As I look out the window from my computer, all I can hear are plows beeping and shovels scraping pavement. This season’s feeling particularly long and blustery in a way that causes me ask questions like, “What would happen today if didn’t get out of the shower?” or, “If I decided not to leave the house until April, could the cats and I survive on rice and beer alone?” But I turn off the faucet and drag my feet along the cold tile and show up to class.
This semester, I’m taking a class called “Approaches to the History of Women and Gender.” I decided that it would be fantastically awkward to show up to a class like that enormously pregnant, but I came up with the idea too late and didn’t plan accordingly. The chapter called “Reproduction and Refusal,” would have been so much more fun. I did, however, try on some things at Victoria’s Secret yesterday before class and stopped at a restaurant to eat some steak tartar and drink a crisp glass of wine. I’m not sure what the steak has to do with it, but it feels relevant.
I haven’t a clue where my antagonistic relationship to the course and my student-peers comes from. It probably has to do with the weather, but I’m not sure. I don’t disagree with anything we’re learning. It’s great and all. I just feel like throwing elbows.
I know it has less to do with the subject matter and more to do with the fact that I miss the productivity of the kitchen, and the antagonism that pushes everyone forward. In a room full of academics (especially Grad students) circular conversation is a popular theme, where nothing actually happens and nothing is accomplished. I asked why defining “Theory” and debating the categories of history was important. People either smiled amusingly, or wrinkled their faces up like poorly made pate-a-choux.
At culinary school they called the pastry students “Sugar Bitches,” and “Dough Hoes.” I didn’t think about it then, as we almost embraced and adopted the nicknames. After school, I know I was called worse in Spanish. Maybe my antagonism is misdirected at my fellow students, and maybe I underestimate their encounters with real-life situations involving aggressive gender dichotomies. And maybe for the first time, I’m being a Sugar Bitch.