No Weigh, Jose

HEY! I wrote a review of the film (Untitled) over at my school newspaper. You should go read it, even though you will probably never see this film.

Click heeeeeeeeeeeeere.

Anyway, I was very tempted to weigh myself this morning. I was getting changed into my Yoga clothes and thought, “Well, I’m already almost naked, I may as well step on the scale,” (because this is how my mind works) but decided against it. I’ve been on plan and, thus, really doing the best I can, so why weigh myself right now? If I were out of control, I’d think it necessary to weigh in-in order to shock myself back into a state of behaving well. But, I’m not eating poorly (at the moment, at least), so why stress myself out with a number when I have so many other lovely things to stress about right now?

Liiiiiike …

1) My video project due Dec. 1!

2) My final paper on women in Greece and Rome that is also due Dec. 1!

3) My 15 – 20 page paper on my summer internship due Dec. 7!

4) My final article for my Journalism class that is due Dec. 7!

5) My paper on Journalistic ethics that is due Dec. 7!

6) My Political final on Dec. 8!

AWESOME! Also, you may be saying, “Girl, all those things are mad far away! Why be you worried?” Well, next week is Thanksgiving, and while I can work while I’m home, I won’t really have the time or the resources to. So, that’s four/five days out of my schedule. Also, I have to read entire books to get some of these papers done. Oh, and I am reliant on other people for some papers: To write my final article, I can’t start until I’ve interviewed members of the Brandeis religious community, and who knows who long it’ll take for them to get back to my requests.

/dies on inside

I will be so glad when this semester is done, though I’m not sure if I’m more excited about having time off from schoolwork or access to a kitchen for a six weeks.

Anyway, I’m enjoying not weighing myself (kind of—one part would just like to know the number so I stop analyzing how doughy I look), and I’m thinking of establishing a “get out of weigh-in” system; that is, if I stay on plan (or don’t binge, at least), I don’t have to weigh myself again until I start my “post-holiday diet” after Christmas.

How are you handling weigh-ins this holiday season? Do you find you’re more likely to stay on track if the number on the scale is front and center?

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See No Evil

So, originally I had said I was going to have an official “weigh day” on Thursday, but I’ve been tracking my weight since my binge and found that I was back down to 129.6 this morning. Of course, I was very pleased, but over the day I started to become really anxious that some minor fluctuation in my weight would throw me back over 130 by Thursday, even if I continued to eat well. I’m not sure why I became so anxious—maybe because the day turned out to be full of some small mishaps and I was anxious about those things, and the anxiety just spread to my weight—but I just decided to “lock in” my weight, if you will, and have today be my weigh in day and not weigh myself again before I go home. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. It probably sounds foolish—I’m not going to change how I eat for the next two days (I’m still going to count calories just to make sure I don’t go overboard before going home), but I’m not going to weigh myself again before I leave for home. As far as I’m concerned, I will weigh 129.6 pounds when I go to the wedding, and I’m pleased as punch.

I just … don’t feel like worrying about the scale for the next few days. Sometimes you just need a break from the numbers. Besides, Tuesdays are going to be my weigh in day between now and December (it just works out well with Thanksgiving/the days I go home), so I needed to switch to Tuesday weigh ins sometime!

Anyway, I’m going to give myself five days of intuitive eating this week and, who knows—maybe if I eat like a normal person, I won’t gain that much weight this weekend. I certainly shouldn’t, but I’m used to using celebratory events as an excuse to binge, and this weekend will be my first big test with intuitive eating.

My knee felt a little wonky today, and I’m worried I might have overdone it with my mileage this week. But, I only did some Yoga today, so I’m hoping I’ll be OK to go for my “Endurance” run tomorrow (every week, I have one running session where I do intervals and one where I just run for as long as I can). I’m looking forward to my run for a change; after today, I have some steam to blow off. The day started off well enough, but as the day progressed …

1. Some dude took issue with a lead in an article I wrote for the Justice. Whatevs. Everyone is a critic.

2. The girl who I wrote the article about claimed via an online comment that I misquoted her, even though I referenced a recorded interview whenever I quoted her. This really bothers me, because any future employers may Google me and see the comment and be all, “Oh hai this chick cant be trusted to quote ppl proprly.” That, and I would never quote someone unless I were 100% sure the quote was correct. Grr! My journalistic dignity!

3. The Brandeis library contacted me and told me I owed them $6 in overdue charges … for a recorder I returned on Saturday. WTF? They better not try to make me replace it: I do NOT have the money to pay for their inability to put things away.

