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7 years ago @ The Toast - Open Thread! · 0 replies · +2 points

Cheese and fruit! I'm all about cheddar + berry jam on toast, but whatever you've got will work.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Open Thread! · 1 reply · +3 points

Oh, ditto! We did Heart of Darkness as part of the dystopian canon, basically? Like, it was right in there between 1984 and Brave New World. I think the word "colonialism" was mentioned a grand total of... once.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Open Thread! · 0 replies · +4 points

I would have loved to read more Latin@ authors in high school – we did In The Time of the Butterflies, and that was it, I think. It wasn't even required reading, just a pet project that teacher assigned the honors classes when she couldn't come up with anything else. Always seemed weird that a curriculum in California could have like five Steinbeck books but no Latin@ authors.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Open Thread! · 0 replies · +6 points

I love all of the Western Art History posts, but I think about Unsatisfied Women In Western Art History pretty much every single waking minute.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Open Thread! · 0 replies · +1 points

School has been getting in the way of books lately (rude), but sometimes when I'm really homesick I pull out The House On Mango Street and just sort of... faceplant into it for a few hours. I love that little book so much.

7 years ago @ The Toast - "I saw writing from pe... · 0 replies · +12 points

Real talk: I've procrastinated writing this for almost a month. I started tagging along with this community back in the early days of the 'Pin, when I was a very shy high school sophomore and you guys were the wacky older kids that I totally crushed on but couldn't dream of keeping up with. I don't think there's words for everything that's happened in the last five years.

You've given me so much faith that there's a place in the future for a slightly off-kilter and hopelessly rough-edged kid. I've talked to enough people my age to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. You've all put so much good into the world, and I just wish there was a way to express how much I love this place & everyone in it. Thank you guys for everything. <3

7 years ago @ The Toast - Cocktail Hour: Open Th... · 0 replies · +2 points

I just finished my freshman year of college, so take these all with a grain of salt, but here's some random thoughts so far!

I know this isn't possible for everyone, but if you want to take a weird path to/through college, that is way more normal than you'd think. I took a few years off after HS to do a weird low-paying job, I definitely remember feeling like that was A Super Risky Decision. In retrospect, though, I only know like two people who've followed the traditional path? Almost everyone ends up switching majors or dropping out or transferring or whatever. Even the people in high school that seem super focused and like, definitely Ivy League bound, will mysteriously turn up at a junior college in Nova Scotia with zero explanations. This is pretty much just part of the process.

(Related: if you start to freak out about all the decisions that you have to make, remember that most of them are reversible. You can almost always leave a school or a major or a class if you realize that it's just not working out.)

Pick up the school newspapers while you're on campus tours! In my experience this is the easiest way to get a read on each school's culture. It might be skewed a little by the students on the newspaper staff, but it was pretty much dead on for the school I chose.

(Also look up some of the school traditions and events – the weird stuff a school keeps doing every year can say a lot about the culture. A school that prides itself on its Juggling Convention and its Roving Shirtless Saxophone Man is probably going to be, uh, pretty much exactly what you'd expect.)

Don't worry too much about the other incoming students you see on social media? It's one thing if people are routinely prejudiced, obviously. I'm thinking more of the people who posted all the time on the Facebook groups and seemed inexplicably grating and nightmarish. It turned out that they were, like, three really loud people that I've never actually seen in real life.

Someone else mentioned this above, but you don't have to do every single activity if it's too much. I kind of picked one club to devote myself to, and then made myself go to enough meetings and events that I got over the Oh God I Don't Know Anyone And This Is Terrible hump pretty quickly.

Do try to make it to one-off speakers if they're even a little related to stuff you're interested in! Some of them aren't marketed all that well, but I've always really enjoyed them, especially when I'm burnt out on a subject and really need a fresh view of it.

If you have an idea of what you want to do as a career, maybe try finding forums or some kind of online meeting place where people in that field congregate. A lot of times they have good information about each school's program & reputation that you won't see anywhere else.

Also, if you don't know what you want to do, it helped me a lot to dig around job boards & find specific goal jobs that I thought would suit me? I ended up in a really specific major that I'd never heard of because of this, actually – basically just found a few listings that sounded really great and then figured out what I'd need to do to be qualified for them. On the other hand, some majors I thought I would love turned out to be a little bit of a dead-end. It's not a perfect method, obviously, but it really helped me narrow down what I wanted in a program, and I still go back to it sometimes when I need to decide what classes/projects to really focus on.

It sounds like you're more level-headed than I am, but I'll throw it out there anyways: it's okay to pick a program that's not the absolute most rigorous or highly rated! Yes, you want a good education, but you also have to live with that culture for a few years, and honestly some of the really high-pressure, high-status schools are not be the healthiest place for a lot of people. (You'll do better in the program that will challenge you without causing constant meltdowns, basically.)

ETA: Oh jeeze, apparently I had a lot of thoughts on this topic. I'll ramble more if you have any questions!

7 years ago @ The Toast - Cocktail Hour: Open Th... · 2 replies · +24 points

My favorite was my sophomore year English teacher, who made us read A Separate Peace, and then spent the better part of a month delivering speeches about how There Certainly Isn't Any Homoerotic Subtext In This Book, No Sir, Definitely No Gay Stuff Going On Here At All. (She was super conservative and mostly wanted to talk about the biblical references; we were pretty much only interested in that one paragraph where Gene goes to great lengths to describe Thinly Veiled Gore Vidal's awesome butt.)

7 years ago @ The Toast - Link Roundup! · 12 replies · +90 points

(I'm putting this in parentheses to give the impression that I am whispering in all of your ears, so as not to be Obnoxious, but uh... as a Latina, every time he pulls mad racist bullshit, I wonder where all the white liberals are and why they are being very very quiet today. It's just a little bit disconcerting to find out that the answer is apparently unanimously 'hiding in small room with hands over their ears.')

(I realize that politics is exhausting and self care and etc, but also... like, the guy is campaigning on the premise that we don't qualify as full citizens of this country, I don't feel like I can rest right now or ever? Also I'm getting real tired of feeling like I'm yelling at a brick wall, honestly.)

7 years ago @ The Toast - Link Roundup! · 0 replies · +2 points

Logically, I know that there are other versions of the Impreza that are actually speedy, but on an emotional level I cannot find a way to connect "speedy" with the actual lived experience of driving my Impreza Sport. I love that car, but its preferred velocity is definitely no miles per hour, headed nowhere. If you try to take your foot off the pedal on a downhill, it'll miraculously find away to stop itself.