Not a single one of my undergraduates had heard of riot grrrrrls, Anita Hill or the Promise Keepers. “We live under a rock called college” an especially sassy one explained. But when after watching some Bikini Kill videos I asked how many of them identified as feminists, instead of the eye rolling and groans that this generation gives to such a question they said “well do you mean before this class or after because I guess now I am” I’d like to think they did not say this simply to make me happy as it was one of those rare moments in the classroom when it felt like progress had been made. The two male students also admitted to thinking at least six out of the ten sexist statements addressed by the riot grrrl fanzine. (men move beyond sexism, you are just inventing the problem because you are bored), A for honesty. By this point we had dissolved into me trying to explain why wearing lipstick doesn’t necessarily destroy your feminist credentials. (Just to add to the bizarreness of the moment I had dropped my favorite mac lipstick on the floor while fidgeting with my purse and was trying hard to look for it without the students knowing what I was doing) No I’m not making this up. Somehow the whole thing got reigned back to theories of subculture and networks. Rebecca meanwhile has been greeting me with the phrase “man up” which makes no sense but can only be bad for feminism.
Advising week here brings its own kind of chaos; the idea that we the faculty care deeply about the individual programs of our students tends to seem better when it’s not advising week and doesn’t coincide with teacher work days for the public schools. Mine are also reproducing; every time I look at the list I seem to have two more. But I did learn that you can take PE for credit and I’ve been encouraging all my students to take yoga. The one who seemed most zealous about the PE option is the frat boy with a heavy southern accent who is going to play ice hockey. I didn’t know we did that down here and said things like “you mean like on the ice, as in the ice rink.” He informed me with a strait face that he needed to reduce his efforts to tank up on econ courses for com school grooming in order to accommodate rush. He was thinking of stress relief but seemed moved by my suggestion that it could only help to increase his cool capital. My other favorite student had long dread locks and is very involved in global development. It’s hard not to find captivating a student who uses the words dude and capitalist machine in the same sentence but after 40 minute of talking big ideas inspires the phrase “um do you want to write some of this down”
The children have survived Halloween and though they are limited to one or two pieces of candy a day for rewards for various useless tasks I’m slowly turning into a tootsie roll. Parent teacher conferences, which occurred in between my two classes on Tuesday revealed that both are doing fine. Jonathan did write the teacher a note saying that he would like to “do research on ancient Rome and Greece” They are apparently going to see if they can accommodate that. Rebecca, who can be a monster at home, seems to be an angel teachers pet at school. Supposedly that means she’s well adjusted. Rebecca came home from school today with a lovely new t-shirt she’d picked up in the nurses office. She had a nose bleed (as in a nose picking injury) which resulted in a speck of blood and a new shirt. Nurse Brown said she could keep the beautiful black shirt with silver glitter on it.