First, a story.
So, my first semester of my freshman year of college, I took this Intro to Women’s Studies class. The class met for five hours a week, one two hour session and one three hour session, and the breakdown of students was what I eventually discovered to be the typical sampling in any Women’s Studies class with no pre-recs at my mid-sized, southern Ohio state school. There were a number of girls who would become, or were already part of, the feminist advocacy groups on campus; there were a number of girls who would prove themselves to be opposed to feminism in both concept and practice, one of whom I distinctly recall giving a presentation on the merits of the “Mrs. Degree,” while my professor’s eye twitched in muted horror; there were a handful of girls and at least one guy I’d come to know later through assorted campus queer groups; and there were, of course, the three to six dudebros, self-admittedly there to “meet chicks,” all but one or two of whom would drop the class after the first midterm. At eighteen, I was myself a feminist in name but not in practice—I believed in the idea behind feminism (which is, for the record, that people should be on equal footing regardless of gender, not that we should CRUSH ALL MEN BENEATH THE VICIOUS HEELS OF OUR DOC MARTENS GLORY HALLELUJAH), but I didn’t actually know anything about it. I could not identify the waves of feminism. Intersectionality and how the movement is crap at it were not things of which I was aware. Never had I ever encountered the writings of bell hooks. In a lucky break, you do not need to know about the waves of feminism, or know what intersectionality is, or have read bell hooks to read this essay! (But you should read bell hooks. Everyone should read bell hooks. bell hooks is FUCKING AWESOME.)
The first couple of weeks of this class were about what you’d expect. The professor was fun and engaging, but she was not exactly pulling out the eye-opening stops on our wide-eyed freshman asses. There were handouts. There were selections of the textbook for reading. There was a very depressing class about domestic violence, abuse, and rape that was the typical rattling off of terms and horrific statistics that everyone winced at, but that nobody really internalized. The dudebros snickered in the back corner, grouped together like they would be infested by cooties if they spread out, occasionally chiming in with helpful comments like, “Dude, the lady on the back of this book is smoking,” and getting turned down by each girl in the class, on whom they were hitting in what I can only assume was a pre-determined descending order of hotness. The queer kids, myself included, huddled in the other corner making pithy comments. The up-and-coming active feminists glared at the bros, who leered back, and the Mrs. Degree-friendly crowd mostly texted under their desks and made it very clear that they were only there for humanities credit. Again, it was a fairly typical southern Ohio state school class full of fairly typical southern Ohio state school freshmen. Nobody was super engaged, is what I am saying here. Nobody, myself included, was really eating it up with a spoon.
And then one day, my professor opened the class with, “So, who here has seen Beauty and the Beast?”
This is kind of a cool question, but its usual implication is a little offensive. When people ask, “What do you do?” they usually mean, “What is your job?”
Luckily for me, “I’m a student” is an acceptable answer, otherwise I would be stuck with “Nothing” or “I wash dishes.” This is nowhere near representative of what I do.
Right now, to be honest, I play sudoku and kakuro a lot, as well as occasionally doing math or chemistry. I talk to people. I eat. I smashed about fifty fruit flies yesterday. But I’m getting into college life, and I’m starting to be more productive. I write. I play piano. I sing when I listen to music. I read. I knit while watching TV. I shoot people with nerf guns. I climb trees. Oh, and once a week I wash dishes for 3 1/2 hours.
My point is, my job says nothing about who I am or what I do with my life. This is important because so many people seem to think that their job defines them, but it doesn’t. Everything you do and think and dream defines you. A job can be a dream, a mission, a hobby, or simply a way to make money so you can do what you want with the rest of your life. Whatever your job is, it’s hardly ever a satisfactory answer to “What do you do?”
