Posts Tagged ‘social moron’

Ways of being social

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I have little drive day-to-day to leave my apartment and hang out with other people.  I enjoy my own company, rarely feel lonely, and often feel stressed by arranging and following through on social engagements.  I almost always have a great time once I’m out though.  On Saturday, for instance, what started out as an regional alumni club happy hour from 5-7 p.m. ended up with me going out to a new part of the city with a bunch of younger alums, most of whom I’d just met.  I had a great time and really enjoyed their company.  I didn’t think too much of it though until I was telling my brother the story and he said how impressed he was with me for being so open to new situations.  I’d never thought of it as being something that was different about me, but I guess not everyone would have gone along on Saturday.  So this weekend I learned two things – I still love people from my college and I’m not quite as socially helpless as I often think.


Office hours

May 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m in my last week of graduate school and yesterday I realized I hadn’t fulfilled a personal goal of grad school – talking to a professor about an assignment before I turn it in.  I certainly never did this in college, at least not voluntarily.  It seemed like a lot of students around me did – and do – but I’ve never understood how they do it.  There are so many obstacles to making it happen.  First, you have to remember the project earlier than the day or so before.  Second, you have to complete some amount of thinking or work on it to make your project worth meeting about.  And third, you have to get in touch with the professor and schedule the meeting.  Who can do all of that?  And on a regular basis?

Happily for me, one of my professors this year asked that we start thinking about our final projects from the very first class period, then scheduled a mandatory peer review session a week before the final version is due.  This meant that obstacles one and two above were taken care of.  I still almost balked at obstacle three (actually getting in touch to schedule the meeting), but somehow managed to get the two sentence email sent. And now here I am, waiting outside the professor’s office, final project draft nervously in hand, waiting to talk with her.

I’m not sure I even know what to say or do in the meeting, but I figure she’ll probably help me out.  After all, this isn’t her first meeting with a student.

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I hosted a party (sort of)!

May 3, 2010 1 comment

Months ago I was in Philadelphia, hanging out with my friends, and mentioned (in hour 7 of our happy hour) that I didn’t have any plans for my 30th birthday.  Lauren
said I should have a party, and when I said that hosting parties stresses me out, said she’d come down and host it for me.  And she did!  And we had a very successful birthday party.

Wine glasses at the ready (with colorful homemade markers).

Getting ready to lay out the food.

There was cheese, wine, vegetables, chips, hummus, balloons, a cake, parking spaces…everything a party should have.  At least two dozen people came, almost all of them dressed up (we suggested swanky attire), and they seemed to have a good time talking to each other (and eating and drinking).  Lauren took care of restocking food and drinks, so I got to spend the entire time chatting.  After almost two years of going to parties hosted by everyone else in Charlottesville, it felt good to finally reciprocate – I think it was the first time that anyone there had been to my house.

A few lessons I took away from the experience: people bring more alcohol than I would expect but eat less food; Pandora will stop playing if you don’t constantly reassure it that you love it; my friends are all really nice people; it’s good to have free, easy, no-risk-of-towing parking.

We wore pretty dresses - but we took off our heels.

Though I know Lauren did a lot of the hard work, this was a very positively reinforcing event.  Who knows, maybe next time I won’t wait 3 years between parties.

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Here’s something I do that’s annoying

April 6, 2010 Leave a comment

If you have a favorite TV show that you’d like to recommend, I am a very annoying person to share this with.  I’m sorry.  And I’m going to try to change.

Here’s what usually happens.  You excitedly ask if I’ve heard of or watched a particular show.  I smile and say no, and that I really don’t have time to add a new show because I already watch a lot of TV.  You say “oh, but you’ll really love this!  It’s great!” and then you share something you love about it.  I smile again and say that I’m sure it’s a great show, but that I in the one review I read, the reviewer didn’t really like it.  And then I remember an exact, and probably mean quote from the reviewer.  At this point in the conversation you say something half-hearted about how you really like the show and change the subject.

I don’t know why I do this.  It’s completely unacceptable.  Here’s what I need to say.  You ask if I’ve seen the show and I say “No, I haven’t but I’ve heard good things.  What do you think of it?”  Then I should listen supportively when you share your praise, keeping my mouth firmly shut about anything negative I’ve read about the show.  And then we’ll finish the conversation with you feeling good about having shared something you love and I won’t be left standing there thinking “why did I just act like a social moron?”  I know better than this, I don’t know why I do this, but I promise to stop.  Today.

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