Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hey Hey Hey

So. This is a post for someone who said I should keep posting. lol. :o)

I have not been back here. And I pretty much doubted that anyone would come back to my blog since I have been home. I guess I was keeping in mind that my blog was for people who missed me while I studies abroad or who were interested in studying abroad.

I would love to write that since I have been back my life has been wonderful. But unfortunately that is not true. Actually, life kind of sucks at this very moment. I came back and everything was fine for a while but then it hit me...responsibility. Agh. So to keep it short I will just say that I procrastinated taking the GRE, which I didn't do well on because I also didn't study. And I haven't applied to grad school yet. I would really love to go back to Europe actually. I am looking for some French Immersion Schools. I think that is what they are called. I would like to go learn French. And then I could just come back and apply to a Women's Studies PhD Program. But at this moment I can't even finish the last assignment for my last class. I think I am burned out. And I had too much fun studying abroad that I am bored. Going back to school in Europe or working for a while would be grand. We shall see.

So I am just kinda hanging around. I am doing my internship for my social work major. I work with pregnant teens. Which is very interesting. I have one more semester left and then I am an adult. Agh. That is so scary. Even if I go back to school I will consider myself an adult. And it is not that I consider myself a child now. I just feel like once you have that first degree, your not a "student." Even if you are a student because you are going back for a Master's or a Phd. I just think that once I have my BASW I cannot think of myself of some cook hip kid anymore. I am just kinda of an old fart. ha. That is what happens once I get that degree in my hand. They hand me a degree and dentures.

I think that I will end up talking about my last year on this blog. And some responsibilities that come with graduating and preparing for graduation. I mean, if I am going to procrastinate, I mind as well do it blogging. Even if no one comes here I can still write.

I will probably also talk about some fat acceptance stuff, HAES, feminism, black feminism, travel, displacement, mental illness and such. Who knows. I guess I will have a variety blog. Hopefully I will keep to my word and come back to write. I kinda said I would "come back later" to write in May. And it's December. Can you freakin believe it is going to be freakin 2010!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Im Home

Thats all. I am not having the best time being back home. I got food poisoning and I am already feeling bogged down by negativity. Blah blah blah. Blah. But whatever.

I start summer school late this month. So yay.

I will write more later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have one more exam left. I am a little tired. I am tired and I am sad as well. I dont know if its the rain or what but I just feel so lethargic and like not doing anything. It's rough because I have 4 journal articles to read and some googling to do and some refreshing of powerpoints. All that for my exam tomorrow which I still won't be prepared for. But I am not sweating it that much. It is the most important exam that I have to do because the class is to finish my women's studies minor but I will just have to bit the bullet and take another class if I fail. I pray to God I dont, but who wants to stress?

I went to a BBQ today with everyone. It was so fun. I will seriously miss these people. It is so nice to just have the fun the way I have while I have been here. Constantly meeting people and such. I just cannot believe that I will be gone and back to Akron. I am so scared that I will get my old life back. I do not want my old life. I will die if I have it. I just can't do it. I have to just live one day at a time, no stress, no negativity, and just meet new people and flirt and go to parties and stuff. Right before I left home, I started to and I will try to continue to. The dynamic of the people is different though. Were all international students looking for the same thing. I have learned what I like though. I dont like clubs. I hate clubs really. Well, not hate. I suspect I will be going to Oceana if they go on Friday (club) but I still prefer not going. I have been doing a lil drinking. I never really drank at home. Well I shouldnt say that because some new friends of mine got me to drinking right before I left. Maybe thats why I started drinking a lil more here. I love cider. What in the hell will I do without cider? Do we have cider at home? I hope.

Anyways. I dont know. I just have to be upsheveled again. But I really do miss my friends and family and my cat. I dont want to romanticize my time here. I mean, it is the way it is and I do love it but I also love my friends and family at home. I love that I can talk regular without worrying about grammar and shit and not correcting myself. I do thank everyone here though because I have become a better listener and a much slower talker. I appreciate that.

I am worried about duty. I hope to goodness that I do not have to pay duty on anything. I asked my study abroad advisor if she had any insight and all she did was direct me to the damn website. I obviously have Internet. Sheesh.

I emailed this girl on Craigslist about an apartment and she seems okay but I do not know if I want to live with a roommate. I just dont know. But I dont know if I want to live alone after living with so many people and just never being alone. I have not felt alone here. I will say the first week is it. After that, bam, never felt alone. Everyone is just here. Sigh.

Okay, I hate to be so down. I have two conflicting emotions. I have sadness and happiness going on.

Okay, okay. I know. I still have to do two posts. One on traveling Black and on studying abroad in general. Yes, I know. I have an exam. I am not even supposed to be on here right now but I am procrastinating. I seriously am tired of looking at books. But yea, anyways. lol

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I just wanted to share one of my favorite photos from Italy! :o)

Whew. Let me tell you. I have so much to do and so little time to do it.

I come home on Saturday. I am sad and happy about that. I love my life here but I miss my fam and friends at home. I am so much calmer here and I love my everyday schedule. I love shopping for food everyday and having cheap food available. Yes, I do think groceries are cheaper here. I love not having a McDonald's one every street. I live in a town where there is only ONE and I repeat ONE McDonald's. Seriously. I just will miss this. I know I keep saying the same things but I really think America sucks on the food front. Well I should say on the advertisement and fast food front. And prices as well.

I will NOT miss the school system here. I dont like the way the U.K or I should Wolverhampton does their classes and such. I just dont like it. At all.

I have three essays back to back this week. I have the cinema one on Tuesday, American Literature on Wednesday and on Thursday I have Sex in the 18c. I am so scared that I will not pass one of these classes. I just got back from Italy and before then I was in Paris. I have not studied. It was really hard trying to study while in Italy. Doesnt work. lol. I was in Florence and it was just magnificent. I will do a post on traveling alone when I get home because I need to. And then a final post about studying abroad in general. I dont think I have been really good with this blog though. It seems that it is not easy to blog, travel, study and mingle.

Well, I need to do some more work. I just ate lunch. Which was tasty. I had some white rice, chicken sauteed in white wine and Green beans with butter. And for desert I had a coke. lol. No really though, coke is sweet, why not use it as a dessert? Anyways, I need to get a move on it. I have the audacity to be procrastinating right now. Its ridiculous.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just Got Back From Paris, France


So I havent written in a while and its because I am traveling. But I do need to come and just write right now. I am feeling overwhelmed. I just feel like I have so much to do right now. I am going to Italy tomorrow and I still have so much homework to concentrate on. When I come back, I will be cramming and I do not cram very well. I am not a good cram student. I am just afraid that I will get very poor grades in my classes while I am here. And its because I am more focused on traveling and meeting new people than I am on studying.

Can you seriously blame me? I mean, if I fail, shame on me, but if I gets C' just gonna have to suck it up. The thing is that I am trying to get into graduate school and I cannot get itno graduate school with horrible grades and horrible recommendations and just horrible horrible. I am really afraid about this process. I need to start taking a GRE prep course. I need to take the GRE. I am taking 3 classes. It's just like, oh my gosh. I will not see anyone this summer. Seriously. I will have to really focus. But I feel like if I am overwhelmed with doing all of this I should probably reconsider graduate school because I mean, come on. I dont think this is anything.

Anyways. This is just going to be a random message. I am broke. Seriously. I have 200 dollars and my hostels cost 100 and I need to catch a train once I get to Italy. This means I have no food money and no spending money. I care less about the later. I am still going to go though because oh well. I have asked to borrow some money from my moms but if they dont let me, I will be okay. I will be bringing 3 apples, some fruity bar thingies, and some crackers. I went broke in Paris and for lunch yesterday, I had crackers and an apple. lol. This is crazy. But I didnt care. I didnt obsess about it. I didnt go into ED mode. I just said, okay, its all up to my higher power and keep moving. And youd be surprised what your body can work on.

