Premature Ejection Syndrome

Whatever the Haitians did in 1804, it sure has conservatives pissed. Today’s entrant in the pro-slavery derby is Mark Krikorian, director of something called the “Center for Immigration Studies,” which appears to study ways to stop immigration:

My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough… But, unlike Jamaicans and Bajans and Guadeloupeans, et al., after experiencing the worst of tropical colonial slavery, the Haitians didn’t stick around long enough to benefit from it… And by benefit I mean develop a local culture significantly shaped by the more-advanced civilization of the colonizers.

Hmmm. Let’s check the Library of Congress on that:

Haiti, the first black republic in modern times, sprang directly to self-governance from French colonialism, a system that had a profound impact on the nation. Haiti’s colonial origins had demonstrated that an illiterate and impoverished majority could be ruled by a repressive elite. The slaveholding system had established the efficacy of violence and coercion in controlling others, and the racial prejudice inherent in the colonial system survived under the black republic. A lightskinned elite assumed a disproportionate share of political and economic power.

So, if only the Haitians had put up with a few more generations of that enlightened French rule, things would have turned out a lot better. Got it.

Mark Krikorian: ‘Haiti’s So Screwed Up Because It Wasn’t Colonized Long Enough’ [ThinkProgress]

“Light, Bright and Damned Near White”

Brown Paper Bag Test

Good and Bad Hair


Skin bleaching on the rise

Yup. We don’t have lasting issues.

Yep. Those are some of the lessons we picked up from slavery. Thanks!

@JNOV: The sad truth about neocons isn’t simply that they are stupid, but that they have a moral-poverty culture.

from E.J. Dionne:

So here’s an idea, I have been told reliably, that leaders of both Houses are considering: The House would pass a version of the reconciliation bill containing the various amendments and send it to the Senate. The Senate would change it slightly (in ways that the House agreed to), which would require the House to vote on it again. Only after it got the revised reconciliation bill would the House take up the Senate bill. The House could then pass both bills and send both to the president. Problem solved, health-care passes, and we move on.

Not all the difficulties with this scenario have been worked through, and it is not a slam dunk. For one thing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a revolt on her left against passing the Senate bill without changes. Some may still have to be persuaded to make sure it gets the votes it needs. There are also some House Democrats from moderate-to-conservative districts who are wary, after Massachusetts, of voting for a health-care bill, period. And there are a lot of procedural issues that need to be ironed out.

Nonetheless, for those (and I’m one of them) who believe in health-care reform — and who think the Democrats would be committing suicide if they gave up on health care now — it’s heartening to hear that serious people are making serious efforts to get a health bill through.

Haiti’s colonial origins had demonstrated that an illiterate and impoverished majority could be ruled by a repressive elite.
What a coincidence. US America continues to demonstrate that every day.

@nojo: We live in such a strange world. Or maybe we don’t live in the same world at all. I’m at a loss. I can’t make sense of it. I mean, when I was young, I had black kids ask me, “Why do you say you’re black when you don’t have to? Painful. And I don’t know if you guys remember when I was bellyaching about going to a funeral of a not-so-beloved relative a few months ago. When I was there, my cousins were stroking and touching my hair. We’re in our FORTIES for God’s sake, and they’re still touching my hair.

THEN, my mother didn’t allow me to cut my hair until I was nine. It was down past my butt. Dumb move, because I went to a predominantly black grade school, and people would say, “You think you’re better than me because you have that hair.” I never thought anything of the sort. Shit. I used to cry because I couldn’t get my hair straightened like my cousins (with a hot comb on the stove). Meanwhile they were crying when their scalps, ears and necks were unintentionally burned.

As an adult, my racial self-identification has matured and evolved; I consider myself tri-racial. But as a child, I was told I was black, and that’s how I identified, even though I knew I didn’t really know what it’s like to be black. I’m ambiguously brown, and people tend to assume I’m whatever exotic fantasy they have about brown women.

