The smart thing to do would be to try and review something before the exam. But for some reason, I thought it would be a better idea to log onto WordPress and write a blog post about how I don’t want to study. Priorities.
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?
My last name is Vaz. Which starts with a V. Anyone else who has a last name which starts with a letter near the end of the alphabet will probably share my dislike of alphabetical order. We’re always last. And it isn’t fair. I was last in enough things in school, like 3 blocks runs and being picked for group projects. Did I really need the additional misfortune of being last for things simply because of my last name? Apparently.
I’m taking a class right now at UBC, which is what reminded me of this today. At the end of class, our assignments were handed back. And our names were called out so we could go get our assignments and then leave. And of course they were called out in alphabetical order. What else is new? And so I sat there. Wanting to leave. But unable to. Because the people with C last names were still being called. It was going to be a long while…
I’ve had to go through this in all my years of education, ever since I can remember. When lining up for things, we would do it alphabetically. Which meant you were always stuck in between the same two people in the line up. And if you didn’t like those people, well, that was just too bad. And sometimes that would be how groups or partners were assigned. So if I didn’t like the kid who’s last name started with T, or the other kid who’s last name started with V, it didn’t matter. We were stuck together.
When tests and assignments were handed back, I would always have to wait, much like I had to wait today. And yes, people say that sometimes the teachers would mix it up and go in reverse alphabetical order instead. But I feel like that rarely happened, if ever. I cannot recall a time when it did. Maybe my childhood memories are just biased and blocking out the few good experiences that may have occurred?
So I had to wait a little longer for certain things, so what? Would I have really done anything important with those extra minutes that I spent patiently waiting? Probably not. But that’s not the point. It’s the principle of the matter. And sometimes it wasn’t just time that I missed out on.
In elementary school, we would have “hot lunch” every so often, maybe once a month? This was basically when the school allowed us to order food, since there was no cafeteria or place to buy food and we would always bring it from home. For hot lunch, we would have to bring in money and check off what we wanted days in advance. They would order from places like Subway or Pizza Hut, or sometimes it was just hot dogs, catered from I don’t know where. When the lunches arrived, guess what order they called them out in?
So I had to wait longer before I could eat. But that’s not all. You would also have the option of ordering a drink and a donut. You could specify what drink you wanted, but the donuts were just a first come, first served thing. And everyone wanted the long johns. But there weren’t enough long johns to go around. So when it was finally time for the girl with the V last name to get her food, there were only jelly donuts left. And I didn’t like jelly donuts. It wasn’t fair.
I suppose things could have been worse. There were always kids with last names that started with W and Y. But were pretty much in the same boat. But at least since they were there, I was never dead last. I guess at least that was something. I think if I were a teacher and I was handing back assignments, I would just mix them all up and read them out in a completely random order. That way no one is at a disadvantage. Although then you wouldn’t know when to listen for your name. At least alphabetically, you knew when it was going to be your turn. Damn, I guess it is the most efficient way. But still. It wasn’t fair.
My brothers are in Grade 5. In their class, they are learning about DARE, drug abuse resistance education. In a homework assignment, they were required to write about drugs and the decisions that people make about them. I happened to read one of my brother’s rough drafts. He talked about tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. In talking about these, he was required to give examples. One particular example, regarding alcohol, hit a little too close to home. Here is an excerpt of what he wrote:
“For example: My older sister Dominique was at our Aunts house, and she was drinking lots of wine. Than she fell asleep fast because she drank too much. After, we had to carry her to a bed which was in a room, but unfortunately, we bumped her head on a door. Luckily she didn’t feel it because she was sleeping. This can happen to you if you drink too much.”
Yeah. He’s handing that in. Luckily, his teacher is one who wasn’t there when I was in elementary school, and therefore doesn’t know me. So it’s okay. And his description isn’t that bad. That’s pretty much what happened. I happened to be sitting near the bottles of wine, and somehow got the task of pouring it for people. And every time I poured a glass for someone else, I usually poured some more for myself as well. Without eating.
