When I was approached about starting a blog for University of Southern Maine, and Portland Student Life, I had no idea what I was going to talk about, and who was going to do it with me. When I was given the goal of commuter engagement, I got even more confused. I’m a non-traditional, commuter student, but am no where near the norm at USM. I’m involved in student government, and do work study, and,while I am busy raising a kid, I don’t have a job outside USM, so I spend more time than average on campus.
So, I started asking around. I asked my friends to write for me. I asked strangers to write for me. I just threw it out to folks in my classes and at Board of Student Organization meetings. This is the motley crew I came up with. I’ll let them tell you, in their own words, what they plan on writing about over the course of the semester. When you’re done, go check out our Marco Polo Players, so you can learn more about everyone. Also, I promise you, this will be the longest post. Bear with me, just this once.
Let’s start with me. My name is Kelsea. I am in love with the city of Portland. I’ve lived here for 10 years, and I can think of no place on Earth that I’d rather live right now. Beside editing (which, did you know, consists mostly of chasing writers down?) this blog, I’ll be writing about this city and awesome things that go on. Art walking! Eating out! Awesome bars and places to check out! I’m going to do my best to share my passion for this city with you in every way possible.
Next up, we have Lucie Tardif. Lucie says:
Be prepared! I am a non-traditional (within two months of turning 57) student, reactivated (six credits) from 24 years ago here, transferred SMCC graduate (Class of ’12), currently a junior majoring in Media Studies, minoring in History and looking to double major/dual degree in English. (I call myself an academic mutt!) I am also a bit of an odd (lame?) duck on campus. I am a born-again Christian (have been for 23 years), an active member of my church, who solidly relies on the Bible, and as a result am politically and socially conservative. (Yes, I’m a Republican of a Tea Party mentality.) Some of my posts will certainly stem from that.
Who I am personally will certainly come out. I’m of Franco-American heritage (my mother’s a native of Montreal). I’ve never married nor had children, but I have two nieces I am just wild about. I won’t name them but may use their initials (which are the same) with their ages (AB17 and AB12) when I talk about them. I’ve had an interesting life that can be somewhat entertaining to people. I spent six or seven years as a freelance writer and photographer in the music business back in the early 1980s. I have written numerous pieces for a local Christian newspaper in the mid-1990s to within the past four years. I have been unemployed now for over five years, a former legal secretary/paralegal with nearly 30 years of experience.
When you have never really navigated all this college stuff before, it can be intimidating (you learn). My educational track record wasn’t all that great, either. My high school grades – 36 years earlier – were awful. I look at them now and think, “HOW did I ever graduate?” I was also diagnosed with a learning disability (Non-verbal Learning Disorder or NLD) in 2004 and nearly died of a pulmonary embolism in 2001 (which resulted in the discovery of a rare and genetic clotting disorder). I’m on a blood thinner for the rest of my life. How would THAT all play out? This wasn’t part-time-while-working-a-full-time-job education or doing the paralegal program in Continuing Ed. This was now full-blown, full-time, aiming-to-graduate-with-a-degree-COLLEGE!
You’ll see how that has worked out so far and continues to as I slog through this blog! You’re invited to come along for the ride.
After that, we have Julia. Julia wants you to know:
Blogging has always been something that really intrigues me. The fact that there are actually people out there, writing public journal entries that other people really care about, isn’t really that fascinating…it’s the part where people get famous by doing it! I mean, I can understand why someone like Anne Frank would get famous from her journal (or diary for the purists). There was some really, really important stuff she was writing about. But I’m not sure why our world allows people who write about their hobbies in a public forum to also become famous. Now, just because I don’t understand, doesn’t mean I don’t want to exploit it for my own personal gain. So, that’s why I’m blogging for you all. I want to be famous. I want to share my quirky world with everyone and hope that I get a book deal, a movie deal, or a sitcom on ABC or the WB (if it were 1999, I’d be right after Dawson’s Creek). I’m going to tell you about the silly things that happen to me, my hobbies, my family, and I’m going to hope enough of you read it that it goes viral, and I’m a big star. And you all will be able to say, “I’ve been reading that blog for years”.
Sam Hill works for Portland Student Life, too, and he says:
Throughout the semester I will be writing about issues that come up while living on campus as a traditional college student. From homework woes, to trying to eat on a budget, I’m on the lookout for the average college student.
Next up? Brain McNally! Go:
Hey there! My goal for this blog is to use it as a means to educate people on sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and all other sorts of hatred and intolerance. I especially want to try to spread this message to people that these issues don’t directly affect; if I can help a straight white man understand why these issues are poisonous to our society, I’d be ecstatic.
Crystal Farrington, a fellow ginger, is the coolest girl around. Check out what she’s gonna talk about:
Hello! I am a lover of poetry and all things spoken word, and I would like to share this passion of mine with all of you fantastic readers! Portland, Maine is a magnificent area for poets of all sorts: writers, performers, curious new comers, and even those who simply wish to enjoy the art form from afar. I will be writing a blog covering anything poetic I can get my hands on. Whether it’s an open mic, a poet visiting from across the country, a newly published chapbook, or an old book I found in someone’s basement, I’ll be trying to share as much poetry and love as I can. I hope you enjoy!
Mea Tavares works in the Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity, and he says:
Why USM thought it was a good idea to give me the POWERS OF THE INTERNET I’m not entirely sure but, since we’re here, I might as well tell you some stories of my usual life occurrences. Fun stories. Stories that go a little like “so this one time I was one half of a giant pair of pants posing with tourists in front of the Vegas sign when an Elvis impersonator got pissed that we were taking away his business, but we had carried these pants all the way across the country on the greyhound on our Pants Across America tour so he had to just deal” or “and that was when I learned that white gas is extremely volatile, which would’ve been an easier lesson if it weren’t for the 12′ swinging wooden airplane, but ‘stop, drop and roll’ really does have merit.” (I can assure you, none of this is either fictitious or out of the ordinary in the slightest.) You can expect an eclectic mix of ramblings – a helping of queerness mixed ambiguously with non-binary gender expression and experience, Portland antics on a pocket-flask budget, burlesque debauchery and scientific speculationsfrom physics to metaphysics. A…potpourri of ridiculousness, if you will. You have been warned. Enjoy.
Paige Barker, small and wicked smart, says:
Did you know that feminism is alive and well? Yes, despite the media’s attempts to declare us dead, there are still feminists out there taking action and making the world a better place for people of all genders. This blog will be a record my first attempts at activism and a place to wax theoretic. Nothing I post here is meant to be a definitive statement about What Feminists Think or What Feminists Do. Feminists are a diverse group, so the my thoughts and actions don’t necessarily reflect those of all. Disclaimers aside, I hope you enjoy watching me stumble toward a better understanding of my political (and personal!) identity.