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Public Computers, Gloria Steinem, and the 19th Century

Oh, Blog, oh, Blog, oh bloggy-blog Blog!  I’ve missed you!  I can’t quite recall the last time I’ve posted to you, oh Blog of my blogs.  I must fill you in on what’s been going down in my life.  I think Greenday got it wrong when they asked to sleep through September; October’s the month to punch through.

First, I have been without functioning computer for over a week and a half now.  That means I am on Public Computers.  Where do I find these computers?  Mostly the library, where the whole place is decked out with about two dozen or so Mac desktops.  As a Macbook Pro user (2009, hence the computer difficulties, since a bunch of people are having problems), I am happiest on the library’s Macs (though still downtrodden).  I’m also using the PC lab in Boon and the Macs in the fourth floor lounge of Simpson Hall.  Because I traditionally get my best work done in the morning, I’ve been waking up between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. just so that I can shower and get to the library when it opens and start working on my homework.  Of course, I haven’t been managing to get to sleep two hours earlier, so I’ve been running short on sleep this week.  It is actually exceedingly difficult to get homework done when you can’t do any of it in your room.  The library and the lab both close, and sometimes all of the computers will be taken and you can’t do anything anyway.  Plus, since I no longer have access to my music library and Spotify account, I am without my own tunes.  There is nothing like destressing alone in my room to When the Pawn… or Mirage, but alas.  I am without my music.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t just crawl into a wifi-less hole and shelter up for winter.  And I have proof!

These past two weekends, I have been on the move.  Last weekend, I took a trip out to Hartford, CT to attend the Connecticut Forum’s panel, The State of Women 2012.  Panelists included Michelle Bernard, Ashley Judd, Connie Schultz and Gloria Steinem (!!).  This event was super-awesome-flipping-sweet-cool, and if you’re conveniently following my women’s history blog (which is getting much better updating right now, as it is being graded), you’ll be hearing more about this trip soon!

This weekend (which is still happening) found me spending two nights in Westchester County, NY, lost on Vassar College’s campus, holding letters written by Sarah Hale, and at Phelps Hospital near Sleepy Hollow NY with a friend.

I had an appointment on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. to do some research in Vassar College’s special collections, where they have about 70 letters written by Sarah Hale.  For convenience sake, and because I promised to pay him fifty dollars in gas, a friend of mine agreed to drive me up to Poughkeepsie.  Four of us went (me and three friends).  We spent the night at my driving-friend’s house in Westchester and then trucked up to Poughkeepsie the next morning.  We made it to campus at about 10:00, but we couldn’t find the library, so I didn’t actually make it to special collections until 10:30, which only left me an hour and a half to do research (they close at noon and reopen at one)!  I managed to get pictures of and read 13 of her letters and was planning on staying in Poughkeepsie to do more work, but then my camera battery died (another consequence of having no computer), so I sadly left.  We went to a 1950s themed organic diner, which I enjoyed but half of our group did not.  Then, after arriving back at my friend’s house, three of us ended up spending several hours in Phelps hospital (one of our party had a kidney stone, which is supposed to hurt worse than having a baby).  They took good care of my friend, and we had a fun time playing games with scrabble tiles and watching Llamas With Hats (not for everyone; sociopathic llama named Carl destroys things).  My friends rock, and I like it when they don’t have rocks inside of them.

Hanging out with the Sarah Hale papers was one of the most magical experiences of my life, and I just want to go back again!  It turns out that I do, in fact, have a lot of trouble reading her handwriting because it is so perfect.  She writes in perfect script — the kind of stuff that third grade teachers pretend to be able to do in order to impress their eight year old pupils.  Thankfully, there were typescript copies of most of the letters, so I could read them clearly.  Sarah Hale, by the way, is hilarious.  In one of her letters to John Raymond, she says, “men have never yet considered woman’s learning of much benefit.  Loveliness was worth more than Latin.”  She’s so wonderful!  According to my driving-friend, when I came out of the library, I was glowing.  Again, more about this (and about Sarah Hale, probably), will appear on my baby blog within this semester.

I have more Fleetwood Mac Attack! for you, and I did promise advice on How to Date a Marxist, and I promise that eventually these will get up.  They have been started, and they are waiting patiently in my Drafts folder to be finished, but between the baby blog and the computer problems and the general occupied-ness of October, I would like to kindly implore you to wait a pinch longer.  I promise I won’t have you arrested if you protest, and it won’t take 43 years.

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