My name is Jacqueline - I'm a socially moderate, religiously conservative, and politically liberal girl just loving life right now! I'm a 24 year old Master's of Media Studies student at the University of Texas, but an Oklahoma alumni and die-hard Sooner fan! I'm currently writing my thesis - in a nutshell my research is about girls' online lives, particularly informal learning environments. I'm also an English & Language Arts teacher for a local Home School Co-op. When I'm not researching for my thesis or writing lesson plans - I'm usually watching college football! Oh yea, and I'm training to run a half marathon with Teams in Training this winter, I'm pumped!
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." George Bernard Shaw
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Sunday, September 30, 2007
Coming to an end (or growing up)
After 5+ years of having this blog, I am sad to say that the time has come to end it. As I've entered into the "professional" world of grad school, I realize the importance of being careful about what I write. While I still love to write about my personal life, I feel I can no longer do this on such a public forum. This blog has merged into some hybrid space for both my personal and academic life, and sadly, the two cannot coexist on the same forum any longer.
That being said, I plan on starting a blog for my academic musings - stuff about culture and media etc. I won't be putting the link up here because I don't want the two to be traceable. And, because I am a narcissist who cannot really resist the urge to write about my personal life from time to time, I will (unfortunately and regrettably and with much resistence) probably start using MySpace blogs for that purpose. This ensures that I have control over who is reading my blog (only my friends). I just don't want to risk that a professor or someone stumbles across my blog mixed with personal stories and academic musings - it isn't professional.
So - if you would like to read my blog of academic/media/cultural musings, email me and I'll send you the link. If you are more interested in reading the personal musings, I'll add you as a friend on MySpace. I know I have a lot of frequent readers who comment (or don't), please don't hestitate to email about either the "professional" blog or for my MySpace link. I don't mind if you keep reading either or both - my concern is more geared towards professors, colleagues, etc.
Sadly, the end...
Update Dec. 9 - I've started a new anonymous blog, similar in nature to this one but more candid. I'm keeping my identity hidden, but I don't mind people from the online community making the connection - if you're interested in reading it, please shoot me an email and I'll give you think link...probably.
Posted at 3:39 pm by Jac
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
So there's a short video clip on YouTube about Darfur. Regardless of how you politically align yourself on this issue is a moot point. What absolutely blew me away was the amount of hate-filled, racist, ignorant comments that people left (loosely in regards to the video). Call me completely naive, but the racist and hateful comments I was reading seriously made me feel like I was living in the pre-civil rights era. I know racism exists in this country, but the overt comments of pure hatred towards black people in this country absolutely floored me. As if African-Americans are the same as the people of Darfur, first of all. This video was not about race, and it certainly wasn't about blacks in America - but that's where the conversation went. The comments were bleeding with ignorance and hate that I honestly have not seen displayed in decades - not in this country, not in our media, not in my social circles. They are so awful I don't even want to repost them on here. I've heard some really hateful, ingorant, racist things before - but this exceeded them all. How can someone seriously want all black people to die? That mentality is so beyond my scope of understanding. What also surprised me, although I guess it shouldn't, was how young some of the commenters were. Not that I think racism died out with my generation or anything, but we certainly grew up post-civil rights era.
I gotta say, I do think it is the medium that is facillitating this sort of cowardice response. I don't think most people would say these things to someone in person, or even to a news anchor or to their local newspaper. Of course local media would censor this sort of comment, But still, the conversation became a perpetual cycle of more extreme comments. The more people tried to tell these people off the more fuel they really threw on the fire. I don't know to what extent these racist people really even believed what they were saying, so much as fueling a reaction. Nonetheless, they did not just cross a line, there was no humorous undertone to their remarks - they were hate driven. So sad.
Here's a link to the video and the comments.
Posted at 3:25 pm by Jac
Saturday, September 01, 2007
I ran my first official 4-miler today and I feel great! I didn't have to stop to walk, I maintained my pace and finished 20 seconds under my goal - oh yea! Four down...9.1 to go. Please, please, support me and the cause if you can! No amount is too small (or big!). I am NOT a runner and I am NOT a morning person and I'm waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to go run - but if you think running a marthon is tough - try chemo! I'm loving this - I feel so good about myself afterwards and the Team is a bunch of really awesome people!
Speaking of team - IT'S FOOTBALL TIME IN OKLAHOMA! (amen!)
Boomer freakin' Sooner baby!
But first - I'm headed to the lake with some friends, and then it's football watching all evening/night.
I love my weekends!
