But some good things did, too. Let’s go through the bad first…
I met with Dr. Shaggy to check and see if my potential dissertation topics were feasible. He seemed very surprised I wanted to meet this early on, and let me know we were meant to have a meeting in December. I tried to explain to him that I have no idea what I am doing so I wanted to meet beforehand. Good thing I did.
I learned that I pretty much need to nix my original dissertation idea. I had envisioned doing something on China and Greece and if there was influences between the two. Maybe narrowed down somewhat. Or, I had thought maybe I could do something on how the art of ancient Greece reflects back on the society, specifically if the way women were treated in art is any reflection of how they were treated in day to day life. Originally I was going to try that topic for a smaller essay, but my professor for that course made it seem like it was too broad for the paper that would be due. So I thought, right, it could be a dissertation instead!
Dr. Shaggy actually used the phrase “maybe something less crazy” for the China and Greece idea, suggesting I try near eastern cultures and Greece instead. Which…I don’t really care about. I know that’s harsh, but it is what it is. For my second topic, he didn’t seem enthused, either. Worried I’d get too far off into gender studies. Which I think is a bit unfair because I was going to talk specifically on what the art means within the society/if anything at all.
It’s pretty much solidified my belief that anything I actually find interesting is either done to death or stupid.
On the same frame of thought… I have an essay due in January for my Classical Art of the Body class. I am meant to present on the 22nd to the class my idea to get feedback from students. Last Tuesday, I met with the professor and three other students who are also presenting to talk through our topics. I was pretty excited, feeling like I had a fairly good idea on what I wanted to do my paper on. I went first and explained I wanted to try to do it on Grecian women and their representation in art (as I explained in the paragraph above). After I had my little spiel, my professor actually said, “Right, well, let’s go through the other’s topics and see if that helps you out some, okay?” Everyone else had really great, specific topics. They received some, but very little critiquing from our professor.
Also, I can’t remember if I’ve given this professor a nickname yet… When it came time for me to talk again, he gave me some pointers and suggestions. One of his suggestions was to do a topic he had suggested to the undergrads. So not only is it not even my own topic, it is meant to be completed on a BA level. Ouch.
I called Momma and cried my eyes out after the meeting. I almost started to cry in his office, but I avoided it. Same with Dr. Shaggy. Narrowly avoided, but avoided all the same. I’m pretty much in constant cry mode now. Drop of a hat and I’ll be in tears.
I somehow managed to hurt the bottom of my foot. Looking at it, I appear to have a large bruise. This is very inconvenient for all the walking I have to do here. I’m hoping it gets better soon and isn’t some weird indication of a bigger problem. Surprise, you broke your foot without realizing it. That’s the last thing I need.
Probably the worst part from last week (apart from my obvious misery with classes) was election backlash. People here are freaking out, people back home are freaking out, the world is freaking out. I stayed up most of the night Tuesday to watch election results with Claire. We both slowly got sicker and sicker. We ate cake. We drank gin. We cried. It was like watching a slow motion wreck scene. It still feels sort of surreal.
Once again, I don’t care what everyone else’s political opinion is, but this is my dang blog, therefore I can say whatever I want about my own views. You have been warned.
Our future president is a business man/reality TV star who (I don’t care who you are, you cannot deny this) is a terrible misogynist. He is not a good person and does not have any political experience. Regardless, he was voted in. Great. I knew it would be crappy, especially for many of my close friends. I didn’t know how much, if at all, it would affect me. Ends up a bit more than I thought it would.
I’ve seen people posting on their Facebook pages all kinds of stuff. Some funny, some not, some angry, some not. One of my friends from back home called to attention what someone we went to college with had said. This was someone I was friends with in college and afterward. We had hung out often in college. The whole Facebook post was based off of something Lena Dunham had said against white men. These guys were talking back and forth about how straight, white men had invented everything useful. What the hell had women ever done? They actually made lists:
Men created all empires on earth, fire, wheel, cars, democracy, internet, toilets, clocks, computers, weapons, sports, etc. Women created dishwashing machines, disposable diapers, whiteout, bras, ironing boards, and chocolate chip cookies.
I commented (because I am an idiot) saying, “Uhm, glad you aren’t being an asshole to all women or anything.” The response I got was, “Those are facts. I thought my statement was more of a compliment.” I was stunned. This was a guy who had been my friend. I commented back (once again, because I am an idiot) saying how I was really disappointed in him because we had been friends for awhile and I never thought he’d be small-minded like that. Another guy in the comment chain had commented with how Lena Dunham is ugly, fat, and has “nasty tits.” Because obviously, her sexual appeal and appearance are what matter and make her as a person.
The whole thing upset me more than it probably should have. But all I kept thinking was, “I know I’m not doing well in my program right now, and I haven’t invented anything… but I’m not worthless. I’m not only good for washing dishes. I’m not worthless because of my sex.” I teared up on the tube and had to keep myself from bursting into tears for the fiftieth time. I’ve never really experienced misogyny, because I live in a safe bubble. Is this what millions of other women, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims, and LGBTQs go through every day? I only had a small taste. I can’t imagine it every day.
