Monday, January 23, 2012

You're Welcome

I’ve been thinking recently about the peculiar kind of psychological damage that comes from being the daughter of college professors. (i am peculiarly attached the phrase “psychological damage.”)

I started thinking about it when my Tolstoy professor (i love my tolstoy professor) was telling us about how his daughter’s history text book makes him want to tear out his hair and rent his clothes.

He said that the textbook makes things too neat. Everything in history (in textbooks) was pre-planned, and happened exactly the way he was supposed. He said, “The textbook is like, ‘George Washington got up in the morning, then he was at the Delaware, and now we have a constitution!’ And I’m like, ‘No! It didn’t happen that way! Well, it did, but it didn’t really.’” And his daughter, his lovely middle-school-er, looks up and says, “Dad. I don’t care.”

Ah, those words.

I have said those words before.

So I mentioned it to my dad today. He said, “What blessings!”

“I didn’t say I resent the psychological damage,” I told him.

And I don’t. Not really. Most of the time it makes my life more interesting.

Like this one time last semester. I was walking across campus and came upon this saran-wrapped statue of an America Indian. I stood in front of it for five minutes thinking, “What does it mean?”

Is it a condemnation of modernity? The U.S.’s treatment of Indians? Capitalism, ensuing materialism, and its binding affect on individuals?

I walked away without coming to a conclusion and was still thinking about it in my class when my teacher said, “Hey, did you guys see that they wrapped up the statues for spirit week?” Apparently there was some concern that a rival school would come spray paint them.  Part of me felt stupid for spending time thinking about the significance of modern art that was not, after all, modern. But most of me enjoyed it. I mean, if my parents weren't professors I probably would have missed out on thinking about the symbolism of a saran-wrapped Indian. 

Heaven forbid.

 As a side note: how much are we expecting saran-wrap to help? If I drove all the way down to a rival campus to spray pain their statue, I don’t think saran-wrap would be very deterring.

Not that I would ever do that. I snuck two loaves of Jewish bread into a no-eating zone of the library two days ago, and felt really guilty about it. Is it sad that this is the extent of my rebellion as a college student? I didn’t even eat the bread while I was there.

I seem to have dropped the thread of continuity in this post. Not that that’s unusual. It is why I’ll never take up knitting, though.

You drop threads in knitting, right? Or is that crocheting? Or… something else?

And is crocheting the things you do with needles or balls and wire loops in the ground?

Wow, the thought process in this just keeps deteriorating, doesn't it? I’m going to stop now. This is what happens when I get less than eight hours of sleep. If I ever pull an all-nighter I promise not to write a post the day after.

You're welcome

Friday, January 13, 2012


I don't like running. I never have.

In elementary school my friends and I played freeze tag, boys against girls. The boy I liked then always chased me as soon as the bell rang (ah, elementary school) and tagged me before anyone else. Once I asked him why. (i wasn't just fishing for confirmation of affection, i was also distracting him from my friend who was attempting to un-tag me.) He told me, "Because you're slow."

And I was. I am.

Over Christmas break I went with my cousin to a special store for tennis shoes, and all other things running. They had her run on a treadmill, analyzed the way her feet hit the ground, and brought out six paris of shoes for her to experiment with.

It made running look cool. Like when you look at those special blenders they demonstrate at Costco, and suddenly cooking is so much cooler. Because--Look! You can make smoothies, and soups, and world peace in that thing. They never mention the clean-up. I bet it's killer.

In any case, that trip to the highly expensive tennis shoe store convinced me that I should like running. I was meant to like running.

So yesterday, in a fit of self-righteous productivity, I went running. I don't think I lasted five minutes.