Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Stoopid Test

Well, this is what happened when I took the following test: says I'm 8% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

I'm not sure this test is completely accurate. For instance, if I'm so smart, why am I sitting around taking such tests when I really should be revising one of my articles for submission to a journal? That's a question for the less stoopid out there to answer.

Take Note

Awhile ago, two friends and I attended a fundraising dinner for an American Indian cause. The guest of honor was an Indian shaman. He spoke to us for about two hours.

This was a new experience for me. And, as I sat there surrounded by the wealthy, privileged class of the city in which I live, I found myself ignoring the context of the situation and focusing on the magnetic man in front of me.

He said a lot of things. But one important idea had the most impact. He said that we tout certain days "special," such as birthdays and holidays, and celebrate them accordingly. However, he wanted to remind us that every day is cause for celebration - we are alive, we are well, and we are given the gift of another day.

I forget this simple idea quite often. My fiance and I visited my cousin, B, and his fiance a couple weeks ago, and I was reminded that my wonderful cousin does not forget to celebrate every day. Of course, he is sometimes impractical in his excitement,* but the excitement is infectious.

All of this is to say that I would like to be more excited about every day before me. They truly are gifts, and shouldn't be squandered. There is too much to experience.

*The most notable example of impracticality on that particular trip was taking the dog on a hike over quite rough rock, where she clearly did not want to be. My cousin at one point exclaimed, "See, she LOVES it!," as the dog bravely trudged on after her master. Ten feet behind, far enough so that B didn't hear, my fiance said to me, "I think it's more accurate to say that she TOLERATES it, because she loves B." This is just one of many examples of why I'm with my fiance, rather than somebody like B, no matter how great he is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


"Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." - J.R.R. Tolkien

I wish right now that the above quote related to me. For the past few months, I have become angry, with brief periods of sanity, and unfortunately, I'm not a wizard, and so have no excuse.

I have a book on my shelf that my mother gave me several years ago titled "The Dance of Anger." It's a self-help book promoting good ways for women to express their anger, since we have a tendency to hold things in, thus denying ourselves, or burst out violently, thus living up to the "bitch" label given to lots of us. I have read some of the book, and am not ready to claim it fully good or bad, although I think the author is doing a good job discussing the emotions that often occur as a result of gender roles. However, this is a side note to the larger point, although perhaps I'll blog about the book once I've finished it.

I've become quite good at hiding my anger in public. Unfortunately, my fiancee gets the brunt of it, most of the time undeservedly, behind the closed door of our home. This makes sense; I'm a social psychologist, and know the tools of impression management well. But I don't like it.

I'm tired of being angry. It saps my energy, it makes me dislike myself greatly, which leads to low self-esteem and a general feeling of malaise. It also makes me quite irritated at little things that used to roll off my shoulders. Most of all, anger is not the best emotion to be feeling when trying to have right relations with others. Anonymous had it right when s/he said, "Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love."

Obviously, I'm not going into the sources of my anger. There are quite a few, dealing mostly with family, and I don't feel like venting them here. But I can't seem to get the anger to go away, so perhaps publicly discussing it will help spur me to action. Or, perhaps I can just change my occupation and become a Wizard!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


I collected these gems last week while grading my students' final papers for my class. In no particular order, here are the Best Of's...

Best Transition:
"This brings up another point but from the view of Durkheim, not Simmel."

Best Typo (that only sociologists are likely to understand):
"Durkheim talks about anomie or the condition of relative normalness in a whole society or in one of its component groups."

Best Unfortunate Use (or Lack of Use) of the Possessive Tense:
"The two important features of urban life that affected those living in the cities thoughts and behavior, has to do with the intensity of nervous stimuli or sensation from the city."

Best Over "Simplification:"
"With the emergence of Second Life, people are able to show a more possible self, what people want to become or are often afraid of becoming, where they can simply create an avatar by what they want to become or what they are simply afraid of becoming in reality. Avatars are lifelike icons that displays what a person's identity is by simply choosing a template and dressing it up. These avatars can change simply like our personal identity, which can be created then recreated as time passes."

Best Topic Sentence to a Formal Essay:
"While getting myself familiarized with the game Second Life and also brushing up on the articles from Kenneth Gergen, I was trying to take in every aspect I could in order to find comparisons between the two."

There are others, too numerous to list. And of course, there were stellar essays as well. Oh well, now it's time to grade the final exams.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No Motivation


I have two wonderful, wonderful friends who looked at me in the wedding dress, and made me feel like a princess with their comments! Life is looking up.

Thank you, gals!!!


Tally of what I've done today:

1) I have graded 5 (of 40 papers).
2) I have done one load of laudry, but not yet folded it up (although it is dry).
3) I have messed around with Flickr (which was enjoyable, but not "workwise" productive).
4) I have picked up my wedding dress from USPS.
5) I have tried on said wedding dress.
6) I have sat morosely staring at old photos of me when I was one-two sizes smaller (after trying on said wedding dress).

I'm kind of in a daze, partly due to the lateness of the semester I'm sure, but also because I think I'm trying to stave off my growing disappointment with the dress. Why is it that being a nice, healthy, normal size is not enough?

Ugh. Back to grading...