Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Or Whatever

Quote of the Day: "At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since."

-Salvador Dali

There is this girl in my Women of the Bible class that wears obnoxious sunglasses and loves to hear herself talk. I call her the class tumor. Oftentimes, without even raising her hand, she'll go off on a tangent, completely monopolizing the lecture and, though my professor hides it well, it must drive her nuts.

What is most irritating is that this girl hardly ever has anything useful to say. She usually interrupts the lecture with some half-baked comment that is only slightly relevant and usually totally wrong. I only raise my hand when I've thought about what I've had to say so that when I do say it, I not only want it to be worthwhile--I don't want to sound like this girl.

Last night I had to give a presentation in Film Theory. Here was my time to shine--the stage was mine, and I was to articulate ideas that I've had quite some time to prepare. Unlike the girl in Women of the Bible, I wouldn't be commenting on Samson when I mean Samuel and bark, "Ah, they're both S's anyway."

The problem with giving a presentation is the awkwardness that comes with the quiet moments. Though the presentation went well, there were a few of these moments. This was unavoidable--I was presenting on an essay about the parallels between Plato's cave, psychoanalysis, and cinema and the essay was badly translated from the French. I'd pored over the piece for over a month, and I'd carefully outlined my presentation, but that didn't stop my presentation from having those awkward, quiet moments. I found myself filling those spaces with the phrase "or whatever." For example, I'd say, "so in this way the Lewin's dream screen, the shadows on the cave wall, and cinema all deal with a projection of reality"--pause--"or whatever." It was an unconscious thing, filling the empty space with a sort of verbal ellipsis.

It reminds of those high school girls and boys that tend to use "like" between every word. I used to find it annoying. Next time I'm about to judge them I'll have to think about my own speaking tendencies. I've heard that this is a sign of working through our thoughts, trying to find the right word. At least I'm trying, and not settling for the hit-and-miss class disturbance that has been adopted by my classmate.


At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how you or your professor do it without just screaming at her! Maybe if you start your presentation, and ask that there are no comments or questions till the end. Maybe by then, she will have forgotten what she was going to say! Hopefully...

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

class tumor... that's a good one! I'm gonna have to remember that! haha. I can't stand people like that. I believe that everyone has a right to say what they want but you musnt forget that EVERYONE needs to have a chance to participate not just sally-talks-a lot. I would probably clench my fists and roll my eyes for the entire class period!


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