So, if I run out of money, I will be okay. As long as I can make it home. But most importantly, I am STUDYING in Italy. I cannot look at this as if I am only visiting. The only reason I can go is because I have to make myself study. It would be ridiculous if I didnt. I will fail, no doubt. I have to watch this movie, I have to. AGHHH. I am like freaking out. Coming home is making me nervous. What if I dont get my cat in time? What if I dont find an apartment? I just have to chill at and do one thing at a time.

Okay, I am gone. Too much to do. Im not proofreading this.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I am really sad that I will not be able to meet up with Matthew again before I go home. Matthew is a friend from home who is also visiting Europe and we were going to meet up in Rome. But as most of my friends know, I missed my plane to Rome. He is now in Florence. But I wont be in Florence until the 12th. He then goes to Paris. And I go to Paris this weekend. It totally sucks. I don't mind traveling by myself to a certain extent but I hate that this was my fault really. I should have planned to go to Paris later and I also should have not forgotten my passport. I could have met up with him in Florence but it would have been financially straining because it was so much since the date was so close. And also, I found a cheap ticket to Florence for 67 pounds.

I am just scared that I am going to get lonely, traveling 9 days by myself. I go to Paris and Italy back to back. France is only 3 days so its not that bad. I am excited about going to the Louvre! But I will have no pictures of me and the eiffle tower or me and anything else. There will be no pictures of me in France or Italy. And that really sucks ass. And I wont be able to share my excitement and stuff. Its just really frustrating. I wish I would have just taken the more expensive route and went to Italy now. Italy shouldn't be too bad though. I am going from 12-16. And I will be in Pisa the first night and Florence the rest but will be taking a day trip to Bologna in which a friend may be able to get a contact for me. I have a friend from Bologna. I hope he can.

I am excited about my hostel in Florence because its badass. It has a gym and a sauna and a pool. So I will bring my swimsuit and just do other things if I am bored or a lil sad. And I have to bring homework for the train and such. I will be okay. Its good to have some alone time and some soul searching time.

I will be okay. My friend Matthew has traveled 3 months by himself! He is not going to school. He is just traveling alone. I have so much respect for him. He is such a cool guy. I do need to make sure that I am safe. I am traveling alone and I am a woman. Maybe I will get money again and I will come back to Europe before I am 30. Actually, that is an official goal of mine. To travel to Europe before I am 30. I am 22 so I have 8 years to make it back to Europe. And with a friend. This may be a hard goal. Being that I am in thousands of dollars of school debt but it could definitely be doable. lol. Oh and credit card debt...yikes!

Okay, I just needed to talk about this and let it out. I am going to be okay. These next 4 days are going to be really busy for me.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So Much To Do

Before I start complaining, I want to share a picture of the plant that my friend Virginie from Belgium gave to me! Of course, I can not take it with me. But I will buy one when I get home so I can always remember her and our fun times! It is so beautiful and it smells so good! It is very strong actually. I can smell it when I lay down in bed. The lil note says "Take care of it as you do it for me!" I think it is so cute! I wish I could take it on the airplane. :0(

I have so much shit to do before I leave here.

I have 3 revision essays. What this means is that I have essay exams in which I know the questions and I need to form them before I actually go in. They expect it. Isnt that weird? Thats not how it is at home. If there is an essay exam, you rarely know the questions.

I have to write 1 essay and 5 blog entries for my one class.

Grrr. So I officially have 3 full weeks left. I have to have all of this done by the last week. Your thinking...oh, how easy. Not so much. I will be away for about 9 days. I will be going to Paris, Bologna, Florence, and Pisa. So I have to do some studying while I am traveling. There is no way.

I thought that I was going to have a D on my one essay and I ended up having a B which is great. I mean, better than a D right. So, right now, I have 3 B's and one C. I got a damn C on my Representation and Cinema class. Pisses me off. I aint lying.

Who told me to take a damn cinema class? And I really wasnt very humble about it. The reason why I got a C is because...I didnt use enough film language. Who woulda knew? The comment said that I knew a lot of gender theory which was good but I didnt use enough film critique. Gr. How annoying. Anyways.

The thing is that. There are 2 classes that are for my English minor. 1 class for my womens studies minor and 1 class for nothing. Diddly squat....

Problem is the Representation and Cinema class is for my English minor. And if I dont get a C or higher, I will not be able to use it for my minor. If I dont get this class for my minor, the other one doesnt matter. Which is my American Literature class. Mind you, I aint using no English in grad school. The class that really matters is my Sex in the 18c class because it is for my WS minor in which I wont be able to get into graduate school without.

So yes, I am slightly stressing.

Oh and for those of you who read my blog. I missed my flight to Rome because I forgot my got damn passport. Aint that some ish? I wasted 330 dollars! But now I will fly into Pisa and visit Florence and Bologna as well, so I am disappointed but I will still be able to go to Italy. I am actually scared to go to France and Italy because I am Black. More Italy than France though. But its just because of the stories I have heard. Oh well, I will be okay. I am so blessed to be able to go to these places and even though I am slightly stressing about getting things done, I CANNOT forget that. Maybe I wasnt meant to go to Rome. Oh well.

Today has been fun though. And I got some work done. I painted some of the girls nails and we just sat in the kitchen and laughed. And I have to say...Belgian chocolate is the best chocolate in the world. MMMmmmm.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Home Is A-Callin

That's home. I really like this picture for some reason.

I am scared about coming home. Well I should say that I just had a scared moment.

My life is comfortable here. Not in the way that I dont miss my friends and such. But it is a nice thing to be able to redefine myself. My biggest thing about being abroad is that I can be who I want to be at the moment and no one will challenge who I have been in the past.

I have always felt like long term friends and family can hold people back sometimes. When people have known you for such a long time they expect things of you. When you change, sometimes its challenged. "Well you used to do such and such, why you doing this now?" If I want to change something about my personality because I dont like it anymore or something that I do in my life is no longer functionable, its hard to change. Especially if it is something that is hard for you to stop. If I want to stop cursing or stop shopping as much or exercise more, or go to the movies more, or whatever and I have friends that do the opposite, it can be frustrating. Im just saying, when EVERYONE is new around you, its so easy to reinvent yourself.

Its been a great experience though. Because I have been given the opportunity to see what I dont like and what I do like. I am getting to know myself much better. Theres some things that I do, that are inherently ME and I love them sometimes and hate them sometimes but appreciate them. I am loud and obnoxious at times, I will always be a picky eater, I love to talk about politics but only to a certain point, I hate debating all the time, I need to listen more, I love to wear dresses, I like to take walks, I love eating fresh food, I dont like clubs, I like bars, I like cider (which I dont think they make in America..?), I love being affectionate with my friends and loved ones. I like these things. I want to be able to continue with them. So how in the hell am I going ot carry them all over to America without reverting to my old self? I can just stay firm in what I need from me and from other people. My needs are important too.

I was talking to my friend yesterday about the things that I will miss about England. Thats why this post is coming up. I just feel anxious. I dont want my old life. No, I dont. I just dont. I was at my wits end. I like to not be so stressed and not to be so stimulated. CALM does not always equal bored. Eating is not a hobby. I have been taking walks here more. I love to travel! I need to travel more in America. When I get extra cash, im hopping on the Greyhound! Maybe I will choose one place to go this summer. Even if its by myself. I have also learned that its okay to travel by myself. Not too long though, or I get bored.

So, this post doesnt really have a closing point. Its just rambling and such. I am sure I will be okay. My mom says I just need to be committed to doing whats best all the time and I think thats true. I will figure out how to transfer stuff from here to Akron.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Love It Here!

