27 March, 2008, 753 pm
Filed under: My Experience with Existence, School | Tags:

I have like five secrets.  Five secrets that would not be so bad if they got out, but five secrets nonetheless.   My main problem with them is that I doubt people would understand them, or they would misinterpret them.

This girl in my English class raised her hand to answer a question, and our teacher called on her to answer.  I listened to her and noticed that she said “like” about a million times.  This doesn’t bother me, since I probably do it too.  Plus, the girl is kind and fairly friendly, and despite her vocabulary, she often has rather direct points to make during that class.  Just, my awareness of that sort of thing turns on and off sometimes, and my brain just picks out the junk words and throws them away so I get the gist of what people are saying, or what they mean to say.  This is a bad thing.  I need to listen to what people are saying.

I actually do not think that I say “like” that much, because when I say something during class, it is normally fairly well premeditated.  As in, I have to plan out exactly what I will say and how I will say it.  I just wonder if I do it during everyday conversation.  I don’t know.

Here is something muy importante that I must bring to your attention.  The Day of Silence 2008 is on April 25th.  I participated last year and, for the most part, succeeded.  At the very least, I spread the message.  If you do not know what the Day of Silence is, then I shall inform your unfortunately uninformed mind.

All around the country, and even all around the world, people are ridiculed on a daily basis if they choose to express their sexual orientations or their true genders.  You have heard it at school–someone calls someone else “gay” or a “total faggot” for doing something stupid.  Ahh, “gay” is not synonymous with “stupid.”  Does that attitude, though, really give homosexuals and transgenders a safe haven to express themselves?

If you have read my blog before, you are probably aware that I am a staunch supporter of gay rights, et cetera, and that I am quite the pacifist.  If you are mighty conservative and you are ready to close this window or tab because you hate and strongly disagree with me, just wait one moment and read the next paragraph.

As much as I would like for this to be the case, the Day of Silence is not a day promoting gay rights.  It is simply a day to promote the end of bullying and discrimination.   Specifically, I suppose, or primarily, discrimination of those of the gay or lesbian orientation and transexuals and transvestites, as well.  What child deserves to be made fun of for self-expression?  In fact, what person–regardless of age–deserves discrimination?  And who wants it?

The kids at my new school are not only uber-conservative when it comes to gay rights, but they also discriminate against the comparatively poor kids (especially compared to West End/Short Pump kids), who are commonly referred to as “Dirties.”  This is fucking ridiculous.  I mean, the term “Dirty” mainly refers to poor kids, but they also use it to refer to girls who are shady and stereotyped as slutty, stereotypical rednecks, fat kids, and ugly people.  It’s messed up.  I mean, there were cliques at my old school, but you’ve never seen the social class barriers like this before.  Unless, of course, you are a Brontë and/or you grew up in England.

In Richmond, poorer kids did hang out with richer kids, and it was no big deal.  My family, for example, was the one on the brink of divorce.  I now know kids who don’t have a mom in their lives, or whose dads are in jail.  I had a smaller house than most of my middle school friends did–but it was a mansion compared to our new house.  I woke up to fighting every morning and fell asleep to it every night.  And money was stretched so goddamn thin.  I guess my mom accuses me of not knowing our financial situation, but it was bad enough that I felt guilty when I needed money for something like a new reed or a new backpack.  Nowadays, I imagine it’s even tighter, because I don’t ask for anything anymore.  Not clothes, I guess, because the temptation isn’t here.  I’ve been doing the French thing about collecting some versatile pieces, plus, I don’t shop anymore because I can make things.  And I use the Hype Machine and blogs for music.  I don’t wear much makeup anymore, and my social life is cheap and within walking distance.  Haircuts are unnecessary and I have not been to any sort of doctor in about a year.  For all I know, I could have gained ten pounds since I moved here (I’m lying–I would know).

Whatever, though.  My system of evalation is simply eyebrows.  I do not have the best eyebrows, as they are asymmetrical.  I am currently attempting to grow them in a bit in certain places so that they are slightly fuller, especially on the outside ends, so that I can perhaps tame them better.  I am just kidding about that being my system of evaluation, by the by.  If I rated myself on my eyebrows, I don’t think I would score all too high.  I can just appreciate a nice pair of brows.


