Hello there, dear Blog. I know it's been a long time since I've spoken to you. I hope you'll forgive me.
On Monday I will take my first class as a physics graduate student at the University of Louisville. In the week I've been here for orientation, I have learned a couple things. First, that physics-y banter is pretty much the same in Kentucky as it is in Michigan. Thank goodness! :) Second, that I'm going to be learning a lot while I'm here. Not all of it will be physics-related.
My name is Jamie. I am a 22-year-old, straight, white, able-bodied, cisgendered woman. I've grown up pretty damn sheltered, and in medium-sized cities and towns. I'm now living in the 16th (I think) largest city in America. It's a totally different experience, in many ways. Most glaring to me are differences in class and racial makeup from the places I've grown up compared to this city. I'm apprehensive, because all my life I've been taught to fear the "underclass." I'm not sure how much of my fears are legitimate, as crime rates are shown to be higher in lower income neighborhoods, and how much of them I should discard as propaganda of the class war I've been witness to for the whole of my existence.
I'm also eager. I know that my time in this city is going to cause me to discover all sorts of things about myself I probably didn't want to know about. I'm going to have to peel off layers of privilege on a fairly regular basis. There will probably be times where I won't enjoy this process very much. But I am eager because I look forward to meeting the me who will come out of that process. I am also eager because in a big city there are more chances (yay statistics) for me to meet people who share my beliefs about forging a better society, and to meet those who might be open to hearing about those beliefs.
I feel awkward writing this post because I was brought up in that mode of thought which we call "colorblind," in the sense that I've been taught not to acknowledge race at all. In my new home, I'll no longer be able to hide behind that conceit. It's kinda scary, but I guess that's how this goes, right? Time to stretch my anti-racism ally and anti-classism wings!
Also physics rocks.
28 minutes ago