Posted at 10:25 am by Jac
You taught me precious secretsI've been thinking about what my mom told me tonight - about she and my dad laying in bed holding each other and crying listening to a beautiful song while my mom was literally battling for her life. Everytime I re-play her comment in my mind (see previous entry) I start to cry. I was in bed just now, and I just started to cry. It's beautiful - the love my parents have for each other absolutely blows me away.
of a truth, witholding nothing
You came out in front
and I was hiding.
In a world in which half of all marriages end in divorce, I'm a part of a growing generation becoming evermore cynical about love. You've got your idealist who believe in fairytale endings or you've got your cynics who question if true love and soulmates really exist anymore. I guess there's really no continum - it has to be one or the other. Either you expect the ideal fantasy and settle for nothing less, or you lower your expectations so that you aren't really that disappointed when things fail. As much as I tend to see myself as a bit cynical towards love, I know it's really just a defense mechanism - it's easier than really analyzing the shortcomings of my limited love life. Deep down I know that fairytale loves exist - I cannot look at my parents and deny it.
This got me thinking that what I really want is a man. I don't think I've ever dated a man before. I'm not implying that I've dated boys or what have you, I don't mean this in a derogatroy way at all. But rather, I tend to date "guys". Guys are more mature and "grown-up" if you will, than boys - but they aren't yet men. And I purposely place the "yet" in there, because I have little doubt that most the "guys" I've dated will eventually become wonderful men. But for now? For now they are still guys.
What is the difference you ask? Well that's a hard question, and clearly one with multiple answers and interpretations. One answer that an ex actually gave me was that a guy isn't a man until he is ready to provide for a family. This doesn't mean that he is actually providing yet, but rather that he is capable of providing. This goes beyond just financial stability, although that certainly has a lot to do with it. A guy still living on mom and dad's paycheck or grossly in debt to the financial aid office probably isn't ready to provide for a wife. But the financial issue is just one of many things that I consider "provider" qualities.
A significant "provider" adopts a differnt mindset. "Guys" very much have a bachelor attitude - they want to have fun, they want to be selfish (not in a negative way, but in a loner sort of way), they want minimum responsibilities, they do not have to think about consequences, they can very much live in the moment. This isn't to say that they don't have responsibilities or that they don't have goals that they are working towards - but rather, they are still able to live in a here-today-come-what-may mindset. "Guys" can go out and party five days a week, spend all their time with their buddies, blow money on booze or drugs, stay up way too late or sleep in way too late, date young pretty girls just looking for fun. They don't have to be that responsible because ultimately nobody is relying on them. Again, I don't mean to paint this as a negative thing - it can be - but it doesn't have to be. This is part of being young and free - it's something everyone (females included) should experience throughout their lives. It's one reason I'm so against people getting married too young - they don't get to experience the freedom and pleasures of youth. You need a time in your life when you can be selfish and do what you want without suffering any real long-term consequences or letting people down. For most people this time is known as college!
Men on the other hand - men have stability. They adopt a mindset of responsibility that exceeds beyond the scope of selfhood but into the realm of provider. Whether they are actually providing for someone or not is a moot point - but rather that they want to provide for someone, that they could provide for someone - emotionally, physically, financially, etc. It's a different level of maturity and responsibility. It's something I've seen in 23 year old guys and it's something I've seen 30 years still lack. There's no age for this, so much as it is a life choice that comes with experiences I suppose.
All this being said - I realize that while I've experienced love, I don't think I've ever experienced the love of a man. I think that the guys who have loved me, loved me to the best of their ability, but their capicity for love was inhibited by their own desires to be young and "free".On the other hand, I think I have also prohibited some guys from actually loving me to the full extent because it was I who did not wholly want their love. Notice there really is no "in-between" stage between girl and woman, however there is an in-between boy and man, the guy - which in part perhaps is because girls mature into women before boys mature into men, they become guys first and choose to stay a guy for as long as they want. And I do think in part it is a choice.
I think often guys imitate what they think love should be. I think pop culture and especially music is so telling of this. So many love songs are about guys struggling to really love a woman - or rather, to show his love for a woman. Songs about how he's messed up, or how he didn't let her know what he felt. Equally, there seem to be so many songs about women frustrated because they don't think their man is being genuine, or they think he is so different with his buddies than with her. There seems to be some sort of duality for men - to love a woman while maintaining their coolness and acceptance among their male friends.
