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I'm reading this book for my Straight: Constructing Heterosexuality class called The Invention of Heterosexuality and according to it, "the earliest-known use of the word heterosexual in the United States occurs in an article by Dr. James G. Kiernan, published in a Chicago medical journal in May 1892 ... The hetero in these heterosexuals referred not to their interest in a different sex, but to their desire for two different sexes." (Katz, 19-20)

All my classes are really awesome. I'm also taking CRWR410: The New York Painter's and Poet's Society, Romantic Ecstasy (with Daniel Kiefer - also, unplanned, I'm taking two courses in poetry and painting, and RE also deals with philosophy and music, so it will be a very artistic semester, hopefully!) I am planning to drop Saints, Sects, and Society (a sociology course about religion in society) in order to take Native American Religions and World Views. I am very excited about the latter class; I am really interested in Native American Studies, and the fact that a chair was just endowed and he's teaching classes ...! So exciting!

I also finished my graduation contract the other day (or at least, a draft that I'm willing to show people) which is ALSO very exciting. I finally sat down and just did it, which was exactly what needed to happen. I'll be talking to my advisors, editing, and hopefully going to committee soon, so think good thoughts!

Indentured Servitude

So, I just gotta say - this CA training is full of a lot of bullshit. First of all, ResLife is not very good at presenting information. 9-5 of powerpoints is not the best way to go about it. Second of all, who thought it was a good idea to schedule the talent show during an evening where we had freshman residents that probably needed us to be around and available? Not to mention that, but it was a terrible idea to give them three hours to check in and then have us rush off to training, because I had a resident walk in ten minutes before I had to go to a training session and she had questions and had to check in and legitimately needed me to be there, and I had to be all, "Ohlol sorry, gotta go! *trollface*" As our fearless leader Jake said, "I am perfectly willing to go put up with up and plaster a fake smile on my face, and sometimes it's a realy smile because they are a nice group of people ...except when it interferes with building my community."

On the positive side, I am learning quite a bit of very useful information. The training has good intentions and overall a good message. The disaster preparedness stuff was my absolute FAVORITE part (I know how to treat a sucking chest wound. DO YOU KNOW HOW COOL THAT IS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!) and it's been amazing getting to know and bond with the rest of the staff. I legitimately have laughed and had fun and a good time and learned a lot. A lot, a lot.

All the freshman that were here are gone now, off on their First Year Journeys, but we don't quite get to relax again because in just a couple of days the Orientation Staff will be here! All my wonderful friends will be here and I can catch up with them and start the dangerous and horrifyingly stressful act of balancing my job (which, as the title suggests, is basically indentured servitude, except that I still have to pay for my food, housing, and living costs and they give me a stipend that really great until you realize that you never clock out .... ) but don't get me wrong, I love this job. I know I've just been complaining about it, but I legitimately am so excited to be a CA. It's going to be amazing. But I'm excited to be a CA in Johnston and a lot of what we've been doing is CAS CA things. And, though I legitimately deny that a CAS/JNST divide exists, I like Johnston better. That's just the way it goes.

I also love my residents!!!!! It's going to be a great year!!!!

So lately ...

I just started reading this book, Passage of Darkness: the Ethnobiography of the Haitian Zombie by Wade Davis and besides it being all kinds of awesome, I'm learning quite a bit from it ... about video games.

The first chapter details a brief history of Haiti and how it came to be established, culturally, as the way it is (though, keep in mind the book was published in the 80's). One of the notable historical facts about Haiti is that the only successful slave revolution in history happened there in 1791, destroying France's most coveted colony of the age. In 1801, Napolean (at the height of his power) "dispatched the largest expedition ever to have sailed from France .... to take control of the Mississippi River" (Davis, 19). On the way, they were supposed to stop by and quell the revolution. They never made it to Louisiana because the former slaves destroyed them, leaving 2,000 soldiers out of 34,000.

One of the battle songs of the Haitians was (and this is the translation) "Grenadiers to the assault/ What is death?/ We have no mother/ No child/ What is death?" (Davis 20-21).

Now, I read that and thought two things: 1) "In victory lay freedom, in capture awaited torture, in defeat stalked death" (Davis 21). Sun Tzu counsels NEVER to fight against desperate men, men with their backs against the wall, men who have no other option but to fight. Those men will ALWAYS win, so the defeat of the French was inevitable.

2) Now this is why this is awesome. I mentioned before, I play this game called Gears of War. The only way I can describe it is this: it has guns with chainsaws on them. Yeah, it's like that. It's you and your buddies against these aliens called Locusts. One of the types of locusts is called a Grenadier.

I read "grenadier" in the above quote and went "Gear? Locust? What?" So I looked it up.  According to Wikipedia, a grednadier (French, derived from the word grenade) was originally a specialty soldier, often bigger and bulkier than his fellows, who's job was to lob grenades and sometimes lead assault operations.

