I love Jackson almost as much as I love interning for Ko’ox Boon. (Who is this “I,” you ask? Read on. Even if you don’t particularly care who this “I” is, read on. I promise it’ll be worth it.
However, one of the problems of living in JXN while interning for Ko’ox Boon is that I’m one of the few full time/heavily involved Ko’ox members in Jackson. Sure, the autonomy is great & I have a lot of help from the Millsaps community but…… I also have to do things like interview myself. Being Alex Melnick, the “I” mentioned above, is a lot of the times a delicate balance between pretending to be a multitude on social media, trying to see from outside myself how I present myself as a reflection of Ko’ox Boon, and also you know being an actual flesh and blood genuine person every once in a while.
Short story short: I’m Alex Melnick, I’m the Ko’ox Boon intern and I’m a junior Millsaps College student with a major in Communications and a minor in Philosophy. I do things like travel to Detroit*, edit the Arts & Life Section of the Millsaps Newspaper “The Purple & White,” TA philosophy classes, research sex studies, and spend most of my time doing non-profit work and going to events in the Jackson community.
*Ok, so this trip has yet to happen but I’m excited. I like the vibe that Detroit brings. I also like dirt. It works out.
My resting face isn’t friendly, but I promise I’m actually a really nice lady. I cry out of joy whenever I see a dog or a pig, and I’m uncontrollably happy around babies. I’m always way too enthusiastic about helping people or making arts and crafts and (to my shame) I can’t wait to be middle aged and get excited about juicers and other adult things. I don’t like using “I” very much and I try to go out of my way to never directly talk about myself, but because I’ve been doing so much with Ko’ox Boon I figured I’d give myself a little shout-out. Meet Alex Melnick.
She was for some reason voted “Most Likely to Turn Heads” in high school, and will openly tell you she’s eaten candy bars off from the side of the road before. She’s the oldest of four, and is actually from Jupiter, Florida. She has a different answer for the meaning of her tattoos each time she’s asked, and her sense of humor consists solely of “dad jokes” and pointing to garbage cans while saying “same.” If this all doesn’t work out, she’s dropping off the grid and becoming a crazy dog lady who crank calls NPR.
Allow me to explain myself further...
Why I Ko’ox Boon: Because I love Allie & Mandi & Dr. Bey and think if I do this, they might adopt me.
Seriously through, I’ve been asked this question a lot recently since prior to Ko’ox Boon my specialty was reproductive rights in Jackson, MS. I essentially Ko’ox Boon because I believe and have experienced the transformative power of art, and believe this relationship between creation and self should be something every child should experience. I’ve always been really shy around children (even as a child) but after working in the JXN community at the CARES House and meeting a particular niño in the Yucatan, I realized that children aren’t so scary after all and that I can totally translate my passion for teaching to making art with tiny humans.
I Ko’ox Boon because I think art is a fundamental human right. So, to further that cause, I spend a lot of time running around campus and educating people about Ko’ox Boon and planning events to raise awareness about the Yucatan. I’m very excited to combine my love for the people of JXN with my love for the people of the Yucatan, and be able to bring these two communities together.
What I want to teach this summer at the Ko'ox Boon Summer Camp in Yaxhachen: Yoga, music, and skills like journaling. I also want to host nature walks. My lessons won’t be rigidly scheduled- I plan to still make plenty of time for spontaneous water balloon fights and dance parties.
Books/ music I’m interested in: I really love Haruki Murakami, Donna Tartt, Jonathan Safran Foer and Foucault. I am a stereotypical alternative girl with alternative tastes. ( For example: I don’t care if it’s basic, I’ll defend (the novel) the Virgin Suicides till the day I die.) I also really enjoy Toni Morrison, Charles Bukowski, and the lyrical musings of Notorious B.I.G. I listen to Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill every day, and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! is my ride or die. My favorite thing to do is pawn off books I’ve enjoyed to people I love, and make mix CDs because I’m still stuck in 2005.
My Dream Day: Any day I spend with my partner in crime. Doesn’t matter what we do. Sushi probably will factor too.
Dream House: A small apartment in New Orleans. I have terrible decision making skills and want a water bed, and an elaborate playground for the micro-pig I will one day own. Her name will be Petunia. She will have tiny sun hats for when we visit the Yucatan to see all our friends. I also will have in this dream house a giant mural that somehow all my loved ones have created. Unsure of how I will do this yet.
What does Ko’ox Boon mean to me: Family, opportunity to connect with mine and other’s communities, using art to create ourselves, and the excuse to eat far more avacados than can ever be necessary.