Events Editor and lapsed black belt Isabel Sepúlveda still has not picked back up her favorite martial art. As such, she has to channel all her rage into something and she’s decided that’s going to be internet call-out posts.
Bwog’s bread and butter is archetypes: throughout our storied history, we’ve taken you on a whirlwind tour through the kind of people you meet in your Core classes, on Tinder, in EC, and in office hours to name a few. Because, while every Columbia student is unique, individual, and beautiful, we’re also all occasionally variations on the same theme. It just so happens that one of those themes makes me want to scratch my eyes out with a coat hanger: That Guy in your discussion section. (Though this is a concept that occasionally defies gender roles, in my experience, it’s a guy a solid 80% of the time, if I’m being conservative.)
There’s been countless thinkpieces on how men and women act in when in discussion with one another and I bet this person has read them all but taken exactly none of them to heart. He might have a “The Future Is Female” next to the Bernie 2016 sticker on his laptop, but the moment you give him the opportunity to discuss Hegel or Shakespeare or the Founding Fathers or some other (usually white and male) thinker, the rest of his classmates (especially the female ones) don’t matter. The only thing that does is his obviously brilliant insight that no one else has ever thought of before ever, even if it’s the most basic or misguided point you could make based off the text.
It becomes obvious that the class should revolve around him. If someone brings up an interesting point, it’s immediately twisted to tie back into whatever point he made 30 seconds ago, through deliberate misunderstanding and/or liberal use of the phrase “building off that…” if he doesn’t try to tear it down instead. If someone asks a question about something they didn’t understand, he huffs and sighs and lays his head on the table, or gives his friend significant looks across the table. And God help you if dare mispronounce something; he’ll jump on that faster than a rat on the gummy bears someone left on the JJs stairs. Even if professors try to call on others to bring diversity to the discussion, he’ll just give up on raising his hand and start interrupting every 5 minutes.
Look, That Guy, I get it. There’s always a little rush in forcing people to listen to you speak or getting to prove someone wrong, but that’s not the point of these discussions. They’re to foster a dialogue about the text and ensure that everyone understands what it’s trying to say, even if we don’t always agree what that is. But when you act like this, you’re discouraging everyone else from offering their opinions and that’s pretty shitty. It doesn’t have to be this way; if you think you’re acting like this, ask yourself: am acting like as big an asshole as the writers we’re studying.
If the answer’s a yes, shut up for at least the next 3 classes. Your classmates, and I, will be less likely to try to kill you with our eyes for an hour or two every week.
Could I beat them in a fight?: Definitely. All I have to do is ignore them completely; if a CC boy yells his hot take in class and no one acknowledges it, he doesn’t make a sound and immediately bursts into flames.
Self-defense tip: If someone grabs you by the wrist, the easiest place to pull out is the gap where their thumb meets the rest of their fingers. This is effective if the person is grabbing you in a one-hand or two-hand hold, though for the latter you will need to use your free hand to help. (Note: Bwog does not condone violence, and these tips are not a replacement for a self-defense class taught by a professional or assistance by the proper authorities.)
picture via Pixabay