It took less than two days of living under the same roof as my vile stepfather to get into an argument with him. The topic: The South Korean “Nut Rage”, which left the daughter of a Korean Airline’s chairman in national disgrace after she whined about macadamia nuts being served in a baggie instead of a bowl and caused a huge delay on her flight to Seoul, inconveniencing every other passenger on the plane. I thought the story was straight-up a case of the ugliness of nepotism and entitlement. Without reading the article, only skimming the headline, my stepfather started to argue with me that 1.) Nepotism was a good thing and necessary, and that I’d probably take a chance at it too if he became the president of Harvard and I wanted to work there 2.) There were standards that “help” had to meet, and that 3.) As a feminist, it was my duty to support this brat, because she’s a woman.

I explained why he was wrong on all fronts, cited some articles and news stories about how nepotism/family-run companies known as chaebols has bloated and stagnated the South Korean economy, and how I had absolutely no loyalty to an upper-class woman who treated working people and that my loyalty was to the flight attendant, regardless of gender.

He blew his top, called me a know-it-all, and then tried to shift the conversation by talking about the Taliban and demanding to know why it took me so long to finish college (really).

Conclusion: It doesn’t matter whether I’m 15 or 25, my stepfather is always going to be enraged and hysterical at the idea of a young woman knowing more about a topic than him and being unafraid to show it. The difference now is that he has no power over me.

Gender Studies: We’re in deep shit because of patriarchy.
Postcolonial Studies: We’re in deep shit because of Europe.
Post-structuralism: We’re in deep shit because of binary oppositions.
Butler: We’re in deep shit because of performativity.
Foucault: We’re deep in power, which yes, sometimes can be shit.
Deleuze and Guattari: We’re in the molar and the molecular of deep shit.
Fanon: We’re in deep shit unless we decolonize.
Said: We’re in deep shit because of Othering.
Sara Ahmed: We’re in deep emotional shit.

Thank you for the idea to post it to my own blog, Evelina Anville, and thank you, Clarissa, for inspiring me with your post to write this. 🙂

In 2014, I went to more ballets, plays, musicals, independent films, poetry readings, and performances than I ever had in previous years.

In 2014, I applied for my first SSHRC grant.

In 2014, I figured out which graduate schools to go to, and applied.

In 2014, I learned how to break thr ough the worst of my fresh and long-held childhood traumas in therapy, and identified the root of my eating disorder, my impulse control problems and my separation anxiety.

In 2014, I learned the importance of friendship and doing things outside of university settings with your friends in order to help you and your friendships grow .

Most of all, in 2014, I learned that nothing’s impossible for me to do if I work hard and set my mind to it.

OH G-D I AM NEVER LEAVING ANYTHING TO THE LAST MINUTE EVER AGAIN. WHY LORD WHY DID I THINK I COULD DO THIS. I WILL NEVER BE THIS COCKY AGAIN. I AM DOING EVERYTHING IN A WEEK IN ADVANCE I PROMISE YOU G-D JUST GET MY SSHRC PROCESSED BEFORE 5:00 PST!

Student Evaluation season is in, and my department has converted them all online! When I got the email in my inbox about it earlier this week, I immediately filled them out, thinking that it was nice to save fifteen minutes of class time.

Then I got to class this morning, saw everyone with their laptops and phones out, and the instructor out, with directions to fill out the online evaluation at Website X.

I had already filled it out, so… oops. I spent those fifteen minutes on my phone reading my blog roll.

All I could think was how counter-intuitive and counterproductive it was.

Today, I heard back from one of my personal heroes, a professor at UBC, that she would be more than happy to be my adviser. My letters of recommendation are all fired up and ready for me to mail them. My application for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant is underway. I am almost done with my statement of intent for grad school.

What’s the problem then?

All of this is very precarious, and dependent on me meeting the deadlines, which might not happen, not because of any outside tragic circumstances, but because of my own habit of self-sabotaging my own happiness.

It never fails, if I come close to making my dreams come true, I’ll suddenly become extremely passive, or goof off, or waste time, or forget to do one Major Thing.

