an asian guy in a tight grey ribbed top swaggered down the narrow hall at about half the normal walking speed. i was behind him, in no hurry. perhaps he sensed me behind him, as if he were some kung fu master with eyes in the back of his head. the pretty girl from my EE 411 class tried to walk past him on the left, but as she did, she stumbled because she was trying to navigate the narrow space carrying books. he did not alter his gait, say excuse me, or anything. if it was a guy stumbling, fine, be bruce lee about it, but if it's a girl what's the harm of saying sorry. i wanted to snap on him, "this is texas, son, you say 'excuuuse me' to a lady." in a sense, i was paralyzed by his race. i disliked him even before the girl walked up. his walk suggested all that was alien and unattractive about asian youth, a kind of midget bravado. i wasn't afraid of confronting him so much as tapping into some sort of uglyness inside me. i wouldn't have been confronting him because i believed in chivalry so much as i would have been trying to put his personality (and his 'culture') back into its box.
my reader(s) may find this kind of thing tiresome, but i obsess on stuff like this. it concerns me too. i'm supposed to be thinking about
a guy in 411 did the unthinkable: the trick where you flick your cheek with your finger in order to make a watery plopping sound. i haven't seen this trick since the 1980's. the professor was up there talking about induction, the foundation of RF circuit theory (and anything having to do with wireless communication) and amazingly, this guy has reverted to his sophomore year of high school. i really feel like i got back into college just in time. if i had a little more grey in my sideburns, i would look totally ridiculous sitting there. for some reason 411 is a zoo. i had ploppy in front of me, an extremely nonplussed girl who could only pay attention to the professor long enough to mock him, sitting behind me. the whole back of the room was talking. i realized, with horror, that my classmates would probably become ruder and harder to like the higher up i go, not more likeable. they're turning 20, and many of them have never enjoyed the experience of being "cool" in a class. the jocks and thugs that used to hem them in are now elsewhere.
in other words, i'm feeling rather isolated this semester. my lifelines are the JP Java coffee house, carrying a copy of the new york times, and (i will need to take advantage of this) setting lunch dates with adults that i know on campus.
i got into the major sequence this week. meaning i take my first junior-level course this Spring.