Friday, October 20, 2006

It's Almost Done.

So today was random coincidence in the blog world day. I found this one blog that is much more like this one would be if I were actually open about what I was going through. But let's face it. That's not going to happen. It's like my secret blog. I could hardly stand to have a secret blog because if I'm not willing to say something where the whole world can read it, I'm not comfortable being upfront about it even with my good friends. But yes. So she's got cats, she's close to my age, she's a former english major...

Then I found another blog (work was slow today. Can you tell?) that is written by a girl who's from my hometown (or close enough) and who works in a non-profit. Craziness.

And while I haven't been very productive at work, I have been productive in other ways. For example, I worked on graduate applications. I'm nearly done with my personal statement. I'm pretty happy with it. I think my voice comes through fairly well. I only hope Georgetown likes it. I think they are still at the top of my list, though I've heard they are stingy with funding. Crazy when they are charging $30,000+ per year for tuition. I'd just be happy to get my tuition funded. I think I can handle the debt for the rest, what with parental help and all. Without them covering tuition, though... That's like $100,000 in debt with living expenses AND I'll have an english degree, so it's not like med students who eventually make much more money. I did email a friend about how he likes NYU. He's not emailed back. My friends have developed a conspiracy theory for this fact.

I also applied for a new job today, and looked for others. It's funny how before I would consider something that was part personal assistant, but now I won't. It might be better with a different boss, but I don't care. The work irks me and I don't like people thinking my life (or at least my work life) should be spent making someone else's life as easy as possible. Again, maybe if I were working for someone I really supported, it might be different because then I would want to make their life easier. Either way, it's not worth the risk to me.

And now it's off to "Crazy insane family weekend," in which my brother, his wife, his in-laws, SB's sister, mom, niece and nephew all come on the same weekend. Plus Cassie has a vet appointment. She's not going to be happy...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lack of Communication

I rediscovered the link to the Love Cave. Sigh. Even looking at the pictures make my shoulders want to relax some.

So the rest of this post I feel the need to say, but I'm a little afraid. People get vehement and stubborn and close-minded on all sides, and I really feel no need to have people yelling at me on my blog. With that said, I'm writing it anyways, because I want to and because when have I ever shrunk from a challenge?

And the controversial topic is... the student strike at Gallaudet. For those of you not in the area, Gallaudet is the main college for people with hearing disabilities in the country, if not the world. The old president is stepping down at the end of December. The board went through a search procedure, and picked someone who already worked for the school. The students went nuts. Really, really angry about the fact that this woman was chosen. This was all in the spring of last year. Now there has been a sudden resurgence in the anger, the students protested and shut the school down for three days, and the only thing they'll accept is the soon-to-be president's resignation.

Now I'm not going to say much about the protest. I tend to think most protests can be pointless, since frequently the protesters don't seem to know what they want to accomplish. In this case, the students seem to be claiming that they are primarily upset about the way the new president was chosen. They feel they had no voice, although there were students on the selection committee. But when the administration offered to have outsiders audit the selection process, the students refused. I have no contacts there, I haven't talked to any students, but that confuses me. Other people have pointed out that very few students have a voice on university presidential selection committees. Maybe all university students should care so much who is in charge of the university.

One of the more interesting issues that has come up, though, and one that confuses me the most is that one of the main problems students have with the incoming president is that she supports children having cochlear implants implanted. Apparently, this is a kind of betrayal in the deaf community. Now I understand that there is a deaf community. These people have faced a lot of difficulty in their lives and I admire them for their fortitude. But why would they want children to not be able to hear? People have argued that parents should wait and let the children decide for themselves, that the parents are being selfish because raising a deaf child is more complicated. But no one really complains about children who have physical deformities having them fixed. No one would tell the parents of a child missing a leg not to let him have a prothestic. I haven't heard any blind people arguing that someone who's blind shouldn't have surgery that could repair their sight. They might argue against it. I've never heard anyone, but how many blind people do I know whom I can ask? I can't think of one. Maybe they have the same arguments as the deaf community. Either way, it doesn't make sense to me. Am I missing something? To me, not having a sense makes life more challenging. I want my kids to be able to hear Beethoven's 5th, Christmas carols. I love music so much, and nature sounds, and talking, and listening, and a million other things. Why shouldn't I want my kids to have the opportunity to experience those things? When did being deaf go from being a disability to being a form of diversity?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Beauty, part deux

The Today show mentioned a new Dove video which shows how advertising companies modify the model's normal appearance so she looks like what we see in ads. It was a little crazy. Not only did they put a ton of make-up on her and make her hair big, they also electronically modified her appearance, making her hair even bigger and her neck longer. I have thus decided that Today show editors obviously read my entry on beauty earlier this week. Though when you throw the whole using computers to modify picture thing into the mix, it makes our concept of beauty all the more complicated, since now we are striving to look like people who don't exist in real life. No wonder people are so screwed up.

