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Reflection on First Day of English Classes

Both of my teachers are awesome.  I’m glad I stuck with theatre throughout my undergrad, simply because I love the kind of person I became because of that entire department.  I’m also glad I decided to keep on keepin’ on with school, and am excited to get into literature and writing.  I’ve gone through so many different moods today: Excited, exhausted, annoyed, happy, inadequate, arrogant, content, overwhelmed, and overall like I’m doing the Right Thing ™ with my life.

I am dealing with, and possibly going through the five stages of grief, the fact that I have to write a literary fiction short story, free of fantastic adventures or gratuitous violence.  I’m dealing with it pretty well, considering I already have an idea for a story centering on a simple day in the life of a teenage trans-man (boy?).  Because if I write about something that seems ordinary to me, it will have an unhappy theme, because I think true ordinary is either tragic or boring.

I am dealing with the fact that someone who was a student in a class I student taught, is now a classmate, though I haven’t said a word to her or her to me.  I would say I was her teacher, but I wouldn’t call anything I did in that class teaching—it was 4th quarter of a Varsity Debate class, and my task was to make them look busy/ keep them from setting the room on fire for a few weeks while waiting until I could go back to teaching Drama 1 during that period.  Still, you might already know that I tend to freak out when two parts of my life that were previously tightly compartmentalized crash together in even the most minor way. 

I keep thinking of Fight Club, and Tyler Durden’s proclamation that we are not Beautiful Unique Snowflakes (or something close to that).  Because, let’s face it, I have a tendency to think of myself as some sort of special literary genius innovator or something who, in my fantasies of grandeur, needs no critiquing and will have publisher begging to publish me if only I simply finish a book (which, no doubt, will be a work of art, anthem of a generation, blah blah blah).  I’m not actually a narcissistic psycho.  I just tend to take criticism of my stories personally.  They are like my babies after all.  But I’m getting over that, or making myself get over it.  Otherwise, I’ll never know the ways in which I suck, or how to stop sucking. 

Overall, it was a good day.  Oh, and I have two chapters and four articles to read for Thursday.  Gotta love it.  (And I do.)

Voting in Church

I confess:  I don’t often vote.  It’s been pretty much US congress and Presidential elections for me.  So, I don’t often know where to vote.  I’m registered to vote in Greene County, and for the last five years I’ve moved every year.  This is actually the first time I’ll be living in the same place two years in a row since I lived with my parents, in high school.  I didn’t want to do another tour of the city figuring out which voting site I needed to be at, so I did the sensible thing and mailed in my change of address.  The result?

 

Sunset Church of Christ.  You know what’s crazy?  That’s what I was hoping for.

 

Some people think this shouldn’t be used as a voting site, it being a church and all.  Something about separation of church and state.  I don’t get that.  Polling sites aren’t allowed to have political propaganda within a certain distance, so that shouldn’t be an issue (and churches aren’t supposed to endorse candidates anyway, but, well…).  So, why would I mind voting in a church?  Because I’m an atheist and an ardent secularist?  Because I think the very building dedicated to religious nonsense might sway my opinion?  I seriously doubt that the Holy Ghost is going to take possession of me and force me to vote Romney.  Walking into a church won’t make me doubt my dedication to secularism any more that walking through a meat department at the grocery store will make me want to give up vegetarianism.  I’ve voted in the Catholic Student Center and, other than the obligatory creepy crucifix hanging on the wall, it was the same experience as voting in a fire station.

 

But why can’t we all just vote at fire stations and public schools?  Well, if you are able to vote in the US, I’m assuming you’ve been here, and noticed that there are usually more churches that fire stations and public schools.  I actually have to pass a church in order to get to a fire station or public school.  You know why I was hoping  my voting locations was Sunset Church of Christ?  Because I live right next to it.  I pass it on my way to both work and school.  The nearest fire station is four times farther away, and the nearest public school is farther.  I would be willing to bet that most people in this city live in walking distance of church.  That makes it easier to vote.  I like for voting to be as easy as possible.

I Never Wake Up

I don’t know why, but just before I go to bed on any given night, I get a little delusional. I start making grandiose plans for the next day. As in, “I’m going to get up at dawn, bike twenty miles, lift weights until I’m in the Olympics, and then write ten pages with time (and energy) left over to cook myself the most amazing vegetarian meal anyone has seen, ever. And then, I’ll go out downtown and do it all over again the next day!”