The link above will tell you that link will also tell you that "while the Grenadiers can be counted among the Drones (basic type of Locust), they are generally stronger and bulkier. In battle, they often leave their upper torsos completely unarmored, possibly due to their lower life expectancy ... Grenadiers are not the most intelligent beings and have a habit of rushing blindly toward their opponents, completely forgoing cover. They can throw grenades quite well, however."

Oh. My. God.

I, of course, geeked out. SO AWESOME!!!!!

In the wake of poetry ...

This is basically my life right now, for a number of reasons:


and T.S.Eliot

" So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate—but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business."
(Full poem: http://www.tristan.icom43.net/quartets/coker.html)


I am terrible with journals. Often, writers keep journals from a young age and go back to find inspiration from them, but I've never been that kind of person. Also, all of a sudden I discovered exactly how many people were reading this blog and I got nervous.

So, some changes are occurring - I am going to start friend-locking my posts after an unspecified length of time. What that means is, those of you who aren't Livejournal users, you will still be able to see my posts. I will just eventually lock them (note that all my previous posts are now locked). I've been reminded that, hey, personal information on the internet? Not the smartest idea. But you can still read new posts; just know that they will eventually be hidden.

The second half of Spring Semester continued from the first half - I was stressed out, but I got all my work done (including an amazing final assignment for my Civil War class), I loved all my classes, my friends and I continued to get closer, and I created a lot of memories and bonds. Not to mention I was distracted with crushes and hormones and all that teenage drama (which I can still have since I don't turn 20 until next year, muahahaha teenaged angst!)

May Term was really interesting. I know that it was only four weeks, but it seemed so short - especially since I was so busy! Taking Math for Social Justice was ... interesting. My first math class in over a year reminded me that, hey, math is kind of awesome, if difficult! But I was so burnt out on social justice after the intense year I had that I didn't have a lot of passion to devote to the class. And then even if I had passion, I took two classes (most people only take one - I also did the CA training course because I'M GOING TO BE CA OF FIRST FLOOR HOLT NEXT YEAR!!!! It's very exciting and nerve-wracking. And Poekoelan, which functioned as a class by taking up the same amount of time as one with no credits. And the one credit, once-a-week planning committee for O-Week. Yeah, it was crazy).

I think the notable things about May Term was that I got closer to a lot of people, which made me really happy. Also, Poekoelan is AMAZING. I'm really into it; I want to become a black belt! I really appreciate Mas Eli for introducing me to it, because it's amazing.

Now I'm on campus for the summer, working in the library as an Acquisitions Assistant. Which basically means I sit in the back of the library and listen to music, only occasionally having tasks (even rarer when I work throughout the whole day). Mon-Thurs, 9-5. I'm getting paid good money, too. It's an amazing job, if mentally wearing (even when I'm not doing anything, I start to go a little stir-crazy).

I've been staying in contact with people a lot this summer; mostly virtually, with chat and Facebook, but also in letters, although I'm even more terrible with letters than I am with phone calls, which is saying something.

I've been writing a lot of poetry (writing a lot in general), doing some teenage angsting, learning what it's like to live on my own (even more so than before, since North [my summer dorm] is not the same kind of community that Johnston is and I actually have to cook for myself - that's kind of a constant disaster waiting to happen).

I've also been reading a lot  - Max Brooks' Zombie Survival Guide, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Book of Flying by Keith Miller, a bunch of Kindle fairy tale books, books on religion (Like Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu and The Title Escapes Me, but it's about Christianity and ecofeminism). It's been a pretty great summer. I'm struggling through Paradise Lost right now - it's beautiful, but dense.

I've also been listening to a lot of music - Motion City Soundtrack, Brand New, Mika, Ludo, KMFDM, Rob Zombie, Disturbed, Within Temptation, a little Cannibal Corpse, a little P!nk. It's been good.

And video games! Mostly Gears of War (fjavnwanfhja GEARS OF WAR 3 COMES OUT ON SEPTEMBER 20, ugh, I can't even express my excitement!), Penny Arcade (Episode One and Two, I'm stuck right now, but I'm almost done with 2) and Portal. I've also been playing flash games like Rebuild, which is of course about zombies.

CA Training starts in a couple of weeks and I'm pretty excited about it. I'm starting to get weird(er) through lack of interaction.

And I'm going to try (keyword, there) get back into the blogging groove. We'll see how it goes. :)


Friendship Required


(source: bing search, http://www.zazzle.com/achievement_locked_poster-228726470206641721)

Past entries in this journal are now Friend-Locked. Stay tuned for new entries - public for an unspecified length of time before hidden. Consider this the ultimate boss fight with time and my irregular posting habits.