Guy Love, That’s All It Is

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By Sinead Hunt

To most of my peers, Scrubs represents an entirely forgettable, one-dimensional sitcom from the early 2000s. But given that it was the first sitcom I had ever laid my eyes upon, it’s no wonder that my pubescent self found the show invariably hilarious and the characters unwaveringly winning—after all, I had nothing to compare it to. Recently, for reasons relating entirely to indolence, I decided to go back and watch Scrubs in its entirety to see if it still holds up.

Interestingly enough, Scrubs is frequently praised by real-life doctors for its depictions of work and life in a hospital setting. Bill Lawrence, in an attempt to ground the show in reality, would send his writers out each week to interview practicing physicians. In fact, many of the scenes in the show are inspired by the lived experiences of doctors and other healthcare professionals.

For instance, there is a scene in the pilot in which JD attempts to perform a paracentesis on his patient. The procedure goes horribly awry when JD is unable to stop the excess fluid from spurting from the oblivious patient’s distended belly. The physical comedy of this scene is heightened by the knowledge that it was inspired by the real-life experiences of Dr. Paul Pirralgia. Dr. Pirralgia attended Brown Medical School with creator Bill Lawrence’s best friend, Dr. Johnathan Doris (As a brief side note, Dr. Johnathan Doris served as medical advisor to the show, and accordingly Zack Braff, his nickname on set was “The Real JD”). If you manage to look past the cartoonish dream sequences, you will find a depiction of medical residency that is notably prosaic. While other shows may capture the heroism of doctors saving lives amidst an unrelenting onslaught of tragedy and calamity (cough Grey’s Anatomy), Scrubs finds levity in the day-to-day lives of doctors and nurses.

Given that Scrubs was inspired by the real-life friendship between Bill Lawrence and Dr. Johnathan, it is no wonder that Turk and JD’s friendship is so emotionally resonant. Part of what was revolutionary about Scrubs was its unabashed celebration of male friendship and camaraderie. Anyone who has watched the show can tell that J.D’s transient romantic relationships take a back seat to the preeminence of his friendship with Turk. In fact, one might argue that male friendship is the focal point of the show.

Turk and JD’s friendship is so central to the premise of the show that it is frequently used to measure the passage of time. The physicality of their friendship is particularly noteworthy. Turk and JD are never afraid to express their platonic affection for one another through physical touch, whether it be a pat on the shoulder or a comforting hug. This is particularly laudable for a time in which men refrained from any physical expression of affection, lest they be branded as “gay.” In a decade where the public understood masculinity through a heteronormative matrix, Scrub’s depiction of affectionate and emotionally nuanced male friendship belied many preconceived notions about the very definition of manhood.

However, as I continued to watch, I realized that running throughout the show is an insidious undercurrent of homophobic hyper-masculinity. JD is emotionally expressive, and as a result, is often pejoratively called girls’ names. Turk, however, embodies the ideal of “hyper masculine stoicism,” repressing his emotions and coping with stress through expressions of physical violence and domination, particularly in the arena of sports. Moreover, JD and Turk are frequently subject to intense speculation about the nature of their friendship, implying that two men cannot be friends without having their heterosexuality called into question. As much as Scrubs is revolutionary in its portrayal of male friendship, it also reinforces harmful and prohibitive gender stereotypes.

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A Requiem for the Gilmore Girls

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By Sinead Hunt

Though I can’t remember exactly when I first discovered Gilmore Girls, I can recall how immediately entranced I was by the world that Amy Sherman-Palladino had so lovingly and deliberately crafted. At the time, I was a first-semester freshman in college, struggling to make friends, assimilate to college life and keep my head above water academically. Upon arriving on campus, I found it difficult to reconcile my preconceived notions of what college would be like with the realities I encountered.

Before arriving, my perception of college was idealistic, verging on delusional. I viewed college as a utopian haven of learning, a place where I would have the freedom to explore my academic interests, befriend new and exciting people and finally, establish myself as an autonomous, well-adjusted adult.

What I failed to realize, however, is that there are two sides to every coin. As someone who grew up accustomed to moving around and spending long periods separated from my family members, I never anticipated how homesick I would feel upon arriving at school. As someone who thrived academically throughout high school, I never expected to struggle academically or fail to meet my professor’s expectations. I was shocked to discover how much of my incipient college experience would be characterized by social isolation and glaring feelings of inadequacy. Amid these swirling negative emotions, Gilmore Girls provided me with an invaluable sense of comfort and safety.