I have long thought that forks are essentially useless. Yes, you need to use forks in order to be part of a well-mannered society, but when the only goal is to eat efficiently without making a mess, you don’t need a fork. The main functions of a fork are to scoop, stab, and cut (sometimes). Spoons are better at scooping than forks, since they’re solid. Knives are better at cutting, since they’re sharp, but a spoon will work just as well as a fork if you’re too lazy to get a knife. Stabbing is the real problem. Spoons can’t stab, and unless you have a steak knife (which would be so much easier), your eating knife probably has a blunt end. However, the vast majority of the time scooping works just as well as stabbing, and picking things up with chopsticks is a perfectly viable substitute.
To prove my theory, I eschewed forks for the month of September. I also managed to eat everything I wanted without difficulty. Most things are scoopable, and it doesn’t make a difference whether you use a fork or spoon. However, there were a few things that forks are useful for:
1. Long pasta
Short pasta is easy to eat with a spoon, but linguine is pretty much impossible. That said, eating spaghetti has always been a challenge for me, even with a fork. I had two solutions for this.
One, use chopsticks. I’ve grown up knowing how to use chopsticks, so it’s a practical option for me. By picking up the noodles with the chopsticks, I was able to eat pasta easier than with a fork, though there was an intermediate step of having pasta hang from my mouth before folding them in with the chopsticks. This happens with a fork for me anyway, so not much lost.
The second option is to cut the noodles with the side of your spoon, then eat it like short pasta. More prep work, but much easier.
2. Meat like steak
I don’t actually like eating meat like this, but I did imagine the difficulties. I’m pretty sure it would be possible to hold down the meat with another knife and cut it, but a fork is your best option here. Or you could just bite off the meat like a hamburger.
Though I didn’t have steak, I did have ham and lots of fish, all of which I was easily able to cut with my spoon.
The conclusion of my month-long study is this: unless you’re eating steak, forks are unnecessary for eating.
Another note: nobody asked me why I wasn’t using a fork the entire time. It doesn’t look that weird to eat everything with a spoon, so even the social aspect isn’t too major.
I know what a zombie feels like when it is brought back from the dead, or at least halfway. After flying to California in the morning and being exhausted, I took a nap in my grandparents’ guest room. Then the phone rang. It was loud, shrill, annoying, and entirely unexpected. I sat bolt upright and gasped like a fish, feeling like I was having a heart attack.
This is my worst experience with phones, but I also hate them for other reasons:
1. They interrupt you. I can’t function with interruptions, so I tend to get upset at things like phones, facebook messages, and my mom. Even if you aren’t being interrupted, there is the potential of interruptions to make you nervous. If you’re expecting a call, just give up. You’re not going to have any peace until the person calls. This is called “phone anxiety,” and I read an article about it yesterday. I realize the article talks about slightly different issues, but the premise is still the same.
2. They are either too quiet to hear or irritatingly loud.
3. I have a clock radio in my room which makes funny beeping sounds when it picks up signals from my phone. Sometimes it means I have a text, sometimes not. Regardless, I have to endure periodic beeping unless I turn my phone off.
4. They are addictive. My mom won’t let me leave the house without my cell phone, I have to call her when I get to work, am leaving work, and if I’m leaving work late. If I go to the neighbor’s at night, I have to call to verify I wasn’t mauled by coyotes. I’m serious. She actually makes me do that.
I realized I’m not posting much, but I have some pretty cool writing I’ve done over the years for school (namely, German stories). Since I am now done with high school, I’ve decided to start posting some of my works. It’s also kind of cheating. However, I do have to translate stuff from German, so don’t bash me too hard.
This is a fairy tale I wrote for German class last year, incorporating many of the themes of the original Grimm’s fairy tales. If you haven’t read those, you really should, although be warned: they are much more graphic.
There was once a princess who liked to sit in trees. One day, she heard ravens.
One raven said, “Have you heard that the Goldenstone has been found?”
“No,” another raven answered. “Where is it?”
“What’s the Goldenstone?” a third raven asked.
“It’s the biggest fruit in the world!” the second raven said.
“It tastes like heaven and is gold like the sun,” the first raven said.
“And where its seed is planted grows a beautiful tree with golden leaves and a silver trunk,” the second raven said.
