Archive for the ‘Mundane details’ Category

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An Important message from the communications department

April 16, 2010

As some of you have heard me frequently complain, I feel quite unsettled in my major. Communications classes have, thus far, been almost totally devoid of interesting, new, or useful information (with the exception of 132). When I read the books, I of course learn things, but it hasn’t been anything too revolutionary or anything practical enough for me to take out into the “real world.” And I’m quite disappointed.

In addition, the people in my classes primarily come from a much different, less challenging place than I do. Which I mostly wouldn’t care about. Except that they tend to say things that I can’t help but get angry at, like that the domestic sphere is almost equally divided between men and women. Or that there’s more pressure on men to be sexually thrilling than there is on women. Or that Goucher students are just like students you’d find anywhere else, so our immediate personal experiences clearly reflect the rest of American culture. And they’re wrong. And I know they’re wrong. But I can’t seem to get anyone to agree with me. So I thought that maybe I was wrong. But I can’t honestly buy that.

So what do I do?

Well, after going to my psychoanalysis class yesterday, I think the answer is pretty clear.

We read Luce Irigaray’s ‘The Poverty of Psychoanalysis’ and discussed it, and this line, which I marked my first time reading the text, was expounded upon by Rochelle.

Most of you will therefore be unable to interpret it. And you will be prevented from listening by at least two systems of screens, of censorship or of repression.

Irigaray was addressing a group from the Lacanian school of psychoanalysis, which she had at one point been a part of. She was addressing them after her friend had committed suicide after being so disheartened and annihilated by the theory that she just couldn’t really go on. And Irigaray is mad. And she is emotional. And her theory is a part of her. And it’s beautiful.

Rochelle talked about how much Irigaray attacked the Lacanian school and its students and, well, Lacan himself. And how nobody would listen to her. She knew nobody would listen to her or even understand her. But she kept talking and attacking and refused to be quiet.

And when Rochelle was saying this, I felt so connected. And I felt so much better. And I feel more determined to not give up on speaking in my communications classes, even if everyone rolls their eyes when I do it. Even if I’m the “token feminist.” Even if no one understands me. Because I know I have something to say and because that something feels so important. Not that I’m going to be too Antiochian about it (okay, I’ll be a bit Antiochian) and just make noise about everything for the sake of making noise. But I fully intend to raise concerns and issues with the standard nonsense that is frequently espoused in these classes.

I’m no Irigaray, by any means, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up just because my opinion is unpopular.

It was a very inspirational class.

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Pity party of 1

February 16, 2010

Shocker! I’m bad at keeping up with something I enjoy keeping up with because I’m busy attempting to keep up with things I’ll never be able to keep up with. Usually I’d post something quasi-intellectual here, but for now, I’d rather explain my horrible inability to write something for this blog.

I’m taking 6 classes this term totaling 17 credit hours. 6 Classes, kids.
Writing in Communications
Research Methods in Communications
Consumerism and the Environment
Wellness (or Bullshit. You know, whatever)
Making Sense of Popular Culture
Topics in Philosophy: Psychoanalysis

I know, the fun never ends. This is one class shy of what we took in high school (before this eight class crap), and it’s leaving me both a bit fried and a bit apathetic. I think if it was coursework alone, I’d have few problems, but I’m also holding down two jobs. Here are my hours:
Monday: Freeeeeeee!!!
Tuesday: 4am-8am Library
Wednesday: 12pm-6pm Forever 21
Thursday: 4am-8am Library
Friday: 8am-10am Library, 4pm-12am Forever 21
Saturday: 4pm-12pm Forever 21
Sunday: 12pm-7pm Forever 21
That’s roundabout another 40 hours of junk I do a week that is not school-related, which is plus or minus depending on the fickle Forever 21 scheduling gods.

In addition, I’m very active in the Women in Philosophy group we have here. Most of my time not in class or at work has been spent reading and designing for this group, which has been amazing. I love these parts of my days more than any other. They make me feel more intellectually stimulated than an entire Tuesday of classes, and I wouldn’t scale back my involvement one bit.

I’m not trying to win sympathy. I quite enjoy working in this stressful state, because it typically makes me more efficient and effective with everything in my life. Well, except for social aspects, which basically disappear with each new obligation I take on. I have a lot of trouble motivating myself to do much when I don’t feel completely overwhelmed. The down side is that I am near to panic attacks for a large amount of my day, and that makes me less empathetic and sympathetic than usual. If I end up offending you by being cold, please tell me to shove it and/or start acting like a person again. I promise I need the reminder every now and then.

And now I’m off to research about fatphobia and it’s perpetuation by the health care industry via it’s unethical use of surveillance systems. Fun times, bro.

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Click your heels…

December 23, 2009

As a good deal of you know, I have returned from the land Down Under and now reside in the snowy mess that is Ohio. While I have grown to appreciate Ohio, I must say I still don’t like much about winter. I love the distinctly winter smell and watching snow fall, but I really don’t enjoy most of the rest. You know, tires sliding, bottoms of pants always being damp, scratchy throats, cold noses, the works.

