April 2018
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speaking up & feeling better about judged learning / stress over inability to communicate one-on-one


I had a minor meltdown Saturday night from all the things I wrote about earlier that day. I'm feeling somewhat better now, partly because my repeating to myself, "it's okay to fail, it's okay for things to fall apart, you can always put them back together again" finally sank in, partly because the "scary" professor gave me good marks on my first paper despite my mistakes (and told me exactly what they were), and partly because yesterday I contradicted my sociology professor and ze didn't react negatively at all. Ze had said something about categories/stereotypes being useful and I responded by saying that they might be useful for examining trends when looking at large populations but we put people in them based on appearance, which doesn't necessarily say anything about a person, and thus they are useless on an individual level. Ze said something about them being useful in "dangerous situations" and I didn't want to argue that one so I simply said, "maybe, but we are rarely in that sort of situation." Then someone else in the class spoke up and said in dangerous situations ze relied on intuition, and the conversation shifted. But the professor didn't call on me less or seem irritated with me for saying that, so I felt like me speaking up was useful and not harmful to me (for once) and that made me feel better about college in general. I talk a lot in that class anyway, but usually the professor doesn't say things that I consider simply untrue, so this was a new experience. Then I felt like I'd used up my "tolerance of strangeness" for the day and didn't respond when someone said they'd heard a radio show going on about the "(unchangeable and significant) biological brain differences" between men and women, which bugged me somewhat, but the professor responded neutrally (saying there are lots of studies on the matter) instead of agreeing so I didn't feel self-betraying about not responding to it.

I also realized that part of the reason being around lots of people is bothering me is that I cannot communicate with them all. I've gotten used to at least having the option of discussing meaningful things with everyone I meet and thus mutually breaking down the initial stereotypes. Now I often sit in public areas at school where hundreds of people flow in and out and I cannot possibly talk to them all. I cannot correct their mistaken assumptions about me, nor can I correct my mistaken assumptions about them. It makes me want to wear my thoughts. I think this is part of the reason I used to paint t-shirts in high school -- I wanted a way of communicating SOMETHING true about me with everyone who saw me. And it's the reason I'm feeling increasing urgency about getting some of my tattoos, especially this one that Anita markered on me:



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and I have more to say on feeling alienated because of genderqueerness and excited about sharing feminism with a curious person but I have to get back to studying now.

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Comments
my_mundane_life ══╣╠══
When I teach sociology I love it when students contradict me - it makes the class more interesting. For me the whole point is getting students to think for themselves and to question the world around them, and that includes me. There is no wrong answer in sociology and it's great to have as many opinions expressed as possible. I would've thought she was a crap teacher if she'd responded negatively. Keep at it!!
justben ══╣╠══
Glad it’s going better. Sounds like an awesome professor. :-)

Lemme know when you decide to get those tattoos: I’d really like to be there with you when you do :-)
real_bethy ══╣╠══
I think that would be a sweet tatt. :)

May I ask a question? I noticed that you use "ze" and "zir" as pronouns. Is this your way of genderqueering language? I'm just curious (as you know, I'm total into gender issues) and I'd love to hear what you have to say. :)

I hope you are having a great day!
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frecklestars ══╣masked╠══
I know that when I teach sociology, I pretty much tell students "Disagree with me or your grades will not be as good as they could be". I expect them to disagree; if they don't, something is wrong IMO. Sociology is all about examining your world in critical ways and they can't possibly all agree with me all of the time. I wish everyone taught this way, _but_ my fingers are crossed that your professor is one of those.

Also, I don't know if I've said it yet, but I absolutely LOVE the idea of that as a tattoo!

Miss you!! *lots of squeezes*
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.