I’m an Adult on the Internet

The internet is preparing me for adult life. No, really. (Image courtesy of Randall Munroe. Licensed under CC 2.5)

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In my Sociology class yesterday (a panel presentation on screen media), the professor–after making the case that screen media shortens our attention spans, removes the market for great literature, and generally degrades society–asked us a pointed question:

“What that you do on the internet prepares you for being an adult?”

I was the first to answer, because I do not have a healthy sense of preservation and so enjoy challenging tenured faculty members with whom I’m taking two classes. (This is what we call a poor life choice.)

But really? The internet–Fleshbot and 4chan aside–prepares me a lot more for adult life than school has. On the internet, I write for several sites. One pays me in crazy interview opportunities for my resume. Another pays me with plain-Jane taxable income. A third goes with the income and the idea that trees will die for students to read what I think about colleges. All of these opportunities started through the internet and most of them stay there; I’ve only met two of my “coworkers” in person. Read the rest of this entry »


You might be a freshman if…

This makes me feel old. (From JoeInSouthernCA on Flickr, Creative Commons license)

Hi folks. Riot Campus’ new Senior Correspondent here…no, literally, I am a senior–class of 2011–now if only GSU would approve my graduation application! I’ve known Emily and Ruthie since we were hustlin’ at the Druid Hills High paper together. Good times. (I’m now with the Signal at GSU and love it…always try to work for your school paper if you are interested in journalism!!)

I digress. I present a little humor as my first contribution to this blog. You know Jeff Foxworthy’s goofy “You might be a redneck if” schtick? Well, let’s morph that into a college-friendly one. YOOOOOU might be a freshman if!

DISCLAIMER: We were all freshmen once. I know. I even committed one of these fashion faux pas once. It’s okay–you can still learn!

You might be a freshman if…

…you still wear your senior class T-shirt or high school hoodie, even though the campus bookstore would be more than happy to sell you college spirit wear.

…you wear your dorm room key around your neck on a lanyard instead of in a bag or pocket.

…college’s more relaxed dress code means spaghetti-strap tanks and the shortest shorts known to humankind (for ladies).

…college’s more relaxed dress code means jeans/shorts slung so low people can see all of your underwear (for gentlemen).

…you go to class in pajamas. (Perhaps this is just a GSU thing but our school is in the middle of downtown Atlanta, surrounded by the seats of both state and county government as well as other businesses. It doesn’t look right, dadgummit! I’m old.)

…you honestly think the campus bookstore offers the lowest prices on books.

…your school hasn’t found some surprising and inventive way to mess with your head yet. (Yet.)

Got any more to add? :)


Teacher Don’t Teach, I’m In Trouble Deep

 

Are these notes even helping? Image courtesy of Lower Columbia College. Licensed under CC 2.0.

 

Today in Organic Chemistry, somewhere between writing out the mechanism for acid catalyzed reactions with carbocation intermediates and the mechanism for reactions with halonium intermediates, I realized I had no idea what I was writing down. And this got me thinking.

Why do I have what at this point basically amounts to $100,000 in student loans so that I can sit in a classroom and have some guy write some stuff on the board, not explain it, and expect me to read and learn it out of a book? Why don’t I just buy the $200 book, read it, and learn it myself? Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of “teach yourself” style classes before, but never to this extreme. Never to the point that I am actually clueless as to what’s going on for the entire 50 minute duration of the period. Never have I felt like I’m writing in some kind of hieroglyphic and just completely lacking any kind of Rosetta Stone to translate it all. The acidic hydrogen does what to the pi bond? Or does the pi bond do something to that boron molecule? The process of hydrobor-what?

But maybe I’m the one with the wrong idea. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like to put in my leg work beforehand, but that’s because I’d rather just hear someone else tell me what I need to know and fill in the couple of gaps myself, not try to construct the whole idea myself and have someone tell me I’m right. I wonder if this has to do with sheer laziness or just the fear of building the entire idea wrong? And if I do put in all that work and get the wrong idea, doesn’t that make it worse than not having any idea at all? Because I’m fairly certain that the grade I got back on this last Organic test is telling me LOUD and CLEAR that something about the way this guy is teaching just isn’t doing it for me. Let’s just say that if my grade was my age, I’d be waiting in line at the DMV, and this would be the most exciting day of my young life. Freedom! Too bad I’ll be stuck in my apartment teaching myself Organic Chemistry for the next two semesters instead of out enjoying that freedom.