Let me take this chance to address the two questions I have recieved most from both Australians and Americans:
1. Is it good to be home?
2. Do you think you’ll ever go back to Oz?

As to the first, yes, I am glad to be home. When I was trapped in the horrible place that is Coober Pedy, I was the most homesick I have ever been. Probably because when we are in a miserable situation, we all seek home, and I certainly was not too please to be there most of the time. I wished to go to Ohio and Maryland and Sippy Downs, because those are the places that house the people I associate most strongly with feelings of comfort and home. It’s neat to have so many options of places to return to. But it is good to be back in Ohio.

As to the second, I can’t tell if I’ll ever return. I assume that I will, because I’d be very sad to never see Sandy, Billy, Sam, and Lauren ever again, as I feel so close to them. Depending on the money I can save, I’d love to go to a music festival next year or the year after in Oz, because they’re just so epic over there. I’ll admit, I didn’t fall as in love with Australia as everyone else seems to. I did like it. I enjoyed my time there, and I would love to return and see all of the natural wonders I missed out on this time. But I have a lot more world to see, so I am aware that I might not have the time, desire, and cash to hop across the Pacific for quite some time. I’m not opposed in any way to going back, but I’m not as enthusiastic as everyone expects me to be.

That being said, I am so incredibly glad I went for the semester. I learned a lot about myself and another culture. I had a fairly drama free existance because I was close to so few people, and they’re all pretty chill. The others with all the social explosions I didn’t care about enough to get wrapped up in the shit fights. The academics were really easy for me, and I look forward to a challenging semester back at Goucher. But I did learn that I’m actually a pretty savvy public speaker and can write sassy and yet academic papers better than a lot of kids.

Really, the most important things I learned were how to create my own contentment, how to become happy after being so sad or homesick, how to appreciate myself inwardly and outwardly, and that the power of positive thought isn’t all about hippie bullshit, but it’s also a useful tool. I figured out how to live with no money and that I can carry a lot more weight on my back for long periods of time in extreme heat than I thought I could. I learned some songs on the ukulele and read enough books outside of class to make me feel accomplished.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I missed having certain types of relationships, and as a result spent a lot of time restlessly searching for some way to replace them. I also had my Nikon D50 stolen while on the Greyhound bus, along with all of the photos from the last 2 weeks of my backpacking. I was often made uncmfortable about my sexuality, barely ever finding anyone deviant to talk to about certain ideas and feeling I expereinced. While my friends don’t get awkward when I say the silly things I do about my sexuality, I could always tell a lot of those who were less close to me did, and I know that they would gossip about it behind my back. Fortunately I genuinely didn’t care enough to have my feelings hurt. I saw a lot more racism than I’m used to seeing and had difficulty finding anyone else with a very feminist standpoint, so I felt like a good portion of my thought and ethics were less than appreciated.

But on the whole, I’m certain this was a positive expereince.

As for this blog, I’m going to keep it rolling. I still have tons to say about most things, and have found it super helpful to be able to write them down here. I understand if most of you don’t want to follow anymore, since you were probably in it to read about the crap I was doing while I was so far away, but since I barely wrote about that anyway, I figured I might retian some readers.

I’ll make a post shortly about some of my back packing travels, because it was a really fun 3 weeks.

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Call for help

November 17, 2009

So I’m applying for this really amazing summer fellowship in New York, but they’re asking questions about what major industry person I’d like to meet and if I could take three industry field trips, where would I go, and I’m once again faced with the fact that I don’t know much about my field. So I’m frantically researching people and magazines that serve feminist and Fat Acceptance purposes, but it’s kind of just me stumbling around google hoping to hit something relevant.

So my plea for help is: Who should I look into? What magazines are progressive enough? Where are hubs for feminist and Body Acceptance activity?

Anyone?

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Planning and stressing

November 16, 2009

Just when I find myself in the middle of a slightly low spell body image wise, I find this post, and it makes me feel a little better.

I think I’ve been feeling a bit down on myself because I’m stressing about my upcoming adventure, and my go-to thing when I feel nervous is to be mean to myself as a form of distraction. I’m not going to let it get as bad as usual, because I’m better than that now. But that doesn’t make me any less nervous about my plans. In the 23rd, I’ll be walking to the motorway with Bine and hitching my way to … somewhere north. We’ll figure it out when we get there, I guess. We’ll be back on the 27th, then I’m heading to Byron Bay for a few days, busing to Sydney on the 1st and then Melbourne on the 3rd. After that I have no big plans, except to sleep in a tent and wander around a lot. On December 15th, I fly out of Brisbane to LA to New York, and then hopefully making my way down to Towson to visit some kids before Christmas.

I’m still gathering up the things I’ll need, booking bus tickets, and researching places to visit, and I’m excited to disembark, but it’s still a bit nerve-wracking. Oh well. I’ll be keeping busy visiting Noosa and the Glasshouse mountains so I won’t have too much time to stress.

7 days.

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Rainbows! Unicorns! Self-affirmation!