I did some retail therapy (I don’t know why, I don’t like shopping and usually never feel better afterward) on Saturday. I bought myself a new, comfy sweater and warm socks. I also found a coat and this “Power to the girls” sweatshirt Melanie and I have been drooling over ever since we saw it in a photo from the election results gathering at the embassy. I want to wear it every day for forever. Because I love the message and because it is comfortable as all get out.
Abby and I discovered there is an ice rink on campus for the winter holidays. We are so excited and are going to try it out soon. I’ve never ice skated before. I’m terrible at regular skating, so I don’t have high hopes. But at least I’ll get to try! I need to get gloves before I can go. Cause, you know, cold ice and stuff.
There’s a really nice Christmas tree by the ice rink, too. No clue what F&M is, though.
On Friday we finally had what I would consider a useful core seminar class. We were in he British Museum again, and were learning about pottery. At first, it seemed pointless. We were sat down in the dark to watch a presentation on the history of the museum. It may have been interesting, except I don’t know why would need a lesson on the history of the museum. Also, the guy’s voice was super soothing and monotone. I kept stabbing myself with my pencil to avoid falling asleep. A girl a few chairs down from me did full on fall asleep and her friend kept trying to discreetly take pictures in the dark.
After the weird presentation, we were able to gather around pottery sherds (no, I have no idea why it is a “sherd” versus a “shard,” it just is). There were four groups and they all had something in common within the group. So the guy talked us through how to tell how a piece of pottery may have been made, how it could have been fired, what it could have been used for depending on how it was painted. It was actually really good.
I have a new apartment. Surprise! You didn’t even know I was looking, did you? I didn’t really know, either. I haven’t been actively looking until recently. And even then, I was letting others look and I was just tagging along. Melanie found this fabulous place that is 100 pounds more, but has all fees/bills included, and only two bedrooms. Two bedrooms, one bath, super cute. The lady who owns it is super nice and excited to have us there versus people who could possibly trash the place. Is it any closer to school? …sure! It’s one whole stop closer.
So, no. Not really. But I’m already used to the commute. Mostly.
The only downside is that I don’t really care for the high street. Off in our residential area, it’s great. But the Streatham Hill high street is bleh. It was actually voted “London’s scruffiest high street.” Apparently that has started a movement to beautify it. West Norwood’s high street is super cute and I’m sad I’ll not have it to walk anymore to the station. I could just take the bus to Brixton and then the tube into school. It’d technically be shorter, I think. But if I stick to the trains, I don’t have to change anything I’ve been doing so far. And that is how I work in life. Keep with whatcha know.
Now some weird things:
Before entering the British Museum, we have to have our bags searched. Abby and I usually laugh, because the people bag searching are generally really dead and won’t look us in the eye or talk to us other than grunting to look inside our bags. We usually compare notes afterward, “What did your person say this time? Anything?” This time, the guy looking through my bag made a point to open my makeup bag. Currently, I don’t have makeup in my makeup bag. I have a chapstick and comb, but otherwise I have all my computer plugs and charge cords in it. Just so happens I also have a tampon in it this go round. He didn’t just open my makeup bag, though. He full on dug around in it. It’s not that big of a bag, there’s not much to dig through for. It was almost like he was trying to touch everything it in multiple times (that wasn’t it, but to give you an idea of what it was like). I felt mildly violated afterward.
When I was clothes shopping and trying on my new cool “power to the girls” sweatshirt, I overheard women talking in the other try on rooms. Usually not a big deal, right? Well this time I specifically heard a woman say in a very heavy accent, “show da boobies.” To which her friends all repeated it while giggling. Everything else she and her friends said was in another language. It was only that one phrase in English. I’m not sure I want to know what they were doing.
I decided to finally go and cut my hair. I needed to chop all the dead parts off, because it was looking excessively haggard. I told the lady, “I just want to cut off the bad parts.” Then she showed me how much I’d have to cut off, so I amended to “please cut off all the bad parts up to here.” It still ended up SO SHORT (at least for me). It’s two or three inches past my shoulders, but feels like it is way above that. I probably cut off four inches, give or take? My hair had gotten to the point where I could do a mermaid style and cover my boobs with it. …because that’s how mermaids wear their hair. Over their boobs. Also with starfishes in it.
Looking over everything I have coming up, and I feel like I should just walk off a cliff in Cornwall. Meeting with Dr. Shaggy this week for what I will do my first paper on, mini paper due on Friday for seminar, presentation on Monday, presentation week after for Dr. Shaggy’s class. Then Greek exam. Sweet. Totally prepared for life. Do I have any idea what I’m doing for Dr. Shaggy’s first paper? NO I DO NOT.