Monday, September 28, 2009

New Job!

I started Job numero dos today.

I should really start learning to speak Spanish.

My second job is a tutor position for Northfield Public Schools. Monday and Tuesday mornings I go to Greenvale Park Elementary and tutor 3rd and 2nd graders in math. The Monday class, the 3rd graders, is a Compenearos class, which means it's a Spanish immersion class. Language arts are taught in English, but science, math, social studies are all taught in Spanish. Ergo, I must learn to say 'Cinco mas tres son ocho.' Except, the 3rd graders are learning long addition and subtraction, time changes, and will start to learn their multiplication tables this year. I've already exhausted the extent of my math in Spanish with simple addition. I don't remember how to count above 10. I don't know how to say 'minus' or 'times.' I do know how to say 'Que hora?' in my broken Spanish so they can tell me what time it is on the paper. Hopefully I'll pick it up pretty quickly. Or at least have the 3rd graders help me interpret. Or the teacher, as he speaks English just as much as he speaks Spanish, but he is supposed to speak more and more Spanish as the year progresses.

Luckily, my other classes are not taught mostly in Spanish. My 2nd grade math is taught in English. My 6-8th grade learning disabilities math is taught in English. The after-school homework help is taught in English, unless the student I am working with needs language help or has poor English skills.

In other news, I kind of want a wheelbarrow. I don't need it yet (not til this summer maybe, if even then), but it would be pretty fun. I'd be like Nicole on ANTM who used to bring a rusty wheelbarrow to school instead of a backpack.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wedding Bells and Bongos

I had a good weekend. Friday afternoon I hopped on the Northfield Metro Express. That took me to the airport, where I got on the light rail and headed downtown. I walked across the river (Like Jesus, you ask? No, there was a bridge involved) and went to meet Mom at the Picosa nightclub, where there was a live salsa band playing. We didn't do any dancing, but I certainly enjoyed watching everyone else dance. The best dancers there were Eugene the bouncer and the hostess. They were really happy to be dancing, and it seemed they danced together a lot while working. She also danced with a couple of the regulars and the dance instructor while Eugene was making the rounds, but she seemed to be more comfortable dancing with Eugene. It was fun.

The next morning, I got up and went to Anoka to catch the 852 to downtown Minneapolis again, this time to meet my brother at 4th st and 1st Ave. However, he went to 4th st and 1st ave on the other side of the river. Havoc. It took us about an hour and a half to find each other. Anyway, we then headed to my dads house, stopping at Dunn Bros to use their wifi, then the liquor store so I could buy some champagne for Dads and CVS so brother could pee.

Then we went to Dad's and Stepmom's (oh man, she's no longer Dad's Whatever!) for their wedding. It was a nice backyard ceremony, about 20 people there. Their pastor was a bit of a weirdo. They found him on the internet... Anyway, the ceremony was good. They were both a bit nervous. Dad talked really fast and Stepmom messed up and laughed a lot. She acts drunk when she's nervous. Dad gets really serious when nervous.

After the ceremony, everyone had lunch and drank a lot and there was a bonfire and a lot of cigarettes and stories and catching up. I saw friends of Dad's I haven't seen since I was a little kid. Brother and I talked to our new Grandma and Uncle and Aunt. The bees were everywhere, but no one got stung. Brother and I decided we should leave soon when Big Joe and Dad started pretending to make out. Usually it's Dad's twin who pretends to make out with Dad, but he's been sober for 8 months. Kudos to you Uncle Gray! Keep it up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What an Awkward Relationship

Today when I was getting dressed, I pulled a random t-shirt out of the drawer and put it on.

I should think about what I'm wearing to class. The t-shirt on top of the pile on the right was my VDay t-shirt.

My cute little Japanese polisci prof asked my about it at the end of class. "What is VDay stand for? Is it Valentine's Day?"

I stood there awkwardly, the rest of class was also standing there awkwardly. "Um. It actually stands for Vagina Day..."
"WHAT? Why?" She was shocked and amused.
"It's a movement to stop violence against women."
"But why vaginas?"
"I guess female anatomy is usually portrayed as negative and weak, so they use vaginas to empower women through reclaiming their anatomy." I started inching toward the door, desperate to escape the conversation and to get to my next class which is an 8 minute walk away and I had 9 minutes left before class started.
"There's isn't a DickDay is there? You always tell me the weirdest words!"

