Monday, February 22, 2010

Color Club Rebel Debutante, Part II of III

I wasn't going to update today but I've been bent over an abstract for the annual meeting of the Society for Text & Discourse for the past four hours and need to do something else for a couple of minutes. I recently decided that the way I had originally framed my research question was leading me into a dead and boring end. But after a long evening of combing the PsycINFO database, I discovered a whole other literature that has let me reframe my research into something that I actually want to write about. So now I'm taking all the work that I've done and am attempting to repackage it, both for publication and for the T&D conference this August. This is tough for me because I don't really know the literature that I'm now trying to fit my work into so I'm doubly insecure about every sentence I'm writing. So I write half a sentence, worry that I've gotten something wrong, quickly flip to the 20-something research articles I've got open on my computer, re-read parts of articles to make sure I know what I'm talking about, realize "no, I don't know what I'm talking about" and then flip back to the half-sentence... and erase it and rewrite it. And then start worrying if I've gotten it wrong again. Rinse, repeat. Over and over. And over. And over.

So I need a bit of a break from that. And I figured since I swatched two more Rebel Deb polishes over the weekend, it would be a good opportunity to post them.

Color Club Gossip Column

Dark, saturated cerulean creme. Really gorgeous striking color, even though it Smurfinated my fingertips when I took it off. Either way, it went on very easily in two coats and was perfectly glossy even before topcoat. I feel like I have really similar colors to this one but without a direct comparison, it's hard for me to determine if I have something that's very dupe-y. All things considered, Color Club is a very affordable brand and all my potential dupes that I'm thinking of are probably all more expensive than Gossip Column.

Color Club Rebel Debutante

This almost doesn't fit into the rest of the collection of the same name... which makes sense (it is a Rebel, after all). I am actually not sure I like this color that much. It's a bright spring green creme that almost could be a neon (and actually dries matte-ish like a neon). It's a very pigmented formula which makes it full coverage in two coats but in this case, also makes it hard to apply thin even coats; it's almost a bit gloopy.

I think I have three more polishes from this collection to go... hopefully, it'll be done before March but no guarantees because this weekend is Visiting Weekend for the new prospective graduate students (including for my SO). I'll be housing two of them and that generally involves getting rid of all evidence of nail polish obsession. My SO takes the stance that, "It's your hobby and if they judge you negatively for it, screw them" -- and I largely agree with him. But whereas his intelligence won't be questioned if people knew he can play video games from dawn to dusk, I know my intelligence will be questioned if I was so obvious in my interest in makeup. If I was feeling more competent in my studies and research lately, I wouldn't hesitate to talk about cosmetics... but I'm not. I have no sense of internally-determined security about my competency lately; I'm not going to jeopardize externally-determined security right now. I miss feeling competent: it really does affect the way I live my life.

...and now I will return to my regularly scheduled programming of being super insecure about every single sentence I write.

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kittytokaren said...

Ugh I'm doing the same thing - working on a journal club paper for lab meeting. I make a slide, realize I have no idea what I'm saying, read some papers, erase it, make a new one, realize it has no relevance, cry, eat a cookie, repeat.

Pretty nails tho!! I'm digging the blue esp.

<3 kittytokaren

flinty said...

So this massive insecurity is a common grad school thing? Because that would make me feel better. About myself. Not about the enterprise of graduate school that reduces fairly intelligent people to huddling masses of insecure, cookie (and ice cream and caffeinated beverage)-filled goo.

mKat said...

Okay ladies, we really need to chat. I, too, have a conference coming up (mine's in April) and I'm beyond petrified of it. Somehow I managed to get myself on a panel delivering a paper based on secondary research and a lit review (because I'm in first year and I have no field research yet). Who else is on my panel? Half the people I would likely cite. If you two are worried about not knowing what you're talking about...

I hope to God it's a common grad school thing.

Interesting, too, Flinty that you'd talk about feeling the need to hide your cosmetic obsession. I've felt that way a lot, actually. I was reluctant to let a lot of my colleagues onto Facebook or into any part of my life where they might find out about that side of me - as though it makes me a less legitimate academic. But it's not as though everyone else is free from equally "frivolous" pursuits, right? So why should we feel guilty (or whatever it is we feel)?

mKat said...

Oh if you don't mind, where do you get your empties for frankening?

The Glitterati said...

