Monday, August 30, 2010


I think I promised I'd post some vacation pictures, and I try to keep my promises.

My daughter's first time in the ocean came way earlier than mine. (I had to wait until I was 14!)

Luckily, I was born with the soul of a poet

Today, at work, I was sitting at my desk when I felt some particularly strong kicks. I looked down and I could see movement through my shirt. It happened at semi-regular intervals for a few hours this afternoon. Once my whole belly seemed to jump to the right. I smiled as I imagined my daughter moving around in there. I pushed my hand against my belly and I could feel her pushing back.

Then, I remembered some article I read a few months ago about a study that found fetuses can feel no pain until after 29 weeks and might possibly be in some sedated, coma-like state for the duration of the pregnancy. For a moment, it made me a little sad to try to ponder these findings in conjunction with the wonderment I was feeling about watching my daughter move.

And then I remembered, I was born with the soul of a poet, not a scientist. In fact, I had--for one brief semester--been an undergraduate biology major. Then I switched to English and creative writing because the answers I found there were so much more fulfilling.

So if my daughter is in a coma-like state, I will think of it as one filled with vivid dreams of colors she hasn't  yet seen with her eyes and awe-inspiring landscapes. I will picture her moving around in a world filled with amazement. I will feel her movements in response to the songs I'm playing and the conversations I'm having, and I will joyfully imagine the person she is already becoming. Perhaps she will be born with the soul of a poet as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sadly . . .

I was hoping that there was no way this was real, but after some research, I think that it is.

Nettleton Middle School in Mississippi sent home documents with their students telling the students how to apply to be candidates in upcoming school elections (president, vice-president, reporter, etc.) This middle school, however, decided that they needed to divide up the potential slots by race. This woman's daughter was told she couldn't apply to run for reporter because it was reserved for black students, but she could run for president because it was reserved for white students.
While I don't know if this makes the story "worse" per se, I was particularly disturbed by the fact that this student is actually biracial. When the mother called the school to ask how her daughter was supposed to be categorized she was allegedly told that they "[g]o by the mother’s race b/c with minorities the father isn’t generally in the home."

As a human being, the fact that this type of blatant racism still persists disturbs and enrages me. As a scholar who studies the rhetoric of difference, this document clearly labeling each position as "white" or "black" fascinates me. (Disturbing enough that we label people in this way at all, but even more disturbing that we think all of the diversity in the world can be summed up by these two categories.) As a woman carrying a biracial child, I am frightened for the implications occurrences like this one have for the future of our society as a whole and my daughter in particular.

Edit: Apparently, my original link isn't working right now. Here's a new one at Gawker.

Going Bananas

I need to eat bananas. Lots of bananas.

See, I have been having these leg cramps. At first, they were little twinges of pain that woke me up and went away when I stretched a little. Once, one of them became a dragon of pain that left me writhing on the floor when I tried to stand up, unable to physically pull my foot back with two hands. Then, two nights ago, the dragon called in some friends, and I woke up FIVE TIMES in the night, once to the sound of my own screams. This is unpleasant.

So I will eat bananas. The problem is, I don't particularly like bananas. The taste is okay, but the texture, not so much.

Any suggestions on banana recipes? I am tempted to put them in a blender with chocolate ice cream, but I somehow don't think that will make a very healthy daily treat.

A Plague On Both Your Houses (and an Office)

I am drowning in numbers. I see them everywhere.

There's something you need to understand about me. I study rhetoric. I read a lot. I love words, I love letters, and I love language. I hate numbers.

There is a binary (situated, itself, in numbers) between the world of numbers and the world of words, and I have both feet planted so firmly in the latter that I have a very hard time even recognizing the function of those numerically-centered individuals. But, suddenly, I've found myself thrust into their world and I am drowning in numbers.


I am typically very, very good at meeting deadlines. I hate being late, and I am notoriously 15 minutes early for every meeting, wandering around in the hallway, wondering how soon is too soon to approach the door.

Now, of course, there are deadlines in all of the different facets of my life. The mortgage has to be paid on time, my students will be waiting in a classroom at a chosen time and day, my boss expects me to have reports in, and so on and so forth. Most of the time, though, these separate spheres cooperate in not giving me too many numbers to have to think about at any one time.

Now, there are looming dates and times for every sphere, and as I approach one deadline, I just find some more.

Here is a sampling of some of the numbers I have in my head:
  • I teach a class at 3:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach until 5, but I also take a class that starts at 5 on Tuesdays. I also have to be out of the parking garage by 6, but I don't get out of class until 7:30.
  • I am 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant.
  • I am due on November 30.
  • It is almost September (not techinically a number, I know, but it looms as a giant 9 out of 12 in my head)
The most nerve-wracking of all is my due date. It sounds so fixed and neat: November 30. Doesn't that sound like a good due date? I can leave after Thanksgiving break, give someone a very planned-out list of things that have to be done at work, and take solace in the fact that I won't be missing too much at work over the holidays.

