Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cultural Anxieties

In your first post to our class blog, write about a time in whhich you did something you now regard as out of character as a result of a group think or cultural anxiety.

For example, one of my most regrettable childhood moments was when I punched a girl in the face in the third grade. I probably don't strike you as a punch-others-in-the-face kind of person, and I like to believe I have abjured that quality, but when it came to tetherball in the third grade, I defied my typical character.

A girl named Olivia had recently transferred into my elementary school where I was queen of the playground. This was less of a voted-upon title and more one I earned as the result of my superior tetherball skills. Olivia wanted to join in the tetherball fun, as that was the preferred activity of all the third grade girls. Unfortunately, Olivia made the detrimental decision of wearing green jumpers and lederhosen from her native country, Germany. Now, in a world where cropped T's and leggings were the height of sophistication, Olivia's lederhosen provoked mockery and rejection from the world of tetherball and popular 10 year-old girls.

When she challenged me, the playground queen, to a match, I looked forward to the opportunity of embarassing her further, of going beyond the verbal mockery directed toward her fashion choices. She proceeded to school me in front of my classmates, at which point I proceeded to punch her in the nose.

I was a mean girl. Not just in this instance, but really throughout my elementary school days. When I look back on that moment and others, I am embarrassed and feel these events are out of character for me. That mean girl mentality I adopted is a product, I believe, of school group think. When one is different, others gang up on that person and, in my anecdote, one sometimes receives a punch in the face by a mean girl.

Now you go. :)