September 12th, 2005

Good Luck Bear

A lottery is simply a tax for people who are bad at math...

at least according to Mark Twain...

I don't generally play the lottery, but as the chances are now statistically higher for winning something if I play this time (now that the MegaMillions has hit the $200 million mark), so I am seriously thinking about it this time.

If I win, the entire f-list can come with me on a one week tour of Europe... of course I feel a little guilty spending even a dollar on the lottery when there are so many people who have lost everything. Of course if I won, I could give lots of money to disaster relief efforts.

Poll #569072 Should I buy a ticket?

Buy a ticket?

Why are you asking me?

Yeah, I know most boring poll ever...
Why Me? Penguin

I just got to do something that felt really good...

When I first came to VCU in Fall 1998, I joined the English Club, this led to my joining the literary magazine and also the SMC (Student Media Commission).

As a member of the SMC I was roped into being a student member of a special affairs committee that picked speakers and special awards recipients for commencement.

I was so nervous to be on a committee with the president of the university and several members of the board of visitors...

They began talking about giving an honorary degree to a local, who is a television celebrity and has built a movie studio about 30 minutes south of here. I wanted so badly to point out that his wife had done as much, if not more, for the university and the community, and to suggest that she be nominated, but I was afraid and unable to get a word in edgewise. Apparently the rules stated they had to have a student on the committee, but said nothing about actually allowing them to speak.

I was quietly muttering under my breath when the kind faculty member next to me encouraged me to speak up. I did and they actually listened with interest, although I don't think my suggestion was ultimately accepted, she did make it into the nomination process.

I actually spoke to that faculty member today for the first time since that meeting, and I told him my story and how important it was for me that someone encouraged me like that. I thanked him and expressed interest in taking one of his graduate level classes. We had a good conversation about GRE's and their place in the application process here. I feel a lot ( or at least a little) better now.

It feels so good to return a kindness...
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Why Me? Penguin

An interesting CFP I just received:

Poor White, Redneck, Trash: The Working Class in American Culture

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Presidential evocations of American identity have presupposed a nation that despite its ethnic, regional and class diversity is unified in terms of its intrinsic opposition to an anti-American threat. Such homogeneity is nonetheless threatened, as it has always been, by heterogeneous figure of the poor white. Such a figure may be seen to articulate simultaneously both the foundational ideals of American democracy (as the pioneer, the backwoodsman) and the nations failure, at the hands of corporate capitalism, to live up to its exceptionalist promise (as inbred mountain mutant or urban trailer trash). The proposed collection sets out to explore the politically problematic status of the white working class through representation of that group across a range of media: film and television, literature and film, music and dance. It aims to explore, moreover, a largely neglected minoritarian American consciousness that remains (for all its economic marginalization) white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant. Papers are thus invited from specialists in all aspects of the humanities; including, perhaps, consideration of: - the representational genealogy of the WASP working class in American culture from the C17 to the present / - the white working class /- the European left and nativist populism/ - the subversive potential of white working class culture/ - the white working class in mass culture: social opiate and demonised scapegoat / - minority status: the white working class and ethnicity / - desiring in, of and by the white working class /- queering the white working class / - white working class women / - the aesthetics of white working class culture / - class consciousness and a sense of place/ - the white working class family.

Emphasis mine obviously.