15 December 2011

You might be a grad student if....

  1. ...you can identify universities by their internet domains.
    •  Who can't?
  2.  ...you are constantly looking for a thesis in novels. 
    • I'm not a huge novel person, unless there is something interesting in them. So....yes....
  3. ...you have difficulty reading anything that doesn't have footnotes.
    •  this is why I enjoy Jen Lancaster, she does footnotes.
  4.  ...you understand jokes about Foucoult. 
    •  I'd rather not comment.
  5. ...the concept of free time scares you. 
    •  What is this "free time" of which you speak?
  6. ...you consider caffeine to be a major food group
    •  HECK YES!!
  7. ....you've ever brought books with you on vacation and actually studied.
    •  Done, and done.
  8. ...Saturday nights spent studying no longer seem weird.
    •  Never did seem weird.
  9. ...the professor doesn't show up to class and you discuss the readings anyway. 
    •  Have done this, many times.
  10. ...you've ever travelled across two state lines specifically to go to a library. 
    •  Does InterLibrary loan count?
  11. ...you appreciate the fact that you get to choose *which* twenty hours out of the day you have to work.
    •  Yes, some days working all night was the only time I had to work. Then 4 hours of sleep was a luxury.
  12. ...you still feel guilty about giving students low grades (you'll get over it).
    •  I got over this one really fast.
  13. ...you can read course books and cook at the same time.
    •  Often to the detriment of my food, but not too often.
  14. ...you schedule events for academic vacations so your friends can come.
    •  Doesn't everyone? I mean, this is just common courtesy, right?
  15. ...you hope it snows during spring break so you can get more studying in.
    •  I'm in Utah, it did snow during Spring Bre....wait, I didn't get one.
  16. ...you've ever worn out a library card.
    •  Yes, I have. I maxed out my limit of books regularly. They shouldn't limit grad students to 50 books. Really? It's like they don't understand. (Someone overrode this for me, once.)
  17. ...you find taking notes in a park relaxing.
    •  You have to get fresh air at some point!
  18. ...you find yourself citing sources in conversation.
    •  Um.....no comment....
  19. ...you've ever sent a personal letter with footnotes.
    •  You guys read my blog. I'm sure you're not surprised that I've done this.*
  20. ...you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.
    •  Yes. Yes, I can.
  21. ...your carrel is better decorated than your apartment.
    •  During my thesis writing? Yes. It was.
  22. ...you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet.
    •  I track words in the COCA. It's more my field's style.
  23. ...you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.
    •  These people are not normal!
  24. ...you have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar.
    •  Replace bar with just about any other place, and yes. I have.
  25. ...you rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.
    •  Not just coffee shops.
  26. ...everything reminds you of something in your discipline.
    •  Everyone speaks, so this is not hard to do.
  27. ...you have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event.
    •  Yeah, I am ashamed. :-(
  28. ...you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.
    •  Well, no. Because I just put them all on my laptop. Scanning saved me HUNDREDS of dollars in copying costs.
  29. ...there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours."
    •  It's called the internet. But I did have areas of the library that I thought were "mine."
  30. ...you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche.
    •  Film. Actually, see above.
  31. ...you can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library. 
    •  Yes. And you know what times of day to avoid it.
  32. ...you look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes.
    •  You can get so much more done when there are professors around!
  33. ...you regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.
    •  It isn't?
  34. ...you consider all papers to be works in progress.
    •  They are. There is always more fine tuning.
  35. ...professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore.
    •  Nope, in fact, Dr. Manning actually told me something was less important (for another class, that wasn't his class) and to not worry about that, and to focus on the item he needed. (for publication, mind you.)
  36. ...you find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text. 
    •  Yes! Where did THEY find their information? And can I steal it?
  37. ...you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.
    •  Let's not talk about what my room looked like when I had all my thesis books.
  38. ...you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.
    •  If I have this elusive "free time," I feel like I'm not doing enough. That I'm being lazy and that I need to find something to do.
  39. ...you reflexively start analyzing those greek letters before you realize that it's a sorority sweatshirt, not an equation.
    •  Haha. Not so much for me, though I still think of some in terms of math.
  40. ...you find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade".
    •  Yeah, it's just easier to speak in terms they understand.
  41. ...you start refering to stories like "Snow White et al."
    •  It's her story, the rest just helped. So be concise, makes more sense.
  42. ...you frequently wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy. 
    •  Months.
  43. ...you look forward to taking some time off to do laundry.
    •  Sometimes you did enough to get by. And if you couldn't, the clothes were worn anyway.
  44. ...you have more photocopy cards than credit cards.
    •  Again, I scanned to my laptop.
  45. ...you wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication". 
    • It should. Some of my best ideas came from talking to myself.

