Random Life

So, I realize I have not written in a really long time. I guess I have been busy. Life catches up to you, and especially after my internship (and even during), I couldn’t find the time to get on here. It’s funny how much has changed since I arrived at college. And, especially since I returned after my internship. It’s weird how different I am. It was like after this farm job, I changed into someone else. Not necessarily bad, but it is almost scary how different I feel around others at my school. When I returned to school, I thought everyone seemed so different, and then I realized it wasn’t just them. It was me too. And, I am not sure if it’s that great, because it is almost like all of my friends and I are on different wavelengths. Is it possible to change so much in three months, so much to forget who you were, and then just not get anyone anymore? There is a sense of helplessness, I guess with this. I suppose it is normal, but it saddens me and makes me feel a little alone. Which is funny considering how far removed I was for three months. Maybe I just forgot how to interact with humanity! 🙂

I have made some progress here, though. I have organized a protest with some other students, and it has actually been very successful. Everyone, I am sure, knows what is going on with police shooting incidents. I helped organize something, and it has made me feel really empowered. Not only that, but I now work four jobs, which is really exciting. Who needs a social life anyway? Jobs galore and college all day every day. No problem!


My Last Day

Yesterday was my last day working at the farm. I spent three months working here in California as a part of the requirement to graduate from school. We have to complete four internships all four years of college, one every six months. This was my first, and I went all the way to the other side of the country to take on my first one. It honestly was a bit nerve-wracking, but when I got here, I was so overwhelmed with work, I had little time to be concerned about where I was and the new-ness of it all. And, now, here I am writing about my last day on the job, and how very soon, I will be back at school. My college runs on the quarter system, so I go to school year round. I can hardly believe that three months has passed since being here. It is truly mind-boggling and sad. The real bad thing is, is that I was counting down the days to leave. And, now that it’s done, I feel like I should stay here. I have friends here, and I have met such wonderful, fun-loving and truly hard-working people here. Here, there is no doubt that the people that I have worked with these past few months, have real grit. I mean, the kind of grit where you look at a person in true amazement, not the off-hand excitement where you say, “Wow! That’s great!” just to be polite. I mean, these people here are the kind of people that you look at and you have nothing really to say. How can you have anything to say to someone so utterly strong and obviously gritty?

Since being here, I think I have finally discovered myself. It is not just due to the people that I have met, but what I have done. I have had three months to myself. Three months to think about who I am and who I want to be. I have been completely alone during that time. I have had my co-workers and my bosses to keep me company, but really, it has mostly just been me by myself. I have wandered the farm, and thought about my life, what I want from it, what I struggle in it. I think this inner thinking came about due to a sweat lodge I was a part of about a month after I arrived here. Sweat lodges are magical things, and I really honestly believe that being a part of that process was the turning point. If my life were a story, that would be the climax, the point in which a character can never return to the “before.” In that lodge, my head never felt so clear. I was sleeping before, but now, I am awake. I see my life differently, and in that lodge, I actually for the first time felt the most like myself than I ever have. In other words, I feel like I was really the person that I am at my core once I was in that lodge. Never have I felt that way, but that lodge triggered something. Ever since then, it is like I am more aware and I am almost fearless. Every worry seems petty. The lodge coincided well with my work. Annie, my boss, once told me that a lot of people who pass through the farm are sometimes in search of healing, though they may not know it at first. I can easily say that I have changed. Working here, as a young woman, I have found my strength. Growing up, I was told I couldn’t do this or that. I was not strong enough. I was not good enough. I was not allowed to mow the grass because I would “cut off my leg.” I was not allowed to pick up heavy things, because I simply couldn’t. I am small-framed, and I guess that is where this assumption came from. Even on the farm, Jeff once told me to have someone help me pick up a 30 pound box of carrots. I told him that I could do it myself, but he did not listen, and told one of the other ladies to help me, to make sure I received help. When he left, I waved the woman off, telling her in Spanish, that I could do it just fine by myself. And, I did, no problem. But, see, I learned here, that people will always tell you, you can’t. I can’t get an English degree because I won’t get a job. I can’t learn to drive because I am too much of a nervous person. I can’t go to the college of my dreams because I can’t give them what they want. I can’t make the money, and I can’t b the perfect student. I can’t lift heavy things because I am a girl. I can’t have a boyfriend because I am too young and I am not strong enough. Actually, no. I say no. I can do things. I can mow, and I did. I didn’t lose a leg. I have a boyfriend who treats me right, and who I have no fear of. I can learn how to drive, and I have been doing great. I can carry carrots. I can carry 30 pounds, and 40 pounds, and 50 pounds. I can have three jobs and go to school full time and have friends and have fun all at the same time. Life has not limited me. The core of who I am tells me that I am strong enough. I am able. And, I have discovered this because these past few months the only person I have had is myself. My mom always said the only person you can ever rely on is yourself, because that is the only person who will be with you until the end. She is right, and I learned that here. I also learned how important people are too, however, I have learned that there are so many different people in this world, and they all offer so much. I have become attached to everyone I have met here. One of Annie’s friends, Laima, gave me a little rabbit figurine after I had my first lodge. She told me that the rabbit is my spirit animal. The rabbit is known for its fear. It runs away from the things it fears; that is how the rabbit survives. It lives its life running. But, it is also smart, and it listens. It listens well to the universe, and takes in all of what it has to say. Recently, I have been running into a lot of rattle snakes. I told Laima about this, how snakes terrify me, but that they are significant considering that rabbits are snakes’ prey. She told me that the snake is my transformative animal. Snakes shed their skin to start afresh. Laima believes that the snake is a symbol for my transformation, that I am shedding my skin, changing. I believe her. I am no longer afraid (of snakes, yes!). I feel refreshed from working here, and I am excited about the new possibilities that await me. I look forward to it. And so, with that, I am moving back to school, into a new dorm with a new roommate. I will start my college career over again, as a new person. I am more thankful now and more aware. I hope that in these next days, weeks, months, and years that I am able to keep the knowledge and understandings of myself with me. Because as I very well know, it is easy to lose sight of who you are and what matters most.

