College Talk

Well, howdy, howdy, howdy, It has been AWHILE. No offense to my lovely readers for not posting in two months. I cherish you, really I do. You are my sunshine.

I want to talk about college today. Oh, my gosh. How insane. COLLEGE talk?! On a COLLEGE blog..?! .. Looking at the other bloggers who have posted viable information and tips that are useful to you .. I decided to do the same .. somewhat. I want to talk to you about stereotypes for college majors. You know, the theatre majors, the economics majors, the poly-sci majors, the psych majors. Now, children, we all know what stereotypes are, do we not? Stereotypes are the pre-determined personas we assign to an individual based on some distinguishing factor they exhibit. For example:

1) He’s Irish so he must be radically drunk on a consistent basis and have a marvelous knack for shenanigans while intoxicated.

2) She watches Dr. Who so she must do nothing but sit around and fantasize about Battlestar Galactica man-candy and shop online for signet rings for the upcoming Renaissance Fair.

3) She’s a Hufflepuff, so naturally, she’s a pretzel-brained gooseberry.

Actually, that last one is true.

Every single time I drive into CSUN’s mildly foliaged parking lot, get out of my somewhat attractive Mitsubishi Mirage complete with American Flag vanilla bean air freshener, and step onto the asphalt with my sweet 1460 Docs (best kicks, yo), I am witness to the grand and frightening habitat of the college kid.

Oh, Aunt Jemima.

There are sissy kids, preppy kids, hipster kids, gothic kids, rich kids, theatre kids, middle-aged-women-getting-their-MA kids. It is a plethora of information. And each of them have their own style, social connotations, and character representation on Glee.

Are there foundations for each stereotype? Absolutely. Many people say that stereotypes are just a harmful generalization that should never be used for the basis of a stand-up comedians routine (never going to happen, people). Others say stereotypes are always true and can be quite ignorant to other cultures or lifestyles. Those people will find a hefty credit card bill for some hotel in Boca. Which I had nothing to do with. At all.

It was me.

Moving on. The truth is, that stereotypes are a heterogeneous mixture of the two: they are based on common observations, but they are not applicable to every circumstance. There are a couple things to take away from this.

1) I make lists in my blogs WAY too much. I need to develop more varied ways to exhibit a point.

2) You CAN start a conversation with someone based on their physical appearance and perhaps reach a common interest. In time, you may kindle-fire a friendship. (That was not a product placement. I just thought it sounded cool. Back off, Kindle. iPads rule.)

3) Be wary of the difference between friendly observation and blatant stereotyping. For example, you see a young woman of African-American descent wearing a shirt that says, “Life’s a Party”. You can choose to say, “Hello, how was your spring break? According to the text placed carefully on your shirt as to attract attention, you seem to enjoy a rowdy social gathering.” Or, you can go by the stereotype and blurt out stupidly “Hey, I love Tyler Perry!”

Offensive? Yes. Very much.

Observant? Not really. At all.

Use your eyes, not just the stereotypes laid down before you, stupid.

Now that we have discussed stereotypes in nature, let us discuss how they apply to college majors, hmm? We all know the story.

Photography majors are absurdly deep, and live in a world seen through a Sigma 80-400mm lens. Theatre kids have a Shakespeare shrine in their closet and debate that he did not, for a fact, fall in love with Gwyneth Paltrow*. CTVA majors (like myself) are artsy-fartsy, watch American Beauty every day and dream about Darren Aronofsky. Nope, not true. I honestly did not like Black Swan, guys.

What I am saying, with digression and inarticulate prose is this: observe, and you will be fine. Theater majors DO love Shakespeare, or at least they aught to. CTVA majors DO love independent, non-linear films like Memento because it provokes their own creative process without provoking bankruptcy, and a a lot of photographers DO see the world with a depth and perception not common to the untrained eye. Stereotypes are often based on observation, but never assume. Makes a jack-ass out of you and me. And we do not want that, do we?

*Reference to the film, Shakespeare In Love, which won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Picture over Elizabeth, Life Is Beautiful and Saving Private Ryan. I was five years old and I still screamed injustice.

 

16 College Talk

Grace

I have found in my brief and relatively simple existence that I adapt, evolve and rearrange myself on a daily basis. I have crossed into the perilous unknown of (very) young adulthood, and thus I am somewhat entitled to be in constant state disarray and discovery. Saddle up, kids. This'll be one heck of a bumpy ride...

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