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On Ask a Clean Person About Her New Book: A Conversation With Jolie Kerr

I am so excited for the book, and so excited to go to the launch on Wednesday night. This is especially good timing because I'm moving this weekend, and will have a day to thoroughly clean before all my stuff arrives. (I already printed out Jolie's old columns on move-day cleaning.)

My new apartment thanks you in advance, Clean Person!

Posted on February 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm 0

On A Revenge Scenario For Student Loan Borrowers

@Rock and Roll Ken Doll That's a good, and complicated, question. I think I got a fantastic education, at a place that focused on the humanities (there were no pre-professional programs so if you planned to be a lawyer or doctor, you could major in anything), and really emphasized writing and research skills, and those things carry over to any field, because really, very few undergrad art history majors are ever going to do anything with art. It's all about the broad preparation, intellectual nimbleness, and curiosity.

There really are substantial differences in the quality of education one gets at various schools, so some schools do deserve the reputations they have that benefit their graduates. You can get a great education at many places, but you don't have the instant nod that "oh, yes, grads of that program are generally good writers" or whatever. So, yes, the name on the degree signals something, too.

I really do truly believe in broad-based, humanistic education. It just has to be done well, and unfortunately a lot of schools are failing on that front and aren't worth the money. I'll also throw this out there that I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I took a lot of shit for going someplace supposedly "snooty," but precisely because of my background I really benefitted from being surrounded by an entirely different group of people (i.e., many rich and privileged kids), which I would not really have experienced at that level had I gone to the state university (which, again, was more expensive thanks to very generous financial aid funded by a very big endowment.) But that's straying from the topic!

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm 2

On A Revenge Scenario For Student Loan Borrowers

@shorty16 Sorry I'm just getting back-- and I didn't mean to be mean or jump down your throat! Yay puppies and unicorns!

But, I will wholeheartedly disagree with the statement upthread that if you want to study art history go to an inexpensive school. NO NO NO NO NO. If you're going to study humanities, I think it's even more important to go to the best possible school (which can be the big state school, like in an honors program, in many cases, e.g. Michigan, Madison, etc etc.) For one thing, if you want to beat the odds and get a job, the fancy name will help (museum and gallery people can be very, very snobby. It's not right, but that's not changing anytime soon.) Plus the fancy schools can have better financial aid packages.

I am skeptical of lower ranked, small schools that don't have a wide reputation that charge exorbitant tuition and leave people with crazy debt. A state school is very likely the better choice. But it's complicated and depends on so many factors.

Art history (and other humanities) are all about critical thinking and writing, and those skills are best honed at schools where you will have small class sizes, access to professors, access to other resources (networks, internships, etc.) I used to teach at large state universities, and the mammoth class sizes alone meant I could give my students far less attention-- to their writing and in other ways-- than I received when I was in college. I assigned less writing and gave less feedback. Students who sought me out in office hours or after class got all the attention and help they wanted, but I really believe that students who weren't go-getters or who were shy got a lesser deal.

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm 4

On A Revenge Scenario For Student Loan Borrowers

@shorty16 I've said it before and I'll say it again: I paid LESS to go to one of those (on paper) expensive, private liberal arts colleges than I would have to go to any of the state universities in my home state (and I got various scholarships to several of them.) And plenty of people go to those schools and get-- with crazy humanities degrees!-- very good and well-compensated jobs. One friend: a doctor (a real, life-saving one. Not like me, with my PhD in art history.) Finance! Accounting! That whole thing about broadly based humanist educations being useful!

Sorry. Don't mean to pick on you, commenter I don't know. These type of comments just generally piss me off. (I will join in skeptical glances toward people who take out massive loans to pay for nice apartments and vacations and all that crap while in college, but somehow, I'm thinking the billions of student loan debt isn't due primarily to Spring Break trips to the Mexico.)

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm 7

On When Trash Attacks

I am giggling uncontrollably at my desk. THANK YOU.

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm 0

On Julie Delpy's Bag of Infinite Relatable Sorrow

@enic That's a nice looking bag, and not absurdly priced. Go for it!

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm 0

On Julie Delpy's Bag of Infinite Relatable Sorrow

@fondue with cheddar GAAAAA. THAT BAG. Sorry. I am pretty sure that is the Isabel Marant bag I desperately, desperately wanted last year (the year before last?). It was on sale at Barney's for like $300-- marked down from insane-- and I couldn't do it. I am not a bag person at all, but I loved this bag. Perfect size. Not huge, but surprisingly roomy. NO LOGOS. I occasionally still think about this bag, which makes me think I made a mistake not buying it. (My bags are all variations of canvas tote bags, some more NPR-y than others.) And seeing that Delightfully Crazy Delpy has it makes me all the sadder I didn't say, fuck it, nice bag you are mine.

Also, I have that NARS lip pencil. Which color? Doesn't matter, because I have pretty much every bright red Nars velvet matte lip pencil. And I like Labello. I had no idea I had so much in common with Julie Delpy.

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm 1

On This Summer: Stop Buying $5 Iced Coffees

@Jinxie I freeze leftover coffee (like, when there's just a itsy bit left in the pot, not enough for a cup), and then I use those Coffee Ice Cubes to chill my iced coffee to avoid that gross watering down. That was one of the better discoveries of my life! (Call me Marie Curie, over here!)

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 4:35 pm 1

On This Summer: Stop Buying $5 Iced Coffees

@lora.bee Since we are all sharing in this particular thread: I recently was wondering if, perhaps, milk was doing something to me, digestive-wise. (I use milk for no other purpose than coffee.) So, I've been doing this experiment-- going on 3 weeks now-- of drinking coffee black. I haven't cut out cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, or other dairy.

It's made a difference.

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 4:33 pm 0

On Reading Between the Texts: Is THIS Flirting?

This is so perfectly timed! Hairpinverse: can you help me?!? This is real time shit.
Backstory: Boy. Cute. Dates. Etc etc. Week-long silence. Random text last weekend because he saw me walking down the street. Two (declined) booty-call texts over the weekend.
Just now, text received, "Gawd it's hot." (I'm in NYC.)
On the one hand, he's kind of fun. On the other, kind of annoying. Hot and cold. Anyone?

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm 0