49bfa768-c0a5-4447-b98c-1ce2da4efcd7Watching the first season of Gilmore Girls felt akin to ensconcing oneself in a warm blanket and eating a bowl of Mac and Cheese. Although its critics have claimed that Gilmore Girls fails to captivate audiences because there are no high-stakes conflicts to drive the plot, I would retort that this feature is a strength rather than a shortcoming. While there is certainly a place on television for edge of your seat thrillers, there is also a demand for television made to soothe.

During a turbulent and confusing time in my life, I took comfort in knowing that I could tune in and immediately be transported to the magical world of Stars Hollow. The idyllic town serves as the perfect backdrop to Sherman-Palladino’s earnest and heartwarming story about multigenerational female relationships. Originally shot on the WB backlot to save on production costs, the diminutive size of the set has the added benefit of generating a sense of intimacy between the viewers and the world of Stars Hollow. Familiarly flawed characters and landmarks, such as the gazebo in the town square, Doosey’s Market, Luke’s Diner and Weston’s Bakery, make viewers feel like they are home.

In her role of a fast-talking, capable single mother, Lorelai Gilmore, Lauren Graham is simultaneously endearing and annoying. She demonstrates a fierce sense independence paste-tv-gallery-memes-gilmore-girls-cool-momand indomitable will, which allow her to single handedly raise her daughter, Rory. Through the seven seasons of the show, however, Lorelai also presents vexing contradictions. Although she purportedly left her parents’ house to escape their world of privilege and entitlement, as the self-declared “Queen of Stars Hollow,” Lorelai demonstrates an appalling lack of self-awareness. However, these flawed idiosyncrasies only emphasize the sense that Lorelai is not just a character, but a real person.

Moreover, Gilmore Girls has a novelistic quality to it that I have yet to see reproduced in other television series. Amy Sherman-Palladino has a unique capacity for world-building, in that she was able to breathe life and dimension into each and every character. Unlike other shows of its time, whose plots could invariably be neatly resolved by the close of an episode, Gilmore Girls is special because of its poignant, emotional sucker punch endings. Instead of coddling or patronizing her teenage girl demographic, she presents viewers with emotionally challenging scenes that are relevant for women in every stage of life.
This is why Gilmore Girls is stands the test of time. Whenever I speak to someone about Gilmore Girls, they express how they personally identified with one of the characters or its evocative depictions of female relationships. Regardless of its flaws (of which there are many, particularly in season 7), it is Gilmore Girls’ unique capacity to elicit honest emotional reactions that has secured its spot in the hearts of many, many fans.  

Post Commencement Stress Disorder

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By Ruby Samuels

For seniors like me, the end is near and so is the beginning.

The day that I graduated from elementary school, I remember feeling so accomplished, so much closer to being a writer or a full-time wild horse trainer or CIA agent or whatever else was on my mind at the time. I also remember, much more vividly, the crushing weight of realization that I would have to plod through 12 more years of schooling until that day of freedom, more years than I had been alive.

Now that day is quickly approaching, and it’s hard to know if I’m ready. I know that I am not alone. After all, there is now a diagnosis for the anxiety that comes with exiting the womb of academia into the vast wilderness of w2 forms and superintendents who won’t answer the phone when your pipes burst because you’re a woman. Psychologists are calling it PCSD (Post Commencement Stress Disorder) and whatever that new diagnosis says about the current economy, the current state of pop psychology or my “snowflake,” trigger-warned generation, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen PCSD living in the deadened, wine-scented faces of friends who graduated in the past few years. Here are the symptoms below:

Symptoms of PCSD

  • Feeling you are not in control of your life
  • Feeling a lack of support after commencement
  • Feelings of failure if the new graduate is unable to find work in their area of specialty in a reasonable length of time
  • Sleeplessness and irritability
  • Avoidance of normal, everyday activities

Here are some basic concerns that I want to let all of you seniors out there know you are not alone in feeling, plus some solutions to help all of us feel a little bit better.

