I lost three elections today. B-side captain, social chair, and alumni sec. I'm glad I ran though, and I was nominated for some stuff that I didn't try for because I didn't think I would do a good job, but being nominated was nice. I'm already kind of pumped for next season, I'm not going to lie.
I swam twenty lengths today. I feel like Echo, it helps me be my best. I kind of ruined it with my late night cheesy bread, but I felt virtuous for a few hours there. Besides, I'm studying for finals, eating crap late at night is part of the process. Swimming was nice though, I'd like to do it more often. It's another example of things I feel comfortable doing at Smith that I didn't at Geneseo. It's a long list, including wearing party tops with soccer shorts because I need to do laundry. I'm a pretty bad swimmer, and I have to admit, I was swimming backstroke because I was breathing really hard and would have drowned if I had attempted front crawl. It was my first time swimming in a long time though, I'll presumably improve if I stick with it.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Looking at pictures from Geneseo rugby Alumni Weekend, I know I made the right choice. And I know how smug that sounds, but this was not what I wanted from my college experience. It is a good song though, I love how all the Smithies love it in a totally ironic way.
Friday was Farm Day. Our head coach Ben went to Yale, but now he's a farmer, a decision that I'm sure his parents had some trouble dealing with. Not that I don't appreciate farming, farmers, and farms, but I think it's an unconventional career path for a Yale man. It is an adorable farm though, with goats, cows, chickens, and sheep. I even got to hold a lamb, and I caught a chicken, something that if I recall, gave EGA some trouble. We had a short scavenger hunt, and then had a team dinner in the barn. It was a nice evening. I had tickets for The Decemberists, but we didn't get back in time. It's ok though, they'll be back, and I don't love their new album anyway. I'm glad I went to Farm Day, I like doing stuff with the team.
Saturday was The Rescue of Joseph Kony's Child Soldiers, so I caught an early bus to Boston. I ended up going by myself, child soldiers can't compete with a rugby match and Senior Ball, but I'm pretty independent. I never have a problem going off on my own, I do SCA, I explored Paris by myself for the most part, this was just another solo adventure. I chose not to focus on the alone part, and have a good time and use it as an opportunity to meet new people. Sarah M. and her boyfriend met me at South Station, and we all went out to lunch in the North End. We found this little lunch place where the waiters jump in and out of windows to bring people their food, so that was fun. The windows were pretty high too, higher than my knees, it reminded me of the jumping drills we used to do at Geneseo. After lunch they walked me to my starting point, and I signed in and was officially Abducted. I was kind of early, so I sat on a wall and talked to some girls. I think I should probably get some TOMS, I had this whole long conversation with a girl about them, and I don't even own them. It makes me feel like a poseur. Anyway, I eventually found a few other people that had come by themselves, and so we sort of stuck together for the rest of the day. Around three thirty we started walking to the "LRA Camp". We all held onto a rope and walked along the Freedom Trail in silence. We actually got a decent amount of attention, but a lot of it was negative. One man yelled out of his window that we should be focused on freeing Palestine, and some toolish guy tried to debate with us about whether the war in Uganda is actually the longest running war in Africa. (When people asked us what we were doing we were supposed to say "We're trying to end the longest running war in Africa." but I don't know if it is true or not. The Falling Whistles people claim that the war in the Congo is the longest running war. Then again, they ripped off my $30, so I don't know if I trust them as a source.) I don't see why people felt the need to heckle the peace protesters, but they did. The main event was on the Boston Common. When we got there we handed over our family pictures, and started writing letters. It was pretty cool to see all the people that came out, my friend Josh estimated that there were about a thousand people there. It was a pretty young crowd too, there were some parents, skewing the mean age, but it was mostly high school kids. I felt old. Aside from letter writing and a little art project there weren't any planned activities. We sat on the lawn and talked for the most part. At one point there was a massive game of quackadilly that lasted for a good forty five minutes. We had probably five circles within the main circle, since whenever people got out they would go into the middle and start a new game.
John Kerry and Ted Kennedy didn't show, like big jerks. They sent an intern that clearly didn't have a clue. We had to be polite about it, but I heard the event coordinator talking about it after and he was furious. It was a big event, they should have come in person. We got some media coverage, but the news stations actually asked us to stop calling because so many people were on the phone trying to get the media to come out. I talked to a couple of student reporters though, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. At least someone came out to cover the event. I think it was newsworthy.
Later in the evening we actually had a former member of the LRA come and talk to us. It was really sad. He goes around to campuses lecturing, but he still got very emotional talking about his experiences. It's awful, but I had a hard time understanding what he was saying. His English isn't great, and he was choked up, but I got the gyst. That was probably the best part of the event. There was also a sing-along, but that was actually pretty painful. I hate being that person that thinks they're too cool to sing along, but singing "Imagine" when you only know like one and a half verses is not ok. It is only made worse when it is being attempted by nine hundred people, all starting at different times, singing different parts.