When I was in the Navy, I was stationed at Camp Pendleton which is a stone’s throw from Fallbrook where Tom Metzger lived at the time. Patients would say, “You have a lovely complexion.” I’d thank them. It wasn’t until years later that I realized they were trying to subtly ask me about my ethnic make up. I just thought they were talking about zits.

I’ve been called a light bright, a high-yellow heifer, a redbone, all kinds of fucked up shit. And when my parents sent me to a Black Nationalist summer camp when I was 13, um, I didn’t go over too well there either.

When someone starts a conversation with, “May I ask you a personal question?” I know what’s coming next. And sometimes they just come out and say, “What nationality are you?” To which I respond, “I’m a US citizen.”

Them: No, I mean, what nationality are you?

Me: I’m a US citizen; I was born in Pittsburgh.

Them: You know what I’m asking you.

Me: No, I don’t know what you’re asking me. What are you asking me?

Them: …

Then, there’s JNOVJr’s dad. He’s dark skinned, AKA “Urple” or “Blue Black.” My parents weren’t too thrilled with me picking a darker dude, because they’re both light brights. Gar!

maybe its the industry I work in but it would never occur to me to ask that kind of question. I work with people from India wh0 are jewish who are darker than most african americans, people from africa who are white protestants and people who are born and bred in the us who are every hue.
its just the way it is.


It always interests me that “African-American” tends to be the signifier of race in a mixed-race individual. I have a friend that is African-Japanese-American in equal measure, and even though her family is much more culturally Asian than African-American (whatever that means, me being no expert on African- American culture and all), she still identifies as African-American and only brings up her Asian background if someone questions her about it (usually making reference to her eyes).

I always found Fillipino race signifiers interesting too…I remember dating men who, for example, refused to speak Tagalog with other Filipinos of darker complexion or more Pinoy features. I even dated a wealthy Filipino expat who, while he never refused to speak Tagalog, used to refer to himself as “mixed Chinese and Spanish”- a sidelong way of saying that he had no native island blood due to his caste (and most likely untrue, I might add).

I myself am the very picture of Caucasian America (as those of you who have met me can attest to), and as such have no “race” signifier to speak of. I had a Native-American grandmother, though, and you’d be shocked to see my father, as he looks like a short, brown version of me. And yet, I’ve never really identified as anything but “gay”. Well, that and “top”.

Strange how powerful a little melanin can be.

Oh, and Matt Taibbi is kinda hot. Wish he’d just go ahead and shave his head, though.

@Capt Howdy: I get it from people of every social strata and industry — even at Fancy Pants Law School and BigLaw Firm. I’m used to it. I don’t like it, I mean, I understand the curiosity, because I think on some base level we’re used to categorizing things and people. Big/small. Tall/short. Fat/thin. Black/white. Square/round. Male/female. I think I have something in common with some transgender folks. I think that when people can’t look at you and place you in some pre-existing mental category, they’re at a loss. So, I get it.

What hurts is when I tell people I’m black (or now, that I’m tri-racial), and their jaws drop. Like they can’t believe I’m black (or part black — depends on whether you follow the one-drop rule), or they can’t believe I’d fess up to it. It’s like I don’t fit their conception of who a black woman is. I could say I’m anything other than black, and folks wouldn’t bat an eye. I’ve been mistaken for (East) Indian, Inuit, Filipina, I even had one boyfriend who wanted me to tell his friends I was Brazilian, which I guess would be closer to the truth, but c’mon. Really?

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Well, within the Filipino community, there’s a disdain for Filipinos who are of Chinese descent; that disdain cuts both ways. **Sweeping generalization alert** The Chinese Filipinos tend to be lighter, a little taller, maybe, and yeah, there’s still some resentment there.

I can relate. I dont “look” or “act” gay. people sometimes have the same reaction when I say I am. like, why would you admit it when you dont have to.
answer, to see the expression on your stupid face.

plus I have always thought it was sort of my “job”. you know, from those to whom much is given much is expected? I sort of always thought it was my responsibility to explode their pitiful misconceptions.

