April 10th, 2009

Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.


This will not be my only post before bed. I just need to let off steam.

I did a lot of thinking today about high school and its affect on my future. One thing I thought about was plant and animal. It was triggered again.

I get really, really sick of hearing this nonsense about the animal students being More Academically Driven and More College Bound.

That is exactly what Mrs. Super-Biased, Super-Gossip Picks-Favourite Spain told me sophomore year (I still do like her for her good traits, though the less favoured are noted as well). I forgave her for it then. I have since discovered that it seems to be the Chosen Script of people who are very pro-animal and not so hot on plant. Mrs. Spain sat me down and spoon-fed me rubbish about how I was a bookworm who liked to "learn for learning's sake" (true) and how I wouldn't feel right in the plant department (because that was obviously her place). How I needed to be in a department like animal, which is so academically-focused and college-bound. She told me I could get to natural resource careers without majoring in natural resources, that it wasn't fit for me, that she would much rather see me in a major like vet. What bugged me the most was that she didn't commence the tirade with "this is just my opinion, but..." she just went on full-blast as if they were complete facts of the animal department. That the animal department deserves the bookworms.

Really? Animal, huh? (The following are not my actual level-headed opinions, these are my I'm-currently-enraged-and-things-are-out-of-balance thoughts.) The building of ceaseless gossip, catty equine girls and constant complaints about the work load? The building in which people were constantly sharing work over doing their own? Who enjoyed skipping classes to do ANYTHING else? (Although they are not the only ones red-handed. Plant has the same problem. I just don't see why I'm expected to blink blind eyes on EITHER--both have problems!)

Yes, there are stereotypes there. Yes, I think of certain faces as I say those.

I went to Watsonii to speak with her during lunch after Spain talked to me. Watsonii was astounded that Spain would say such things, would push me so hard. When I asked her what was true, she didn't put slander to animal's name. She said it was right for some people. She disagreed fully--plant can be just as academic, natural resources the most. It can be just as college based--many students early applied and knew exactly where they wanted to go. What struck me the most about her response was that she put her hand to her heart, smiled at me and told me the trick was to follow my heart. "This above all, to thine own self be true," she reported, and I pinpointed it for the worn-out quote she keeps near her door. I almost cried. I may have. I felt so alive and rooted, loved and supported, not smothered and forced. I knew plant was the right place for me.

I said "can" for plant in relation to academics and college. It CAN be very based on those.

I was in plant. I tried my best (or slightly less in some classes) and got very close to top marks in everything--vocational and academic. I was third in class. I applied for university in England and got in. Watsonii was COMPLETELY supportive in writing me recommendation letters and a 48-line statement about me to put into my English UCAS application. McSpleeny tried her best (or slightly less in some classes) and got very close to top marks in everything--vocational and academic, as with me. She was valedictorian. She was accepted into every college she applied to, including the agricultural division of Cornell. She's going to Commonwealth college. Brittles worked very hard, and so many others. There are other plant majors that were not interested in being academic or hard-working students and had no or little interest in college. I know many plant majors who tended to mature later--Kleppy is now doing remarkably in college and having a good time of it, while Makuchan dropped from Bridgewater. There were classes to complain about--ridiculous sheets on plants that seemed pointless, model greenhouses and insects. In the end they have been useful.

I remember being in Spanish senior year with entirely animal majors (possibly ONE other plant but I don't think even that). They cheated, copied, did things last-minute and sloppily. There were classes that were ceaselessly complained about, teachers complained about as with plant. Many animal majors I know didn't try to go to college, or went and dropped. There are others who tried hard, did well and were very college-bound. It's our own integrity business. Be a black sheep in a black herd, be a white sheep in a black herd, join a white herd--wherever it is you want to be, choose it. You'll find the groups in either department.

It is a CHOICE. Choosing plant or animal? That's a choose. Choosing to be academic-minded and a hard worker in all classes and situations? That's a choose. Choosing to do extra-curriculars and get involved with college trips and the like? That's a choice, and not a limiting one--McSpleeny was in arbor, wanted to go to college for vet and was doing cow show. She got to do what she wanted. And choosing to be college-based? That is a CHOICE.

It is not an animal vs. plant world in that aspect. It is a Who Do You Want to Be? question. Yes, we have to follow our hearts. Not biased beechy teachers or guidance councillors (apologies, they all have redeeming points). It is to our own selves we have to be true.

I learned more from plant than I could ever have imagined, things I loved and yearned to learn. Life lessons. Being around Watsonii and Lee and Mertz and Nelson and even Brodeur, it helped me, it was right for me. I could feel it deep down.

Would I have fit in with the animal department? To be honest, probably yes! I probably would have done just fine. I would have ended up in vet and tried in all my classes. Some students would have rolled their eyes at my scholarly tenacity and at my strange behaviour--I am not the run of the mill bookworm. I could have easily been in animal. Did I choose that? No. Was plant better for me? I don't know, I can't compare a solid to a theoretical--but I know plant WAS good for me.