There you have it. Now, you know what I'm signing myself up for....

*time to footnote the source of the list: Penn State Math Department

07 December 2011

My Take on Modesty

This blog post made me happy*, sad, angry, defiant, and a whole host of other emotions. I especially empathized with her plight. But I'm a woman, so why wouldn't I?

Here's the thing. I'm okay with teaching modesty. I think it's important. I'm not okay with modesty lessons that teach women to feel like this writer did. That? Is unacceptable. As the blog author notes in a follow-up; defining modest isn't easy...because it's always in terms of someone else. I'll let you read what she says. But this quote is awesome:
"Just teaching girls to cover-up is a cop-out. Covering or uncovering isn’t the issue. The issue is why we do what we do. What’s important is to fight the idea that women are objects to be looked at, and that message is reinforced, not combated, when we teach the modesty doctrine."

As for me:

Growing up, I got the LDS perspective on modesty. I heard the "men are carnal, and if they see your ankle, they'll react like it's 1805**" lectures. I heard all of them, and my already twisted brain latched on to them to some degree. I don't blame any of my body image issues on the modesty talks. It wasn't their fault; I was already a bit messed up on that account.

However, thanks to my parents, those lessons never stuck. Ever.

We were only bought modest clothes. (Except for our shorts, but YOU try finding modest shorts when you have freakishly long legs like my sister and I have! Haha.) Why were we only bought modest clothes? Because of the Temple. From a young age, my parents made the Temple a central goal for us. Why buy clothes, then, that we would just have to modify or throw away when we went to the Temple? It didn't make sense.

What this resulted in, when I did go through the Temple 3.5 years ago, was that I did not own any clothes that I couldn't still wear post-Temple covenants. All of my clothes were still appropriate. I was proud of myself, for that fact. I'd been warned by friends that my wardrobe would drastically shrink. It did not.

The other thing my parents did well -- without realizing it? -- was that modesty was also encouraged as self-respect. It was never about "men are carnal animals that you're responsible for" it was always about me. My self-worth and my self-respect were at the forefront of the teaching.

Even my brothers were encouraged to be modest. My mom never understood how it was okay for men to wear sleeveless shirts, but not women. My brothers weren't allowed to wear tank tops. They weren't allowed to wear shirts that had no sleeves. And they wore undershirts under their white shirts (because, those are, in fact, see-through, fellas! Hate to break it to you.) so that they were equally modest.

In my house modesty was for everyone, not just girls. And it was never about the other-sex's response to what we wore. I never felt that if I tried to wear a tank top my parents would chastise me with "you look like a slut in that, go cover up."

(To be quite honest, my sister and I walked around our house in jeans and our bras as we got ready in the morning. Why? Because, you try getting ready in a HOT bathroom fully dressed. And as long as we're in full-disclosure here: when we would change in front of everyone, we did get in trouble. "You're brothers/dad are here!" Yeah, and if they're staring at me..that's gross...and not my problem. They just didn't look. They didn't want to see it. It's called respect...at least in my family it is. Oh, the immodesty stories I can tell***....haha...someday...someday....)

I'm glad I had such an open/honest family. It saved me from the worst of these lectures (and so much more!). And to be fair, this isn't LDS specific (clearly!). I've heard these discussions in other religious and non-religious circles. It's an epidemic that needs to be stopped.

The way I dress does not make me the person to blame for your inability to behave/keep your thoughts in check. The way I dress is up to me, and the image I want to portray to the world. In other words, if I want people to think I'm a hipster, I'll dress like one. If I want to be taken seriously at work, I'll dress professionally and not casually. Etc. That's it.

I love clothes. I love playing with them and changing the way I look by changing my shirt. It's fun. Dressing in the morning, should be fun. You should look at yourself in the mirror and think "Damn! I look good." Without even a smidgen of regret for looking good. Because you have a right to love yourself. And that includes loving the way your clothes look on you.

*******The original blog post is great, and I'm not trying to minimize her experience or anyone who had similar experiences, just trying to offer my perspective and my experience.*******

*Happy because my parents were awesome and counter-acted problems. So I was happy that I had a good family, and then sad that others were so negatively effected by these types of lessons.
**The Shins - Turn a Square. Look it up. Love it.
***They're really great, and mostly involve me...so they're not going to be full-disclosure on other family members.

Much Love...

Miss Megan - the snow was taller than her.
Do you know why I love this girl? Besides the fact that she's absolutely beautiful?

Because, when I told her I was going to "squeeze the stuffing out of her" (a.k.a hug her) she responded "but I don't have stuffing."

Yep, she's one smart kid.

06 December 2011

How to Know that I Care...

Because I never choose anything over sleep.

**I'm sorry if the swearing bothers you.**