Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm Not A Doctor, But I Play One To My Lawyer Friends

Now that I wrote that subject line it reminds me of something my classmates and I were talking about today. One of my friends is married to a mathematics Ph.D. student, and apparently one of her husband's classmates insisted that my friend's J.D. was not really a "doctorate." There may some truth to that, but sheesh, that's rude.

Anyhoo, the real point of this post has to do with a phone call a got from a law student friend today. Apparently her young nephew is in the hospital because be drinks fluids excessively. (Not diabetes and not kidney failure.) My friend asked me to tell her what was going on. She wanted to hear my diagnosis.

Haha. I always find it funny when my law friends think I know that kind of stuff. Science and math is totally foreign for a lot of lawyers. When I was in my J.D. program my friend asked me about something medical, and I told her I just had a degree in biochemistry; I didn't know anything about medicine.

Her response: "Listen, if we're ever stranded in a lifeboat and have a medical emergency, you're our best hope. If we have a political science emergency, then I'll cover it."

I suppose she had a point, but really, I'm the absolute worst kind of person on this. I know just enough to think I know enough. I know enough to be dangerous instead of helpful.

So my diagnosis for my first friend? I went with a problem in either the production of vasopressin or in its reception/signal transduction pathway.

Are you impressed? You shouldn't be. Literally the ONLY thing I remember from my Mammalian Physiology class is that alcohol inhibits vasopressin, and vasopressin promotes insertion of aquaporins into the walls of the collecting duct. I have no idea why that stuck with me. But I told my friend that if I'm right, I'm quitting law and going to medical school.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

One More Thing

So I just discovered one more thing for me to work on. I need to stop getting offended on other people's behalf. Because I'm learning that what is appallingly rude to me is apparently a-okay for a lot of people, including the person I think is the target of the rude behavior.

No more calling people out on being rude. If people want to speculate about intimate details of others, I guess I'll just shut up, because some people don't have a problem sharing those intimate details with the world. As I was just recently told, "Welcome to Facebook."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Facebook Funny

Is this as funny to anyone else as it is to me?

Revelations: Christianity

My third and final revelation: Christianity.

I don't know what prompted it, but the other day I decided to pull out the old iPod and listen to some contemporary Christian music. I used to listen to CCM quite a bit back in the day. I never listened to it exclusively (because I think we can all agree that those people are weird), but it's kind of hard to ignore it when there is a CCM radio station on your high school campus. (Although I'm sure there are a lot of my fellow of alumni who would beg to differ on that point.)

Anyway, the point is that I took a listen after a significant break. I was a little surprised by what I noticed.

Now, I know that I just wrote a blog about how the online feminist communities have started to go too far for me, but they did teach me about a lot of things. One thing that they (along with help from my friend Kim) taught me about is privilege. Now, the privilege accusation can be and is abused on the online feminist communities, but that doesn't mean there's no truth to it. And when I listened to those old CCM songs, it occurred to me that contemporary Christian music is just FULL of privilege.

I'm not sure how to articulate it, but the best way I can think of to describe it is to point out the focus of a lot of CCM music and modern praise worship music, too. To me, the artists always seem to be focused on what they're not doing in their spiritual lives, what they can do to be better, etc.

And then it occurred to me that mainstream Christianity in America is generally pretty full of privilege, too. If you know any mainstream evangelical types, you've probably heard them talk/seen them update Facebook about their ongoing struggle to be better, to get closer to God, etc. I just can't help but think that if your biggest struggle in life is whether you love God enough, then you're probably doing pretty good. You have a house, your children are fed, etc. This is certainly not the case for every Christian, but there are thousands/millions of people in this country who go to church every week in new cars, new clothes, and go home to a nice house and a big lunch. When those kind of people go around saying "Poor me, I'm a failure because I don't give it all to God all the time," I get uncomfortable. It sounds like humility, but to me, it also sounds like extraordinary privilege. You love God, He loves you, and He doesn't expect you to be perfect. SO GET OVER IT. Stop making it all about you.

Which gets me to my next point. Not only does modern Christianity strike me as privileged, it can also be appallingly self-centered. And really, they go hand-in-hand because all the focus in on yourself and what you're not doing good enough. Maybe I'm a lazy Christian, but I don't worry about that too much. Like I said, I love God, He loves me; that's good enough for me. This is part of the reason why I have no interest in attending church. I don't really care to sit around and reflect upon myself or listen to other people do the same. Where I fall shamefully short is in what I do for others. And THAT is where I wish the focus of modern Christianity was.

