Tuesday, September 30, 2008

University of Georgia Institute of Women's Studies

I am a graduate student at the University of Georgia completing an MA in Religion. I am also working on a graduate certificate in Women's Studies.

I went to Converse College for my undergraduate degree. At Converse, I was surrounded by women who truly wanted to learn. These women were articulate and poised, and some of the most intelligent women I have ever known. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a perfect learning environment. Some of the bureaucracy got in the way of the education there (like a series of bronze statues placed around a campus instead of convincing those donors to use that money to renovate the older dormitories). But the learning environment was strong.

The University of Georgia has a unique opportunity to make a statement showing their support of the ever growing Women's Studies department on campus. The building the department is currently in shambles. I am working currently on my second and third WMST courses, neither of which are housed in the Benson Building, the Women's Studies building on South Campus. This building is an embarrassment to the University of Georgia. It's dilapidated and falling apart. The building is full of mold, asbestos, and rats. Its one classroom is set up in an awkward fashion based on its size and does not lend itself to learning. The room for the library is insufficient in size and seats relatively few students. Most of the classes taught under the WMST title are taught outside of the building, and many are taught completely across campus. The building is not easily accessible from any of the major bus routes.

A petition is circulating on the Internet calling on the University to act on this matter. Please take the time to review and sign this petition.

Article from the Red and Black

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Friday, September 05, 2008

"Glitter in the Gutter" - Jesse Malin

So in my last post I discussed Jesse Malin's performance prior to Butch Walker's show at Center Stage in July. I bought Malin's "Glitter in the Gutter" (hereafter called "GITG") probably the day after that post. I am in love with this album (proven easily by the fact that Jesse Malin jumped into the "Top Ten" Artists on my last.fm stats).

Malin's a lot like Butch Walker in that something is definitely lost from his live performance when his music appears on an album. Honestly, I need to buy Malin's "Mercury Retrograde" to see what a live album sounds like. I don't remember him being as nasal live as he seems to be on GITG. As I've been typing this, I downloaded his first album (2003) "The Fine Art of Self-Destruction" on Amazon (sorry Jesse, I know how much you dislike iTunes/Amazon/etc. and what it's done to local mom&pop records stores--I just couldn't wait). Already it doesn't sound nearly as nasal as GITG. But let's not get bogged down on this...

So even with less energy than a live performance, Malin still rocks my socks on GITG. I purchased the Deluxe edition which includes the tracks "Megan Don't Know" and "Gimme a Revolution". Starting out with "Don't Let Them Take You Down (Beautiful Day!)" is perfect for this album, which for me is a non-stop, upbeat musical experience. Not that there isn't anything subdued on the album--"Lucinda" slows down some of the forward movement of the album, and his cover of The Replacements' "Bastards of Young" makes you stop and truly listen. The peak of the album (if albums have a shape like they teach you in English class: exposition, rising action, climax, blah blah blah) for me is "Little Star". I flippin' love this song. I loved it live and I love it on the album. I can't help but dance in my chair every time it comes on. "Prisoners of Paradise", "Tomorrow Tonight", and "In The Modern World" are three other personal favorites.

There isn't one track on this album I purposely skip over because it sucks or doesn't flow with the album. BUY IT. And try to buy it new if you can--Jesse Malin deserves support for putting out such fabulous music. And for being an absolute sweetheart to his fans.

Here are some places you can support Malin:
Official Website

I'll try to post something that doesn't relate to Jesse Malin or Butch Walker soon. I do listen to other music (see the aforementioned last.fm profile). My recently purchased albums have included XTC's "Nonsuch", Sara Bareilles' "Little Voice", and the "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" Soundtrack.

Speaking of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", if you haven't seen it then SHAME ON YOU! :)

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