Maybe it’s because I’m graduating soon and will have to start the dance of relocation, but I have been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of “community” and what that means in my life. As much as I enjoy being mobile, shiftless, footloose, fancy-free and similar adjectives, my last move, at which time I realized that I had nothing to sit on and only about four cups to drink out of despite having lived on my own since the age of 18, was difficult and somewhat of an eye-opener. With an impending move in front of me (although where exactly that will be is still up in the air), I feel a strange compulsion to make this one count.
Archive for November, 2008
Despite the general election results, there were several things that really sucked about this week. In no particular order I am listing them off.
1. Proposition 8 in California PASSED. How? Why? What?
2. African-American voters are being blamed for the passage of Prop. 8, despite the fact that they made up only 10% of the electorate in California, and had 56% of white voters instead of 49% voted against Prop. 8 rather than for it, it would not have passed. AND there was the whole issue surrounding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints pumping ungodly sums of money into the campaign FOR Prop. 8 despite the fact that, you know, they live in Utah. So I’m unclear as to why the mainstream media as well as my favorite sex advice columnist, Dan Savage, is placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the African-American community. Let’s face it: it passed because people all over the political spectrum, of all colors and religions, are apparently still too icked out by the thought of two men kissing to allow them the right to marry. Disgusting and shameful.
3. More disgusting and shameful legislation passed in Florida and Arizona, where bans denying lesbians and gay men the right to marry were adopted, and in Arkansas, where now any couple–hetero or homo–who are not married cannot adopt or foster children.
4. Some ass hats were really mean to my friend M during her interview for a medical school recommendation. Perhaps they are just bitter because they cannot find work anywhere other than the third-rate university that is my glorious alma mater, but it sucks that they get to toy with the futures of smart, socially conscious individuals who would actually make a difference in the field of medicine.
5. A city ordinance that would have decriminialized sex work in San Francisco was struck down. The CNN news anchors reporting this story laughed throughout the broadcast. Oh, it’s so funny! Oh my god! Protecting women, men, and transgender individuals from rape, hate crimes, police brutality and exploitation is HILARIOUS.
6. Daylight Savings Time happened on Nov. 2 and now it gets dark at 5:30, which makes me cranky.
7. My student loans are drying up and I’m eating a steady diet of Zatarin’s, bananas and peanut butter.
I have spoken previously about the dilemma I faced with regards to my final project at the community mental health center where I have been interning for eleven months now. In September, after a casual poll revealed that barely a third of the 70 participants on our Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team were registered to vote or had ever voted previously, I decided to organize a combination voter registration drive and transport to the polls on Election Day. Yesterday, from about 10:30 until 3:00, I traversed what felt like the entirety of Washtenaw County getting people back and forth to their polling stations in the county minivan. Despite my cynicism about the American political process in general, I am hard-pressed to avoid using words like neat-o and sweeeeeeeeeet! to describe what it was like to hear the excitement from a marginalized, disenfranchised community about this year’s presidential election. Many people who were middle-aged or older had never even voted before but chose to do so during this election specifically. I’m guessing that’s less about my efforts than it is about the historical aspect of the election in general, but it’s still awesome. Like a tofu pup.
This post is a bit of a departure from my usual ranting about the School of Social Work and the general shape of things. For a long time now, I have wanted to do a sort of photovoice project about something that affects me and many others: migraines. Since I began getting them as a child and researching them as a teenager, I have found a few articles in medical dictionaries about the migraine experience and the interesting fact that people who get them tend to share a lot of similar qualities, likes and dislikes, and lifestyle behaviors. While this may not be fascinating to anyone except me (and perhaps a handful of my friends/acquaintances who get migraines themselves), I would now like to flesh out some of the ideas for my project, if and when it ever happens, and debunk some common myths about headaches in general and migraines in specific.