Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloweenies!!!

Rob as an "Anonymous Dad On Family Vacation at Disney Land"

This is my friend Rob. He is hilarious. He is in fierce competition with my friend Cassady for being one of the wittiest people that I know--they should have a witty duel. That would be entertaining for everyone involved. Needless to say, I cracked up when I saw this picture. I immediately told him that I loved his picture and that if we were together then maybe I could be his kid that he pushed around in a stroller who then fell asleep during the firework display, and he responded saying that he would have a harness on me for when I go chasing down all the characters. I think this is an awesome idea and we would totally win a prize if we were going to a costume contest. I also thought that I could go as Rachel Berry and Rob could go as Kurt but everyone would be expecting that. I really hope that he goes to a party where someone is dressed as a Disney character because that would just be neat and ironic.

This Halloween I am staying in and I will be watching reruns of "Modern Family." I've never really been a Halloween person, mainly because I tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to making costumes. I don't want to spend the money nor the sweat for one day. One year I went as a TV and that was only because I had a shirt that said "NBC" on it, and then I just cut a black square out of poster board and wrote "SONY" on it. Problem solved. A year later I was a skunk, but only because Holly had a pre-made costume ready and I just had to step in and zip it up. If I'm really honest the only reason that I wanted to be Rachel Barry from Glee this year was because I have an abundance of plaid and argyle and really all I would have to do to pull off the look is throw on my loafers and get some high socks. I've never really gotten into the "sexy" [insert female occupation] thing. Obviously now I am not into it because I am a feminist, but even pre-feminism the thought never crossed my mind. It seems really counter intuitive. It's FALL, so I don't really understand why you would wear less clothes on this day then any other day out of the whole year. It's chilly!!! And I don't understand why if your costume is a football player why your midriff is showing. It's really beyond me. OK, I know exactly why things are the way they are, but for the sake of succinctness I will feign ignorance. Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Identity Theft is NOT a Joke!

There I was sitting in my office diligently working on a project when I received a phone call from US Bank. "This message is to verify some recent purchases you made on your credit card." Uh oh. How many Coach purses did someone try to buy on my card? "$200 at Gymboree, Florida. $16.50, Target, West Hartford. $4.13, Stop and Shop, West Hartford. Press 2 if you did not authorize these purchases." TWO. I was thus transferred to a very cheery customer service representative from US Bank named Darlene. "Hello, Jessica. Did you authorize any of these purchases?" "Yeah, ummm I do not shop at Gymboree, and in fact have no reason to be spending my money at Gymboree as I am childless." Turns out that someone had tried to purchase a $200 gift card in Florida on my card. I'm sorry, but if you are going to steal money from someone and spend it somewhere, wouldn't you make your way to the nearest Wal Mart and clean out their electronics department--I think the Black Market has really good turn around these days. But Gymboree? That's so...boring. I'd like to think I'd get a little more creative with my purchases. I think I'd buy an espresso maker. Or maybe a new I Pad. The world is at your finger least until you get caught. I thanked Darlene that US Bank had provided me with such excellent fraud protection, and that I was indeed proud to be a US Bank customer, and that Darlene, with her very cheerful and sunshine-y disposition had made bank fraud quite enjoyable and may I please speak with her supervisor so that I could inform him or her of what fantastic customer service I had received. So thanks US Bank for stopping fraudulent criminals dead in their tracks!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Think About It...

So, I'm co-teaching a class on diversity with my coworker Tai. I'm super excited about it, and we're talking about privilege, that meaning that there are certain things that I don't have to think about/get treated differently/might be easier because of my race, my social class, my able-bodied-ness [I have no idea how to spell that], my heterosexuality, etc. Anyways, Tai and I got on the subject of the education system and she mentioned that one of our students of color had stated that she had never had a teacher/professor of color. That was shocking to me, and again, I take it for granted that as a white person I have seen plenty of people who look like me in positions of power, however I decided to reflect on my own teachers throughout my education from a gender perspective. Granted, this is not highly methodical because this is based off memory minus college where I was able to look at my transcripts and actually count who I had based on what classes]. Granted, I have to acknowledge that the particular area I grew up in [Boise, Idaho] is mostly white, so when dealing with the question of race I do acknowledge that in general there simply are not that many people of color in Idaho.

Elementary school: all white women. I believe I had ONE male P.E. teacher, and maybe one male art teacher.

