Or, Top Five Ways To Get Out Of Your Head When You Have Been Writing (And Reading (And Writing)) Much Too Much
The end of the semester is nuts for all of us, but a big CONGRATULATIONS to all the second-years who’ve just handed in their theses. This time next year, when I’ve had my head inside a screen for many too many hours each week, I am going to try to remember these things that I am reminding myself of now.
Take one of Mills crazy/amazing P.E. classes. For all the time you spend sitting—if you’re like me, cross-legged at your metal work table, hunched over for hours, forgetting to breathe, let alone stretch—doing brain work, it’s totally, totally worth it to let the rest of your body do some work for an hour twice a week. I thought about signing up for Pan-African Aerobics (there are still 21 spots left!) but decided I’m just going to do ballet (actually in the Dance department, not P.E.) again. Because I like practicing plies at the bus stop and a leotard is not normally part of my poet costume. Plus, my teacher, Kate McGinity, rules. Too bad we lose her next year to the world beyond Mills as she’s graduating. Maybe a reason to go off campus for dance classes, if she’s not too busy dancing professionally…
Meditation at Mills. I know the semester’s just about over, but if you’re freaking out and just need some space to breathe, there’s always tomorrow at 12:10 in the Mills Chapel. Laura Engelken leads this low-key meditation at lunchtime every Thursday, beginning with tea and ending with bells. I’m not very good at keeping my eyes shut, but I like to just sit in the soft light and breath in the (cedar?) smell of the chapel for half an hour. Once I started crying for no apparent reason. It would probably be good for me to go more often.
As Joni Mitchell says, “laughin’ and cryin’ / you know it’s the same release.” May Day (historic workers’ day of action, May 1st, last day of Tuesday classes) is sure to be a day of both. From 6 a.m. on, you can occupy the Golden Gate Bridge, participate in Oakland General Strike actions, and March for Dignity & Resistance beginning at Fruitvale BART. Also, because “every day should be strike day,” there is, on Monday, April 30, The Strike Starts Early Street Party in Dolores Park in the Mission! 8 pm.
Also, that same day, you should totally make sure to make it to Mills for a marvelous evening of performance poetry. El Monstruo en Das Ballroom is the culminating event of Guillermo Gomez-Peña’s poetry workshops, which will showcase embodied poetry, radical storytelling, conceptual texts, rock & sound poetry, short original films and, most importantly, raw emerging talent. Some of the themes include memory, violence, race & gender politics, humor, sex, the politics of the body, censorship, media dystortions, environmental destruction, the impact of corporations on ecology, and questions like How did you get here? What story are you in? Who is narrating? What will they say? Where are we in history? Shall we let go? Performances will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. in the Lisser Theater with Gomez-Peña MCing alongside Denise Benavides.
Finally, I always find it comforting to cook when I am stressed out (unless I am already hangry, in which case any Parmesan that was supposed to go into the recipe will go straight into my stomach). So I’m going to suggest eating a satisfying dinner first, and then trying to bake this flourless carrot cake. ‘Cause carrots never seem to go out of season. Or style. Oh, and if you’re still looking for a recipe for dinner, I’m really excited about xgfx.org, devoted solely to vegan, gluten-free dishes - from Moroccan Spiced Chickpea burgers to Coconut Milk Mint Chip Ice Cream. Mmmmm summer.