She was, of course, referring to the week before, where in a discussion about gender presentation, I mentioned the genderfuck movement (a movement that intentionally challenges social ideas of gender through gender presentation and behavior). She was also shocked and amused at that.

It's probably a good thing she's not a traditional Japanese woman. She is in her 30s and doesn't want to get married and have kids, which she seems to be struggling with a bit. I think she feels pressured to be a mother, but she doesn't want to be and she feels guilt because of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Once in a lifetime!

I am so proud of myself.

Tonight, for the first time since I can remember, I finished my homework. All of my reading, done. All my writing assignments, done. All my latework, done. All by 6pm.

How did this happen?

I don't get it. I worked even less diligently than I normally do (farmville is distracting). I had just as much work to do. I got caught up on latework on Friday, I guess, but I still had my usual 100+ pages to read. I was done by 6.

Maybe it's because my roommate was working most of the day. : )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Lack of Language

I wish I spoke Spanish. At home, there were very very few people who spoke Spanish as their first language. If I heard it, it was a high school student speaking it to their friends with an atrocious accent. Ergo, I chose to learn French in school.

I wish I had taken both. I am glad I know some French, but 90% of my neighbors and many of my coworkers speak Spanish as their first language. Most speak English well, but prefer to speak in Spanish. Much of the time, I can hear their conversations that they have outside because my windows are open. The only people I can understand are the two girls who play double dutch in the parking lot, because their chant is in English.

One of them was very upset today, though. I would put her at 11 or 12 (that age...). I was coming back upstairs from bringing out the recycling and she came down the stairs sobbing with a bag of garbage. I'm guessing she didn't want to take it out and her mom made her. She rushed by so fast, I didn't get a chance to ask if she was all right. She's the oldest of three kids, from what I can tell. I think they live with their grandma?

I should probably just talk to them when I see them. Haha. I am sounding like a creep-o. I'm really not, I swear. If I was, I'd know where the cute man lives. I've only seen him in the laundry room.

Good times

Tonight, I enjoyed a leisurely evening. I watched some tv online, made dinner and put a movie in, resigned but not disappointed that my Friday evening would be spend alone. To my surprise, two of my friends called to see if they could come over.

So they popped over for a few hours and we played Mario Party on the N64. Apparently we're not very good at it. We lost to the computer every time. I'm good at a couple of the mini games, but not many. I came in last overall every time, although that made for entertaining endings where I got carried away by a fish or a cloud thing.

Also, the application on Facebook known as Farmville is addicting! I just added it this afternoon and I can't stop! : )

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An experience with the uncanny

It's really not that uncanny, but today I was walking along enjoying my day, admiring myself in the mirrors I passed.

I couldn't get it. Why was I looking so different today? Was it my hair? No, my hair was normal, just a little straighter than normal. My legs? No, those jeans aren't my good ones. Hm... It must be the shirt I'm wearing.

When did I get this shirt? It's nice, flattering.


My shirt was on backwards...

Well shit. Why does it look so good when it's on wrong? It looks fine normally, but it looks really good backwards.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What a weird night

I had a very strange evening.

As I headed up to campus for meetings, I decided to take a wooded path behind Ellingson that a friend told me about. As I walked up the nice, cool path, I heard some shouted voices and some stomping. As I got closer, a few dozen men ran toward me wearing nothing but teeny tiny running shorts. It was mildly entertaining. Then I kept walking, and there was one lagging behind, taking a piss. That made me giggle.

Then it was relatively normal for a while, went to the poster sale, ate some dinner, etc. Then I went to the library to print a reading and I checked my email to make sure my work orientation started at 6:30. It didn't. It started at 6. I looked at the clock. It was 6. Shit. I booked it to the CEL, and made it there in 3 minutes. Not too late, but now the meeting was going to end at 7:30, not 7 as I had thought.

I had a SANRA meeting at 7. Well, I was gonna be late for that now. So I got the meeting late, and I felt a little confused the whole time. After SANRA, we had the first GLOW meeting of the year. Around 60 people came. We normally have around 10 people. We played Shuffle-Your-Butt, and talked about GLOW.

