My final defense will take place 11 weeks from now.
Still I do, sometimes, by mistake, happen to think about other things. Even things that I feel like sharing! Sometimes I post them on Twitter. And sometimes I can't be bothered to make them fit in under 140 characters. So there.
Them brown people all look the same
My group of dancing friends has two Filipinos in it. Both have very black hair hanging in their dark brown eyes and about the same shade of caramel skin. One is about 6 inches taller and 11 years younger than the other, who has a pierced eyebrow. The younger one also has a much more laid back attitude and body language. To tell the truth, he's, as far as I (and my girlfriends, who have very good taste) are concerned, much hotter. Yet when we go out dancing people keep mistaking one for the other. Hello, diversity.
Thinking of the children
Someone shared this NYT article the other day. If you don't feel like reading through, I can sum it up in a sentence for you: since we haven't figured out the meaning of life, then life has no meaning and we shouldn't have kids. (I should have studied philosophy.) What shocked me, though, wasn't this message as much as the opening paragraph:
Have you ever thought about whether to have a child? [...] But very few [people contemplating reproduction] ask whether coming into existence is a good thing for the child itself. Most of those who consider that question probably do so because they have some reason to fear that the child’s life would be especially difficult — for example, if they have a family history of a devastating illness, physical or mental, that cannot yet be detected prenatally.
Really? Whenever I think about the distant possibility of having children, I think about the difficulties they would have to go through. I think about how I'd want them to be strong but how I don't know any other way of being strong than growing strong, and I don't know any other way of growing strong than going through hardships. I think about how, either way, I am not sure I can prevent them from having to go through the exact same pile of crap I had to go through as a child and as a teenager and as a young adult before I started being happy with who I am. And I think I went through fairly typical issues, like being rejected because I wasn't fitting the norm, and body image and self-esteem and not looking like the ladies in the magazines, and a little bit of abuse here and there, nothing that I would consider "especially difficult" — but still, fucking difficult nonetheless. Which is to say... really? People never wonder nor worry about what's going to happen to the children they are planning to have?
Spot on inner medieval serf
Have you read Belgian Waffle's Medieval Serf post? It is brilliant, as it contains the following sentence: "I don't have an inner child, I have an inner Medieval serf, and he's SCARED" and, well, YES. The medieval serf. I have one. And she's afraid. Of asking for things (such as: letters of recommendation; job interviews; money I am owned; take-out; directions; and more generally, help); of the phone (answering it, but mostly, dialing a number); of opening the door; of going out of the office/room if there's a chance there are people I don't feel like talking to out there; and also, although it is quite orthogonal and almost explainable, of downward slopes, biking, and any sort of skating.
While I wrote this last paragraph, I also gathered the courage to send the emails I had been preparing for days asking a few professors for letters of recommendation. And of course they all agreed to warmly recommend me, but my Advisor asked me to send him a draft of my dream letter. Upon which the inner medieval serf completely lost her shit, made me cry in my office just looking at the list of "Questions you should address in your statement", and in a flourishing final shoved me in a corner of the ladies' room where I had a panic attack. Well done, inner medieval serf.
(I actually wrote the damn thing, sent it off, and managed to enter a disastrous spiral of confusion about the envelope it will be sent in and not care in the least. My face is covered in acne and I probably shaved a year from my life expectancy, but I. Wrote. The. Damn. Thing. Round of applause, please. *Curtsies to her readership.*)
Puking on John Tierney's shoes.
We, as a society, have had this conversation a million times. Which, by the way, is pretty much the opposite of having a "daring" point of view. Every single one of your arguments have been refuted before. Why the New York Times published your old and tired piece of intellectual dishonesty is, actually, completely beyond me. Now for people who think that the question of whether or not a Y chromosome makes you a better scientist, you can go read Dr. Isis, Dr. Free-Ride, Christina Agapakis, Zuska, Female Science Professor, or even this compilation of responses.
Yes, I only linked to pieces written by women. Because all the pieces I read on that topic were written by women. Men didn't give a shit about that column and oh boy, do I envy them.
In the meanwhile, I saw The Atlantic at the store today and they cover says something along the lines of "The End of Man: How Women Are Taking Over Everything" and, well, *sigh*.
What would Freud say of this?
I don't know what my brain is doing when I'm sleeping, but I've been dreaming of exactly two things. One: arguing with one of my committee members (in particular, having a yelling match in my office with the most gentle of them). Two: cuddles. Who needs dreams about travels or fantastic worlds or adventures or even erotic dreams when you can dream about cuddling?
Thank goodness, these two types of dreams have been very distinct from one another and never even happened on the same night. I don't think I could recover from dreaming that I cuddled with one of my committee members.