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From the living room…

My roommate: Guess who likes ice cream sandwiches?

From my room…

Me (shouting): Please don’t feed that to the cats!

I refuse to look at my school email or Power School until August.

Too bad. DYWC takes precedence.

This Is What a Student-Designed School Looks Like

Hey, Tumblr teens. Instead of whining about how school sucks, maybe start to do more things like this.

I’m interested in these endeavors from students who take initiative. I’m tired of posts that are like “my teachers stifle my creativity by failing me for not following rules.” Not gonna take you seriously until you have a *plan* on school reform.

I believe that changes in education can only work if students, teachers, and parents all work together. Let’s stop the outside forces together, instead of thinking of each other as the enemy.

I just did 5.6 miles in an hour.


Send me all the Orphan Black tumblr sites for me to follow.

No seriously you guys don’t understand my obsession for Tatiana Maslany right now.

Send me all the Orphan Black tumblr sites for me to follow.

Camp NaNoWriMo Excerpt: Some mythos-building

From Chapter Twenty-One:

In the days dark and fireless, nothing danced but the sunrays. When the sun moved, the people followed, because people had always been as restless as the migratory birds. And when the people moved, the wind knocked the leaves off the trees and blew them around in a waltz of their own. 

Is it really a “bad romance?”


As I mentioned earlier, I have a lot of feels about dismissal and derisive attitudes directed toward romance as a genre, or any romantic elements present in novels, particularly when those novels are written by women. Malinda Lo gave some important and insightful commentary about it in this post. I have some thoughts I wanted to share, as well.

Before I start, I just want to recognize that asexual and aromantic are legitimate ways for people to define their sexuality or attractions, and this post is not intended to crap on people who identify as such. I do not intend any belittling of those identities here, but if you feel like I’m screwing up in that regard, know that this blog is a safe space for you to call me on it.

So. Romance.

On my long-form blog, I recently posted something about how people are often “embarrassed” that they’ve read certain books, and those “embarrassing” books are far-and-away romances or erotica written by ladies that became bestsellers. If you want to read the whole post, it’s here, but in a nutshell it’s just me saying “why are you embarrassed to read a romance novel, but not embarrassed to read pulp thrillers or crime or whatever?”

Over and over again, I feel like I have this argument with people where I’m saying that there are about a million (probably literally) books written by men that feature romantic entanglements and sex, but very few people ever complain about it. Now, a lot of people will argue with me that it’s because the romance doesn’t “take over” the story, whereas books written by ladies always put the romance first to the detriment of the plot. Or something.

And what’s weird about that is that no one ever makes the connection that… a lot of hetero-romantic subplots in male-centric stories don’t take up much room because the women themselves don’t take up much room in the story. The love interest is there to be a pretty prop before she’s stolen away (or raped/murdered/vanished) to forward the “action” of the story. And if by some chance she actually ends up NOT murdered/vanished, the male MC often doesn’t think of her much unless they’re in a direct romantic/sexual encounter.

When the tables are turned, we have women and girls who actually think about their male love interest when they’re not with him; who consider what he thinks; the context of their relationship; how he makes them feel. We have male characters who are actually present in the story. Because dudes take up space in women’s minds. They are more than props. And it feels like we blame women for that.

The point regarding the lack of stories without romantic elements compared to male-centered stories and how that relates to patriarchy isn’t lost on me. There’s certainly a hesitancy for people to create (or rather, people to publish/buy) female-centered stories with sisters, friends, family, confidants. We’ll watch a “bromance” about 2+ men being friends/brothers, but when it’s women, it becomes too niche (“niche” being half the population). But again, I feel like we blame women for that, rather than a system that pushes the idea that our stories are nothing without male involvement or approval. Who kick such tales into the “chick lit/women’s fiction” section and wrap them in pink lace and illustrated coffee cups.

It’s almost like we feed women a constant narrative of needing a man in their life to feel whole, and then we sneer at them when their stories reflect that. Huh. Sounds kind of familiar.

Now, I’m not arguing that I haven’t read many books where I felt a romantic storyline was poorly handled, or that it felt like someone added in the rest of the plot as an afterthought, or whatever. It happens. But it sure does feel like people are SUPER quick to roll their eyes and cry foul the second a romantic storyline starts to poke its head out of the water. After a while, it starts to feel very much like a kneejerk reaction to girl cooties.