So yes, it hurts to be reminded that there are so many at the school who think plant is made up a bunch of dossers who'd rather poop in the middle of the boy's lav than pick up a pen to work, a book to study, a college book to research for the future. It hurts to be reminded that many think of animal students as angels representing all that is academic and college-ripe. It hurts that it always feels Animal claws and clings to every student when they already have 90% of applicants to begin with. It just reminds me how glad I am Watsonii had Plant Guides, at least to start working toward some sense of equality. I love that woman.

I support plant and I support animal. Above that, I support following our own hearts and trusting ourselves.

I am a plant student at reasonably prestigious university in England studying exactly what I wanted to study; I have performed well in high school and in university; I got to do whatever extra curriculars I pleased. But what matters to me more than that, more than petty duels between photosynthesis and movement? It. Felt. Right.

(In a slightly amused tone, thank Gods for SOME of the teachers at that school, or my mind would have exploded from the presence of the others. Also, when I wrote that fantasy-fiction piece freshman year about there being a feud between plant and animal, and someone--probably Rachel--replied telling me I had no idea what I was on about? I'm going to continue to debate that. There is a feud. I'm not in the middle, I'm off to the side working to start the peace signings.)
  • Current Music
    Amy Speace -- The Morning After the Ball
Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

(no subject)

Good good good day!

I woke up and my hair was cooperating so I put off showering to do washing and finish fidgeting with my iPod, getting Jenny Owens Hunt on it. We left at 9. Hour-long drive, a few words shared. He dropped me off by forestofglory's college. I immediately thought I had forgotten my mobile but it was only in a different pocket of my purse and I am a ditz sometimes, grins.

She showed me her room (which is lovely!) and we went off. My adjective of the day was "lovely" because everything was. Cambridge is very neat. Old and windy and fun. Loved the atmosphere. We checked out King's College Chapel and I was very impressed especially with the ceiling. We moved through the Zoology Museum and chuckled at how it seems like revision now. I was impressed with my bird knowledge. We went and bought burritos and nachos (me former, her latter) which were quite nice. Sat and chatted after wolfing down our food.

My order of the day probably isn't very accurate. I don't think in chronological order. We went to the botanical gardens and walked around. The Magnolia x soulangeana reminded me of Watsonii so I talked about her a lot, probably because she's close to my heart. forestofglory and I plant-geeked a lot, inspected trees and flowers and the lot. Sat by the fountain before that.

We headed over to the Science Museum we had missed before because it was closed. We sat on the comfortable couch and people-watched. We were amused and delighted with one young boy who had an adorable Mohawk and by another older boy who was enthralled with the human physiology doll that comes apart. We moved on to check out the market place, which was nice but closing up, and headed over to Starbucks. She bought a hot chocolate and I picked up a marshmallow-bite-thing. We sat chatting for a good while. I couldn't really help it and had to spill some of my thoughts just to get them out of my head--silly life anxieties/worries about the future, immediate and later. I cheered up pretty quickly after that. (I do detest days when the future!fear overwhelms me while others are around. I wondered what was causing it.)

We headed over to the Rainbow Cafe that we had previously popped into when I was curious. I had a lovely salad with rice and pasta and vegan salad dressing and hot sauce (because I'm a weirdo). Tap water. We shared vegan peppermint chocolate cheesecake that I really enjoyed. We sat around a bit and then moved on. The cashier man complimented my rainbow dogtag necklace a lot and was surprised when I sad I got it from the Boston (MA) Gay Pride. He liked it regardless.

Walked back to her room. Called Malcolm and he was on his way to Cambridge to eat with Sue and then pick me up. I didn't want to change his plans--give him a nice date seeing as he had driven to and from Cambridge twice in the day for me. forestofglory revised while I read. She moved on to the computer. We conversed from time to time and it was nice. I was glad to be reading again, too. I haven't done enough reading lately.

I was really knackered. Hugged her goodbye and drove home with Malcolm. Was planning to go to sleep as soon as I had checked online stuff and answered my email, but my thoughts from earlier were triggered and required a bit of a rant. Then I sent an email to Watsonii. Got a wonderful response from Duffie--he loved the poem I sent him.

Loved Cambridge and sights with the river and old buildings.

Also hacked Mum's livejournal and gave her fun icons (Janis, Harold and Maude, Trelawny, Goddess statuette and her favourite Mandarin duck picture) and a pretty layout. That makes me happy.

Looooove my new iPod music. So much epic stuff. I tend to love EVERY song that comes on, even if I'm still getting to know it.

Hopefuls for Tomorrow:
1) Wake up at a reasonable time (understandable if not, really knackered and lots of walking today)
2) Shower (will happen)
3) Possible going into town to buy bottoms or leggings (I am rubbing my legs raw with walking around in only a skirt and I need effective good trousers for ecology work)
4) Buy an Easter Egg given it's my first Easter without direct family
5) Organise practicals / work on Jubilee / OPEN humans packet
6) Upload some writing
7) More washing
8) Play ukulele!
  • Current Music
    Celtic Woman - Walking in the Air
Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

What Will Be Will Be

Today was one of those I-can't-inspire-myself-to-get-out-of-bed days. Or it was until evening. And then I tugged myself out, got myself into a shower and smiled for the first time in the day.