Welcome To California

So, I am finally here. I have started my first internship. I am currently working on a small organic farm in Northern California. I got here three days ago. It has been a very long, but contented three days. I never thought that rural California would seem far more country than good ‘ole TN, which I just left. I was there for spring break because that’s where my family lives. Anyway, the place is beautiful and hot. You have no idea how thankful I am for warm weather, despite the fact that my hands are sweating on these keys as I type this post in the attic of a barn. Yes, I said attic of a barn. That’s where I live actually. I live up here, and every morning I am greeted to brilliant sunshine streaming through my windows right across from my bed. I do not have a shower. I have a tub. I also have quite a few spider roommates. I watch them fight each other on the ceiling every morning when I wake. They sometimes travel to others’ webs and they will stop moving to try and feel the vibrations of their neighbors and testing if maybe they can make a snack of the smaller ones! I have been working some long days, but it is so worth it. I am really loving every second of it. Until later!

Room 408

Room 408

So, this is it. My empty dorm room. All my bags are packed and ready to go. I got my Spongebob blanket to sleep on for tonight. In the morning, I am taking a bus to home. Look how sad that part of my room is. The room actually echoes. I can hear every click-clack of my computer keys twice, as it bounces back to me. I am kinda sad. I probably won’t ever live in this room again. But, at least, I will be going on my internship really soon. I am going to be in California! I am super excited. But, that means I won’t see my friends for three months! I hate that!! Anyway, it is Bon Voyage, for now!

My Horoscope Today and New Developments on Oppression

 “There’s no need to stir up any more trouble than is necessary. The connections you cultivate are crucial keys to your success.”

So, I found it extremely ironic and fitting that part of my horoscope advised me to not “stir up any more trouble than necessary.” My article was issued in the school newspaper yesterday. Overnight, people got really turned up. I mean, I woke up and went to the bathroom to shower….is my dorm room neighbor staring me down? Hmmm…Oh, and then I hear whispers that people are talking about me. I am a celebrity. My boyfriend tells me that people are having a huge fight on Facebook. I don’t have one because I think it is overrated, but apparently people are accusing my boyfriend of sexually harassing me, that I would never write an article like that unless someone was forcing me to. I died laughing when I heard this. People here are ridiculous; they refuse to see what is right in front of them. This school and the people in it are OPPRESSIVE! I did not write that article for my health, nor did I do it because someone forced me to. I was actually inspired by my own will and the fact that all of my guy friends can say nothing without it relating back to them having male privilege. 

