Posted on April 14th 2004, 5:45 pm
The presentation went really well. There was a turnout of about 75 people. I was surprised to see that many. The best part of it was that there were people from Human Sexuality classes taking notes. Apparently coming to my presentation was an extra credit assignment for them. That means I reached a group of people that normally wouldn't have come. That's so important.
It was a very smooth presentation in my mind. I was happy with it. I'd say my favorite part of the weekend was making new friends though. There were so many cool people at that school. I miss them now. Lindsay was the girl that invited me down there to speak in the first place. She's really cute too. I avoided saying anything though. That would have made things awkward, and I didn't want that. On top of that, I wasn't there to meet someone. I was there to speak, so I figured I should be responsible. I did tell her when I got back home though. She blushed. That made me smile.
I do have to say that Illinois is not the most exciting state to drive through. It's too flat for my tastes. I like hills and trees, or at least something to look at. It was a long drive on slightly not enough sleep. I needed something to keep me awake. I ended up listening to NPR, when I could find a station, to keep me awake. For me, it's better than music. Music tends to lull me to sleep no matter what kind it is...that's if I am tired already. It's just that it has a beat. NPR was something that kept my mental juices flowing. So it helped. Janet Reno does not have a pleasant voice though.
I ended up missing most of my classes, but at least they were excused. I got congratulations from my professors when I told them about the event. How cool is that? Today I have to make up my Kanjii quiz for japanese. It never ends. I better get to studying. I'm prepared, but I want to be more prepared. I'll see ya later.
Posted on April 12th 2004, 8:39 pm
I'm sitting here in the computer lab of Allen Hall at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana, and I am just in awe of the coolness of the treatment I'm getting here. I feel so....so.....special I guess. I'm a "Guest in Residence" here, which means I get this really nice apartment in the dorm for free. They've given me food tickets so I can eat for free as well. Parking is free, and the drive is free. It's just too cool. I feel like I'm famous or something.
The apartment is big and comfy. I get a double bed, which I'm not used to at all. I don't normally roll around in my sleep, but just for fun, I did anyway. There's even some food in the kitchenette that they put in there for me to eat while I'm here if I want. I have a nice TV with cable. If I were staying here longer, I could even use the answering machine. Like I said...very cool.
The campus itself I haven't gotten to see much. I've been doing homework all morning. So it's been pretty productive at least. I normally would be pissing my time away on the computer like I am now. My friend Lindsay should not have given me her login. Thanks Lindsay. :) This is a good thing though. There are some things online that I needed to do anyway. Like write this entry, for example. I could even write my paper that's due on Tuesday...and that's not a bad idea. I probably will.
I got to see the room I'll be presenting in tonight. It's pretty nice. It should fit a lot of people. Hopefully a lot will come. I would like to reach a larger audience if I could. I'm not really all that nervous. I think I'm so used to giving this workshop that it's just routine now. I should spice it up so I can get nervous again. I'll have to think about that for future presentations.
Well, I better get back to it. I shouldn't waste my whole day. I need an oil change too. I'll have to find a place that does those around here. I'll see ya later.
Posted on April 9th 2004, 5:21 pm
I must be sadistic or something. This week was just painful. Tuesday night was electrolysis for an hour. Thursday morning was an estrogen injection, and also, I had a laser appointment too. So yeah, it's been a pretty painful week. On top of that, I had a project due, a paper in japanese, and two exams. Finally, today, I have off.
There was a bonus to the whole thing. I got an extra half hour of electrolysis for free since the owner if the place is so nice. She knows I'm poor and likes to help out. I really appreciated that. Also, the laser clinic now gives 15% student discounts. So I got my chest done for pretty cheap. "Pretty cheap" being relative. They also gave me the price on the genital work that needs to be done. Yeah...not cheap.
For once though, I got a good laser person. The last one I had was trigger happy and didn't seem to care that the person was in major pain. I was arching my back when she did it then. This time, I got someone more experienced. She was wonderful. If one area was really sensitive, she would leave the chill tip on that spot until it was ok. She also went slow and took breaks. It made me a lot more comfortable.
The other good news, which some would take to be bad, is I got to see my endocrinologist yesterday too. We discussed the regimen I'm on and she took measurements. The injectible format has not helped me at all. So, I'm no longer on it. I was totally in agreement with that. I didn't think it was worth it. Too much money, no benefits, and all it did was make my mood go all over the place. So, in two weeks I go back on the patches. We're even cutting out the progesterone. There's really no need since it's not really helping either.
She called it a "holding pattern" until I get my surgery. I think it's great. It's a lot less money for me, and will be much easier on my emotional state. So, pretty much, we've given up on me having natural breasts. I have to get implants if I want to be any bigger than a training bra. So, that's the plan. Kinda sucks, but I've accepted it.
The one exciting thing happening this weekend is that I'm going to Illinois. I was invited by the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign to speak. I'm really excited. Their covering my milage, my housing for the time I'm there, and food. So I'm all set. It's a good thing too, since it's a long drive. This is the first time I am getting some sort of compensation for my speaking. Next time I'll charge. They told me that a lot of people are excited to hear my speak too. This should be great. I'll write about it later.
