Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday morning stuff

* Heard on early-morning local news: "Man in prison for punching police officer. And police have a message to would-be criminals." I assume that message is: "Don't punch police officers."

(The man in question is someone who had a long rap sheet and apparently made some horrible threats against the officer and his family before punching him....because the officer refused to call the man by his "street name.")

* I can't tell if it's stress, having been cold in my office much of this week, or if I pulled something working out but my upper back hurts. I probably need to put a hot pack on it as soon as I have time to relax.

*It's supposed to be 63 F this afternoon here, but I am wearing a heavier (rib-knit) turtleneck with one of my Central Park Hoodies over it. (it's about the same temperature in my office right now as the high is supposed to be this afternoon).

* Heh. And if I overinterpret a bit of Oklahoma legislation, I'm Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law! - there's apparently a law against the wearing of hoods in public. Granted, it dates back to the 1920s or so and was designed to target a certain TYPE of hood that represented a certain type of hateful attitude (if you get my drift), but of late, apparently some legislators want to revive it to prevent hoodie-wearers from....I don't know what. (I do know many banks "request" that patrons put down their hoods or take off hats and helmets while in the bank, for security purposes).

(No, I don't have the hood up. It's not quite that cold and my hair gets mussy enough without adding a hood)

* Actually, a good measure of how much I have been thinking/working on research-writing during office hours is how messy my hair gets. I realize I have the unconscious habit of running my hands through my hair, especially my bangs, while I read articles or try to rewrite the paper. I don't know why I do that but I do.

* I think I need to start a new project. Something simple, something I could use as invigilating knitting. (I give an exam end of next week). Maybe version 2 of the High Street Vest, seeing as I have the yarn and pattern close to hand for that one....or maybe wind off the yarn for Starbuck and start that, I don't know. (Starbuck would require heavy swatching as I'm using a slightly different weight yarn for it).

Also, a dilemma: I have one class (not the one with the exam next week) where I am facing what I interpret as some hostility from certain students. And in discussions with a couple fellow faculty, my suspicion has some confirmation: it is because of my gender. (Yes, it is 2015, last I checked). So now I am conflicted: Do I not bring knitting to exams in that class (even though the students from our major - who are not the ones I'm talking about, they seem to respect me pretty highly- know that I knit in exams and kind of expect to see me doing it) because I don't want to give any more ammunition for the immature people to snicker about. Or do I instead bring a really girly piece of knitting and be kind of in their faces about it, like "Yeah, I'm a woman, I knit, and I'm teaching you fairly complex chemistry type stuff. GET USED TO IT."

(I think I know what my best-friend colleague would say - he'd tell me to bring the knitting, because the gist of his advice was, "Even if they've never had to deal with 'diversity' before, they will in the workplace, and they should jolly well get used to it NOW" though I admit I hate having to be the person who is kind of the test-case (or the scapegoat, which is how I kind of feel) for it)

It stinks that I even have to deal with this. Oh, I know, lots of people do, and lots of people have to deal with prejudices for different reasons but it just annoys me. I try not to let it shake my confidence because I really shouldn't listen to the opinions of a couple of immature students, but I have this problem of letting other people's opinions of me rattle around in my head and bug me.\

Also, the idea that my knitting during exams could give people a bad impression never really crossed my mind before, and it makes me sad that I have to consider it. (I don't knit in meetings, partly for the same reason, even though in the mass meetings you see dozens of people playing with their cell phones, somehow that seems more okay)

* Gah. I am missing my parents this morning. I think about my dad, how he once said to me, "If someone ever tells you you can't do something [he meant, in terms of an academic subject] because you're female, I want you to do your best possible and show them they are wrong." (He was the one in his department who had the women grad students working with him, that was partly why)

I wish I lived closer to them. Oh, not that I'd want to move now unless I had to, I just wish there wasn't 700+ miles between them and me. 

Actually, that's going to kind of be my MO: to update a lot of the stuff, to prep really hard, to do my best to dazzle them with my brilliance. Oh, it may have no effect whatsoever, but at least I will feel like I am doing something. (And it will benefit the people who give a darn.)

* Last night at my meeting (I am secretary for the group), one of the presidents came up after the meeting and hugged me and said, "I can always count on you and I appreciate that." I just need to get better at owning the fact that I am a responsible person and that that is a good thing and while it's maybe not exciting in the way being a gifted artist or a powerful orator is, it's still something needed. The fact that people keep bringing it up must mean it matters.

Anyway, God help me but I cannot do otherwise than be responsible.


Charlotte said...

I say go on knitting during exams. If you don't, you've given the management of the class to the students with the bad attitude. Why should they win? There may be students in the class who find the knitting soothing so they perform better on the exam.

Re being known as responsible, when asked for a word to describe me, most folks say "faithful." I see that as another version of responsible and I wasn't always pleased to hear "faithful." But as I've gotten older, I've come to think that being faithful isn't a bad thing at all.

CGHill said...

Think "Heckler's Veto." Then knit in their faces.