There is this online "What famous person do you look like" thing, where you input your picture and they scan it and compare your features to those of celebrities. I put in two different pictures and got Deborah Messing and Drew Barrymore. And it's funny. When you put my picture next to theirs, I can see some resemblance. Only in the face in Deborah Messing's case. I mean, she's so skinny, her clavical could be a weapon. It reminds me of that woman on "Last Comic Standing" who claimed having sex with her was like doing a hanger. She was funny. I was sad to see her get kicked off.

Speaking of tv and sex, Paula Deen on her new show, "Paula's Party," is a dirty little flirt. I mean, I thought the whole conversation with the French guy about her breasts on the show on her European vacation was bad. But the one episode of "Paula's Party" I've seen, she sat on a guy's lap, fed him brownie off of a wooden spoon, and licked the spoon while he was eating off it. It was highly suggestive. And a bit disturbing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Testing, One, Two, Three

I got my official gre scores yesterday. It's one of those things that even though the score pops up on the screen before you leave, I somehow start to doubt if I saw things correctly. So I was glad to see that I did indeed remember my scores correctly, and did as well on the writing as I thought I would. My mom was very excited. Though she went to see David Sedaris yesterday, so she was just in an excited mood yesterday anyways. And my gre literature books should get in today, so that test won't entirely kick my ass. Just partly. I mean, really. I looked at some of the suggested vocab lists. Words I had never even heard of. Terms that describe word play that I'm familiar with in practice, but didn't know there was a term for. Things I cannot even pronounce. Besides the fact that Paradise Lost is the most sited work on the whole test and I haven't read any of that since high school. What makes me mad about this whole thing is that the academy is in the midst of an argument about whether or not the Canon as we know it even really exists. No one reads the same books any ,ore. I'm sure Jessica Hagedorn's Dogeaters won't be on there, though I read that for a class.

So here is my question. What is the point of this test? I'm sending these people a writing sample, recommendations from professors, my transcript from 4 years of study. How is knowing whether I can identify a passage from The Faerie Queene really going to show admissions how I'll deal with studying modern lit in grad school? Should I not get funding because I thought a passage by Shakespeare was from A Midsummer Night's Dream rather than Twelfth Night? It all seems a little ridiculous.

I did get into a fight today on DC Bachelor. Surprisingly enough not with DCB, but with some other guys who decided that all women secretly want to be dominated, and that no relationship in which the woman earns more than the man will succeed. I'm annoyed, though, because the stupid site is not letting me post my next comment (the guy claims that career women make bad moms, and that I would never marry a poor, short dude) and I really want to comment. Grr...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Only Skin Deep

"Beauty is only skin deep," will forever remind me of my friend Emily from high school. My french teacher quoted it to us. Emily paused for a minute, looked up, and asked, in all seriousness, "How deep is skin?" It made us all laugh, and my teacher looked at her askance.

So I was looking through old pictures today, and I noticed how my face has changed. I'm not entirely sure why. Change of weight, getting older, whatever. But I looked and I thought, "Wow, my skin looked great, and look at that," blah, blah, blah. And I know at the time I wasn't any more comfortable with my appearance than I am now, which is a frequent discussion with SB. I have wished before that I could somehow see myself through his eyes. Or anyone's eyes, for that matter. Just to see what I look like to everyone else.

Now this is not to say that I am all that obsessed with my appearance or that I really think it matters all that much. I know, I know, studies show that more attractive people do better in life, but I think there is really a limit to that. Because think about it. If someone is super-attractive, are people going to want to be around them? Are less attractive people going to feel anything but jealousy for the more attractive?

All of this made me think, though, not about my own insecurities. Because let's face it. Been there, done that. It bores me now. Instead I started to think about the role and history of beauty in our society. The concept of beauty has changed so much over the past centuries. Beauty once was more a symbol of wealth. Bigger was better because it meant you could afford not to work. Now beauty has been tied into cultural hegemony. As women have gained power, the concept of beauty has gotten smaller for them. As if society is telling women that they must pay for their increased power by taking up less space. The opposite is true for men.

So how much of beauty is anything beyond societal concepts? How much do we read into beauty signs of other things? That man can't be evil; he's too pretty. That woman must be dumb because of how she looks. Is beauty anything beyond a way to sort the world? To pretend like we know something about people we have no contact with?