Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Brief Rant

I was going to post this on Facebook, but figured I owe this neglected thing some attention. Plus, if someone googles “assholes” or “douchbaggery” maybe they’ll stumble upon this little blog.


I have a veteran friend who’s in grad school. She just started a new semester with a new crop of students who don’t know about her veteranness, and, like many vets, she doesn’t necessarily advertise it when making introductions. So she enters the classroom and kindly expresses her need to sit on the perimeter of the room—a need driven by deployment-related anxiety—and another student points to a seat in the middle and rudely suggests, “Why can’t you just sit in that seat?” My friend says she can’t and moves that desk to the perimeter. And the other students laugh and make fun of her

Really, people? In grad school, where everyone is supposedly at least a somewhat mature, mostly completely brain-developed adult? 

Lack of veteran context aside, so someone has a quirk—any quirk—must you be all Douchy McAsshole about it? 

I was recently a guest in my husband’s college freshman English classes, talking about narrative distance and empathy in writing memoir/personal essay. I said something that’s applicable here—a super sophisticated and eloquent analogy along the lines of: “Everyone has shit. Some people’s piles are just bigger or more smelly.”
People are different. Sometimes people are weird. Sometimes people have things bubbling under the surface that you know nothing about. Get over it. Or at least have the decency to save the laughter and gossip for behind closed doors