4. The girl using the one operational dryer in our dorm decided to run her clothes through the dryer a SECOND TIME when I was waiting to dry my clothes. So, rather than let my clothes sit in the washing machine for an hour, I just decided to hang them up in my room. There are now undergarments everywhere. Thanks, rude person.

Aggravating day, begone! Is it time for bed yet?

Brandeis Lecturers: Hank Klibanoff

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a journalism related thang up in here, so I decided to put up a piece I wrote for class on a lecturer that came to Brandeis. Hank Klibanoff—who came to Brandeis on Oct. 8th—is the author of The Race Beat, a book that won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History. The book primarily concerns the evolution of the press’ coverage of race-related news, and Klibanoff’s lecture had a similiar focus.

I’ve been trying to attend events like these as frequently as possible this year; I’ve come to realize that not everyone has the opportunities I do to hear such influential people speak, and also that after I graduate I’ll rarely have the opportunity to attend academic events like this. Anyway, here’s the article. I’m not so keen on the introduction, but I wanted a soft lead rather than a generic hard one.*

*A “soft lead” is generally an introduction to an article that takes a narrative or anecdotal approach, whereas a “hard lead” is composed of basic information like who, where, when and what; you’ll see it used in the vast majority of serious news pieces (i.e., those concerning tragedy)/breaking news.

The racially diverse group of students, community members and faculty packed into the seats and aisles of Pollack Auditorium last Thursday would not have been allowed to mingle during the era talked about by the evening’s lecturer, Hank Klibanoff; rather, the crowd’s attempt to convene would have led to heckling at the very least and possibly even an unfortunate part in one of the cold cases mentioned by Klibanoff during his talk.

Over the course of the evening, Klibanoff—author of The Race Beat, which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History—discussed the unsolved murders of racial minorities during World War II and the 1960s, as it is these cases that have become the focus of Klibanoff’s new documentary: The Cold Case: The Truth and Justice Project.

The goal of project, said Klibanoff, is “not to win fresh prosecutions. … Our [the reporters’] goal is to get right with history, to fill in all the gaps,” and to bring to light those killers who escaped prosecution and the “judgment of history.”

These untried criminals number more than many would like to think; during the civil rights era, the federal presence in the South gathered evidence against many murderers and generated reports that were in turn given to local authorities for the purpose of prosecuting the aforementioned offenders. However, once this evidence was turned over, the authorities would claim that the evidence provided was insufficient. Essentially, people were rarely prosecuted for the death of an African-American.

“It is hard to overstate how dangerous a time it was for blacks,” said Klibanoff.

One such victim of the age was Wharlest Jackson, an African-American man killed for having received a promotion over two white men in 1967. The case remains unsolved, and in the four minute Cold Case clip shown by Klibanoff at the conclusion of his lecture, the need for resolution is made clear when Jackson’s son asks his interviewer, “Wouldn’t you want to know who killed your father?”

Klibanoff prefaced his introduction of the film with a brief history of significant moments in the civil rights movement and the coverage they received from the press. However, the “race beat,” said Klibanoff, began “far outside the outside the south, and nowhere near a newsroom;” an initial examination of race was launched by a board of white men employed at the Carnegie Corporation in New York who were intrigued by the way in which America was “beating back the devil of the Depression” but still struggling with the “Negro Problem.”

The group launched a “full scale, full tilt study of race” in the South, which was led by Swedish politician Gunnar Myrdal. And, it was Myrdal’s 1944 book on the subject, An American Dilemma, that later provided the inspiration for Klibanoff’s own investigation. On page 48 of his work, Myrdal states “to get publicity is of the highest strategic importance to the Negro people,” and it is this line that sparked Klibanoff’s own study.

It wasn’t until Rosa Parks refused to get off of a bus that the race beat began to even vaguely resemble the news coverage that many people associate with the civil rights movement. And while the press flocked to see Autherine Lucy ascend the steps of the University of Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr., struggled to receive coverage by the press.

However, while it took some time for the press to widen its scope of the race beat, it did eventually cover those issues that would “shock and shake” the necessary figures. For instance, said Klibanoff, after Attorney General Robert Kennedy encountered a story detailing transgressions against African-Americans by a Southern sheriff, Kennedy ensured that the man was faced with charges of suppression and intimidation.

The story certainly reinforced the idea presented by Professor Maura Jane Farrelly (JOUR) at the beginning of the lecture, that journalism can play a key role in democracy and forces us to reconcile ideals with realities.”