Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I had the severe misfortune of being voted "most likely to succeed" in my Senior Class. This disaster has tainted my relationship with everyone I went to high school with - blecht. I don't see many people from high school these days, and I'm really okay with that. But last night (at the aforementioned bridal shower) I got a good dose of high-school-folk-isms. I don't like the way people from high-school seem to perceive me, not one bit. I was one of four people present who were pregnant, which always serves to make one feel very ordinary when they ought to feel special. The fact that I was not currently going to school seemed to make everyone sigh in my general direction, even though I have a DEGREE. (Note: Maybe this is all in my head, by the way..... but even if it's only in my head it's a very real reason to be uncomfortable). One unmarried person made a comment about how ironic it was that I was married and pregnant, as she always thought she'd be doing that long before me and that I'd be off doing something.... I don't know.... academic or business related and be "really successful".... apparently she thought our roles were reversed.

Now, I know that no offense was intended, but my innards just smarted at that. First of all the comment made me feel very white-trashy. (Like the "Oh my gosh, you have a baby..... in a bar...." line from Sweet Home Alabama.) Somehow it's like I've failed to reach my potential because I'm becoming a mother. Now, I for one KNOW that is not the case.... but that's the judgment vibe I was getting and it really irked me. Second of all, I still feel like a reasonably successful person who is still learning and growing even though I'm not currently an official "student" - - I still read all sorts of things and am trying my best to keep my brain stimulated via Netflix, the Library, friends who are smarter than me, occasionally calling in sick at work to attend my favorite professor's lectures, etc. I'm probably in the minority in that I like school and would gladly go back. My high school had one of the highest drop-out rates in the state, and of those who went on to college, few finished. So I never really fit in there. I took school seriously AND I liked it... crazy.

On my way home from said shower, I called my darling friend Christina because I knew she could make me feel better about myself in a hurry. (And she did.) She reminded me of all the things I do right and appreciate on deep levels. That was nice. But then I got some bad news. Irksome bad news. My favorite professor of all time is in trouble. Apparently because he is so smart and because he was teaching an entry-level/general education class.... his smartness and his insight was too much for some people (which people, even not knowing them, I now despise), and those people used the incorrect channels of authority to complain about him. And the people that they complained to, instead of re-directing them to the proper channels for such complaints, went ahead and put my favorite professor on probation. The rage and fury in my innards are indescribable. What kind of idiotic person (DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS) puts their most genius and valuable professor ON PROBATION? That's like cutting off your arm because you have a paper cut. OOOH I AM ENRAGED. Apparently this new Dean (IDIOTIC PERSON) of the college has been unfriendly toward the department from the beginning, and nobody has much hope for getting through to him. My first reaction (and apparently that of dozens of others) was to write a long letter and make my mind known. But the faculty has been saying not to do that, that it won't help and that if anything, will aggravate the situation. But there must be something constructive I can do with all the anger I'm a'feelin'.


Anonymous said...

I hope I didn't make you feel wierd! I was so excited to see you! That unmarried person was just being know how she is. That is why I don't hang out with anyone that was sitting in that room last night, except for Kris's wife Stacy who was sitting in the back. Everyone was nice, but most of them just put on a happy nice face when you know they don't really care how you are doing. I liked seeing everyone, but it is still wierd. I think you are a very good example of a hard working person who knows what she wants. It would be wonderful to have a degree and be done with school. I went for a year and a half, and then got married and had a kid, and I wish I would have kept going. I know I will never go back. It was wierd for me to be in that room too, because everyone of the girls, except for one other and myself, were either graduated or almost finished with school. They probably just think I took the easy way out and am stupid for not finishing my education. I don't have regrets. I am happy with my life, and who cares what people think anyway. :) You know I love ya Em! I am sorry you felt awkward. I hope it didn't come from me.:)

Em said...

Most definitely did not come from you Chan! In fact, it mostly just came from the "one person" mentioned, but it was kind of a wierd comment, no?

And I hope it's obvious from what I wrote that I think becoming a mother is a hugely important and success-filled choice!

I just sometimes feel like I'm held to some bizarre standard for success. People have these expectations of me and I don't know where they come from!!

hairyshoefairy said...

I've been on the receiving end of comments like that as well and it seems no matter how happy I am with my life and where I'm going, and knowing I'm doing what's right for me, they always sting. It's frustrating that I let myself feel that way sometimes, but I'm working on it. Btw, love the "Sweet Home Alabama" reference.

I have mean, nasty, angry thoughts on university politics. They are very involved and opinionated so I won't go into details here, but suffice it to say an incredible program was canned along with several amazing professors, and the local community was lied to about almost all of it. Grr. It's been several years and I still get worked up just thinking about it and people are always surprised when they find out the truth.

Anonymous said...

She is just wierd. I never really take anything she says personal, because she never really seems very happy for anyone. She just has a wierd view on marriage and having babies because she has yet to experience it. You will be a great mom and it is a wonderful new chapter in your life. I think it is one of the hardest "careers" in the world! Being a mom with a degree is definatly something to be proud of also. Even if you never use it!:) The whole expectations thing...people still try to out do each other even after highschool. Not really looking forward to our 10 year reunion. A "look what I have" party basically. The only thing that matters to me is my family and a few (such as yourself) good friends.:)

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