Except, when you got up at nine and go to bed at two, getting up at dawn doesn’t exactly happen. Not for me, at least; not without some Very Important Thing that I can’t sleep through. Lately, I promise myself I’ll wake up at seven-thirty. In the am. And I do—because of my loud, annoying alarm. I’ll get up long enough to drink some coffee, maybe. Then, somehow, I’ll end up back in bed before eight, and asleep until nine. Or after. At which time I get up and no, I don’t run a marathon or write my entire novel in one day. I don’t audition for a cooking show, and I actually don’t feel like talking to anyone because I’m still cranky that I have to be awake.

What does that even mean?

I took my car into Pep Boys today to get the AC fixed.  Turns out the hose I need replaced is only slightly more available than a grail, or grail-shaped beacon.  So, with the news that it will take all day, probably until tomorrow, to take out the broken hose and literally build a new one, I got to walk home.  In flip flops.  Because, apparently, I’m way too cool for tennis shoes on Wednesday mornings.

 

But there’s this thing that happens when I walk on sidewalks, or bike on sidewalks, that annoys me only slightly more than having to tread over a mile in flip flops through exhaust fumes.  People honk at me.  Male people.  I do not understand this.  I used to think it was normal to honk at someone walking on the side of the road, but that was when I lived in a small town with no sidewalks.  The message was clear  then: either, “Watch out, I’m driving behind you,” or “Get off the road and walk in the grass, idiot.”

 

But honking at a girl walking down a sidewalk?  What is that supposed to mean?  Do you think it’s attractive?  Do you think I’ll run up to your window to collect your number for a date later?  Is it simple objectification, like the auditory version of patting my ass?  Or do you think it’s a friendly beep to let me know I’m pretty?  I just don’t get the motivation behind a man honking at a woman who is walking on the sidewalk.  Because at this particular moment in my day, it sounds more like “hey, I’m in a car!  You’re not!”  And that’s the nicest thing I can think of.

 

I’ve only come up with one reaction to this that truly expresses my feelings.  I don’t get upset.  I definitely don’t smile and wave (thank you for being creepy?).  I flip them off.  Because anything more is too much effort, and possibly a legal risk the way I’d do it.

Pro-Abortion

Pro-choicers call pro-lifers anti-choice.

Pro-lifers call pro-choicers pro-abortion.

 

It’s kind of childish, a little bit of name-calling, but none of these labels are entirely inaccurate.  I’ll go ahead and own it:  I’m pro-abortion.

 

What does that mean?  Do I want every pregnant person* to have an abortion?  No more babies!  End the plague of the human race!  Ha, no.  Pro-abortion doesn’t mean I want everyone to have an abortion any more than pro-gay marriage means I want everyone to marry a member of their own gender.  Pro-abortion means that I support abortion being legal, and people having an abortion for any reason.

 

Any reason.  You know what I hate about the abortion debate?  Every argument for legal abortion is almost immediately taken down to cases of rape and incest.  Even the pregnancy threatening the expectant mother’s life takes a backseat to this.  These seem to be the only two reasons in which most people would condone abortion.  They also make up a statistically small percentage of abortions.

 

Well, what about every child’s right to not grow up in poverty or foster care?  Every child’s right to be wanted?  Yeah, what about it?  These hypothetical children do not exist.  They have no rights, as people who do not exist.  Don’t get me wrong, these are great reasons to support abortion, and to have one.  I’m all for not having a baby versus putting a baby into foster care and the unlikelihood of being adopted.  But these are not the reasons abortion is okay.  Abortion itself is okay because it is not murder, and done in a safe and medical environment, it is not harmful.  The only reason a person should need for having an abortion is that she doesn’t want to be pregnant. 

 

Yes, there are bad, harmful reasons for having an abortion.  There are bad, harmful reasons people have for doing lots of legal things:  getting married, drinking alcohol, having cosmetic surgery, having a child.  Peoples’ ability to make bad decisions should not be grounds for making something illegal.

 

 

 

*I tried to use semi-gender inclusive language here, because it is possible for a transgender man to be pregnant.

 

 

Pro-choice source: http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/women_who.html

Pro-Life source  http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/reasonsabortions.html

http://www.imnotsorry.net/

Happy Easter, Atheists!

Ever get annoyed that it’s only the Christian holidays for which businesses close and schools get the day off?  “Spring Holiday” nicely tacked on after spring break, just in time for Easter…but no other religion gets a coincidentally timed, day-off holiday just in time for their superstitious celebration. 

And what do Atheists get? 

A day off.  Hellz, this ain’t the middle ages.  We don’t have to spend holidays in church.  So to anyone getting upset over Christian holidays being Federal or business holidays, I say this:  shut up before they take it back.  For real.  I like my days off.  Let’s be sure to keep it that way.

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