On Really Good Books About First Ladies: Part One

I read Prep in high school and identified SO MUCH with the main character. I tried to reread it a few years ago but it felt like I was reading my high school diary, which felt awkward and cringe-inducing, so I stopped.

I finished "American Wife" a few weeks ago and.... mixed feelings.

***~~ SPOILER ALERT, MAYBE??***~~~

I really, really liked Alice righhhhhtttt until she met/married Charlie. He was so immature and annoying! His obnoxious family! (That weird sexual poem her brother in law recited about her the first time she met the Blackwells!) I guess I understood her initial attraction to Charlie but not why she would actually marry/stay with him. He was lazy and didn't really work, whereas Alice was well-educated and took great value in her job. His Republican ideals were way different from Alice's liberal ones. He was an extroverted and immature wild child, whereas Alice was introverted and serious. I could see them having a wild fling, but a lifelong marriage?? Plus he got TOTALLY insufferable when he turned into a born-again Christian. I felt like the last part of the book, where Alice does that huge monologue after she's already first lady, was Sittenfeld's weird way of explaining why Alice stayed with Charlie.

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm 2

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils

@Alixana Thank you! But no, forget about it. I don't have the energy to argue about how it actually is that bad to graduate with over $100K in debt, overqualified for most jobs but unable to get those for which you are qualified.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm 0

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils


Posted on May 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm 0

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils

@automaticdoor One of my best friends from college has her heart set on law school. She took a year off between undergrad and 1L and is starting in the fall and keeps asking me about my experience. I don't want to be a jerk and say, "DON'T GOOOOO YOU CRAZY DIAMOND" because she, like your friend, is a pretty nervous person. I gently tried to tell her, "Maybe there are other ways to pursue the career path in which you're interested," but she's adamant that law school is the ONLY way to, in her words, make her life plan work. I've just accepted that it's not up to me to talk her out of it and that she'll have to learn the hard way, and hey it might work out for her and that would be wonderful!

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm 0

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils

@automaticdoor I came straight from undergrad too, so when I was graduating undergrad last spring I read all the articles about how law schools rip off students, how there's no jobs, etc. But I stupidly thought I was different.

"I'm smart! I got a great scholarship and a great fellowship! I want to do good for the chillldddreeeennn! I can definitely keep my scholarship! Sure, 1L year will suck, but once I start doing the public interest stuff it'll be fine!" Wrong on all counts, self! Law schools give fucktons of scholarships, knowing full well that most people will lose them after 1L. So they hook you in with a nice scholly and then know that you'll probably end up paying full tuition anyway for 2L and 3L. A lot of my law school friends are still deluded and think that they'll be the ones out of every law school grad in the country to find the good jobs.

Best of luck to you! Keep your head up, I know how hard it is out there. It sucks that your career services office are jerks, it's in their best interest to help you find a job!

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm 0

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils

@Alixana Oh boy, we could have like a 100 person Hairpin panel of "DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL HERE IS WHY."

Major shoutout to Hairpin commenter Waity Katie (where you at, girl?) who, back in some comment thread in October or something where I mentioned how much I hated law school said something like, "A girl I went to law school with took her last finals and just didn't come back." And I thought, "Wait, I can do that??" And many months later I was like, "Maybe I should do that." And then I did it! Freedom!

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm 4

On Ask a Humanities Grad Student, Part One: Scotch and Lentils

I know this isn't completely on topic since I wasn't a humanities grad student, but I did go to to law school for one year! I took the last final of my 1L year today, walked out of the building, and will never look back.

If anyone, especially undergrads, are thinking of going to law school, the short answer based on my very recent experience is "Don't."

I "knew" why I was going (as opposed to the kids who just go because they can't get a job after undergrad or have a degree in English and think law school is the ticket to $$$). I was a social work major in undergrad, and told myself that the best way I could "help" the populations I wanted to work with was through being a lawyer. This was total bullshit. Number one, with the job market the way it is, you're lucky if you get a job, let alone a nonprofit job that will actually be enough to pay your bills. Secondly, after some serious self-reflection I realized that I went to law school to please my Dad since he was unsupportive of my wanting to be a social worker. Live and learn!

Anyway, I made the decision a few months ago to just finish out the year and GTFO. Best decision of my life! Don't take it from me, search "law school" on the NY Times website and read their trove of articles, all of which ring very true, about why law school is a shitty investment. Or read this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/before-you-head-off-to-law-school/

I write this comment because I have a lot of friends/acquaintances in their early to mid 20s who are like, "I'll go to law school because I can "help" people/because I don't know what to do with my history degree/because I'll make a lot of money/because I'm good at arguing" and having gone through it, it's really not a ticket to a six-figure career and it's not always a very good financial decision in this economy! $100,000 worth of debt for a degree you can't get a job with, especially on top of undergrad debt, is a lifetime of scariness.

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm 9

On Becoming a Better Lazy Vegetarian

@bonnbee Oh yeah, plus my family is full of a bunch of assholes who, if I go back to eating cheese or yogurt will be like, "HAHA WE TOLD YOU EATING VEGAN/VEGETARIAN IS UNHEALTHY HERE'S A STEAK YOU NEED PROTEIN HOW DO YOU GET IRON CHICKENS DON'T HAVE FEELINGS." Not that the opinions of said assholes should influence my health decisions, but I'll probably just pretend not to eat dairy products around them if I do go back to eating cheese/yogurt.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm 4

On Becoming a Better Lazy Vegetarian

@Ophelia Thanks! I might have to ease back into it that way: cutting out processed carbs and sugar, but allowing more whole grains.
I guess I really should talk to my doctor about it next time I see her. It sounds stupid but I'm scared to go back to eating a lot of carbs and gaining back all the weight I worked so hard to lose due to my stupid fucking thyroid.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm 0

On Becoming a Better Lazy Vegetarian

Any vegans/vegetarians on a low-carb diet?

Long story short: I have an endocrine issue that makes me gain weight like crazy, and losing it is nearly impossible. I was vegan for a year, eating all delicious vegan foods: lentil soup, squash, whole wheat pasta, freshly baked bread, etc. And I was still heavier than I'd like to be/what my endocrinologist said was healthy. I went vegan/low carb for a few months, and lost ten pounds while eating healthy with exercise, but fuck it is impossible. I've started sneaking in cheese a lot because vegan/low carb is basically no non-vegan foods PLUS no rice, pasta, chickpeas, fruit, beans, lentils, etc. I basically end up eating celery and peanut butter for breakfast, salad for lunch, and sauteed veggies for dinner which is good for three days but I just can't do it forever.

Posted on March 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm 0