October 7th, 2002


I've seen how you give it, now I want you to recieve.

Here's another one to throw on the pile of "Things I am not prepared to deal with at 9:00 AM"

One of my neighbors who works in the Columbia biology department comes upstairs to inform my mother and I that the speaker they have chosen for the lecture that is given each year in memory of my father just won the nobel prize.

What exactly is one supposed to do with that piece of information? It's so disconnected with my reality that it doesn't even really register. Am I supposed to be happy because of the prominence attached to a lecture in my father's name? Sad because he wasn't there to see it or even to achieve such lofty heights himself? Disconnected because he's been dead 8 years and it's not my field? Impressed at what others have done to honor him while I've ended up as such a fuck up/loser/whatever other bad labels you want to throw at me?

I'm just trying to survive here...I don't need this. I don't need surgeon generals and nobel prize winning scientists speaking in honor of my male ancestors. I don't need reminders that I'm 20 and while my father was well on the way to his PhD at this point I'm still floundering in the most extreme sense of the word possible.

I know that I'm a collosal disapointment to just about everybody who knew me when I was younger, but I don't know what to do about that. I'm supposed to be incredibly intelligent (for some reason all the old people who knew me when I was little take great pride in embarassing me by calling me a genius in front of everyone who then assumes that I'm an arrogant asshole. Yeah I was a smart kid but that doesn't mean that I'm smart NOW!) I don't need constant reminders that I'm nowhere and going nowhere even faster.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. My youth was spent in special programs at the natural history museum, educational projects, little leagues and horseback riding, etc...etc...etc... I got straight As my first semester of high school when dad was still around.

But my life collapsed when the driving force behind it bailed out and, yeah, I DON'T know how to right the ship.

Yesterday I was roped in to helping one of my mother's friends (also a fairly prominent sociologist) with her computer. It wasted half an hour of my time doing something that she could have done herself fairly easily. While I was doing it I found myself wondering "What, exactly, am I getting out of this crap? Where's all the guidance and crap that elders are supposed to bestow in exchange for youthful labor."

The fact of the matter is that nobody is really interested in providing any of that sort of guidance. They are all self-absorbed academics with their research and standing to preserve and I'm left wondering what could have been if I had had some sort of support beyond that bought by money or found internally.

I can't afford to waste time feeling sorry for myself, I have a lot to do and I haven't started any of it (my usual M.O.) but I'm not sure how to react to feeling like other people are doing a better job of honoring my father in death with lectures and charity funds and whatnot than I am. I'm trying the best I can here...and it's not good enough.
  • Current Music
    Soundgarden - Superunknown

You make me feel so strange.

I had another of those incidents that disrupt my comfortable feeling of anonymity at college again today. While I was waiting for my foreign policy discussion section to start a girl came in and asked me whether I had taken Justice with professor Johnston the semester before. I answered that I had and she said that she remembered my voice. I made a joke about how it must be because of my thick accent (I have been told that I have the blandest voice in the history of...voices) and she said that it was because she remembered all the good comments I had made...

This is not the first time that this has happened but I would like it to be the last. Look, I like to talk in class...I don't deny that...but I kind of assume that people just sort of forget that stuff when class is over and it's conversation without consequences. The idea that some girl would remember me 4 months later makes me uneasy because it reminds me of all the stupid shit I've said over the years and how that might be attached to my name. I prefer to be just another face in the crowd.

Furthermore I don't understand why it's only girls who remember me this way. It's happened numerous times now and it's sort of weird. It could be related to the fact that I actually talk to guys in my classes so I am unsurprised when they remember me (I mean I'm not shocked when Hee-Ann recognizes me on the street.) It could be that girls are just more apt to hand out meaningless compliments becuase they're socialized to be sugar and spice and not covered in lice. I don't know.

Anyway the discussion section went well, I had prepared in order to take down Mock Trial Pres but she wasn't there so I contented myself with winning back some ground against the TA by arguing much more coherently and intelligently than I did last monday (I feel better with my FUCK YOU persona so I'm more able to concentrate and I also did some reading before class this time due to my increased focus) and I enjoyed myself. I liked the foreign policy class too...It's not overly demanding but it's interesting and at least not as simplistic and stupid as the intro classes. Talked to the professor about Lend-Lease and all that stuff.

Anyway I talked a little to elephant chick (as I have dubbed her because of her memory...she is actually rather slim with normal sized ears and nose) after class and she seemed quite nice and normal, except for the fact that she's the streaked hair bare midriff type and yet claims to absolutely love spending hours in the library doing research, so I don't see much trouble developing there.

Still it's kind of strange and unsettling. If I'm going to be universally disliked I'd to at least be universally forgetable.
  • Current Music
    Hootie and the Blowfish - Fairweather Johnson