September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
In high school I did an Outward Bound program where we got to go hiking in the NC mountains for 10 days, and then we came back and did a service project. We went to an elementary school in our district and did a three week session on stereotypes, complete with team building activities. It’s interesting to hear how kids encounter prejudices and how they process them. In short, kids are way more observant than you would think. There was this one little girl, cute-as-a-button blonde haired blue eyed kid, who raises her hand when we were sharing times where we thought we were unjustly stereotyped, and says, “My daddy drives a Hummer, and whenever we go to Weaver Street Market, people stare at us and give us looks.”
To which I turned to my partner, who was leading the discussion with me, and we both thought, “Guilty.” Because I stare at people that drive Hummers because what could you POSSIBLY need a Hummer for, you live in CHAPEL HILL, and they get like 7 miles to the gallon.
So I try to reign in my snarky side, the sarcasm, the snap judgements that are unjustly deserved (except sometimes are), because some people surprise you.
There are some that I just can’t help but judge you on.
I actually had this great encounter at my board meeting the other day. I was talking to one of the moms, and the conversation went something like this.
Me: So do you work for UNC?
Other Mom: No actually I work at Duke.
Other Mom: I actually went there for undergraduate.
Me: Oh. Visibly judging
Other Mom: Most people are surprised to hear that when I tell them.
Me: Somewhat relieved I was thinking just that!
Other Mom: Usually it means, “Oh I’m that’s funny, you don’t seem like a complete asshole.”
Me: I think we’re going to be friends.