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You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

Archive for February, 2012

Not my job

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Today was Career Day on campus.

Career Day is nothing more than a career fair specifically geared at college students. A buttload of companies (don’t worry, I didn’t say buttload in front of anyone there) show up and set up booths and you talk to them and you hand them a resume and then… I don’t really know. Something happens. They sift through the three hundred resumes at the end of the night and set up interviews for some of them, I guess? I handed out 11, because the number of companies interested in a person with a masters degree in statistics is depressingly low, and I expect to hear from maybe four of them. I will immediately tell one of those calls that I’m not interested – it sounded fun at the time, but now I realize that it’s the quintessential Boulder software company, and I would hate everyone and everything about it inside six months.

It’s good to know yourself.

The most frustrating part of my day, though, went like this:

I wanted to talk to a company that does some sort of television… something. Honestly I don’t remember, because no one ever showed up at their booth and it doesn’t matter anyway. Whoever they were, their empty booth was next to the Navy booth. So I kept swinging by, and every time this dude at the Navy booth caught my eye and I nodded and just kept going…

And then, one time, he caught me. He saw my nametag, which had my name, major, and degree on it, and asked if I was interested in teaching.

I am interested in teaching, so I was like …. ok, what up, yo. He tells me about this instructor position that they have at a nuclear school in Charlotte, NC. (The school isn’t nuclear, they just teach nuclear stuff). Apparently they have a need for math instructors. He gave me the full sale – the benefits, the wages, the fact that you leave after four years with experience. And then he asked when I got my bachelors degree, and I told him, and then he asked how old I was.

I’m 31, I say.

He drags me to every other navy person there (and there were quite a few) asking if I could get a waiver for being 31. I was a little insulted, honestly. He never told me what was wrong with being 31, just that it was something that needed to be waived. Finally, someone tells him that yeah, it can probably be waived. Everyone else in the vicinity of the booth at that point was aware that I was probably the oldest person at the career fair, but hey – that can be waived.

That established, he looks down at my arm and asks if my tattoo is real.

No, I drew purple flowers on myself for Career Day.

Yes, it’s real.

Again with the waiver – except this time everyone needs to look at the size of my hand in comparison to the size of my tattoo.

This fellow was working very, very hard to recruit me, and I appreciated that.

I also left the booth feeling like an ancient painted lady.

I will not be joining the Navy.

with a vengeance

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I subscribe to Marie Claire magazine. I had a whole bunch of expiring frequent flyer points and no plans to travel, so used them to subscribe to Marie Claire, Harper’s Baazar, W, and The Economist. I have yet to actually read The Economist, but I like that it comes to our house with my name on the front.

I like Marie Claire. In this issue, I got to read a pre break-down interview with Demi Moore as well as a semi-fluffy profile of Nikki Haley (Republican South Carolina governor, possible 2016 presidential nominee). I also got to see some pretty clothes on some pretty people. It’s generally a win-win. Sure, the ‘money matters’ section did offer the tip that marrying for money is ‘then’ and being your own breadwinner is ‘now’. (Their definition of ‘now’ is apparently pretty flexible.) I had to read the article about the amazing autistic artist who wasn’t diagnosed for some time because autism is more easily diagnosed in males (due to social preconceptions) to avoid throwing the magazine.

The second to last article in this issue (Feb 2012) is called Single Bridezillas. Here’s a sample:

… Ruth, a 38-year-old Barnard graduate [ed: is this Marie Claire code for lesbian? It’s not clear] turned lawyer, is actively planning her wedding despite the fact that she’s single. “When I was 22, I bought two ring settings: one for a large diamond and a backup setting for a smaller diamond,” she says. “I’ve also purchased a vintage wedding gown… My dream is to have a wedding as magical as – don’t laugh – the one in Twilight: Breaking Dawn…. I feel pressured to get engaged, and it makes me fantasize about the kind of wedding I want someday.”

Twilight reference aside (I haven’t seen the movie and for all I know the wedding is breathtaking and the woman isn’t just a big Edward fan), I found this entire statement heartbreaking. Here is a presumably successful woman who is spending time actively purchasing things for a wedding to a person that she has not yet met. Of all of the goals she could be planning towards, that is one that she feels strongly enough about to be quoted in a magazine.

Further along in the article, the author mentions a board on the website, a wedding planning website.

The board is called ‘Not Engaged Yet’.

This was the point at which I sputteringly read this whole thing out loud to Crockett. I finished with, “It’s just so sad that the wedding industrial complex is profitting from these woman who are socially cued to think this is the most important thing they can be doing.”

Crocket said, “Wedding Industrial Complex?”

