Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last night I (finally!) had my second meeting of class. The second week was cancelled because we were to go see Maya Angelou speak on campus (didn't go - long story), and the third week was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. So, last night we all finally gathered to talk about our readings on sexism and racism. The class basically went like this: someone started talking and then no one in the room ever shut up. It was this incredibly classy elbow-throwing conversation in which 15 incredibly different people (who have intelligence and open-mindedness in common) all tried to weigh in on subjects from acculturation’s affect on healthcare access to the cultural construction of gender. My head was spinning on the drive home. I had to stay up half the night reading one of the YA novels Aunt Jane gave me for Christmas so I could stop thinking about how white, sheltered, and privileged I am.

Next week we talk about global health and economics.

Tonight I am going to see Eric Hutchinson open for One Republic (I'm into both) at the State Theatre. I love seeing bands in small venues, even though I'm getting a bit too old to rock it until very late on a weeknight. Ha.

Right now I'm cleaning up my office so I can meet Max Mayfield in a minute.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Let the games begin...

Sping semester got underway this week. I had my first real graduate course (well in Women's Studies that is), on Monday night. The course is called Women's Health and Politics. The reading level is really intense (I went through all the assigned readings for this week to get a rough page count for myself...and I'm guessing the page count is between 500 and 600 hundred). Mind you, this volume of reading is out of a medical journals and dense text books. None of it is an easy read. But, alas, the subject matter is all very interesting to me and though not half way through yet, I have faith that I will finish it all by Monday night.

My first class went something like this: in a small room in the basement (yes basement!) of the Faculty Office Building on the USF Tampa campus, 16 women of varying backgrounds gathered and waited quietly for Dr. Myerson (the Director of the Women's Studies Graduate Program at USF). She came in at 6 on the dot, all smiles, with hugs for her returning students, and arms full of healthy/yummy snacks to share with everyone. She explained that she always brings food to her graduate students for she is the only one being paid to sit there and that she always starts her classes off with a 5 minute meditation to help us clear our minds and join together in the room. She dimmed the lights and led us in breathing exercises and said some nice things about washing the day away and making our minds clear. And damn if I wasn't genuinely more relaxed when she was done!

We passed the hummus and carrots and fig newtons and terra chips and talked for two hours about what a "woman" is. She felt it would give us the framework for a course in women's health.

I left the room that night excited and elated and eager to get down to reading those 500 pages so I could participate in what is bound to be riveting discussion next week. I didn't even mind the 40 mile drive home...I had so much to think about, the time hardly mattered.

I'll be 30 in a matter of months. I think I found my place in the world not a moment too soon. Every woman in her own time I suppose:)

Stay tuned for school updates, GRE drama, and Presidential primary talk.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007: A year in review

A list!!!

2007: A Year in Review

1. What is one thing you did in 2007 that you'd never done before? Experienced veganism.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn’t make any, nor do I ever.

3. Did someone close to you give birth? Leslie Burket!

4. Did anyone close to you die? People close to my family yes – Uncle Dick and Jennifer Jones.

5. What countries did you visit? None! I think my international travels are an every-other-year thing…so I guess I better get planning this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? I think I want to get my own place. I love my mother, but I also love my privacy.

7. What days from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The day my grandmother went into the hospital. My first day of school. My 29th birthday. The day Drew went into the hospital.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Going back to school. I am very proud of myself for finally doing something I’ve wanted to do for many years.

9. What was your biggest failure? I’ve done pretty alright this year. I’ve been good to my family and personally been moving in the right direction.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I almost cut my thumb off…still paying those bills, but nothing serious. It was just everyone around me who decided to almost die.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My health. It hasn’t been cheap, but worth it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My grandmother has been very strong and resilient this year!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled? I could start a list of strangers that could go on forever, starting with our President, but I’ll stick to people I know…and in that arena I can’t really think of anyone. Well actually I can, but I’m not into mudslinging in my journal.

14. Where did most of your money go? Paying off my debt…which it took me more than seven years to do…but it’s done. I do not have one credit card with one balance to my name. It’s an amazing accomplishment.

15. What did you get really, really excited about? Being debt free, and going back to school.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? I love this question…but it’s so tough. Let’s see…oh gosh I know, Amos Lee’s “Supply and Demand”.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or hardened? Both, but happier if I had to choose.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner! Thank goodness.
iii. richer or poorer? Better off financially for sure.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? I always wished I’d traveled more and I also wished I’d communicated more in a couple of the relationships in my life. I can see now that I’ve gone too far down a dark road to turn around. And I think talking along the way could have fixed that.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Whine. I felt like my family was having a really bad year and I realize now I whined about that a lot. No one likes a whiner.

20. What was your favorite TV program? I didn’t really love anything that much this year.

23. What was the best book you read? Olivia…which was one of my text books for my class but also a very well written book about a very amazing women who’s led the most horrific life and managed to turn it around.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery? I think that would have to be the Everybodyfields.

25. What did you want and get? A return to school.

26. What did you want and not get? An apartment.

27. Favorite film of this year? I have seriously seen so few movies this year it’s pathetic…I can’t even think of one to jot down here.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 29 and I went out bar hopping downtown with friends and it was really surprisingly fun.

29. What kept you sane? My friends. I marvel constantly at the amazing relationships I have in my life. My friends and family are just amazing.

30. Who was the best new person you met? Easy – Dr. Marilyn Myerson…she is the director of the graduate program I am studying in and she is so completely amazing. She is everything I didn’t know I wanted to be in this life. I can’t wait to start taking her women’s health seminar next week. I’m so nervous!

2007: a recap

So I looked back in my old blog to see what I said around the New Year last year...and here is the entry I made right before we rang in '07:

2006 brought me...
A better sense of self.
A new career.
A new/old home.
A renewed relationship with my best friend.
A once-again-close relationship with my family (in that I get to see the more and enjoy them more again).
A belief that love often lives in the last place you look (perhaps the place you've just left).
The realization that truly nothing is better than laughing with your closest friends (even when they're far away).

What did 2006 bring you?

So here is the same thing for 2007. Oh what a difference a year can make...

2007 brought me:
Back to school...finally.
Much better health.
A love for spinning.
New friends.
Vegetarianism and the holier-than-thou attitude that goes with it:)
Lots of new books and new ideas.
A constantly-evolving version of myself.
Longer hair.

What has 2007 brought you?
Copyright 2009 eringee