I have never felt so happy and wonderful in all my life. I don’t give a freak what people think or say, because I know I did the right thing. This morning a guy approached me – the guy who was the center of the shirtless issue and was “demonized” and told that he was exercising his male privilege – asked me as we were walking to class, “How does it feel to be Enemy #1 on campus?” My answer: “Great!! I don’t give a flip what people say about me!”

And, it’s going to stay that way. I opened people’s eyes, and you know what? People are siding with me.

Reflections and Chimichangas

Reflections on Myself and Chimichangas

I took this picture while hiking in the glen. Today, I miss my family. I got a call from my mom; she wanted to know how I made chimichangas. I used to make them all the time when I was home, and I made them a specific way. It’s funny when your mom calls you from home just to ask you how to make dinner, when it used to be the other way around. I have a great family. They support me through the worst and the best. Today, I have felt kinda down. I feel as if I do not have friends, somewhat based on the fact that I wrote a menist article and also this term has been especially busy. It’s almost as if my friends moved on without me once I became swamped. They did not take the time to hang out with me; they did not take the time to post encouraging things on my door when I was stressed, like I did for them. It is not that I expected them to do that, but more the fact that I thought I had really supportive friends. Remember The View? I posted an article about them a while back during winter break. Yes, well, just as ions dissociate in water, The View is no more. Whoopi, my used-to-be home girl traded me in for her roommate. Jen and Barb became so close that they no longer recognized that Whoopi and I were their friends too. Then, I posted an article about menism; it seems to me that there is some tension between us; Jen is a pretty strong supporter of feminism. She may have hear about the article; if not, she will soon! It should be published sooner or later! It just seems I am alone in the world. Despite this feeling of loss I have, there is a sense of pride about me too, I suppose. My mom sent me a really wonderful quote that resonated deeply with me:

“Sometimes loneliness is better than a fake friend.”

I feel like this is right. I am alone, and yet maybe that was for the better. Maybe, it was meant to be that way. Maybe now I can go on knowing that the people I thought as friends were never truly that. I do not know; I felt like we would be friends forever. I still occasionally speak to my friend from 5th grade, for goodness sakes! I never expected it to end like this, and for some reason, it feels all wrong.

And, so as I took this picture of my shadow, I felt like the shape of it was right. There I am among the trees, alone but still standing tall. If you look close, you can see my scarf across my shoulders fluttering in the wind behind me. I stand alone, and it is sad, and I wish that it was not like this. But, there’s a beauty in it, you know. There is a beauty in loneliness. To me, it feels like the color purple, deep, dark and rich and swirling and liberating….and sad. A sad beauty, the best kind.

I Loved Chemistry Until…

I Loved Chemistry Until...

Today. I loved chemistry until today. I used to be good at it. And then, I went to college. I went to college thinking I was going to be an Environmental Science major. Well, my chem teacher – the only one that teaches chem- (what can I say? I go to school of only 200 undergrads!) graduated from Harvard, so he has this snootiness about him. I mean, Harvard is pretty cool, but I think it went to his head a little, That’s not to say that I am completely blaming my new-found dislike of chem on him. (Actually… it is; I just wanted to say “new-found.” Is that a real hyphenated word? Are hyphenated words even real words??) Well, I have been working ridiculously hard in his class, and I am still struggling to complete his open-note (another one!), open-book (yes!), take-home (ok, it’s a little much; I get it!) test. The problem is that I feel as if he is not thorough enough. I had a wonderful teacher in high school who was a very difficult, strict woman and she taught with an iron fist, but man, I loved it! I used to salivate at even the thought of solving the enthalpy of reaction or using stoichiometry to ultimately find the limiting reagent. But, ugh, my Harvard teacher makes balancing equations feel like you are a first grader getting your first lesson in quantum physics. Oh Chemistry of my past, where art thou?

The Life of A College Student…

Just a sneak peak into the life of a college student: it is 12:30 AM. I am still working on homework, not exactly because it is due tomorrow, but more to help myself out later. Just a few minutes ago, I was helping my friend make a friendship bracelet out of colored string for a peace sign pendant. It is 12:34 AM. I am surrounded by chemistry notes, syllabuses that act as my modern version of the Bible, and a half-eaten poptart to help keep me awake. Currently, my room is a mess. Clothing is strewn everywhere, closed and open textbooks lying on the ground by my feet. A lone football lies in the corner of my room beside my stuffed Spongebob. I pulled off my sheets this morning to encourage myself to wash them today…they are still on the floor where I left them. It is 12:43 AM. I am not even tired. As a college student, you eventually become immune to exhaustion. Well, until it hits you the next day, and you are almost late to class. Ahhh, college!

