Further disabusing noble notions

Since I’ve already established myself as an insecure sexist, it’s time I banish my reputation as hard-working and committed.

Our chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE, pronounced “nez-bee”) held nominations for officer positions Tuesday evening. I’d already told our president that I wasn’t going up for my current position again, and that I may not even stay as a general member next year (although I most likely will).

So anyway, Ms. Prez is going through the positions and describing the duties, taking nominations after each description. I’m dozing during the descriptions and waking up in time to see the eager-beaver freshmen dish out nominations for themselves while present executive board members quietly accept any nominations for themselves or quietly decline. I remember those eager-beaver times. Ah, the halcyon days…

Then we come to my current position, and Ms. Prez describes the duties. No one gets nominated. She mentions that the only real requirement is that they be able to update a website. Crickets chirp, and I mention nothing about laying out the newsletter, since they won’t have the software I use, anyway. I smile at the ceiling, as I’m slouched back in my seat, the epitome of disrespectful inattention. Ms. Prez sounds annoyed. Someone nominates another woman in NSBE, and Ms. Prez quickly seconds. Then,

“I nominate Lissa.” Who this fool was, I don’t know.


I don’t even raise my head. “Declined.”

That was the highlight of my week. There was a chorus of “day-um” and snickers at the speed to which I declined; I haven’t gotten myself in good with the freshmen in NSBE this year, so they just giggled as I continued to not-measure-up in my duties. Andrea (who was sitting right next to me) just about fell out of her chair laughing, particularly at the fact that I only raised my head when people started making noise.

Shaina said, “We’re never going to see you again, Lissa.”

I gave a smile and a shrug. I made my priorities very clear to Ms. Prez about a month ago—school, work, Thorn, sleep, and NSBE, in that order. That’ll hold into next year, and if my workload permits NSBE work, then I’ll certainly dive in and become active again. I like some of the things we’re doing under Ms. Prez, and I hope she hasn’t been discouraged by the lack of participation this year and ease up too much next year. But the incessant scheduling of events on Thursdays makes attendance near impossible given the above priorities, and excessively long (and repetitive and boring) meetings on Tuesdays don’t always seem like a productive use of my time, particular if project team members would like to meet then.

But NSBE is finally doing things—real community service, in particular—so I don’t want to just write them off as being unworthy of my time. I hate the people we’ve picked up this past year—they’re a bunch of rabble-rousing, punk-ass… nevermind—but I love the deeds. Unfortunately, the people make the organization, and Andrea is pretty much my only real tie to the social side of NSBE at this point.

On a completely irrelevant note, are Prime and I the only ones disturbed by the Darius Rucker Burger King commercial? I get chills every time I see it. The Boondocks that Prime shows in his post is too funny, though. “Maybe it was supposed to air only in Japan.” Indeed.

I am sick and evil. Hear me roar.

Actually, it’s more like, “Hear me wail.”

One of my places of employment is training potential new hires. This isn’t a bad thing, by any means, because we are a tiny staff and we need all the help we can get to help things run more smoothly.

There are two problems. The first is a small one: I like working alone. I can focus or chit-chat with Mr. “He’s fond of you” or do homework without bumping elbows with anyone. I am unbelievably easily distracted and flustered by people, and I hate when people are in my way, but when I’m alone I can channel everything into doing all the tasks on my plate rather well.

The second problem is bigger and is the source of my evilness: one of the new hires is a woman, and that bothers me. I’m the only female student employee currently, and I have an interesting position of the Source of Giggles, the Source of Woman-Violence, the Source of Easily-Read Facial Expressions (all eight of them, according to Luke), and the Source of Big, Friendly Grins that keeps me in fairly good with the crew, even when I am worn out and bowed/broken.

The new hire has the potential to be a souce of these things, too. I am no longer exclusive.

Now, I’m not hating on the woman for being friendly and giggly— Wait, who am I kidding? Any new female hires need to be ugly bitches that carry switchblades and alienate everyone in the course of doing their job (and their job should be done poorly, at that!).

Insecure? Hell, yeah, I am. Fuck. Sexist, too? Apparently. Petty and irrational? You know it.

This is pretty low, even for me, although I’m not surprised at my response. There are some things I am incredibly possessive about, and this situation falls neatly into that set.

She’s good; she’s smart, and not as reticent (or tired) as I was when I started. I should be trying to make a friend instead of worrying about office politics, particularly because she’s a social[-seeming] CS (and social CS’s are cool, by default).