So, I noticed that I have not been talking much about being in England lately and I should. I gave my friends this blog address so they could check up on me. So this is how I am doing.

I feel so torn. I want to go home because I miss my mom and friends but I love my friends here! They are so awesome. Their so sweet and kind and we all mix very well. Very respectful and polite. We laugh a lot. Its a very...light friendship with all of them and thats the kind of friendships I love. I shall definetely stay in contact with all of them. Theres Marjge, Virginie, Marion, Petra, Lucie, Lawrence, and then there are the boys, whom I also adore. Everyone is just so halarious!

I am a lil sad because the girls are going to Scotland and I cant go because I have exams and also, I went to Scotland. My money is so tight that at this point if I add any more trips, they certainly wont be somewhere that I have been. But that doesnt matter because I have an exam on that monday. I hope they have fun though. Then there is a trip we might go on the friday before I leave. I have a feelings I wont be sleeping at all the friday before I leave because I have to pack and I will be gone all day in either Oxford or Cambridge. I prefer to go to Cambridge so that is where I hope we go.

I will be sad when I leave everyone. I am considering moving in with a roommate when I get home. I have gotten used to living with people again. And I like not being alone. Even if that means having to hear people talking till 3 in the morning. Camilla (the girl, who would not stop smoking. Did I go into detail about that. I will soon, but its old news) is so disrespectful. She just talks loud and slams her door well into the night. If this was America I would cuss her ass out. But I dont want to be an American stereotype. haha.

So, last saturday we went to the movies. It was Andre and his girlfriend Anya, Margje, Virginie, Marion and my other roommate Fiona. We saw "I Love You Man." It was so funny! I want to see it again when I come home, if it is at the dollar movie because seeing it with Europeans takes away from the laughter. I always feel like I am the only one laughing in the movie theater, or I am scared to laugh because I dont want to be loud. Whereas, at is so freaking different. People just hack it on up laughing at movies.

But anyways, I will talk more about my experiences in the next few posts. I dont feel like proofreading this one either.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amos 'N' Andy

For my representation in cinema class, I have to talk about representation of race of course. Race, Gender and Sexuality but I am concentrating on race for my final essay. I am reading Bell Hooks "Reel to Real" at the moment. So, she was describing her first accounts of seeing a Black woman on television ( I know, that's not cinema right? Gr) and she talks about seeing Sapphire on the Amos 'N' Andy show. And I think to myself, hmm...that show rings a bell but I have never seen it. And when I thought of Sapphire I thought of you know, Sapphire. One of the key Black women stereotypes so I wondered if this is where it started (and I think so). So I skip on over to youtube to watch some clips. I was just disgusted.

I am well aware of the racism in television, radio and movies over the years. So, I am not surprised that this show existed. I just feel so icky when I see that people find this shit okay. It's not that people watched this back in the day and it was okay that makes me feel icky. I assume that. I assume whites of this time enjoyed this show. Whites and Blacks actually. Blacks were desperate for their representation on television and we took what we could get I think. The same goes for "The Jeffersons" and "Good Times" or some other show that swore up and down it was progressive just because it had Black faces but those Black faces only perpetuated stereotypes. But to know that there are people that still excuse the "Amos 'N' Andy" show as just "good humor" or a show in which they dont see race, they just see funny characters, amazes me. Especially people that are saying that their not racist (my point being here, that their not identifying as a racist but are accepting racism) and just praising the show. It's amazing.

And of course, the Internet is a great place for racists. Since out right racism isnt accepted in society anymore (subtle and institutional racism, well of course, thats still accepted) people can just pick out a cool Internet name like Jiggabookiller, Niggerhater, Deportanigger, and just racist it on up on their favorite websites...which I am convinced their number one website is youtube. Seriously. So I read these comments under the lil clip of the show, and I just end up being totally disgusted. These people making these comments are seriously everyday people. I'm sure its just Bob from the rec or Jim from accounting or Suze from Public Relations. Mm Hm Suze too.

It just kills me. But it encourages me as well.

Heres some clips. The last two are of an interesting segment about race in television that was obviously made in the 80s.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can You Deny...

My cat's cuteness!? No, no you can not. Because Tabitha Sammantha is the cutest lil cat eva! EVA. I just thought I would share.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I have finally read Beloved by Toni Morrison and I am so elated. I had to read it for class, which is usually the sole opportunity I have for reading books nowadays. Well, I could make time but my procrastination usually doesn't encompass reading books, though it should. I love Beloved. Reading Toni Morrison's novels always make me feel closer to myself, closer to my past, closer to my ancestors. I don't want to give the book away but it really talks about the breaking down of people and families. And what the past can do to you. Just the knowledge and the ability to remember. It was just a wonderful book.

We discussed the book in my American Literature class. The discussion didn't piss me off, but as always, made me feel uncomfortable. And this is why I wanted to talk about white privilege in the classroom. It is really frustrated being the "only one" in the classroom. In this case, I was the only African-American but at home, in most cases, I am the only Black. I would say less for my social work classes. But I have my two minors, which are English and Women's Studies. And then general education requirements. There always comes that uncomfortable feeling when race is brought up because you know its going to get awkward; a comment will be made, a giggle will happen when it shouldn't, someone will ask you to expand on something because they think you know everything about it but most importantly, that they feel you should be the educator of if so. I have often, many times, been student AND teacher in a classroom. In the beginning, I appreciated it. Then I hated it. Now it's a little of both.

I hate that this is even a worry. White students don't expect to have to answer to their race in the classroom. It's frustrated when I am othered in a discussion. It's..."So your the other, teach us whites about what this Black idiom means or why would this Black person be upset at yadda yadda." It's like....I do not have my Ph.D yet and I do not get a salary. It is not my responsibility to be that person. I will when I want but when I dont want to, I don't. I will say I don't know or just shrug. And as far as laughing goes, that really boils me. I mean. SERIOUSLY. We were in my film class, watching a clip from Birth of a Nation...and I swear I heard a giggle. I swear. Maybe, just maybe. I was imagining things. But I know for a FACT I heard LAUGHTER coming from the back of the class when we watched full medal jacket and a joke was made. What do you do to stop 5 men from raping a white woman? Throw them a basketball. WTF? Who is laughing at that? I just want to get up and punch someone in the face. It puts me in an awkward position. And I hate it. Do I say something? Do I just sit here? Is someone looking at me to see a reaction? My body gets hot. Being the only Black in a class can bring up many issues. Black woman? Oh, well even more. It's just annoying sometimes.

But todays discussion of Beloved was enjoyable. Although I have a cooky ass teacher that laughs at everything. He's just one of those know what I mean? Like those people that just laugh at everything by just...shit, laughing. And mostly it was about slavery. It bothered me to an extent. You would have had to been there to understand. But yea.

Beloved is an exceptional book. I need to go watch the movie again. Is it really that bad?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I am on the internet way too much.

Really. And I have a lot of excuses.

1. I don't have a t.v .
2. It's the only way that I can stay in touch with family and friends (well this is true but I hardly talk to them. lol)
3. I'm bored.
4. I'm just checking my University email.
5. Every one should use the Internet once a day. From 12-12.

All these are stupid. lol. I mean, I know I am not the only person that makes these kinds of excuses. But it's like, most of the time I am on the Internet, I am on websites arguing with people or just stating my opinions on things. It takes a lot of energy out of me. And I think it probably takes a lot of energy out of other people as well. But I love debate. I suppose my life surrounds around it. But it used to surround around education first and debate second. Now it is the other way around. And I don't mean just school. I also mean that I seem to have not continued to read up on the things that matter. Quite frankly, I haven't been on the top of my game. Oh and by the way, I consider this productive because I am blogging. But I really believe that I need to do things that are more productive through the day. I need to write letters and read books and write in my journal oh and do homework. Yea...that should probably be done. I always complain about how I never have time to read but I don't even use my procrastination time to read novels. What in the heck is that? I think the Internet is making me dumb...and probably a whole lot of other people. They have so much research on television and its effects (or affects. On no! see!) but do they have anything on the Internet. Probably.

