Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Foreigner

For some reason when I'm at school I feel 100% out of my element. Thrown off guard, aimlessly wondering from class to the library, then back to class. It's really strange, considering the fact that I have spent two days out of every week on campus for the last two years. You think this "freshmen uneasiness" would have lessened by now.
I have a mess of reasons WHY I feel this way, floating around in my head. Yet I cannot thoroughly pin it down, why I STILL have this "stranger passing through" feeling in my own little "homeland" that is my college campus, is a mystery to me. Yet, the less I can identify the source of my foreign state of mind, the worse the feeling gets. As a result of this, I get the idea that I am unwittingly doing things to perpetuate the situation. Accidentally of course, but these incidents materialize themselves in a standard fashion(standard for me, at least), coming in the form of embarrassing, awkward moments.

To name a few:

-Today, I was casually walking from my first class to the Library...as I round the corner and start the ascent to the second floor computer lab: I slam palms down on the stairs. Just my luck, it is the time of day when everyone is heading to their next class, resulting in herds of people jamming the staircases. Which means; a sea of people witnessed my embarrassing episode. Only one guy asked if I was alright, thank you guy in the stairwell for caring.I practically ripped my feet off, and all I could choke out in response was "uhuh, thanks"

-It was the second day of what I have labeled as my "awkward class"(Not awkward due to the subject, but the general atmosphere). Comparative Religions 101, great class...bad moments. The first day of class, I came five minutes before class started and WOULD have had to sit on the ground if one of the guys had not offered to take my place on the ground, and give up his chair.Apparently, chivalry is alive and well.
Anyway, it is the second day of class and I arrive slightly earlier than before and start looking for a seat. All of the sudden, this line of guys in the back row start waving at me and pointing to a seat just in front of them. I was slightly caught of guard, unused to such uncanny attention. I get all nervous, and start stumbling toward the chair, feeling awkward and relatively embarrassed. Then as I am right in front of them, practically seated in "the seat"...I notice they all kind of sigh. Like a disappointed, "oooh". Then I look back to see that their friend is right behind me, then I realize that the waving and gesturing was for him; as was the chair. Then trying to repair things, I start mumbling "Do you want me to move? The chair was for him, right?" Making things MORE awkward and worsening the situation, when one guy replies "No it doesn't matter, whatever you want to do".To my delight, I get to see these same guys EVERY Tuesday and Thursday. Needless to say, I stay clear of all vacant seats within close proximately to them and try to avoid making eye-contact.

-I generally use the school printers for printing my black and white homework assignments, attempting to save my at-home supply of paper/ink for more important assignments, and pay the 5 cents to print stuff at school. On one occasion, I arrive at school early(quite a task for me) and run to the library to print my homework for my next class. I set it all up, and go over to the printer to collect my work. For some strange reason my stuff is not printing, I scan my card to pay the fee, and try to print again and again. Nothing. So I approach the "help-desk", hoping to receive some assistance. I tell the lady my dilemma and she says "She'll TRY to help", it is NOT really her responsibility apparently, I appreciate it none the less. Anyway, we go to the printer and as we're walking up, the kid in front of me prints off something without a hitch. She asks me, "Why is HIS printing?", I try to ignore the irritation in her voice. Then she makes me show her step-by-step what I did, first grade status. I hit print, swipe my card and to my expectation: nothing happens. She looks at the screen closer and says at an embarrassingly high decibel "You Don't have any money, Honey". Apparently, without me noticing, I had run down the balance on my card. She made sure, that everyone on the second floor knew this as well. Mortified.

See what I mean about awkward moments? My, oh my.