I have no marketable skills                                                                                                  For those of us who majored in the humanities, what can we offer the world other than a semi-stimulating conversation about how EVERYTHING is a construct?liberal-arts-1uyq83x

Not to worry. As liberal arts students, we’re taught to think critically and creatively and to write down our thoughts in a compelling way.  We have also been taught to work really hard. These are marketable skills for almost every industry. Besides, most of what people learn about their field is learned on the job. What really matters is the $200,000 branded piece of paper that you walk away with, which your sociology professors taught you is a CONSTRUCT that you should take and use anyway because you “have to” to get most jobs.

I have burned all the bridges                                                                                                So you’ve had a few internships. You’ve fetched coffee and filled out excel spreadsheets and felt dead inside at the prospect of that being your life forever. So you didn’t really keep in touch. Or maybe you tried to keep in touch but didn’t get any response because adults have overflowing inboxes that are too important for over-anxious yet underwhelmed millennials.images

Here’s the good news. Not every job requires a reference– I know plenty of young people who have found jobs through friends or family and never needed that former boss’s good word. But it is a good idea to keep in touch with professionals in the field that you are actually interested in. The key is persistence. Working adults really do have overflowing inboxes and it may take a few emails, each a few months apart, to get their attention. Keep it short and sweet. Ask them to meet you for coffee, to pick their brain, to get their advice, because they have been in your shoes and it’s always good to have footsteps to follow.

My long term relationship will fall apart in the real world                                      This one is a killer. You’ve been in the steady, structured environment of a college for the entirety of your relationship. You’ve been the intellectual, the rock for your partner all this time and now you are facing a future in which you very well might transform into an unsexy, unemployed, self-loathing liberal arts grad.Stress-Everywhere

Perhaps both of you are seniors and will have to face versions of yourselves and each other that are existentially flailing and depressed. Or perhaps you find jobs on opposite sides of the country and can’t handle long distance intimacy.                                         

Stop right there. I may have these worries myself, but I have seen my partner through the post grad hell and dark depression that is student loan debt, misogynist and underpaid jobs and even unemployment. If anything, it has only made us stronger and is a never ending process of mutual support. If you and your partner can help each other realize that whatever happens in the immediate aftermath of graduation is not a measure of personal worth or potential, then your relationship will become invaluable to your ability to keep moving forward. And that is really all that you should be doing– moving forward, step by step.

I will become a corporate automaton                                                                                   I have been worried about this all my life. As silly as it sounds, my first ever, middle school paper was about Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond and transcendentalism’s wise decree to trade in the quiet desperation of material society for a cabin in the woods. I honestly don’t know what counts as corporate anymore because it seems as though most urban jobs involve being inside and in front of a computer for long periods of time. But being in an office most days doesn’t mean you’ll turn into an unfulfilled robot.today-fears-dreams-escape-life-cubicle-escape-lifes-cubicle-11021227

If you don’t mind being indoors all the time surrounded by paperwork at the bottom of a corporate ladder, good for you. But for the rest of us, there are ways to find some autonomy and even some opportunities to interact with a variety of people and places, and maybe even get outside, in your everyday work.

Think outside the box. Don’t think that just because you have this impressive degree, you have to go get a job in finance or at a top company in New York City. If you can afford it, move to a small town, walk dogs, bartend, nanny until you have a better idea of what kind of life you want to live and what career you want to spend your life with. Prove to yourself that you can survive without the help of your parents or an “elite” job, that you won’t starve just because you are unconventional. Don’t choose a career based on what your parents and striver friends tell you is a “good idea,” because you are your own person, and at the end of the day you need to know how to make yourself happy.

 

Giving Thanks: A Reflection on Thanksgiving for Three

 

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By Collier Curran

Even as my desk is piled high with papers and textbooks and my laptop has seventeen tabs open, my mind wanders to thoughts of mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and family. As the semester–and midterm season–trudges on, my excitement for Thanksgiving only builds; I open my eyes every morning and immediately grab for my phone to check the number of days left until the 23rd. In this age of only seeing family and hometown friends every few months, I can’t help but reflect on how my relationship to this holiday, and to my home, has changed.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was a somewhat typical day. Sure, my mom had spent most of the previous day cooking, but roasted chicken (we don’t like turkey), mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce were hardly a rarity in my house. I am incredibly lucky to have been born to a modern-day Julia Child; if I ever had a bad day, or a good day, or even an okay day, my mom was cooking. We almost always had a sit-down, home-cooked dinner as a family, but every few weeks we would enjoy a feast similar to that of Thanksgiving as a treat. While I was always grateful for the delicious food in front of me, I had somewhat grown used to it.