Anyways. I guess this is part procrastination too. I have to wash clothes and clean my room and open a window cause it's stuffy in here. I also have to read Beloved for my American Literature class. Speaking of. I really wanted to write a blog on white privilege in the classroom. Especially while studying abroad. Maybe I will come back later to do so.

Okay, I am off to be more productive.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Turned the hour.

So...don't we usually take time back an hour in the spring? In America? Right? I could just google this..but because im all kinds of lazy, I think not.

My Transgendered Aha Moment

So, I haven't been here on a while. But I will share my aha moment.

I have been struggling with my opinions about transgenderism for some time now. I have been keeping them to myself. Not that I know everything but I know the basics. And fortunately, just because I don't know every freakin thing doesn't prohibit me from having a vocal opinion. But I am always open to more knowledge on any subject. I think it's when people are certain on the issues of people, that they get themselves in trouble. Anyways, I think the last time I said anything about it, it was at a blog in which I angered people because I said that gender is a total construct. Which it is. Sex is biological and gender is not. But what I was getting at is that I have a hard time understanding a biological change for a social construct. And that is how I feel in the most simple terms. But I always thought of it in the way of, someone changing their genitals in order for them to identify with a different gender. And that is so not what its about. Maybe I didn't share that because somewhere inside I knew that opinion needed tweaking.

As a feminist, I aim for a genderless society. And a genderless society is a society in which gender is not strictly enforced upon each indivual. Some people call it a gender blind society. I remember talking to my friends about this and them going all batshit because they thought I was saying no one should be masculine or feminine. That's not a genderless society. A genderless society is a society in which gender norms are not strictly enforced. And people would, of course identify as whatever they wanted without being judged. So I always wondered where transgendered people would fit in a genderless society and if transgenderism would still exist. So, today, I was researching it online. Of course I am not the first person to ask this question. I came across this wonderful livejournal post in which I can't find anymore....oops. But it was someone that was transgender talking about this and saying that it wasn't about their gender so much but about their genitals. They said they didn't identify with their genitals. I always thought of transgender people saying, "My gender doesn't match my genitals." And some have, but that's not the point. And also, every transgendered persons story doesn't look the same. It's just that when I thought transgendered, I thought gender and not genitals. But I am making more sense of this. This aha moment came a little too late. And I still need to do more researching.

Oh and another thing. Why is it that people think you have to agree with something in order to support it. Or I should say agree with an ideology. If I said that I didn't think that transgenderism existed, that doesn't mean I don't support the community. Just because I am thinking things out in my head, trying to do some research on my own, and develop my own opinion, does NOT mean that I have to in some way think that people do not have rights over their bodies and do not have the right to claim their own identity. That's bullshit. But don't misunderstand me. Everyone wants to feel understood and accepted and also wants to be treated like a human being; and that's exactly why I have shown 100% support to the transgendered community and I make sure I fight against any transphobia that I come across. But it pisses me off when people think that you have to totally agree with something to support it. It's the understanding of other human beings needs that's important, not my beliefs. If I said...well...I dont know...I haven't thought transgenderism through so I just can't support it..that's another story. People should learn how to separate themselves when it's concerning the lives of other people. It's simple. People come before my ideology or religion or whatever. Of course, if whatever they need/want doesnt harm another living being. Everyone deserves the same rights in society. Period. But people have such a hard time recognizing and respecting that. I know the society in which I am speaking of. I know that this probably sounds niave. People just don't seem to be able to seperate their own bullshit needs (to be right I suppose. To have an other. To not be an other. etc) from the needs of others. And I also recognize that people have a hard time not believing in or agreeing with something without othering it. What is so damn hard?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hey Yalls


I haven't been here in a while. This blog may not have been the best idea in the world. The busier I get, the furthest thing from my mind is this blog. But I have come here for you.

I cannot seem to get myself together enough to write this paper on represenation of gender in American Beauty. I think its because I am so scared that I have to use film terms and I know good and well that I am not a film major. This is a second year film class. What in the hell was I thinking? And then I have another paper due on Thursday and a book to read by wednesday. I just feel a little swamped but also like I don't know what I am doing. I emailed the professor today and asked some questions but she didn't get back to me. I know what your thinking...come on. Gender represenation in American Beauty. Get it together. But I don't know if I should only use film sources or just feminist theory sources. I am supposed to use three but how much do I reference to the movie. How do I cite things said in a movie. OMG. I need a film major to help me.

And procrastination is easy. Let me just tell you. I have watched 3 entire seasons (I only missed ONE episode) of How I Met Your Mother. Yea...Yea...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why Can't I get Into the Damn Groove?

Aghhh. European schools are very different from American Universities. Or I should say, the University of Wolverhampton is really different from the University of Akron. At home, you have a syllabus which tells you all the things you need to get done and when you should have them done and what chapters to read and such. And more than that you have a clear concise explanation about what you need to do for papers. Here, you have a module guide. And there are only 2 assessments. One exam and One Essay (I think this is pretty general, but I am sure that some classes are different). So to tell the truth...I don't know what to do with myself. There's no attendance policy. And I don't have to turn things in to the professor. But most importantly, so much of the work that is due is vague. Like, I have to write a paper on gender representation in American Beauty, using 3 close textual analysis's. you know the same exact information about it that I do! lol. I swear. At Akron I would get much more than that. And then I have to write an essay in American Literature. And the questions are up on the Internet guide thingy. And they are just plain. I mean. I don't know. I think they expect their students to know what to do and do it. Poor lil ole American me needs a full explanation of what the hell I need to do. I will do it. And I am sure I will do okay, but I just don't know what to do with my time. At U of Akron people are always asking...How many references do I need, how many pages, what font, blah blah. That usually gets on my nerves t. But no one asks that here and I want to! Ack.

I have free time on my hands...But not really. Cause I should be studying and figuring out what I want to say. I think graduate school is a lot like this. It is my responsibility to structure my time and make sure I get my assignments done. Not any one elses. And no one is going to tell me what needs to be done. I should know what is expected of me. And its so funny, cause I have no problem with content. I understand everything, its actually easy going and easy to comprehend. Its the assignments that have me worried because I don't know what to do and when to start! But I will get the hang of this...wait, no I wont. lol. Another thing is that your given so many chances at my school. If you do poor on your test, theirs always the quizzes, if you don't do well on those, you have your attendance points, if those suck then you have extra credit. Nope, just TWO assessments and no attendance policy. So you fuck up once, you got one more time. But even then you still probably won't do well in the class. Fuck up twice...uhhh. Yea. And my one professor told the class only 2 of us would get A's and the rest should aim for good B's.....I was are you saying you think we'll give you crap work and this is what is going to happen? Or are you saying that you only give out 2 A's. Shit.

I think that the biggest thing that makes European college different is money. Seriously. In America, all the students that are really there to learn aim for A's and they pay lots of money for college. And many people have scholarships that depend upon their grades which is important. And because college is so expensive in America, you tend to not want to bullshit...that is if your paying for I guess. But here, people are a little more relaxed about college. And people do well here. I do like the atmosphere, its so much more laid back.

Actually, I had a workshop about being an international student and someone asked what should we call our professors. And the workshop person said that we should call our professors by their first name because calling them by their last name is a little formal and most don't like to be called Dr. Whatever. But overall to make sure to ask if we're not sure. I was so surprised by this! And someone else was as well. And the workshop person just said that making students call you Dr. or by your last name tends to be a power thing more than anything else and a lot of professors are laid back.

