Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Playtime and Celebrations

Here I come to kick some butt!!
All work and no play makes Alexis a dull girl.

Fortunately this week is full of fun. This past Saturday I got a night out to a friend's costume party (super fun to dress up and reconnect with friends!). Sunday I sang Pharrell's "Happy" at church and then we had Trunk or Treat, which was followed by us carving a pumpkin and roasting the seeds.

And this coming weekend? I'm opening at the Cambridge Drive Concert Series which should be another good time.

With any luck, next Monday Christian and I will get some movie time, but that will depend on a few things being in place (babysitting and errands being completed for example).

Though I have a few aspects of my doctoral applications yet to complete (short answers and essays for example), I feel confident that I will have them completed soon, and that all aspects of the applications will be at the peak of excellence (as far as I can make them). That's all I can do. The reactions of the admissions committees are outside of my control. I'm comfortable with whatever happens because I know whatever happens, this coming year is going to be a good year for myself and my little family. I don't know what that means exactly, but I know we're heading to a really good place.

All the more reason to put on some make-up and pretend to be an off duty superhero...or Toby Keith (Christian's costume...complete with a red plastic cup...).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Misandry, Misogyny, and The Third Way

I am a feminist and... I love men.

WHAAAAAT?!?! I can hear some misandrist somewhere shaking her fist and shouting obscenities.



Except it isn't. I think it's safe to say that most women love men. They love their fathers. They love their brothers. They love their sons, partners, husbands, and friends. There are quite a lot of men in our lives that we love.

I think it's pretty safe to say that most women also want respect, because we're people and people want respect. We want the ability to control our lives and have our choices, feelings, and values honored.

These things should not be controversial, news, or rocket science. They are common sense.

That all said, I understand why there are women out there who hate men. I get that. I get the personal experience that is so incredibly hurtful it shades your perspective on every person to the point of essentialism. I can understand why an abused woman would hate her abuser, or anyone with qualities reminding her of that person. I understand why someone would hate her attacker, and anyone with similar qualities. It makes sense to me, but it also is something that I believe everyone needs to move past.

I am not someone saying "just get over your hurt." That is not what I mean at all. I mean to say we need to be different. We cannot act like oppressors pointing to a whole group of people and claim they are all exactly alike. That is preposterous. I would be angry if someone said all women were X or Y (hee hee) so how can I do the same thing to another group?

I also recognize there are still a lot of insecure men out there who continue to perpetuate sexual inequality and that situation isn't something we as women can just "get over." That said, we cannot make choices based out of fear, anger, or hatred. This is the way down a spiral of pain and despair.

Instead, let us honor ourselves and our fellow humans by acting out of compassion, wisdom, and justice. Whatever feminist actions we take, let them be informed by these three values, for if we do not, then we are no better than misogynists.

It is time for us to reclaim feminism from hatred and reassert it's original purpose - equality for all. This is neo-feminism - one that transcends misandry and allows for men supportive of the women in their lives to rejoin the movement. As a woman married to a man, who bore a son, I'd like feminism to welcome them with open arms, so they can work beside the women they love for a brighter tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I Need a Writing Sample!

Oh. My. God.

I'm screwed.

Okay, not screwed, but pretty up a creek.

I discovered, finally, that I do not actually have copies of any of my academic work...anywhere.

You see, my laptop that I used for all my academic work fried in the Phoenician heat about 6 years ago. I don't recall if any of the documents were saved during the death pangs of that limping machine. If they were, I haven't the foggiest where I might find such documents.

And of course, I need a 15 page writing sample to submit with my applications.

I won't lie - this was quite a blow to my tenuous calm. I'm this close (picture pinched index finger and thumb) to calling it quits. Okay, not at all. Instead, I will have to write a new essay and complete it in a timely manner. The biggest hurdles to this proposition are the following:
  1. The fact that I haven't written an academic paper in over 6 years (minor in the grand scheme of things).
  2. The fact that I don't have a specific essay prompt/direction for said paper (kind of a problem).
  3. The fact that I will have to scrounge together the time to do this 15 page paper (all nighters? up at 5 AM? Insomnia is my friend!)...
  4. and of course it will need to have cited supportive evidence in APA format.

So, with this looming in my immediate future...anyone have any ideas as to essay topics? My current idle thoughts are:
  • Feminine power (battles over birth)
  • Female identity (transitioning from woman to wife to mother)
  • Religion and women (this would likely require the most citations and research) - focused on women in Christianity
  • Informal (possibly v formal) education and credibility in pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. 
Weigh in below! Also, consider if it is really a good piece/topic...I'll submit it to a site or journal to get published (because why not!).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Perfecting Your CV

Resumes have rules. CVs are...negotiable.

Trying to figure out the best headings and the best things to include on a CV during the application phase is a pain in the ass.

Do you have enough honors and awards to merit their own heading? Does anyone care about your community service? Is there any point in mentioning that life changing experience if it doesn't really fit under your teaching experience? What about those two years at art school that are completely unrelated to everything else? What about the 10+ books you have independently published? Are they helpful or hurtful?

And those are just my CV questions.

Luckily I have a few people in my life willing to give my vitae a once or thrice over. We've been going over everything with a fine toothed comb, to the point where I'm deciding where best to put the publication dates of my books (I think I'm still including them as a testament to my productivity regardless of their genre.) and the location of my research interests (the top).

And these are the things that keep me up at night. That and something else: What if I don't get in? Or what if I get in to only one place? Or what if I get into everywhere I apply? What do I do in each scenario?

To put in so much energy to the application process, it would be devastating not to get accepted, however, I would also know quite clearly it wasn't meant to be. If I was accepted everywhere, I would have to prioritize various aspects of each program and school in order to make the best long term choice, despite whatever pressures might come at me. Hopefully everyone would respect my choice seeing as I try to make decisions carefully and thoughtfully.

But that is a discussion for February or March. Today I am focused on perfecting CVs and statements of purpose. Tomorrow I am focused on recommendations. I can only focus on one step at a time, otherwise I would never sleep. Seriously.