Seeing “9 to 5” on the big screen as an adult: DONE.
— My latest for NBC News, on diversity (or lack thereof) in STEM fields.
The organized left, which should have known better, acted as if the way to change American society was for each person individually to renounce the family, material comfort, and social respectability. That most people were doing no such thing was glibly attributed to sexual repression, greed, and/or “brainwashing” by the mass media—the implication being that radicals and bohemians were sexier, smarter, less corrupt, and generally more terrific than everyone else.
Actually, what they mostly were was younger and more privileged; it was easy to be a self-righteous antimaterialist if you had never known anxiety about money; easy to sneer at the security of marriage if you had solicitous middle-class parents; easy, if you were twenty years old and childless, to blame those parents for the ills of the world. Not that radicals were wrong in believing that a sexually free, communal society was incompatible with capitalism, or in perceiving connections between sexual repression, obsessive concern with material goods, and social conformity. But they did not understand that, psychology aside, most people submit to the power of institutions because they suffer unpleasant consequences if they don’t."
— #relevant (via ellenwillis)
“In searching for a way out of my own troubles, I had found my way into the trouble of others, some long gone, and now I was trying to find my way back out, through their troubles, as if we human beings can ever learn from one another.”
—Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun
I am so into “True Detectives” so far, even if there are currently zero female characters who are remotely interesting (this show doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test…yet). Seeing Matthew M. and Woody H. interact almost makes up for it.
One of the best things about this weekend (besides the perfect weather and the friendly, smart women I was surrounded by) was the freedom I felt to feel both sexy and dressed-down, sometimes in the same day, sometimes with the same outfit on. I.e. a leopard-print muumuu. Dancing to Beyonce in a fraying, shapeless sweatshirt. A bright red kimono with giant, furry slippers. Etc.
Sooooo the NYT kinda scooped me yesterday by running a piece about adjuncts the same day I did, but mine deals with something Rachel Swarns doesn’t: where fulltime professors fit in. Are they allies with adjuncts? Are they willfully ignorant? What’s their role in this fight?
I went to Amarillo, TX to visit the absolutely amazing women at Eveline’s Sunshine Cottage, a program for low-income single moms who are enrolled in college. The setup is a sort of makeshift mirror image of the college dorm experience…only with playdates and diapers instead of kegs and hookups.
Also, giant props to Brandon Thibodeaux for perfectly capturing the “sisterhood” vibe.
This past April, facing the prospect of three 20-page papers due in the same week, Indiana University East student Harmony Glenn had a panic attack in the school library.
“I couldn’t breathe, and my chest felt tight,” she said. “I was asking myself, ‘Do I push forward…or do I cut my losses?’”
Glenn, 27, had been inching toward a bachelor’s degree since 2004, transferring schools and taking breaks from her studies to switch her major, live with her parents to save money, and later move around Indiana with her husband to chase the best-paying jobs. Lately, she’d been working fulltime as a sales associate for a skin care retailer in an Indianapolis mall, and didn’t have the bandwidth to focus on her schoolwork.
The night of her panic attack, she made a decision to leave school. “I just looked at the bills and realized this didn’t make sense anymore,” she said."
— I wrote about the modern nightmare: having $60,000 worth of student loans and no degree to show for it.