I've had the privilege of knowing Jamila for about 6 years now, and let me tell you, this girl is amazing! Don't believe me? Well... Jamila is a fourth year student presently pursuing Bachelor of Art Degrees in museum conservation and German with a supplementary major in linguistics at NMSU with minors in anthropology, studio art and chemistry. She is proficient in five languages, teaches art at private school for non-traditional students ages K-12, AND she has just been accepted as an intern to the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of the American Indian where she will restore ethnographic materials for an exhibition opening on the mall in autumn. Whoa. just whoa. Here, be inspired...
What is your job title?
F-f-f-f-ull time student and working artist. I also teach art at a private school for non-traditional students.
What do you love about yourself?
I love my sense of humor. My favorite activity in all the world is laughing. It’s great too, because you can do it just about anywhere. I love to laugh, I actually enjoy giggling, and I always remember good laugh attacks. And when I think back fondly on a laugh attack, I’ll usually go ahead and start laughing again, as if I was still there, making the same joke. I have laugh attack induced laugh attacks. I love most about myself that I laugh and I can make others laugh. Jack Handy once said, “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” I live by this, well, at least the first part.
Who is your role model?
My role model, if I could bunch them into one, would be the marvelous team that is my parental-unit. My mother, the beautiful, artistic, poet that she is, and my father, the strongest, most brilliant and talented man that I have had the pleasure of knowing, have formed the most dynamic and positive influence in my life. If I had been given a lifetime to write all the qualities that I wanted in two guardians, I still couldn’t have fully described the wonder that are my mother and father. I aspire to live my life as they do, and they are therefore my role models. They believe, above everything else, to pursue happiness. My parents have always put my brother and I before any and all, and for this I couldn’t be more thankful.
What inspires you?
I find beauty in simple things. I find big, full, clouds on bright blue days to be especially inspiring. I find the goodwill of people to be the single positive driving force. There is nothing more moving than seeing someone go out of their way for a complete stranger.
I find true inspiration in the blissful and adoring disposition of my dog, Havannah. I come home exhausted after working two jobs, being in class ALL day and studying for at the very least 2-3 hours (this really happens I promise I’m not being over-dramatic) and I walk in the door and see one happy, jumping dog bouncing in front of me, greeting me with kisses (slobbery licks, if you will). This moment, though overwhelming at times, always reminds me to find nirvana in the simple moments. Havannah sees me every day, yet it doesn’t make our greeting any less special to her. Then I clean her poop.
What are 5 words that describe you?
Loving, creative, charismatic, illiterate.
See, it’s funny because that was only four. But if you fell for it, or didn’t call me on my insensitivity, shame on you. Illiteracy is a huge problem in the US, just shy of 3 million people cannot read or write. So what’s the 5th word? Informed, I suppose. ‘Water’ works too, as it describes 70% of me pretty accurately.
What is your biggest insecurity?
I suppose my biggest insecurity is meeting the expectations of being an adult.
If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?
You might think that I would choose someone brilliant or noble, someone with great power, fulfilling civil duties, or from history, maybe Aristotle, Sophocles, or the great Popsicles, but as odd as it may be if I could walk in anyone’s 7 inch stilettos for a day it would be Lady Gaga. The Gaga is RAD if I’ve ever seen it, and I don’t think I could deal with the responsibility of being a historic figure, or an ancestor. I could however, sing my little heart out on a decked out, colorful stage and go by ‘mother monster’ for a day. If I could stand being Paris Hilton for a day I would deposit large sums of my money into a young New Mexican girl’s bank account.