Monday, 12 November 2007

In a way, I am like Larry Craig

Really, I should be studying for the mid-term exam I have tomorrow: Pre-calculus. I'm pathetic. I've only done one section of the review questions so far, and out of these questions, I've been unable to answer a good three-quarters of them! Factor this, graph that -- I can't. My brain was simply not built that way. But I'm not stupid! I'm good at other things: just now, I've been straying from the immediate math to read up for a sociology essay that's due Tuesday; I'm doing well in my social work and writing classes. No, I'm not stupid -- I'm just an utterly stereotypical girl, and it pisses me off.

(Here comes the rage: Are you saying, Shane, that girls can't be good at math? Or politics or economics or physics? No, of course not! Many are; many excel in these male-dominated fields. I don't.)

Once, our friend Jordan and I were talking about the gender composition of our respective fields of study. He studies interior design, I study social work; they are both heavily female-dominated fields. He was telling me that often, it's possible to see the difference between his designs and those of the girls in his class -- not that his are better, simply that they are different. People will look and be able to say: "A man designed that," or "a woman designed that." (I wonder if you have had that experience Sofie, and how you felt about it.) I said, "You know, it would bother me if someone looked at something I designed and was able to guess correctly my gender because of it." He said, "Really? It doesn't bother me." Hm.

Now, my mother is a staunch feminist. I am too: I use her last name as well as my father's; I know that I am as capable and entitled as any man; once I got in a fight with a guy in Chandigarh because he called me "honey" (remember Else?). I know that our cultural devaluation of the feminine is wrong! I know that traditionally female fields are just as intellectually and practically valuable as traditionally male fields! I've seen the Vagina Monologues three times! So I can't explain why it bothers me so much that in my social work class of twenty, there are no male students, and in my sociology class of about the same number, there are two. Nor can I explain why when choosing courses for next semester, I have purposely and consciously disregarded courses I find interesting that I know will be filled with girls. It's not because I want to meet guys, no! Despite my feminist consciousness, I absolutely hate it that my interests and my strengths are so stereotypically feminine.

Paula England, in an article about gender desegregation in US universities, writes about our "cultural devaluation" of all things feminine. I guess I'm a good example of its effects -- although I know intellectually that women are as smart and as capable of men, I devalue my own self and interests on basis of their femininity. I know that's bad, but I can't help it. I also feel that there are bigger issues in this world for me to think about, but it seemed particularly relevant to me after reading this article. Sofie, you're in a field I associate more with men -- what do you think? Else, what is your philosophical view point?

Back to pre-calculus, time to whip my feminine brain into shape.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Legitimate blog-passiveness (?)

These days I am studying for my exams like a little propeller (I am more studious than ever before in my life I think)! So that unables be to spend much time blogging. But I'll come back strong in very few weeks. However, I can report that Max Weber was a nice man, Keynes is a role-model and Karl Marx was misinterpreted in many ways. Peace out dear friends - for now.

(Hannah Arendt had to join the company to compensate for the male domination)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Viva la revolucion! One tray at a time...

I found this picture on the internet, but it could very well be taken from the downstairs dining hall in NYU's Weinstein residence hall. Every time I visit this all-you-can-eat dining hall, I am absolutely shocked at the amount of food people throw away -- slices of pizza with one bite taken out of them, melting ice cream that's hardly been picked at, hamburgers that have been ever-so- slightly nibbled. It's decadent and disgusting, and I'm truly bewildered by it. Earlier this evening, I went to a discussion on sustainable dining at NYU (part of Footprint Forward); NYU head chef Jeramie Garlick said, if I understood him correctly, that in just one NYU dining hall, students throw away about 300 pounds of food waste daily. Didn't anyone else's mother tell her not to put any more food on her plate than she thought she could eat? If we keep on like this, pretty soon we will be drowning in garbage, wading through half eaten slices of pizza to get to class and slipping on melted ice cream on our way home. Shock, shock! Horror, horror!

Seriously, though, this wastefulness is pretty darn atrocious. So what can we do about it? This weekend at the Real Food Summit, I learned that when they got rid of trays in the all-you-can-eat dining halls at St. Joseph's College, food waste decreased two to three ounces per student! It may not seem like much, but it certainly adds up. It makes sense: when you can only take as much food as you can put on one plate, you will think before going back for seconds, and be more likely to finish all that you take. The water saved by not having to wash the trays is merely the icing on the cake.
It's time for all-you-can-eat NYU dining halls to go tray-less. So simple, so subtle -- and a considerable decrease in wasted food!

