Poking my head in

… and splitting infinitives, sort of.

Things have been rather busy ’round these parts. Last week saw a confluence, a conflagration, an aggregation, a veritable tsunami of deadlines. But I also somehow found a way to go see Interpol with the hubster and good friend Amber on Wednesday night. It was fun, especially since they played a bunch of songs that I sort of know and like (as opposed to the new stuff, which I haven’t heard and which Amber reports is not good).

On Friday, I presented a paper called “Sweet Subversion: Resistance and the Power to Name in Waitress,” as part of the American Studies grad conference. Our panel, called “Performance and the Public Feminine,” was covered in the u’s craptacular rag, and the reporter, who called me Sunday afternoon with some followup questions, completely neglected to mention the title of my paper or the nature of my work. Instead, she opted to define me as a nearly incompetent wife and mother who can’t get her work done without “help from friends and classmates.” Whatever that means. What really chaps me is that she asked me about what I took away from the conference and I said that I’d left feeling really excited about my work. Of course, that didn’t show up inthe article.

Carly wrote a letter to the editor about it; the headline pretty much reflects what we imagine is the general attitude about our uppity feminist selves. Sigh. Chalk one up for the patriarchy, I guess.

Quickly, before I go bolt a Lean Cuisine before class: birthday dinner at Chez Zee on Saturday was lovely, although handicapped by a toddler. Got the new Imperial Teen and Caramba! Went shopping and dropped a bundle on new clothes on Sunday. Yadda yadda. Spanish test and paper due tomorrow; not sweating test because she gave us the questions in a handout. And yet I’m learning.

Hasta luego.

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  1. BetsyD

     /  October 3, 2007

    There’s nary an academic who could get along without help from friends and colleagues–and the most brilliant are always the ones who thank the most people in their acknowledgments. The idea that scholars sit around thinking thoughts, then write them on paper and present them with no outside input is the weirdest misconception students have about us.

    And the idea that one can’t be a wife and mother and a very accomplished, disciplined, original scholar is perhaps the most maddening.

  2. Liz

     /  October 8, 2007

    Ugh. I was once interviewed for having organized, singlehandedly, the first spoken word showcase and panel for SXSW, many years ago. And I did it for NO money, while living in California, and it featured over 20 poets from all over the globe. It was actually the very first spoken word showcase at ANY music conference. Anyway. Instead of focusing on how awesome that truly was, and how awesome *I* truly was, the reporter referred to me as “a sweetfaced, mellow woman” and how she preferred the energy of some of the more — how do I say this? — um, BITCH women whom I had curated, and given her the contact info for her interview. I was LIVID.

    I know I come off as pretty relaxed, but I felt so degraded and dismissed by her characterization of me that I called her and tore her a new asshole for it, which was perhaps an overreaction on my part, but it really taught me that we have no control of how others perceive of us. I have tried to hone my interviewee skills, so that I present 2-3 talking points that are very clear (to me) and convey what I want to be conveyed. Often my answers to questions have nothing to do with the question I’m asked but with me getting my agenda across.

    In retrospect, she was probably competing with me on an unconscious level. Or maybe it was quite conscious. It doesn’t matter.

    The truth is, you were certainly misunderstood, and misrepresented, by someone with perhaps a chip on their shoulder that even they do not understand.

    Keep on rockin’ with your badass, brilliant, sweet, hilarious, sensitive, strong, mama/teacher/writer/scholar/insert latest accomplishment here self!


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