The event broke up around ten when Justin Masterson showed up. He was pretty hilarious actually, he said that he supports our cause and thinks that all children should get to play for the Red Sox. Because that's clearly what child soldiers need. He didn't have a clue, but the Red Sox had just beaten the Yankees, so I was impressed that he showed at all. And I got to shake his hand. He certainly is tall and bald.
Sarah came to meet me at the Commons to save me from getting lost and needing to be rescued (again), and we took the T back to her apartment. Tim had told her to make sure she had beer in the house, since I would need one after playing child soldier all day, but I was more about the amazing frozen yogurt she had gotten me. (Strawberry apricot. Yum.)
Today has been pretty low key. I had an endless bus ride, and then, because it was a beautiful day, I stayed in my room "working" (sleeping). It was the Comstock Senior Banquet tonight, so I worked a little later than usual because they were shorthanded. The theme was Moulin Rouge, so all the girls were in fishnets and top hats, it was quite a sight. Scrubbing pots was incredibly hot work, so I took a brief break in the walk-in refrigerator like in Mostly Martha. It was raining when I got off work, and it smelled wonderful, like summer. I'm feeling really good about life as long as I don't think about the next two weeks. Soon it will be summer, and even if it won't be the Dollhouse-esque experience I would like (running, yoga, bonsai cutting class), it will be nice.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
see the Northern Lights
have a baby
go to Uganda
learn to drive
work in a bakery
learn basic medical skills (how to put in an IV, give a shot, CPR, etc.)
own a dog
kiss someone in the rain
live on a sailboat (for at least a week)
do a historical reenactment
jump off of rocks into (deep. very deep. verified as deep) water
see the Pyramids (because I have a hard time really believing they're real)
have a signature recipe that people ask me for
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Smith rugby does something called Big Sibs, where a new player is assigned to an older player. We didn't do that at Geneseo, so I don't really get it. My roommate had a Big Sis when she pledged her sorority, and that seemed like another way to haze her, she had to memorize her family line and be ready for quizzing at all times. I don't think this is like that, but I'm not sure. I know that Big Sibs on rugby have some power to boss their littles, they get to share their water and whatnot, but because there isn't any hazing here I am at something of a loss. It's also unclear who gets to be a big, there are a lot of new vets that are freshmen, can they be Big Sibs for new upperclassmen players? It seems wrong to graduate before your Big. I got a clue about mine last night, she put a note in my mailbox. I guess I'm supposed to guess her identity. "Hardly anyone calls me by my given name.." That narrows it down to 90% of the team, everyone goes by last names. I have theories, but I need more clues. I hope I get another today. I know it isn't a senior, so that narrows it down a little. I don't have any strong preferences really, I only dislike one girl on the team, and she's graduating. I don't even really mind the president, despite our spat at Beast. It isn't her though, she's one of the few people that goes by her given name. I like having a little mystery, I'm glad they're drawing it out instead of just announcing it at dinner the other night.
Monday, April 20, 2009
We had a social practice today to celebrate Beast of the East. I'm glad Smith does social practices, it was something I really liked at Geneseo. It's slightly different, there wasn't a drinking component, we just went out for wings. Not that I'm complaining at all. I love early evening weekday beer pong as much as the next girl, but this was nice. We ate a lot, and hung out, but these things never last as long as I would like. We were supposed to get our Big Sibs, but we didn't. I'm curious about who I'm going to get, but I also suspect it will be someone that got stuck with me because they have to have someone and I was the only rookie left. I can't help the self-doubt, it's just the way I'm relating to the team.
The car ride back was depressing. One of our props apparently has parents that really lean on her about losing weight, and they're making her do weight watchers this summer, so this is her last summer that she's going home. She's a first year too, which makes me feel so babyish that I go home when she's going to get an apartment. But the point is we then got into a weight conversation, which is my least favorite of all conversations. I like to think that Smithies are slightly protected from all of the body image drama, girls walk around in the "Love Your Body" shirts all the time, and it's a really safe environment, but it still reaches us. And that makes me incredibly sad, especially when first years talk about how fat they are and how they starve themselves the day before weigh-ins. But then at the same time I check my watch and feel relieved that we ate so early, because now I can digest and have time to go to the gym and work off some of my dinner. Because I have been feeling really self-conscious about the way I look, especially because I bought a new bathing suit last week. I just want to protect people from feeling bad about themselves, but I don't know this girl well enough to really talk to her about this. I'm sad that her parents are so sucky though, that sounds like it's really hard.
