Faculty Spotlight: Flik Manager Not Only Nourishes the Body, But Also the Soul

Faculty+Spotlight%3A+Flik+Manager+Not+Only+Nourishes+the+Body%2C+But+Also+the+Soul

Jasmine McGhee

Before the first day of school for students, Natasha Noel, the head Flik manager, shared a poem that astounded the teachers at a yearly event called Faculty Forum. In this poem, titled “I Be,” she pushed her colleagues to not merely exist, but be. Noel explains “Ask somebody, how are you? They’ll say “I’m fine.” Or, who are you, and they’ll tell you what they do,” says Noel. “If you be, that means I can close my eyes and I can be. I can be in every moment, I can be still, I can be happy, and I can choose to be all of these things.” 

The meaning of the poem had a positive effect on Noel’s audience. “Hearing about the influences of her upbringing in the Caribbean, particularly about her grandmother, resonated within me because family is so important,” says Middle School Counselor Saundria Zomalt. “It made me reflect on my own understanding of my strength, and the beauty of our own individuality.”

Noel discovered her voice in poetry at the early age of seven through the untimely demise of her mother. Her mother’s death resulted in complicated emotions she found could be released through writing and song. “I come from a musical family,” she said. “My aunt sings, my brother draws . . . It’s always been a release. Instead of lashing out at somebody, you write and get it out.”

Noel’s poetry covers the topics of female empowerment and wellness, branching from the personal conflict she’s faced with the two. During her childhood, she witnessed members of her family struggle with manic depression and bipolar disorder, especially with her uncle. “If they’d been at least able to release that and if more people would own that they’re not okay, I think the world would be a better place. Poetry just helps me in that sense,” Noel says. However, her works of poetry are aimed towards a more feminine audience. “I love female empowerment,” she said. “Things that people tell me I can’t do, I’m always ready to prove them wrong. I do it really for myself, also.”

Over the years, Noel has also learned to express herself through artwork, called “The Art of Words.” She takes her poetry and creates visuals of their significant meanings on canvases and wood bases. “I do a lot of upcycling art—upcycling means things that people throw away that they don’t think are worthy, I turn into art,” she says. As an immigrant Black woman, Noel deeply connects to her interpretation of her upcycled artwork. She believes that in many instances, people disregard women of color, tossing them away as if they don’t hold value. 

Poetry, to Noel, is a gift. Poetry is a part of who she is—it isn’t just a hobby she partakes in. The time it takes Noel to generate a poem depends on whether she feels what she’s trying to say inside of her heart. “When you write poetry, you can do it, and people will receive it. It’s a way that you put words together, lyrics together,” she says. 

Noel firmly stands by the belief that everyone is a poet. Everyone always has something to say, whether it be good, bad, or different. However, the key is to be true to yourself and what you want to say. “When you are speaking from your own truth and being authentic, that’s when it’s gonna be good,” Noel says. “It’s about who you are at your core. How everybody receives it, good, bad or different, that’s on them! When you’re speaking from the things that you know, the things you want to become, or the things that you’re working towards, that’s when people connect because it’s pure.”