Happy cats make for happy homes

adolescence Alabama beliefs blogging calm change Chicago crisis crushes dreams family fear flint hills food friends happiness health being a hippie holiday home internship kids loss love magic memories money music parties perfection plants projects relationships relaxation reminiscing ritual school social work issues spirits sports stress style the South violence weather weather worries writing



Go now. Go.

There’s something about Sunday night
that really makes you want to kill yourself
Subscribe to this blog
for e-mail updates

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Semester two

I started on Wednesday. I was a little anxious, because I hadn't seen most of my classmates in over a month, and you know how I get shy and stuff.

But it's so good to be back. It was like no time had passed, only better, since we all bonded at the end of last semester.

I have about five exercise partners now (though one I may have to fire, because she's 22 and built like a toothpick; and she took the elliptical next to my treadmill after class, and started chugging away on it like it was no big deal, and I just can't deal with the superfit when I feel like a saggy, out-of-shape old lady) and I have most of them convinced we'll be taking up racquetball, and a few want to swim laps, and we all want to start an intramural volleyball team. Hopefully each of us will want to impress the others with our dedication and stick-to-it-iveness so we'll continue, instead of the group devolving (as most groups I tend to be involved with) into a beer-drinking one. (I managed once to dismantle a book club with one fell stroke by saying, "It's easier for me to talk about this book if I have a beer," and that was really the last book we ever read together, but the first beer of many.)

The professor (the same one as last semester) simultaneously horrified and thrilled me by saying when we have our group projects for the class, she's not going to assign me to a group but instead will auction me off to the highest bidders. Reminded me of adolescents, when the girls reeeeally don't want the boys to know they're smart, and I used up my yearly supply of embarrassment with that comment. Of course I want people to think I'm smart. I just feel uncomfortable being singled out among my classmates. You're never too old to resent someone else for being teacher's pet, and I just want to be liked.

I have the exact same classmates but for one addition, and with the same professor, so we didn't have to do any introductions about what school we went to, what our field experience was, blah blah blah, but instead introduced ourselves to the new woman by telling new and unknown things. There were many jokes and laughter, and when one classmate revealed that it was another's birthday, we spontaneously broke into song, and it all just made me really happy.

I really didn't expect this from grad school. Not that I expected any social work program to be really cutthroat and competitive, but I've heard stories about general grad school experiences where people vie to put in their two-cents and try to be better than others. My class is so supportive of each other.

In fact, last semester, I was amazed sometimes at how open people could be. There were a few people who shared experiences that, if they happened to me, I would never in a million years verbalize to a class of 30. One girl had a sister who was travelling in South America with her boyfriend, and they were mugged and the sister was raped. She told us all about it one day, as explanation for why she had missed a few days of class. I think everyone was shocked that she opened up, but she must have felt an outpouring of support because this week, she gave us an update on how her family is doing. I think it's pretty amazing to foster that kind of trust in such a large group.

Edited to add: Now, a few days after class, I've started getting e-mails on the class listserv about people who feel like they didn't share enough in class. Someone's self-proclaimed "generic" revelation about how she likes to travel was put aside to say that she's had a difficult past six months, and being in our supportive class has helped her get through it. I'm so grateful to be a part of this group.

Labels: ,


Blogger Lesley said...

Ok, now wait a minute, you. If you are what is now considered a "saggy, out-of-shape old lady," then I am giving up, right here, right now! You are very sleek. I mean, we have all gotten a few curves (ahem, curves are *not* sags!), but they rock and we earned 'em.... so don't let the toothpicks get you down. (Of course, I'm saying this as someone who was trying to keep up with a nineteen-yr-old in my jazzercise class the other day, but... well, you understand)

And if you want to come dismantle my class like you dismantled your book club, please do. I often wish I could just teach in a bar. Chances are, we'd all be much more brilliant! Of course, my class meets at 9:00 a.m. --- so, heh, maybe that would be a problem?

3:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger.
Get awesome blog templates like this one from BlogSkins.com