Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is GENIUS!

I love The Crunk Feminist Collective. Their writing inspires me to write more, even when I feel like no one is reading. Their work keeps me grounded as I work through my love/hate relationship with feminism and feminist spaces. Their words are a constant reminder that there other people like me who experience the complexities of feminism today, rather than just surface, non-intersectional,  second-wave notions of feminism.

And I also love that they write awesome Back-to-School Survival Guides! Follow the link to read in its entirety, but I just had to highlight a few of my favorite tips:

"Be your own best advocate. Prioritize your own professional needs/goals.
  • You have not because you ask not.  You have to be willing to ask for what you need. You deserve transparency about the rules and procedures of your program, cordial treatment from faculty, staff and students, and a program that prepares you not only for the rigors of grad school but also for the job market (should you desire a career in academia).  But folks won’t hand it to you on a silver platter. You have to build relationships, ask questions, and make demands.
  • Figure out your writing process (the place [home, coffee shop, library], time [morning, afternoon, night], and conditions [background noise, total silence, cooler or warmer] under which you work best and try to create those conditions as frequently as possible during finals, qualifying exams, and dissertation.

Be proactive about self-care.
  • Figure out your non-negotiables. For me, sleep is non-negotiable. I must have it. I don’t do all nighters. I also generally don’t do weekends, so I adjust my schedule accordingly. What are your non-negotiables?
  • Take advantage of on-campus therapy services. My last two institutions have had women-of-color thesis and dissertation support groups. Consider joining.
  • Cultivate a spirit-affirming practice. Grad school/the academy is a mind-body-spirit endeavor. So meditate, pray, exercise, do yoga, go to church, cook a good healthy meal. Do whatever you need to do to keep your mind, body, and spirit in balance.

Be willing to get CRUNK!
  • If the environment is hostile, it is most probably characterized bymicroaggressions of various sorts.  Racial microaggressions –“brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color– are quite common for women of color, but microaggressions can be used in sexist, heterosexist, or ableist ways as well.  A microaggressive environment demands resistance of various sorts. So do you and be you. Unapologetically.  Keep a copy of Sister Audre near by so you can make sure you’re channeling your legitimate anger productively, and then, get crunk if necessary."

Working in Higher Education while earning a Masters in Higher Education Administration feels like double the pressure at times. It's like I'm learning about issues of retention, diversity, intercultural communication, access and inequalities, then sitting (somewhat) idly by as they play out on campus. Ok ok...I suppose working in an LGBTQ Student Center that approaches campus diversity from an intersectional approach isn't all that idle...but issues and incidences of microaggressions on campus feel overwhelmingly much deeper and larger than my work sometimes.  

But that's my story...and I'll work it out! Either way...check out the guide, and thank you to THE CRUNK FEMINIST COLLECTIVE!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bad-Ass Folk!

This month's Bad Asses are....MY AMAZING BOSSES for making the NYU LGBTQ Student Center a totally amazing place to work! I know you may be asking yourself why is this person trying to suck up to her bosses? Well that is a silly question because they probably won't read this, so there.

But in all seriousness, New York University was recently named the most LGBTQ-Friendly Institution in the US! The Princeton Review released it's annual ranking and once again NYU placed first, followed by Standford. Honestly, I'm not sure what criteria was used to earn NYU this ranking, but I know that my supervisors have definitely contributed greatly to campus climate. I love this work! Check out all the schools on HuffPo!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm saying you should settle...

This upcoming presidential election is becoming more frightening every day. The Tea-baggers are strengthening, the Republicans are becoming more and more radical, and the Democrats seem to be giving in on major issues.  I get that Obama has absolutely fell short of my expectations as queer, as a woman, as a person of color, as poor, as a student...well as a lot of things. And it's easy to say that we need to teach him a lesson by not voting for him, but politics are not so black and white.

Let's say that Obama isn't re-elected...who then will speak for the issues you care about? Will this person have enough pull to actually win a primary or an election? What if we are so divided that an uber-conservative is elected? I know what a lot of queer folks are waiting for: inclusive federal Employee Non-Discrimination Act, and marriage. But where should we place our efforts, in a Republican, an incumbent, or a president who has kept a small percentage of his promise. As much as the tides have seemed to turn in this country, if Obama wants a second term, there is no way he will legalize federal civil unions or ENDA.

Obama isn't perfect. No politician is. But I'm hoping that the change I was promised will come in his second term. And if he doesn't do it on his own, you bet your ass I'll be there rallying and protesting and causing a ruckus... because he'll have no excuse. No second term to worry about. It'll be his chance to be the president I voted for.

I have hope, do you?