10 Comments so far
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ARE YOU FRIGGIN’ KIDDING ME? dirties?? whaaaaaaat the hellllllllllllllllllll. that’s pretty bad. it’s like, indian caste system that is supposed to be outlawed but nobody pays attention to the illegality of it but i don’t believe in the caste system bad.
and about the day of silence– i want so bad to do it, but it’s the day of the physics field trip to busch gardens. i know this probably sounds completely ridiculous and selfish, but i don’t know how i’m going to be able to shut up while i’m there. i’m not allowed to talk in orchestra anymore until spring trip, which isn’t killing me inwardly like brian thinks it is. but busch gardens is kinda different, you know? i feel so horrible for it.
and i miss you a buttload.

Comment by divya

I’ve noticed the huge difference between Lewisburg and Boston. Lewisburg is very conservative. And Boston is extremely liberal, as is every single person I go to school with (it is a Liberal Arts school, after all).

But I’m going to have to disagree with you about there being a ton of cliques at the high school. I always felt like everyone hung out with each other and didn’t have a problem with it. I mean, most of Lewisburg is professors or doctors, so of course they’re rich. I wasn’t part of that, but I felt like they treated me just the same.

But maybe that was just my class. A lot of people have said that the class of 2007 was tighter than any others and that we all were friendly to each other and didn’t have cliques. I definitely feel this way, because if I’m home for break and I see ANYONE at all from my class, I’ll definitely say hello. But if I look at your class, I have noticed that some people are just downright mean and bitchy. So I think maybe it goes class-by-class.

Oh, and my eyebrows are asymmetrical. I tried plucking them on my own once and they’ve never grown back correctly.

Comment by wellwell

Divya, you care more about busch gardens than gay rights, and I’ve respect for you because of it.

Comment by wut?!

lost, I’ve lost respect. Damn typos.

Comment by wut?!

I think I’ll participate in the day of silence this year.

Comment by swaziprincess

jay, you suck. i do not care for BG more than i care for gay rights. whatsoever. i just can’t shut up for a whole day. believe me, i’ve tried. because of it, i’m gonna wear my gay pride shirt to BG i’m pretty sure. I’M WEARING IT AT THIS VERY MOMENT, INCIDENTALLY! and i’m gonna tell everyone i know to participate. that should make up for me not being able to shut up. right?

Comment by divya

You know, its kind of interesting that the kids at your new school are more judgemental than those in Richmond because I’ve always thought that there’d be more social-stratification in a larger population than in a smaller one. But the whole “Dirties” thing really upsets me. That’s derogatory, demeaning, stereotypical, and ignorant all in one bite. I mean, our junior class has about 70 kids in it and it can get pretty vicious, but never name-calling like “Dirties”. Good Lord.

Perhaps 70 kids is just way too small for any really terrible social stratificaion to occur. That’s the only thing I like about such a small class– you know everyone well enough to respect them.

Also, I think a lack of confidence really breeds social-bigotry. Confident people who are comfortable with themselves typically don’t need to worry about who they’re seen with. I used to be really socially-awkward (to the extreme, though I’m still awkward now haha)in middle school and the beginning of freshman year. And I was so sheltered that I was immediately wary of the more punky or artsy kids who wore a lot of black. Stupid me. But having such a small junior class has really opened my mind. I float around kids from about every “group” now and most kids in my grade hang out with every one else. I think if people could come together on a more personal level- in smaller groups, eg- some sort of understanding is bound to be forged no matter how diverse the people are.

Anyway, sorry for the really long comment, but your post was kinda thoght-provoking for me. I’ve read this blog for a long time now and this is my first post (shy smile) and I wanted to say that you’re doing a great job. :)

Comment by suddenlyneurotic

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I agree with you wholeheartedly on all fronts.

Gay rights is an issue that when my kids and their kids look back at these times, they’ll shake their heads and say “what were they thinking?” Why would we discriminate against someone because of the way they were born?

Comment by Chris

high school is so silly. just wait until you get to college, no one will care if anyone else is “dirty.” i’m at a small enough college that there are still rumors and cliques, to a certain extent, but everyone is pretty friendly and accepting. one day people will learn that all of that stuff is trivial, and there are more important things to worry about.
EYEBROWS. oh my god. i’m obsessed with mine, and other people’s. but some people simply do not care about theirs, and i’m starting to accept it.
gay rights? for sure. is the day of silence just supposed to be a high school thing, or can anyone do it? i don’t know if i could go without talking for a whole day, but i could give it a shot, i suppose.

Comment by Kate

No, divya. There is a stain on your soul that can never come off.

Comment by wut?!

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