If it helps, my abstract writing generally goes:

1. Listen to advisor's suggestions about how to frame research.
2. Try to figure out what "relevant background" studies mean, and whether I should be reading new papers as 'background.'
3. Write the methods.
4. Try to figure out how to "tie into existing work on XXX by So-and-So,emphasize importance for field of lexical and sentence processing, and also for YYY". ('XXX' being a huge paper I had not read but might be relevant, 'YYY' being a totally new area I had not previously thought about and can't see the connection to. And 'doubtful' being how I feel about how important my findings are at all.)

5. Whimper. Throw togther something in desperation and email to advisor.

6. Receive track-changes document back, entirely in red. Advisor says "these are just suggestions, feel free to change them as you see fit".

7. Select all. Accept all changes.


kittytokaren said...

@flinty - OMG yes its a common grad school thing. I always feel like one day they're going to catch me out as a total fraud. It made me drink caffeine today!! (i am not a caffeine drinker). To boot I think I have mono (am getting tested tomorrow). Does not bode well. And my presentation is Wed. morning. I still have no idea what Figure 1 is about.

@mKat - April is death month for me too. My proposal defense is at the end of April. I'm already 'pee-your-pants' nervous about it. Mostly because my advisor is terrifying. And unhelpful.

Also I too hide my obsession. People notice my nails but I act 'super' nonchalant about it. One time they even asked what colour it was and I shrugged and gave the dumb response of "I dunno...grey?" The girls in my lab don't even wear make up and act like it is all a waste of time that could be spent on science (even though they're just insecure uggos...ha!) so I feel super-guilty and like mKat said, frivolous.

mKat said...

@Glitterati... #7 = best! :)


Funny thing happened when I started this year. One of the guys in our department made it onto my Facebook friends list in September. (As an aside I have temporarily deactivated my account...) Anyway, we got to chatting and he said to me (after looking through my pics).. "Oh wow. It's really cool you're into fashion and makeup and stuff like that." I was a little surprised by his comment and I thought he was making fun of me so I asked why he felt that way. He said "'Cause all of the other girls in our department are so crunchy and boring..."

LOL I wasn't entirely sure what to make of that and my guy friends (my closest department friends are guys) and I had to sit down and think about what "crunchy" might mean.

I find that if I let on that I'm into makeup or nails or whatever and I am ever lacking academically, it'll be that thing that everyone can point fingers at, you know? I'm pretty quiet in school (huge, HUGE confidence issue) so I never want to give people "another" reason to think I might not belong. (Even though my friends in the department have assured me repeatedly that nobody has time to think stuff like that.)

mKat said...

@Kitty... everybody's advisor is terrifying. The ones that aren't terrifying are the most unhelpful.

kittytokaren said...

@mKat - This is why my facebook remain NP-free (except my fandom of Rescue Beauty Lounge. Whatever. One thing.) I feel *exactly* the same way - I've actually had an experience in the past where an advisor in undergrad told me I'd be better at science if I a.) was male b.) didn't spend so much time putting on my makeup in the morning. He was completely ridiculous, but I feel like people will point to my girliness and other activities as reasons for my failings. Crunchy = hippy-ish or hipster and 'natural'. At least thats what it means around here.

I so don't belong either. I'm outgoing (which sets me apart to begin with), social, and have other areas of interest/strength that are completely un-science related. I always feel like the odd one out. Wild rumours about me have gone through the department from time to time. Like when I started dating the hubs there was a rumour that I was sleeping with a Senator who was married with like 3 kids. People called me a homewrecker. It was ridiculous, unfair and hurtful. I think it got started because hubs has a real job, and most grad students think you have to be like 40 to have a real job!!!

Luckily I have some cool labmates that help me get through it sometimes.

mKat said...

@kitty... All of my polish and makeup stuff was kept in a private album. I only granted access to it to a couple of cousins, photographer friends and handful of other people (non grad students) who were also into makeup. I think nine out of 170 people could see that side of me (FOTDs, NOTDs etc.) until I recently made a mani a main profile pic. Oh the shame of it all!

Your experience sounds really rough and terribly unfair. I would imagine that it's been difficult in a male dominated industry and I'm sorry to hear that it's been so trying for you. The rumours sound especially vicious...but seriously, what business is it of anybody's who you date or what you do in your spare time? (Not that I'm saying you were dating a senator...but even if you were, who gives a crap? Maybe they have too little work/play/whatever in their own lives?)