Middle school: all white teachers, [7 women 6 men from my memory], fairly egalitarian

High school: all white teachers, gender differentiation actually fairly egalitarian from what I remember, and actually very egalitarian right down to the subject matter: [Total: 9 women, 10 men, from the classes I remember]
Math: 1 woman, 1 man
English: 2 women, 2 men
Science: 2 women, 1 man
Social Studies/Government/History: 2 women, 2 men
P.E.: 1 woman
Art/Photography: 2 men
Speech: 1 man
Cooking/Foods: 1 woman
Band: 1 man

College: 24 white men, 4 white women, 2 men of color

The good thing about my secondary education was I had several women teaching math and science classes in middle school and high school, as women are not typically associated with these subjects. Notice though, how the gender dichotomy changes as the level of education increases... ALL women in elementary school, to virtually ALL men in college. Which do we associate more power and intelligence with...elementary school or college? I will acknowledge that this of course will depend on what field you are going into, such as if you are in the nursing field you are probably going to see a lot of female professors, but again this says a lot about gender as well that is far to complicated for the purposes of this blog post. Anyways, the results aren't terribly shocking.

Why does this matter? I would ask this question: if you never see someone who looks like you teaching or in a position of power, and had no one to model the way for you, would you strive to/believe you could do that particular job? Would you develop beliefs about yourself that may or may not be true based on who it is you see performing different tasks? Could you believe this might influence your own development in SOME way? Might it be more difficult to find a mentor you connect with? I'm not saying that it's not POSSIBLE, but is it PROBABLE that you might pursue a position that you see a lot of people like you doing said position? Furthermore, would we be more likely to develop stereotypes or beliefs about other people groups if we've never seen competent professional examples [Chances are we would have stereotypes, but these at least might be discredited or altered upon interaction]? I only say this because sometimes I question my own ability to pursue a PhD, and upon reflecting on my own college experience, I can see why that might be so. Now granted, there are obvious method issues here, as this is my own personal experience and may or may not be representative, but I thought it was very interesting. My sociological thought of the day...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I swear, the Social Science section at Borders and Barnes and Noble gets more and more polluted each time I go. Why are there books written by non-social scientists [aka journalists] in the Sociology section?! And why is this section void of the classics?! Where's Suicide by Durkheim? The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism by Weber?! The Second Shift?! Why are they being replaced by non-sciencey counterparts?! Bleh.


Read my friend Rob's blog here:

You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wise Words from Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew Wilderness Tip #82: "If you see something resembling a shark in a river, don't fret. It's more likely to be a small submarine operated by theives." ~ The Mystery of the Lilac Inn


I really like that I have the right to vote in this country. I really do. And I appreciate those that have fought for me to be able to vote. But the PROCESS in choosing who to vote for s-u-c-k-s. Yeah we need to work for more clean energy. Yeah we need more jobs. Yeah we're in a deficit. No shit Sherlock. It just feels like I'm looking at the SAME thing on all these different people's websites and then that person says that she lied and she says that he's a cheater and he says her plans won't work and BLAH BLAH BLAH. I hate politics, but it's such a necessary evil. All that to!!!


I've heard mixed reviews on this week's episode of "Glee." The reviews have been on the spectrum of "I cried at the end!" to "Meh. Disappointment." I fell somewhere in the middle--I wasn't blubbering by any means, but I daresay it was one of my favorite episodes--not necessarily entertainment wise [although I did quite enjoy Sue as always and the Grilled Cheesus was cracking me up] but more for intellectual reasons. I daresay this is the best discussion of religion that I've ever seen in the mass media. In general, I must say that when the issue is brought up people generally tend to tense up and get all defensive and what not. But that's not what this episode was--it was an open and honest discussion. In general I feel like discussions of religion through the media are very one-sided--one side is seen as more or less stupid for believing what they believe, whether that is in God or not. However, I loved the story lines because everyone had their own reasons for believing what they believed--and how could I blame Sue or Kurt for not believing in God when they'd experienced so much pain? And as Emma said when she was talking to Finn when he was going through his Grilled Cheesus crisis, these questions are big for a reason. I actually get more afraid of people who DON'T question anything then the ones that do. Kurt pointed out how the church doesn't think too highly of gays or women...I can't blame him for not wanting to be apart of an organization like that, and I think it was good for churchies to hear. Finally, I loved the scene at Mercedes' church where she tells Kurt that hey, it's OK if you don't believe in God, but you're always welcome here, and I hope you find something to believe in. That's how I think it should be--this inclusive community where we walk and think through the big questions together. And I have to thank Glee for not portraying people who believe in God as hypocritical or loud-mouthed or arrogant--I felt like those that believe in God on the show [minus maybe Quinn in earlier episodes] were caring, thoughtful and had just as many questions as everyone else. I was talking to a friend about the show and what he thought and he said that he didn't feel like it had closure...and I pointed out that life sometimes doesn't have closure--We're all wondering what life is about, and it seems to me we focus so many times on the insignificant differences and let those become divisive verses the questions and the times of pain and joy that we all seem to share in common as human beings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Go NBC!!! And my Sociological Imagination!!!