I’m still getting at the root of why I do it. I feel like it has to do with fearing what would happen if I did in fact, get what I wanted through my hard work.

For now, I’m keeping my schedule tightly controlled until the due dates in order to avoid this.

For aglaonika, who asked me about Columbus and the Indigenous perspective, I’ve compiled this list of 101 basic books that are fun to read, accessible, and educational. Feel free to use them for whatever purposes you see fit, in the classroom or for your own learning pleasure. This is a combination of older, “classic” material used in Native Studies classrooms, newer books that are updated with relevant information about contemporary issues, and books that were written with a non-academic audience in mind.

Vine Deloria Jr- Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto

Thomas King- The Inconvenient Indian

Robert Warrior- The World of Indigenous North America

James Daschuk- Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life

Kino-nda-niimi Collective- The Winter We Danced- Voices from the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement

J. Kehaulani Kauanui- Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity

Mark Rifkin- When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty

Joanne Barker- Native Acts: Law, Recognition, and Cultural Authenticity

Audra Simpson- Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States

Kevin Bruyneel- The Third Space of Sovereignty: The Postcolonial Politics of U.S.-Indigenous Relations

This week in news about autism:

Jerry Seinfeld publicly states that he’s autistic. Autism parents who think the world revolves around their persecution complex and hatred of autism go into a complete hysteria because he can talk, has a successful career, and enjoys his life, which they claim their autistic children cannot do, meaning that of course, no autistic person ever does, and they attack him. Jerry Seinfeld redacts his statement about having autism.

Life goes on, more autistic adults are alienated from the “autism community” because it’s dominated by these assholes who need therapy far more than their autistic children do, and Jerry Seinfeld is denied a chance to find solace in a fitting diagnosis AND autistic people are denied a role model who shares their neurotype.

So it goes.

This morning I woke up to a Montana phone call, which I answered because I recently ordered some transcripts from my old university in order to apply for a SSHRC grant for my upcoming Master’s research and wanted to make sure those were going through.

The bureaucrat from student loans on the phone had nothing but bad news for me.

“Since you didn’t complete exit counselling on your Perkins Loan, we’re holding your transcripts and you won’t receive them.”

“But I thought I completed exit counselling already! I did that before I emigrated!”

“That was for your federal loans, not your Perkins Loan, you need to do different exit counselling for that. And you need to give us four contacts, can’t be students, absolutely no students.”

“But I’m going to be in school for another six to eight years, why do I need to do this now?

“You just do. And you’re not getting your transcript until you complete this.”

Oyyyyy.

I’ve done exit counselling before. It’s obnoxious, and takes about an hour to complete.

I’ve never had to do this for a Canadian institution, nor have I ever had to deal with this kind of snippy rudeness from a Canadian official.

In comparison to Canada, I’ve had to deal with a much greater Kafkaesque bureaucracy, more forms, more unnecessary paperwork, and more headaches with my American institutions. From start to finish, it almost feels like it was designed to be as difficult and mind-numbing as possible.

I think that it has to do with the fact that in Canada, I deal with exactly two institutions: The University of Victoria themselves, and the BC Government. In America, I deal with a boatload of different private agencies, the federal government, the university, the third party collections agency that my school sells my student loan debt to without telling me, and others. That means I never do anything once. If I do it for one institution, I’ll have to repeat it again at least twice.

Another alternative theory is that I’m being punished for finding a loophole (moving to Canada and taking advantage of the cheaper, more centralized education) but my former classmates at UM tell me I’m not alone in dealing with this rudeness and paperwork, so that theory is out.

One of my favourite professors here teaches a course that she’s been teaching for over 30 years now. When she first started, the course was called “Racism and Antisemitism in Canada”. Then, her department intervened and asked her to change the title, and it became “Race and Antisemitism in Canada”. Then, they fiddled again, “Race in Canada”. Now, its current name is “Race in Canada since 1900.”

Fortunately for her, the course content remained more or less the same, but I marvel at how her department felt the need to defang the course title so radically over a three decade time period.