Friday, September 4, 2009

I'll warn you like I warned my boyfriend...

...this post will probably be a huge self-indulgent, life-is-awesome-for-me-right-now self-affirmation session, so if you decide not to read on, I totally understand.

That's me jumping off a stage at a park in Santa Barbara. I feel it best captures how I've been feeling since the Fall semester began.

Let me explain.


A new semester usually means meeting new people, starting new classes, buying new books, getting used to new and possibly quirky or off-kilter teaching methods, and a whole new boatload of stresses including reading assignments, participating in online discussions, thinking up paper and project topics, etc., etc. But as the first week of the semester comes to a close, I'm left less with a sensation of newness per se and more with a feeling of excitement, control, and accomplishment. This is for several reasons:

1) I'm starting an internship next week at Planned Parenthood Federation of America as the social media intern. I'll be playing around with Facebook, Myspace and Twitter all day, completing tasks that the Social Media Specialist (who happens to be a good friend of mine. Probably why I got the position, but whatever, I still got it!) assigns to me, and researching developments in social networking trends. It's unpaid, but I'm receiving school credit as well as the added bonus of having an item that looks good on my resume. And the fact that I'll be working with an organization with which I have parallel ideological sensibilities will, I think, make it even easier to put myself into this position wholeheartedly. My undergrad internship consisted of laying out bagels, making coffee, stocking the fridge, retrieving the mail twice a day, and picking up lunches for employees in the offices of Montecito Picture Company, a film production company that's given us such gems as My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Disturbia, and Road Trip. Excuse me for not being totally amped to sit at a desk chatting with friends online, doing numerous crosswords and strategically napping between tasks. Occasionally (read: ONCE) I got to assemble a few scripts that I had time to intermittently peruse, which was exciting only because it was a break from having Ivan Reitman pretend to not even be aware that another person besides himself was in a room at any given time.

In any case, I'll be starting next Tuesday and will be working for PPFA three days a week. I'm sure there will be a much stronger "reproductive rights and their representation in the media" presence on this blog, but I'll try not to make it all that I write about with a mind for not alienating or losing any readership or interest. The topic of women's rights and their representation and discussion in the media has been a huge topic of interest to me lately, as you might be able to tell from some of my more recently added links in my "Now Hear This!" sidebar, but I don't want it to completely dominate this blog. If you find that it does, please make sure I hear about it!

2) I've been asked to act as the Media Studies chair of The New School's 10th annual Critical Themes in Media Studies conference! I couldn't be more excited, especially since I was really involved with it last year and wanted to be involved again in some capacity this year. We're holding our first meeting on Wednesday, September 16th to discuss last year's conference, possible keynote speakers (any ideas greatly appreciated!) and introduce the idea behind this student-run event to all of the incoming 1st years who wish to attend. I'll probably be airing out some ideas, frustrations, developments or announcements on this here blog -- just a heads up!

3) I've started going to yoga again. The center I've chosen is absolutely amazing: payment is on a donation basis (they ask for $10 but I've given $3 each time because no one is standing there judging you), the classes are challenging yet refreshing and energizing, and it's right off my train in the East Village. I'd almost forgotten how much better I feel about myself and my body after only a few days of yoga, and since this place is so affordable I don't doubt I'll be going at least twice a week. It's better than what I was doing all last year (going on a two mile run and feeling great about myself and thinking That was awesome! but once the time comes to go out again finding an excuse -- weather, sore muscles, not enough time -- and somehow not go running again for another 2 months, by which time it's started snowing and I freeze my face off just running around the block and my nose runs but I can't feel it because my face is, like I said, frozen, so I look like a bundled homeless person running from the cops and people take pity on me and my snot-crusted face so I give up and decide Well, I do walk a lot. I guess that's enough.) and I'm hoping I'll stick with it. There's just something about the class environment that's so much more encouraging than going for a run solo. Especially since all I have are these huge headphones that get all sweaty and jangle on my head and are not the most comfortable of all devices in which to run around the streets. But, I digress.

4) I'll be starting Ph.D. applications within the next few weeks. I honestly never knew I would be doing this with my life, but I'm really happy I've made this decision. I have support from all my loved ones, peers, and professors, so even if a Ph.D. program isn't in my future in the next year, at least I'll know that I was encouraged along the way. I've decided to apply to NYU's Cinema Studies program at Tisch School of the Arts, Rutgers' Communication, Information and Library Science's Ph.D. program with a focus on Media Studies, University of Chicago's Cinema and Media Studies program, USC's Critical Studies program within the School of Cinematic Arts, UCLA's program in Film and Television, and UCSB's Ph.D. program in Film and Media Studies (my alma mater!). I've yet to start on any of these, but the process of asking for letters of rec (I need three) is just around the corner.

Oh yeah, and on top of this I'm taking two classes: Imagining Language, and New Media and Global Affairs. Honestly, I think I'm going to like the NM&GA class more than the former, just because the professor actually has a structured syllabus and I'll be able to schedule my time accordingly.

So, there you have it. I'm pretty happy to be busy once again, and also pretty thrilled to be doing things that I'm really passionate about.

I've been recently bidding my time with the most recent issue of Bitch magazine, and there are some very interesting things that I've been meaning to write about. But, that'll be another day, another post!

Ciao for now...

1 comment:

That Rinaldi Guy said...

It sounds like you are both really involved and really busy. Net Impact, an organization I am involved with is teaming up with Ashoka to turn The New School into a changemaker campus. See http://www.ashoka.org/changemakercampus

If you want to help (or, if you have time to help) I figure we could definitely use a media person. Let me know if you have any interest (time)...