Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Petty Annoyances

You know those little things that just irritate you? There's not necessarily a good, solid reason for any of them; you just know that if all of them stopped, you'd be okay with it. I'm not talking major obstacles like Physics II or Being a Poor College Student; I mean actions, behaviors, and patterns that you find obnoxious. A handful of these have begun to grate on my nerves as of late.

That annoying leg-bounce thing that mostly guys do (but some girls do as well). You're sitting in Differential Equations (granted, a setting that does need a bit of livening up), you notice that there seems to be an overabundance of movement in the room... and you realize that it's because the six guys seated near you are all bouncing their legs up and down really fast. Sometimes it's both legs, sometimes one or the other. Sometimes it's keeping the heel on the ground and bouncing the toe, but more often it's a heel bounce. Okay, guys. There's absolutely no reason to do this. If you're really that antsy, head to the CRC after class. Drink one less cup of coffee before you come. Take this as an opportunity to kick that cocaine habit... something.

Darfur is a geopolitical issue that I think everyone feels similarly regarding, but that activists feel the need to carry on about anyway. "Genocide? That's no good! How do I show the world that I'm an opponent of genocide?" Conveniently, there have been a large number of feel-good "student solidarity" groups that have popped up on Facebook lately. One of the most prominent is one that promises a monetary donation for every so many people to join. Hate to break it to you, but you're no Lech Walesa. Really, I don't think there are any proponents of genocide, except probably the guys doing the genocide. And what does it mean to "donate [money] to Darfur"? Are you going to put some dollars in an envelope, write "Darfur" on it, and hope the area of the country accepts its gift? If you're donating to people, what exactly are they going to do with your money? Bribe a couple of warlords not to keep genociding? It's great that people are informed about world events, don't get me wrong. But what exactly is hanging signs that say "Gee, there seems to be a bit of a genocide issue in Sudan!" going to do? By stating your mere awareness of an armed conflict there... where are you going? What do you reasonably expect anyone in power to actually do?

Possibly going hand in hand with the "lack of intellectualism" that I always complain about, negativity seems to be prevalent at Tech. It's one thing to joke about "the Shaft" but another entirely to lament how much everything sucks, all the time. If something doesn't go your way, here's a little heuristic that generally works. "Can I really do anything about this?" If yes, stop complaining and do it. If no, get over it. It's as simple as that. It gets old when you're trying to maintain a positive attitude, and others are complaining how much of an "idiot" everyone else is. A sort of corollary to this is use of "retarded" to mean "undesirable." As in "Do we really have to have this done by Friday?" "Yes." "That's so retarded!" Well, no, it isn't. It's unfortunate, it's irritating, it's annoying, but it isn't slowed by a hindered andvancement. (Also, as you probably can't change the deadline, there's nothing you can do about it anyway, so stop complaining.)

In the event that I think of more things that annoy me, I'll post them. Comments on these, or examples of what annoys you, are encouraged.

Currently listening: "Chicken Head," Project Pat


Gina said...

Yeah--I see a lot of that negativity around. I always thought it was a lack of maturity, but it doesn't seem to be something that goes away--damn. LOL. Though I could point out how you're complaining about other people complaining, I won't because I'm nice. lol

You were planning to study abroad, right? So, keep your eye on that and it'll help you out some, I think. :-D

Kyle said...

That is a fine choice of music!! Of course, I'm the epitome of positiveness...and made up words.

Anonymous said...

Haha, Alex Trocheck is the most annoying leg-bouncer around.