Overschooled and Undersexed- Part 1 of some out-of-context genius of one modern and beautiful graduate / by D.M. Jerman

In her own heart, she's both stoic and revolutionary. A lover and a feminist. Going to Harvard doesn't mean she gives up the rights to a good "fuck you, world" now and then. One of my favorite philosophers and an amazing friend. So...
Here she is:
- - -
I was in such a mood until i got home and there were flowers on the porch. they were misdelivered, so i brought them in, and they've been totally lovely.

made my day.

now, it's Sunday night and the same old song and dance applies, except that i can't sleep. the vacation was so good and already the improvements are faded, and my only real concern is that its going to be fucking cold tomorrow.

on the one hand i like that i am not weighted down with crises, but on the other, i feel like a nihilist. i don't think i really am, but I'm feeling rather unattached to most things.

a stranger in my own body.

but I'm not complaining, i don't think. hopefully the insomnia AND afterglow are attributable to my good sex tonight.

so... I'm thinking about what you said this morning... how your head/heart/mouth don't always have the same voice/motivationy sort of stuff.

I think this is a problem of the modern woman. Before 1980 women (in addition to not being able to go to Columbia university) had very simple expectations of them. squirt out a baby, make dinner, wear pearls, and if you really HAVE to... get a job assisting a man. Then the 80's were a serious paradig-m shift-m and everything went to shit. The extremes of the situation are either crazy supermomUSA'ns who do the work of two people, the successful career person, and full time child care, or complete failure when complete success isn't really viable.

The overwhelming pressure to be the archetypal USA'n woman in addition to the new liberated roll of being a substitute man--well it overwhelms. And somewhere out of this grows a fledgling female ego, which was previously subverted, like in a nunnery, or contorted to the extreme, like a geisha.

Sprinkle in some immediate gratification as preached by the all-invasive media outlet, add in the puritanical damned if you do guilt complex in sexuality in direct portion the the need to be sexually empowered.

So at this point, like a certain digital Lemmings game, we find ourselves with long green pigtails getting ready to burst in an adorably sinister fashion. Meanwhile, the menfolk are looking around trying to figure out what the fuck is going on. More on them another day.

The point being, is... your relative A.D.D. and dramatic outbursts are small potatoes, given the over stimulation. How could you not short out every now and again.


I know I don't want to play by the rules that other people take for granted, but having ephemeral rules that can be modified at a moment's notice isn't really working out for me.

I'm doing a lot of things I never thought I would.

Like maybe letting go of some relationships that were once the most important around.


Like just matching the (lack of) effort that I'm getting back.

I always told myself that I wouldn't let anything get in the way of the important people in my life, but now I'm so quick to say, city, job, school, boyfriend.

Are they just excuses?

--Apparently this evening is for introspection.


The word on that is that there is nothing new to note... days and days, a veritable eternity in online time, and nothing has happened. I have gotten over the novelty of the possibility of talking to him again.

Society on the web, I think, for the most part, has "normalized". Chat rooms, I'm sure, still exist but, god, there's got to be infinitely better things to do with my life. OKcupid? -- hipsters and people ten years younger than me.

Sex... Sexiness... It comes down to vice. Sex was my self destruct (lubricated by alcohol). Where my brother Ian might get drunk or high, or my brother might spend 36 hours doing an RPG... I was promiscuous. Honestly--the best time for me in this arena was in B-town, with J, one night a week and freedom to entertain opportunities. Most importantly though, I was masturbating. God, I miss masturbation, and I miss my natural period. c'est la vie...

so...sometime this weekend, I was ordering stuff from amazon. The email for my amazon account is one that I've had for 12 years which I don't really use for much else. I go to check my auto-reply order thing from amazon, and I see a message from an old yahoo id I used to chat with. It was surprising, to say the least.

