Sunday, August 28, 2005

How Can You Tell The Nonconformists? They All Look Alike.

When I wrote this, kiddos, it wasn't a sorority slam. For me, reading this post wasn't about the horror of such organizations. Now, I wasn't in a sorority (Such as they are at OBU. They are locally based there but you could make any of the same criticisms of those as of their large college counterparts.), I didn't need one. I was a theatre major and that automatically brought me into a family group. I do know why people join them, however. It gives you an automatic "in" to a group of people--a place to belong.

The angle I see in the post is not of the evils of the Greek system, but of humans. Are sorority girls the only humans who are cruel to the overweight?

I think what happens there is some sort of ugly groupthink--and let's not pretend you have to have letters on your chest for groupthink, either. It's the same ugliness in me that mocks my colleagues for never spell checking their emails or laughs at the inane stickers on their cars---because my friends are all above that. "Look!" it says, "people should be like me! Then I will feel more comfortable in my skin!". It's probably the same part of me that joined my friends in mocking the cheerleaders in High School or the part of me that sat with my buddies in the balcony of the Chapel in college laughing at pledges scurrying around. We all want conformity. Even the crazy goth kids dress like each other.

...and I guess I am saying that oftentimes, I am no better.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

Coming from one of those crazy scurrying-around OBU pledges, it means alot. Those girls were my support, my closest friends. But I've always hated that there are so many people that assume I must be a mindless, cookie-cutter twit just because I pledged. In fact, I wanted to be a theatre major, but I never felt like I belonged there. It's not like the "open-minded" and "non-conformists" accept all people as they are. I was always just a little too dorky, a little too mainstream, not quite funky enough to be accepted by them. And, yes, I felt it right away. Bu the end of the first week of my freshman year, I was no longer a theatre major. And noone ever got to see if maybe, just maybe, I was a little but good at what I did. I guess I'll never know.

But, in the end, I found a place to belong. I visit your blog (I don't know if I know who you are or not!), Scott's blog, and Micah and Kristin's blog weekly. I love to learn from each of you and your insights.

But, I still see feel like nothing changes. If you knew me- I am a married, mother of 3, home-schooling attendee of a Southern-Baptist Church- I would be over-looked as someone not worth wasting any time on (yes, my church even serves Starbucks). What you don't know is we love to reach out to the hurting and the needy, we give to places that will do so, even if it's not a church, because we see them as doing Christ's work, I don't homeschool to remove my children from the evil world, I just know I can raise literature-loving independant thinkers better than my public school system (no offense, I was a teacher, too and from reading your blog you've seen the "pretty" side of publics schools- would you hand your children over to the masses to be educated?) My church is SB- but doesn't use a single piece of literature or programming, camp or conference. We run a volunteer-run free clinic open to all, and when we relocated our pastor spoke on the first morning about being a church where the prostitutes and addicts are welcomed with open arms...and they have been. You may think it's a typical church when you walk through the doors. You may be skeptical enough to think that after sitting through a service. But if one takes the time to get past their hurts and hang-ups, it is a place striving to be what church is supposed to be. (Sorry- I'm rambling. This last paragraph is probably a response to greg @ the parish more than you!).

Really, to all of you. Make sure that you don't become so disillusioned that you forget to see us all as individuals.

Just because I have chosen what might appear as a more traditional, conservative life doesn't mean that I don't know what Darfur is and grieve over it, that I voted for Bush, or that my leisure-time reading isn't a scathing analysis of what has become of the SBC.

And it certainly doesn't mean that I don't humbly come before God daily seeking to be the kind of person He wants me to be without tradition, politics, and legalism guiding my life.

Please don't pick apart my response with a hatchet and make me sad. I love being the fly on the wall of the Scott-Educat-MCarty-Greg-Tim Blogosphere. It challenges my thinking and keeps me fresh as I encounter the world around me!

Much love!

Anonymous said...

OK, should have hit that preview button first. Even my "anonymous" pride won't let me walk away without acknowledgin my typos. I am typing with sleeping baby in my arms!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no! I didn't mean to be offensive or attacking at all! I am SO sorry. I tried to include the part about all of the blogs I read, and I should have been more clear. I SO did not mean to pick on you. I click on several of the blogs you link to, and sometimes the people that comment on your site. I ABSOLUTELY didnt mean to hold you accountable for the comments of others. I have simply chosen to never comment until now. And I think I chose to do so on your blog because I feel like you are the least cynical. Please forgive me. I am not much of a writer for conveying my thougths and feelings, and apparently didnt do such a good job.

