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2003-07-08 - 4:48 p.m.

The electricity went out at work due to the storm and, although it was quickly restored, I decided to come home early. I didn't have anything to do there anyway.

I'm not used to having a job where I don't have something to do all the time. I always thought I'd like a job like that because then I can sit and read. Sadly, this is not the case. Sitting and reading is about the only mode of "wasting time" that you cannot ... do? Can you "do" a mode? I don't think so.

Anyway, I'm tempting fate by being on the computer right now; however, the rain has let up somewhat.

I miss Vero. She's off on business for 2 days and it sucks! I hate it when she leaves. I shouldn't complain though because her trips used to be a week long; now they're just two to three days.

I'm really starting to like the women I've been working with ... well, some of them. I think one of them made a racist comment today, but to be honest I'm not sure. See there are two groups on this summer fellowship. One group, mine, is composed of teachers. It is mostly female and white -- there are 5 men (out of 17 people) and one Latina and two African-Americans. And two lesbians that I know of! The other group is smaller - 9 - and consists of 8 women and one man. They are all Asian and they are graduate students (all of them but one are international students). We hardly ever see them because they are off in another part of the building doing psychometrics and all kinds of godawful statistical things (they're the smart people) so all I really know about them are their names and faces from the meetings we've had together as one group. Anyway. today we had a presentation to the entire group on a really arcane, mostly mathematical and statistical method of analyzing test data and it was tough going. Most of the people in my group just tuned it out. One woman started passing a note around the table (teachers are BAD, y'all) with little comments on it like "this is killing me", "kill me now", etc. When she got it back I looked at it and someone had written "Do I look like I want to learn Chinese?"

Now, am I being too sensitive? Was this person making a stereotypical comment based on the fact that all of the statisticians there (except for three of the four company employees) were Asian? Was I reading too much into it? I don't know. I kind of think not, though, because only two of the people in my group have made an effort to even talk to the folks in the other group.

I gave away a book today to one of the fellows. She is a Christian and she is VERY nice and not at all pushy, but she had some very negative views of Islam as regards the treatment of women based entirely upon the experiences a friend of hers had who married into a Muslim family. So I gave her a book on Islamic feminism. She was very surprised that I gave her a book. The book is a good one because it doesn't gloss over the very real problems women face in Islamic countries, yet it shows the work that women are doing from within those countries to improve the lives of women and girls.



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