Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today 10/27/09

Good things today:
sent overdue emails to professors and school-related people.
finally got this paper taken care of
carved fabulous Bert pumpkin
had great discussion about facebook
vented to friends about some things
took pictures of around Williams

was complimented by a stranger about my dress
was told I looked like I lost weight (but this isn't true, so maybe not so good)
ran into someone I hadn't seen in a long time

Not good things today:
realized that doing poorly on the first exam makes it really hard to dig yourself out of that hole
fell asleep during genetics recitation

Friday, October 23, 2009

I don't want this cake for my birthday

My 21st birthday is coming up. Yay.

For celebratory occasions people often eat cake.

I don't want this cake for my birthday. They are made by people who believe they can tell other people what to do or not do with their bodies. cupcake + anti-choice = bad cake

It's the national pro-life cupcake campaign. The idea is to "imagine a nation where every child is allowed to have a birthday" by writing pro-life message on cupcakes. The website reads:
The vision is that thousands of high school and college students would bring the pro-life message into their school via cupcakes! If you have a heart for such a loving mission, we would like to help you in any way that we can.

Well I can think of a million arguments why the so-called "pro-life" campaign does not have the interests of women, children, and families at heart.

But I find this cupcake campaign infuriating because it assumes all children have the luxury of celebrating their birthdays with presents and treats. The website reads, "In fact one in three children will never celebrate their first birthday due to abortion. We simply don't think it's fair that so many children don't ever get to have a birthday party. So we thought that we would schedule a day to remember the children, who never get to blow out the candles, unwrap their gifts and eat some cake."

Newsflash! There are children right now whose birthdays pass without fanfare, without cupcakes with pastel frosting because they cannot afford to. I simply don't think it's fair that so many children don't ever get to have a birthday party because they live in crushing poverty. They also never get to blow out candles, unwrap their gifts and eat some cake because their families can't afford to.

Instead, take those cupcakes and a bake sale at your schools and contribute the money you make to a truly worthy cause. Educate women and girls, give women access to family planning resources (yes, condoms and contraceptives), train doctors and nurses, increase women's participation in public life so we can focus on improving the lives of children already in this world.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yesterday I attended a book reading by David Sedaris. After his reading, there was a book signing. He signed my copy of When You Are Engulfed in Flames and drew a cat that looks kind of like a beaver. (Side note: I wish I had remembered to bring Holidays On Ice for him to sign. It's actually much funnier than his latest book.)

He also gave me a condom. Seriously.

As I was giddily, fan-girlishly leaving the Wharton Center, I inspected the little blue packet. The expiration date read "EXP01-2014". It's not often that I see a date that is far into the future. It made me think what my life would be like in January 2014.

In January 2014, I will be 25 years old. I will be in my fourth year of medical school, unless I take time off to do other things. I will have long since completed my undergraduate degrees in Human Biology and Comparative Cultures and Politics. That's about all I know at this point.

But I wonder about a lot of things, some significant and others not , some personal and some not:

Will David Sedaris still even be popular in a little more than four years from now?
What medical specialty will I choose? (Will I actually be in medical school??)
Will I have short hair?
Where will I be living??
What will be the most pressing political issues? Will some form of health care reform be enacted? What will be the extent of climate change? What
How many of my friends will be -- gasp -- married?
Which of my friends now will still be my friends?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Have you seen this cat?

On Monday -- the same day and same place I saw the Emily Dickinson poem on the sidewalk --- I saw little black kitten. It was near the bushes at the end of the bridge that leads to Wells. It had big yellow eyes and a white patch at its throat and on its belly. It was so very very cute.

I didn't know what to do because I think it was a stray. It didn't have a collar. A couple of girls who saw it at the same time I did tried to catch it and take it to the Humane Society, but it kept running away from us. I hope it's okay but it's getting cold outside. So if you see the kitty, be nice to it. And take it to the Human Society if you can. Thanks.

Take with my cellphone

Of course it's a coincidence that that particular poem was chalked on the sidewalk, but I couldn't help to think about what Emily Dickinson wrote about helping one fainting robin unto his nest again. I will try to not live in vain.

I don't want to be the crazy cat lady, but I really want a cat, especially after what happened on Monday. But not right now because I can't take care of one. Maybe in a few years when I have some money for food, toys, and vet visits. I think when I finish med school and have a job I'll get one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sidewalk poetry

I was walking from Williams Hall to the International Center this morning just before 8am. It was still gray outside and chilly. Crossing the end of the bridge onto the Wells Hall area, I saw two poems chalked on the sidewalk. They were:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

- Emily Dickinson

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
- William Carlos Williams

This made my day. Thank you, whoever wrote it on the sidewalk.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Facts about my childhood

Little known fact about me (now more widely known):
I am a fan of The X-Files.

I had an X-Files calendar of stills from Season Seven. I believe there is one person out there who can name my favorite episodes. You know who you are and I love you. I dressed up Agent Scully for Halloween once in high school.

I was very happy to see that this cultural relic of the 1990s resurfaced. I guess there are still some X-Philes (X-File fans) out there:

But I have to add that there was an episode where it was implied that Scully and Mulder spent the night together. They have also kissed, I believe, once. And another time but Scully was playing a different character. Yeah, it's complicated.