I love the way I look with my face wet and my hair slackened back with water, singing and playing in the shower. If I ever wondered why anyone would have a sink in the shower beyond for shaving, I understand now.

I spent time in front of the mirror watching how my body works as I went about doing my hair. I love my body. I think it's beautiful. I often have self-conscious thoughts about scar-tissue, scars, hair, pale skin, veins and softly curving flesh...but when it comes down to it, *I* really like my body! So I try to keep grasp of those feelings instead.

Jenne (camp staffer Jenne from first year Rowe) left a nice supportive comment on one of my Facebook status updates with some stuff she uses to get to sleep. I thought about how it's my Mind and fears keeping me awake, my fear of being pigeonholed in later life and not being able to do all the things I want to do.

The next song on was "Don't Be Shy" by Cat Stevens. I took a deep breath and smiled. It just all came together that I *will* be doing what I want, and the only thing that's keeping me down with it is this elusive idea of fame. Sometimes I think I want to be "known" for certain things--science, writing, song, art, the likes. Which is funny because that's just another form of pigeonholing. It made me laugh to know that I was spiting pigeonholing when all I wanted was to be pigeonholed as a Renaissance Woman who could do everything. When I realised that the fear and much of the desire dropped away.

I still want to do everything. But is being famous for it really the important part? No, definitely not. It's not the worst thing in the world if I'm known for Science or for Writing or for Both, and I'm playing ukulele and singing just with friends or freely on stage when I want to volunteer, drawing an occasional webcomic strip or painting my view of the world.

The more ridiculous fear in my stomach unclenched. This isn't the cure-all turning point, but the fact that I can reach this sanity is a good sign. So I'll need to remember how to reach out and grasp these sets of reassurances, taking the deep breath and getting back to the moment--remembering that what I'm doing isn't the end of the world, good or bad it's going to pass, so enjoy it for the moment or shake a fist but do it anyway the next moment will be upon me.

If the way to remember is through Cat Stevens and Harold and Maude? Grins, welllll I think I'll survive with that.

(I giggle to guess that Mum probably never thought she'd raise a daughter who adored Harold and Maude, Cat Stevens, Janis Joplin and Rachel Carson and used them to bring extra meaning or comfort to life. Cat Stevens' songs say everything I want to say and hear, so singing along with them is just perfect.)

What will be will be: let it be.
This too will pass.
  • Current Music
    Cat Stevens - Don't Be Shy
Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

Just Speakers

I just thought I'd lost my portable speakers for a few minutes.

Once, not so long ago, I would have freaked out about how I had lost something Mrs. Cavanagh had given me. I would have cried and been so forlorn, would have felt I had betrayed myself.

Today, I went rolled my eyes and thought, Gods, WHERE are my frakking speakers? I don't want to have to get another pair! And then I laughed about my ability to lose anything and checked the closet.

Where they were. Smiles. You've done good, Kiwi, you've done good with this strange non-romantic heartache, and you've healed. You've done good.

(Yes, I'm going to be a livejournal abuser for a while. It's easier to comment on short entries anyway! And easier to read in the future--hello future Kiwi on your New Year's memorial journey down Livejournal Lane!)
  • Current Music
    Something Cool - Tierney Sutton
Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

Teh Kwii's Kweh

  • 18:22 I am back from Cambridge happy, tired and slightly raw in the legs.
  • 20:21 I was going to try to be asleep by midnight and then there was emotion and then the urge to email Watsonii. So sleep soon instead.
  • 21:37 I hijacked Mum's livejournal to make it pretty and have icons. Also, my new iPod music?! EPIC WIN!!! I love it so much!
  • 08:39 I am eating cereal bars for late brekky. I seem to have suddenly grown an appreciation for raisins after not liking them for years.
  • 08:49 I think of the Cavinator every time Joan Baez comes on and it makes me smile, because she never actually mentioned Joan but I'm reminded.
  • 10:00 I was voting in AfterEllen's Top 100 hottest women and Top 10 over 40. And could only do the second one. Think I like older woms too much!
  • 10:14 I should have more shoulder-free shirts. I think I look good in things that show all of my shoulders/collarbones.
  • 11:24 Ahhhh uni email changed! Will have to get used to this later. Blech. Before then, SHOWER. I need to be human again! Erglack!
  • 11:26 A blackbird keeps landing on the roof outside the window and staring in at me. I'm going to consider it my new friend. It sings to me.
  • 11:45 I wish I had my iGasm with me. Why did I decide to leave it at uni? Oh, thought I would have no privacy. Uncle frequently not here. Drats!
  • 13:01 @moebiuscascade Gods, I'm excited and dreading that. =[. Work to do first. Tummy looks up at me in fear...
  • 14:28 It so, so so makes sense that my favourite movie is a black comedy. My life makes perfect sense in its nonsensicality.
  • 15:09 Goodnight, Jesus. May your rest be peaceful, long and uninterupted. Close your eyes and slumber on. Remember love and compassion and life.
  • 15:14 According to TVSquad all "non-lesbians" expect lesbians to look like TLW's Shane. Because that's SO accurate. I'm flesh and tits and hair.
And that's a wrap, folks! Kupokweh!