Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back to school...

A new semester has begun and, like so many other college students, I went back to class this week.

The last class I went to today had a small physical room and a large number of students attending.

It was like a human sardine can. You never notice how people SMELL unless you are attracted to them... Or if you are shoved into a sardine can with them.

That said, I noticed something about that class. Everyone entered somewhat awkwardly, as if they knew that the moment they stepped in the door, twenty or thirty other peoples eyes immediately trained on them. No one looked comfortable entering this room full of strangers.

I assume a few of them at least are very secure, confident adults. And yet... That moment of awkwardness.

People are fascinating to me. I had a chat this morning with an author friend of mine and we discussed the writer propensity for people watching. Watching each of the people entering that room lose whatever confidence they had before coming into that room was fascinating for me.

Why is it that we might be the most outgoing, comfortable person in the world but still we let a roomful of strangers throw us that far off our game?

If it was a roomful of people we knew (therefore one would assume that we care about them and should care what they think...) would that same lack of confidence come into play?

I don't think so.

It sucks to be the new kid. I get that. I moved around so much when I was a kid that I have a hard time listing all the schools I went to. But WHY does it suck to be the new kid? Why is it that people who don't matter... Strangers... have more control over how we behave than our loved ones? If they rejected us, scorned us, why the hell would it matter?

Okay, that was my neat tidbit I learned about human nature today. (In a history class... which means I probably should have paid more attention to the lecture. But, to be honest, he lost me at WWII. I am hoping he recaptures me but he started off with Greeks and Romans and had my interest piqued... and then he said we wouldn't be discussing them and lost me... *shrug*)

Okay, virgrant over.
Happy writing (and people watching)!


  1. it may not just be the strangers eroding self-confidence. i find schools particularly bring out my insecurities. i'm immediately slammed back through a timewarp into my high school days. worse than any horror flick.

  2. True. It is amazing how fast you get slammed back into that mentality... even if you are a semi-successful adult (me) and instantly, upon entering a school, you are sixteen again... awkward and uncomfortable. LOL