Now, of course, November 30 means nothing. In fact, I went in for a doctor's appointment yesterday where I measured 30 weeks pregnant. I am 26 weeks pregnant. Four weeks is a BIG difference. I'm trying not to let it freak me out too much, because I'm fairly certain that I'm not 30 weeks pregnant and that the ultrasound I have in two weeks will show me at 28 weeks. Regardless, November 30 still means nothing. It could mean November 25 or December 6. That's the difference between finishing up the class I'm teaching and leaving right in the middle of my students' final projects.

I think that I have always been so good at meeting deadlines because I treat numbers like the enemies they are. I study them like small, terrifying combatants and I plan in order to never be taken over by their worst qualities: unweilding rigidity, inflexibility, the inability to be reinterpreted. Their strengths are my weaknesses, so I study their strengths to avoid vulnerability, but these new numbers, they are very tricky things. I need a new plan of attack.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I know I'm not supposed to say things like this, seeing as how I'm 25 years old and have a lot of years of hard work ahead of me, but I really need the vacation I'm about to go on. Seriously. Need it.

Between my husband studying for and taking the bar and me working 60 hour weeks since late July for a summer program, I cannot wait to sit on the beach and read books without a pen in my hand. No margin notes! That's my motto. (We'll see if I can stick to it.)

My bulging belly (moreso each day, I think) may pose something of a transportation issue on this 15-hour drive to South Carolina, but I'm determined to make it all work out. My doc did say I need to stop every couple hours to walk around, so that 15 hours will probably be 17. Still worth it.

I'm horrendous at taking pictures, but I made it a goal to get better at it when I found out I was pregnant, so we'll see if I can take some to post when I get back.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day Care

So, I have started the search for day cares a while back. Early on, I decided that I didn't know anything about what I was supposed to ask day cares. So I started researching searching for day cares. I would feel very prepared--that is, until I actually called them.

For some reason, the people on the other end of the phone of about six different places just struck me as incredibly rude. Maybe they were just impatient. Maybe they were tired after a long day of screaming toddlers. Whatever the case, several places got crossed off my list before I ever stepped foot in the door. I figured if they couldn't take the time to talk to me before I even brought my child there, they weren't going to provide the welcoming atmosphere that I needed in order to feel comfortable with the decision to use day care.

The I called one place that was so incredibly friendly. They also had specific schedules for cultivating multi-dimensional growth in infants. As I was listening to them, I had images of my daughter becoming a little genius during the day while I was gone. They made it all sound very wonderful. Then they told me the cost. It was more than I pay for tuition in graduate school. Seriously.

Now it's not that I'm not willing to pay for high quality day care. I've already cut out a lot of the lower costs options because they're not quite the kind of care I'm looking for. I also opted for a center over an in-home place because I want a more structured, scheduled environment as my daughter gets older. At the same time, I can't understand how day care could cost as much as that one did. I also do understand that we have a budget, and that was not in it.

I was beginning to get exasperated. Maybe I was being too picky, I thought to myself. Maybe I needed to go back to our budget and figure out a way to afford the place that sounded nice; after all, we don't really need electricity, right? In the midst of this worrying, I happened to call a place suggested by my work's employee assistance program (some of the rude ones had been, too).

They were friendly from the very beginning. They also had an open door policy, telling me to stop by any time and they'd be happy to show me around.

My husband and I decided to do just that. When we got there, we had to be buzzed into the building, which I think is a good thing considering it's an inner-city location.

Speaking of location, it is literally five minutes from work. I could walk there in ten. If something was wrong or if I forgot to pack enough milk, I could easily get there over lunch and still have time to grab something to eat.

The place was loud, but fun. The director showed me each of the rooms: elementary-school aged children, 3s and 4s, infant and toddlers. The infant and toddlers room was a little cramped, and I began to feel panicky again; it had seemed so perfect.

At the moment, they only have one child under the age of 1. But they have three mothers expecting in the next two months, and all of them want to continue using this day care when their new children arrive. The day care has decided to expand its infant and toddler room and create two separate rooms. This is supposed to be done in the next two months, well before I will be needing care.

I feel like we need to go back soon (maybe after the room is constructed). The director sat with me for close to an hour asking all of the questions I could think of (and they were good answers), but I would like to talk more with the person who is directly in charge of infant care.

If everything continues to go okay, I think we've found a place!