@Capt Howdy: I hear you. I guess it all depends on whether I feel like fighting the good fight at the time. It takes a lot of mental energy and emotional fortitude to deal with people’s sometimes not-so-kind reactions. It’s like, “Here we go again.” Oh, and one of my favorites is that I “don’t sound black on the phone.”

@JNOV: I wasn’t even aware of all that until Spike Lee made a movie out of it — and took a lot of shit for snitching, as I recall.

And then there’s the evolution of “race” as a word — only a century ago it was commonly used to designate what we would now call “ethnicity”.

Me, I’m as Swedo-Anglo-Italian as they come, what few you can find. Me and NojoBro happily escaped the family Ginger Curse, however.

I am probably older than you. over the years I have learned to thrive on hostility.
it energizes me.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax:
I have considerable native american blood. its on both sides of my family.
but it only ever showed up in my hair

*disclaimer: pic from 1971

@nojo: Haha! I was a Ginger when I was a child. Yeah, race was first introduced by the English when talking about the Irish. Bizarre.

@Capt Howdy: Heh. Yeah, I’ve got some anger-management issues, and I don’t want to go all Angela Davis on them. Then I’d have to go underground. And I’m not for buying guns for my buddies who feel like shooting up courtrooms and such. Not cool, Angela. Not cool.

@Capt Howdy:

I rarely bring that part of my heritage up, mostly because it makes me feel like a poser, even though it is demonstrably true.

Mickey Gilley is actually a distant relative of mine, incidentally.

ah youth
why is it wasted on the young.

home now having a bloody mary made with spicy V8.
vodka and vegetables in one tasty package.

@JNOV: You have Hugenot and Jewish? So do I! I thought I was the only Jewish Viking around.

@Capt Howdy: Heh. Have you tried making them with Clamato? And get those olives stuffed with crumble blue cheese. It’s a MEAL, I tell ya!

@Dodgerblue: You’re probably my cuz, cuz.

@JNOV: Possible, altho my Jewish genes are from Russia, not Germany. Those German Jews thought they were so high and mighty compared to the raggedy-ass Yids from the russian shtetls.

TJ/ Here’s my rundown of the last three years. I wish Cynics’ Party hadn’t eaten the comments; I’ve been asked to explain why I fight the DJ, and I don’t think I can recreate it.


@Dodgerblue: Yeah. My GGrandmother’s name was Evelyn (some say Esther) Lieberman, and some fuckwads in my family are like, “She was German not Jewish. Ugh. I’m like, “Fucking read The Color of Water, you anti-Semitic dumbasses!” (Aside: My dad went to Lincoln with the author’s brother.)

BTW, if I’m related to Joe, I’m going to kill myself. Let’s pretend I’m related to you, mmkay?

@JNOV: Hmmm…

Long ago, we learned that WordPress Gods (me, anyone else with godlike privileges) can embed comment photos while you mortals can’t. I’d have to sign in with a civvie account, but maybe WP is stripping out your target code.

(Don’t mind me – just playing with HTML.)


@nojo: It worked yesterday, and I was all stoked. Now it’s giving me the finger. WP really doesn’t like me much. Also, I log onto another WP blog (sorry, I spread my love around), and my user name is hyperlinked. Do we have that option here?

ADD: Never mind. Sorry — figured it out.

ADDD: Hmmm…name not hyperlinked. Boo! (I’m done bitching about the site for the day.)

@nojo: Oh, and I’m still salty about the not being able to embed picture thing (embedding video is just a wet dream), but I’ll get over it eventually.

