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the excuse to avoid showering

The whole ASB group at the BART station. We missed our on a Muni busApril is officially known as the Month of Insanity. I am cowering underneath a lingering midterm, several large final projects and research papers, the AIDS Summit, class registration, and extra tour guiding shifts. Oh, and I have a mysterious disease that has transformed my tonsils into patchy moons. I delivered myself to the on-campus health center for labwork at 8am on Monday morning to find out if I’ve got strep, mono, or tonsillitis, but all results were negative, which equals drink lots of Emergen-C dude, you’ve got a virus.

packaging food at Project Open Handhelping move stuff for AIDS Housing AllianceMaddie helping move a broken vacuum cleaner for AIDS Housing AllianceStacks of wooden frames in a basementa sample Crack Pack, like the ones we assembled for SF AIDS FoundationSpring break was cool, but not exactly a mindless hiatus like I probably needed. I was in San Francisco with eight other LC students on the Alternative Spring Break HIV/AIDS Volunteering trip. Our group spent a portion of every day working with one or two HIV/AIDS-related organizations in San Francisco. Some of the organizations sat us down and told us about what they do and why; others put us to work. I especially liked working with Project Open Hand, where we stocked their on-site grocery center. I started off in the cooler, stacking broccoli! With Project Inform, I got to call health clinics in Georgia and offer each clinic information and resources pertaining to the National HIV Treatments Hotline. With Visual Aid, we descended into the bowels of a gutted SF house to sort and count nearly one thousand rough wooden frames. For our work with AIDS Housing Alliance (or “a-ha!” as it is colloquially known), we helped staff members load and unload a U-Haul with office furniture and knickknacks – they were moving office buildings. At SF AIDS Foundation, we assembled three giant plastic tubs full of “crack packs,” which are Ziploc baggies full of items that can reduce the spread of HIV amongst people who smoke crack. The crack packs are distributed at needle exchange sites, and are part of a “risk reduction” model of aid.

me in the CastroAllison and me trying to work a tire swing at Buena Vista parkWhen we weren’t schlepping boxes or dialing long-distance or sticking things in bags, we explored the city! By the end of the week we were pretty adept at navigating Muni (the public bus system). We did Haight, the Mission District, the Tenderloin District, the Wharf, the Castro, China Town, Japan Town, and Golden Gate Park. It was wonderfully sunny, so it was a bit of a bump to come back to Portland drizzle on Saturday night. Eleven hours was too much time in a van, too, even with Disney songs to accompany us. At rest areas, Isao and I did cartwheels to loosen up.

me on Haight StThe AIDS Summit is eating my life. It’s happening next week, and there’s still a lot to arrange. It’s coming along well, I’m just getting really nervous about how much time I have to pull everything together between now and next Wednesday. Much of the groundwork I laid this year can be used again next year, so hopefully that will ease the process for whomever is planning the AIDS Summit in 2010.

I had the recurrent revelation again that I actually do not want to major in SOAN (Sociology/Anthropology), I really just want to major in Gender Studies. Accordingly, I am talking to both of my advisors about the possibility of self-designing a Gender Studies major. It just makes so much more sense, since as a self-designer I could potentially do an internship with a local organization instead of writing a thesis – thereby launching me into the career world straight off the diving board of graduation. The tricky part is that class registration is next week, so hypothetically I need to have the rest of my schooling figured out by my advising meeting on Thursday of this week.

on a bus in SF. It originally says “Please Move Back.” I like this version better.It’s April Fool’s Day, which became very real to me when I walked into the bathroom at 8am, shower tote in hand and yawn in mouth, to be greeted with all our shower curtains missing. I took probably the fastest shower of my life. Missing shower curtains encourage efficiency! Or an acceptance of body odor. Since, y’know, college kids really need the excuse to avoid showering.

I’m going to go see Wicked with my mom tonight!

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1 April 2009