There's a new show on NBC called "School Pride" in which they take dilapidated schools and make them over (sort of like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but Extreme Makeover: School Edition). The idea is that by changing the school, kids will then do better, because frankly they're being treated less like animals and more like human beings--by investing money, time and energy into the schools, kids then see that as investing in THEM and actually do better in school [AND let's put it out there...a lot of lower income schools are directly correlated with race...yes folks, racism is still an issue. argh!]. I love this from a sociological perspective because it's about changing the STRUCTURE and thusly changing a LOT of individuals. It's so cool that media is being used in such a positive way! I'll be watching NBC...I'll be watching!

**As an interesting commentary on race/gender may I proclaim that I am a big fan of NBC right now because I was in NYC with my family and I looked at a promotional poster for all the new shows coming out this fall. There was a really wide range of of people depicted--white men, black women [though I will say from what I remember it was lacking a bit in Asian/Latino/a people depicted]. There were two women who were CIA agents or something equally powerful and kick-ass. I looked across the way at CBS and saw...all white faces, except for like one or two. Anyways, go NBC for diversity!!!!! I haven't actually seen some of the shows so I can't say how these people are being depicted, but from the posters it looked like a decent start. Hoorah!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Short Update

Hello to you good ma'am or sir. You're probably wondering why I have had all but four blog posts for the month of September, when my normal average tends to be approximately 50. Four words: Grad school and work. Oh, let me add one really long hyphenated word: the-gre-is-kicking-my-butt-and-is-the-bein-of-my-quotidian-existence [did you like how I incorporated the GRE word quotidian in there? It means "occurring daily"]. Anyways, needless to say I have been a busy bee, which leaves less time for ridiculous adventures, which is unfortunate for everyone [as in you blog readers and myself] involved. What have I done lately...let me see:

1. Got horribly outrun by college students at Dean's Cup [residence hall competition] this last Wednesday. I've accepted the fact that I am distance not speed. I have not accepted the fact that I am horrendously out of shape.
2. Went to a Whole Foods Tasting party and ate the best cake I've had in awhile [blood orange frosting!]. I'm glad that Whole Foods decided to turn 30 and even more that they decided to celebrate. I also did a horrendous job attempting to flirt with the cute guy at the sampling [Me: "So uhhhh are you like a cook or uhhhh a cashier or something?" Him: "I do everything." "Oh, that's neat uhhh..." His coworker: "Hey--you have a customer on aisle 3!" Him in his head: "Thank goodness, get me out of here." End scene]. Much like being physically out of shape, it seems I am also romantically out of shape.
3. I have cut my coffee consumption down from 7ish cups a week to two. I ironically have much more energy. I'm attempting to view coffee more as a special treat [as well as Splenda because that shit is REALLY bad for you I learned], and decided to walk up to Starbucks early one morning for a carmel machiatto [I don't know how to spell it]. I was going for the decadent drink, you know, not holding back, and by the time I had walked all the way to Starbies I was hot and decided I wanted an iced beverage instead of a hot one. I forgot to say iced. And the world caved in. I could have asked them to remake it, I suppose, but I felt bad given that it was my own fault...and it was the pickle on my crap sandwich that was my day, as Elliot Ried from "Scrubs" would say.
4. My family came! We went to New York City and Boston, and I got to see the NBC studios and where they film Saturday Night Live! Fun Fact: it is harder to become an NBC Page like Kenneth on 30 Rock then it is to get into HARVARD. I also got to eat Italian rainbow cookies and a whoopie pie.

That's been the extent of my life...graduate school prep, work, and some occasional laps around the track just to make sure I don't keel over or anything. Hopefully something extremely interesting happens to me soon so that I have something hilarious to write about. But hopefully NOT some man telling me that women should stay at home in the kitchen and have children on a date.