Thursday, March 08, 2007

You're Not Invited to My Birthday Party Investigationalism

For those not in the know, the 3rd year magazine journalism stream is going through a huge period of upheaval and tumult. I don't want to get into specifics because I want to maintain some sense of neutrality. Basically, to sum it up, our class is incredibly cliquey amongst its 28-odd members. I guess that's what happens when you put 25 girls together,* and expect us to all get along. Discussion boards have been active, Facebook groups have been created, and nothing has been resolved. I guess the biggest issue is that we're catty, unprofessional and stressed out. And while we can get away with this right now, next year we're expected to come together as a team and produce the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

One girl suggested that we should just all be friends. She suggested it with the kind of hope and optimism that I'm pretty sure she can see us all braiding each other's hair while holding hands and discussing the ins and outs of journalistic ethics. This girl is clearly dillusional.

Following a heartwarming session in Ivor's** class today, where we talked out our feelings and determined that the solution was to all get drunk together (I kid you not--this was actually suggested by Ivor, and we agreed under the condition that he join us) I ran into some of the people from my class on campus. It was over an hour later, and I was walking down the stairs in the business building, when I saw two of my classmates ascending the stairs. "Hi!" I chirped cheerily in greeting. Both of them looked directly at me, and proceeded up the stairs without responding with so much as a smile. (One of these classmates in particular has done things in the past like move my coat and bag to another seat so that she wouldn't have to sit beside me. The other is usually amicable towards me.)

Walking out of the building, I saw another one of the girls. I smiled at her. She looked at me, but did not smile back. Proceeding down Gould street, I ran into one of the token guys. He avoided my gaze and did not acknowledge knowing me.

I don't get it.

In the past I've been told that people find me intimidating, but I really don't think this is the case. Truth be told, I kind of think that these people might view me as a snob. Is the root of my problem my complete inability to small-talk? (I don't know how to have the "how are you?" pleasantry conversations. So I don't. I'm kind of opposed to them. They're pointless. The only time I'll ask how you're doing is if I genuinely care about your response.) Maybe my social awkwardness has grown to the point where people think I'm a flat-out bitch?

Or maybe these other girls are just flat-out bitches themselves? Does it really take so much effort to exchange a simple hello with someone? Or at least make eye contact in acknowledgement and smile as a greeting? These aren't pointless pleasantries. These are simply manners. Why are these people so eager to pretend that they don't know I exist?

Whatever the case is, it will be interesting to see how the next year plays out.

*There are three guys in my class. Everyday is estrogen in excess.
**My magazine writing prof.


  1. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Such a mature and supportive group of people to work with... just like the real world!

    You realize if everyone goes out drinking, you'll all just split into the same cliques? But maybe you could get a brawl going. Hey, it couldn't hurt. Much.

  2. Anonymous11:40 PM

    i agree with the sall talk thing... it is pointless. i also have a very hard time talking to people when it comes to small talk.

    my classes are full of cliques, and since im in marketing its all about group work, so if you get stuck without your clique in the class then your basically screwed.

    oddly enough we all did drink together and it did help, but only for a little while, they are back to ignoring people in the hallway. It's not so bad since alot of the class does get along, but thats because there are a lot of guys in my class who don't deal with the personal shit that girls do.

    anyway good luck with next year, i can see it being a major challenge, but whatever its their loss if they are going to pretend you dont exist. i say that because i know your friends with jr and he generally is friends with pretty cool people.

  3. I see crying in your future.

  4. I've also often wondered how that adds up. I've been told I'm any combination of intimidating, snobbish, bitchy and lovely. People are usually surprised by the last bit - but then they never really engage me enough to figure it out.

    Note: I hate small talk and rarely indulge people in it.

    People are retarded Jess. Take solace in the knowledge that when you rule the world you won't have to worry about them. Until then, I'm with Alex - crying (in private, so you can keep up that "tougher than nails" facade) is the only way.

  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    it's actually tragic i missed that discussion in yesterday's class. i would have verbally slayed all of them.

    you must fill me in on this in great detail over a game of scrabble this weekend.

  6. Canice: Agreed. I'm done working CMW after Saturday night. Sunday evening, perhaps?

    As for crying, there may be crying in other people's future, but not in mine. The entirety of my public school experience made me it pretty much impossible for me to cry over what people think about me and say about me. It's more a matter of manners that annoy me.

  7. Anonymous10:14 AM

    So this comment is late coming... but I'm actually a little dissapointed that our class discussion was so civilized. I think name-calling and shouting would have been a little more cathartic. As for being friendly with people from class outside of it, I've made an effort to be awkwardly friendly. i.e. Very loudly saying hi when they are clearly planning to walk by me. I don't know what I'm trying to prove by doing that, maybe that I'm mentally imbalanced... But for a little hilarity go check out our resolutions on blackboard. I tell everyone that we're in group therapy.

  8. Haha. That provided me with brief "at-work" entertainment. This whole situation is ridiculous. I think we'll pull it together for fourth year, but I don't think we're every all going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya together.

    And that, I am grateful for.

  9. i love you, jlockhart. and so does our "clique" going to start affectionately smacking magazine streamers as they walk by since small social acknowledgment seems to be beyond them. ha! <3 xo