Anyway, when I say that a man is a provider, and that what I want is the love of a man - this really shouldn't be interpretted as some sort of weakness or neediness because it's not. I don't need a provider to be fulfilled. I live a very fulfilled life, I can take care of myself in almost every sense of the word, I'm very happy and loving where I am right now. However, when I think about love and falling in love again, I do want to fall into the submissive role. I want a man who can take care of me, even if I don't need him to, I want to rest assure that he could, if I ever needed him to. I want a man who has matured beyond selfish desires and places me before himself. I want a man who loves me like Christ loves the Church - unselfishly with his whole life. I want a man worth being submissive to - and Christians remember, only wives are called to submit to their husbands, that is, a woman is not called to submit to any other man. I want a man worthy of my submissiveness and my love.
I've never dated a man - I've dated great guys who will make great men....someday. In college I was willing to wait for that someday. But now, now I'm tired of waiting for it. I don't want to date anymore guys, I want to date a man. Men have a fuller capacity for love. I think there is nothing as sweet as the love of a woman. We know how to so dearly love our guys, I think it's beautiful. Not that my capacity for love hasn't changed through the years, it has, but I think women reach this capacity earlier in life than men, as a general rule at least. You can see it in her eyes, the way a woman loves her man. The way she is willing to do anything to make sure he's happy, and the way she's willing to fall into his arms without the slightest hint of anxiety or fear, because she loves him and she entrusts him with her heart and life.
I don't know, this is a lot of rambling on my part. I guess I'm just starting to realize that I've somehow, somewhere along the way moved beyond guys, as great as they are and as much as I have loved a couple of them, I somehow became ready for a man. Not that I'm out seeking one, honestly I don't have time for a relationship, nor am I at a good point in my life to start one, I'm content with being single for now. But...when the time does come for me to start dating again, I want it to be with a man. Or at least that's what I say, perhaps I keep dating guys because I'm scared to date a man - I'm scared of the hurt or committment or seriousness of it all. Or perhaps I like the idea of being in control, or the more mature one, I don't know. I don't know at all...I usually keep myself way too busy to think about such things.
My biggest defense mechanism - busyness! I take on so much all the time that it's rare that I have downtime to really think about things such as this. Tonight was one of those nights. I think about my parents' love and it makes me cry because it's so beautiful. I want that love some day. I want a man to look at me the way my dad looks at my mom, even after 35 years together, I want a man who admires me as much as my dad admires my mom. He admires her for the woman that she is - with all her beauty and humility and grace. She is flawed and he compliments those flaws so well. Someday I want to look at a man the way my mom looks at my dad, but this time that man will look at me the same way back.
I've acted out my love on stageswith ten thousand people watching,but we're alone nowand I'm singing this song for youAnd I know your image of meIs what I hope to be.-Leon Russell
Posted at 1:51 am by Jac
Friday, August 31, 2007
My mom sent me some Leon Russell songs tonight becuase she thought I might like them (which I do!). I was chatting with her on gmail chat about the songs and this is what she said:
Mom: I sent Daddy "This Song's For You." He said if I can put it on his ipod, we would dance to it in our hotel room in Paris while we each listen to our ipods. Cute, or what? You know he doesn't dance, so this is special..I only wish I could get a pic of us dancing together with our ipods on listening to the same song. Talk of romance.
And then later:
Mom: One night when I was going through chemo, you and Jenn were gone. Our stereo wasn't working, so we put her CD in Jenn's stereo and listened to her Sounds of Heaven CD. There is a song, Hallelujahs, that is so poignant. We listended to that song over and over again, lieing in Jenn's bed, holding each other and crying. It will always be one of the most precious moments of my life.
Aren't they cute and awesome? I only hope to have a marriage someday that is as great as my parents' marriage - after 35 years together they are still so in love! I love that I'm at an age that my parents can talk to me about their relationship as adults, rather than just as parents. I value their stories and advice above anyone's, they've obviously done something right!
I spent about 8 hours at the coffee shop today doing research - I feel very productive, but I'm reminded how lonely research can be. Sitting alone, staring at books and a computer screen is very isololating - I love it, but by the end of the day ya just gotta have some human contact! Luckily A had dinner with me before he went out with his buds. I'm spending the evening at home watching bad TV on Noggin, downloading music, and trying to find some blogs for my thesis.
Football season has started and as of 6:00 tomorrow it will officially be Football Time in Oklahoma! I'm giddy excited! Eight months without football is excrutiating! I'm sure it'll be an excellent season, it always is! That's one thing I love about NCAA football - every season is so unpredictable! Always so many upsets and unexpected teams rising to the top.
Posted at 9:36 pm by Jac