Most of my department doesn't know my bf. That's partly his own doing. He's the furthest thing from an academic (yes, he has a "real job" too)...but I couldn't fathom anybody having the gall to comment on that.

A couple of years back I gave a talk about being a woman of colour in our discipline - we are also a discipline that has been dominated historically by (white) men. I recall going on about how many women had been pioneers before me and how as a result I didn't feel the need to suppress my sexuality the way so many of them had (because of discriminatory practices etc. that were so prevalent at the time). As I'm conversing with you now I'm starting to think maybe I was wrong...

flinty said...

@mKat: first, the easy answer: I dump out polishes I don't want and don't really want to inflict on other people and use those bottles usually but a lot of people usually buy their bottles empty from TransDesign, Victoria's Nail Center or any of the usual etailers.

Second, I think we feel guilty and furtive because we're still operating under the stereotype that makeup is for girls and is thus stupid. Unfortunately, I think a lot of other people are operating under that assumption too and right now, I'm not brave enough to go change minds. If I felt more confident in my abilities, in my standing in the department, I wouldn't hesitate quite so much to be loud about my enjoyment of makeup... because then it would be a statement. "Hey look, I'm smart, I'm productive, and I'm cool enough to run a blog about something completely different than what the rest of you are doing." As it is now, it feels like a liability. I use different browsers for my nail polish stuff and my school stuff just so URLs don't show up -- some people do that for porn, I do that for nail polish. How ridiculous is that?!

I can tell my pre-gradschool friends about it because they know me, they respect me and know that this is just an extension of me. The people I go to school with... they don't know who I am (and I'm not sure I want them to) and in absence of info on who I am... I'm afraid they'll take this and say, "This is who she is" in all its judgmental glory.

@kittytokaren: Eep, I didn't know your proposal defense was at the end of April. Yikes. NOT a good time to be run down with mono. :( Also, I'm with you: my Facebook account remains very cosmetics and nail polish free. Once in awhile, MUA folks will try to find each other on FB and each time, I just stay out of the conversation. These are such different parts of my life and I have a hard time trying to let down that barrier.

@glitterati: LOL! I'm at #5 right now. Except the problem is that I already threw together something totally different -- and totally not her speciality -- and am trying to prove that I wasn't crackheaded for wanting to go a completely different direction. I'm hoping I receive something like #6 so I can proceed to #7...!

@everybody involved in this conversation: this conversation is why I'm so grateful for Polish or Perish.

kittytokaren said...

@mKat - You hit the nail on the head. The rumour-mongers don't have enough going on and I have stuff going on. That either makes them jealous, or me an easy target. Either way its juvenile and hateful.

A few of my lab people know the hubs, but thats because they are my friends outside of work too. We live 4 hours apart so its easy to keep him separate from lab life!!

And I don't think you were wrong giving your speech. I experienced one chauvinistic jerk, that everyone in science tells me is a moron. Back in the day he would have been the rule and not the exception. I do feel like I conceal my more 'feminine' endeavours sometimes, but with that one exception, I've never been made to feel less capable because of my sex. Which is a huge turn-around for our field I think. Also just the amount of girls enrolling in science grad school has sky-rocketed. Equality/Female Dominance is pending. ;)

@flinty - Totally agree. This is why I was so psyched to meet you on MUA and be invited to blog here. This is a great support network. Its nice to know that even though we're in different fields in different parts of the country, we are having similar experiences. We are not ALONE!!!

mKat said...

@kitty I hope your test goes well tomorrow and that you do not in fact have mono. *hugs*

@both of you... I agree with your comments about the support here. Thanks so much for including me. I've been having an especially rough week so it's just nice to know you guys are out there.

kittytokaren said...

*hugs all around*!!! we can do it ladies!

The Glitterati said...

...and with pretty nails, natch. ;)

mKat said...

To play devil's advocate for just a moment... is it possible that we're misjudging (en masse) other people in our departments? Maybe nobody would care at all.

I mean, my really close grad school friends are all guys and they all know about my love for makeup. None of them care. (One of them asks me for makeup advice sometimes and one jokes about me putting him in mascara).