My Thanksgivings were also typical in terms of the company. I cannot remember a time where I ate Thanksgiving dinner with someone who didn’t live in my house (or next door, when my grandparents lived one block away). For one reason or another, my mom always cooked the Thanksgiving meal, and my very immediate family always enjoyed it. In this way, an artfully prepared meal with the members of my household just felt like another Thursday. Sure, the Macy’s Parade was on TV in the background, and my dad I ran in our town’s 1.4 mile Turkey Trot (I will admit that me running meant it was not a typical day), but once those festivities ceased, we engaged in typical family time.tumblr_lus03cg5181qav5oho1_500

After leaving for college, Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning. My first year at school, I lived off of subpar meals from the dining hall, and now, I mix take-out with semi-homemade dinners that would even make Sandra Lee cringe. A meal homemade by my mom is something I miss every day, almost as much as the company.

I’m always saddened when I think about how little I appreciated the beauty of Thanksgiving when growing up. I was fortunate enough not only to share a bountiful meal in a welcoming home, but also to eat that meal with the strong and beautiful women in my life. Though the makeup of my household has changed slightly throughout the years, I have never had a shortage of inspiring family members, despite the small number. I currently live with my mother and my grandmother, both of whom challenge and motivate me every day. I know now that I will never again take for granted sharing a table with them, and coming home to experience everything I love about my town and the place that unrelentingly supports and encourages me. I am who I am because of these small family dinners, and even if we do not fill up my dining room table, I would not trade them for anything.Chast_2010_11_22_0071215-Thanksgiving-Slideshow2

Alone or Lonely?

 

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By Willa Cuthrell-Tuttleman

It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m sitting on the steps across from Milbank. It’s sunny but chilly outside, and I’m sipping a hot coffee. There are students around me; some of them are talking in groups, some in pairs. Another girl, alone, like me, is sitting on the step above me, eating an orange and looking at her phone.

Before I entered college, people told me that I was going to have some of the best years of my life here. An important part of that experience, they said, was the lifelong connections and friendships that I would make, the late nights, the wine parties.

I kept this in mind all throughout last year, especially during NSOP, when new students were scrambling to make as many friends and meet as many people as possible. People went from being best friends during NSOP to acquaintances when classes began. I think about several people who I’d become “best friends” with within the first couple days of orientation, and how quickly they fizzled out and amounted to, at most, a smile when passing each other on the way to class.

Last year, socialization was important to me. I hated being alone, so I filled my schedule with lunch dates, outings, movies, etc. I made plans like crazy. But I felt on a deeper level that these social interactions, at least in the first month of college, were superficial. But I was happy, because at least I wasn’t ever alone.

Because all the freshmen lived in close-quarters and had similar eagerness to “get involved” in the social scene, clubs, organizations, etc., being constantly social was easy, and it was something that I got used to.

I’m a sophomore now, living in Plimpton. No more communal bathrooms or kitchens, no more walking out into halls of people heading to the shower in a bathrobe. Often, I’m in my room. I don’t like going out as much; things are too far away. Introducing myself to new people is harder now, since I’m not new to the school anymore, and I don’t technically have an incentive to branch out. Yet, at the same time, I am a bit lonely; looking at what everyone is doing on social media is disheartening. It’s easy for me to feel isolated, or to feel as if I’m not doing anything, as if I’m wasting my college experience, and I’m feeling more and more these days like a loner. For a while, this was very difficult for me– at times, it still is– but I’ve learned that being alone isn’t always a bad thing.