Before people hop on the “SO ANY CRITICISM OF YA/ROMANCE BY LADIES IS AUTOMATIC MISOGYNY AND THEREFORE NOT ALLOWED, IS THAT IT?” bandwagon, the answer is “obviously not.” Women can be and often are complicit in misogyny, rape culture, racism, cissexism, et cetera, ad nauseum, and those elements should abso-fucking-lutely by criticized and explored. I can talk about the misogyny present in the blanket criticism of romance while ALSO agreeing that many romance novels are problematic. Such things are possible!

I am not saying that everybody should like romance novels/plots and that if you don’t, it makes you sexist or a bad feminist or whatever. That’s ridiculous, though it’s a counter-argument I hear so often that it blows my mind. I absolutely agree that there should be more stories about WOMEN DOING THINGS, rather than one woman doing a thing until she meets a guy.

But I do think that many of us have developed an automatic aversion to lady-written romantic anything, and we think of it as stupid or boring or shameful or empty entertainment. I think that we’re too quick to go UGH NO THERE’S A ROMANTIC SUBPLOT, THE STORY IS *RUINED*.

A lot of romance tropes have problems. This is true, and it’s not a secret. We should talk about them. I just think we also need to explore deeper into why we have such visceral reactions to anything with even a whiff of “romance,” and we blame women for its existence/stupidity.

Related: Flick Chicks by Mindy Kaling

The Long and Short of It


In education news, this seems to be the year of the short shorts. All over, girls are rallying against the idea that short shorts should be banned on grounds that they are distracting to the boys in the school. One girl posted a sign that boys should be taught that girls are not sexual objects, that it’s hot outside and girls shouldn’t be shamed for wearing short shorts. 

Amen. Kind of

Boys should be taught that girls are not sexual objects. Girls should not be shamed for their fashion choices. Short shorts don’t equal a lack of self-respect. And yes, it is goddamned hot outside and if most schools are like mine in June, they are saunas of misery, lethargy, and various sweat scents. 

However. There is a dress code in every school that every single student is responsible to follow. Our students are handed this on the first day of school every year and it is read to them. They know it and many of them choose to chance it anyway. If you know the code beforehand and choose to disregard it, I have a difficult time accepting that you’re being shamed for wearing something you were aware wouldn’t go over well, just like I have zero sympathy when kids get their hats taken away or sit in the office until their parent brings normal shoes instead of slippers. It’s the rules. They’re not unfair.

One could argue that the code should be changed, but I don’t agree. A school is a professional institution. We are preparing kids for jobs outside of school where short shorts, pajamas, hats, slippers, flip-flops, and clothing with drug/alcohol references will most likely not be appropriate. None of those things are inherently bad or make the wearer a bad person, but there’s a time and a place for them. I’d love nothing better than to saunter into work with my Targaryen t-shirt, stretchy yoga pants, and fuzzy Christmas socks that I wear all year round, but I like my job and I would like to stay there. Kids should learn this concept as early as possible too.

I also think it’s important to point out that revealing clothes are a distraction. The feminist in me absolutely hates to say this, but short shorts cause chaos. The girls put up a fight when they’re challenged and insist that one girl got away with it so they should too, they’re pulling them down in class because they’re creeping up into parts unknown… and that’s just the girls. The boys are really the least of the problems, crazily enough. We spend most days trying to eliminate distractions and the dress code in is place to help us with that, not to free the boys from temptation or shame girls into wearing pants and sweaters in June.

Personally, we should just stop telling girls that the short shorts ban is because of the boys and start telling them that it’s a matter of having a professional attitude towards their school, just like the other dress code rules I listed above. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be a matter of shame, it should simply be a matter of professionalism. 

I understand both sides of the issue.

Just to add to the mix as well: maybe we should stop allowing stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Hollister, etc. to dictate that girls should wear short shorts? I go in those stores and there are no options for longer shorts at all! I look all right in 3” because I’m short—I have shorter legs. Some of the girls who are taller than me might have a harder time looking for longer shorts.

There are no options in stores and I’d hate for students to have to go to a “lame store” to buy their clothes when all their peers are shopping at the cute stores, especially when the mall is arguably one of the places that kids like to frequent together.

Or maybe I’m just stereotyping what kids do these days. I have no idea. 

In other news, I’m really excited about those silk pants that look super comfortable and flowy even for the summer. Girls are rocking those!

In other other news, there are more jobs out there that are okay with people stepping outside of professional wear. Lots more tech jobs are much more casual. Not to invalidate your argument, but I can see kids saying things like “but my uncle works at Google and he doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie every day.”

Basically argument: give girls more options at their favorite stores, encourage everyone to think of their future, also ban guys from wearing short shorts and tank tops, because that’s unprofessional wear as well.