On a slightly cheerier note, Western Massachusetts Buffalo wings are awful. I knew they wouldn't be good when we walked in, the place did not smell delicious. The not-Buffalo style were ok, but the Buffalo were not good. I took one bite and then just put it down on my plate. Spicy doesn't mean good, it was all power and no finesse.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I sometimes wish I could keep secrets. It's an important social skill, and something I'm going to need to do in my chosen field. At the same time though, I don't like having secrets of my own. I like talking about things. It seems like most of the time it's better to talk about things than not. And I don't mean to say that people should always say whatever is running through their minds, there's nothing wrong with tact, but I feel like it's often better to say something instead of just carrying it around.
I want to be on the selection committee for the rugby team. I actually approached both coaches this weekend with suggestions, but I'm not on the committee, and so it was pretty pointless. I think I had reasonable points (one girl's parents had come to watch, one was a senior. They're both good players that put in the time and effort and deserved to play. Neither one would have hurt the team if he had put them out, and they probably would have helped. I hate it when coaches don't sub. Especially since we had all come out, giving up our weekend, and in the end I don't think it matters whether we win or not, we're there to have fun and play rugby. All of us. Except me, I wasn't there to play rugby, I've mentally checked out for the season.) I like our coaches, but they don't sub enough, and it pisses me off. I actually got into it a bit with the team president, she said she would quit if the team gave preference to seniors, but I think that's incredibly babyish. Lots of seniors didn't get to play in the tournament, and they aren't going to get another chance. Most of them aren't planning on playing after college, and it's an important tournament with a lot of sentimental value. Besides, if everyone plays as a senior then everyone gets a turn eventually. While we were having this argument her girlfriend was waving her hands at me and shaking her head, clearly signally for me to cut it out and not pay attention to her, but I don't see what the problem is with sharing playtime. I knew I wasn't going to convince her, this was the girl that wouldn't give someone else a chance to play even though she is on crutches. She is convinced that the team is better off with her gimping along than someone else scrumhalfing. I mean c'mon, that's selfish and shortsighted, she's a junior and she could have really hurt herself. Playing injured is just silly, and she'll be back at Beast next year anyway. It made me pretty mad, but it boils down to individualistic versus collectivistic thinking. The kicker is that individualistic thinking is assciated with better developmental outcomes. I think that's sort of sad, but you can't count on other people to not look out for themselves, so maybe it's best to look out for yourself. But then we're back to is it better to be optimistic and disappointed or pessimestic and pleasantly surprised, and I still say optimism is better.
I want to run for B-side captain so I can have some input on selections, but I know I won't win. The incoming president's (not the one I fought with, she's the old president) girlfriend is running, and I don't have any pull with anyone. Running would mean making a speech and then losing gracfully, and I don't feel like doing that. It's lame, but I don't want to run for something that I really want because I would be very disappointed if I didn't get it. I think I would do a good job, but the girl that is going to win will do a good job too. And the fact that I don't care how the team does as long as we play well and people have fun isn't a selling point for letting me help pick the teams.
This morning we had an early game, and when we got to the field it was all dewy and smelled amazing. I love that early morning country summer smell, it's so clean. I had a challenging weekend, but that morning smell was really great.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I went barefoot today to show my support and raise awareness for people that cannot afford shoes. It was interesting. Smith grass is very soft, but the sidewalks are much rockier than I had previously realized.
I honestly want to make the world better, but I am so invisible I don't know how I'm helping raise awareness at all. It is discouraging. People didn't even really notice that I wasn't wearing shoes. I think it's a vague gesture though, people possibly just assumed I am a dirty hippie.
I went for a short run with a girl from my child clinical psych class today. She's really nice, and afterwards we sat on rocks by the river and talked a bit. Some people were walking their white golden retrievers on the path, and the dogs jumped into the water to come say hi. It was glorious, I didn't even mind getting soaked by their enthusiasm. We also ran into an adorable puppy later, on the way to lunch. It was a good day for dogs. We got grab and go from Hubbard and ate lunch on the Washburn lawn, and a lot of people came and joined us. Andrea even showed up and gave me another hug. (The girl certainly hugs like she means it, I love it.) It was sunny and beautiful, and I felt really happy.
I'm not playing this weekend, and so my rugby season is effectively over. It's ok, this way I have the whole summer to get over my yips. Most of the girls are going to play in summer leagues, but I don't mind that I can't. Rugby is important, but I never wanted to take it to the next level really. I never go to national try outs, even when teammates do. I don't think I'll play after college. I love it, but it doesn't define me. I don't mind not playing this weekend. I'm still going to go and have fun. It was almost a relief when Ben announced the team and I wasn't on it, I had a bad week, and I don't think I would help the team. I can do better, and I'll show him that in the fall, but for now...it isn't that big a deal to me. I don't mind the chance to heal a little, people stare when I wear shorts, my legs look awful.