I explained that weddings are a ~$160 billion/year business, we moved on, and I opened up The Knot to search for the message board. Sure enough, it exists, and is basically what it purports to be – a place for women who are not engaged but want to plan their weddings to chat with and support each other. (Today they also seemed to be really into cutting a hole in a piece of bread and sticking a cat’s head through it as well, which doesn’t really help counteract any single lady stereotypes, but to each her own.)

I don’t blame these women for wanting what they want. Not knowing the details of their situations, I can’t even blanket them with the assumption that the WIC, with some help from Disney, made them this way.

I once read that the average woman thinks about her weight and what she has and should do to affect that weight several times per hour. Accordingly, the average woman is hungry more often than the average man, because she is aware of the impact of consumption. The article suggested that women, overall, would be more successful if they could stop stressing about being fat. (Problematic, yes, but not the topic at hand.)

If that is in fact even sort of true, what does planning a wedding that isn’t an actual wedding doing? I have known women while they worked with their fiances to plan weddings, and it’s serious business. Even if you’re doing it without a deadline, it can’t be easy. Is it a hobby, like knitting, or is it an actual distraction from the things they could be doing?

People of my generation are getting married later and less frequently, and the Marie Claire article suggests that now that marriage is a ‘choice’ for woman, we’ve romanticized it more than ever before. If that’s the case, though, where are the ‘not engaged yet’ marriage boards for men? Weddings have always been in the bride’s domain, and whether that’s right or not, a wedding is clearly not about marriage if the plan is in place before the groom is identified.

Along with a perfect body, a perfect wedding seems to be something that we, as young(ish) woman, are told we should have; and apparently we’re going after it, even if we’re missing that crucial detail of who is on the end of the aisle.

pink and red

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

I can’t say anything about the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s clearly political decision to defund Planned Parenthood that hasn’t already been said better by someone else. Those links outline the hypocrisy in the Foundation’s stated reason for defunding and the (depressing) state of women’s healthcare that makes Planned Parenthood so necessary in the first place.

Now, though, I am both disgusted by and embarrassed for Komen. To defund was ridiculous. To reinstate, with bullshit explanations, was the right call but poorly done. The statement Komen released effectively says ‘god, guys, fine. We didn’t do anything wrong, but if you’re going to get all sensitive about it we’ll take it back. For now, anyway.’

I have a pink stand mixer. And pink license plates. I acknowledge that I bought them more because I was going through a pink phase and liked that I could justifty pinkness with some social cred. I’ve since learned that the marketing surrounding pink is actually not particularly helpful when it comes to altering people’s behavior with regard to breast cancer. In other words, perhaps more people bought pink stuff because they were like me when I bought my mixer. I don’t do regular breast exams (yes, I am aware that I should). I don’t walk or run for ‘the cure’. I don’t talk to my friends about their risk factors for breast cancer. I do have a pink mixer and pink license plates, and honestly? I’m not even sure that there was a charitable donation associated with those purchases. I think there was, but I would, wouldn’t I?

Komen’s foundation didn’t make their decision with the highest emphasis on the health of women, but neither did I when I brought pink things into my life.

I am holding them to a higher standard than I hold myself, and that makes me feel bad – but then I remember that I’m not a charity and I feel better.

I just want good things to happen for women, and I want the organizations that purport to be for women to want the same thing.

Maybe I’ll start buying red stuff instead.



more of the same

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Is it possible to cure writers block by writing something that isn’t what you started out trying to write? (Even if that thing that you write is a run on sentence that requires several seconds to parse.)

I am writing words now, so technically, yes, it does seem to be true, but the true test will come momentarily when I return to the thing I actually need to be writing.

The thing that I need to be writing has the potential to be sort of a big deal (to me) and I’m not quite ready to talk about it yet, but it’s taking up all of my time.

Oh, also? I applied for a professor job at a community college today. That I am willing to talk about, but I find myself with very little to say. I filled out an application, wrote a page about why I’d be good at the job, a page about my teaching philosophy, and then submitted the whole shebang along with my resume and transcript. It was very exciting – but it’s possible that I’m letting Community cloud my judgement. Anyway, even if Jeff Winger doesn’t show up, I think it’s a job I would both enjoy and perform well.

That is if psychic detective is completely off the table.

P.S. Our toilet is bound and determined to run, and it’s going to drive me fucking insane. In my townhouse the toilet ran but a) you could fix it by jiggling the handle and b) I always blamed it on the ghost that lived there with me, so it never really affected my life. This? This is either my fault, Crockett’s fault, or no one’s fault, and when one is faced with a running toilet, one does not simply blame no one. And the handle jiggle is completely useless. It’s very irritating.