Then I started walking home, and I ended up walking PDA home. PDA is President David Anderson, the president of St. Olaf. He's very intimidating. We chatted politely, but it was rather awkward. He doesn't really support GLOW very much.

Then I turned the corner, and a guy got off his bike, and the pedal fell off. Apparently I am normal because I don't carry a wrench around at 10 pm.

It was an interesting night, full of strange encounters and odd moments.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I am not a typical St. Olaf student. But in many ways, I am.

I shall rephrase: I am not the stereotypical St. Olaf student, but in many ways, I am.

Many professors, when speaking about St. Olaf students, generalize the student body to be a white, Christian, heterosexual middle-upper class dependent who eats in the Caf 2-3 times a day, lives in a dorm and is in a organization or a sport and sings well and wants to make the world a better place and will marry another Ole.

I've realized this stereotype exists more and more as I realize how few people actually fit that stereotype. It's not only professors, but students, alums, the general public all perpetuate it. There's nothing wrong with a person like that, but it simply isn't representative of the people at St. Olaf. Many Oles are at least a few of these things. I am white, a dependent and an org-involved idealist.

So far, I've had 8 classes, and in 4 of those classes so far, the professor has assumed everyone lives on campus. While 98% of Oles live on campus, only 75% of seniors do. I have quite a few juniors and seniors in my classes, so it's a little odd that profs assume we all live on campus.

Anyway, to get to the point: I feel a little alienated. I feel just as involved with campus as before (except I don't get to vote in Hall Council elections, which I don't care at all about), but I feel like I am somehow different in the eyes of Olaf Society. I am not a regular Ole. I never was, but I started off not being a regular Ole, and now it's different because I'm less regular (decaf?) than before. I am much happier living off campus, but it's still an odd feeling.

Maybe it's because I don't have a sense of community here at the apartments that I had before in the Alphabet House. Maybe I should learn Spanish and start watching soccer. I'd fit in then. : )

Friday, September 11, 2009


"I have one picture in my hands. This picture represents the one who will stay in the competition to become America's Next Top Model..."

This is one of my favorite TV shows. I also like The Office and LOST a lot. I have seen every ANTM episode. It's such an interesting, entertaining show. I have absolutely no interest in fashion, and very little sense of it. Maybe the narcissist in me is jealous of these young women who get to have pictures taken of them a lot. I know I will never be one of these women (unless I go up or down 6 sizes for some reason), but they're so fascinating. Most of them are normal people who decided to try out. They're all beautiful, but not classically so. They have unique features, such as large eyes, small foreheads, etc. that make them unusually beautiful. It's fascinating.

The show doesn't really perpetuate stereotypes either. Women with eating disorders are not allowed on the show (or are taken off the show and provided with help), and many of the contestants don't fit the stereotype of a model. There have been a few Ivy Leaguers and many other college graduates. Some are mothers, some are transgender or gay, others are blind, epileptic, burn victims or have Asperger's. Many are just really odd. There are always a few nutjobs per cycle. I think part of it is to make the cycle interesting, and part because models with personality impress Tyra more.

Tyra is pretty awesome. She's like Oprah, only not as great as Oprah (yet?). I have a lot of respect for those two. They do great things for young girls and women. I don't think Oprah can be replaced by Tyra, but Tyra is still pretty awesome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's my birthday!

Today I turned 21. : )

It was a pretty uneventful day, aside from the plethora of facebook notifications and random well-wishes via phone, text and hallway run-ins. It was the co-curricular fair today (the day people can walk around and sign up for organizations), and I'm a leader in three organizations, so I was pretty busy.

I chilled at the apartment til 12:30, when I went and made buttons for a few hours. Cute gay buttons that say "I can't even think straight!" "Closets are for clothes. Really fabulous clothes." and "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" We made probably 250 buttons.

Then I tabled for the Gender and Sexuality Center for the most of the time, but I tabled GLOW! for the last half hour. I also stopped by the newly created SANRA (Society of Atheists, NonReligious and Agnostics), of which I am VP. We made it last night via email. : ) Hopefully it lasts longer than Atheist and Agnostic Society (AAS), which died pretty much when it was born two years ago.

