school stuff

A post with more regular day-in-the-life stories.  Just to give y’all another breather from this blog’s more cataclysmic things.

First, in economics class:

One of the topics for the day was Malthus, and as such, we had been assigned some brief reading on his most famous ideas, which are based on the following two foundational premises: that 1) people to need food to live and 2) there’s always going to be heterosexuals.

Now, first off, those two seem like pretty solid ideas to me — not too a faulty place to start from, at least until we aces complete our plans for world domination.  But I did take issue with the way he presented the second one, using the phrase “the passion between the sexes is necessary” for instance, which prompted me in class to ask whether the word “necessary” had a different meaning at that time.  Obviously, heterosexuality isn’t necessary.

Everyone was pretty eager to answer that question for me, and I must’ve gotten responses from about half the class, all of whom apparently need to be educated on the meaning of “circular reasoning,” but anyway — the general response was a thousand different wordings of the idea that passion between the sexes is inevitable and incorrigible (but not necessary) and at one point, one of the students who was offering an explanation had this very earnest look on his face as he said, “People won’t stop.”

And maybe it wouldn’t have meant anything to me if the cute shy girl sitting next to me hadn’t mimicked, “people won’t stop” in a quiet, awed voice, and when I heard that, I had to bite my tongue to keep from cracking up.

It’s not even that funny, I know.  And yet.  For the rest of class, I kept quaking with silent laughter every time I thought about it.  It was the freaking highlight of that class day, I swear.  The same girl happened to glance over at me as I was writing “PEOPLE WON’T STOP” in big letters in my notebook and started giggling along with me.  The rest of the class had to have noticed us, I’m sure, but nobody bothered to ask what was so funny.

Also, I should add that, during this discussion, at one point I uttered the phrase, “straighters gonna straight,” and NOBODY LAUGHED.  You have all FAILED ME, my economics brethren.  I’m disappointed in you all.  Except for cute girl, because she is precious and I will grant her an exception.

Then, when I went to an appointment with the career services center to get some help with my resume:

There was a form to fill out beforehand.  Pretty standard stuff, like what’s your major, your career plans, previous internships, etc.  But there was also a question that asked, “Do you consider yourself part of the LGBT community?”  The options you could check were “yes” “no” and “prefer not to say.”  I’m not sure what the exact relevance of the question was, but considering I go to a fairly liberal school, it didn’t surprise me to see it there.

Still, I waffled over what to answer with, since “yes” felt like lying and “no” felt like lying, so in the end, I chose to write “ish” in the little blank next to the “yes.”

Eventually a man showed up to meet with me — very nice, congenial man, avuncular, seemed pretty easy to feel comfortable around — and he looked at the form to get a general idea of my interests and current circumstances.  We had already gotten to chatting a little bit by this point; he seemed pretty easy-going and I was just brainawake enough to be charming, or maybe he was just that good at making people feel liked.  He had that kind of Jay Gatsby thing going on.  I always appreciate people like that.

I mention all this so you’ll understand why I didn’t start panicking the moment that he chuckled to himself and read the “ish” part aloud.

Feeling obligated to explain, I told him there were people who would say, “no, you’re not one of us” and others who would welcome me with open arms, so it’s complicated.  He gave me some sort of nodding, noninvasive advice like, “Well, life can be complicated sometimes.  I hope you figure it out” (paraphrasing — I can’t remember what exactly he said).

He seemed to have gotten the impression that I was still questioning my sexuality.  That would’ve been an okay impression to leave him with, and under other circumstances I would have shut up at that point, but this time I chose to try and clarify.

“It’s because I’m ace.  Not gay, not bi, not straight, but ace.  And most people don’t know what to do with that.”

(that’s a very close paraphrasing of what I told him)

He nodded and pretty much accepted that.  At that point, I wasn’t sure if he knew what I was talking about or not, but our conversation moved on to the more pertinent issue of my resume.

In retrospect, I should be surprised he chose to comment on that and not on the fact that I’d left the gender question blank.

We had a pretty good consultation, with me getting plenty of needed advice, and then toward the end, he asked me if I could explain a word I’d used earlier — a very professional move, I might add, to make sure we’d dealt with the matter I’d come for first.  Only sensible, of course.

So he asked me what “ace” was (“is it an acronym, or…?”) and I made a joke about needing a powerpoint presentation to explain, but then I told him it was shorthand for the asexual spectrum and summarized using swankivy’s “none of the above” explanation.  He was attentive and respectful during all of this, despite being evidently confused.  He did ask another question sort of like, “So what does that mean?” but he prefaced it with a lot of concern about not being too invasive and permission to “just stop me if it’s too many questions here.”  I could tell he was pretty well-meaning about it, and get this: HE DIDN’T ASK ANY OF THE GROSS QUESTIONS.  Hurrah!

My explanations may have been simplified and rushed, but I felt pretty good about how he handled the matter, and I like having a chance to talk about it — since you know how, the moment you say you’re ace, people have a million different ways of misunderstanding what that means.

So all told, it was a pretty good day except for dealing with the biologist in my rhetoric class.

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