And hes right! All of my professors are called by their first name. And nothing else is expected. They all have doctorates. I wish the hell I would walk into some of the professors that I have had at Akron and say...Hello Bob. A lot of professors do like to be called by their first name or just professor but many aren't having it! And you call them Professor and let them tell you if they want to be called anything else. Whereas here, its expected that you call them by their first name and they will state if they want you to call them something else. Now, I am sure over at Oxford its not the same. Ha.

I think America is all about power and I think that Colleges and Universities are big power structures. I don't even know why I put think instead of know. Because I think that's common knowledge. But even I feel weird calling all my professors by their first name. I just spent all that time getting a doctorate, the least I can do is call you Dr.

But I will tell you one thing. Students tend to not challenge professors here. I asked about, because as you remember in one of my earlier posts, I said I didn't agree with my professor and the room got quiet quick! Well, a friend of mine from here said no, they tend to not question professors. At least can I say this...well shit, not like I do. lol. I feel like if I am not questioning professors, what am I doing in the class room? I don't ignorantly challenge professors, but what they say isn't gold. They can be wrong and I would like some clarification if I think they are. That Doctorate isn't fool proof playa! My professor in Representation in Cinema said this "Men are feminized by being raped and beaten." I don't even have to put that fucking sentence in context. I so badly wanted to raise my hand and start questioning her definition of femininity. I wanted to ask her a lot of things actually. This is the same professor that keeps talking about emasculation like its the saddest "practice" in society. Ugh. But I kept it to myself. Kept it to myself. I just believe that their should always be respect in the classroom but their should always be an atmosphere that welcomes discussion and sometimes debate.

I will get the hang of things here. Promise. Ill go now since this post is just super long. :o)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Just Some Conversation


It is 2 in the morning and I still can't sleep. I don't know what it is really. Maybe my body refuses to completely adjust. I guess all I can do is go with the flow...

This week has been interesting. On Thursday night I went out with the international gang. And I really enjoyed myself. My friends know at home that I am not one to go out often. I was told by my friends one time I went out that sometimes I would have to leave my politics at home. I think this may be true! (And yes, they share most of the political views that I have). It is so hard for me to leave my politics out of anywhere! I am such a political person. And I kinda don't like to say political. I just believe in equality with such a fierceness. I don't think thats political. Well, we all know that it is. But it isnt. But I think their is a difference between being politically passionate and being politically annoying. Maybe theres not a difference, just a fine line. I don't mind crossing that fine line but I don't always want to be on the annoying side. I find myself wondering whether I should say what's on my mind or not. Sometimes I feel like I further "other" myself when I do so. If someone makes a comment and I find myself correcting them, it makes the atmosphere uncomfortable and theres always that eery silence. I think that silence is necessary but not all the time. When someone says..."Oh, that is a man's drink." and everyone it my moment to say something? To bring up gender inequality? When someone says something is gay and the conversation goes that my time to interject and correct them? When someone mentions America helping in WWII and how proud I should that my time to mention the way Blacks were treated during this time?

It's those instances where the conversation isn't political but a comment is made and I just can't help myself. And then I get the silence. And lord knows I am a talker. Any progressive person has wondered these things. And I don't think theres any harm in choosing your battles, I think its the only way you can preserve your fire. I don't think any moment of education or correction is a waste, but I think people learn better in different ways and sometimes I wonder if I am wasting my breath by bringing up serious topics while people are trying to enjoy themselves! LOL. I am sorry, this all sounds so crazy because somewhere inside I am screaming ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT! But I don't know. Really. Sometimes I hate to be that lil informative gray cloud!

I guess I bring this up because when I go out...I can't help but to make certain observations. Race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. All of them. I don't drink much so its not like the alcohol affects my ability to analyze situations in a middle of loud club. lol. And I think its just who I am. I think I am that person that can't leave certain personality traits at home. But I cannot hang up my Blackness or my vagina and I cant leave my class or sexuality at home. So why leave my political opinions and perception of the world at home?

I just think its interesting that even though I am confident in my beliefs and who I am and who I am on the road to be....that I find myself questioning my place in social settings as well as my comments. But I guess I am not with my..umm...what is I am with a group of people, from different countries. So no, it is not surprising that I am questioning. Questioning is always a good thing.

I will try to go to bed now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Took Myself Out to Eat

Oh. Oh. Oh.

I took myself out to eat for lunch today. I figured..why not. I have had a rough week. My weekend starts on Thursday night because I have no classes on Friday. So I decided to take myself out to eat. At a nicceee restaurant. I wanted Italian. I went to Don Salvo. Oh me, oh my. Was it amazing. I am telling you. I spent 20 pounds. Which is about 30 dollars. I can't believe I spent 30 dollars on myself for a Friday lunch but whhhaatteevver. It was lunch and dinner as a matter of fact. I had Patate Cipollate, Pollo All Aglio, Misto Di Legumi....and thank God the food was also in English. lol. So I had sauteed pototoes, fresh veggies and this garlic and white wine breaded chicken that was sauteed. Man, I'm telling you. How in the hell have I been getting by with Olive Garden???

It was such a nice restaurant. The server put the napkin on my lap. Which I thought was so nice. lol. She was italian so she had a beautiful accent. The glasses were perfectly clean. I ordered my food. She then brought out the bread and butter and olive oil and vinegar. Haha. I tried to dip my bread in vinegar and olive oil. Then I found the butter. Such a fool. lol. And my food came out on separate plates because the potatoes and the veggies were not included in the main dish. The main dish was so freakin pretty! I wanted to take a picture of it, but then I realized 1. I didn't have my camera and 2. That is so classless. lol. Well, at least at a nice restaurant it is. But the kicker is that...their are waayyyy nicer restaurants than this one. And in Akron, you have like...what 1 or 2 restaurants that are like this one. Like Crave, which is where I had my going away dinner at. I wish their were more restaurants like this one at home. We have so many chain restaurants! Ack.

I was having a rough time with the food here when I first came. And actually, I am still not that big of a fan of English food. But I am getting better with the tastes of the food. I just realized actually tastes good without preservatives and such. Because that's what it is. They don't put unnecessary shit in the food. Americans put food coloring in food just to make it pretty whereas the food here in Wolverhampton is the color it should be! I am finding food that I like. That tastes that heaven. That's what my lunch tasted like today. Heaven. Heaven dipped in rich olive oil. Mmm. Even the butter on my fresh baked bread was free range! Free range butter. If you don't know what free range is, just google it.

I just wanted to share this experience with you guys. I don't think I will eat the same when I get home. I just can't. I am going to try to eat at nicer restaurants when I get back. And rarely. And cook at home with food that comes from fresher places. And also more free range meats and dairy and free trade food. I think the next time I go out I may try an Indian restaurant. I don't like Indian at home but I think the Indian population is the second biggest in this city so I am excited to try some authentic Indian food.

Okay, I gotta get some work done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feeling Good

Helllooo. All.

So, today I had planned a post about how great things were going and how much I am finally beginning to get into the swing of things. And thennnn I checked my email and someone from Akron, Ohio who studied abroad in Wolverhampton emailed tell me really that I am being negative. And what was funny was that she had only read one of my posts, my first one. Which to me, just isnt really reflective of my actual feelings about studying abroad because I had only been here for like a week and I was NOT feeling good or anything close to it. So, I get all ready to feel bad until I realized that I shouldnt! This blog is for me to share my experiences about studying abroad. Sometimes they will be negative, and sometimes they will be positive. I had a reeallllly rough transition. I think its because I was already stressed before I came and then mix together stress, not sleeping properly, not eating properly, being in a new surrounding and you just have a mess. So if their is anyone else that feels I have been negative...oh well. This is what you get when you read a blog. MY EXPERIENCE. Not, some happy collective study abroader experiencer where everything is supposed to be lollipops.