Then my friends and I went to Hogan Bros and got my free hoagie and soda. I gave the soda to Katie and bought a beer. It was gross, but it's my 21st birthday and Hogan Bros serves beer. Then we walked around The Defeat of Jesse James Days and played games and ate fair food.

Now I'm gonna finish homework and watch ANTM. : )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of Class

Today was our first day of class. I got up at 8am, and packed a lunch and breakfast and headed up the hill. I got my free birthday cookie from the Cage (I wasn't planning on being on campus tomorrow, my birthday, but it turns out I will), and ate breakfast and read the paper. I checked my email and hung out with Katie during Chapel.

After that relaxing morning, I took the plunge and am now in the full swing of school and all the hectic activities that go with it. 10:45 I have Anthropologic Theory, which seems like a fun and interesting class. At 11:50 I have Russian and Eurasian Politics, which also seems like an interesting class. At 12:55 I have Women in Politics in Asia, which I think will be a very different Political Science class than any other I have taken. At 2 I have Intro to Women's Studies, which will be fun and exciting and relaxing.

All of my professors are amazing. Tom Williamson, my Anthro prof, is a favorite of most students of the department. This is my first class with him. He seems really awesome. We listened to a clip of "This American Life" about talking to kids. He is funny and easy to listen to.

John Patrick Dale (MCKA Paddy Dale) is from Liverpool, went to Essex and the University of Moscow and started teaching at St. Olaf with a focus in Soviet Politics in 1988. Bad timing. So he switched his focus to Russian and Russian satelites politics, and have focused on Central Europe as well. He is so entertaining and endearing. He is the prof leading the trip abroad I am doing in January to Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia.

Nanaho Hanada is the new visiting professor for the political science department. She's from Japan, but she went to college in Montana and Ohio. Her hometown, Osaka, has 8 million people. The colleges in Montana, Ohio and Minnesota do not. She is super cute and peppy. And humble. She laughed at herself endearingly. "I was a gymanast. What happened to me?"

Nancy Thompson is such an endearing weirdo. She giggles at seemingly random moments (she giggled at the spelling of my name, for example). She says really weird things in really weird ways. I like her. She's an art history professor, if that helps explain anything. Her hair is fuzzy and unkempt and her glasses are thick and her clothes seem to just happen to be there, like she doesn't even notice them.

Anyway, after classes, I ran down Thorson hill and home to meet Chris, the guy who installed our internet. Turns out the internet cable got ruined when they replaced the sod and sidewalks, so they've laid a cable for us today and will come back and bury it next week. We are getting my new modem and router (free after rebate!) in the mail soon, so we can return the rental.

Then I ran back up the hill for a GLOW coordinator meeting, and am now waiting for the GSC leaders meeting.

Yay busy school!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Summer of Love and The History Boys

In the boredom at my apartment from having neither TV nor internet yet (I didn't even bring reading books!), I have been watching movies. It's a very nice evening activity. I suppose I could play N64 when I run out of movies, but our internet is getting hooked up Wednesday afternoon. Which is the night the new cycle of ANTM premieres, so we damn well better have TV!

Anyway, My Summer of Love is a fantastic movie. It's about 2 young British women who are on school holiday and meet, and find, in each other, escape from their live. Tamsin is a rich girl who wants excitement and to be away from her family. Mona is a poor girl who wants to get away from her born-again brother. It gets pretty f-ed up. It sounds like a love story where they will be devoted to each other until family tears them apart, but they tear themselves apart.

The History Boys is a British film about getting into Oxford. A group of 8 young men get excellent marks on their exams, and spend an extra semester preparing for their entrance exams and interviews. The characters are interesting and deep (and hormonal), the dialogue witty and meaningful and smart. If you have trouble following fast dialogue, you will be bored. If you need action in the movies you watch, you will be bored. If you like learning, or at least appreciate education, you will enjoy it.

A surprise!

Well, as I walked to Fireside to check my mail today between work shifts, I ran into my friend Mathmat (his name it Mat, he's good at math). He is a JC in in Mohn (the awkward dorm, in both name and aesthetics) this year. He somehow got the information that one of my classes had been canceled!