Again, I probably should comment on Greg's blog if I want to have a debate over the authenticity of a church, but I don't want to do that. I don't know if you've ever been to my church. Many churches serve up Starbucks!

And, please don't even bother apologizing for the theatre dept. I am glad I wound up where I did. I was truly just giving an open, honest response to what you wrote in your entry. It was simply me reflecting, not saying anything about you. In fact, now that I see when you graduated, we were not even at OBU at the same time.

Abou the homeschooling topic, again, you have mentioned your close homeschooling friend. And again, that is probably why I felt so comfortable sharing on your blog. When I have clicked on other links from your blog, I have found comments about the SBC attempt to pull kids out of school. I just hate being lumped in with people like that.

I am so, so, so sorry for keeping you up at night. With the day you've had, you deserved a good nights rest! I feel no need for a truce, because I feel only happy things! I apparently should just ask forgiveness for being way more harsh than I meant to be. Maybe what I wrote was not a response to you as much as it was a response to the last 6 months of floating around this blog-world. Again, I just felt like yours was a friendly place to finally voice my thoughts! Apparently, I should have stayed a little more on-topic, and get my own blog for my rants :) ! I truly was reacting from a general sense I get from many, NOT you!

* As for the comment about the "masses"... I didn't mean the teachers. I love and respect the people I taughts with. I was really thinking more of the peers, as I fear much of the impact of schools comes from one's peers! Love teachers! Many of my closest friends are out doing a great job caring for children and I tell them often how I lvoe what they do!

**I'm not sure if you have visited my church, I am , in fact, timid to ask, because I am afraid my representation of myself in the first post may not be a shining example. If you do visit regularly, I'd love to meet you. I get such a joy out of reading your blog, and seeing someone who has experienced some similiar things, and has such a similiar take on life in many ways. My husbans teases me about the pseudo-friends I have in this blog world where I don't even interact. All of the blogs have been the introduction into many challenging discussions for us.

Okay, so one more tim for the sake of my conscience....I am SO SO SO SO sorry that I apparently attacked you. I was speaking from my heart as response to what is apparently unresolved issues on my part related to being accepted by people. Many (most?) of my comments were not at you, but just a reply to the general sense I feel like I get from many people, especially those friends that have chosen to leave the traditional (I don't like that word- I don't think mine is traditional) church. I didnt even feel cranky when wrote it! I felt great to feel like someone sees that we all just wanted (want?) to belong.

I wish I could've chosen a more graceful entrance into your blog, not one where I stepped so clumsily on your toes.

I hope your day is better today. I apppreciate the job you do. I will pray for peace in your classroom today!

My self-conscious self will however choose to remain anonymous at this point!

A '99 OBU grad

educat said...

This post actually belongs between Anon's two posts. Remember that...

Anonymous, you have now successfully kept me up at night.

I missed where I said some things here...

Where did I imply homeschoolers are working to shelter their kids from an evil world? Please accept my most sincere apologies if I did. It's not what I believe.

Did you know my oldest dearest friend is a reader of this blog and a homeschooling mother of five? I firmly believe that children are given to families and not the state and I am honored when parents make the choice to allow me to teach their children.

Would I allow my children to be educated by "the masses"? I don't know. I do not know any potential children I might have nor do I know their father. That's too far a jump for me to make right now, especially on a day when my children have made me thankful for my celibacy. I do feel that calling my colleagues and me "masses" is painting us with too wide a brush, however.

I happen to know the Church you attend. Beyond Starbuck's, what criticisms have I leveled at your Church? Do you know I have visited your Church quite a bit? Do you know how very specifically your Church has ministered to my family in a time of need in more than one way? Now, remind me what I think of your Church?

As for the Theatre Department, please know that I apologize for any possible snub you took at my hands. I never thought I was that cool. Contrary to what you may see here, I have mellowed with age.

I further demonstrate my open-ness by forgiving all typos!

I hope you don't feel hatchet-ed. But know that if I had a hatchet, it might be the one you planted firmly in the middle of my blog. Let's have a mutual surrender. I have had a wretched day here and I think we can both see that all our assumptions are only making an ass out of Uma Thurmond--and that poor girl has been through enough.

Please continue to buzz about my blog wall and please continue to challenge my assumptions--they can use them sometimes. But please expect that I might do the same of you.

And please don't be anonymous.

This is the part where I revealed my name and the year I graduated from OBU.