November 11, 2009

How am I supposed to concentrate on papers and projects and that one exam when I’m going to be moving out, living from a backpack, and finally have an adventure that doesn’t involve a bunch of people telling me where to go or correcting my behavior without me asking them to? November 23rd is the final day I will have a room in Varsity Apartments, and then it’s sleeping on busses and in tents, picking up my travelouge again, and walking everywhere. I’m so excited to finally have to rely on myself for more physical means of survival (okay, it’s not the most intense survival scenario ever, but it’s more than I’ve had to do before).

I think this whole self-reliance kick has been a very positive step in my development. It’s been so much more important here than anywhere else, because of having to build a support system from strangers and a 14 hour time difference. And I’m actually proud of how content I’ve made myself. I recently looked at a picture of someone I haven’t seen since high school, someone who was very important to me at one stage, and he looked so different, I didn’t recognize him. If his name hadn’t been next to the picture, I wouldn’t have noticed it was him at all. I don’t get very reflective in terms of high school often, because except for a few close friends and slightly amusing stories, I’ve been thrilled to put that stage away, but seeing that picture really sent me off thinking about the good old days of teen angst. And I’m such an entirely different person now then I was in so many good ways, I can’t help but smile. I was getting some air two days ago walking through the bike paths of Sippy Downs, and I actually got a skip in my step thinking about how I’m different.

Being here has really helped solidify my change, and for that among other things, I am extraordinarily pleased I came here. I really don’t remember ever actually being proud of myself before. Not just please with a grade or glad I got through a chior concert or happy to have passed, even though i could have dome better, but proud. A lot of it had to do with this Body Acceptance kick I’ve been on since coming here. Well, I guess it started in New Mexico, but I’ve really embraced it since being here. Its amazing how much just being comfortable in yourself physically can drastically alter how you perceive the rest of your life. There’s a girl here who really seems to enjoy calling people fat to their face, and not in the Fat Rant sort of way, but in the “Lose some weight, you fat load” sort of way. And I really don’t like this girl, because of this (among other things, but mostly this). She has made comments about my eating and my weight passive aggressively. She’s told my roommate that she needs to lose weight, even though my roommate is several sizes smaller than I am. I’ve gotten into an argument with her about Fat Rights in regard to health care. And it feels good to not like her on purely ideologically grounds. I don’t care on a personal level when she makes comments about my weight that would have sent me into a self-loathing spiral before. I get angry in the same way I get mad when people say ignorant things about gay people or make very racist comments. I’ve accepted my physical state enough to be able to argue using ideas and not defensive aggression.

Yeah, this is a big pat myself on the back post, but I’m really pleased with the way things are going. I’m not saying I’ve reach a state of enlightenment and now nothing in my life will ever be bad or that I’m never going to experience self doubt again. There’s still huge areas of myself that I need to get in order, and I do have days when I’m less confident. But I’m going to take a moment and celebrate the fact that I don’t dread running into people I detested from high school, because there’s nothing they can do to make me feel like I did back then.

This post is so rainbows and sunshine, it’s making me a little nausous, but I’m okay with it =]

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Another day, another chopping

November 6, 2009

Gearing up for my epic stint of homelessness in Australia, I’ve decided to chop off all my hair. While these two things seem to be very loosely correlated, I promise they are not.
1. It is very hot, and I’ll be mostly outside, so this makes my head less unhappy.
2.When I get antsy, I feel the need to do drastic things, and I’m too poor for tattoos and piercings.
3. No house=no shower, and no hair is easier to not care about than lots of hair is.
So here are the results:

even less hair!

the back

Okay, I’ll stop being vain now. But, I do enjoy the breeze on my scalp, and will until I get back to Ohio and die of hypothermia.

Anywho! The adventure is getting real, and I’m so pumped and nervous. My back pack came in the mail, so now I have a way to carry all my shit around, which is good news. I wish I had some cash, but I think I can do this without much.

17 days and counting.

UPDATE!!!

So, Batman Forever has been one of my favorite 90s movies for a long while. My sisters and I watched it allll the time back in the day, and I just saw it on TV again, and I still defend its awesomeness with vigor. Here’s why:
-It looks like a comic book: the sets are in negative space, there’s random fog everywhere, and people always look like they are wearing costumes or make-up
-The villains seem to come straight from a comic, acting over the top and with a sense of humor
-Jim Carry
-There is a very specific aesthetic sense to the movie that is very, very rare and very, very appealing
-The director relies on internal logic the same way a comic book artist does. You have to accept the fact that The Riddler can pull information out of people’s heads and so many other obviously ridiculous things
-The movie makes fun of itself and the Bat-verse in general (“Holy rusted metal, Batman!” “What?” “These rocks are made out of metal, rusty, and full of holes. You know, rusty!”)
-It’s just fun, like Super Hero comics are supposed to be

There are bad things, too:
-Val Kilmer’s acting
-Sometimes things are just too cheap
-Sometimes the style runs away and takes understanding with it

But, on the whole, I prefer Batman Forever to Dark Knight. Dark Knight is about what Batman would be like in real life, while Batman Forever is a crazy fan boy showing everyone his vision. And I like my Super Hero movies to acknowledge how silly the are. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved the Dark Knight, but this movie is just more enjoyable for me.