Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Beginning of the End

It's about to be 10th week, and then my freshman year will really be coming to a close. I've registered for classes fall term. I'm pretty excited: French 204, Anthropology of Humor, Folk Dance, and Norse and Celtic Mythology. I've been less interested in Biology lately.
This Saturday was Rotblatt (the 150th year, too). I was in line for a T-shirt at 3am. It began to lightly rain on us, which was fun. When they started tossing our shirts around 5am, the crush of people was unexpectedly forceful. One of the barriers was knocked down, and I was pretty certain I would get lost between the groups of people pushing in two different directions. Luckily, I claimed my shirt and was freed from the mass of people. Rotblatt itself started around 5:30am, I believe. It's a softball game with an inning for every year of Carleton's existence, and must be played with a drink of some type in one hand. Mostly, it appears to be a reason for the student body to get outside during Spring Term.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

9th Week Update

I've been painting a lot recently, mostly space because it's easy and doesn't need to exactly match up to something real. The stars have made a complete mess of my desk.

Room Draw was last week; I will be living in the dorm that's generally considered the worst dorm on campus, but I know a few people living on my floor, so that's good, and I'm also not on the far side of the lake from everything else, which was a possibility. I'm going to be so lost at the beginning of next year when I don't know where all my friends live anymore.

I finished reading Purity by Jonathan Franzen recently. It was a really interesting book. It was cool to see the stories of all the separate characters begin to intertwine and entangle. Strangely, I feel like every mother-child relationship in the book was definitely odd.

I've started reading Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. It's about Beryl Markham, so I suppose that makes it a form of historical fiction. I'm really enjoying it, although I'm not very far along yet.

Recently I re-watched Ant-Man, and I think I enjoyed it a lot more the second time. The first time I watched it was probably 3am in the morning and I'd been awake for 20 hours or so, which, for me, is unusual, and I was really annoyed by how Hope wasn't allowed to do anything and this random thief just becomes a super-hero for them over the course of a few weeks. I think the second time I watched it and was a little more awake, I was able to get how this conflict was an actual part of the movie that made sense within the movie, and enjoyed it more. I feel like Ant-Man worked well in part because it wasn't just a superhero movie; it was a bit more of a heist movie, that happened to have a setting full of superheroes and cool powers.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

I recently read Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner. It's something I've been meaning to read for a while, and it was interesting to read about some history and ideas of how we got to where we are today. It was a little shocking to read about how things were for women in the past--it's something I knew, but not something I've spent time thinking about consciously lately. The more disturbing thing is that there are still many parts of the world today where women are considered the property of their husbands, fathers, or brothers, denied access to education, or suffer other inequalities.

I'm also almost finished reading Deep South by Paul Theroux. I received the book as part of a book club, but I'm really not enjoying it at all. Maybe I just don't need to be reading travel books, but, in my opinion, the author manages to come off as condescending and full of himself and a bit rude most of the time, which is really making it difficult for me to enjoy the book.

All my friends are already done with classes and exams. Meanwhile, I still have a bit more than three weeks remaining before I'm done with exams. It's very strange to be the last one out of school, but it's also not warm enough here for me to feel like it's actually summer.

I re-watched Captain America: Winter Soldier this week with a friend in preparation for Captain America: Civil War last night. I'd forgotten a lot since I last watched that movie. I really liked that Natasha and Steve's friendship was platonic--it was refreshing to see something different for a change. It was also a reminder of how confusing all the stuff going on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can get if you're not paying close attention.

Civil War was fantastic! I really enjoyed it. At this point, I'm not certain if we're capable of not enjoying Marvel; they've set themselves up with enough a good track record that we're far more willing to be forgiving to any mistakes they might make. Spoilers ahead.

What did really bother me was that I felt there was a missing sense of closure at the end. Steve sends Tony the letter which suggests that they're all still going to work together, but it hasn't really addressed what's going to happen with the Sokovia Accords or any of the issues that caused the team to fracture in the first place. T'Challa is the only person who has learned anything from the entire ordeal, when he decides to forgo vengeance. It seems like Steve and Tony haven't learned anything, they've just decided to quit trying to kill each other. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the movie.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Original Affluent Society

From looking at some of my Friday Flowers this term

Maybe these wrinkles are the reason I've had painting difficulties
This trimester, I'm taking Introduction to Anthropology, Indo-European Folktales, and French 103. I'm really enjoying all my classes; my professors are good. I've been painting more, since more of my brushes and watercolor paints are up here for the spring term. I'm pretty pleased with some of my efforts, if I do say so myself. I haven't been as happy with some of the stuff I've tried to do on larger paper--maybe that has something to do with how rippled the paper has become...I should probably try to use up this block before it gets any older and sadder.

I learned something interesting in Anthropology today. We've been reading The Dobe Ju/'hoansi by Richard Lee for one of our class readings. It's about Richard Lee's ethnographic work with a group of people in the Kalahari desert in Africa. Along with his ethnographic work, he also collected scientific data about number of calories, types of foods consumed, and hours worked. Interestingly, he found that only about 20 hours per week were spent on getting food. When he added in housework, tool repair, and other types of work, (work that we in Western society would not count as part of a traditional 40hr work-week job), that number came to about 42 hours of work per week. Calorically, the Ju/'hoan diet was appropriately meeting their needs for nutrition and diversity. This was a bit strange to me, because it's the opposite of what most people probably expect. Marshall Sahlins also wrote an essay further exploring the topic of the hunter-gatherer society's work week. I'm not really sure what it means, but it was still interesting.
Can you guess this landmark?