Sunday, September 9, 2012

"look how smart I am"

Freshmen at lunch...ruinin' all the good times. 

Freshmen this is what you say: “what do you think about Hector in the Iliad when....blah. I think that the gods ... blah blah”
This is what I hear:
“Look I am in college. Can you believe it? I got into college and here I am. I bet I am here because I am really smart. I bet I am even smarter than you. Will you tell me how smart I am? Why are you not impressed and intimidated by me? I have been talking to you for two minutes and you still aren't singing my praises, you are nothing like my mother.”

(*kicks you down in the chest 300-style so that you fall screaming into the pit of lunch disgrace. Which is where we put people who distract us from the blissful five seconds that our lunch is lukewarm. Note: Also where we put people who clap when dishes break or force the entire commons to sing happy birthday to freshmen that we do not know and do not care about.)

I don't want to play “look how smart I am” freshmen.
Tell me about your favorite TV show,
or your hometown in Iowa,
or your irrational fear of kangaroo rats.

Now Liz, you might say, you are discouraging intellectual conversation! I thought that's what this school is all about.
Do you see the line between between intelligent conversation and “look how smart I am”?
You don't. It's nearly invisible. I don't always see it either.

Here is a litmus test,
“Am I willing to be convinced that my position is wrong?”
(a) “Yes, if I am wrong and you can show me how, I am willing to change my position.”
(b) “No I have to show the entire world that I am a fantastic genius! If you cut open my head for a lobotomy magic smart people stars will spew out of it. I speak all five dialects of Dolphin.”
If (b) you have guaranteed yourself a spot on a list of people who are annoying. Nobody wants them in section.

What do you think you are doing running around talking about the Iliad without looking at the text? Do you think you are going to learn something about Homer without him? Stop leaving him out. It makes him sad.  

Thankyou for listening.
This has been "me complaining about stuff which I am guilty of" by Liz


  1. This needs to get into the Weekly Dirt or its modern day equivalent.

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  3. Thanks guys...some freshman who will remain unnamed did in fact tell me that he was pretty much Shakespeare. Also it seems that the weekly dirt has devolved into the "monthly or maybe never dirt" but yeah I was thinking about something like that.