Friday, September 19, 2008


My pores exude Italian food. In my classes, the other students sniff the air and ask aloud why it smells like food. They wonder who was cooking earlier. I don't say anything. When I come home at night, I look down at my arms. There are sticky dressing stains inching up my skin, and my fingernails are dirty from the papers I've held and the food that stuck the dirt there. I am so tired when I get home, I fear my words don't come out of my mouth in the right chunks; I fear they are soupy and unintelligible. But I like all of this. I feel content when I fall asleep at night.

When I am not working, I sit in class and try not to fall asleep. I feel above most of what they are saying because I've held these thoughts before, I know distinctly the language others are just learning. I want to be eager, but I also want to be challenged. My mind takes these concepts and runs with them, so fast that sometimes my conscious can not keep up. Other times, I talk to community organizers on the phone. We are registering voters in Detroit on Sunday, we say. How can we get more volunteers? we ask. How can we understand the situation more objectively? we ask. Who knows, I think. And sometimes, when I am most tired, I think, who cares?

I like the dirt under my fingernails. My head races with abstraction on most days and I need an outlet to quiet it. My manager looked at me, befuddled, when I told him I'd take another shift. "Are you sure, Ali? You're not going to get overwhelmed?"

Little does he know, I'd be overwhelmed without it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Parenting Techniques

My classes are pretty much geared to my life as a wife and mother. This is actually hilarious, now that I think about it, because I am IN COLLEGE. I am supposed to be thinking about Keynesian economics or something--astrophysics, I don't know. Today in my social development of children class I read about the history of parenting techniques. As a firm behavior of continuums and the middle road, I'm not necessarily into parenting techniques, but one--in particular--struck me as amazing.

"Pat your fetus and say, 'Pat. I am patting you.'
Stroke your fetus and say, 'Stroke. I am stroking you.'
Gently squeeze your fetus and say, 'Squeeze. I am squeezing you.'"

I can not conceptualize a situation in which the fetus understands these words; however, I am intrigued by feti (sp?) listening to their mothers' voice. I also think it would be pretty awesome to sit in a coffeeshop near a pregnant woman gently squeezing her fetus.