Speaking My Mind!

As I mentioned in another post, I am a proponent of equality. If there is a feminism, there should be a menism. I wrote an article for the school newspaper declaring that there is a lot of oppression on this campus regarding “male privilege.” Well, last week, it seems someone leaked the fact that I wrote such an article, and I was addressed by a rep from our feminist group. I was told I would be demonized, that I would not have any friends, that I was wrong, etc. They wanted me to revise the article without the word “menism.” But, see that is them oppressing me again because I cannot say what I wish. I will say what I wish; I will not be silenced. I am tired of the fear, and I am tired of this inequality. I agree with the feminists to a certain extent, but they take it too far. It only ends up hurting their cause. I will post the “offending” article below:

Here at Antioch, we are lucky enough to have the privilege of expressing our beliefs and values. We have the ability to stand up for what we believe in and become passionate for the causes that strike our fancy or something that truly pulls our heartstrings. At Antioch, as a young woman, I recognize the importance of this, and it excites me that this college can give me the means to create social change for the causes that I believe in. In fact, this is why I chose to come to Antioch in the first place. However, I have found that sometimes it is a little difficult to express our own views. In all honesty, I have found that I am more afraid to speak up here. When one person’s or group of people’s beliefs begin to infringe on the rights of others, this no longer becomes a cause. It is now oppression. I realize that this may be a strong claim, but I have been here on campus long enough and have talked to enough people that I can safely say that many people on this campus are extremely uncomfortable expressing themselves because they do not wish to offend others. Yes, some things should not be said, but when it becomes the norm that no one is allowed to speak their mind, this is no longer a discussion over whether a comment is offensive or not. It becomes an issue of one group dominating all others.

This campus is full of feminists; in no way do I wish to offend or anger anyone on campus. In fact, I actually agree with many of the sentiments that the feminist group supports. I identify myself as female, and I sympathize with a lot of people out there. I agree that women need more of a voice and that in many ways, women are underestimated and are discriminated against due to the kind of society that we live in. However, I do not believe that it is right to take away other’s rights in order to promote the own self-interest of another ideology. This is where Menism comes in. Women at a young age are exposed to discrimination. Everyone does it without thinking. Maybe you have told a four-year old girl she is pretty. Surrounded by emphases on beauty, women grow up in a world that sexualizes her, and oppresses her in this way. On the other hand, men are told they need to be strong, that they cannot cry, and that they must take care of poor, submissive women. Men are oppressed too, because society portrays them as evil, unemotional, and superior over women. This is a stereotype. At Antioch, we are supposed to deviate from the stereotype, not add to it. Whenever a white male opens his mouth to speak, the tendency here is to shut him down because he is “white privilege.” Antioch also stresses diversity. If we hear the same opinions over and over again, how is this diversity?

I am a woman. I love that I can be represented. I enjoy this right as a human being. Men (especially white males) do not. Maybe people think that since in society men have all the power that Antioch should be different, but I think that it should be everyone has the right to be equal. If there is a feminism, why not a menism?  I am a woman, so I can talk about men’s rights. I will not be ostracized like a male would be if he wrote an article like this one. So, how is that equality?


Going Home…

My school is all year round, but I get two week breaks in between every quarter, which lasts about three months each. I am going home in about two weeks , and yet I still have so much stuff to do before then. I have two chem tests before then, a bio paper, maybe a bio test (?), some bio and chem labs, final exams, revisions to final papers, and catching up on some reading. Oh – and that Spanish project. Wow, two weeks. And you know, I am going home to working full time at my old job (Subway) before I leave on that internship to the big CA! I have a couple errands to run too, while I’m home. It will be a good break, I suppose.

I found a typewriter… which is so cool! It’s really old and dirty and broken in certain places, but I think it would be a lot of fun to revive it and make it my own. I have always wanted to have a typewriter. I am super excited about that. I feel bad for the thing actually; it’s really run down and it is obvious the previous owner did not take good care of it. But, it will be fun to fix it up. I also can’t wait to see my little sis; she is now taking yoga classes, and is so adorable. I always hated pigtails, but somehow on her, they are the cutest thing I have ever seen!