One of the things I love most about going to class is participating in discussions. Since I live alone, there are only so many times I can rehash the same conversations over and over in my head, like why I should or should not sweep the floor today, or if I made the right decision about this or that in my life. So, going to class and participating in discussions is one way to hear other currents of information and contribute words of my own, words that may mean something to someone, or not. I’ve never been called out for lack of participation, and I do my best to keep my thoughts limited and on topic.
It’s rare that I have a moment like I did today.
So there I was, just sitting in class, listening in and taking notes on a discussion about societal values, symbolism, and political ideology. Even though I didn’t quite understand every word of every reading we had to do, hearing them spoken aloud helped me get a better perspective on things. This topic was one I had been unsure about, but a thought came to me as we discussed different levels of societies and the socially constructed methodology.
I raise my hand. (Even though since there are only seven students and one professor, most people just start talking, I still raise my hand, because I guess I like rules, or I’m bad at breaking old habits).
The professor calls on me, and all eyes turn toward me.
My brain says: Where did the carefully crafted thought I just had disappear to? I know it’s somewhere…and yes, it had to do with…
“The values of society can sometimes be as cut-and-dry as visual symbols, like…”
“Like…Boy Scouts. And Girl Scouts.”
Okay, Jacob, good, keep going.
Come on, you can do it.
“Whenever they complete a task that coalesces with a positive attribute of the fundamentals of their organization, they get a badge, and I guess that these badges are a way of exposing the values behind the organization and society of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.”
Keep going, you’re almost there!
“So, my point is, it can be as simple as a merit badge that shows the values of a society that values ethics, and children.”
Okay, wrap it up.
“They promote their own cause by presenting boys and girls with badges, that they wear across their chest, on their, um, clothing, shirt, vest, that thing, wraps around your neck, shoulder, shirt, vest, thing, so that it can be easily seen and understood by outsiders…”
“…the core values of their organization, which causes a sense of pride, validating their sense of community-mindedness, to their community, and their importance within their own society, as well as to outsiders, with the badges they wear, across, their shirts, vest, chest, the thing that wraps around…”
What? Where am I? Who am I? What am I saying? What is…what? I should just stop talking, this is dumb…
“I should just stop talking, this is dumb…wait…oh my God, I’m sorry…” ::bites lip awkwardly::
At this point, the professor jumped in, and said something like “oh yes, no, yes, that’s a good example, that proves your point, you did a good job with that…” and we moved on, with me still kind of staring into nowhere.
I think I quietly said something to myself like “ugh, that was terrible, that made no sense…”
At which point the girl next to me overheard me, patted me on the shoulder, and said in a small voice, “No, you’re good, that was good, you’re okay.”
Oy vey. That’s all I have to say.