But like I said, I am feeling pretty good today! So yay.

So, why am I feeling better? I have had 6 hours or more of sleep for the last 2 days. That is enough to be happy about. But I also have had good meals. No junk food. And I alllsssoooo exercised today. So I really feel good and energetic. I got some work done yesterday. I finally feel into the groove here. The weather is so beautiful today. I went to Bath on Saturday and that was a great experience. I have been trying to stay positive and take care of myself. Its crazy, you just cant be in a stressful situation or a new one and not take care of yourself. I have to eat properly and get exercise in order to feel good and get things done. It's just the way its works. I have gotten so better about the food. Oh, and I must clarify something. Before I do, I must say I never think people that don't know me are reading this blog, so I guess I need to stop assuming that. Okay, so my opinions of the food here are more than just some dumb American who just wants American food. I am a picky eater. Anyone who knows me, knows that. At home, I send things back alllll the time. If I dont like food, I throw it away. That is it. So my discomfort with the food here is less about it being from a different country and more about ME being a weird picky eater. But anyways. I have been cooking lately and I just feel better. I made tacos last night and I am making some sauteed chicken and a baked potato tonight. Yummy!

I love being with people from different countries. It does make me see the things that I do that are very much associated with being an American. I will stick with the food thing. Example. My housemate is alllwwaayysss saying something about the food that I throw away. Actually, they all have seen me throw away massive amounts of food and complain about food. And my one housemate has this (annoying yet lovable) thing where she says...what about the children in Africa. Sometimes I feel like pulling out my hair when she says it, but I must admit something. I am way too comfortable with wasting food. People here eat their food...even if they dont like it. WOWWWWW.

Because thats how they were raised! But even though I wasnt necessarily raised to waste food my culture doesnt necessarily look down upon it. American culture is so...what am I trying to say is centered around everyones likes and dislikes. If you dont like this, throw it away, send this back, yadda yadda yadda. We're so comfortable with throwing things away and demanding things that we like cause...damnit we deserve it. If we dont like it, we complain. Cause we are supposed to like it. I have seen so many people not like their food and eat it. It really does amaze me. I havent seen anyone send anything back. Anything. My two housemates from Holland and Belgium are just amazed at how much food I waste. They said they were raised to eat everything. And the stereotype that is most known for Americans (other than fast food, and yes Americans...unfortunately we are known for our fast food) is that we want everything big and in massive amounts. We just cant get enough and we cant have things big enough. That is not something I can say I am proud of. I think it goes hand in hand with my waste of food. Oh, theres always more where that came from and oh who cares and yadda yadda. I always think their is more and I hardly think about the people who struggle...and NOT in Africa, shit in America! I think these are the subtleties that will change my behavior in the long run.

I am starting to really appreciate the European way of life. And of course, I will not say that this is every European country and alllll Americans are this or that. But being around my housemates just brings out the things that I do that I could possibly change. Things that I think I get from my larger culture. The first thing to be noticed is my wasteful habits. So I have already looked at my eating habits and my spending habits. Theres no telling what else I will learn to appreciate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Can't Freakin Sleep!

So, I cant sleep. I have been tossing and turning for the last 3 days. Yesterday night...I got in the bed at 3 and did not really sleep until 6. I just kept waking up and tossing and turning and getting caught in the damn sheets, then looking at the clock thinking...what is goin on here. I mean. Is it possible that my body is still rejecting the time here? Because 5 and 6 in the morning is like 12 in America and thats when I would usually go to bed. But not for the months before I left. I mean, its 2:40 in the morning and I could just as well be outside walking about. I can't sleep. I just cant sleep. It is driving me crazy.

Then, I decided I would read Young, Fabulous and Broke by Suze Orman and check out my financial ish and that just made me want to jump off a bridge. lol. I mean, Suze knows how to make you feel like crap and so does this economy. I need to exchange about 1000 dollars for living expenses, and I will get 700 back. So annoying. And thats just for today. Aint no telling what it will be like when I actually do it. Then when I get back home I have to pay for stuff like housing. And my car is broke. I am not feeling good at this moment. I cannot believe that I did not get that stupid freakin visa. Anyways. I am babblin right now because I am tired and broke and I just want my stuffed cow that I left at home...I knew I should have brought my stuff cow. I love Mr.Cow. Damnit.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Long Convo with a Llyods TSB Advisor

I opened up a Bank Account in England. Because I am tired of the fees that FirstMerit hits me with. I got my card in the mail today so I called to talk to an advisor (what they call them) about activation and such.

So I get this young man...forget his name...maybe it was Craig or maybe Dave. I don't know. Anyways. He notices my accent and he asks where I am from and I say Ohio. He says cool. Blah Blah. He then asks why I am in Britain. I tell him for school. He asks me what I am studying. By the way, I am thinking to myself, "He sure is trying to have a conversation instead of talking about this debit card." But I am like whatever. For some reason people like Ohioan accents round these parts. Haha. Anyways. I am just going to break this down. So imagine us kinda talking over each other. And of course, I cant remember everything that was said. But this was the majority of it:

Advisor: Oh what are you studying?
Me: Well, I am taking a lot of classes. I have a major and two minors. You know what that is?
Advisor: Oh well, yes, the major part.
Me: I will get a major degree in Social Work. B.A.S.W and then two minor degrees. One in English and the other in Women's Studies.
Advisor: Oh...Women's Studies...what exactly is..umm..that about?
Me: Well, you knoowwwww. Gender Inequality, Sexism, Gender Roles, Discrimination, Racism, Oppression, all that good stuff.
Advisor: Ohhh! Well, I was about to say...I thought it would have been a bunch of woman sitting around talking about how much they hate men...
Me: Oh. HA. HA. no no. Not that at all. Theory and research and all that good stuff. And if that was so it would be Men's Studies. Riigghhhtt. Well, its about gender really. Ya know.
Advisor: Oh no, that would be just a bunch of men sitting around watching videos.
Me: Oh. Ha Ha.
Advisor: you dont burn your bras do you? ohh haha I'm just joking with you.
Me: Oh well hey, how do you know I don't burn my bra? Maybe I want to burn my bra. Yaaaa knoooww.
Advisor: Oh haha. Yea. Just joking.
Advisor: Oh yeaaa. Well, How are you liking Britain so far?
Me: Welllllll...the food isnt that great but youu knooww. No No. Just kidding. Everything is great.
Advisor: oohh haha haha. All Americans are mouthy huh?
Me: Well of course! haha
Advisor: Just joking. Just Joking. hahahahaha.

Then we actually got into my debit card business. Our conversation about what I am doing here was longer than the actual business I called about! But he was not about to just make those comments and move along.

Why is it that Women's Studies constantly has to defend itself? Even seriously or jokingly. And really, even when people laugh their way through their comments it doesn't make it any less of an insult. Because no one is like....ohh hahaha. Sociology you say..what is that about..just a bunch of sociologists sitting around and blah blah blah. Probably a bad example but whatever. Its incredibly annoying. Its condescending as well. I have to defend Women's Studies all the time. Its like I have an entire monologue ready for people questioning Women's Studies. When I tell people that I am a Women's Studies minor and that's what I plan on getting my Ph.D in, I commonly get..."oh, is that a bunch a woman sitting around talking about men." Yes, absolutely. Because when women get together, that is all we can talk about. That's our existence. MEN. That is all. No scholarly research. We give out degrees to women who can sit around in an academic setting and profess their hatred for men. Um...and most importantly, MEN can and are in Women's Studies programs. Give me a break. Really.

And the part about Americans being mouthy was just funny. If anything, HE was the mouthy one. 21 questions...sheesh. But I probably should have kept the "bad food" comment to myself...what can I say?! I am just me. It's rare that I don't say what I really want to say.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Getting Work Done While in Another Country...

