Hello, fellow readers!
My first week of new classes are almost over. So far, I’m enjoying my three courses: Sex, Marriage, & Family, Diversity & Identity in Literature & Film, and my Senior Seminar (the capstone for my English major, the final slot in my education here at Morris) Imagining the Earth.
So far, in my Sex, Marriage & Family (or SMF) course, we’ve discussed what it means to have a nuclear, immediate, or biological family structure. And we’ve watched a film called Kingdom of Women: a reflection of a matriarchal society on Luga Lake, which focuses on a community’s matriarchal way of life in China. The film, which had me furiously taking notes in order to get down everything I thought I needed to write down, was fascinating. But, this is from my experience as an outsider. As a woman born and living in the United States, I find the prospect of a matriarchal society empowering.
But, after thinking about how the film was conducted, my thought process has changed. The style of the film is basically someone going around this closed off society and shoving a camera in the community’s faces. My prof posed an important question: What would your response be if someone with a video camera asked you about your dating life?
Personally, I would be uncomfortable. While I’m willing to share general information about my relationship with my current boyfriend, Rory, I don’t feel comfortable answering extremely personal questions, like How does dating in America work? With that thought in mind, I can only imagine the possible insecurities that the Mouso felt at being asked to explain what a walking marriage is, as well as the other aspects of their society. (Walking marriage, I learned, allows men and women to have the chance to choose one another. In a walking marriage, the women have the final say as to whether or not they will have a relationship with the man. Men will visit the house of their lover’s home in the evening, and must leave in the morning so that they can begin chores at their mother’s house. The woman is in charge of all of the finances, so there is–as the film stated–no need to worry about financial issues.)
I’m excited to share my answers to my prof’s question, though. I may post some of my more generic answers later. This post will get too long, otherwise.
In my Diversity & Identity in Literature & Film course, we’re reading the fabulous graphic novel American Born Chinese. Sadly, I have seen graphic novels before, but this is the first one I’ve read. And already, while it’s taking me longer to read than I expected, I’m hooked. Rory suggested that I should check out Maus and Persepolis. I also discovered that Blue is the Warmest Color was a graphic novel first, and I’m dying to read it. (I have a feeling that the graphic novel is better, with less male gaze during the sex scenes and more mature themes explored. I saw the film and thought it was good, but the portrayal of Adele and Emma’s sexual relationship felt more like I was watching pornography rather an intimate and caring look at two people having sex. There was little emotional connection for me; I felt that those scenes were void of the connection that some people experience during and after sex.)
Anyway, back to American Born Chinese. I love the graphic novel so far, because the words flow well with the pictures, and vise versa. Already, I sense the Monkey King’s and Jin’s need to fit in in their respectable environments, as well as Danny’s embarrassment toward his cousin Chin-Kee. If you love graphic novels and haven’t picked this up, I definitely recommend it! (I’ll post more of a list review later, once I’m finished with the book.)
Since I had my Diversity & Identity course this morning, I was able to watch this spoken word gem:
Taylor Mali’s informal and hilarious poem about making sense and having conviction is gold. Check it out!
Lastly, in my Imagining the Earth course, we discussed what it means to be wild. Since this is only my first week of class, I’ll have more time to mull this over. I wrote down that being wild was disorganized and unpredictable. In Colorado, for example, the weather patterns can rapidly change. Once, while my family and I were hiking Maroon Bells, the sky went from blue with puffy white clouds to a thunderstorm. Our hike was cut short, because the lightning forced us to go back to the trail head. In my T-shirt, I went from feeling warm to cold. Abbie, my little sister, actually started sneezing on the way down. The rapid change in mountainous weather is shown in The Man from Snowy River, one of my favorite horse movies. Jessica leaves home, upset with her father, and rides up into the mountains. The cloudless weather suddenly turns into a dangerous thunderstorm, which causes her to loose her footing and fall down onto a ledge on a cliff. She doesn’t realize that she’s on a cliff ledge until the next morning, when the storm has cleared. Upon realizing this, she screams for help. Thankfully, our hero Jim saves her.
Happy first week of classes,