Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random Wednesday

In a confluence of university-related events:
--Gilmore Girls had Paris complaining last night that her exam was take-home; what was next, she ranted, Y@le handing you the diploma the minute you walked on campus?
--Two of the top 10 e-mail articles in the New York Times this morning were this one, which is an op-ed piece wherein the author talks about how he wanted to write a satire on universities trying to sell themselves, but reality out-stripped his imagination, and this one, which is an article about how universities/colleges are trying to sell themselves to their prospectives.
In undergraduate, I had a roommate of a particular minority. She was very involved in increasing the presence of said minority group on campus, revitalizing the minority's on-campus organization, organizing protests to get a department of minority studies, etc. She was proud of her status as this minority, and wanted more people to know about this minority.
She would tell us (me and our other suitemates) how frustrated she got by being asked questions about the minority-ship: what it's like to be said minority, what the historical details of the minority were, etc.
So there's a blog out there, somewhere -- two to four links away from one of my regular reads -- written by a woman who has prosopagnosia. (It's not that site; it's a regular blog.) I'm dying to ask her about it, because, in an abstract sense, it's really cool. Obviously, though, it's not very exciting if you live with it. And she probably is just as frustrated as my roommate at being the token.
(Does anyone out there have anything they're the token of?)
See Jane Compute has some posts about being harassed, and how her department/university drags its feet about it. Yesterday's post asked if she should push the issue: the higher-ups essentially know who it is, but didn't tell her, still haven't told her, and seem to think everything should be left alone.
I wanted to leave a comment that she should not leave everything as it is. The source for the higher-ups is, as she quoted the higher-ups as saying, "a model student, a pillar of the community, a real nice kid..." All I could think of was: so were the lacrosse students. That is, the higher-ups are jerking her around because they don't want the surface ruffled, but they have a real problem they are doing nothing to get rid of because of school pride.
But I didn't.
Because I don't have to live with the consequences. I don't have to continue to deal with the higher-ups. I don't have to face the nastiness from all the "nice kid's" friends and admirers. I don't have to be dragged through the mud as being a bitter woman just trying to bring down a nice kid.
In fact, I don't even know if that's what would happen. I only know what she can tell the internet without compromising her anonymity. She had been harassed, and attacked, and no one in power is supporting her right to be free of that -- but I don't know the consequences of her standing up for that right.
So I have no right to say she should.
Aren't you impressed by all the links I put in?


Anonymous Katie said...

Watch out for the links! They were addictive for me. I now spend tons of time tracking down relevant websites to enhance my posts. :)

I hate that there isn't a good answer for Jane and her situation. I also see both sides of the issue, and it makes me sad.

I have no idea what questions to ask of which people. I think it works well to approach it as privately as possible, acknowledge that you'll understand if they'd rather not discuss it, then ask. How else can you get the information on that level? Right?

Thanks for the comment, by the way! It would have taken me longer to find you otherwise. :)

6:06 PM EDT  

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