I have to say that my online life started out on the opposite end of the gray scale that it ended on. IN THE BEGINNING!!! I did all the paranoid things for security about talking to people and it was all very g rated. I was 17, I was in Denver with my mom when she had radiation, I was trapped in her friend's house for hours on end. I escaped into the internet. I met some interesting people.

after about a year, I started using it to explore my sexuality. I would say... apart from random casual cybers, there were like four people who actually semi-merged into real life. (that I can think of off the top of my head who were serious/serial but that I never did it with IRL (as opposed to say, J, who i met on friendster, met in real life, had sex with; or (bad judgement of BAD JUDGEMENTS 'S'... but that's another talk for another day))


one of these people was a guy named Sin california. The last I can remember a specific instance of contact was at camp, i think, and he was a nice enough guy, very yuppie/californian, newly divorced, a kid or two--but it has been years since I thought about him, so seeing an alert that he was using his (very anonymous) screen name and trying to make contact with me was odd.

It was like a time warp or something. Very peculiar.

So, I re-started that yahoo id, you know, out of curiosity, and I'm doing that annoying thing where I check for emails a ga-ja-bi-million times a day. I mean, i didn't even get the message until a couple weeks after it had been sent, and it could totally be a spammer, and I don't really know what I'm going to say to this guy, but I'm so interested in finding out if there's something interesting....

it's a head trip. My behavior in general, my behavior now, my behavior then, the things I don't tell people, the things I do tell people, the things I tell some people....

--well, none of it is consistent anyway.

so--that's my March first! -- Tomorrow is my dad's 71st birthday. Strange.

It's 4:09a Eastern Time as I start writing this-What a weird mixed bag of a night.

So...I leave work early to try and make sure I can connect to my job remotely, so I can do my job from Atlanta where I'm taking my training class next week. This is vital, because I don't want to come back in a week and find no one did my job while I was away, which is what happened when I came back from PA.

Connectivity is null. I hang around till 5 just to see if anything changes.

Then I masturbate with mixed success. Fun was had, but I come away from it with my face/neck/shoulders painfully tense. Exhaustion sets in.

I go to Target to get a costume for G's birthday bash anyway. Half-way, I realize I forgot my wallet. Go back. Shopping is mixed success. After about an hour, I stumble on some footy pajamas which rule, so in the end it's a win, but just barely.

I come to the party. Again, mixed success. I see a couple people that I like, but not everyone. Eventually there are too any people I don't know so I go and hide with the upstairs neighbors. We pilfer food from down stairs, and start the hanging out. Generally good, but I fall asleep around mid-night.

I wake up at 230 sweltering under a blanket in my footy pajamas. They are really (fuzzy and awesome) warm. The only other person in the room is this girl I think I don't like. I get up, and she doesn't try to start a conversation, so neither do. Instead I pee, and splash some cold water on my face; then I get some ice water and commandeer a computer in the office for what is now an hour and 15 minutes.

I'm going to wear my footy pajamas when I go and wait for the bus at 5:00. It's either that or freeze my cha-chas off.

My weekend is not shaping up to be what I envisioned. I find this to be moderately disconcerting.

I have officially done the math and I officially can't pay rent this month and enroll in two classes at Harvard. I have 2400 and I need 2700. I also need to pay for this myself and do this on my terms.

I don't want anyone else to pay for this. As it is 400 of that money I have is pinched from A as G hadn't given him the deposit back on the other place.

I think that I will take just the class that will get me in the degree program. It pushes this whole degree thing back by another semester which feels like losing the war again, battles be damned. To everyone else it will look like... I'm not giving up--I sort of feel like I am tho. I really wanted to go to college, grad school, get married, squeeze out some babies, travel retire and die. The further back the college gets, the further back everything else does too. Fuckety Fuckety foo.

So... the hotel I'm staying at is super fancy (for me) and I have a two room suite. The first day I didn't have room service come. The second day, I put the 'do not disturb' sign on the door that leads to the bathroom and the bedroom. They picked up the stuff in the sitting room, and left everything else alone.

I did the same thing today, and they went back there. They picked up my towels but did not fill the TP dispenser (which I had left with just the cardboard).

They made the bed. Things that were in the messed up sheets:

Notes from my new fiscal plan.
Hair clips

All now residing on bed-side tables.

I wish I could have seen house-keeping's face when that was discovered!

long version of this week's shrink session..
which actually starts way before... like around 1, when mike calls me from his cell phone from his work, and opens our little chat with--hey, chicky.

