“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful.” These words, spoken by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, were recently sampled on the track ***Flawless from Beyoncé’s latest, self-titled, album.
“Feminism,” says Stella Jiler, a high school freshman at Saint Ann’s School in New York City, “is much more relevant to everyday life than a lot of people realize.”
Snow. Everywhere was snow. Snow in my socks, snow on the windowsill, snow on the ground and snow piled up on either side of me as I walked through campus. And not just snow, but frigid winds and dismal clouds as well. Oh, and black ice. I’m currently in talks with the International Olympic Committee to make “ice flailing” part of the 2018 Winter Games.
It is a truth universally acknowledged (see what I did there?) that all readers of Pride and Prejudice, male and female, have at least been a little attracted to Mr. Darcy during the duration of the novel.
Good literature and dry, witty comedy. These are the two things that I appreciate most in life (with the exception of my family, my friends, my health, etc., etc., etc.). So, when I first heard that B.J. Novak (actor, writer and executive producer from NBC’s The Office, a.k.a. my favorite television show) was writing a book I did a little squee of excitement and patiently waited for it to be released.
Unlike many of my peers, I decided to go to college fairly close to home. This was something that I was strongly advised not to do by peers, college counselors, pop culture and patronizing adults because I would learn nothing and never grow as a person.
When my college roommate of two days casually said, “I really just don’t understand how people, like, survive in life with a public school education,” I was stunned into silence.
Resting in the corner of the kitchen counter in my mother’s apartment is a gray plastic folder. Resting in this folder, filling it far past its maximum capacity, are various forms of propaganda from colleges and universities. The personalized letters provide a sense of inclusion, the informational leaflets and charts provide a sense of an arms race (an “I’m a better choice than the other leaflet”), and the scenic photographs and postcards provide a sense of beauty in schooling. However, the papers settled in the gray folder are all the same in that they set up what they believe to be an ideal education.
February 9th, 1964
As the New York City winter beat me,
I frowned at the rat across the street.
Objectively, the day was beautiful. The sky was uncharacteristically blue and even though the thermometer read sixty-five, the sun made it feel like seventy-five. The cherry blossoms were blooming in the early April setting, creating a stark contrast to the industrial city of Xi’an. However, I refused to embrace any of the day’s beauty. Today was the final day with my little guy.