@JNOV: I still occasionally get the ‘What are you?’ question, though it’s almost ended since I moved to the Bay Area. I never understood why I got it so much – much more as a younger adult and kid when I spent way more time outside and was always dark (if I spend more than a day or two tanning at the beach I get a lovely nutbrown color). But I think there are so many interesting combinations out here that if you don’t look vaguely “ethnic” then you stick out. Mr. SFL’s dad is a native of Southeast Asia, his mom is a white lady from the Midwest, and EVERYONE always thinks he’s Native American because he has an olive complexion, almond eyes, and a big ponytail. (I guess is it the ponytail?) He thinks it’s hilarious and when asked “What tribe are you from?” he always says “Deadhead” in response. Yeah. Could you imagine a Deadhead casino? Talk about a circle of hell. Slot machines and 45 minute versions of Friend of the Devil.

@Dodgerblue and JNOV: Plurality of Black Irish blood, followed by indentured servant Scots, and then German and Polack Jew here. So if the Polacks are below the Russians, I guess averaging the high-faluting Germans in there makes me an honorary Russian Jew. It was only two years ago that my father (and the rest of us) learned that our last name is not what it currently is, but rather my dad’s paternal grandfather changed his last name (and thus ours) during WWI during anti-German frenzy from a very ethnically Jewish/German one to something that sounds much more British. He was living in Utah at the time and while he didn’t convert to Mormonism, he converted from Judaism to Methodist. It blew my dad away to learn this, I of course thought it was cool.

@JNOV: I’m not thoroughly familiar with everything WP does under the hood, but I think comments are somewhat “locked in” after posting.

Names should be automatically linked if your profile has a web address. If you just updated your web address, then it should apply to all following comments.

Or, y’know, WP hates you. When it’s not hating Benedick.

Or, y’know, WP hates you. When it’s not hating Benedick.

That’s what I’m screaming.

ADD: Oooooo. Hyperlinked name!

@SanFranLefty: Speaking of Mormons, (bet you’re sorry you mentioned them), someone from YBU? is lurking me now, but it could just be a student, so I’m going to leave them be for now.

hi kids…checking in to say hi and escape my company for 10 minutes…

i’ve had the nationality question asked of me several times in my life. in all cases i knew the answer would not be received well, that my forbears are german and russian jews. so i would dance around the answer while the bile in my stomach woke up.
i’m an american.
yes, but what is your nationality.
i told you, usamerican citizen, such as.
your name…what kind of name is that?
it’s a german name.
and so it goes.

i have 5 minutes to roll and smoke a joint so i can tolerate my guests.

@SanFranLefty, JNOV, et al: 100 percent Native American, but mom was from a different tribe so young RML got cheap shit on a regular basis from homogenetic population of ancestral home Pueblo. Now those same cats call me Mr. RML not only when I’m there as tribal attorney, but even when we’re in the fucking mountains doing groovy Indian stuff.

I was up there w/Son of RML one day when we saw a tribal official coming our way. I told him, “watch this” and dude comes up and says “Mr. RML. How are you?” So fucking weird.

I’ve only gotten the “what are you” question once since I moved to Arizona and then it was from a fellow ex-Tx. I also haven’t had any Hispanics trying to speak to me in Spanish either.

@redmanlaw: The only community that ever accepted me as me were the NAs at Fancy Pants School. I was like, “Um…culturally, I know nothing, I’m not enrolled, I have no blood quantum to speak of, I don’t wanna be a poser,” and they were like, “Fuck blood quantum. That’s not our thing. You’re with us now.” And so I was.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

LOL. Mr. ‘Catt gets that all the time. He once got an offer of day labor outside the Hollywood Home Depot as well.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I got the Spanish thing in SoCal all the time. I’d walk into a store, and I’d be greeted in Spanish. People on the street asked me questions in Spanish. I didn’t mind one bit, but it was frustrating that I’d had Franch pummeled into my brain for eight years, and I never used it. Well, except in Haiti, but their English was much, much better than my Franch.

