My name is Faheem Jackson, and this is my first of many blog post. For today, I will be introducing myself to this community. For starters, I was born September 20, 1987 in Racine, Wisconsin. My earliest memories of life date back to the first grade at Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School. It was here I began to develop so much many skills I would go on to use years after leaving this school. One example of a learning experience came about through the form of reading and writing. The teachers at the time were very insistent on everyone passing the textbook around the class and reading various passages from the book. This made me feel quite uncomfortable at the time.
It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to read because I had a mother at home who played a significant role in my education. Reading in class was nerving because the idea of mispronouncing a word, or reading too slow was always terrifying. Just the thought of skipping sentences which caused me to lose my place in a textbook or verbal fopa sent me into sheer panic mode. What helped me lose this anxiety about reading was finding out how many other students felt the same way. The teacher would say, “Who would like to volunteer to read this passage?” Everyone turned to one another in fear of reading out loud. Then the teacher would say, “Don’t make me call on someone.” This statement really caused children to sink slowly into their seats.
When no one would reply, the teacher would look through the attendance book, “Ok, uh, Faheem, you read.” Right, she had to say my name, especially with my anxiety. What’s interesting is that my reading was not as bad as I thought it would be prior to reading. These type of experiences took place over various points of my life as time progress. Another instance in life where I felt just as uncomfortable was in middle school starting school in a new environment. Feeling out of place, worrying I wouldn’t fit into my new social stratus, my first day was spent sitting at a table watching people converse with each other. This feeling proved to be more negative thinking because middle school is still to date the best experience in my life. The same discomfort was present going to a different high school as well.
After graduating high school in June of the year 2006, I went off to college in Columbia, South Carolina where I attended Benedict College; a Historically Black College and University. Yet it only lasted a semester, making me realize I missed being home. So I transferred and started January of 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Once again, anxiety and discomfort set in because I was moving into an environment where all students had built relationships. So, I wasn’t able to matriculate properly into college until the Fall of 2007, my Sophomore year in college. Now looking over my life, anxiety, fear, discomfort, and nervousness has been my life.
In my senior of college I was placed in a room with a roommate that was heavily into film. His love and admiration for cinema sparked my interest as well. So I took it upon myself to start writing my first feature length screenplay entitled, “Wood Road Revenge,” which would later become, “Retribution,” my first screenplay. At first writing screenplays was for fun, but I later realized that my anxiety and fears can be transferred to the characters I create. When I left undergraduate school, I decided to go into graduate school instead of the job market. The screenwriting continued until I graduated with my MBA in the year 2014. So far I have written five feature length screenplays and working on two books (a novel and a book of short stories), as well as completing my first short film entitled, “First Day Fears.” And surprise surprise, the film is about a child going through experiencing her first day at a new school where the students have a different ethnic, economic, and cultural background than her own.
So as you can see, my life has been mainly a life of fears and anxiety, fears and depressing moments. Writing has given me the out I have been looking for; giving me the ability to transfer the negative feelings into something positive. I feel optimistic about the future, as I continue to write, wondering what life has in store for me each and every day I awake.