Day One

Jambo! Or, you know, “Hi” for those of you who either don’t know Swahili or aren’t very familiar with the most iconic film masterpiece of our generation: Mean Girls. My name is Peter Oliver Scales Jr. but most of my friends call me Peter for short, and if you couldn’t tell by now I like to pretend that I’m funny. I transferred in from UTSA because there were maybe three people at that school. I’m a Sophomore and an English major, I’m originally from New Orleans but most of my teen/young adult life has been in Houston. My interests include reading, writing, singing, cooking (mostly baking, I think) and also practicing my signature for the autographs that I’ll sign during my inevitable rise to fame. My favorite number is four and my favorite animals are pandas. My birthday is on March 28th which, coincidentally, just so happens to be Lady Gaga’s birthday too (one of the many signs of my future stardom). I don’t really believe in the whole horoscope stuff but apparently I’m an aries and that doesn’t sit right with me, so I like to think of myself as a pisces because being a fish seems much more pleasant than being a flaming ram.

In the recent past the word ‘feminism’ has gotten a lot of publicity- an event which I completely agree with. Also, fun fact: my father was told me that feminism was the work of evil  because it meant that women were trying to take over men.

I then proceeded to roll my eyes.

Feminism, to me, is simply the belief that all sexes should be regarded equally in society. Whether it be in the workplace or at home, or anywhere. It means that what you’ve got between your legs should not affect how far you go in life or what opportunities you’ll have. I’m pretty confident that feminism doesn’t mean women are trying to exterminate all males- I’ll have to consult more sources to verify- it just means that they want equality, but apparently for some the term ‘equality’ is a very hard word to understand. Feminism is women wanting the ability to life their life to the fullest, according to their own decision and not to be held back by societal standards or some old guys saying what they can or can’t do with their bodies.

Speculative fiction is, in the least, an amazing genre of literature. Since it encompasses things like fantasy, horror, sci-fi, supernatural fiction etc… so much can be done with it. Personally, I’m a fan of the fantasy genre, but I don’t mind getting down with sci-fi every once in a while also. Speculative fiction is something that goes beyond the bonds to the real world, somewhere where things can happen that don’t have to make sense, but can still be just as meaningful and impacting.

If you don’t know what Tumblr is, it’s basically a website filled with people raging either about social justice or that latest episode of the new flavor-of-the-week TV show. You have to take the whole tumblr community with a grain of salt (a very, very large grain) because sometimes people are just really biased, but every once in a while you encounter something that actually has a lot of meaning. I had never thought that feminism was a bad thing, I guess, but I was just never as aware of it until I joined said website. Tumblr opened my eyes a lot, to the struggles that women have to deal with and the things they have to go through, it gave me a view on things that were outside of my realm of experience. I think, in the end, it made me a more enlightened person, and I can now see points of view that I hadn’t been able to see before.

Now, onto the question of how we make our class a better place. In order for us to come out of the class with broader horizons and different perspectives, we do have to actively be engaged and interested in the class. People can participate all they want, but I don’t think that necessarily means people are engaged. I think engagement comes from people being able to talk fully and meaningfully, where we have discussions where opinions not only want to be given, but want to be heard also. I think this creates a community that allowed and thrives on engagement, and from that engagement comes a class where perspectives are change and learned, and horizons are broadened.

I’m super pumped for this class and excited to hear all the different opinions and thoughts that everyone has! Maybe I’ll bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy… 

P.S.- that was another Mean Girls reference. 

– Peter 


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