Friday, August 25, 2006

black sheep

i don't plan on writing much about my son in this space, but his official foray into the two's this week is an occasion that i thought i'd make note of.

i know that this is so damn cliche, but i really had no idea how painfully difficult the transition into being a parent would be. i also wasn't ready for how magically wonderful toddlerhood is.

the song baa, baa, black sheep is now a balm for my chaos, particularly when sang: "baa, baa baah shee, pah ney wooo" at any given moment. life is indeed so very beautiful.

happy birthday, parker.

Monday, August 21, 2006

folding in

I wrote last week (screamed into an entry, that is) about the Board of Trustees at Randolph-Macon Woman's College making preparations for a vote of yes in the case of the school going co-ed. After a few days of reading hundreds of emails on an anti-co-ed listserv as well as the school's Strategic Plan, I've realized that it's a no-win situation. Someone even said that it's a done deal...the vote on September 9 is simply a formality.

The petition that someone set up has only gathered 2700 names. And there are only several hundred letters in protest that have been written to date. They need thousands. It's pretty hopeless. But I am not going to give up hope. Mills College, Hampden-Sydney and others out there have stayed co-ed after long fights between the Board and alums. Maybe a force of hidden alums will come about at the last minute and take over, like the ghosts in "Pirates of the Caribbean." Oddly enough, those who would be fighting the hardest right now are much like those ghosts...they've past on.

I did have a chance to meet Helen, an 89-year old local woman who attended the college from '37-'39. She was the sole attendee at a get-together I threw together for alums with not so much order. She somehow got jaundice and had to leave the school in '39 or '40. She told me that she so regretted never going back and finishing her degree. She was still sending money to the college, even though she hadn't graduated. "It's a shame that there aren't that many women's colleges left," she said. "This just doesn't make sense."

There are about 40+ alumnae in the Central Ohio region. I'm planning a get-together for the Fall...a funeral of sorts for our school. But I think it will also be a celebration of what we all had the chance to experience in our life. Helen remarked to me before she left, "you never get another time in your life to really do something like this." She sure is right.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pearl S. Buck is rolling in her grave!

I had no idea what college I'd go to my junior year of high school (back in '92/'93). So long as I could be near my boyfriend, that's all that mattered to me at the time.

I settled on Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia. It so turns out that I loved it and benefited quite well from my four years there. I would not be the same unlevel-headed, over/underachieving feminist that I am today. My husband would probably disagree, but whatever.

Among R-MWC alumnae are Pearl S. Buck, author of "The Good Earth" and a bevy of other minor-celebrities, politicians, artists, scientists and scholars. Not all dead, btw.

"Back in the day" (1900-1975) it was common for women to attend single-sex colleges. It's was actually almost a given if you lived in the Southern parts or the Northeast. In fact, my mother attended Radford University, which--ha, coincidentally went co-ed in 1972. It's now a trash heap of bad sex, booze and Dave Matthews. Enough said about going co-ed. All bad-bad-bad news, folks.

So here's what appears to have gone down: the school took a look at poor turnout from a costly recruiting campaign as well as their finances--you know, for the glow-lights in the pool, new and cooler gym, the suede tablecloths, gold-leaf shower curtains, trips to Amsterdam, stock of caviar... the list of luxuries goes on and on!

They licked their wounds and realized that they "didn't have enough money to run operational costs," like salaries. The only option was to dip into the Endowment fund. All of a sudden--fuck, they're in a jam! The past-President, Kathleen Bowman just took a B-Line out of the school before all of this went down. What part of thou shalt not borrow from yeself's future did they not understand?

The board hired a research group that carried out a loverly (mock) study with results that pointed in a "not-so-good-news" direction: the college needed some dick to get more ladies, which would, of course, bring in more revenue over time. The Board summoned and agreed that indeed, maybe it needed to part ways with it's century-old, single-sex/vag-a-lot history and bring those smart, stunning men, waiting in earnest(!) into the campus fold. And then die a slow the kind that involves your arm being stuck in a KitchenAid mixer, except the attachment is not a wisk but a small collection of knives that keep twisting your arm in and cutting it to shreds.

The Board alluded to this move back this Spring, but never said that a vote (scheduled on September 9) was eminent--or that a vote of yes would mean the fusion of a co-educational institution in Fall of 2007. Nor did they mention that faculty, alums, community members or those who had established planned giving in their estate had not a nary-eary of a voice in the matter. Lame-a-tastic!

Alums are up in arms and turning their plowshares into swords. Word got out last Friday about the vote. An online petition has collected almost 2,000 signatures in the last 3 days. Please sign it if you can. If you disagree with the board, you can also send a letter of non-support for making the school co-ed at The more letters the better.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

sleater-kinney in dc, so freaking hot

went to dc last week.

i do not have enough time to write. so, quick story:
flew to dc to see sleater-kinney
go to show.
everyone excited.
and sweaty.
19-year old woman stands next to me.
first time i have felt older. very weird.

everyone in dc is using their AC, as they should be.
so, it's too damn hot & the transformer for block blows
before the ladies of sleater-kinney start
show cancelled!!!!!
some have flown in from london to see the show.
some have driven in from springfield as well.

everyone cries and sarcastically screams.

people hang outside for an hour.

news is big. makes pitchfork next day.

everyone turns into a pissy 17-year-old girl. sad.

i plan to go home
but decide to stay.

"see dc!
see zoo!
see museums!"

see heat hanging in the air like monkeys on branches

everyone is hot, including the very cute and somewhat terrifying ratdogs.

almost hallucinate from the breath of satan!
hit the galleries: portrait, hirshorn, national gallery...all wonderful

see sleater-kinney thurs night.

they rock out. amazing. carrie brownstein is queen on guitar.
go home at 4:30 am, baltimore to columbus.
love southwest.
tired as hell.

heat hallucination at the zoo="humans+squirrels+shrinking pills=golden lion monkeys"

more water, please. rrrawr.