Posted by: Naima | October 18, 2009

And it begins…

It’s that time of year, the library is flooded, bodies are tired, and you might just find some people in PGill buried in their books. Midterms has hit the campus hard and abruptly, and this year it’s coupled with sickness. As you may have read/heard/spread rumors about, the H1N1 virus is abundant on college campuses around the country. But the second any campus has ten confirmed cases, there seems to be a trend of diagnosing all flu-like symptoms with the Swine. I only know about four people who suffered from the actual H1N1 virus even though Lewiston residents rarely come onto campus without surgical masks. Since all of the students were offered the flu vaccines, and many of us received them, I’ve gathered that a lot of the sickness on campus has been either the common cold or a two-day fever. Either way, class is still in session and we all still have to sleep, eat, and study. Thankfully, Bates has its annual fall break starting Wednesday. That ought to curb trends of both illness and stress.

piggy-bank-swine-surgical-mask

This year, I don’t have any tests for the midterm period. Instead, I have a series of papers that I’ve been working on. Last night, I finished an autobigraphical piece for my Black Feminist Thought course. The assignment was for every student in the class to discuss how their own gender, race, and sexuality are affected by the patterns of oppression in the United States. My professor wanted us to be able to articulate our experiences within the structured society we’ve all lived comfortably within. The privileges we are granted and the pangs from which we suffer are often sourced from things far beyond our control. Our identities intersect in ways that make some of us favorable than others. I had been looking forward to this project: I saw it as a more or less simple opportunity to explore who my sense of self, an idea that many believe is at the core of the college experience. But to my surprise it was for me to really difficult for me to unearth personal experiences dictated by blackness or womanhood, regardless of the amount I have studied the two since I came to Bates. While it was a long and strenuous task to complete this exploration of self, I’m so happy that class on Tuesday will be filled with students who have fully evaluated themselves in the scope of our studies. The racialized and gendered discourse within our class will surely continue to unravel as the semester moves forward.  I can’t wait.

Peace and then some,

Naima

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