Another guy friend put things this way in his search for a gf... "I want a girl who's just like me... a pretty hypocrite." (By that he meant he wanted a girl who dressed well and looked good, but could still scrutinize academically the "issues" involved in doing so.) haha

Maybe there are more people like us than we think?

flinty said...

@mKat: a Pretty Hypocrite... that pretty much sums me up. :) It's entirely possible that they're fine with it. I can think up a couple of people who would be fine with it in my department (which includes my advisor: she would think it was funny... as long as I keep handing in paper drafts and make progress on my research). I can also think up a couple of people who would hold it against me. And because of those few people, I'm not about to start talking about the relative merits of holo hex glitter and holo bar glitter with anyone.

I hosted a prospective student this past weekend who seemed like the judgmental type. Some people would be cool... others would not. I don't know why I think I know which person belongs to which category though. In my mind, it has something to do with their acceptance of women, their understanding of gender issues and, if they are female, how they think of themselves as women. Anyone who is familiar with the discrimination of women in the workforce and the devaluation of typically feminine activities would likely (in my mind) be relatively unjudgmental (unless they're on a more extreme feminist kick and then that's a whole OTHER story -- I'm sure Daydream222 can speak about this subgroup if she wanted). Those who dismiss all the talk about women being discriminated against as over-sensitive feminazi bullhocky... I'm not going to talk to them about makeup. Or about issues that come within a mile of being gender-related.

...okay, this line of thought makes sense in my head but I realize that it's not entirely clear written out. But I have to write a project proposal in the next hour so I'm going to go back to work now. :)

Heidi said...

I'd just like to say that, given all the mountains each of you are climbing, that it is simply amazing to me that any of you can find time to host this blog and DO IT SO WELL. Thank you all for the time and effort that you put into this. I've been coming here for several months now, and I truly enjoy it each and every time. (Oh, and I'm really liking that CC Gossip Column..gotta add it to the list.)

kittytokaren said...

@mKat & flinty - Since I've previously been judged on my appearance by an advisor, and then again by my fellow first-year classmates when I first started grad school (they made fun of my clothes...said I dressed like a city girl and didn't fit was like middle school) I am definitely choosing not to share my love to all things fashion/makeup/girl. Its obvious enough to these people, and they were not kind about it at all. Maybe your departments/classes are different.

@Heidi - Thank you!!! I think I speak for all of us when I say that this is a little bit of a refuge :)

mKat said...

I don't know whether that many people would have issues with me (or my love for makeup) in my department. Maybe they would - maybe they wouldn't... My department seems pretty laid back about most things but I just don't feel I fit in there (and visually I don't).

I wasn't suggesting (and I hope you guys didn't take it that way) that your experiences weren't (unfortunately) real and troublesome. I will admit I find it pretty lonely at very least not having people to share my hobby with.

Thank God for you guys!

The Glitterati said...

I'm really lucky... we have a lot of women in our programme, and, at least with regard to the ones I'm close to, they are all really chill and welcoming. We think it's a good thing to look nice, and we like to indulge in girly things -- some more than others, sure, but seriously, we used to get together to watch ANTM every week, for cryin' out loud. I don't broadcast my all-things-cosmetic obsession, but if/when they find out, they go "Oh, cool!" at worst and "Awesome! Tell me more about..." at best. They are truly 'girlfriends' in addition to being colleagues. The men in the programme don't seem to care one way or the other.

That said, I do try to tone it down around faculty or if I'm teaching / meeting with students. Part of it is a 'cover my bets' kind of strategy, but a large part just comes out of a desire to look professional and not have anything distracting going on... sort of how one wears dark colours to mournful events, I guess.

Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am. I don't know how I would have made it through grad school without these people around me. I'm sad and a little angry to hear about the crap some of you have had to endure. :(

Sandi said...

Why is it a man can insist on his toys and it's perfectly acceptable? Like $40,000 'date bait' cars (or penis extensions as my gfs and I call them) for example? Yet out toys if you will are scoffed at ad made fun of? They slobber all over the flavor of the month chick on TV or the movies (who of course is made up to the nines) but because they are often less than particular about their own grooming habits they want to make fun of ours. Of course if we walk around shabbily dressed with NO make up and our hair pulled back, we aren't feminine enough. Screw 'em. There aren't any extra brain cells in that wee ounce of 'proud' flesh so many of them do their thinking with.

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