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BlancheNoE: At least Sharpie washes off eventually

In my lifelong effort to try not to be a sucky human being, I do my best not to be judgy, but sometimes I can't escape the prejudice that a lifetime of overwork and doing without has instilled in me.

Such was my internal battle yesterday. I work at a university. Part of my job is determining whether students have met their requirements. A student approached me who wanted me to evaluate some courses he plans to take at a university abroad next year, in either Amsterdam or Paris. He wanted to know if they would satisfy some general education requirements he hasn't satisfied yet.

I told him no, that sadly, after the quarter units were converted to semester units, they wouldn't have enough unit value to satisfy his requirements. His gym-toned shoulders literally sank and he made a sigh of dejection. I said, "Regardless, you should still do the study abroad. International travel will be the most edifying thing about your college years." He replied to my comment with a non-committal stare that told me he already has traveled abroad. Probably many times. To his credit, he didn't feel a need to proclaim it.

And I must say that non-committal stare was made with one of the most beautiful pairs of green eyes I have ever seen. Framed by one of the most handsome faces I have ever seen. He had the build of a perfectly proportioned athlete, even though he isn't at this university for the sports. He was wearing sweats and a long-sleeved tee shirt, but they looked tailored and expensive, a $300 athleisure ensemble.

And he was smart. The courses he wanted me to evaluate for requirements were tough ones. I suggested that he could get the gen-ed requirements out of the way in summer school at a community college, but he didn't want to have community college work on his University of Prestigiousness transcript.

When I meet people like this, I expect them to exude snobby entitlement. But except for his disdain of community college, I couldn't find any of that in him. He was genuinely nice. Good, I thought, then I won't have to dislike this dude just because he's got it going on every which way: good looks, physical strength, intelligence, brand-name education, and affluence.

I thought of one last approach to his problem. We could approach our educational policy analyst to ask about the unit limitation. We did. The analyst found in the student's favor. The courses he wanted to take abroad could satisfy his requirements after all.

He was so grateful he hugged us. He pulled up a sleeve as he was gathering up his papers, and that's when I saw it, a tiny tattoo on his forearm. The crude and cruddy kind that seventh graders make with a ballpoint pen. It looked like he'd tried to have it removed. It was just a ghost of a tattoo now, almost invisible, but still there.

A little one-inch dripping penis. Lifelong evidence of a stupid moment. I already liked him. Now I liked him even more.

Yup. Life marks us in all kinds of ways. Some of us are marked by class resentment, some with junior high tattoos. Everybody's got something, even the ones in athleisure wear.

Views: 76

Comment by BlancheNoE on April 8, 2015 at 7:47pm

Yup. Soul-Pack.The spiritual wolves always come around when they sniff kindred activity on the wind.

How crazy am I now huh?!...okay, still pretty crazy but a lot of co-inky-dinks in a short time span at least add an interesting edge of weight to my hypothesis, no?

Comment by ThatGirl on April 9, 2015 at 12:15am

Love this blog. I'm glad for him. We sure are marked in all kinds of ways, but it does seem like we gain a spidey sense for "others" with similar scars or challenges when we are aware of our own flaws and scars.

I don't think this makes ??us?? crazy. I think it makes us better human beings if we learn to see through past all the trappings to who lives inside. I guess you learn it well when you are often on the other side of judgement based on appearances. 

Comment by NatureJunkie on April 10, 2015 at 11:00pm

Blanche: There's more to your hypothesis that cosmic guess-work, I'm positive.

ThatGirl: "I think it makes us better human beings if we learn to see through past all the trappings to who lives inside." Absolutely. But I'm not totally there yet. Still more sucky human being than not, I fear. I hope it counts for some kind of brownie points with god that if I'm not a better human being, at least I'm a better human being wannabe.

Comment by Chig on April 14, 2015 at 12:06pm

It's next to impossible to get drunk, tattooed and scarred for life at a community college...  Don't think some people have not tried..... just saying.

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