This dude has his head way up his ass. There is no issue of colonialism whatsoever here. Colonialism was a complete “success” in Haiti, they killed and/or caused the deaths of each and every native of Haiti, back in de colonial times, then they imported african slaves because the natives did not make good slaves, what with the being dead and all.

So, to truly understand how heinous this walking bag of shit’s analysis is, its necessary to understand that what he is really saying is not that they needed to be “colonized” by the superior europeans, for their own good, what he is saying is that they needed to be slaves longer, in order to become civilized.

Fuck, the only thing that “colonialism” did for the people now living in the caribean, who are not the natives, but rather the ex-slaves imported from Africa, was to instill in them a taste for salt cod from New England and Nova Scotia, because thats the way the trade went, the ships went to Africa, got slaves to replace the ones that died, went to the caribean, where the slaves were used to grow sugar, loaded up with sugar, and took it to New England and Nova Scotia, where they made the sugar into rum, and then shipped salt cod back to the Caribean, to feed the slaves, which is why salt cod is still a basic foodstuff for the islanders, who live in a paradise of fresh fish, which is fucked up, too.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I don’t know if that’s a reflection of me or Tejas or SoCal/NorCal, but I’m shocked when I’m NOT greeted in Spanish at the Target, Taco Cabana, or Home Depot. I bonded with the Safeway vegetable section dude from Michoacan the other day when I was looking for dried chiles so I could make my awesome chili and we discovered together that the Gay Safeway in the Castro no longer carries dried peppers. We bitched together, which I enjoyed. Use it or lose it, when it comes to my Spanish skills.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Back off, bitch. You can find some fotos of him in my profile on El Libro de Faces, but he refuses to join b/c he wants to stay off the grid.

@baked: Hang in there, darling. Don’t strangle Daddy, Step-mom, or RB. Think soothing ganja thoughts. How are your kittehs?

Tax Adviser TJ: all charitable donations to Haiti will be deductible on your 2009 federal income taxes. Calculate your taxes now, and adjust.

Oh, I have never had anything to cry about, being a white male in america, but I have never been accepted anywhere either. I don’t fit with real intellectuals, you all, because in the end, I am still what I am, working class boy, uncultured, maybe a little smart, but given to un-PC opinions and a rude manner of expressing them. My credentials, land-grant school and law school, which is really just a high-falutin’ trade school, make me lacking as an “intellectual.” But at the same time, I am totally unacceptable to the blue collar people I grew up with, being a faggot intellectual.

And then there is my personality, when I was 17, my father said to me one night, “you will never have any friends, because you are a fucking asshole,” and it seems to be true.

I am too cynical and intelligent to believe in, or get any satisfaction from, my supposed career, too proud to say fuck it and be poor, too inept to make it in the food world that I love, too old, too crippled, to hope to find anything new. Too damaged now to change.

I just want to sail off alone on my boat, away from all the fucking expectations of me that are killing me as I always, always, for 30 years now, have failed to live up to.

When I was young, I was always comforted by the idea of just going insane, going away to the fool farm and gibbering happily. But now, its not even an option, because the insane nowadays are left to die in the streets, or put in jail. So I don’t even have that comfort, as a last resort.

@Promnight: Oh nonsense, Prom, you’re my friend at least. And you fit in here, with the rest of us freaks.

So there.

ADD: and nothing kills a new dream like the corpse of an old one. You just need to bury that corpse and move on. You’ll be too old when they’re dusting the urn.

@Capt Howdy:

Soooo, the Real Capt Howdy is revealed at last. Well, well, aren’t you the least bit curious whether some of us may be mentally stroking those long, luxurious locks? Rowwrr.


You’ve always got a cabin reserved here on the goodship Stinque.

@Promnight: I grew up a rich white girl, so no pity for me either. You fit in fine with us freaks, as Tommy points out. How’s the back today?

@Capt Howdy: In teh south they drink a drink of half beer, half tomato juice, I don’t think they call it a bloody mary, but whew, what a concoction. Funny thing is, its good. I’d rather just make a strong vodka bloody mary, with celery salt, fresh ground pepper, horseradish, tabasco.

