Livestrong Documentary: Livestrong at School

Well, T-1 day until the documentary filming.  For those of you who don’t know, I was asked to participate in a documentary for the Livestrong Foundation (Lance Armstrong’s foundation for Cancer Research, Support, and Awareness).  Well, I’ve been on and off about participating for a few weeks.  At first, when they said they wanted a “day in the life” of someone with cancer, I thought, “Hell no.”  A part of me still thinks that, tbh, but I’m warming to the idea of helping out.  I can’t really say no, now can I? Not when they’re HERE and will be filming me tomorrow.

I guess I’m supposed to talk about the stigma a college student receives when she has cancer.  Well, in a nutshell, I felt very isolated.  My friends stopped coming by, stopped calling.  Some got angry at me because I wasn’t well enough to go out and have fun with them.  I lost one best friend because he wasn’t willing to understand that I couldn’t go out and see him while he was visiting.  He gave up on me.  So, for me, cancer showed me who my true friends were, and what mortality really feels like.  I wrote letters to my family and closest friends, saying goodbye in case I died.  When I knew I didn’t need those letters anymore, I threw them out and opted to look towards the future.  No, I’m not a driven student – I’m still as lazy as can be when it comes to doing work – but I do know what’s important in life.  My faith is important to me; never have I experienced something so scary, but so beautiful at the same time.  No, cancer isn’t beautiful, but it’s cleansing, like a phoenix being reborn.  You remake your life by keeping the things that mean a lot to you, and purging the activity and friends that you no longer have any need for.

So, my day starts tomorrow at 8 am, when the film crew from Alpheus Media will be coming by to film me driving to OSU, and getting coffee. I’ll be going to classes, and then mass at noon.  They’ll film me talking to Fr. Lucas and Sue, and hanging out with my friends at 5 pm at McMenamins (woo!).  They’ll film Post Fragua, and my talk about the Apostolate.  Then that’s it 🙂  It’s less painful than I thought it would be.

I’ve got to run to class, or I’ll be late. If anyone has any comments about Alpheus Media’s documentaries, please leave some below.  If you get a chance, you should watch a few. Fr. Lucas fell in love with them, and after I watched one, I can see why. Ok! Have a good afternoon. *waves*

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Bored in Geo

Have you eer been bored to tears? It’s not a secret that I’m good at maths, and very, very good at mathematical applications. (duh, I’m a physicist). So, I can easily do rather hard problems in my head. You want me to take the curl of that magnetic field? No problem.

In geology, he introduced vectors to the class. OMFG am I surrounded by retards. Not only did their vectors make no sense, but vector addition is no where near correct. I’m loath to correct the professor. The question was, “In which direction is the Pacific Plate moving, and what kind of fault is the San Andreas?”

I cheated a bit. My parents and I live on TOP of the fault, so of course I know. “Right-lateral strike-slip,” I piped up.
“How do you know that?”
“I live there. Like, right there.”
“Well, how would you determine it without living there?”
“Vector addition and common sense,” I monotoned.

Yeah, that was hard for the rest of the class. The resident brown-noser was wrong every single time. I miss my physics friends – seriously.

Hijab-ing at Uni… for the first time.

So, if you read earlier entries in my blog, you’ll know that I’ve not been muslim long, and I kind of suck at it.  I’ve been hijab-ing with my sister Ashley for a few months, but not super long.  We’d go out for coffee, and I’d toss a headscarf on as I ran out the door.  A few weeks after that, it turned into a long, loose shirt with jeans and a headscarf.  After that, the jeans were replaced with a skirt.  After that… well, after talking to a few dozen people, I knew I wasn’t alone in saying that you just have to set a date and DO it permanently.

I said that the first day of winter quarter was my H-Day (hijab day).  Kind of like V-Day, but without the overt war.  Believe me when I say I fought with myself long and hard to do this.  I had changed departments as well, so no one in this department knew I hadn’t been doing it before now.  I was nervous… beyond nervous.  I cheated at Christmas time and didn’t wear it around my parents or my brother at all.  I still went out with him to the pubs, but I didn’t drink.  They… sort of know.  And what they do know, they’re in complete denial and pretend I’m not muslim, and I’m still a perfectly good little Catholic girl, but that’s not true.

So I wore it.  I bit the bullet, and put on this really nice olive-greenish skirt with some colour top (don’t remember), and hijabed it.  The class just pretended it wasn’t there, and the first person I met, Mike, was really receptive.  I didn’t ask him what he thought, but he and I had a cute little conversation before class.  People sat to the front and back of me, but not next to me.  The girls politely looked away, and the guys pretended I wasn’t there.  Is this how it’ll be the entire quarter?

Next period, I had Womens Studies, and Ashley was (thankfully) in class with me.  She picked me up from the geology department and walked over with me to Kelly (an Engineering building the class was in… I had no idea Kelly HAD classrooms tbh… I just get coffee there and use their free printing).  We’ve been chatting about this moment for weeks.  A white, hijabed Muslim girl in a womens studies class??  A hijabi who believes in equality and is rather liberal?  What?  These exist?  We walked in the classroom, which is brand new: it has white boards all along the walls, with stadium, table seating.  My (gay) friend, Nick, was sitting in the middle of the second row, and saw me as I walked in.  His eyes grew to saucer-size when he saw me in hijab.