Seriously. I hate having to do work. Why? Why must I read and write? Just because I am in college! lol. Put no, really. It is so hard to concentrate on work to be done in class when you could be in another city or you could be meeting people from another country. I had a great time last night when I went out with some friends. I did no homework the entire day. Even right now...what am I doing. Not homework. Okay, so lets just talk about what I have to do.

I have to read The House of Mirth before Tuesday. Grr. I have to read some chapters in Film Art. I have to do some questions for Sex in the Eighteenth Century and I have to umm..shit. That aint a lot to do. haha. It feeeeellllsss like too much though. Really. Especially because I have to catch up on film art stuff. Maybe I feel pressured to get a start on some of these papers that will be do. Maybe I need to stop stressing myself out. I am okay...right. Right. Yea. For sure. I am okay. Um..I will be back later to talk about some pretty interesting things.

Friday, February 6, 2009

1:30am Saturday

For the first time, I think I am a tad sad. I guess, I just miss my friends and my way of life. But I also miss familiarity. I have always had a problem with that. I do not think that I am having a problem making friends. Although that was my first concern, it turns out I am a likeable gal. lol. I just feel a lil bit homesick but I dont like to use that word. Its too general. I mean, life is the same everywhere. You take care of your responsibilities, you find something you enjoy and you find love. Thats it. And that love is not just romantic love. I am talking about friendships mainly. Human bonds. I think thats the key to every single life. Its universal. So, I am trying to get into that groove. It's just hard. Because even though I have made some connections, I still find myself doing things alone. Either because I don't want to bother or because its something I think that others wont have interest in. Most importantly, what saddens me is that I am constantly being unproductive online. Right now I think that I am being productive, but when I am just on facebook, looking at peoples pages...that's a problem. I think that's a really big problem in our society. Our generation. Our production level is slowly decreasing. My desire to read books is becoming smaller and smaller. The Internet is instant gratification. You click and your on. I think that's why other generations may be calmer and more patient than us. I am not one of those...wait, yes I am...


Sorry. It is true. I think somethings being lost. Like even with email. I love writing letters to people. But who does that anymore? Everyone is me. Email me. The excuse is that email is quicker but so what. I mean, people lived without email for a long period of time. Are we too busy of a people to put some pen to paper? Do we need to spend every waking moment of our time to be up on the latest gossip and make money that we can live without, while ignoring the pleasures that are timeless. I am just saying. I hate to be a romantic. Really. But somethings missing. We're losing some things that I think should be cherished and preserved.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Exchange Rate (Yadda Yadda)

So, I just feel the need to talk about the exchange rate. It drives me nuts but I knew what I was getting into before I got into it. The exchange rate was a little bit better when I first got here. So just to show you, I will demonstrate what I bought today and how much it really cost me. Because I am bored. lol. Anyways. I went shopping today. I needed some basic Mary Janes. Last week I went to A New Look and bought some cheap lil tiny heeled things that I wore once and they sucked and made my feet hurt and they did not look cute on my feet. So I decided that I would invest in a nice pair that would last me longer. And I am glad I did because the ones I got today are so cute! Anyways, off topic.

So. I got a pair of Black Mary Janes, some shoe shining stuff, a hair flower, 2 packs of tights (4 pair all together), a pair of socks, some earrings, the movies Fame, The Color Purple and Little Shop of Horror. It all cost 77.87 in pounds. The shoes were 52 and the rest of the stuff was 26 (Asda is so cheap!). So today I really paid $112.60. Thats 34.73 to the wind. I just think of just tossing it to the wind. Wallaaa. "Here's my money wind!." Plus I pay a 3% fee to even use my credit/debit card. The exchange rate is great now cause it was worse, but that's still a big difference! I put 200 pounds on my Asda shopping card for February's groceries and household needs. But it really cost me 289 dollars! And once again, the 3% charge I have for using my credit card abroad. The Wind is getting rich!
So when I shop, I have to make sure its stuff I will be using often here and stuff that I cant get at home. Also quality stuff. I find that if I try to buy super cheap stuff it either breaks or I buy a lot of it but when I invest in nice stuff I will buy less, it looks nicer, and it lasts longer. So that's what I have to keep in mind.
Okay and here is another pic of my shoes. I love them! Such cute detail. Tootles.

American Literature Class

So, I must admit that I have been slacking as far as this blog goes. I have 2 long entries and nothing else. I really could be talking about more of the experiences that I have been having at the University of Wolverhampton. Today, right now at least (because I may have another entry today) I will be talking about my experience in my American Literature Class.
So, the classes here at Wolverhampton are once a week. And the class can last from 2 hours to 4 hours I believe. Which just drives me absolutely insane. Have you sat in a 3 hour class? Gosh, its ridiculous no matter how enjoyable the subject matter. Anyways. Today I had American Literature from 9 to 11. I took this class to get a British perspective on American Literature but that's just ironic because I hate different perspectives. I just have to come out and say it. It's weird, but I find myself annoyed in this class. Really. And I think it's the American in me. Being an American is not all negative. But I do think theres a certain persona/personality that comes from being from the most powerful richest country in the world. You think you know everything and your opinion is gold. When really, it isn't. Mine isn't. I was humbled today. Even though I still believe what I said. I guess I should just tell ya then explain myself.
Today we read "The Gilded Six-Bits" by Zora Neale Hurston. We are in the African-American section of the class (which pisses me off but to the credit to this professor we do read Toni Morrison later in the class so Black literature isn't totally marginalized) and I love the Harlem Renaissance. It's my favorite period. If not for the Harlem Renaissance we wouldn't have the great authors we have today. To make a long story short I disagree with his interpretation of the short story. Period. I think it's too in depth and naive. If that makes any sense. I think its a simple love story with a lot of symbolism. A man and woman are in love and have a routine in their life (even if this routine seems sexist, we have to put the story in context) and its interrupted by Greed. Evil. But the professor believes that the relationship they have is like child and father and he treats her like a little girl and that its about debunking the stereotypes of Blacks at the time. I can see where he gets this from but I disagree. But why on earth do I have to proclaim this! Everyone does not need to know that I disagree and I don't need to correct him so he gets his interpretation in line with mine. Its ridiculous. I asked for the British interpretation of American Literature and I got it. I am not there to teach them and I am not there to be praised. It is as simple as that. But I complicate things with my ego.
It frustrates me. Because of course, I came home and I researched different analysis. Who am I kidding, I researched analysis's that supported my own interpretation and theres plenty of them. But Literature can be interpreted in so many different ways. I just felt so uncomfortable after I made it clear that I disagreed. It was definitely not disrespectful but it brought negative attention on myself. I need to quiet myself. Quiet my ego. No one can say what's what about any literature except the author. And I am not Zora Neale Hurston. And may she rest in peace.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On Edge...oh this is long by the way...

I am incredibly irritated and on edge lately. I think it is for a lot of reasons. I am in a new environment. I am eating different foods. I am participating in different activities. All these things are supposed to happen as I study abroad. But apart of me is just irritated about it all, because. Just because. Because today, all I want is 3 tacos, a diet Pepsi and some Cinnamon twists from Taco Bell or a simply ass mandarin salad from Wendy's. That's all. But no, for dinner...I had a bag of fucking Doritos. Yup, Doritos. Because the food here is horrible. And I also refuse to sugarcoat this fact. An Englishman asked me today, "What do you think about English food." And yup, I told him what I thought. No sense in lying. He might have been offended but who gives a shit. Also, people go out drinking here EVERYDAY. I mean it, like, every day. It drives me insane. Mostly because I'm not much of a drinker. Never have been. I like the movies, and plays, and shopping and dinner. I do like to sit and talk and have a drink. But I do not like to have a drink every day at Pubs. I just don't. But I feel like the more I turn people down the more they will stop inviting me to places, so when I do want to go somewhere I will not be invited and I will feel a little left out. But if I say yes to every time I am asked to go out and drink I am going to be a drunk and have some breast problem. By the way, I was told by my doctor to limit, almost entirely stop drinking alcohol (and nuts) because I have been having breast pains. So yea, I don't want to be out drinking all the damn time.

