My dad was kinda traumatized. “You know how much I hate getting rid of things.”
Terry liked it, which surprised me because Winter Break when i told him i was getting it cut he was all “Why? It looks so good long.”
Couldn't sleep that night, so after spending hours reading, going back to bed, getting up and reading, etc. i took a shower around quarter of 5 and then enjoyed puttering around the quiet house as the world outside wakes up.
Wednesday afternoon was my first day at Teen Voices (also known as my Smith Junior internship). No one warned me it’s over a pizza place. I found it without serious difficulty, though. And it’s about 2 minutes from South Station, which is wonderfully convenient.
There are 6 other interns, though Ellyn says there will be additional interns in other departments. We were all dressed some degree of like casual nice, but the staff was definitely dressed casual so i’m gonna take my cues from them. Of course, i suspect i’m gonna be spending quantity time in my swishy brown patterned skirt this summer (comfy and pretty -- what more could one want?) so it may be something of a non-issue. I feel like Tara with the whole flowy earthtones thing going on.
I was noticing that all the other interns had long hair, like shoulder-length or below. I just felt very much back in the white-bread middle class suburbs. And all but one, maybe two, look very very Caucasian, though the adult staff looks to have quite a diverse racial makeup. Yeah, i know, i’m being dreadfully lookist or whatever. Given that we’ll be working with disadvantaged teen girls, i’ll be interested to see how the class/race/whatever dynamics work out. And i’m certainly a white middle-class suburban girl myself. The prospect of working with the teens is kinda terrifying.
The “Interacting With a Diverse Group of Teens” bullet point list includes:
“None of our teens have ever been in a place where all the people with the power are women; not at home, not in school, not at their place of worship, and not at most other community programs. Recognize and celebrate this important distinction to our program. It should not be taken lightly.”
I was reminded of the arguments for the merit of Smith’s single-sex-ness. (Incidentally, was reading back issues ‘cause i had arrived so early and there was a section on choosing to go to a women’s colleges and the list of “reasons to consider going to a women’s college” did not include “because you’re a big ole dyke.” For shame.) For young women who have been truly disadvantaged, i can see the merit in that argument. How many truly disadvantaged kids get into Smith, though? We may give lots of financial aid, but you still have to be a very bright and talented person, as demonstrated by a variety of standardized methods (high school transcripts, SAT scores, etc.) so that doesn’t help kids who did poorly in high school despite innate intelligence because of having to care for siblings or whatever. This really deserves fuller discussion, but i'm tired.
Another bullet point is: “Please don’t talk about drinking, drugs or sex anywhere in the office because you never know where a teen may be working. No profanity either!” I was a bit taken aback.
Am finally looking seriously into cultural studies grad programs other than Brown's. Did a Petersons.com search, which didn't find me Brown's program so i'm kinda worried that i'm missing other programs as well, but it did find me a bunch of programs that look promising. They're all over the place geographically and it's sinking in that i might actually go somewhere outside of the Northeast, which is just such a weird feeling for a girl who's spent her whole life in the same state and really loves the area and doesn't have any particular desire to leave. It would just be for the duration of the grad program and i'm sure it would be a good experience; i'm not actually *worried* about the prospect (though i'm sure that will come later) -- it's just this weird feeling, on top of all the other "Whoa, i'm gonna be a real adult soon" stuff i've been processing recently.
E-mailed Michael asking about a letter of recommendation and immediately had self-doubt paranoia. He replied saying yes of course and i bounced. Given the angsty drifty whatever i had been having recently, that was well needed.
I also got his grad school spiel, which followed a lot of what other people have been telling me:
a) you're going for the intrinsic rewards of sustained, high-level study (not for an eventual professorial job, because there ain't gonna be any), and b) it won't cost you anything (ie you get teaching stipends, tuition waivers, etc).In a later e-mail he said:
but you should go for it -- you've got the mind and the passion and the work ethic, and grad school is great all by itself, regardless of the future it might or might not lead to.Aw, i blushed.
In other news, my dad sent me this:
EMAIL OF THE DAY II: "I'm not going to sit here and, like the pseudo-conservatives of this country, complain about how hard it is to be even remotely conservative in a radical, Massachusetts college town. In short, it sucks. Regardless, I have managed to make somewhat of a name for myself by being the (and it's not only self-proclaimed) 'first intellectual teenage conservative Northampton has ever seen.' After a couple years of trying, myself and a classmate succesfully ressurected our school newspaper. She's a radical beyond even the ultra-liberal Northampton, MA status quo and, me a moderate (socially liberal, fiscally conservative and hawkish) usually classified as a staunch GOP guy, wanted to create a school newspaper that wasn't a rag or an outfit for uninformed, teenage leftists to rant in. We became so attached to this paper that, for the final semester of high school, everything we did was in some way related to producing a thought-provoking weekly. As the paper expanded and became quite popular in our college town of 30,000, my co-editor/ressurector, Hannah and I shared deep intellectual discourse on local, state and national politics. In nine of our issues, we debated a different topic. The two of us taught each other alot but I am ecstatic over one thing that has come about from our friendship: we both read your blog. I turned her on to it and she now feels that there is at least one insightful conservative who is not a religious zealot. As a token of her appreciation Hannah's graduation gift to me was - yup you guessed it - a donation to Andrewsullivan.com in my name. My first year at college will be filled with updates and special features from the Daily Dish. I hope you'll run this letter so that people out there know that honest, intellectual and respectful discourse still exists even if it is only amongst a 17 and 18 year old. Running this letter is also a terrific plug for the importance of donating to the dish."