Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of Course I'm Working On That Big Paper Due Friday!

So, i've noticed something interesting, which is that how outgoing I am in a given class depends on how well I know the people around me. (So what if that sounds obvious? I just noticed it!)

In my Spanish class, where I have a friend who sits near me and I am willing to talk to several other students, I am my most outgoing. I will answer questions without feeling mortified, easily participate in class, and I'm not even afraid to make the occasional snarky comment.

In my choir class, I sit next to a friend I don't know very well. We actually met this semester through a mutual friend, who is also in that class. I don't really talk to her outside of class. This means that I might raise my hand to make a comment, or mutter just loudly enough for those around me to hear, but won't shout anything out. Also, I only raise my hand if comments are asked for. I don't point out mistakes I'm hearing, as I did in my high school choir classes.

In my religion class, I have been assigned a group to work with every day. I know all their names, I sit by them, they welcome me, and occasionally we talk a bit about something other than the material in class. In this class I talk when I need to in my group, and occasionally speak up, but I am usually more comfortable staying entirely quiet when it's not my specific time to talk.

My English class is the worst. I don't really know anyone. I have talked aloud only a few times; to introduce myself to the class, to say "I don't have anything" when called on about something that I hadn't had time to think about because I hadn't been paying attention, to say one thing when the two others in my group had spent five minutes acting as if there were only the two of them, to talk to my TA Monday, and, in a burst of boldness, to make an unsolicited comment in class, also on Monday. I discovered, after that burst of boldness, that I was absolutely mortified by the fact that I had just said something in class. I spent the rest of the class half paying attention while continuing to be embarrassed by my comment and flinching away from my TA (who was sitting next to me and who, I discovered, I am rather frightened of/intimidated by).

I'm going into this because, while I do understand myself, I still think I'm insane. Why should I allow how much I know others to control how much I participate? I'm a smart girl, and I'm sure I could contribute a lot if I'd just get over the fact that I don't know anyone. I'm sure I'd know some of these people by now if I were more outgoing. And I can be outgoing; I've been proving it, to the great delight of MP, over the past week or so. So why do I feel like a mouse when in my English class?

Behold one of the reasons for choosing the name Quiet Mischief: yeah, I can be fun and all that, but sometimes you have to get me out of my shell before you have any idea how smart/interesting/funny/loud I can be.

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