When I was hyper-social last year, I felt good about having a full schedule, a rich social life, a group text, etc. However, I often felt compelled to keep up relationships and people that didn’t make me feel good. I felt anxious all the time, desperate to be liked, wondering why someone didn’t answer a text that I’d sent a day ago. The worry that came with all of these things was exhausting. While I still experience these feelings, I’ve found that taking time for myself has been helpful. Being alone on my own volition took mountains of social pressure off – I’m beginning to enjoy walking by myself, studying by myself, having dinner by myself, without worrying about what I’m supposed to be doing, such as having dinner with five friends every night. This semester, I’ve learned the value of having just a few really great individual friendships; I’ve learned the relief of not having to belong to a group, and most importantly, I’ve learned to love alone time.
That’s not to say that I still don’t sometimes experience episodes of loneliness on campus, FOMO, sneaking suspicions that that one friend doesn’t actually like me that much, the feeling that I’d made someone mad, etc. I still experience these things, which I think, I hope, is part of the larger experience of existing as a social being, but something that I ultimately learned this semester is finding value, enjoyment, and serenity in being alone, and that being alone shouldn’t and doesn’t necessarily equate to being unhappy.

Journalism. For or Against?

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Jaime Kedrowski / Missourian

By Ruby Samuels

It was late afternoon, right in the middle of midterms and the red-eyed students in my sociology class were just getting into the topic of the day: mass media’s negative influence on social movements. We were not talking about “fake news,” Breitbart or Alex Jones radio. We were talking about the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the four other “corporate” media companies that we were informed have been purveyors of skewed information both nationally and internationally for over a century.  

As I sat back and listened to my fellow classmates, some of whom are social activists themselves, speak about the media as a rabid and biased generalized other, I was taken aback. They described unwelcome “swarms” of reporters descending on protests that they participated in. They spoke about how even the most openly liberal and anti-Trump reporters are empowering the president by shining a spotlight on his misdeeds. They spoke of how the Women’s March, the largest single-day protest in American history, only reached front page news because it was all about Trump, the man whose name and hair gets people to read articles. Therefore, they said, protests that don’t explicitly resist the president are not covered. They spoke of how the widespread negative coverage of the antifa movement halts progress against white nationalism. Lastly, they said that journalists cover protests as though they are isolated events, which limits the information that readers can absorb about the political and social context that gave rise to the movement in the first place. usa-new-york-daca

A lot of the points that were made in class this week are valid, but I am still grappling with how journalists could be so mistrusted by college students in an era full of headlines that seem to be on their side (in opposition to the current administration). Media may be somewhat inherently  biased– after all, reporters are human beings too– and everyone should learn to be a critical consumer, but I’ve always thought that journalism was a noble and necessary part of democracy. How else can everyone else, who spend most of their waking hours working in their own fields, be made aware of the political, cultural and economic events that shape, however abstractly,the world they live in?

In class, we have also read about zines and citizen journalists with their own publications and distribution methods, who are openly biased and seek to inform the public of their cause. But we still need people whose whole job is to report the news, who are trained in a professional setting to research, report and write about events that their personal ideologies aren’t already tangled up in. Don’t we?

Yes, we have fantastic, well trained, full-time reporters like Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! and Rachel Maddow, who take an activist approach to journalism. But we still need sources that ride the line between parties, that will be listened to by more than the liberals in the preacher’s choir, that can’t be called fake news so easily.

The book we were assigned to read for class that day is called “The Whole World is Watching,” named after the chant of anti-war demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention in 1968. The author, Tom Gitlin, mainly talks about just that– Vietnam protests and the way that major news organizations allied with the Johnson Administration’s pro-war agenda to frame the anti-war protesters as a bunch of riotous hippies. I never got the sense that Gitlin intended to convince his readers that media is the enemy. He just seems to have wanted readers to realize that whatever they read, it’s not the whole truth.

In any case, times have changed. Journalists are still part of an elite intellectual class, which they supply with one version of the truth. As Gitlin wrote: “Simply by doing their jobs, journalists tend to serve the political and economic elite definitions of reality” (pg. 12). But these days, at least, journalists also uncover stories that politicians and certain members of the elite would rather not be shared. Journalists, however, can’t take sides, even when covering injustice and the movements that hope to be the solution. As the New York Times wrote in May:

“The question is which approach is more effective — when The Times looks as if it has joined the resistance, or when it excavates facts without prejudice? In the legal system, it’s the difference between an investigator and a prosecutor….Some readers, alarmed over a Trump presidency, want the newsroom in full combat mode”

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I think that recent events show that journalists are not turning their cheek to social movements. Six reporters, for example, were charged with felonies and arrested (four of whom acted even after seeing the consequences faced by the first two) for covering inauguration day protests in January,  under the premise that they were violating a Washington D.C. law against rioting. Just a few weeks ago, reporters repeated again and again the date of the deadline for DACA recipients to renew their two-year period of legal status. And what about coverage of the protests that have nothing to do with president Trump?