Howdy, maybe you would appreciate my bloody mary martini. Have you ever made fresh salsa, you know how when you dice up a bunch of nice fresh tomatoes, there is this clear, maybe slightly pink, tomatoe essence that seeps out of the tomatoes? Its a precious wonderful liquid. I will dice a bunch of fresh tomatoes and put them in a colander just to let this beautiful clear tomato essence seep out. Then I will take some fresh, ultra-hot chili peppers, those bird-eyes, the chinese little red ones, I prefer those to the mexican chilis, and slice them, and muddle them, in the tomato essence, along with some cilantro, and garlic, and maybe some lemongrass, muddle it, and then strain it again. Its still a clear liquid, with tomato, hot pepper, garlic, cilantro, and lemongrass flavor infused in it.

I then use it to make a vodka martini, with about 2/3s vodka, one third this elxir, shaked with crushed ice, and strained into a martini glass, with a toothpick, spearing a little chili pepper and a grape tomato, for garnish.

I think I am going to go make one.

@Mistress Cynica: I have several times alienated and angered some here, often enough that I feel tentative all the time, ever since. I ran off one person, who announced he could not abide my presence. I felt like shit, I liked him.

My back hurts worse than ever, the neurosurgeon sent me to pain management doc, won’t see him till who knows when. Despairing. Family has troubles now, son, wife, mom, complicated, troubled kid, whacky octogenarian, executive wife travelling constantly, me hobbled and grumpy, lately, all shit. I apparently let everyone down, all the time, and every bad thing is all my fault.


Get off the pity train, make yourself one of those fabulous sounding martinis (I’m salivating, BTW), tell Mrs. Prom and Prom Jr. how much you love them and how cool they are, do JNOV’s suggested back exercises, and send off a donation to Doctors Without Borders or Partners in Health for their work in Haiti. All those things will make you feel better. And make you realize there are bigger things in the world than us.


The Den Mother

@Promnight: Our model: beat colonial power in war, live happily ever after.

@Promnight: Yeah, but you my boy. Plymouth martini?

@JNOV: As you are with us now.

@Tommmcatt Say Relax: Mrs RML wants you guys to visit sometime. Opera, loafing, Ten Thousand Waves . Home Depot is five minutes away.

@Original Andrew: Mais non. J’ai [old hag]. Je sais que tu es tres gentil, et je t’aime.

Thus ends my pitiful recollection of Franch.

@redmanlaw: XOXOXO Mitakuya Oyasin.

@All: Jr is now beginning the SAT. Please send thoughts of not skipping bubbles on the scantron his way, as that is what did him in on one section last time.

@nojo: Yes, that was a major no-no on Lee’s part, airing our dirty laundry like that. I saw “School Daze” with JNOVJr’s dad, and I left feeling very, very uncomfortable. It was true, though. When I was at PA’s too-friggin’-huge state school, people would snarkily tell me to join the AKA sorority, because they had a history of using the brown paper bag test to determine who could pledge. That’s changed now, but I was like, “Why would I want to join a sorority, and if I did join one, why would a join one with a racist past?” (Yes, I do believe minorities can be racist — just cuz people have been shitty to you based on race doesn’t allow you to be shitty to them based on race. All that “Oppressed people can’t be classified as racist cuz they lack power” is bullshit, IMHO.)

@Original Andrew:
you would need a time machine Im afraid.

@SanFranLefty: Wise words, oh Den Mother! What would we do without you?

Okay, 18 minutes to go before I pick up Jr., and I am in full freakout mode. Please, FSM, oh please let him have not dozed off on this test like he did last time. Please. Ramen.

@Capt Howdy:
that sort of sounded bald. which I am not. I have a pretty full head. its just very very short.
I found that later in life longer hair didnt really work for me because everyone thought it was a wig. seriously. I cant tell you how many time I have had people ask to pull it to believe me.
I actually have very healthy thich shiny hair. that tends to look like dynel.