Needless to say, not only am i beaming like a 14 year old girl who just got acknowledged by that really cool guy she like-likes, but I'm also feeling good enough about the situation that I'm entertaining telling my shrink. (in general, I censor what I tell my shrink because I know what she's going to say a lot of the time, or at least that's what I tell myself, and I really don't want to have the cheating on my boyfriend talk with her.)

anywho... I'm at work, and mike's at work, so we make plans to talk at 330, when he will be out of work and I will be waiting to talk to the shrink.

Then, I leave work, and it's fucking raining. not torrentially, but enough that the lower parts of my pant legs are soaked by the time i get there (less than a mile). I get my shit ready to call mike, and i discover that I don't have my phone--i left it on my desk. (shit fuck damn) I would have time to get back to my phone by 330, but it means another hour in the rain, and I'm simply not up for it, so I sit down and read 'modern psychology' magazine, or something, and berate myself for how frequently i shoot myself in the foot.

so... Shrink time starts, we talk a little about scheduling, Harvard, blah blah blah, and then i bypass the time i spent with mike, and make it sound like i spent the whole weekend with my dad. dad-talk gets about 30 minutes and then I turn the conversation on a severe perpendicular (i don't even know how) and she finishes with:

well, it's clear that you are still angry and confused about how your mother could choose that [abandoment/estrangement] path for you. we'll have to work on that.

~~So yeah, I find it a little hard to get over the fact that my otherwise spectacular mother would come up with something that would undermine every tenet of life and love that she taught me as her last great expression of the aforementioned love.

I mean, it was for the best right?

--The inherent wrongness of all of this fuels a great distrust in things that I can't even begin to explain.

I have told myself secretly that I would never ever put myself in a position like that again, living so ensconced in someone that losing them would obliterate me. and in the quiet of my head it seems totally reasonable. However, when she reiterated it back to me, it sounded totally ridiculous.

There was also talk about 'family'. I admitted that I didn't have a family, in the sense that she was implying, but she countered that I do. She listed my dad, bros and A as family. I think that assessment is truly off the mark--I feel like K, S, N, M, and to a lesser extent M are my family. You are my partner in crime, and the girl I'm gonna marry one of these days (mark your calendar). A is an egg I'm going to break one day, and maybe he'll be hard and stay egg shaped, or maybe he'll be soft and run. there's no way to know for sure right now.

I feel like the love I have for you and K, S, M, M, and to a lesser extent N disproves that I'm incapable of devoting myself to others. I feel totally safe inside of those people.

.... man energy for explaining all this is waning. I think the moral of the story is that if something sounds nice (like unconditional love) but you've noticed it has some inherent flaws, it's totally reasonable to wary of it. Yeah--that's the point.

Einstein must have had limitless patience...
... because he always had to explain and re-explain his ideas to EVERYONE.

My shrink had an epiphany today, and maybe it was mine, but if it was, it was from like, years ago.

She asked:
But why would your mom choose M to do all of this all things considered?

I said:
Because she knew M would go through with it.

So M was just keeping her promise.
(which I swear to god, I've said before.)

Yes. We all wanted to see her dying wish happen or something, we all made it happen.

So it's not all black and white then.

Me (internally):
No shit, Sherlock.

This exchange is somewhat typical, but I don't hold it against her. She's doing more than just stenographing what I am saying to be read back later. She's paying attention to whatever it is that Shrinks pay attention to, and she's made some good points.

I just feel like, "Yeah, I know this. How long before I get some place new?"

Also, yes. There are lots of true things here, like this: My mom's last act of love for me completely demolished my faith in love.

This, among other things, makes me an atheist. Sometimes this colors toward pantheism, and sometimes it swings to nihilism, but mostly I'm just sure there is no god.

--I've been walking to work. It's giving me a new appreciation for the city. I took a different bridge from usual this morning, and as I walked into Boston proper, I could really dig it. There were lots of trees going to leaf, old buildings, new buildings, and it really had the feel of a sort of mysterious secret place I had never been before.

Which is true, actually. I haven't spent any time really on the top side of Boston, and only a smidgen by myself. If A or K or G hasn't taken me there, I haven't been. Well, until just now, since day light savings flopped over.

I walked down B St., and there are all of these beautiful brown stone bldgs, and neat architectural stuff. The nicest bldg I saw was the...... SCIENTOLOGY bldg. I was so bummed. I will go into a church to investigate it, but I am not walking into a Scientology bldg. I think they have ray guns or something, and its just not worth the risk.

Also, it was nice not to have to jostle around people going too fast or too slow or walking toward me. So officially I like B-town 1 hour before dawn until probably about 8 or 9am. That's about four more hours than I would have said this time last year.

I've been sitting on the cement floor next to an wall at the Harvard Computer Science bldg that has some outlets in it for about... 5 hours.

I came here with the intent to study. The comp sci library is not accessible, and I wasn't interested in looking around like a tourist for an hour until I found a desk. I could have gone to the Anthro library, but that place is like a tomb, and it really makes me feel like I've fallen off the face of the earth.


Which I deserve, and here's why: I'm the master procrastinator. First, I posted a chapter of a second story I wrote, which took about... 30-40 minutes (final reviews and web formatting). Then I had to make sure nothing had happened on the internet. I can't focus if i think the internet is doing something without me. The problem is that something had--one of the grrls I know from the HP fandom made an interesting blog post, which turned into a huge discussion about fantasy and consensual sex, and what that means.

That lasted 2 hours. Now I'm 90 minutes from my final, and ... not ready.

I've come to terms with the failure on this one. Where last year I was all anxiety and fretfulness, now I am just... over it. This has everything to do with what my shrink was talking about yesterday, about how the end of the term is lock-down town. No one is dead, or in the hospital, no one is telling me that I'm clinically depressed and I should drop out of school, and I'm not leaving Bard, the last place I ever saw my mom. Tomorrow I will have job and fanfic and my boyfriend and no worlds will come to an end.

I'm not sure how failure will affect my application status, except that I won't be able to apply now, but I'm not going to worry about it til The E (E is for failure at Harvard... interestingly enough (or not)).

I know I say it every time, but next term will be different, better. And it's true, because with the exception of expository writing hell, I have been getting better every time. 1) I'll be taking more classes, and investing more time, and I think that will help the flow. 2) I'm recruiting study buddies. From my real friends. Would you be down with doing some readings next fall so as to help me keep myself on point? I don't know what I'm taking yet, but... it'll be something. do you speak any languages I don't know about?

BUT the real thing I wanted to ask you about was... when people ask you what you do, what do you say? Do you say that you're a model? A writer, an artist? Does it depend on who's asking?

There was this great word I saw in my book from last term that I loved, and I can't find it right now (because that book is at home and I'm sitting on the hard hard ground of Harvard). It is how one perceives herself... i'll look for it if you don't know it off the top of your head.

I think that my problem lies in that I don't have any words to define myself. What was, what I fantasize, whatever... I don't know what I'm about. I spent a lot of time figuring out what I was not.... --that's similar to what is, complementary, supplementary, but not the same.... Now the chore is to figure out what I am, what I hold close, and what that will cost me.

I have to admit I feel a little guilty about sending you these unilateral, introspective emails. They are so one-sided, and I can't imagine how that's fun for you. --just sayin' ;-D

so... I'm having this random, shoot the shit conversation with a woman who moderates one of the hp fanfic sites I've been posting my stories on... and she says, sort of in passing that I'm such an alpha personality.

i've never really considered that to be true about me... not that I'm totally well versed in anything psycho analytical (i know that the minute i start doing it, i'll start self diagnosing, and christ, no one wants that!

I know what I'd do--belly dance routines to depeche mode, the cure, the smiths, van halen,
you know... juxtapose the fuck out of everything.

It's on my list of when I win the lotto and have unlimited time and funds to prepare.

why is it that
...I can never find the heart of my point when I am sitting in front of my actual shrink. Why does it take me until way after to figure it out?

So... two weekends ago, my dad visited. Of course, I mentioned this in passing the Tuesday before, and she must have made a note about it because she brought it up today. My dad's visit was good. I didn't have to tell him that I'm an atheist, and he didn't tell me that Jesus loves me. We went to Harvard, which my dad liked, but he got sick towards the end, and we walked around too much on Saturday, so he (and A) slept the rest of the day and through the night. Sunday we fixed his computer, and then we all hung out in front of our computers (and I did laundry). I took a half day Monday, and shot the shit the rest of the day with my dad. No, we did not have deep emotional conversations, but it was still good and I didn't want him to leave as soon as he did.

