Tagged: ethics

The Dance of the College Student

I would like to preface this post with this: my ego is huge. Now, over the years I have learned to balance out my ego with greater respect for humility, rationale and empathy. It’s a work in progress.

What I mean to say is, I am terribly annoyed by college students (even though I am one).

I do realize that “college students” is a broad term, and of course I am not talking about every college student (and I do mean every, Doogs). It is my ego that is annoyed by college students, not my better half.

As I may have mentioned before, the philosophy course I am taking (studying ethics and morality) is discussion-centric. The professor merely chooses a raised hand, and answers questions or debates statements given. It is an EXCELLENT design for a course, in fact it is only the most effective. You must participate, you are held accountable for the information, and you discuss the material for several hours every week in class, not lecture.

So yeah! Great class topic, design, professor! How are the students?

The real question is what do the students do…and I tell you, they dance.

A week or so ago, someone brought Santa Claus up. We were talking about “truth” and “lying”, and someone brought up Santa, not knowing that every other Dick and Jane in the room wanted to debate the moral implications of Santa Claus as well. I don’t know if you can tell already, but I did not care to debate the morality of Santa.

Kindly and patiently, Doogs would reply in different formats, explaining how Santa acts as a tool for moral growth. Santa teaches kids to behave, in order to receive a reward. The hope is that by the time a kid finds out Santa isn’t real, they no longer need the tool to be a good person.

Doogs calls Santa “a part of the dance“. Everyone does it, and no dance is quite the same.

The dance describes the universal process of growing up. Furthermore, the dance describes the games, rituals and methods people use in a culture or as an individual to grow consciously. Beautiful idea, I definitely think about this term more and more now that there’s a quick title for it (thanks Doogs).

And then some kid raised his hand, because he needed to profess that he did not understand WHY people need the “Santa dance”. Why can’t they just see the whole picture like I can? I’m an engimaneer!!!!

[{My head screamed ddduh duddh duh dudddh DURRRRRRPPP}]

Now this is the part when my ego got me in a stranglehold:

I kindly rose my hand to reply, and said something very much like “So basically what you’re saying is that you don’t understand why you are smarter than everyone else, or why people aren’t as quick to learn as you are?”

(Not proud, but I did my “best” to balance out that verbal slap with more positive remarks about something else he said that I pretended to respect. I am constantly working to monitor and restrict these loaded, bold statements. Like I said, work in progress. I have to admit, I am a winner when it comes to being a verbal bitch.)

But as SOOOOON as I was done talking, I realized the absolute irony in what had just happened. After stewing intensely about how my peers didn’t understand the need for the dance, I completely ruined someone else’s dance! This poor engineer, who was definitely not some idiot as I made him out to be, is learning how to learn, or should I say “dancing to learn”, and all I did was tell him that I was smarter and quicker than he. DO YOU SEE THE CIRCULARITY IN THIS SITUATION? He poo pooed the dance, and then I poo pooed his very dance to dance! Absolutely dispicable.

What did I learn from this whole event?

“Anna, you shut your mouth when you know you’re right.”

College students have the right to ask dumb questions, and they have the right to take their time to learn, as long as they are actively trying to learn. It doesn’t prevent me from being apeshit annoyed with them, but I’d love to reach a stage in my life where I never get frustrated over other people’s frustrations.

The freedom of the dance is required for the quest of truth. To guide a dance is to be the dance partner who neither leads nor follows, but shares. It is too easy to ruin the dance by stepping on people’s toes.

Snot-nosed little punks.