Well, I think orientation’s done. For us, anyway. Kate’s program goes into day three, but I’ll be picking her up this morning. Upside: She’ll be registered, propagandized and basically ready to begin school in September. And I’ll know what laptop I need to buy for her.
I came away from the experience believing that college sure is different these days. Of course, when you’re standing on the brink of spending a fortune, would you want to go into it half-prepared? The program was excellent overall, answering every question either parents or incoming students could possibly have. There was a session about how to succeed academically, talking about study habits and the zillion resources students have at their fingertips. There were talks about stress, counseling services, academic advising, safety, housing, health care and more I’m probably forgetting. We talked about their feelings. We talked about our feelings.
And we learned the fight song. The best line of the session came from the housing guy, who was very funny, and pointed out that Michigan’s fight song is the only one that doesn’t exhort the team to fight and win, but just assumes they’ve already done so.
“You’ve gotten your kids into this school! You’ve won! You’re the leaders and best!” We heard that a lot. I’m sure the new freshmen did, too. And so you see why people who attend Michigan State say that AA stands not for Ann Arbor, but arrogant assholes.
And yes, to all who asked — laundry machines now operate with a card swipe. You load them up with Blue Bucks, and it goes down the drain as suds.
So now the summer unfolds before us. Graduation is later today. I plan to have a cocktail after.
Not much bloggage because I wasn’t online, but here’s this: The First Lady’s increasing outspokenness on race and FLOTUS-hood.
Mrs. Obama has often been open about personal experiences and race in speeches that went unnoticed by the news media, but rarely more so than in the speech at Tuskegee, where she recalled the New Yorker cover depicting her with a large Afro and an assault rifle. “Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m being really honest, it knocked me back a bit,” she said. “It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.”
She noted that a fist bump with her husband was referred to as a terrorist fist jab. “And over the years,” she said, “folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me. One said I exhibited ‘a little bit of uppity-ism.’ Another noted that I was one of my husband’s ‘cronies of color.’ Cable news once charmingly referred to me as ‘Obama’s Baby Mama.’ ”
…But outside that room, it stirred debate. To some critics, it sounded as if Mrs. Obama was complaining about a privileged life, and as if she were bitter and resentful. Ron Christie, who served as an aide to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, said that as an African-American he was proud that the Obamas live in the White House.
“I just wish the Obamas would recognize the historical significance of that rather than say racism is driving everything down or that America is inherently racist,” he said. “America is not this mean, angry, racist place that sometimes I think the first family in the form of Michelle Obama would like you to believe.”
It wasn’t that long ago that someone first brought my attention to a conservative blogger named Matt Walsh, and ever since, it appears he’s everywhere. One of my Facebook friends is always posting his long, long, lightly edited screeds about this and that, and he’s gotten quite the readership, I gather. If you’ve never heard of him, I think this Gawker explication is about right:
Walsh, a 28-year-old married father of two from the Baltimore area, writes with a level of arrogance that makes Bill O’Reilly look like a monk. As the mighty defender of the majority, he offers a much-needed perspective for heterosexual, white, American men. Walsh is the cool Christian millennial for oppressed conservatives everywhere. He drinks! He smokes! He has tattoos! He’s not like those other stuffy right-wingers. If you feel like today’s conservative Christian pundits are just too kind and tolerant, don’t worry: Walsh thinks Christians should be more judgmental.
Pandering to the masses of right-wing fundamentalists, Walsh responds to current issues with a degree of moral outrage that asserts the stupidity and wrongness of anyone who disagrees with him, regularly touting that “liberals” and “progressives” are the ultimate enemy against God and country. Wait, what if you’re a Christian and a progressive? Don’t raise your hand, because Matt Walsh doesn’t think you really exist: he’s fully prepared to determine whether you’re a Christian or not. But his perspectives aren’t actually based in theological truth, much less Christian love.
Finally, now that’s what I call…disgusting.
Cap! Gown! Let’s do this!