Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 1: To sing, to laugh, to dream . . .

I greeted the "official" first day of my gap year with a prayer, a reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet 1, and a birthday phone call to my Dadi (paternal grandmother). I completed a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (see below) before a thorough cleaning of my kitchen, paired with intense jamming to Shakira, James Blunt, and Ingrid Michaelson.
Afterward, I reread my favorite monologue from Cyrano de Bergerac, the "no thank you" speech. The passage evokes feelings which are almost spiritual for me, and I hope to memorize it as a set of friendly words to recite for strength in the future.

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Next, I wrote a letter to Rhodicia Carter, or "Dee Dee," who was my bus driver (and sunshine) at Flint Hill for all eight years I was there, to be delivered to her later in the afternoon when I picked up my sister from the bus stop.

I then set out to explore the International Phonetic Alphabet, which has interested me since I read G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion in grade ten. I was hoping to "learn" the system, but ended up just reading an article on it in Malmkjær's Linguistics Encyclopedia. It's confusing! 

After picking up Priya and hearing about her awesome first day of school, I read through the syllabi for each of her classes -- it seems like she has a great year ahead of her! 

Later, browsing through The Economist, an article on "pulchronomics" caught my eye. The piece basically posits that physical attractiveness contributes to success in the work place. The article presents two main views. Deborah Rhode, the author of The Beauty Bias, argues that such discrimination should be banned. Meanwhile, Catherin Hakim, who wrote Honey Money, believes that women can use this phenomenon to their advantage, as a form of empowerment. I did a bit more reading on the matter and encountered a brief piece by Rhode which concisely sums up her stance (http://www.law.stanford.edu/publications/details/4584/Prejudiced%20Toward%20Pretty/). I find Hakim's viewpoint interesting, but the fact remains that not all women can effectively use the tools she describes. She seems to imply that one is in full control of her physical appearance -- this is simply not the case, because if it were, this issue would not be problematic in the first place.

In the evening, I went for a real-estate-talk-heavy walk with my mom in our neighborhood before a social-accountability-talk-heavy dinner with my dad! A bit of Latin with Priya and the day came to a lovely close.

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