Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

There has been an abnormal amount of rain in these parts of the woods lately. Its drving all of my friends mad, bonkers, crazy, etc. etc. AND it's not even a cool nice chilling rain, its hot, humid and sticky!

I supose there are some who have enjoyed the fruits that it has bared to the area. For instance, my neighbor loves the sound of the rain rapping against her window. It puts her in a trance and she is able to sleep better.

I personally blame all of this persipitation on myself. I have forgotten a rain jacket at a friend of mines house for over a month, and just to my luck the monsoons have flooded down upon us.

So take it as you may, enjoy it or hate it, because it's Jersey weather...and it's here to stay.

"The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" - Missy Elliott

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Disasters

Prior to coming to Drew, my thoughts on national identity have been mostly positive.  It's a way for a people to embrace their culture, identify with others in their search for identity, and celebrate one's historical past. However many of these thoughts have changed after having to read for my classes in Irish History, the Fin de Siecle as well as my course in the history of disability.  Yes, maybe some of these readings have been a little more biased than others, but it still opened my eyes to new ideas.

Nationality has been around for a long time. However the trend towards nationality has really established itself during the Fin de Siecle.  In a time period of world warfare, it was important to have the support of the country to which you were fighting for.  It is no surprise that some of the most concise descriptions of national identity has been found in Joseph Stalin's personal writings.  In effort to making a socialist community, he made a list of requirements for such a culture to obtain a national identity: " a common language; a stable community; a territory; economic cohesion; and a collective psychology and character" (Davis 1995: 75). 

In an attempt to create a national identity, they have in reverse created a black and white set of rules with no grey areas in between.  By creating what it means to have a national identity, they have further created the ideal of the "other." If you don't fit into our national ideal image, then you don't belong at all.  While we live in a time where it is more accepting for the "grey areas" there are still instances to where this "other" is still lurking around today. In today's wars and political debates, we continue to label ourselves with our many different national identities. We continue to see people as the other in a negative way. Yes I understand that NOT everyone will hold the same view points, history and culture for that matter. Not everyone will get along, such rivals and enemies will still be had. I just hope that one day we will be able to embrace our national identities and just appreciate how long it has taken us all to get where our identifies are today. How far we have evolved from black/white ways of thinking, and that maybe we could add a little color in next to the shades of grey.

As with many good ideas, nationalism was an idea which may had good fundamental origins (to bring a culture together and to celebrate one's history and beginnings) and in turn has turned into a national disaster.

Davis, Lennard J. 1995. Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness and the Body. New York: Verso. pg 75.

I couldn't pick between these two I'm adding both :)
"American Girl" - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

"Star Spangled Banner" - Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feelin Good

So I just finished my first day at the archives! It was a general orientation of where things are and the rules and regulations for working at the institution. I then got to put my skills to work with a fun little scavenger hunt arround the stacks! I also got to assist one of the researchers in a memior project! Overall A successful day at the archives!

I'm looking forward to finally get some experience time in this field! I believe that it is super important to have an understanding of our past. One way to which we can accomplish this is by collecting primary souces from our own history. While secondary sources are great to work with, they often hint the author's bias of his/her interpretation of the document that is being looked at.  The archives will be a place where history can stay alive, and I'm excited that I get to be a part of it on some level!

"Feelin Good" - Nina Simone

Saturday, September 18, 2010

4th Anual LUAU @ Drew

So this years luau was another success! Thanks to Mike for hosting another great party filled with new friends and old!

Festive Pig Cake made by Shannon and Lauren

A Little Limbo Action

Standard Pictures in front of the ALOHA setup

Some of History and Culture's finest!

Some of the boys

Overall Good time

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo╩╗ole

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This summer I had the privilege to get to work down at the Johns Hopkins Main Campus as well as Good Sam! I was able to help  a really awesome lady with a stressful job of an administrative position, but above all I got to work next to and meet some of the best doctors in orthopaedic surgery at of the best facilities in the world. While some doctors were more personable than others, I was given a window of understanding to what their lives were really like...not some soap opera way of understanding that I have had before via Greys Anatomy and General Hospital...these men and women were real and live interesting and honorable lives!

This morning when I woke up I was reading a few of my friend's face book statuses that came on the main feed and realized that something had gone wrong at Hopkins and that it had been closed down with SWAT team members around the building...a gunman was at the hospital. Fear was the first thing that ran across my mind. Yes Yes, I know many people who work at the hospital, but one very important lady in my life works there as well! I quickly raced across my wooden floor to dial my mom! She was safe!

While talking on the phone with her I found out that the doctor who had been shot was one in the very department that I got to work in over the summer! The gunman was not happy with the surgery that the doctor had given so wanted "justice" by shooting the doc in the abdomen! News and rumors are flying amok down in Baltimore still. The gunman has been found and stopped...there are speculations that he might of killed himself as well as his mother.

We live in a crazy world, without this kind of unnecessary drama! Did it give the gunman satisfaction to shoot at the doctor and cause strife on his family let alone every other person who walked the halls of the hospital this morning? We have been told by officials that the doctor should be ok, and that in all places to be shot, Hopkins was the right place to be!

I just hope that one day we can live in a place where violence is not used to express one's feelings...

"One" -U2

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I wanna be sedated...

My nocternal ways are at it again!

Only one song could describe how I feel right now...Hopefully I nice yog at the gym will clear my racing mind and tucker me out for a nice nap before my afternoon class begins...

"I wanna be sedated" - the ramones

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

To a new year

It's been one year since I moved to the Madison area. I feel as if I had made myself a nice cozy little nitche of a family full of friends and advisors.  I have improved my knowledge of Irish studies, New York bars and above else Procrastination (although I am not so fonde on the later of the three). I have experienced many new challenges and adventures that grad school has called forth and what life has laid out.

However comfortable I would like to feel here, I know my time is limited. Graduation is only in a number of months and I will be challenging myself once again. Wheter it be a phD program, or actually begining a job. I will cherish my last months here at Drew! While still looking forward for what yet is to become. For like the Irish say "Home is not where you live but where they understand you."

"Lessons Learned" -Matt and Kim