You know, it seems I am becoming a regular old Miss Manners. I am slightly worried about how bitchy and judgmental(1) I seem to be:
- Every time I go into the lower level study area of the library, I remark disapprovingly to myself about the way people leave trash on the desks -- unspeakable, I think! I mean it is sort of a universally basic principle of EVERYTHING to clean up after oneself. Jeez.
- Last night in that lower level study area of the library I certainly did raise an eyebrow at a girl plugging her laptop into the unoccupied plug on my desk without a word to me, then just leaving the computer there with a whispered, "I'm just going to leave this here while it charges." "Okay..." I whispered back, but she was long gone. Of course, it was fine; there was no problem. Her laptop was not in my way and in any case my charger was in Brooklyn (oh absentminded me) so I wasn't going to use the plug anyway. But usually you would expect someone to ask, out of courtesy. I mean I would just never do what she did. It's amazing how much the four little words "Do you mind if..." would have changed my wrathful feelings to the Entitled Laptop Girl.
-Entitled Laptop Girl is right up there on the sneering shock scale with the time I saw a girl in one of the dining halls break off a chunk of one of the cookies on the common plate, and walk away, munching on it happily. The rest of the cookie sat there looking like a rat had munched on it, her greasy little finger prints allover it. Now this is not just disrespectful to everyone else in the cafeteria, it is gross.
-A more overt and funny form of rudeness appeared in my social work class last week, when a girl with a permanently sour expression on her face was bitching to the oh-so-sympathetic teacher (the one who says that there are eight million people in Norway) about the evil New York public school system(2): her desperately unfortunate eight-year-old brother is forced to practice cursive for "like three hours a day," and she did not see any good reason for that. I pointed out that at his age, learning cursive is also about developing motor skills not just learning an archaic style of writing. She cut me off: "Oh, I know. I'm going to school for occupational therapy. Believe me, I know." Excuuuuuuuuse me.
Aaaaagh what is going on here? It's the demise of common courtesy. Bitches.
(1) This is an interesting word. It has two acceptable spellings! "Judgmental" is the more common one, but "judgemental" is also technically correct according to my dictionary, although the Blogger spell-check disagrees. I use them both, but I have recently started to favor "judgmental", because many people might mistake "judgemental" for a misspelling. Another word with two different spellings that I particularly like is "kerb" -- or should I say "curb"? I think that technically "kerb" is British and "curb" is American, but they are both considered correct over here. I learned this incredulously during a game of Scrabble with my dad. Now I use "kerb" exclusively (even though my Blogger spell-check continues to disagree) because I think it is cool and it is so different from the common spelling that it could not be interpreted as a simple error. Hoho, bringing back the footnotes! Sofie, remember when we got really into footnotes? And how I had like 3000 words of them on my EE?
(2)The NY public school system is, if I may add, one of the best in the country, with an average student:faculty ration of 13:1 as opposed to California's 21:1. These numbers are from my sociology teacher, who actually does check his statistics before broadcasting them.