Thursday, January 19, 2012

How I'm Winning at College: Part 2

    Classes started up again this Tuesday and I, in my regular fashion, am already rocking them.

     "By 'rocking' do you mean you made it to class on time, with the proper supplies, with your hair fixed and dressed in some adorable outfit that you picked out the night before?"

   Unfortunately, huge mass of internet fans hanging on my every word, by "rocking" I mean I showed up five minutes late carrying only a dried up sharpie and the temperamental asshole otherwise known as my self esteem, who was busy informing me that only really REALLY cool people can pull off sweaty workout clothes outside the gym (and am I really delusional enough to believe I'm that cool? Really Honey?).
     While more motivated people are taking classes like Biochemistry and Business Management, because I'm a Communications major (I know, shocker right? You all can't even believe I'm not in the Physics department) I get to take things like Art History and Psychology of Death and Dying (so, so fun you guys).
    While these classes have their perks, namely that I find them incredibly interesting and also that showing up and occasionally mentioning the Holocaust is all it takes to pass, they also come with a particular set of challenges involving the type of people that tend to teach them.
    I'm a pretty open minded person. Sure I was raised with certain viewpoints and am genetically predisposed to eventually fall into an "extreme" category of some kind as I age, but I enjoy hearing all sides of an argument and consider myself a pretty sensitive and culturally aware individual. So now you have some context for this joyous little anecdote.

    As I mentioned earlier, I showed up five minutes late to my first class, which happened to be Intercultural Communications. As I quietly slipped into a seat as close to the door as I could find, I heard my name.

   "Baylee Steele?"
   I   looked up to find the middle-aged female* instructor staring at me with a giant "I accept everyone for who they are and don't judge them for anything" smile. These smiles are dangerous because they almost always mean the opposite. Let's be honest, if you have to work that hard to convince everyone you're a nice person, you probably aren't.

         *"Why does it matter that she's female Baylee? Aren't you being reverse sexist?"
                Maybe I am, let's keep reading and find out....

     Thankfully she moved on quickly and after watching a clip from the original Bad News Bears I soon found myself involved in a class discussion concerning the possibility of actual worldwide peace.
   "How does The Bad News Bears relate to World Peace" you say? I have no idea. I wasn't really listening because I was busy reading this little excerpt from the Behavior Policy section of our syllabus:

       "Please avoid using any derogatory or offensive language or terms that could hinder healthy discussion and expression of feelings. Please do not use any terminology that would indicate that another person's opinion is Wrong in any way, as the idea of Right and Wrong is an expression of ignorance. Don't deny anyone else their reality."

    While I was trying not to physically roll my eyes at this statement I looked up just in time to make eye contact with Professor No-Judgment who took the opportunity to ask me my opinion. The discussion went something like this:

   Prof No-Judgment: Baylee right?

   Me: Uh, yeah.

   Prof NJ: What do you think about the relationship between religious freedom and world peace?

   Me: This is the first day of this class, right?

   Prof NJ: Ha ha! Yes, but we don't waste any time when it comes to opening our minds!

    Me: Uh-huh. Well um, I think that unfortunately it's not a realistic expectation. I mean even if all of Mankind-

   Prof NJ: Let me stop you there- we don't use the term "mankind" okay? It's exclusionary and very offensive to women.

   Me: Uh, I'm a woman, so can't I say it?

   Prof NJ: No I'm sorry we prefer you use the term "humanity" or "people"

         At this point there is an awkward pause while I try to decide which is less argumentative- "Who is this 'we' you speak of" or...

   Me: Well "humanity" has "man" in it too.. so I guess I don't really see the difference.

   Prof NJ: That's true! Isn't it interesting how we just can't get away from it? Even our language excludes people! So how can we expect equality when the very words we speak force us to declare inequality?

  Me: Uh. Well I just meant it as a general term and I wasn't offended by it....(It should be noted for the record that at this point my brain actually screamed "SHUT THE HELL UP THAT'S ENOUGH" but my mouth just says things)............. and that's my reality. Are you saying it's wrong?

   Prof NJ: Unfortunately that's all the time we have today! But let's continue this discussion on Thursday okay? *Continues to smile but it's now accompanied by crazy "I will have your liver" eyes*

   So today I got home from work with the intention of relaxing for a few minutes and then heading to class to see if day two was any better, but then I fell asleep for two hours and missed it completely. So I dropped it and signed up for Intro to Dance because what the hell all elective credits look the same on a transcript anyway.

      Also if you're white and live in Colorado wearing a Kimono doesn't make you multi-cultural, even if you lived in Japan for three years. It makes you an idiot. Take that Professor No-Judgement.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Keeping Up Appearances

What I told everyone I was doing for New Years:

What I actually did for New Years:
Here's to a New Year of accepting ourselves for who we really are.