28 January 2011

A Little Like Adela

The last few days have been weird.

On Wednesday, I got up very early after staying up very late. I read about India, showered and made myself look decent, ate breakfast (!!), and got to school by noon where I then commenced reading about India and putting together a PowerPoint presentation until 5:00 p.m. That's FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT of British colonialism in India in the library. In the second week of school. While listening to the Glee station on Pandora (seriously, best Pandora station ever). Hour break, three hours of class. Came home, ate dinner, did my magazine homework. I felt most excellent.

On Thursday, I slept in a little later (I felt that was justified). Worked on internship stuff for about three hours, cooked a real lunch (rice and beans, yum), cleaned the kitchen. There was an hour where I just talked to JM and then went to see how much snow has accumulated on our back porch (that was an adventure, let me tell you---and 16 inches, if you want to know), but I spent the subsequent two hours job searching/applying, then made myself look decent, read for my magazine class while on the T, four hours of class, started reading for my literature class on the ride home. I felt excellent again. 

But after that I left Thomas a message, talked to Jessie (was interrupted by Thomas), ate dinner, called Thomas back, edited an essay for Megan. And I didn't feel excellent anymore. In fact, I was in quite a funk.

Emotion is a strange thing. The only boy in my literature class was complaining about how much he hated Adela in A Passage to India. While she is not a particularly likable character, he mentioned that he hates it when women have hysterics in literature; in fact, he wishes that hysterics had never even been invented. Now, while I generally agree that they are ridiculous, this irked me. Perhaps because I was a little more sympathetic to whatever it was that happened to Adela in the cave. Perhaps because he was saying it, and while it wasn't a direct attack on my gender, it was slightly (men don't have hysterics). Perhaps because I have, on occasion, felt hysterical.

So, I looked some things up. 
hysteria, n. 1. Pathol. A functional disturbance of the nervous system, characterized by such disorders as an├Žsthesia, hyper├Žsthesia, convulsions, etc., and usually attended with emotional disturbances and enfeeblement or perversion of the moral and intellectual faculties. (Also called colloquially hysterics.) Women being much more liable than men to this disorder, it was originally thought to be due to a disturbance of the uterus and its functions: cf. hysteric adj. and n. and the German term mutterweh. Former names for the disease were vapours and hysteric(al) passion.
2. transf. and fig. Morbidly excited condition; unhealthy emotion or excitement.
 emotion, n. 4. a. fig. Any agitation or disturbance of mind, feeling, passion; any vehement or excited mental state.
(This explains the origin of hysterectomy quite nicely.) 

Definite agitation. It's interesting how in and of itself we don't necessarily think of emotion negatively, but when we use it, it seems to have awfully negative connotations. Being emotional is rarely positive.

Anyway, I'm off to scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors. And if I can, the rest of the house. Because we all know how cathartic scrubbing floors is. But the rest of the house is wood. JM and I debated this: can you scrub a wood floor with water and soap? Let me know before I start, por favor.

Oh, and this is what 16 inches of snow on the back porch looks like after I've stomped in it:

From the kitchen window

While you can't tell here, those are really deep footprints. I nearly fell all the way in.

Apparently an animal went to measure after I did. Those weren't there yesterday afternoon.

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