Friday, June 3, 2011

Reality Sets In

It's hot in my room.  We have air conditioning, but we're not using it.  I'm fine with that, because I've lived my entire life without A/C.  Anyway, I just now remembered that I needed to write.  I would very much like to be asleep right now, but I'm not.

I'm not behind on my schoolwork yet, but I'm on the cusp of being behind, so thankfully I can get caught up (and maybe even ahead) this weekend.  I'm doing the best I can not to get all shades of stressed out because I have so much to do, but I'm having trouble there.   The readings are a little on the long side, and I'm having a ton of trouble concentrating while I'm reading.  I read a lot.  I read news articles, stories about relationships and crimes, but for whatever reason, I have to read and reread and reread a third and fourth time this crap about theory because it just doesn't stick the first or second time.  I'm not super distracted at work, but I still can't entirely digest what I'm reading if I only read it once.  My mind wanders.  The criminology stuff is easier for me to read than the plain ol' sociology and gender crap because I'm already fascinated by the criminology.  However, in order to get into the interesting criminological stuff we have to get through the theory stuff and that part sucks.

Anyway, I have my first paper due tomorrow night and it's supposed to be no more than 400 words.  I'm a naturally verbose person and so I think I will probably have trouble keeping it that short.  Also, I've learned, that women as a gender tend to be far more explanatory than men.  Men sort of get straight to the point and are direct and forward, whereas women often start from a place far outside the realm of what they're talking about and move inwards from there.  I mostly read the theory that we're supposed to reference for this assignment but I got pretty bored with it.

I am having a tiny bit of trouble prioritizing my work.  I tend to want to work more on the criminology because I like it, and I'm having to force myself to get to the sociology and gender stuff because that stuff is essentially due about 10 hours earlier than the criminology stuff.

Anyway, I tried to give myself a little break this evening and not work on school stuff, but I felt guilty.  I tried to justify to myself that it was okay to take a break since I'd spent about 8am until 4pm working on school stuff (with breaks to travel and do actual work stuff at work), but that didn't really work.  I think that since I'm taking two classes this month instead of just one, I am going to have to really buckle down and make my peace with feeling really tired most of the time, catching up on sleep over the weekends, and working on school stuff in nearly all of my waking hours.  I just don't like sitting down to read something and then being unable to concentrate on it and give it my full attention even though that is my intention.  It's definitely not for lack of trying.  I suppose I could turn my TV off instead of just muting it when I'm at home and trying to read.

I really want to do well, but every time I spoke in class today, I was made to feel kind of stupid, as though I am not totally understanding what we're talking about.  I think I just have a different perspective on things and it's hard to reconcile that with others.  For example, we were talking about why parents would choose not to disclose the sex of their baby (something that we're discussing with regards to social construction of gender, and this is a story that has hit the news worldwide), and what hardships the kid might face in having no concrete gender assigned to it early in life.  The teacher asked, "Why would the parents do this?"  And I responded with,  "Why not?"  I assumed that my response would be at least respected because we had just discussed agency (free will; the ability to make choices), but everyone looked at me and the teacher sort of went on a short rant about how the parents are deliberately making this child's life more difficult than it might be with an early assigned gender.  So I shut up for the rest of the class.  Part of our grade is participation, and I usually do really well with that in smaller class sizes, but that may not be the case here if I'm going to be ostracized for having a different perspective.  I think I utilize the phrase, "To each their own," a little more in my own life and worldview, and although I might be judgmental of others (I know this; it's one of my more prominent flaws), I'd never go out and try to change other people simply because I don't agree with their choices.

So that was the first time I was made to feel uncomfortable in this class, and it changed my perception of how the learning process might continue for me in this particular setting.  I decided that I like the teacher a little bit less, even though she might be closer to my age and overall a more relaxed instructor.  I'm normally not afraid to speak in front of the class, and I even consider it a challenge sometimes because I know that I'm predisposed to blush profusely and make my nervousness obvious, but I may have to back off during this class if maybe I am going to make myself look like a retard who doesn't get the material.  I guess I'm just a little confused because I do get the main points of what we're discussing and reading about (as is evidenced by my getting the answers right on the little quizzes we're given daily on the readings), but when I open my mouth to talk, it appears that my perspective is further off than the rest of the class, however correct as it might be.

And with this online criminology class, I'm the first person to comment on the discussion threads we're supposed to be participating in daily.  It's the second time in two days.  For whatever reason the rest of the class is afraid to get the discussion going or whatever.  However, I'm less afraid to express my opinions and views in this class because I'm yet to be argued with or ostracized for what I have to say.  I like the online class structure.  People tend to speak up in ways they might not normally in an actual classroom, and the bonds we form with each other are formed much quicker and without general judgment.

I really need to get into bed now.  I haven't picked out my work clothes for tomorrow yet (which is proving to be the bane of my existence these days, since I only have one pair of work-appropriate capris and the rest are skirts and dresses and I want to be able to change before class) and I want to leave early for work so I can stop and pick up some donuts in celebration of tomorrow being National Donut Day.  Even if I can't skip work or school, I am going to celebrate the hell out of this day.  I don't plan on sharing my donuts, either.

No comments:

Post a Comment