SOOOOO. That was a lot of rambling. I seem to have a lot on my mind right now. I just feel out of touch with things. I don't feel in touch with home, or here, so I feel like I am somewhere in the Universe without being connected. It's weird. I'm always online, which is crazy. I wish I was at least reading a book instead of looking at shoes on websites. haha. I don't know. I'm just a little frazzled. I'm home sick. I think I will be for some time.

I had my third class today. Its called Being Bad and the teacher is from Wales. mm mm. Wales accent. I would hump him if he didn't smoke and if that wasn't creepy and a form of rape. But yea, I love accents from Wales. They almost sound Wales by Ireland? I don't know. I met some cool people in that class. We did an exercise where everyone wrote down their worst secret and then it was put in a box and then everyone got another and read the worst out loud. Not the worst I suppose, but the most surprising. We spoke a lot about a secret about a girl or boy who slept with her/his boyfriends father! And its so crazy because we are just analyzing the shit out this secret and I think people forgot that the person was in the room. And another funny thing is that mine was shouted out! Ha. I aint tellin ya, it aint really a big secret. I think its hilarious. Everyone laughed like..this persons kooky. Haha.

I had another class yesterday called American Literature. I have to read this book called The House of Mirth. And its a book of manners and I know I am going to hate it. Really. I am. But whatever.

So my third class is called Representation and Cinema. Its about how different groups are represented in cinema. lol. So, I am just a tad annoyed about some things. One, all of the movies in the class are American. I mean, I may be wrong. But European movies do exist. Its just annoying. I almost feel like European think that American movies are naturally theirs because they speak English. And dare I admit that if that's the case, I am annoyed. I don't know, I just feel like their could have been ONE non-American movie on the damn list. So, we watched American Beauty. I love American Beauty. I like Kevin Spacey actually. But the discussion afterwards irritated me. Heres the problem with being an American in an American oriented (obviously, no damn European movies) hear people incorrectly analyzing things. You want to correct them but you feel weird and then your a lil peeved by it because their so sure of themselves. That's how I felt in the move. But my biggest gripe, that I most certainly have to talk about right now is something the teacher made us discuss after the film: EMASCULATION.

My professor, a woman, kept going on and on about emasculation. Now, she has some books in the bibliography of our module guide and actually, some that we are suppose to read....that talk about feminist critique of cinema. So, she's read something about feminism. I didnt say anything because I had said too much in class and lord knows I am tired of being the girl in class that talks too much (as well as the only Black, but what was I expecting in Wolverhampton?). I just kept my mouth shut, which is hard for me. Real hard.

Let me break this down. Emasculation is: the loss of power and masculinity or to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit (thanks Princeton and Websters!). Those are some academic definitions. The teacher kept talking about how Kevin Spaceys wife, Annette Benning, was emasculating. Emasculating this, emasculating that. How in the hell can I take someones masculinity away, because in most definitions it means to castrate, which means to take a mans balls away. Argh. But in the way people say it, it means to take someone gender away. To emasculate is to take away POWER. Princeton had it right: POWER. That's it. Because to be a male, is to have power. More power than women. My professor kept talking about how Annette Benning kept Kevin Spacey away from speaking and belittled him and made him invisible and like a child in the family. And usually when people talk about emasculation, they speak of women taking the maleness from men and exhibiting those qualities. Because, we all know...that's Annette Bennings place is to be quiet, invisible, like a child and in the background. Annette took Kevin Spacey's maleness from him which is the biggest crime that anyone can commit. Emasculation. The funniest thing is that theres no female equivalent. Right? Only women can take power away from men, men cant take power away from women. I just hate it when the words use, why cant we say that she took him humanness (yup, made it up) away from him. All humans deserve the right to be seen and heard and felt and apart of the family and they also deserve say. They deserve happiness. Why do these have to be male centered privileges? Why is that the word emasculate comes up every time a woman is too vocal or wants to take lead or make decisions. Shit, why does the word come up when woman are naggy and put down men and are degrading to men. That's still not emasculation. It has nothing to do with maleness and everything to do with humanity. I can really go on some more about this but I am not. This blog is already too long. But I would really like to put an end to the word emasculate (the gendered use of it). Its so funny...because my American Lit teacher talked about someone being emasculated by having his balls taken off...and I thought..oh...okay...Annette Benning being an asshole to Kevin Spacey is the equivalent to taking his balls off? And whats even more annoying is that I think her character cared nothing about maleness and femaleness and gender roles in the home more than she cared about perfection and wanting to sell houses. She was an obsessed suburban woman who was satisfied with nothing so try to control everything around her because she thought it would make her happy. She wasn't trying to steal Kevin Spacey's balls. Ack.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Helllooooo and Catching Up

This is my blog. I have finally set it up. I created this blog because my friends and family asked about it but it is for everyone. I will just be talking about the things that go on with me at the University of Wolverhampton and how I am handling all of the cultural changes. I have worked on this blog for the last 30 minutes, so I hope you think it is aesthetically pleasing. Ha. So to give you the basics, my study abroad institution is The University of Wolverhampton, and my home institution is the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

Classes started for everyone. I do not have classes on Monday so I tried to handle some business. I have to fill out something called a learning agreement at the international office. I went there, they told me to go to some women in the next building and then I went over there and she wasn't available. I was quite annoyed because the women who was in the office told me to just leave the paper on the desk, which doesn't seem very professional, but whatever. I am excited for classes to start but I am also worried. I think that I will have a hard time if I am expected to spell in the U.K way. English from England is very different to me and to tell the truth I am not that fond of it. But maybe I am exaggerating. Maybe I will go to class and it will not be that different.

I have met so many people from so many different places. I feel very privileged. I also feel slightly embarrassed because in America we are not necessarily encouraged to learn as much about other peoples countries as other people from different countries know about the United States. Sometimes I feel like there is a bit of an obsession with the United States. Dare I say that? But it is true in some cases. Really.

I have noticed things in the U.K that really bother me. One of them is that the food is absolutely horrible. Seriously. It is bad. And I do not like all these creams and butters on my biscuits and such. I don't know. I am a picky eater at home, so I definitely wasn't expecting to get to the United Kingdom and eat everything in sight. I also notice that the clothing style is much more artistic. There aren't a lot of brands over here in Wolverhampton. I suppose I have to be specific with where I am talking about because all of England is not the same I am sure, like London. I see a lot of girls that look the same but I also see a lot of girls that seem to really express themselves with their clothing. This is quite refreshing because I find in Akron, in the U.S there are too many women that prefer to be a label. Just one big walking label. Don't get me wrong, I like labels, but I much rather prefer to look like someone that isn't a drone. I love colors. I hate to mention this but I see this girl who is from Italy. That's another thing, their is a big international population here, so who knows where some of these girls are really from. But she is from Italy. She is over with my neighbor all the time. Her breasts are only one hop away from coming out of her shirt. Literally. Her bra must be empty cause her tits sure ain't in it! I ain't lying. So sexuality seems to be the same, less is more. Or at least many girls think that less will get them more...which is true in many cases, unfortunately. I have noticed that Wolverhampton isn't necessarily P.C. There is this sign in the window of a store that says..."Private Property..No One Allowed In, Unless You Have Big Boobs." This really disgusted me but I will have to speak on this later.

I really need to do some grocery shopping. Maybe I will do some more blogging tonight. I will probably chat with ya tomorrow though.