It's time for me to take my break. All we've been doing this morning at the computer helpdesk is watch movie trailers. Since it's "April Recess" also known as Easter break, no one is calling in with questions. Since I am working five hours, I have to take a break. So I'm going to go do that now. See ya.
Posted on April 6th 2004, 10:07 pm
I think I'm getting fatigued. This whole "two jobs, full time student, two organizations" thing is just kicking my ass. I'm up late every night. I'm not keeping up with my homework. And with SRS coming up and all the hair removal I have to do, not to mention the cost of SRS itself, I'm overwhelmed. In class, I find myself preoccupied and off in a cloud somewhere. Or, I'll be falling asleep.
I think this is all just too much for me right now. I need this semester to end fast. This is why I should stay single. I couldn't handle it if I did. Then again...maybe she'd help me get through it. Or I'd be that much more distracted. I think I'm better off for now, but either way...I need to find a way to get some down time. Spring break was nice enough I guess...but I think I needed a real escape, and I didn't really get it.
I'm actually skipping band right now. I've just decided that I can't handle all this. I made my dinner last night at midnight. That's not healthy, but it was the first time I had to eat. I haven't even been able to do anything I want to do. I'm too busy doing what I have to. Even this diary has suffered. I mean really, the only way to write an entry was to skip class. It's only band though. No biggie. I'll still get an A.
Well, this is my down time. I think I'm going to go eat a decent meal and maybe get some studying done. See ya later.
Posted on April 2nd 2004, 5:48 pm
Over the past few days, this issue has been very strongly fixed in my mind. Not like I haven't thought about it a lot in the past six months anyway, but this week in particular it's been a very prominent topic. We had a live debate on the campus TV station on gay marriage last night. I had to do the video for the intro to the show on it. In my search for video online, I encountered a lot of articles as well. So I've been exposed to a lot of opinions.
I've heard the standard stuff, like gays shouldn't marry because it's against religion or it will destroy the instutution of marriage. Then there's the more ridiculous stuff like if gays can marry, then people will want to marry their dogs or their siblings. There are even people saying that gays can do everything they need to without marraige and try to disregard the rights marriage confers as unnecessary or unimportant. And even still there are people who think that minorities shouldn't even seek to change the laws at all since they are only a minority anyway. That opinion was basically if it doesn't affect the majority, why should it even matter?
Admittedly some of the points are valid, they just take them too far. For instance, that the GLBT community labels anyone who disagrees with them a bigot. Someone in their essay suggested that it would eventually get to the point in which people would be put in jail for disagreeing with gay marriage. Now, I do agree that sometimes the GLBT community tends to label bigots fairly quickly. However, is it not justified? With so many people with ridiculous arguments opposing gay marriage, it's no surprise. I'm sure the Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage movement were just as quick to label bigots too.
It's a shock to me at how many educated people are making such ridiculous claims. It seems to me that people are too hung up on vocabulary. It's simply the word "marriage" that conservatives don't want to let go of. They call it a fundamental institution of this society that hasn't changed. But the fact is, it has. It's gone through many changes over the past century even. The gay marriage movement is also very similar to the interracial marriage fight years ago. In fact, every time marriage has changed people have said the same exact things; "Marriage is such and such a way and always has been."
The truth of the matter is that society has changed. And there are many examples of change in the past that have become statements of pride throughout this whole country. The end to slavery, civil rights, and suffrage are just the more well known ones. But we as an entire nation look at them as something to be proud of. We, the United States, stood up against discrimination and gave equality to those who deserve it. It just blows my mind that people don't recognize that they are turning their backs on that. They don't even realize their discriminatory actions.
A friend of mine last night was making that very comment. She generalized that the older generations of today just don't understand what discrimination really is. Most of them have never faced a real discrimination in their lives. So when they actually do discriminate, they don't realize it, or deny they are doing it. I would argue that we all do that. Every single one of us doesn't want to be told we are wrong or that we are less human for looking down on another. So we make our statements and stubbornly hold onto them no matter how harmful they are.
During the debate, the anti-gay marriage people actually made just as many statements in support of gay marriage as the pro group did. It wasn't that they were even trying to. They simply pointed out that the governement does discriminate between groups. When they were presented with the simple question of "Why shouldn't gays marry?", they never answered it. They dodged the question to the frustration of the audience.
When I was doing the interviews for the introduction to the show, I discovered an overwhelming amount of support. Everyone who was willing to make a statement on camera was for gay marriage. I had to badger some people into making their negative statements. The majority of people on campus just didn't care either way, but leaned more in support. Then there was also a large group that was openly in support. I had a heck of a time even finding people who were against. When I did find them, they would say "I don't feel I should say anything." I couldn't help but wonder why someone wouldn't be willing to stand up and state their views. To me, it was almost as if they knew their argument had very little behind them.
My prediction is that in less than 35 years, gay marriage will be legal. Hopefully it wont take that long, but my guess is that it will be fully recognized and legal by 2040. I did find a very good and entertaining website that I do want to share. It's www.12reasons.com. Not only do they comment on all of the major arguments made, but they also have posters that point out the history of several related topics.
So there you have it. That's my commentary on gay marriage. I hope you enjoy it.