“We should get this Goldenstone!” the third raven said.
“No, we cannot,” the first raven said sadly. “It can only be picked by a human.”
“A pity,” said the other two ravens.
“I could do it,” the princess said. “I would like this tree in my garden.”
“No, you could not,” the first raven said. “It would be too dangerous for you!”
“Yes, there are obstacles. Fire and Earth, Water and Air, Light and Dark,” the second raven said.
“You would die!” said the first raven.
The princess was determined. “I am going.”
The third raven flew to the princess. “I shall go with you,” he said.
The two went west. They came to a river. It was wide and deep, but it looked clean.
“Oh!” the princess said. “What a beautiful river!” She went nearer, and the river turned into lava.
“How do I go across the river?” the princess asked.
“There is no way over,” the raven said. “You must jump.”
“I cannot, it is too far.”
“You must prove your strength.”
The princess jumped to the other side.
“Good! You are strong enough,” the raven said. “Come further!”
They walked onto a field. A geyser erupted near the princess.
“You must prove your agility,” the raven said.
The princess ran over the field. She dodged the geysers as they erupted. She came to the other side.
It became dark. “I cannot see!” the princess cried.
“Go forwards,” the raven said. “Follow my voice.”
The princess followed the raven’s voice. Then a light appeared on the right. “Oh! A light!” said the princess. She went to the light.
“No, princess!” said the raven. “Follow me!”
“But the light is so beautiful!”
Another light appeared further on, and another further. The princess followed the lights. More appeared, and the princess became lost. “Follow me, princess!” said the raven. “You must prove your trust!” The princess trusted him and followed him to the tree. The Goldenstone glinted at the crown of the tree.
“I cannot take it, and you are too heavy to lift,” the raven said. “You must climb.”
The princess climbed the tree. The bark was rough, and the princess’s hands became torn and bloody. She came to the Goldenstone and picked it. She climbed down and went home.
The princess ate the Goldenstone and planted the seed. It became a beautiful tree, and the princess looked at the golden leaves and the silver trunk every day. The three ravens lived in the tree, and were happy.
And they lived happily ever after.
The last line is the english equivalent of “Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, leben sie noch heute.” This concludes many of the original Grimm’s fairy tales, and literally means, “And if they have not died, they still live today.”
Here is the original fairy tale, in German:
Es gab einmal eine Königstochter, die in Bäumen gerne saß. Eines Tages hörte sie Raben.
Ein Rabe sagte, „Habt ihr gehört, dass der Goldenstein gefunden worden ist?“
„Nein,“ antwortete ein anderer Rabe. „Wo ist er?“
„Was ist der Goldenstein?“ fragte ein dritter Rabe.
„Er ist das größte Obst in der Welt!“ sagte der zweite Rabe.
„Er schmeckt wie der Himmel und ist Gold wie die Sonne,“ sagte der erste Rabe.
„Und wenn sein Kern gepflanzt wird, wächst ein schöner Baum mit goldenen Blättern und einem silbernen Baumstamm,“ sagte der zweite Rabe.
„Wir sollen diesen Goldenstein bekommen!“ sagte der dritte Rabe.
„Nein, wir können nicht,“ sagte der erste Rabe traurig. „Er kann nur von einem Mensch gepflückt werden.“
„Schade,“ sagte die zwei andere Raben.
„Ich könnte das machen,“ sagte die Königstochter. „Ich möchte dieser Baum in meinem Hof.“
„Nein, Sie könnten nicht,“ sagte der erste Rabe. „Es wäre zu gefährlich für Sie!“
„Ja, es gibt Behinderungen. Feuer und Erde, Wasser und Luft, Licht und Dunkel,“ sagte der zweite Rabe.
„Sie würden sterben!“ sagte der erste Rabe.
Die Königstochter war entschlossen. „Ich gehe.“
Der dritte Rabe flog zur Königstochter. „Ich komme mit,“ sagte er.