Thanks for letting us know, Registrar.

So, now I think I will be able to add that Statistics concentration! Golly! Am I overambitious? Or do I just like to get credit for majors that apply to me for classes I would take anyway?

If the prof allows me to add the class, I will take Statistical Modeling instead of The Arab World (my prof didn't get her work visa approved, so she is stuck at home in Jordan instead of teaching us in Minnesota). Stats 272 allows me to take Research Design next spring, and 2 other classes my senior year. I just have to talk to her and see if my AP Calc credits count toward Calc 1 in the concentration.

The class has a long waiting list. I guess I shall take a political science class instead: Women in Politics in Asia. Never mind, no stats concentration...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Work work work

Today, I woke up at 5:05.

It was really early. My weekend newspaper wasn't even delivered yet! I got up before the newspaper was delivered. I don't think I've ever done that before.

I got ready, and took a brisk walk to school (it's a 15 minute brisk walk while cutting through the football field, which may not actually take any time off. I slowly strolled up to campus in 22 minutes yesterday). It was still dark and very cool, but not cold.

I got inside Buntrock and oh man, it was so warm! I just broke out in a sweat, and had to wipe my face with a paper towel before putting on my visor.

Then I spent 8.03 hours setting up serving stations, making sandwiches and changing out desserts for work. The hard work was inside, the easy work was outside, but it was hot!

Still, money!

Now, I'm going to go and pay my rent. : ) We get internet on Wednesday.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Apartment

Yesterday, I finished moving in to my new apartment. It's a nice place. Our living room is bare-looking at the moment, but all we have is a coffee table, a couch and a TV on a small table with an N64. We're getting another couch on Monday, and an antenna for the TV hopefully soon. My roommate's S.O. is allergic to dogs, and our couch has a light coat of dog hair on it. Poor guy. He had to change clothes after he helped us shove it up to our apartment.

My room is all put together. These are some pictures. When the living room and kitchen get figured out, I'll put pics of up those, as well.

This is my desk area, including my balance ball/chair.
This is my bed/futon, including my finishedt-shirt blanket. Yay! I finished it!
And my dresser and bookshelf. See the swords? My dad gave those to me yesterday, too. I managed to get them on the wall, balancing precariously on thumbtacks. Or pushpins? I don't know what they're called. Like my hula hoop? : )

Now I have to pay bills, too. Suck... yay adulthood?

I start work tomorrow. 6:30-2:30. Good times......

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Not To Do With Chickens

When one owns a flock or chickens that are allowed to roam around during the day and are locked up at night, do not lock them away too late at night. They will fall asleep somewhere they're not supposed to. When you try to rouse them, they will be stupid.

If you try to carry a chicken to where it is supposed to be, it will flap to try to get away from you and then fall to the ground, completely disoriented. It will then lay there for a good minute or two, trying to go back to sleep. Its instincts will kick in eventually and it will go where it is supposed to.

If you push a chicken off, the same thing will happen, only it will fall rather heavily to the ground in an uncontrolled fall. You might worry for a few minutes if it has broken it's neck.

If you try carry a chicken by its legs instead of its body, it will fall asleep on your arm once it has secure footing. Your arm will be scratched up. Once a chicken has a secure footing, it does not like to let go.

If you poke a chicken awake, take away the rest of its flock, and hope it goes down too because you're secretly scared of it, it will eventually go down. It will walk in the wrong direction for two minutes, try to walk through chicken wire, and wander listlessly back to the coop.

If it weren't so dark, it'd be funny to watch. Unfortunately, I couldn't see them very well. I could sure feel the scratches, though. They weren't deep and have already faded.

BTdubs, blanket finished! Moving day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My jaw hurts.

It sucks.

I think it's partially from my wisdom teeth moving around and screwing up all the pain I suffered through when I had braces. Also, I've been clenching my jaw a lot (probably from stress), so I think that's part of it.

I want to make a dentist appointment, but our dental insurance changed to Lincoln Financial, and I can't find a list of dentists anywhere on their website, so I don't know where I can go to get my teeth looked at, or my wisdom teeth removed. Silly insurance companies.

If I knew anything about how the health care industry or the economy worked, I would have a really strong opinion about it!