In my opinion, Christians should just stop trying to get everything right on paper, whether it be their views on gay marriage, abortion, or whatever. The corollary of this is to stop trying to get everyone to believe everything you believe. I know some people are dead-set against picking and choosing what you believe, but that's exactly what I do. I figure God gave me a brain so I can use it, and I figure He's big enough to be something a little different to everyone. Once we all get over ourselves and accept that we're okay, maybe we can move onto the more important stuff and start helping others.

Revelations: Relationships and Singleness

Second up: being single.

This has been such a sticking point for me for years. I just let it completely destroy my self-confidence, which is stupid. But it's one of those instances of your logical brain being unable to convince your emotional brain of the truth. This manifests itself in a number of ways in me, which I'm sure regular blog readers can spot. I'm not sure why, but in the last month or so, something seems to have clicked, and I feel like I finally get it.

One thing that has helped is my realization that there are a LOT of things about men that I just don't like. (At least, men of my generation. I notice a marked improvement in the older men I know.) Most of my friends are female for a reason, and I just like spending time with women more than men. (Generally.)

I don't think I'm unique in this at all. Women have been complaining about men for centuries, I'd guess. (And visa versa.) But I think that most women can just deal with it better than I can. I'm too impatient. Is it a character flaw? Undoubtedly. But that's the way it is. Once I accepted that about myself, it made my perpetual singlehood easier to accept. I'd probably be miserable with most men. Honestly, I look at some women and just think, "Why in the hell are you with him?" I'm currently thinking that about a friend. I guess I'm just more like Liz Lemon than I thought; I have a lot (a lot) of dealbreakers. And I'm okay with that. I genuinely like being by myself most of the time. It also means that on the slight chance that I actually every do meet the perfect man for me, I'll probably be free.

Revelations: Feminism

First up, feminism.

I'm a feminist. I like what feminists like, generally. But I've come to realize that one must enter cyber feminist communities with caution. It's very easy to get sucked in. It reminds me of my own personal first-wave feminism my sophomore year in college when I read The Feminine Mystique and Woman: An Intimate Geography and wrote my research writing paper on Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. (To this day you cannot mention Jamie Lee Curtis to me while I'm drunk without getting an impromptu presentation on that paper. Some friends take cruel advantage of this to embarrass me.) I found it all so new and interesting that I just wanted to jump in.

But eventually the enthusiasm wears off and, to be honest, I think that's a good thing. Otherwise I think you just get a little too... everything that people say when they ridicule feminists. That sounds really harsh, but it can be true. I see it in the comments on my favorite feminist website all the time.

Usually this happens because of over-analysis. Feminists want to analyze EVERYTHING to DEATH. I understand that tendency, because when you become aware of the subversive messages in society you start to see them everywhere. But sometimes it's better just to let go and accept that not everything someone says has to have a deeper meaning. It took the ridiculous criticism of Tina Fey's SNL appearance (and the questioning of her feminism in general) and the constant picking-apart of Glee for that to really become clear to me. I mean, I saw it a while back with the whole Twilight and Taylor Swift thing, but Glee is just ripe for over-analysis. I think that when someone gets so focused in on the little things and what "message" is being sent, they lose the ability to just look back and enjoy the book/television show/music. Hence the "feminists are humorless" charge. Don't get me wrong, I think there are a LOT of things worth getting worked up about that feminists do get worked up about. But I think damage is done to the name of feminism when feminists over-analyze entertainment sources.

The other thing that was turned me off from the online feminist communities is the drastic pendulum swift that has occurred regarding sexual activity. Usually I find that people in those communities are tolerant to the extreme of anyone who engages in any kind of (legal) sexual activity. Their anger at Tina Fey for going after Bombshell McGee is evidence of that. (Sorry, but I just don't buy that non-married people who sleep with married people bear no moral responsibility.) But there is still one group they are decidedly NOT tolerant towards: virgins. It boggles my mind the things that are said on those sites about virgins and virginity. (Once again, Glee is providing lots of fodder for this topic.) I will never understand why they care so much that some people are not having sex.

So that is one thing that I am learning to let go of. I can see now that I just can't agree on a lot of issues, so I'm weaning myself off and not letting myself get upset over what I see in the comments. It's a step.

The Wait Is Over

You didn't really think I could stay away forever, did you? I thought maybe I could, but as it turns out, I really need a place to publicly vent in some form of anonymity in more than 140 characters.

But you should all be proud of me. I have kept A LOT of stuff in. And it's been good for me. Not having a place to run and complain every time something happens helps me realize the unimportance of such things. Also, I have not had a my-life-is-horrible crying fit in a whole month. Progress!

But seriously, I have been doing some deep thinking over the past month. I've come to realize a lot of things that are making me a [more] happier/peaceful/accepting person. So naturally I must blog about them.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fade To Black

This blog has gone black, in observance of the proper mourning procedures.