@Dodgerblue: He actually completed the section he fell asleep on last time! Hoofuckingray! The last time (the first time) he took it, his highest score was in the written section. He scored 50 pts lower on the math section, and then he totally bombed the verbal section — there was an almost 250 pt gap between the written section and the verbal, so we knew something was up. He’s not feeling so confident about the math section, although he scored well the first time, so it’s not an issue because the school is going to take his highest scores from each section. So, now we wait two weeks and see how he did. He’s feeling pretty good, and I’m feeling really relieved.

@JNOV: Yay for JNOV Jr.!

I never took the SAT because all the schools I applied to only required the ACT. I took it twice, and gave up on any more retakes when my second go-around was a point lower than the first time. I do like that they break out your score by section though, so schools can comp you on basic credits based on your abilities in different subject areas. My overall score was nothing too impressive, but that’s mostly because my dismal Math score dragged down a decent showing in English and Reading. But the scores in those sections allowed me to get credits for several 101-level courses, which was nice because my high school wasn’t yet offering AP classes at the time.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: @flippin eck:

Jr and I thank you, and he’s looking kind of shy and embarrassed.

@JNOV: I took it so long ago, we used clay tablets.

@Dodgerblue: +1

ADD: Jr. says, “Mmph” + headshake. Heh.

@JNOV: Hurrah Jr.! How could he have fallen asleep before? I just remember major adrenaline and freakout mode when I took the SAT. Couldn’t imagine falling asleep.

Now it’s time for the application essays. I’m good at helping people on application essays so if we wants an editor or tips tell him to send me his drafts.

@JNOV: @SanFranLefty: Oh hey, since we’re giving advice…

As a volunteer interviewer for my alma mater (who just returned from a bad interview), let me say that he needs to be sure to be prepared for the interview. Know why you want to go to that school specifically. (“It’s a prestigious school” is the wrong motherfucking answer.) Be able to demonstrate some knowledge about the school, showing that you’ve researched it already. (Back in my day we didn’t have the Series of Tubes!) Be able to explain why this school is a good fit for you and what you can contribute to the campus community. Show passion for your subject(s) of interest. If indicating a particular racial or ethnic identity, you better damn well have some tangible connection to it because you never know who your interviewer might be and what they know. And whatever you do, for the love of Jeebus, don’t ask the interviewer how far the campus is from the beach.

Now get off my lawn.

I have little memory of the SAT, but the hometown state university wasn’t much of a stretch at the time.

For grad school, however, I got very drunk, stayed up until four in the morning, and aced the GRE a few hours later. I had already gamed it out the week before, and just needed to be very relaxed.

@nojo: Very similar to my sucessful LSAT study process.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Agree totally with this: “Be able to explain why this school is a good fit for you and what you can contribute to the campus community.” Went through this with my kids not too long ago. Schools have lots of qualified applicants, so they want to know what you’re bringing to the party that’s better than the next guy.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: : As far as I know, he won’t be dealing with any interviews just yet. He’s hoping to start off at a small state school (my alma mater), and then maybe transfer, maybe not. It depends on how he’s feeling a year or two in.

@SanFranLefty: Haha! My question exactly. Most likely he was caught up in a daydream. We went through a couple of years when he was in high school where he would just not go to school. Period. Would not go no matter what I said or did, yet he managed to teach himself chemistry and aced his English final. Weird. Weird. His teachers said he was an enigma. That description didn’t help me much.

So, when it came time for him to take the SAT in HS, he couldn’t care less. I paid for a prep course he attended maybe four times. Ugh. I think he was just so apathetic and angsty that the fact he even showed up for the SAT was amazing.

