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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

Time Event
12:06a
I saw Susan (one of the Assistant Editors, who's been a fly on the wall for this discussion as she e-mailed me originally the message from Cate and has been CCed as Cate and i have discussed topics) in the bathroom. She said that they (the heads of op-ed) want the op-ed section to more reflect the news in the paper, that is the Sophian, hence why file-sharing since there was an article on that last week. Knowing this rationale does give me a better understanding, and i can certainly see not wanting to have op-ed filled with everyone's opinions about all the Presidential candidates. *cough*lastweek*cough* It's a college paper, so i absolutely understand wanting a balance of (inter)national news and Smith news. One of my problems with this (besides the fact -- which i think i mentioned on LJ somewhere in my copious postings on this -- that if i'm talking about Smith i'm probably griping and i feel like that gets tiresome) is that Smith news is boring.

Having touched upon the issue of what makes a good editorial topic in previous comment threads, i was already planning on posting some of the guidelines i got when i first started. I still think this is relevant. Clipped verbatim from the mass e-mail Cate sent out in late August (and also found on the Sophian's guidelines for writers website):
1. Guidelines-
The purpose of an editorial is to express some sort of viewpoint. The manner in which the writer chooses to do this is up to her. In other words, most anything goes. Some things to remember, however:

**The writer must choose a topic that is somewhat timely or of relevance to the student body. Writing about your favorite type of underwear is unacceptable. However, a piece reflecting a writer's opinions on the underwear industry is completely acceptable.
**Shows skillful use of the English language. If an editor cannot follow the argument, she has the authority not to print the piece.
**Makes a point. Probably the most important thing to remember is to argue the point well. Do not be wishy washy for fear of offending someone. Choose an argument and stick with it.

Remember...
There are a variety of types of editorial pieces beyond those that criticize and offer solutions. Other purposes of editorials are to: praise, commemorate, clarify, reflect, and amuse. Although these editorials serve a different function, they should still fulfill the basic editorial criteria.
12:24a
For all that i like to upset people's solid notions, i really don't do confrontation well, so i end up dreading opening e-mail oftentimes. I enjoy being flip or at least casual even with people who are in positions of authority over me, but i do my best to be respectful and mature when engaging in disagreements, particularly with people who are in positions of authority over me. I am aware, however, that i am inclined to try to push the line.

I just got an e-mail from Cate. I often find myself lamenting that tone is often difficult to read in writing, even when it is a potentially measured format such as e-mail. Having a history with someone helps immensely and i often find myself hearing a person's voice as i read their words in my head because i am so familiar with the way they communicate in the world.

I do not have that much of a shared history with Cate to be able to do that, but we do generally have a positive and respectful relationship, and i interpret the majority of her most recent e-mail in that mode. The end, however... makes me wonder if it's dripping in rageful sarcasm, though many factors incline me to think not so.

Wow. Breathing now. Still lots of homework. Then sleep. Then more homework. Will hopefully see Susan.
10:59a
Further proof that i am a big dork (as if that were ever in question).
1) I am really loving the detailed analysis work i'm doing for my Spanish paper. [I have missed loving that, loving being an English major, loving what i'm doing here.]
2) I HTML coded the underline twice in my paper before i realized.
7:01p
I heart my Big Gay Faculty. (Subject line unrelated to actual subject of entry.)
Bumper stickers and the Darwin fish have been discussed over on Volokh recently, so when i happened upon this i of course had to send it to him. (And for those not in the fandom-know, the guy in the icon who isn't a painting, is Joss Whedon, brains behind Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.)

Responding to one of my father's comments on the entry, dherblay writes, "On a different subject, do you mind if I ask how you found this? And, now that you've followed us home, can we keep you?"

*grins*

Posting all this Cate stuff i keep expecting someone to bitch me out for publicly posting personal e-mails. Ever since i found myself thinking that i wished i could just sit down with her and go over the article in detail i have been wondering how this would have gone differently if my LJ were on her friendslist. I wonder if i'm bordering on passive-aggressive or if i'm just moments away from this all blowing up in my face because it's so easy to come across other people's LJs (especially if one reads the smithies friendspage). An obvious answer is to just friendslock the bloody stuff. Proof of how much that isn't on my radar screen i actually had to have someone suggest that to me. I've private-posted twice, but when i'm LJing, friendslock almost never comes into the options list though i have lots of friends who commonly lock entries.

I don't feel like going through all the reasons i don't lock, and no one else really cares, but one of my immediate responses is that then my parents can't read it. (Though of course i can e-mail them.) I forget sometimes how jarring it is to some people's ways of thinking that my parents read this.

I luff the fact that if i were to give my dad a code he would totally be friended by bunches of my peoples (though oviously in a reading and not in a special-filter sense).

In my scant free time i have been reading lots of stuff and wishing i had the time to write about it. Sadness.

I think i may get to do my Sophian piece mostly on what i had wanted to do originally. Though i'm still not entirely sure how to interpret the end of Cate's e-mail, so we shall see what happens after i turn in the article tomorrow.

Britain study on genetics and gayness. UCLA study on genetics and gender identity. Next week (when the column will run) is Trans Awareness Week on campus. [P.S. We're selling copies of the "girls will be boys will be girls will be..." coloring book. Any non-Smithie want a copy?] I'm excited.
8:58p
Ow, my brain.
Wow, conflating gender identity and sexual orientation. I had forgotten anyone did that anymore, but looking up information on the UCLA study i first find misleading headlines and then articles which straight up talk about supposed genetic causes for homosexuality. And these articles are all talking about the UCLA study, the one which goes against decades of conventional wisdom by seeming to show that genes influence the sex of animals even before hormones are introduced to the fetus (for decades people had thought it was just hormones which made a fetus turn out male or female). Are these people sure they're not talking about the Britain blinking study, which does claim to help prove that sexual orientation is hard-wired?

If this [the below article snippet] is true it doesn't help, but i want to see the original interview transcript, original article, or whatever they're getting this from, because having seen people's amazing ability to misconstrue information, i'm not trusting a paraphrase:

While stressing the study was "not about finding the gay gene," Vilain said some of the 54 genes might explain homosexual behavior.

edit: In this article, Vilain is quoted as saying “It’s quite possible that sexual identity and physical attraction is ‘hard-wired’ by the brain. If we accept this concept, we must dismiss the myth that homosexuality is a ‘choice’ and examine our civil legal system accordingly.” I'm still troubled, largely because while i agree with his statement i don't think it has any basis in his findings, but that's not quite as bad as his statement had first been made out to be.

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