Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

The First Invitation 

Today I took Klara to her first invited birthday party. It was held in the Children’s Museum, which is a fantastic place for kids. The party was great but I was very confused by the abundance of color green. Everybody was dressed in green, kids, adults, museum workers. The decorations were green, too. I still see green even after getting home. 

I can be excused for not clocking on to it because the party was for my Venezuelan colleague’s daughter, and I was not in an Irish frame of mind. Most people around here are historically German, not Irish. The only Irish pub we had went bust and gave place to a restaurant that serves pea soup made from canned peas. 

P.S. Hey, I completely forgot that I’m now a redhead and can finally wear green. And that’s after fleeing it like the plague my whole life.


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14 thoughts on “The First Invitation 

  1. Stringer bell on said:

    It’s St. Patrick’s day today, hence the color green everywhere.


    • Stringer bell on said:

      Nevermind, I misread your question. I think saint Patrick’s day, at least in the us, is just another reason to get drunk and party. Which explains it’s popularity on college campuses.


      • Stringer bell on said:


        Damn autocorrect.


        • Yes, it’s because of St Patrick’s. At least, here the town isn’t raised to the ground during St Patrick’s, like back in New Haven.


          • Dreidel on said:

            “At least, here the town isn’t raised to the ground”

            Raised to the ground?? Not “lowered” to ground level — or perhaps razed?

            Well, Clarissa, you can blame “DAMN AUTOCORRECT!” like some of your smug, apparently perfect commenters obviously feel the need to.

            Or you can relax, knowing that all of us are human — certainly no one more so than this elderly frequent commenter — and accept the fact that we all occasionally make typos, but most of us aren’t insecure enough to feel compelled to try to explain / justify such insignificant errors — let alone insult our fellow commenters by implying that they’re too stupid to know what we meant, unless we add a second corrective comment. 🙂

            And obviously you wisely took the second path, since you dind’t feel the need to explain anything about your comment!


            • It wasn’t a typo, it was an actual mistake. I always mix up raise, rise and raze.


              • Shakti on said:

                The alternate reality in which New Haven is a subterranean city that sees daylight or is above sea level during St. Patrick’s Day is far more interesting than homophones and homonyms.

                Since my grade school was founded by Irish nuns, we got to hear about St. Patrick using the 3 leaf clover to explain the Trinity to the Irish and about his side gig driving the snakes out of Ireland. :p


              • I didn’t even know about St. Patrick’s in my first year there. I woke up once, went outside, and my blood ran cold. The town was trashed. There were mountains of garbage everywhere, shards of broken glass, empty beer cans, overturned benches and trash containers. I thought there’d been another terror attack or something.


  2. “I was not in an Irish frame of mind”

    Collective rituals. It’s not about Ireland, it’s about America. When I was a kid everybody regardless of ethnic/racial background wore something green.

    This was back before the consumerist explosion in holidays and before green beer and nonsense like that.


    • In this town, this was the only time I saw it noticeably celebrated in 8 years. Oktoberfest, on the other hand, is HUGE. But what’s really funny is that those very same Germans with German last names and great love for Oktoberfest are rooting for the closure of our formerly great German program at the university. In the meanwhile, the Italian community of STL (also quite a big and rich one) has been paying single-handedly to keep our Italian program alive. I have no idea why there is such a difference.

      I also can’t imagine anybody in a Hispanic community show any interest in helping a program like ours even if there were a Hispanic community to speak of.

      Hungarians would help, for sure, they are very proud.

      Russians would expect the program to help them out financially.

      The Ukrainian diaspora (the old one, not the recent one) would pay lavishly.

      What about immigrant Poles? Would they help?


      • ” Germans with German last names and great love for Oktoberfest are rooting for the closure of our formerly great German program at the university”

        “Russians would expect the program to help them out financially.”


        “What about immigrant Poles? Would they help?”

        Hard to say, Polish people tend to avoid each other when abroad so it can be hard for a community to form. Poles are very werid as immigrants in that way. Only a bunch of people immigrating at the same time for the same reason is liable to help a community form (as has happened in some EU countries but emigration to the US isn’t so much a thing now).

        Older established communities are liable to have their own programs in place for their kids and/or be puzzled why non-Polish people would want to be learning the language anyway…. (and there would likely be almost no contact with new arrivals –

        Inside Poland knowing the language is the single independent variable that allows or prevents integration by foreigners and there used to be government programs that sent people to teach the language in other countries (especially ex-USSR countries but some others too).


        • It’s interesting how sometimes knowing the language really advances integration and sometimes it doesn’t. Among Russian-speaking immigrants in Canada, knowing the language(s) is not an indicator of anything. A person can speak very good English or French (or both) and not have a single non-Soviet Canadian in their circle of acquaintances. It’s especially bad when the language they know better is French because French-speakers are impossible to join as a community irrespective of how fantastic your French is.


      • ” Germans with German last names and great love for Oktoberfest are rooting for the closure of our formerly great German program at the university”

        Oops sent too son, why are Germans against German programs?


        • They are a weird bunch. They think the program is superfluous, not needed. It’s as if they felt guilt over never visiting Germany and not knowing a word of the language.


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