Die zwei gingen nach Westen. Sie kamen zu einem Fluss. Er war weit und tief, aber er sah rein aus.
„Oh!“ sagte die Königstochter. „Was für einen schönen Fluss!“ Sie ging näher, und der Fluss wurde Lava.
„Wie gehe ich über den Fluss?“ fragte die Königstochter.
„Es gibt kein weg gegenüber,“ sagte der Rabe. „Sie müssen springen.“
„Ich kann nicht, er ist zu weit.“
„Sie müssen Ihre Kraft nachweisen.“
Die Königstochter sprang zur anderen Seite.
„Gut! Sie sind Kräftig genüg,“ sagte der Rabe. „Weiter, weiter!“
Sie gingen auf einem Feld. Ein Geiser tauchte neben der Königstochter auf.
„Sie müssen Ihre Wendigkeit nachweisen,“ sagte der Rabe.
Die Königstochter rannte übers Feld. Sie wich den Geisern aus, als sie auftauchten. Sie kam zur anderen Seite.
Es wurde dunkel. „Ich kann nicht sehen!“ schrie die Königstochter.
„Gehen Sie vorwärts,“ sagte der Rabe. „Folgen Sie meiner Stimme.“
Die Königstochter folgte der Stimme des Rabes. Dann erschien ein Licht von der rechte Seite. „Oh! Ein Licht!“ sagte die Königstochter. Sie ging zum Licht.
„Nein, Königstochter!“ sagte der Rabe. „Folgen Sie mir!“
„Aber das Licht ist so schön!“
Ein anderes Licht erschien weiter, und ein anderes weiter. Die Königstochter folgte den Lichtern. Mehr erschienen, und die Königstochter wurde verwirrt. „Folgen Sie mir, Königstochter!“ sagte der Rabe. „Sie müssen Ihr Vertrauen nachweisen!“ Die Königstochter vertraute ihm und folgte ihm zum Baum. Der Goldenstein glänzte zum Höhepunkt des Baumes.
„Ich kann er nicht holen, und Sie sind zu heftig zu heben,“ sagte der Rabe. „Sie müssen klettern.“
Die Königstochter kletterte auf den Baum. Die Baumrinde war rau, und die Hände der Königstochter wurden gerissen und blutig. Sie kam zum Goldenstein und pflückte ihn. Sie kletterte herunter und ging nach Hause.
Die Königstochter aß den Goldenstein und pflanzte den Kern. Er wurde ein schöner Baum, und die Königstochter schaute auf die goldene Blätter und den silbernen Baumstamm jeden Tag. Die drei Raben wohnten in dem Baum, und waren glücklich.
Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, leben sie noch heute.
“Rolly” seems spelled wrong.
That would be because it isn’t officially a word. However, a google search of “rolly chairs” returns results, so I’m keeping it.
I love rolly chairs, especially the ones that swivel. I pretty much need to be moving all the time, so it helps if the chair I’m sitting in facilitates movement, such as bouncing, turning side to side, and sliding back and forth. Also, the filing box I’m using for scholarship stuff is out of reach where I’m sitting. With a rolly chair, I can just move over (also why I like long headphone cords). Rolly chairs also lend mobility in math class so I can be part of two tables, sort of. In a non-work setting, rolly chairs provide great rides, providing moving backwards at high speeds is considered fun.
So, I’m officially going to Grinnell now!
You’ve probably never heard of it.
It’s in Iowa, among the cornfields. It’s hot in the summer, snowy in the winter, and full of awesome people. Its unofficial mascot is a SQUIRREL, which should be enough for anyone.
Such as how much I hate busywork.
My mom is currently forcing me to do a “10 day” scholarship program, which takes way longer than 10 days. I already know how to write essays. See, this post is like an essay! It has a title, a hook, an introduction, a body, and a conclusion (coming soon). Wasting my time with worksheets will only make me run out of time to apply to more scholarships.
In conclusion, I don’t need formulas to write essays, since they produce horrible phrases like “in conclusion.”