Dinner did not come soon enough. And so apparently at some point I put my head down on the table and didn’t lift it back up again. It took a couple minutes and then someone asked if I was okay. And then apparently my mom and my sister sort of carried me to the bedroom. But not before they accidentally hit my head against the wall and then dropped me and then laughed about it. I have such a loving family.
I ended up spending the night at my aunt’s house. I remember my parents attempting to get me to leave with them later but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. My brother had a basketball game that night, and there was no way I would have been able to sit through it. Perhaps my subconscious made me drink too much, so that I could avoid having to sit through a basketball game?
This happened like three years ago. My siblings never let me forget it. “Remember that time you got drunk…” is often a conversation opener that comes up every now and then for whatever reason. My sister also used this example for her religion homework one year, I think when she was in Grade 9. I’m not sure what the topic was. But yeah. She had a teacher that I never had as well thankfully. I think her description was more detailed as well. And I believe one of the lines was something like “and then we dropped her and she hit her head. It was so funny!”. I don’t think her teacher was amused.
I’d like to think that I’m a good older sister. I set a good example. A good example of what not to do. I believe I have successfully put my brothers and sister off of drinking. And least for a while. Sadly, this was not the only time they had seen me drink too much. Cause you know, once isn’t enough to let the message sink in. That’s how much I care.
Yeah, I know, you’re thinking what? Me? Go to the library? Why would I go and do something like that? Well the other day, I had some errands to run and there happened to be a library in the area. I decided to go in, since I had time to kill and nothing important left to do. Also I really needed to use the bathroom. That was pretty much the only reason I went in. But I thought while I was there I would look around a bit. And I decided I may as well take out a few books.
But I didn’t have a library card. I don’t know what happened to it. I must have lost it at some point. It hadn’t been used in years. What purpose would I have to use it? If I needed to do research for school, I could use the UBC libraries. Or better yet, I could use the internet. What need did I have for books? If I did happen to want to read something for fun, my mom was always taking out books from the library, so I could always just borrow one of hers to read if I had the time to do so.
But it’s been a while since I’ve read for fun. In school, there were far too many readings already. I had a bunch of books for my classes that I wasn’t reading. There would be no point taking out library books so they could sit there unread as well. But I thought maybe I should start again and occasionally read something because I want to read it. I do that with blogs right now, but I suppose reading a couple novels couldn’t hurt either.
I applied for a new library card upon realizing I no longer had one. I think there may have been fines on the previous one. Oh well. I ended up taking out six books and they are all due in a month. Yeah, I’m not going to read them all. But that’s what renewing is for. In a second year English class I took, I constantly renewed a couple books for the whole term, because that way I saved money and didn’t have to buy them. And in a second year Political Science class, I renewed some books about Hobbes like 20 times when I had to write a paper. And I either misplaced them or just didn’t want to bother taking them back. Clicking the renew button a bunch of times until they were recalled was just easier.
Have I read any of the six books I took out? No. No I have not. But I did start one of them. It was about finding a career after graduation. It has yet to be helpful. I knew it wouldn’t be, but I thought I’d go ahead and give it a try anyway. I started reading it at the bus stop and on the bus on my way home that day. Because that was day 1 of my 2.5 days without my cell phone. I figured I would use a book as a substitute while my phone recovered. But ever since getting my phone back, I haven’t touched any of the books. Go figure.
I realized that one of the reasons I don’t like to borrow books from the library is I tend to misplace them. I mean I find them soon enough, but occasionally end up with a very small fine. One year in high school, I think it was Grade 9, I couldn’t get my yearbook on the last day because of an unpaid library fine. So while everyone else was signing each others’ yearbooks, I had to go to the library and wait there for them to let me pay my stupid fine, I think it was like $2 or something. And by the time that was over and I got my yearbook, people were getting ready to leave and less eager to sign it. Not that I would’ve gotten a lot of great messages or anything. But still.
So now I have six books which I may or may not read before they are due. Who am I kidding, I definitely won’t. But I may read a couple. That much I can manage. And renew the others. Or renew them all probably, because when the hell am I going to go back to the library?