minded when my brother or I came to her with a problem. She was empathetic if it was something she knew we weren’t supposed to be doing. She was a visionary, by envisioning us to be greater than our wildest contempts. She was confident in her leadership. She was ethical in her teachings and reasonings. She had inegrity in everything that she did. She was positive and rarely showed when she was having a bad day. She was humble in her accolades and her upbrining. She was an amazing communicator. She was a decisive young woman who knew what she wanted without a second guess. She was courageous in taking over the task of adolescent leadership. She was a delegator when my brother and I would constantly fight. She was accountable of when she was wrong and had to adjust her actions. She was resilient when she didn’t get what she was going after, but didn’t let her deter her from trying again. She displayed great character with us and her higher-ups. She was disciplined from our upbringing. She was influential in showing my brother and I the way we should go, aspiring to be like her. She was loyal to us. When one of us was knocked down, she came back swinging 10 times harder. She was consistent in all of her leadership behaviors. My sister’s physical appearance was always preppy. She was well-dressed, plucked, manicured, and precise. She dressed very preppy and traditional. I do think this influenced her leadership. When you look predestined, well kept, and polished, it shows through your character, attitude, and ability to achieve. I feel like her upbringing influences her leadership and how she comes to show it so well. We went through a lot in our childhood. I hate to say it, but my sister had no other choice but to step up. The fact that she didn’t have a choice in the matter, to me, greatly influenced her initative and motivation. That lost little girl forced into battle is still in her, and had greatly contributed to the young successful woman she is today. I believe the area of education and development would be a place where her leadership would be most effective. I always use to tell her she would make a great elementary or middle school teacher.

October 13, 2020 3:43pm

In today’s class, we discussed the components of the assigned text of the week, book one of “Cyropaedia”. This is a greek text, and I’ve expressed in previous journals that I am not a fan of Greek mythology and anything that has to do with it. This text was no different. Very confusing for me to comprehend and understand. But, I still read. After reading book one, I gathered that some of the themes included education, birth, and nature. Cyrus never fully incapsulates his promise of politcal promise. This is because of of the themes of nature. Its innate for him to do so. By analyzing Xenophon’s display of Cyrus’ nature, education, and intentions, and by comparing Cyrus to other people in the book. Cyrus limits himself in his political indeavors. They are not inevitable. When reading Cyrus’ situation, it made me think about our current civic climate with the current state of poltics. Cyrus ignored and neglected the components of , justice, rule, freedom, and the law. Without these components, their cannot be healthy, initiative politics.

Currently a Psychology Major at the illustrious Howard University.