I’m not actually a big fan of college orientations. They seem pointless and silly to me. I’m not some 18 year old kid with daddy’s wallet and pipe dreams of a “dream career.” I don’t need to find out where the dorms are or how much a cafeteria card will save me over time. I don’t want to run for student government or join any clubs. None of that stuff matters to me.
What I want is to go to class and earn my degree. I have a husband, kid, friends, job, homework, hobbies. I’ve got other things I’d like to spend my time on, and with only so much time in the day I’m not sacrificing the important bits (family, job, degree) for stupid extra-curriculars like sports or debate team.
That said, I was a little bummed I couldn’t go to the convocation speech this week — Carlotta Wells LaNier, author of “A Mighty Long Way,” was speaking about her experience as one of the Little Rock Nine.
Although I missed her speech, we discussed the book at the mandatory orientation today. That was pretty cool. We also saw a segment of the documentary, Eyes on the Prize, which we discussed as it related to or differed from the book. It was a pretty fascinating discussion.
The segment of the documentary we watched started with an old southern racist dude quoting the bible to defend segregation. This really caught me in light of something I’d read in her book just the day before:
“It never ceased to amaze me how often the bigots tried to hide their fear and hatred behind the banner of Christianity.” — Carlotta Walls LaNier
I’ve always firmly believed we have to pay attention to our history or we are doomed to repeat it. The resonance between such shameful moments in our history and what’s going on now is really saddening. You’d think we’d learn from things like the anti-Japanese terror during WWII, which resulted in American citizens detained in the internment camps, not to judge people based on their appearance or perceived religion. You’d think we as a country would look at the shameful homeland terrorism practiced by the Segregationists and show no tolerance to their modern day xenophobic “state’s rights”-bleating equivalents, the Tea Party.
Anyway. After some discussion and freewriting and more discussion, we took a lunch break and I explored the campus a bit. I bought a sweatshirt (because the ride in was freezing) and priced out my textbooks. College stores are always so freaking overpriced, I swear. I dropped $46 on that sweatshirt, and it was one of the less expensive ones. Lame. My textbooks I just took pictures of (for their ISBN), then came home and searched online. Three were available in e-book, and the other five I was able to order for less than $60 total. Nice! I also checked out the cafeteria and coffee shops.
BTW, tangent here, I adore coffee shops. I still feel a little twinge of relief when I see them. That summer I lived in Rexburg, there was not a coffee shop to be found. They didn’t even sell those iced Starbucks coffees at the store. They had a friggin’ sno-cone stand on every corner, but not a single fucking coffee shop. That’s just inhumane. I love that in Washington, there’s a coffee shop on every block (sometimes two a block!) and one in pretty much every shopping mall, college campus, or bookstore. It one of those wonderful little bits of Washington culture that never ceases to make me smile.
Then it was back to orientation to work on our academic statements. It was a practice type deal, not at all the final draft (or even rough draft), which is good. I wrote two pages for the section that was defined as my “intro”, and it’s supposed to be more like one page. For the whole statement. I dislike writing assignments of less than 1,000 words. Obviously, I need to cut it down a bit.
Out at three, and I headed on home. The weather by now was, of course, gorgeous — rendering the sweatshirt I’d bought useless. I met up with John at his place of work and we shot the shit for a bit. Then I bought a cute dress from the roadshow going on at the store.
It was a bit of an internal struggle for me, honestly. The company, Diviine ModesTee, sells clothing that is dressy without being fussy, modest, and ever so slightly preppy. Very much my taste, but the company is also based out of Utah and has a pretty obvious mormon vibe to it all. That’s the part that bothered me — knowing that 10% my $48 for that awesome army-green shirtdress would more than likely end up in the coffers of the Great and Spacious Corporation. But unfortunately, mainstream retailers don’t make a lot of clothing that is a) tastefully understated and modest and b) made of high quality materials with strong stitching. So I guess I just inadvertently paid tithing.