I need a good topic for my gender studies paper

I’m taking a women’s studies course at UBC. Well actually, it’s not women’s studies anymore. It’s now gender, race, sexuality, and social justice. Rather a long name for a department. But I guess they figured maybe more guys would take it if it wasn’t called women’s studies?

I need to write a research paper. And I haven’t written a research paper in over a year. I am so not looking forward to it at all. The research, the citations, the struggle to come up with good content. My head hurts just thinking about it.

I think the topics we can write on are pretty broad, as long as they are relevant to the course. So pretty much, I need a topic that relates to some issue surrounding gender. And of course my mind is drawing a blank.

I haven’t written any blog posts about gender at all in the past that I can somehow expand into an academic research paper, have I? No? Didn’t think so.

Apparently I have a midterm next week. Have I done the readings? Of course not. Will I fail? Probably. I’m terribly at exams. But part of it is writing a proposal for my paper. Maybe that part will bring me up to a pass? If I can come up with a good topic.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

How not to hit on a girl at a bookstore

I work at a bookstore.  In case you didn’t already know.  After graduating from UBC last year, I longed to get away from university life.  And so naturally I continued working at the UBC Bookstore and am now on campus more often than I ever was as a student.  Because you know, that makes perfect sense.

Last Saturday, I was working a the information desk.  It was fairly quiet, as Saturdays in February tend to be.  I question why people even come in on a Saturday.  If you live on campus, maybe, but even then.  Don’t you have better ways to spend your weekend?  I think anyone who hangs around there on a Saturday has to be at least a little weird.  I work there, so at least I have an excuse.

I was sitting at the desk looking up a book on the computer.  I had the fan on beside me because despite being cold outside, it was very hot inside the store, especially in my area.  It felt like I was in a sauna.  Or hell.  Whichever’s hotter I guess.  I had it on a low setting, so it wouldn’t blow away the papers at the desk, or bother me if I was too close to it.

As I was working, this guy walked up to the desk and started to say something.  At first I wasn’t sure whether or not he was talking to me.  But he came over and said “You know what?”.  There was a slight pause as I looked up at him, and he continued, “The way the wind is blowing against your hair like that, it looks really sexy”.  Or something to that effect.  I’m not sure if I responded or just looked at him stupidly.  And then he asked, “How is that happening?  Is it from the computer?”.  And then he looked around confused as to where this wind was coming from.  I pointed out to him that there was a fan right beside me.  Yeah, if you couldn’t tell from his first comment, he wasn’t exactly the brightest person.

He also asked me what my name was, where I was from, and then shook my hand and said it was nice meeting me.  And shortly after, he wandered away from the desk.  I think he could tell that I wasn’t interested in any further conversation, unless it was to help him find a book.  Maybe if he was young and hot, my reaction would have been different.  But he wasn’t.  They never are.

There are a few people who will tell you that for some reason weird people tend to be drawn to me.  I don’t know why this is.  But at least I end up with stories that other people can laugh at.  And I guess a compliment is a compliment.  At least now I know that my hair is working for me.  I just wish I didn’t have to hear it in the form of a bad line from a creepy guy.

The fan that made my hair look sexy.

First day of classes

Wait what?  Wasn’t that yesterday?  I thought that was yesterday…  Well, yes and no.  For elementary and high school kids, yes.  For university students, no.  At least not UBC students.  Classes did not officially start until today, as yesterday was “Imagine” day.  I suppose they call it that because you get to “imagine” all the wonders of university life and how the year will play out.  Just a head’s up, however you imagine it, it’s not going to end up turning out that way.  Not even close.

All the booths and clubs and whatnot were all set up yesterday, leaving first year students in awe.  You think “wow, I can join the anime club?  And the trivia club?  Done, I’m gonna be so cool…”.  Yeah, good luck with that.  Chances are you will join 10 clubs, end up going to about 2 or them, once or twice, and then never again.  I hope it was worth the $5 membership fee.

Anyway, my commute today took longer than yesterday, even though I left at the exact same time.  I only realized halfway through the day yesterday that it was imagine day, a false first start of school.  Which meant that the busy, crowded campus would be twice as busy and crowded today.  Because not everyone bothers with imagine.  Then again, not everyone bothers with classes either.  Nevertheless, today was very crowded.  By the time I got to work at the bookstore, it took me 15 minutes to get from my locker to my desk, as I politely waited while the masses of students got out of my way.  Well, they didn’t actually get out of my way, I had to maneuver around them, a skill which I’ve become quite good at.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hate crowds.  And nothing is more crowded than a university campus during the first week of classes.  Or more like the first few weeks of classes.  Meaning I will have to endure this for a while yet.  I guess I’ll just have to wait it out for a few more weeks, for that point in time when the slackers suddenly come up with the brilliant idea of skipping classes.

Back to school

Yes, today was the day.  Back to school for everyone.  But not for me.  For the first time ever, I am not attending classes.  I graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at UBC.  Please do not ask me what I plan to do with this.  I don’t know.  People always say “Really, you have no idea at all?”.  No, I really don’t.  Now drop it.  I also decided to supplement this very general degree with a minor in Philosophy, just to spice things up.  Yes, I do believe this will get me very far…

So having finally finished university, I wanted to do something special this summer to celebrate being done.  No, I didn’t end up travelling.  No, I didn’t end up doing anything crazy.  I wanted to, I really did.  But instead, I ended up working full time… at the university I’d been attending for 5 years.  What better way to celebrate my escape, then to entrap myself yet again, this time for an indefinite amount of time… Maybe I just want to make back the money that they’ve taken from me?

And so, while many who are done with classes, do not have to deal with the masses of students, the commute to campus, and the chaotic mess that is university life, I still do.  In fact, I am now at UBC more often than I was while I was a student.  Go figure.  As I looked around today, I noticed all the school spirit, the socializing, and the sense of belonging, all of which I am not a part of.  And it made me feel… glad.  I never really liked being a part of it anyway.

It’s funny, kids often think that back to school time only punishes them.  Little do they know this is not the case.  I am now forced to battle the hoards of students who will now fill up the buses and the skytrain to the max.  Not only does this lengthen my commute, it makes it all the more painful to be surrounded by them.  This morning, feeling slightly claustrophobic, I felt the urge to either pass out, or punch someone on the skytrain.  I refrained.  But tomorrow may be another story..

In short, it is weird to no longer be a student.  Although working and living among their kind makes it seem as though I still live the life of one.  Maybe the reason I’ve started blogging is because I’m actually having homework withdrawal?  Who knows?  But at least my writing does not have to be researched based.  And at least no one is going to assign a letter grade to this post.