I Was A College Vegetarian

 

V is for vegetarian. Image courtesy of Flickr user Renato Pequito. Licensed under CC 2.0.

 

I was a college vegetarian, and a high school vegetarian, and a middle school vegetarian. Still am, though I’ve eased my restrictions on tuna and cat fish because, uh, I like it. But yes, I’m one of those people and by “those people” I mean “white chick vegetarians.”

I understand that people think it’s fussy. I have no religious obligation to not eat meat, as that would require me believing in God. My family’s not vegetarian, except for various aunts and uncles that I don’t live with. I’ve eaten meat.

That being said, I’ve given it up. I don’t intend to go back. And it can be difficult! Sometimes compromises must be made, and I must sadly report that I will never eat at Fogo de Chao (I mean, not like it was an issue because I’m broke, but anyways). But guys, I promise I’m not a PETA nut. Because guys? Those people are batshit crazy. They think all pets should be put down! They’re really fucking misogynist! They throw paint on people’s clothing and I promise you that that seems like a terrible life decision, not to mention rude. (And, as a veggie snob note, I don’t know that many PETA kids who’ve stayed veggie for very long. I’m nothing if not a little smug.)

But no, I don’t want to eat fried chicken. Or, god forbid, a chicken nugget. Sometimes, I do want to eat pulled pork, but I don’t. And it’s not because I think eating meat is inherently cruel (though factory farming is). It’s because it’s a shitty thing to do to the land.

I had hippie elementary school teachers, and it only takes a few of them telling you about how Tyson chicken ruined the drinking water to change your mind about these things. And I care about ethical food production, I do. If I don’t want the water fouled in my home state, I shouldn’t eat what’s causing it. It doesn’t hurt me, and it helps others. Chicken is not good enough to ignore what producing it does to the environment.

Part of the school of feminism that I subscribe to says that you should limit your environmental impact and you should not needlessly pollute the water of others and if it’s possible to avoid causing harm to other animals (and it is possible for farming to avoid unnecessary pain and fear in the lives of its animals), and so yeah. The personal is political. I am what I eat–or don’t. Read the rest of this entry »


A glorious reminder…

Just a reminder that, for the next three-ish months, we are free!

Go forth and be awesome.


Thirteen Boxes of Crap in the Room, Thirteen Boxes of Crap…

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It has recently come to my attention that I own too much shit.

This has come to my attention because I have to pack it all up to head home for the summer. The fun part of that is that, since I will be working at my school for two months this summer and then be returning early to be an RA, my schedule goes like this:

  • Home for three days.
  • Boston/Kennebunkport for 4 days.
  • Home for two weeks.
  • School for a month.
  • Canada for a week.
  • School for three weeks.
  • Home for a week.
  • School for the next 4 months.

I do not need to haul all of that stuff everywhere I go. So, when I come back for work, I’ve vowed to move as little back as I can manage. I’m not going to bring any DVDs (we have access to a university library with tons). I’m only keeping two books (this and this). I’m going to try as much as I can to lower my closet size. There are clothes I love, but that I simply do not wear that often. They do not need to be stored here.

However, I will not skimp on wall decorations. All of my weird postcards that I keep as wall decorations (god’s gift to poor college students) will return. I’m keeping my beta fish, Bertrand.

Can I go full Cult of Less and reduce everything I own to two boxes and two bags? I’m not sure. It presents some challenges–as a girl, and as someone who is not a knowledge-core worker, I have things I need to pack that Mr. Sutton does not–makeup, for instance. But do I need to bring my entire toolbox full of it here, especially since I wear it rarely at this point?

It’s a first world problem, to be sure. But that doesn’t stop it from being one. I’m gonna see what happens.