Belenen (belenen) wrote,

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:


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.
Tags: communication / words, disconnection, gender, other-directed education, self-decorating

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