I brought it up in the discussion I mentioned earlier, and Jeramie Garlick said that they had actually talked to the NYU about this idea before, but that it had been shot down out of consideration for people with disabilities who might have a hard time without trays. I do not fully understand this, but in any case it's important to take into account. However, I think it's an obstacle that could be pretty easily avoided if there were a few trays available on request behind the counter at the entrance to the dining hall where meal cards are swiped. This way, students who needed trays would be able to use them, and students who didn't wouldn't simply take them out of habit.

So this is my new plan. This is my new revolution. Maybe it is petty and insignificant, but is important to start small. Next stop: ANARCHY.

Monday, 5 November 2007

hello friends,

yesterday i went to see elvis perkins and it was great. the venue is really small and so it was nice and intimate.
today, i am pissed off and sad and frustrated. i guess i have myself to blame, but now i'm blaiming the fucked up janitors of my school, who refused to let me in to the studio today, because it is "bank holiday" and so the school is closed. i didn't know that it would be closed, and so i had left all my drawings, my drawing board and my drawing utensils in the studio. thing is, i have my final review for this project tomorrow morning, and i fucking need those drawings!!! i tried to expain the situation, but they said no, no, no, and then i started crying and went and sat in the car while anthony tried to persuade them to let him in to pick up my stuff. then one guy said yeah, i'll let you in when the other guy comes back. the "other guy" turned out to be the one we had talked to first, and he said: "when i said no, i meant NO!" and so now i am sat in my room, trying to squeeze out one months worth of work in less than 24 hours. and what am i doing? writing on my blog. i am a loser.

but, at least i am not an authoritarian fucker of a janitor!!!

Friday, 2 November 2007

"Eating Breakfast on the Moon"

Lately I have been quite amused by my own dreams. A few nights ago I dreamt that I was in India, but with no permission to be there, so I was constantly hiding and running form the government.  

I recently made a new acquaintance with whom I had a conversation about dreams - in general. He recommended that I wrote down my dreams, since this after a while would make me able to consciously design my own dreams and thus being able to do really funky stuff; like flying. He had personally acquired this ability after keeping a dream journal for some time. The dream had to written down the moment you woke up. Not after for example eating breakfast, because then you have forgotten so much of what you dreamt that it no longer would be any use.

This morning I woke up quite puzzled by the dream I had just dreamt. I was not in the mood of getting out of bed, so I decided to write down my dream in my diary. I created a new section in my diary labelled: Dream diary. Here follows a short summary.

In my dream it was possible to visit the moon. Sigrid and I decided to go there. We packed food and clothes and flew up to the moon in a funeral casket. When we reached there we were met by Ella and one other girl. We exchanged a few words. There was no gravity on the moon, which made me scared of disappearing into the universe. Sigrid told me that the moon existed long before anything else: all the stars, the earth and the sun. On the moon there was a digital device which informed us of how far away form the earth we were. The moon (or the earth) seemed to move around fast because this number changed in the speed of the light, up and down. We ate the food we had brought with us, and then we travelled back down to earth. To get down again one person had to sit in front in the casket and put forth her arms, just like when you're diving. If you wanted to go up again, you had to stretch your arms towards the moon. I sat in front. It was fun so I kept doing this for a while, going up and down, up and down.

Back down on earth we met a big group of people, amongst them many MUWCI people, who were all talking excitedly about this new phenomenon of going to the moon. I was especially happy because I was going to make my new blog-post be about this (I thought this in the dream). I was going to call it: " Eating Breakfast on the Moon". I felt so content, because this was really going to be about the world AND OTHER ISSUES. I met Neta among all these people, but he didn't find the possibility of visiting the moon very intriguing.

Later in the dream I was required to do two assessments for some sort of educational institution; one was written and the other was practical. For the written one I handed in my blog: "Eating breakfast on the moon". The practical one was about how I handled life on a ship. I spent some days on a ship, where there was an examiner who observed the behaviour of me and the rest of the group that was also there. A few days later, when the ship had gone back to shore and the test was over, Sofie and I went to check our scores which had been put up on a board. Sofie had scored '6' in both assessments (which was out of the IB 1-7 scale), while I got an 'F' (A-F scale) in both the written and the practical! I was devastated. The examiner on the boat told me that I hadn't put the hood on my safety vest on properly and that he didn't approve of the soup I had had been drinking every day during the trip.  

My ambition is to keep up the dream log, and if the theory works, maybe I'll be able to conduct miracles in the end.