Archive for March, 2009

TGIF, I think.

Posted in Musings on March 27, 2009 by xxxicana

Phew, I stayed up really late last night putting the final touches to the National Association for Ethnic Studise (NAES) conference program — the conference starts next Thursday!!!  Talk about cutting it down to the wire.  It has been a great experience working on the conference.  I never really appreciated all the hard work that goes into event planning — and our conference is pretty small.  I can’t even imagine the kind of work that goes into a conference with +2000 papers.  At any rate, I don’t even attend large conferences anymore.  I feel too adrift in a sea of people that constantly do the name tag scan (quick firtive look to your tag to see if you rank high enough to speak to . . .  and then they ditch you the moment someone higher on the food chain comes along).  I love NAES — first it is great to work with a group of like minded people committed to social justice, transformative pedagogy, and increasing diversity in academia.  It’s also a hoot to hang with so many other peeps of color and enjoy the freedom of letting our hair down.

I stayed up late last night also to read a manuscript that my colleague and cuate Joy Castro wrote for an edited volume on Latina Motherhood.  She is so not like me in many respects — calm, reserved, quiet, kind, tenured  — ok, I’m kind too.  But I’m loud, spazzy, opinionated, and not tenure.  Yet we click on a number of levels that provide relief and those lightbulb moments of “you, too?”.   Anyway, her article focusses on waking up one day as an empty nester and trying to figure out what to do with all that maternalism.  It was great to read how she has turned her maternal focus into more of a sisterly focus and how she is enjoying the opportunities to be found in Lincoln.

Tomorrow I am attending the History Graduate Student Symposium to offer commentary on a trio of papers.  The paper topics are pretty darn interesting:  La Virgen de Guadalupe, Tourist Imaginings of Eastern Europe, and Sex in the Ancient Greek City (ooh, lots of images of gay sex!).  Now, unfortunately, many profs don’t really enjoy graduate students all that much (I had one prof that REFUSED to work with grads).  But, often times, the cutting edge ideas come from these young researchers that haven’t been jaded by over work or whipped into dogged submission by the tenure process.  They have the (relative) freedom to play with ideas and see where they lead.  But, between now and then, I have to sythesize these three disparate papers!!  Hope I can pull this together!

So, for the moment, I’ll sign off — gotta get ready for work.  TTFN.

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Guilted by a Crypto Catholic

Posted in Musings on March 23, 2009 by xxxicana

You know it’s gonna be one of those days when a tsunami of guilt slams into you — totally unexpected with no prior warning.  I received an email this morning from a friend that I now suspect of being a Crypto Catholic — the guilt was laid on so thick that it stuck to the roof of my mouth.  I will now spend a few cyber moments prostrate before the Virgin of Perpetual Guilt (thanks to Fred for inventing her) and ask for guidance.

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On a more sorrowful note, condolences and my greatest sympathies go out to the West-Carranzas who are shedding many tears for little Mango who unfortunately flew on to a higher plane of existence this weekend.   Mango is sure to be in bird heaven . . .

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Spring has emerged, cautiously in Lincoln

Posted in 1 on March 22, 2009 by xxxicana

crocus-purpleyellowThe first flowers to wake up from their winter slumbers are the crocus . . . . last year an artic blast destroyed them the day after they popped out.  The daffodils are growing, they’ll be up next week I think.  There’s nothing like flower to make life just so much better and cheerful.

I WAS IMPRESSED THAT FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA HAS STARTED A VICTORY GARDEN!!

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She enlisted a gaggle of school children to clear the area.  I’m sure that the hard work of turning the soil, adding compost, creating beds, ensuring a proper drainage system, etc. will fall to the professional grounds keepers for the white house.  But “YAY” for Mrs. Obama.  She has the opportunity to demonstrate  positive actions to make this world a little better.  A victory garden is an excellent teaching opportunity:  to learn about US history, to learn about food production, chemicals, pollution, poverty, etc.

BTW, if the man doesn’t like beets, grow them anyway, someone else might!

Where have all the geeks gone?

Posted in Musings on March 14, 2009 by xxxicana

So, yesterday in my “Native Peoples of Latin America” class, we were discussing the ethics of ethnographic film.  I posed the question, do we (western anthropologists) have the right to enter into other people’s villages, homes, or lives to film?  I asked, should anthropologists be held to the “Prime Directive.”

deathly silence . . . . no one knew what I was talking about!!  I asked, don’t you people watch Star Trek?  no response.  “uhhh, no”, braved one young soul.  Akk!  What is this world coming to ????

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art by: http://echosphere.net/star_trek_insp/star_trek_insp3.html

I guess my coolness quotient fell by many points.  What the heck do young people watch these days?

It’s true, identity theft does occur!

Posted in Musings on March 7, 2009 by xxxicana

doppleganger-explain

Ya know, I just never really concerned myself too much about financial issues — maybe because I spent so much time in self-imposed poverty (hint:  it’s called grad school).  Now that I am trying to build some type of economic stability, I’ve become kinda psycho about the process.  I opened a high interest account with an online bank.  Cool deal — I received a $25.00 opening bonus.  Bad news today when I attempted to open a checking account (they offer free bill pay, higher interest, etc.).   The bank closed my account down!!  But, I have to wait for at least 10 days to get my savings account funds transferred back to my bank — WTF????  The problem is that my identity could not be verified!  Since online banks can’t check out your physical ID, they ask a series of questions, including prior addresses, people you know, etc.                                                 I FAILED THE TEST!!!!

I was pretty annoyed.  But, I recalled that I had a copy of my credit report from last summer and there were some anomalies that I didn’t really think were all that important.  So, today I requested a full  blown credit report from all three bureaus.  OMG!  There were several names, addresses, phone numbers, a different ssn, collections, etc., on my report.  So, I called up one of the bureaus to report the discrenpencies.  I was told that my history has been mixed up with someone with a similar name . . . and just my luck, she’s a total loser!  (more than me).

Anyway, the very nice person on the line went through all the information and an investigation will be launched.  I should have a cleaned up history in about 30 days.

Moral of the story . . . check your credit history annually . . . just like they tell you.  Everyone is allowed one free report a year, here’s the link:   annualcreditreport.com (note: this is the only authorized online source).