I mentioned to her that I am afraid each time I see him, that it will be the last time I see him. I then had to explain how this is a feeling I only hold for my Dad as he is an old man, whereas my friends are all young and healthy. It's times like this when I seriously wonder if what I think I am saying is actually what I'm saying, i.e. that up is up and not down or left when I'm speaking with other people. My dad is 70 years old, he could die in his sleep tonight. I hope not, but it is certainly a possibility.

So, the whole time we're talking about my dad and she is trying to get a handle on my relationship with him. He is my dad. He's not a stranger, but we certainly are out talking about our deep dark secrets every chance we get. She tried to say that my dad wouldn't have been emotionally capable of taking care of me after my mom died. I find this hard to believe, since anything would have been better than what I had. All I really needed was a lot of hugs, and to sleep in my own bed in the room that she wall-papered for me--a reprieve.

Of course, I didn't have this concrete idea or the language for it when I was in that stupid fucking room with her, but there it is.

so... I've been on the patch for a while now, and my period is all gooey now, instead of bloody/mucusy. it really bothers me. although, since i don't have major purge days I can spend the first day just bleeding, it's a little insubstantial, but ... it make me feel punk rock AND like a goddess at the same time. Too bad I can't grow a righteous set of horns or something...

I think this nation is just one great big dysfunctional family. I mean, seriously, George Washington is like the ultimate rebellious teen, telling the king to leave him alone, he's not turning down his music.

I honestly believe that I shan't ever get out of what I'm in right now. My empirical data contradicts all of the theoretical "should"s that we are generally set up with. I'm over my mom dying, it's not like I am still in mourning for her in a huge tangible sense. I'm in mourning for the life I had and the life I had wanted to develop when I was 18, but that's unattainable. Even if it is college and grad school, which I am working up to now, it's not synonymous. Getting a BA at 22 is grossly different from getting one at 32.

MAYBE I can change some of my psychological/emotional reactions. Maybe.

I got nothing. all the money in my pocket went to pay my stupid fucking aunt. only 6 more to go tho!

I went home, hung out, didn't do my homework (stupidstupidstupid, but mostly unconcerned).

Shrink time these days is like a grand jury hearing. I present my life as evidence and then i intellectually cross examine it with her. it's like I am myself, and also the archaeologist. I get very defensive. I'm very protective of all my shit.

It's stuff I'd sooner fight for, than cop to (to plagiarize Ani (Difranco))

Well, I thought that I'd have a better response to this once I was in a more definable state of consciousness, but now... it proves to be untrue.

It does matter that you haven't a penis. Actually, that's one of the things that I miss, the constant suspicion that I'm some super-femme-dyke. One of K's new roommates says I'm a fake lesbian, although I think she means I'm fake-straight. In general, though, no one thinks I'm gay any more. I miss the gender confusion. I really cherish our ... history? This conversation is much better had after a few rounds of shots, I think.

Sadly, my confidence is overly steeped in how people react to me, and as I creep towards 30 people notice me less and less. We can't be in our early 20's forever, I suppose.


I AM depressed. Walking home from K's tonight it hit me. The sheer ordinariness of my life is my mire. I am not proud of Harvard. What's the fucking point of going to Harvard if you don't have to even fucking try???

Living in a college town full of younger fancier whatever-er girls is like a punch in the nuts. My peers at work are all middle-aged kid raising, occasional divorce having, business people.

Seriously, my days at work are spent reading potter fucking fanfic because I need a magical castle to go to school in!


my maturation is hit and miss. i own that. sometimes she comments on it though, and i get very defensive and petulant. like a teenager. thus proving the point that I'm not totally mature like i should be. I don't believe anarchy is just for teenagers. I don't think open relationships are just for 20-somethings. I don't think that just because I'm pushing 30, I have to start subscribing to other people's aspirations.

when she makes observations or pronouncements, sometimes I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere. I have a high level of self-awareness, so if she's telling me something I already know, I get impatient. Also, sometimes she comes off as ... maternal. She says things like "I'm glad to be learning more about you" or something. fucking chicks.