Updated Shenanigans

11:23 AM

Prior to updating you on my shenanigans, I should tell you where my heart is for this post. When I was approached by The Lakefront Historian to cross-publish "Encounters and Crossings: The Ambiguity of African American Identity," I must admit that I was hesitant. I certainly wasn't insecure about my work,  but I was skeptical because my blog would be cited as the source. I remember thinking, who reads The Lakefront Historian? Probably historians. What would they think if they clicked on The Scholarly Woman and saw posts about fashion, movies, religion, weight loss, etc. along with history? I panicked temporarily. But, then I checked myself. Why? Why should I try and conceal that outside of the field of history, I pursue several other passions? I'm grateful because that temporary moment of panic inspired this post.

Who is The Scholarly Woman?

That's such a broad question. But, after the buzz around my sociological reflection, it's one that I feel I must answer. However, I won't "give the kid the candy too quickly" as my pastor says. Instead of giving a direct reply, I'd like to respond by saying what this blog is not.

1) This isn't a history/academic blog.
2) This isn't a fashion blog.
3) This isn't a graduate student blog.
4) This isn't a movie review blog.
5) This isn't a weight loss blog.
6) This isn't a political blog.
7) This isn't a religious blog.
8) This isn't a lifestyle blog.
9) This isn't a music blog.
10) This isn't a communications blog.

When I say what this blog is not, I would like for you to consider that it is, in fact, all of these things. Confusing, right? Allow me to clarify.

If you read my very first post, "Untitled Shenanigans" you see that this blog was never intended to be streamlined. This blog is a reflection of me. And to borrow a phrase from pop culture: I can't be tamed. I can't be confined to a box marked, "historian" or "fashionista" or "wife." Even the title of my blog, The Scholarly Woman, suggests the sort of pluralism that shapes my life.  I'm neither solely a "scholar" or "woman." I'm not a fan of binaries. Perhaps I'm a post-structuralist in this way. I believe anything in life can have a multiplicity of meanings (hit me up if you want to have a discussion on post-structuralism/post-modernism, I don't bite).

Therefore, to ask "Who is The Scholarly Woman?" is to ask "Who is Pam?" What are her goals and dreams? What does she want out of life?

I'll stop referring to myself in the third person.

Who am I? Well...I'd like to think I'm many things. I'm a Christian, but I love learning about other religious cultures (for Christianity isn't a finite belief, but rather a fluid set of interpretations that has developed its own culture, in my opinion). I'm a scholar, a graduate student, a French historian. Check out my website if you'd like to see more about what I study. I serve on the exec board for our History Graduate Student Association along with other organizations, including University Senate (I get to hang with the Provost and the President often. No biggie.) Outside of my scholarly work, I serve as a mentor to students who aspire to attend grad school. Specifically, I work with students who are a lot like myself: first generation college student, underrepresented ethnic groups, low income, etc. I work as a Communications Coordinator outside of the university. I love what I do and the multifaceted, unique learning opportunities it has afforded me. Lots of grace in my work place (no pun intended, for those of you who know I work for a church). I love fashion, like, a lot. I also love me some hair! Someone suggested I do a collage of my many different hairstyles, but I don't think I will in case I want to recycle and re-use some of them lol. I'm a singer. I love various genres, but gospel will always have my heart. I love music and musical theater. I really miss the latter, actually. Maybe I'll audition for a musical again someday. Who knows? I also absolutely adore movies. I get so excited when awards season comes around. And yes, like last year, I will be doing an awards season inspired outfit! I've also lost quite a bit of weight, which is exciting. I'm thinking of losing maybe 25 lbs more, but a lot of my friends have discouraged that. And hubby doesn't want me to lose my curves. So, we'll see. I'm also black...not sure if you noticed. Yeah, I'm African American, and that certainly is a major part of who I am. I'd like to think that I'm sort of brooding. I love picking apart notions of race, gender, class, religion, politics, etc. Although, I try not to think too hard about politics because I find it to be...well, depressing honestly.

Basically, the point is, I am many things. There are countless facets to who "Pam" is. I'm not defined by my race, occupation, scholarly ambitions, religion, political beliefs, and other passions. Some people choose to see me as only those things, and that's their prerogative. I believe too many of us shape our identity through other people. I choose to find who I am in the passions I have found in life. Because those passions are numerous, this blog reflects that. In short, no, this blog will likely never be streamlined to only a "history" blog or "racial reflection" blog or "fashion" blog. This is precisely because I hope to never be streamlined. I desire to have bountiful passions throughout my life. While I may be very good at only a few things, I want that youthful curiosity, that questioning, exploring nature to always be a part of who I am and how I lead my life. And, if I get that wish, I will always be outside of any one particular box. We all have the opportunity to cast off restraint and dream bigger than we've ever imagined, to live many lives through our passions and interests. That is one of the infinite beauties of existence. And with that, my friends, you have The Scholarly Woman.

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