This is just like one of those situations, though, when you’re set with a group of friends and all your relationships and hierarchies (flat as they may be) are all set, and all of a sudden, there is Another. Another may be a friend’s SO or just someone trying to integrate, but they’re jockeying for your spot in some way and that fucking sucks, to put it eloquently.

Oh, well. Time to stamp out the big Lissa-ego and grow up. Grr.

No, no, no.

Mae and I got stopped for carrying more than one piece of fruit out of our goddamn cafeteria. What the hell is that mess?

I swear, they’re going to have to stop me every damn time, and they’re going to have to pull the book on me about this, because I surely do not pay $1000 a term for breakfast and dinner and one or two salads on weekends. Heffa, please. They lost my love when they couldn’t accomodate me during the sack lunch mess.

In other news, I attended a showing of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” last night here at Rose, which was awesomely entertaining. It was just short and showy enough to keep my restless attention, but not too gaudy as to annoy the shit out of me. And plus, it was really just cute (and I mean that in a non-condescending way). Tickets were courtesy of Javid, and per usual, it was hella fun to hang around the Basement Crew, even if Javid had me overdressed for the event.

Jeans, Javid. Jeans. Learn it, live it, love it.

Following the show, I putzed around for a while and hinted at Dr. 7 until he went to Arby’s with me (for four damn hours…). The lady that works there when we usually go would look at me oddly if Dr. 7 and Luke weren’t there, so I brought ’em both. And I drove. How ’bout that, Mr. “I’m still driving when we do group things”? Bru-ha-ha!

This has been a damned good weekend. I slept way too much, spent too much time with Dr. 7 and Luke, and have done too little work. (Hey, I have less than a quarter to get all my time with them as a trio. That kinda hurts.)

I officially dumped the newspaper’s news content on A. and A. (the new News team), because otherwise I think things would have been dragged out beyond Spring Break; no one was jumping to take over, and I don’t care for how little attention one of the A’s pays to my news-section management during Thorn meetings. So he gets to develop his own methods in the next two weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how they balance the power. I, of course, didn’t balance power so well when I took the news editor’s spot; I ran my assistant news editor off by not leaving her anything to do.

While the EIC thing is still unofficial, Luke is down to significantly fewer tasks, and Bob is down to production-night assistance (although they both still run the Wednesday general meetings). There’s some ego-massaging that needs to be done, methinks, because there’s been some resistance to the speed with which I am usurping duties.

I swear, every time I take over another small element—like taking over the money spreadsheet, or the mailing lists—I get this look (or see a grumpiness, more likely) from Luke that breaks my heart. I am taking one of his greatest projects [while at Rose] from him piece by piece, and, worse yet, leaving him with idle hands while things run with only the occassional [like weekly, haha] stumble. Bob’s expressed a similar concern, but Luke gets actively grumpy and complains to people at work (which comes right back around to me, of course).

But things are actually coming together moderately well on the paper, at least people-wise. We’re going to be relying on some seniors to hold their positions until the end of the year (and they obviously still “report” to Luke and Bob), and one of the upcoming editors in particular worries me with his lack of integration, but me and the young’uns are doing wonderfully. J. and I have a hell of a fun time on production night, and we’ll probably be the ones to keep things interesting in the office because we’ve picked up a lot of more serious, intellectual folk in this batch. Better than that, J. and I have pretty much reached an understanding regarding how to argue and how to resolve arguments so I feel secure enough not to fly off the handle at his every resistance, and so that he doesn’t start yelling and screaming and walk the hell out. This is good, because if nothing else, I’ve been told our resistance->coaxing->resistance->watch-it-now banter is fairly entertaining.

I think we’ll actually be okay.

Accepted. Or not.

Barring other problems, I’m going to Notre Dame this summer, y’all.

If you’re too scared to swing, don’t step up to the plate, right? Now I just have to work on not missing.

I felt miserable about my decision, which is a bad sign. So I enlisted the help of Mr. “He’s fond of you” to compose the eViL e-mail reneging since, according to him, “Men can rationalize anything.”


I want to turn them down, but I don’t know how because I don’t have any other reason other than, “I don’t wanna!”. *whimper*

“Them” being the awe-inspiring, prestigious group of scientists that want me to work with them this summer and want to give me money. Lots of money.

I want to say no. But I want to say yes, too. But I don’t know that I have the skillset. And I don’t know that the leading scientist has the patience to put up with a lack of expertise while I struggle to learn.

It could be stressful. I’m a wimp. I don’t want to be stressed during my summer.

I don’t know enough to make a decision, but I have to make one today.

I don’t know anything about the outcomes of my other applications yet, and won’t for quite a while.