“Kristin – look at you.”
“Hi, Nicky!  Happy new year!”
“Well, happy new year to yourself.  You… changed somehow.”
“Yeah, I’m Muslim, and admitting it in public.”
“Well, I’m bhuddist and spent the christmas hols meditating in Japan.”
“So, we’re both different. Awesome.”

And the conversation just flowed.  I stashed my headphones (which I hid under my hijab… it does come in handy when I don’t want to listen to lecture, come to think of it), and had a really good time with him.  He used to be my best friend.  Best best.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  The massive number of feminists stared, but they couldn’t believe they saw a hijabi who smiled a lot and had boisterous conversation with large hand gestures.  (I have an alarmingly bubbly demeanor when I’m uncomfortable. Usually I’m a bit mellow and quiet unless someone gets me all worked up.)

Class was fine – no one said anything.  We read the effing syllabus out loud, since our teacher apparently thinks we’re all mega retards.  Wednesday was a bit better, but they were still surprised to see a white hijabi.  Wednesday in geology… everyone avoided sitting near me, like I smelled.  I don’t quite know what to do.  It’s never bothered me before now.

I’m more self-conscious in hijab than without, I think.  I don’t lack the self-esteem, but now that I’m out of the closet, I lose a lot of interaction with other students.  I can’t go to the pub anymore, despite not drinking when I go.  I get invited to house parties, but I can’t go because guys are there (and alcohol).  People say I’ll be a better student, but I’m not sure about that.

Working out was a whole other matter entirely.   I don’t wear loose clothes when I work out – I find that they chafe and hinder performance (and are frankly dangerous when I fence).  I wore running tights, with running shorts over.  Then I wore an under armour shirt (long sleeved) with an England footy kit over (I have to show my pride), and a lycra hijab.  That’s pretty good for me.  It doesn’t hide my figure, but my skin isn’t showing.  The only thing that shows is my face and hands.  So, thats as good as it flippin gets.  It was uncomfortable, but I was covered, and I made an effort.  To swim in, I have the most brilliant swimsuit ever.  It’s made by Ahiida, an Australian company who makes Muslim swimsuits and sport outfits for hijabis.  I got a burqini swimsuit, which you can see here.  I love it.

All in all, I’ll write more later.  It all just kind of spilled out, didn’t it?  I feel like I’ve cut myself off from my friends, since I have no real muslim friends or support system.  The mosque here is… nice… but very conservative, and that’s not what I want.  I want something that accepts the western world and those who grew up here; this mosque doesn’t do that.

I’ve talked… typed… your ears off.  I’ll write more later when I quite understand everything. Dunno – maybe I’ll ask Ashley in the morning *yawns*.

*sobs*

I feel so stupid writing right now. I’m in tears over not finishing my physics homework. I don’t know how to do it (at all!), and I feel like a moron admitting that. I’m smart – I shouldn’t have to ask for help!! But I do, and it just rips me apart. This, plus my parents being retarded (which I don’t want to talk about), and Matt’s house burning down, and problems with other people (which of whom I don’t even know!!!), I’m going insane. Becca’s moving out on friday, and I should be thrilled (I am, I think). But, then I’ll have me as my own company. That’s rotten luck, isn’t it? And I can’t even keep J happy (even though he has his thesis to thank for that). I got so used to having him around that, now that he’s not, it’s disheartening. I just need a good cry – maybe that’ll clear things up 😛

First Weigh-In & Stress

So, this morning was my first weigh-in. I was excited, actually. I left Jason’s around 8:20 and hitailed it across town so I would make it to class with only being 8 minutes late (I’m always late to Classical Mechanics). So, from 181 last week or so, I’m down to 175.8 lbs (on my digital scale, so you know it’s not lying). Hooray for me!

On an opposite note, I went over my points today. We had a final in thermo, and I studied straight from 10 am until 12:30, then from 2-6:30 (when we stopped and started the test itself). It was a joke. I’m not even going to talk about that trash. But the point is I got nervous and began nibbling again. A handful of trail mix here, a 6″ veggie sub there (but it wasnt that bad), and I did drink a lot of crystal light instead of pop. It could’ve been worse, but I had 1/2 a bag of M&Ms that I split with Colin during the exam, and that’s 3 pts. It was just a few points over, but at least I didn’t go to McDonalds afterwards like I wanted to. I just wanted to bury myself in a Big Mac or a double cheese burger, with huge fries. I didn’t, though. I’m proud of myself. After the M&Ms I felt slightly disgusted with myself, but it’s okay. I’ll just be better tomorrow.

Sleep tight.

Sleep…

I wish I could sleep right now. I had coffee at Dutch Bros. tonight, and I’m still dragging ass. Of course, David and I have been doing our lab for close to three hours by now, and we’re still not done yet. You’d think something as simple as a lab report could be finished in about 90 mins, with little interuption. But, when you combine someone with my attention span along with his inability to write… well, it takes much longer than need be. It doesn’t help that I got about 5 hours of sleep the night before, because I didn’t end up falling asleep until about 3:30, and woke up at about 8 or so. It was so cold last night! Yikes. Ok, back to work. I’d much rather be with Andrew right now too, but he’s busy with his own work. I’ll probably see him on Wednesday after all of his work is turned in 🙂

Attn:

This is a notice for everyone who said they’d meet up with me today, and didn’t:

I don’t have all the time in the world, and if I took time out of my schedule, you could do the same. It’s so irritating when I go and wait for your asses, and you don’t come. So just don’t do it.

Thank you.