Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Room of One's Own

Brigham Young University wishes to keep their decision to close the Women's Research Institute quiet, but I intend to make an obnoxious amount of noise. The dean of Family Home and Social Science claims that other institutions on campus provide enough support for women. I strongly disagree. The WRI, instituted in 1978, conducts research that institutions around the world use: data on pornography, drug trafficking, eating disorders and other issues relating to women. Brigham Young University's decision to shut down the WRI places the church in a publicly precarious position as well as leaves many students ignorant about the importance of women’s issues. I'm tired of "feminism" being a four letter word on this campus, and this institution works directly against such bigotry and ignorance. In protest of this decision, I ask you, reader, to reply to newspaper articles published by the Salt Lake Tribune and to sign the petition below.

I would like to share an experience which soberly reminds me of the past oppression of women and subsequently inspires me to fight against such prejudice.My current position in society as a woman seems distant from the narrator’s in A Room of One’s Own. But Roaming around Oxford’s campus the Gothic architecture of Magdalene College’s displayed its archaic origin and subsequently the constant flow of money required to construct the beautiful building. Yet, the brilliant buildings, libraries, technology and blooming grounds were only available to men during Virginia Woolf’s time. I walked further from campus searching for a place where womCheck Spellingen could congregate during the early twentieth century. I set my sights on a lesser known women’s college: Somerville. Unable to direct myself around the large campus I sought help from an Oxford student who located the college on a map. He explained that all women’s colleges required a lengthy trek outside of central campus and honestly recommend skipping the visit to a women’s college. Looking back, I understand why the student attempted to dissuade me from visiting comparatively uninteresting women’s college.
The juxtaposition of Somerville’s atmosphere, architecture and location to Magdalene College personally revealed to me the alienation women felt during the early twentieth century. Somerville resided far from central campus and so I quickly walked down streets distancing myself from the noise of Magdalene College and its prestigious aura. Oxford built Somerville during the late nineteenth century and the only land available was located far from campus. Like the journey of Virginia Woolf’s character to Fernham in A Room of One's Own, I walked along “a road – I forget its name” the unimportance of the road signified the inferiority of the college itself. (Woolf 13) Finally I arrived at Somerville’s cramped and yellowed office. I asked the stunned office workers if I could walk around the college; Somerville did not receive visitors often. Unlike Magdalene, Somerville’s the courtyard sounded unnaturally quiet. The untidy gardens and flowers coupled with the severe and outdated architecture created an atmosphere of neglect. At this moment the day’s events combined and I understood Woolf’s narrative.
I left Somerville and walked back to campus and visit Christ’s Church Cathedral. I listened to Evensong inside of Christ’s Church in the chapel without producing a baptismal certificate; Virginia Woolf’s narrator listened outside.

So reader, please carefully consider what's at stake with the closing of the WRI - let us avoid creating the atmosphere like Oxbridge at Brigham Young University.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east and....Zac Efron?

My freshman year of high school we read Shakespeare's play The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. I remember that the edition we read printed contemporary colloquial translations on the other page, like "yo Juliet". Along with reading the play we also watched the famous Zeffirelli film , which launched Shakespeare back into pop culture as the movie spoke to the rebellious flower children of the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Talking to my friend Katie, she remembered not particularly liking the movie and an unattractive Romeo. But I'm here to tell you that we didn't have any taste in men our freshman year of high school. Today I watched Zeffirelli's adaptation again and my friend pointed out that Romeo looks like Zac Efron. You don't believe me? My evidence is below.
I mean these two must be related - the similarities border on creepy. The only major differences being Leonard Whiting's brown eyes and British accent. Well the British accent is not technically a physical feature, but it adds to their attractiveness.

I'm not proposing that Zac Efron portray Romeo in a new adaptation - that would be painful. I'm simply just stating the obvious physical similarities and both taking part in influential cultural phenomenons - one perhaps more high-brow than the other.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


After several hyper beagles, my parents desperately wanted the "yellow dog" from Funny Farm that does not even move when its tail lights on fire. So on Valentines Day, when I was eight years old, the whole family picked up our first yellow lab puppy. After bringing her home I was afraid she would cry during the night, so I slept beside her in the tiled laundry room floor with pillows and blankets. I still remember how I pushed her away throughout the night - afraid I would roll over her. But she just kept snuggling with me.
Well we named that yellow lab Tinkerbell.
And whenever I would go trick-or-treating or running, everyone would say hello to Tinkerbell. I grew up on a very large hill and I didn’t even know half the people that lived there. How did everyone know my dog’s name? Later our family found out that every morning Tinkerbell paid her morning visits to everyone on the hill and after exchanging pleasantries she would receive treats. So she was a friendly dog and beloved by everyone. Even my good friend Katie, who hates all animals, loved Tinkerbell.
As you can tell by my use of the past tense, Tinkerbell is no longer with us. Today my mom and dad finally put her to sleep. It was time - she could not see or hear well and limped. So in memory of Tinkerbell, I’m going to share some of my favorite stories about her.

Imagine young Andrew in his rubber boots and bare-chested needing to go to the bathroom. So of course the obvious solution is to simply go outside. But as proceeds to relieve himself he begins to laugh hysterically because Tinkerbell, who loves catching waters from fountains, begins to drink his pee.

I loved how she welcomed me home on the front deck with a whimpering smile and her tail wagging at life threatening speeds. I’m not kidding...that tail was a weapon. Her tail would either take you out or take out my mother's flower pots.

Tinkerbell cherished family trips to our cabin so much that she would jump in the back of the car before we put down her blanket. She could sense hours before we started loading the car that we were going there.

Tinkerbell loved rocks. And sometimes when we ran out of sticks to throw for her into the lake, we threw rocks. So Tinkerbell, being a wonderful sport, would go and snap at the water where the rocks hit the water. In fact she loved rocks so much that she chewed on them when no tennis balls were to be had. (It’s not surprising that she had hardly any teeth intact these past few years.) But my favorite story involving rocks is when there were men building a rockery at the cabin. They were throwing large boulders out of the way and they had to keep Tinkerbell from trying to catch the boulders by distracting her with throwing smaller rocks. But it only takes on time...Tinkerbell tried to catch a boulder. It hit her. She was out cold for awhile.

Tinkerbell's been a member of the family for fourteen years. It's going to be difficult to come home this Christmas without her greeting me. I'll miss my dog Tinkerbell. And as my friend Emily said to me today, "our pet's better be with us in heaven, or I'm going to hell."