Saturday, November 13, 2010

concrete and grace

If you were to look at the contents scattered across my desk, you might be a little confused about what I do (or even who I am, for that matter). Tangled with two pairs of dangle-y earrings is a pair of neon yellow earplugs. A shiny park ranger badge sits next to a play-doh container. My watch and keys sit on top of a box filled with markers. Hot pink stationary rests on top of a stack of DVDs (including "The Rundown" "Blood Diamond" and "Little Miss Sunshine"). I have several video tapes from recent editing projects on top of blank CDs and DVDs beside a wildland firefighting manual. Plastic green army men stand ready to fight next to a light up pig key chain and a toy NPS patrol car. A disco ball, external harddrive, and Post-It note block are lined along the front of my dry erase board (that serves no other purpose than to remind me of awesome quotes like, "In matters of style swim with the current; In matters of principle, stand like a rock" by Thomas Jefferson, and "Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry." I also have Smokey Bear and "See Rock City" magnets pinning tickets to said white board (one airline ticket to Iwo Jima and a Killers concert ticket). A plastic hat cover (hat "condom" as my coworkers like to call it) is folded neatly and rubber banded next to a chocolate tin that is filled with Sharpie markers (I wish it still had its original chocolate, though). I have a stack of bills tucked into a book about the "Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885-1945" with a calculator on top. A bedazzled skull and crossbones card is pinned to the shelf next to a paper cut out pirate ship scene. I have coins (and two dollar bills!... I am rich!) under the many cords that connect my many electronic devices. A museum exhibition guide from the Frist's "Golden Age of Couture" leans against a shelf that has a park ranger print next to it.

And never mind my collection of sock monkeys on the shelf underneath my very top shelf loaded with books about WWII and the Reconstruction.

I like breaking assumptions. I work in a job that people mentally assign as masculine. Not only am I a park ranger (fully equipped with my Smokey Bear hat and ranger boots!) but I am a knowledgeable ranger at a battlefield (even if my Knoxville-visitor friend insists that I don't know my history). A girl!? Who knows about military history!? And wears high heels off-duty?!

It reminds me of one of my favorite songs:

"We are fire inside, we are an army asleep; We are a people awaking to follow their dreams; We don't have time for your games, we have our own goals to score. There are trophies to win (instead of being one of yours)." You can't keep me in my place. I don't fit into whatever box you have attempted to create for me. And I like that.

No comments: