Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Major Change - or - How a Pun Can Ruin a Blog Post Title

    Today I walked right up to my Spanish major and was all like, hiiiiYA!  I dropped it like a hot potato in a game of hot potato.  I am now solely an English major with a Spanish minor (more like a Spanish minor x 8).  This semester was set aside to complete the last three required courses in Spanish and my very last English course. 

    Instead, I karate-kicked those Spanish classes right out of my schedule and added in two TESOL classes (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), one focusing on Theory and Practice and the other focusing on Cross-cultural Issues. 

    The third English class I picked up is a course on U.S. Latino Literature and Culture...taught in ENGLISH.  I’m so excited for this class.  Holy crap.  It’s taught by the same woman who heads up the ISU journal that publishes in a number of different languages.  I’m hoping she’ll include some publishing information in this course. 

    And lastly, the cap to my English Studies career, a class called Senior Seminar.  We’re reading a great variety of super interesting-looking books, refining the writing we’ve done throughout our career at ISU, and finishing with a writing portfolio at the end of the semester. 
    I had been dreading this semester, my very last semester at ISU as an undergrad, for a long time now.  Pretty much right after I signed up for the classes I needed and the reality of what my last semester was going to look like sunk in, I started feeling icky.  It took me until last night - LATE last night - to actually admit that I wanted to drop my Spanish major and that it was OK.  I think my worst critic about this decision is going to be myself.  Partly because most people don’t give a damn, and partly because I always worry that I’m making a huge mistake - a mistake that I’ll regret for the rest of my life.  But also, when I think about it, I just don’t want to have to defend my decision to every single person who questions it. 

    “Why didn’t you just finish?  You only had THREE classes left?”

    “What are you going to do with only an English degree?”

    “So all those extra Spanish classes you took were for nothing?”

    And honestly, these are my questions to myself.  I need to be nicer to myself.  I’m kind of like the mean girl and the nerd all wrapped up in one.  Maybe that’s where all my bruises come from - they have fights when I’m not paying attention.

    In spite of my own negativity, looking back on my Spanish career at ISU, I’m impressed by what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished… and all of it in Spanish!  I’ve studied linguistic issues that affect native and second language speakers of Spanish, I’ve read some great works of literature in Spanish, I’ve researched and presented information in front of classes in Spanish, and best of all, I wrote a beautiful 16 page linguistic research paper in Spanish.  Dang, I’m proud of that puppy.  These are great things and I can take all of this with me when I graduate whether or not I have SPANISH written in giant letters on my degree.

    It’s time to cut myself a break, accept this gut decision and soak up everything I can from my hopefully awesome English classes in this last semester of my undergraduate career.  The fact that I’m no longer dreading the next 16 weeks is already a win in the Emily column.

George Bush Doesn't Care About Fat People

    I love WeightWatchers (WW).  I really do.  They’ve helped me approximately 8 separate times when I’ve felt I needed something more than just sheer willpower and personal responsibility to get my act together and lose weight.  Owing someone money every month is the best way to feel guilty about having that thirteenth peanut butter cup.  Chris (the hubs) and I signed up for it about 4 months ago, we both lost weight, then we lost money and had to cancel our memberships.  We’ve been off of the program for a little over a month now and I believe it’s safe to say, especially since it’s right after Christmas and New Year’s and homegirl likes her cookies (I’m homegirl - in case you didn’t catch that), we’ve both put on a bit of weight. 

    I’m currently looking for work.  We thought that with school loans and Chris’s work, we would be fine financially until I graduated and found a real job.  That is not the case.  I was super excited when one day I came across a listing for a part-time front desk position at the local WW.  I thought, No way, this will be perfect!  I’ll probably get WW for free or seriously discounted and I can work towards being healthier while helping other people be a part of WW, too.  Awesome!

    Turns out I’m too fat to work for WW.  I’m serious.  They require their employees to be within 10 pounds of their healthy BMI weight.  I didn’t even know that a company could do that.  You can’t discriminate against gender, race, age, but I’m too fat to answer phones and file for you?  That’s messed up, WW, that’s messed up. 

    What do they think will happen if they have an employee who actually needs their program to lose weight?  Do they think she’ll occasionally gain weight while on the program?  Do they think she’ll feel like quitting every now and then?  Aren’t these things that EVERYONE goes through when trying a new diet (or lifestyle)?  Are they afraid their members will walk in, see a big girl behind the desk ready to help them sign in, and start puking immediately because of the amount of fat?  Maybe that’s it.  Nobody likes cleaning up puke.  I sure don’t and I’m positive, as the newest employee with the least amount of superiority, I would get stuck on vom clean-up duty. 

    Well, I guess this means I’ll keep looking.  Hostess is hiring a part-time retail clerk.  Maybe I’ll be able to eat Little Debbie cakes all day and I can just continually say “Fuck WeightWatchers!” to all my customers.  We can laugh together, have another oatmeal creme pie (shit, those are so good), and hopefully Hostess will put the skinny new girl on puke patrol.