I’m still left with questions about how to go about doing journalism in a way that maintains the reporter’s role as the white helmet in a war of words. How do journalists cover the news in a way that reveals the structural inequity that leads to protests while also revealing the truth of the other side? How do journalists remain truly unbiased, or reveal their biases without losing readers?  What I do know is the less  that social activists trust the press, the less free the press can be to uncover the stories that those activists  and everyone else need to know. 

One Week in The Social World Has Me Rethinking the Basis of My Identity

 

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By Sinead Hunt

This semester, in a dual attempt to a) become a much more well-rounded student and b) fulfill Barnard’s “Thinking About Social Difference” requirement, I enrolled in “Introduction to Sociology: The Social World.” Although it is still early in the semester, this class has already managed to challenge my most fundamental conception of my identity.

As an economics major, I’m used to grappling with difficult mathematical concepts, to stripping people of their humanity and viewing them as the mere sum of their economic transactions. If economics is cold and calculating, then sociology is the diametric opposite. In order to understand the forces that drive individual human behaviors, sociologists fully integrate themselves into people’s daily lives. They infiltrate churches and schools, hospitals and boardrooms, camouflaging themselves in order to produce writing that is both academic and intimate.

sociology.pngThis week, as part of our examination of the development of the self, we studied the work of George Herbert Mead, who is best known for his theory that a person’s identity is developed through their social interactions. At first I was rather resistant to Mead’s idea of identity formation through “social experiences and activities,” mostly because I have always tended to avoid social interactions. However, one thing I have learned thus far is that regardless of whether or not you subscribe to certain social norms, they nonetheless govern your life. Just because I was an anti-social preschooler doesn’t mean that I am the rare exception to Mead’s theory. Even as a four year-old, my fierce independence was fueled by the self-aggrandizing delusion that I was somehow above my peers, above my teachers, and most of all, above the patronizing institution of pre-K.

2f242f718d575fbc3adf7e286cb47095Mead believed that play is integral to children’s formation of identity, as it allows children to take on different roles, thereby adopting the perspective of others. I remember distinctly that one day I was playing with a friend of mine, Amanda, when she imperiously announced that she would play the role of a princess and I her servant. I               still remember bitterly choking down tears as

I began to feel an acrid mixture of rage and resentment. I also remember feeling unbridled glee when I turned the tables on Amanda by channeling my pent up feelings of injustice into revenge. Play allowed me to experience of wide range of perspectives, all from the comfort the comfort of my home.

Mead posits that at a certain point, children’s conception of “self” is transformed by what he refers to as the “generalized other.” This is to say, when you are a very young child, your sense of self is predicated upon how your family members and caretakers perceive you. As you move out into the world, however, and begin to interact with those outside of your family circle, your identity is increasing influenced by how you think others perceive you. Your sense of self is increasingly predicated upon what you believe society expects of you.

In class, our professor asked us one simple question: “Who do you think you are?” She instructed us to summarize our identity in one word and write it down in our notebooks. As those around me diligently obeyed her directive, I couldn’t help but pause. The first thing I thought to write was “smart.” For about as long as I can remember, I have identified as “smart,” predicating not only self-worth, but the very essence of my sense of self upon my intelligence. When I was very young, I had no conception of my own intelligence or abilities. I felt no ambition, no desire to achieve, no impulse to prove myself to anyone: I simply just existed. Mostly I was content on fulfilling my own preschool version of hedonistic desires, which mostly consisted of fruit snacks.

It wasn’t until second or third grade that I began to internalize what my teachers thought of me. My teachers expected me to achieve, so in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, I began to achieve at high levels. My mother once recounted to me a horrifying story about her coming home, only to discover that nine-year-old me was stressing about an upcoming state science exam. When she asked me why I felt so anxious, I responded that I had heard the teachers talking about me, and they had expressed a certainty that I would get a perfect score. Suddenly, I felt not only an obligation to perform well, but to perform perfectly. My intelligence, my achievement and my sense of self became inextricably and dangerously linked.

The moral of the story? Sociology will fuck you up.

 

New Yorker Cartoon linked here

Edited by Ruby Samuels