Was it “Six Feet Under” where Claire (?) filled out her scantron sheet to look like a skull and cross bones on the PSAT? That’s my boy! So, yeah. Unlike me where I knew I had to get the hell outta Dodge and the SAT was my ticket, Jr.’s been quite content to hang out in Dodge. He’s grown and matured quite a bit, so maybe he won’t party like a lunatic when he gets to school. Uh. Yeah.

So the plan is small undergrad, state school, get the feet wet and possibly transfer to Ivy. It’s grad school where he truly goes for the gusto, but he knows he has to kick ass at tiny state school if he wants to go fancy pants for the remainder of undergrad or grad school. Right now I just want him to be happy and to learn in a nurturing and supportive environment, and he’ll get that at Stockton. They did me right.

@Mistress Cynica: I am going to have this comment etched in granite for my desk. Superb.

@JNOV: “Skull on a test sheet” came from Bevis and Butt-head.

@redmanlaw: Ah. I think HBO snagged it, then, cuz I’m damn sure Claire did the same thing. Love Claire.

I guess Jr is really ready to get the hell out of Dodge — he started his application. I’m like, “Dude. Relax. Do it tomorrow.” Crazy. So now he’s doing the dishes. There is a changeling in my house, the good kind. Who stole my kid?

@JNOV: I would think the best way to feel about the SAT is relaxed, and from what you are saying, Jr. was relaxed. Test fear, freezing up, I think is the only thing that can prevent you from just doing what you are capable of doing. Your description of his feelings about it, these are good news.

A dude actually, seriously, offered me $300 to take the SAT for him, when I was in HS. Identity verification was lax in them days, I know a few kids who had others take the test for them, this memory just came back to me. I didn’t do it, by the way, I was like, “what, are you serious?”

@JNOV: Let him channel the energy and send his essays to Tia SFL and Tia Jamie and Tio Dodger for honest feedback.

@Promnight & DodgerBlue: The only time I took the GRE and the first time I took the LSAT, I was so f-ing hung over for the former and stoned for the latter that I think that’s why I did well. Like Prommie said you have to be relaxed. I was chuckling at the analogies and those fucking logic grids you do on the LSAT (not like you ever see them in law school), and two days later I left the US and moved to Europe for nine months. I came from a family that barely did higher education and so they didn’t understand this grad and law school shit – I was on a pay phone in Vienna doing my monthly phone call to my mom (oh the early ’90s, so quaint!) and she told me what my scores were. And I thought, “Shit, how am I going to get a grad school to send me an application over here” since it was pre-Tubez.

The second time I took the LSAT, it was three days after I signed up for it. I was pissed off by a cow of a coworker who kept telling me I couldn’t really be a lobbyist if I hadn’t gone to law school. She went to a shit school in middle America that I won’t name other than to say it’s Tier-4. That fucking Twat Bitch pissed me off so much one Wednesday, I paid the late fee, took the LSAT three days later and then applied to six of the top 10 law schools. One of my coworkers who hated her more than I did (and applied to law school the next year with rec letters from me) took special joy in telling her which law schools SFL got in to.

I know, it’s totally shallow and petty. But it felt good. Especially when I got to tell her which law schools I turned down.

@SanFranLefty: Will do! He scooped the litter boxes and went to bed. O_o Wow. And even though I’m pretty conflicted about this, I think he’s going to end up in law school.

@SanFranLefty: For the SAT, I was totally hung over, why the hell do they hold it on a Saturday, for christs sake? But to tell the truth, the reason I was relaxed was, I had no idea of its significance, none. I had not practiced, not thought about it, till someone told me I had to take it to get into college.

I went out the Friday night before, a Friday night of my senior year of high school, I was 18, legal age at the time, I was pounding beers til 1AM. I only did better than every single one of the 700 people in senior class.

My prep for the first time I took the bar exam consisted of drankin some beer, taking the course, watching machine gun movies and dating an arty girl. The second time I did it, the then-future Mrs RML put me on a grid in which study time was proportional to subjects on the test, had me working out and kept me focused for a month. She was my date for my swearing in and we were married a year later.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment