Exhausted

My back is all knotty and my throat hurts and I think I might have a slight fever.
Body would like a break from stimulants, and some exercise, and no more sitting in chairs.
I've slept three nights so far this week. There's been much too much coffee and hardly any tea.

But:
Today I turned in the longest of the papers.
Last night was a lot more bearable because I and one of my research group members who also needed to work agreed to stay awake together.
On Monday (or was it Tuesday?) I saw dawn approaching through the rain, and it was so beautiful.

Happiness and gratitudes:


• Feeling near to faraway friends when I reread a book that we have shared.

• Walking tall; sitting tall; how good it feels to feel the full measure of one's height.

• Misty days and nights.

• Seeing sisters together.

• One very fresh blueberry bagel.

• How deeply the grass has greened already. All this rain.

• The other four senses.

• My culture theory classmates.

• Seeing my peers take care of one another.

• And keeping these words near the surface of my thoughts.

• Memories of Sydney.

• That my replacement ID cost only $10 instead of $20—because it didn't print perfectly—and that it has a good new picture commemorating a day when I was happy.

• Momentum.

Week in photos (118-124)

118/365
118/365. Friend's.

119/365
119/365. Dining hall again.

120/365
120/365. Seams.

121/365
121/365. I don't know why people make things like this. But if I were tiny, I would enjoy swimming here.

122/365
122/365. "Midnight in a perfect world."

123/365
123/365.

124/365
124/365. Not-my bruise.

Ballet date


Guys, look how beautiful my city is...

These are from early March, when I was home for spring break. My mom and I had a nice lunch at a cafe in the Mission and then headed downtown for a modern program at the San Francisco Ballet.

On the train home, a man who had apparently also attended saw me looking at the program and asked me, "Boy, wasn't that last one hard to take?" I answered honestly that I had found it beautiful. (Artifact Suite. Oh, my. Watch a  little at the link above, or here...) And that was the end of that exchange. Perhaps—oh, I'm mulling a really profound solution right now, wait for it—perhaps people who don't like modern ballet should, um, not attend modern ballets?





Read in February & March 2011

1. Rose Galbraith, by Grace Livingstone Hill
Silly 1940s Christian romance novel. Cringe-inducing dialogue. I was mildly disturbed by the extent to which propriety and manners controlled the heroine. But I felt like the world was small and simple while I was reading it, and that was nice.

2. Draußen vor der Tür, by Wolfgang Borchert (English title: The Man Outside)
Read for my German seminar. A play about a soldier returning from WWII and feeling totally alienated from everything. Easy, not subtle, still good.

3. Forget-Her-Nots, by Amy Brecount White
YA novel about a girl at a Southern boarding school who can make magic by making flower arrangements. Not terribly developed, but cute.

4. Fasting Girls: The History of Anorexia Nervosa, by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
An account of how—to paraphrase Brumberg—illness can be biologically caused but is nonetheless always socially expressed. Thought-provoking, and surprisingly quick to read.

5. An Atlas of the Difficult World: Poems, 1988-1991, by Adrienne Rich
Wonderful. That's all.

6. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by Max Weber
Read for Culture Theory; made me realize I'm a cultural Calvinist. I think business majors should be forced required to read this.

7. Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, by Peggy Vincent
Told mostly episodically, spanning a forty-year period from the fifties to the nineties. I like this book because:

  • there are some awesome quirky characters among the clients
  • it was interesting to see how Peggy's work and story—the questions of birth and pregnancy in general—fit into the wider women's rights struggle.
  • I was pretty sure that this book was important in forming how my big sister thought about her pregnancy and labor. (Meg was and is a pretty inspiring mama, before and after labor.) It's changed some of my ideas about what birth is like, too.

Space


This afternoon...one of those times when I want music, and if I have that, I don't want anything else.

Just spacing out most sublimely.

State: slightly altered. Hunger: food will wait. You know how it is.

Week in photos (111-117)

111/365
111/365. A darn good exhibit.

112/365
112/365.

113/365
113/365. Now I have two panoramas of my city.

114/365
114/365. Bible of a friend of a friend.

115/365
115/365.

116/365
116/365. After sleet. Astonishing cold and delight.

117/365
117/365. Made an escape.

Élan vital

The sudden appearance of sleet.
I am three miles from home,
on my bicycle,
wearing sandals:

To the empty falling streets
I clench my red red hands
and ring out
a most lusty doxology
bookended with my laughter and
the spin of
my wheels.

Uganda plans

Gabi said I should explain things some more. All right.

Summer: I'm finishing the semester in three weeks. After that, I'll be home in San Francisco a while and taking classes at my college's camp in Wisconsin for a while.

And after that...I'm going to Uganda for seven weeks.

What I'm going to be doing there: interning under a medical anthropologist who works for a clean water access organization. I'll be helping collect ethnographic and medical data about water access, water-borne illness prevalence, and health practices.

I will also be visiting Gabi at her home nearby, which will be unspeakably lovely. To take pictures. And just to visit.

It's hard for me to think ahead that far when I have so much work to do and so much due in the next five days even, let alone next three weeks, but I think it's going to be wonderful, and I know I'm going to learn a lot. It's a whole new continent for me, and I'm stoked to do interviews.

It's not a paid internship, so I'm fundraising to pay for my ticket and health insurance there—I will definitely post my support letter here when I finish writing it in case any of you want to help out with thaaat...

So that's my cool news of the past few months.

Happiness and gratitudes


• Confiding in "real-life" friends too.

• A thrifted skirt so long that it can hide my toes, and that it reminds me of a very beautiful spirit whom I roomed with three years ago.

• Being in the rain with two rainy-haired-my girlfriends, and the wild way people at this college get when the big storms come.

• News that three of my peers from anthro and German got the Fulbright—which also means that two of my friends will be in Germany next year while I am!

• Nirvana, earlier Jack Johnson, and the score from Everything is Illuminated.

• I need an expression for something in the soul that is analogous to growing pains in the body. It's what these past twelve months or so have been for me.

• Being out in the muddy and mistiness of the night, almost hearing the earth softening.

• The love-mail I received during my birthday week, and the people who sent it.

• Lying down in a parking lot at dusk and trying to follow the conversation patterns of the songbirds there.

• Just the right Medicine presenting itself as I began to get sickened by Saturday.

• Screaming.

• Swimming in the Lake, and how warm the air felt when you came out of the water.

• That there is enough time. It would be idiomatic for me to claim otherwise at this point in the semester, but enough is defined by what is necessary, so define necessary by what there is enough time for and THERE IS ENOUGH TIME FOR ANYTHING THAT MATTERS ENOUGH, and so, division property of equality, there is time for anything that matters.

• Having my first roll of slide film in my camera right now.

• Discussing Grimm fairy tales as vehicles for the transmission of cultural ideas about agency.
"I did not allow my daughters to watch Cinderella until they were old enough to deconstruct it from a feminist point of view."
- my culture theory professor

Week in photos (104-110)

104/365
104/365. Humidity hair!

105/365
105/365.

106/365
106/365. I took a nice nap on my birthday.

107/365
107/365.

108/365
108/365. There's no point to anything if I have to attend class without tea.

109/365
109/365. Goodwilling.

110/365
110/365. The one I used for writing on things.

Crunch time (three weeks)

Things I am temporarily giving up:

  • reading the news
  • non-skimming reading 
  • walking (bike's more fun anyway)
  • spacing out on the train
  • keeping up with Tumblr buddies
Things I am not giving up:
  • sleep
  • my rule against reading while I eat
  • NaPoWriMo
  • journaling
  • time with my friends 
  • keeping my room clean
Things I am temporarily taking up:
  • energy drinks
  • academically-focused socializing
Things I am making habit:
  • remembering what a very long time it took for women to be allowed at universities, and thinking of how desperately some women in centuries past (and cultures distant) have wanted what I have.

Spring arrives




damply and silverishly. In the beginning it looks like late winter, but the trees bud and there is a very-something smell in the air that is in fact a lot like the name Aslan.

Sweet air and working


It is sixty-nine degrees!

Pushed my window high as it goes (not very high because they're afraid of us getting out onto the roof)(as they should be), pushed all my blankets to the end of my bed and I'm lying on the bare mattress in the sun, speed-skimming through potential sources for my capstone paper. I have a big 'ol lineup of them under the edge of my bed, and they all look delicious enough that I wish I had time enough to truly read them all.

And tomorrow I will go into the city and look at some photography with a nice new person and I hope go swimming in the lake (the Michigan one, I mean).

I like being a senior in college. I like spring. This is going to be a mad month, but I will do what I can with it.

22

87/365
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY;
DANCE WITH ME

Week in photos (97-103)

97/365
97/365. This worked because the REASON I went to bed way too late was that I got caught up in feminist-blog-reading fervor and was too lit up to fall asleep on time OR contemplate sleeping in.

98/365
98/365. Sorry, it's a cliché spring subject! But they're marvelous!

99/365
99/365. Trimming.

100/365
100/365. My dining hall's ceiling is good for the spirits.

101/365
101/365. Sampling teas.

102/365
102/365. To be alive and own a bicycle on such a day is very grand.

103/365
103/365. I went for a long grocery walk with my neighbor-friend.

Backwards at winter









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