Friday, October 29, 2010

As the world turns

Back in college, I asked my sorority sisters, "So, what would happen if an alumna decided to become a man?" "Very funny," everyone said. "No, really." "That just wouldn't happen." No one (including myself) would even have considered the idea of a transgendered person joining, the assumption being that said person wouldn't want to do it any more than a chapter would want them.

We've come a long way - not far enough, but a distance anyways: I was sent a blurb about an event Vanderbilt is holding Monday called "Facing Trans." From the description: "In single gender institutions like fraternities and sororities, what happens if alumni transition into a new gender expression? How do we define membership given a single sex status? Can a transman still live by his sorority’s values? If a potential member is drawn to your organization for all of the right reasons and would be a perfect leader — does this change if they are going through a transition process? How does transition impact a Title IX status? Does it matter what dedicated leader's birth certificate says? ... Join in on a frank, humorous, and up front facilitated conversation on the difference between sex (anatomy/biology), gender (roles, identity, expression, and perception), and sexual identity (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, asexual, etc). Let's talk about the qualifications and legal precedent in various states as well as organizational and campus non-discrimination policies' impact on recruitment and membership standards."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good news

My AERA proposal (yes, I only submitted one thing) was accepted as a roundtable. Not quite as good as a full-on paper, but good enough to get me to New Orleans!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Colonial outposts

I saw this post about living on the ocean floor, and it occurred to me that the idea completely icks me out. The idea of colonies in space is awesome. I would jump at the chance to live on the moon, or even in a tin can colony. Even if it meant I'd see the same 99 people for the rest of my life and eat nothing but algae and spend my days doing drudgery in the pee-to-water recycler. But transfer all that to the bottom of the ocean, and I can't run (swim?) away fast enough. Maybe it's something about the pressure of all that water. Maybe it's the view outside the porthole - not that there would be one, but if there was it would only show blackness and depraved fish instead of the stars. The world, in practice, would have the same circumference, but I wouldn't be able to see beyond it. Maybe it's just my fear of blindness.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I realized the other night that some things in capoeira are getting easier for me, but that I don't feel like I'm getting better at them. "Getting easier" sounds like a good thing, but if all I'm doing is relaxing into bad habits, it's not. Particularly in the roda, when speed and instinctive reactions are how you get things done, I am exceedingly sloppy. When we're practicing in class, my form is better - but not in esquivas or nega├žas, where I tend to lose my balance. So I practice devagar, devagar to try to get them down. (That's "slowly" to you.) And when we get in the roda, we are supposed to demonstrate what we've been working on in class, but that doesn't always happen. You could end up like me the other night, playing against someone with over a decade of experience, who bounced me to the ground twice in less than a minute - the first time knocking me right out of the roda before I even got a ginga in.

(I don't know that I'm complaining. It beats playing with someone who treats me like a piece of fragile china.)

On the other hand, capoeira is making my yoga practice much stronger. It seems like every week I discover something new. Last week I discovered I could finally flip my dog. Drop backs are still eluding me, but my hands are landing further and further down the wall. I just wish I could believe that my capoeira practice was correspondingly improving.


Oh no, I'm turning into one of those bloggers. You know, the ones that never post. Let's just say that lately I've been thinking a lot, but there's nothing I want to share with the world.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New jobs

Jobs have been posted at:
University of Louisville;
Oregon State University;
Georgia Southern;
SUNY Buffalo.

Training weekend

Last weekend Mestre Gulliver was in town for a weekend of capoeira training that left me just dead and exhausted. We were all soundly thumped for our fundamentals, our Portuguese, and our musical skills. For someone like me, who generally only takes on learning new things that come easily to me, that was incredibly frustrating.

But so we're going back to the basics … everyone, even our teachers, were gingaing wrong. Now that's embarrassing. What's even more embarrassing is how hard I find to do it the right way. That is - with a great deal of concentration, I can get the feet right. But I can't get my arms to go simultaneously with it. They just kind of flop. Argh!

On the plus side, I learned a whole lot, and it was amazing to see Mestre and Bambu jogam, and we all got apelidos.

I'm unfortunately still feeling the effects of the weekend, as I picked up a cold from one of the other students, which I wouldn't have if I had been taking care of myself and getting enough sleep. I should know better than that.