Monday, April 13, 2009
So things aren't set in stone, but I registered this morning. I'm taking Psychology of Personality, Learning and Behavior Change, Swahili I and II, Africa: Popular Health and Environmental Issues, and a nutrition class (if I can't get into Emergency Care. It was full, but I'm going to show up for the first class and try to get in). I'm feeling pretty good about things. It's a solid schedule, and I only have one day where class conflicts with rugby practice. I am meeting with the head of the Third World Development Studies department tomorrow to talk about my shiny new minor, and I'm taking care of my credit shortage. Now if I just need to find out where I'm living and I'll be all set. I really really want to live in Haven, Wesley, or Chapin. I'm probably going to have a roommate, but that's fine with me. I think it could even be a good thing.
Smith is really great.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I spent about 45 minutes today crying. Needless to say, counseling was a success. Well...sort of a success. It was nice having someone tell me that it's ok to be having a hard time at a new school, in a new state, trying to break into a famously cliquey org (seriously, everyone I've told about joining rugby has told me they're really cliquey. Where did this come from? Rugby is supposed to be friendly.), and doing all of this coming in during the middle of the year. It is hard, and I appreciated her acknowledging that. There's just something about therapy that makes me cry though, I don't know what it is. I went in and told her that I was feeling much better since I made the appointment, and then I just broke down. It was pretty exhausting actually, and then I had to go take a quiz.
The counselor suggested I take a more active role in making friends, and that I stop worrying that people are only being nice to me because I am the pathetic transfer. She told me I should talk to my HP if I'm lonely. I like my HP, but I'm really more focused on the rugby team. Today I suggested the rookies all do something together, but this idea was shot down. The girl I suggested this to said we should be all bonding as a team, and not separating off into groups. I think this is stupid for several reasons (A. We don't bond as a team anyway, so this would be bonding as opposed to not bonding, B. There is nothing wrong with having a tight rookie class, it's a good way for people to feel accepted as a part of the team, C. I'm not suggesting a coup, just dinner or watching one of Ben's rugby dvds. I don't think it would hurt anyone, D. The team is already so cliqued out it would be almost impossible to make it any more divided. We're playing the molecule game here) but I didn't press the issue. It was frustrating getting shut down while I was trying to do my counseling homework and set up something social, but I'm going to keep trying. With someone else tomorrow. I started with this girl because she reminds me of Dana, so I felt more comfortable, but she isn't Dana, so it was a false sense of security. It sounds really bad, but I could go for some good old fashioned hazing. Nothing deadly, but it brought the Geneseo team together really well. I don't see the harm in making a pong table or something. I don't know what I can do about rugby except be patient, but it's hard.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I miss yoga. And running. But mostly yoga. It's hard to justify more workout time when I'm in rugby practice for two hours every night, but I don't think I'm as active as I was before the season started. I want to go back to the hot yoga sometime in the near future, it makes me feel amazing. It's a short list of things that make me that peaceful. I think $12 is a fair price for the kind of deep contentment I'm talking about.
I reached out for UMass Invisible Children people. The roadies went to UMass Amherst, I feel like this is a lead. The Rescue is coming up soon, I'm getting really excited.
My brain feels wrung out. I called home too many times today to blog.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Every Wednesday night the rugby team goes to this gay bar in town called Divas. I had never gone before, I had never been invited, but last week one of the girls turned eighteen, and so there was a Facebook event, and I decided that this was the closest to a real invite that I was going to get. I'm so desperate for the team to accept me into their clique that I keep redrawing the line for what I'm willing to do, and so I redrew it and decided to go out on a Wednesday night, even though I have a 9 am Thursday class. Being invited to the bar is the easy part, pre-gaming proved to be a challenge. The Facebook event said to pre-game at your own discretion,
which pretty much meant you were on your own for getting alcohol. I was ok with that, but I didn't have anyone to hang out with before going, so I was going to have to walk over by myself and hope that people didn't leave for this mystery bar without me. It didn't seem worth it, but after a bracing phone call with my mom I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. I showered (with a brief fire drill interruption) and then watched Dirty Dancing until it was time to go. The rugger from my house actually came by to get me though, so I was included in pre-gaming activities, which made me happy. Divas is not actually very fun. I love a good drag queen as much as the next person, but $12 is a lot to pay for a cover for a bar where all the men are gay. I don't think I'm going to make a habit of going, and it made me a little homesick for the IB.
The best part of the evening actually came the next morning. I woke up to find the underage X's on my hands had transferred to my face, giving me a nice beatnik beard. It washed off (thank God) so I didn't have to go to class like that, but it gave me quite a start when I first looked in the mirror.