Monday, May 16, 2011

How I've Started My Summer Vacation

From: Jennifer Loring [Nootsmaak]
Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:48 AM
To: CCA Student Affairs
Subject: women's health needs

Hi Student Affairs,
I’m a current student at CCA, based on the Oakland campus, and now that the semester/year has ended I wanted to write to you to ask about something I find very troubling at CCA.

Why are there no tampon/pad machines in any of the restrooms on the Oakland campus? I inquired about this once before and was told that if I needed a tampon I could ask for one at the Student Affairs office. This is not a satisfactory solution for many reasons.

We cannot always know when we’re going to need a tampon or a pad. I always have something with me in my bag, but when taking a quick break from class, I do not bring along my book bag – most often we have only a few minutes to take a bathroom break and/or get a cup of coffee.

If we discover that indeed we do need a tampon or pad, the solution is to pack our underwear with toilet paper to make the awkward journey to the Student Affairs office to then ask out loud for it from whomever might be at the desk? How humiliating. This also takes a lot of time – time our instructors generally do not give us, which is fine – I’m paying to be in class – I’d rather be in class, not running around trying to find a tampon.

If we’re then late getting back to class, we then get to explain to our instructor that we had to do the above because there are no machines provided in the restrooms. That we cannot quickly purchase a tampon or a pad in the privacy of the restroom and quickly get back to class makes no sense.

Why are there no machines provided? Regardless of the reason, this seems an incredibly insensitive and sexist policy. This is a basic necessity of all women attending CCA. These machines are provided in public restrooms – why not on a private university campus?

CCA is known as a preeminent university located in one of the most progressive areas of the country and also charges expensive tuition. That women are not provided with machines to buy feminine hygiene materials is inexcusable and this should be remedied as soon as possible. All of my female (and even male) classmates share this sentiment.

Please let me know how I can help make this happen.
Thanks very much,
- Jennifer Loring

Update: Heard back from Student Affairs - it was as I'd suspected. They used to have machines in the bathrooms but they were vandalized so badly they became non functional.

Why do girls do this? Is the idea of shelling out a whole quarter so objectionable one must try to pry open a tampon machine and break the shit out of it and ruin it for everyone else?

May you, the vandalizers, bleed through your favorite pants in the most public setting possible nowhere near a feminine hygiene product, paper napkin nor sweater to tie around your bloated waists.

However, SA was incredibly responsive and willing to remedy this situation, somehow. Oh, and as it turns out, there are no tampons/pads available at the office - that was a lie. Glad I didn't ever give that a try.

Further bulletins as events proceed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hello World! I'm Baaaaack!

Actually, I never left. Not entirely... It's just that being a full-time student robs you of all that is leisurely in life - sleeping, eating properly, watching Bravo teevee, blogging...

I really have missed you, blog, and blog lurkers. I love you so...

School is out for the summer (cue song) and instead of taking classes I decided to sleep, get me summa that good ol' teevee, revisit this here blog and eat foods other than Power Bars and trail mix.

Speaking of food... I just became a vegetarian. The meat/bacon/baconmeat lover of all-time hasn't touched meat in almost two weeks now - 13 days, to be precise.

Why? Mostly because I read this book - Born to Run. Along with being a huge inspiration for running, it talks about nutrition and animal protein. Specifically how animal protein kicks cancer cells into gear. I don't have cancer (that I'm aware of), but I am at the age where cancer can begin.

So, that, combined with a 10-month Power Bar program (plus a few too many In & Out burgers), made me think about ditching meat and including a lot more vegetables & fiber into the plan. And so far, so good.

I definitely feel lighter - like things are firing a lot more efficiently - and even if I eat a ginormous bowl of salad with beans & cous cous, I don't feel like I'm 5 months pregnant with a medicine ball.

The trick is to watch the salt & fat... Been retraining my palate to go without, using onion & garlic powders and just teensy drizzles of olive oil, but mostly lemon juice - and it's amazing how much better the food tastes.

David is frightened, of course, because greens don't grow in Michigan (where he's from), or so he tells me, but I think he'll be OK. He eats lettuce sometimes. Capers too, even. He spies my plate with a wary eye, but I see a hint of curiosity there too.

My mother is confused, but supportive. She listened to me talk about my new lifestyle and then helpfully offered up a cheeseburger taco salad recipe. I love that about her. (I don't eat cow dairy - haven't in years.)

We'll see how it goes - I'm sure it'll be easy during the summer. I bet it'll be challenging when school starts and the weather gets dreary. I think I ate meat at every meal when we lived in The Great Grey North - couldn't get enough. But that could just be the usual effect Canada has on people.

I know there's a ton of veggie cookbooks out there - I'll be shopping for them soon - but for now I'm adapting the stuff I usually like to cook and I have to say, it's pretty darn tasty. I'll fire up another old blog - the Nootsmaak Cooksmaak - and start posting recipes there. Happy Eating y'all!