Some Words on Fallibility from a Student

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Are we faulting her for being human?" - a student in my Early Modern Women Writers class on value judgments and women who do not nurture

On Location: Big Sexy, The John Oliver Show, & Formosa

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last week, I had the amazing privilege to cry, laugh, and learn at three amazing events throughout the city - as I wrote about on Monday, my staycation allowed me to really savor the opportunities of NYC again, and these were three of the best ways I knew how. Here's the recap!


Note-taking and Nested Inspiration

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yesterday, I mentioned that one method of celebrating the day-to-day is to take notes. This advice was first introduced to me by Anne Lamott in her book Bird by Bird. The first time I read it, the message didn't necessarily sink in - what was I going to do with the mountain of notecards/notebooks/computer files that held my random thoughts? Surely not all of them would become full-fledged stories. At that time, I was concerned mostly with the goal of writing rather than the process. In a way, this was a metaphor for how I treated my life at the time.

It's hard to unlearn goal-seeking. It's also not something that should fully get taken away from your life. But one of the side effects of revisiting this mentality has been for me to realize: not every action must produce an intended goal.

And, with this in mind, I revisited the notes.

Small Celebrations

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recently, I wrote an article for ThinkSimpleNow on celebrating everyday life. Since that time, I've been thinking a lot about incorporating celebrations into monthly, weekly, and daily rituals - because honestly, sometimes it can feel like time is just slipping past without you even realizing! My hope is that we claim even a small bit of that time for ourselves, and celebrating it is one of those methods. Here are my suggestions on creating mini-celebrations:

My Staycation (or Why I've Been Off the Internet and Into the World)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This past week, I've been conspicuously absent from the online world. Instead, I was out in the city, experiencing the much-anticipated week of freedom known as spring break. Rather than heading back to Seattle, my best friend from home and I gallivanted through the city and had a blast. Sometimes when living in NYC, you forget how cool the city really is due to getting bogged down in work or other necessities. This week was all about celebrating the city in all its quirky glory. I'll be writing a bit more about some of the events we attended, but for now, here's a sample:

- "Big Sexy," a talk with Tiffany Bank - Taping of the John Oliver Show - "Formosa" by Kelly Tsai at the Museum of Chinese in America - Traveling to Connecticut (for some nature) - Book shopping at Bluestockings, thrift shopping, and chowing down at my favorite locales - Spending an entire 8 hour day at the Met -

How to Build Your Life from Anita Hill

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Don't build the vision of your life on your current circumstances, build it on what you can imagine." - Anita Hill (from her speech at Barnard two weeks ago)

A Week in Pictures: Child's Play

Ending the week with another feet-related piece of fiction!

Clipping Annalisa's toenails was a nightmare. She would squirm back and forth, wriggling her smelly 6-year-old feet, and her eyes would grow wide at the sight of the nail clippers. No promise of "it won't hurt" or "it will take just a second" would placate her. She would run down the hall, her bare feet making little wet footprints on the tile floor, until her pursuers stopped chasing. When she was older, her feet were always crammed into unforgiving pointy-toed heels in a medley of colors. Jade, coral, cerulean, and burgundy would be printed in all black typeface on the sides of shoe boxes shipped to her door. Somehow, they always looked stunning.

A Week in Pictures: "Every Day I See Something New"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's (a little after) the middle of the week: take a moment today to create a sense of novelty in your day. What does creating novelty mean exactly? Perhaps you check out a website/book/image that you've never seen before but that has been recommended. Perhaps you do something different with whatever break time you have in the day. Perhaps you do one thing out of step with your daily routine - go on a different route home, visit a different coffee shop, use a different bowl in the cabinet. Whatever makes you feel new today, do it.

A Week in Pictures: The Domestic

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I've always had in my heart a special spot for the domestic arts. I've tried my hand at most of what we would now call leisure activities - sewing, knitting, crafts, cooking, etc. Often these activities are ragged on as being somehow privileged and un-feminist. While I'll own up to the fact that the ability to experiment with one's leisure time and resources is indeed privileged, I would like to think of these pursuits as something of an escape from the trials of regular life. For some, cooking is creativity and even if it is in the context of providing a good meal for one's family, it is a form of expression that I find extremely valuable and often ignored in our daily life. If feminism is about choice of pursuits and domestic activities are one's chosen creative or leisure activity, then that's wonderful. On the other hand, it is definitely important to recognize that the enjoyment of these activities is still wrapped up in how much time one can devote to oneself and time/resource-consuming work. Some food for thought the next time you're thinking of taking up some new home-based activity.
Check out my adventure with cookie dough for delicious proof of my domestic activities!

A Week in Pictures & Socks and Shoes

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This week is the final one before spring break for me, in which time I have to devote my brain power to studying for a tough midterm and readying myself for the visit of my best friend, Heathy. It's going to be a great (and tiring) week, so instead of posting my usual series of long written posts, I'm going to do short fiction and opinion pieces relating to pictures that I have taken throughout 2011 and 2012. Let me know what you think of the change of pace!

When Mara Mori made that special pair of socks, she never thought about the shoes that would go with them. The shoes I had were worn down at the heels and patchy, like someone had mended them again and again with whatever stiff cloth they could find. I wore those shoes day in and day out, trudging back and forth from school with a scowl on my face to keep people from asking questions. "Where are your winter boots, Aubergine? Why are you wearing such strange socks?" At the time, I couldn't think of a sound reply other than "mind your own business." Even when I got a new pair of shoes that year, I still felt just as protective.

Happy March 1st!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy March 1st, everyone! Today kicks off Women's History Month and a great deal of wonderful programming at Barnard and around New York City.

This month is also going to be busy, busy, busy. It has barely begun and I'm already in the thick of it! So, I wanted to offer a very short post today on checking in with yourself and reconnecting to the things that matter in your life. So often we think about all that we "should have" done and desire to do that it can be hard to savor all that we've accomplished and are doing right now. Although cutting up time into sections like days/months/years is an arbitrary thing, I'd like to take today as a celebration of ourselves and the causes we support.

Whether you're working on activism, research projects, zine writing, teaching workshops and giving lectures, personal enrichment, or any other task that jazzes you up, use today as a reminder that what you have done is already enough and you are only going to make it more wonderful as time goes on.

Since it's Women's History Month, feel free to peruse my articles about feminism and women