Monday, October 3, 2011

Children, learn from this example

Hello again, my minions.

Now, I understand that many people vastly overuse the phrase "killing rage" without actually meaning it.  I am very tempted to join that group of people because I almost mean it.  I have a small problem, you see.  Let me explain.

I am currently enrolled at the local community college (which is its own adventure, but we'll get into that later).  A lady does not discuss her age, but let us say I have a few years behind me and so that gives me a somewhat differing perspective on my class mates.  This quarter, I am enrolled in a Philosophy course, and there is one young man in that class that will be lucky if he survives until December at the rate he's going.

What we have here, my minions, is the poster child for the stereotypical male know-it-all geek.  The young man in question is rather portly, with shoulder length hair a bit on the greasy side, and a beard that he does not maintain well.  He has a long-suffering look on his face whenever anyone else in class speaks.  He has that voice.  You've all heard it if you've spent any time in or near the right circles - tenor, a little monotone, wheedling but smug, and very condescending.  The type of person that you want to scream at to shut up, but your conscience won't let you because you just know that part of his problem is poor self esteem.

He has a comment to make about every topic discussed in class, whether the comment adds to the conversation or not.  In fact, the comments are mostly just demonstrations of his knowledge on the subject.  Today, he decided to derail class discussion for ten minutes by comparing Parmenides' theory of reality to a quote by Douglas Adams (not so bad in itself, if irrelevant) and then defending it and explaining the context of the quote (this was where the desire to stab him in the face arose).

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad he likes the subject, I really am.  However, my Philosophy class does not need to be his forum to demonstrate his greatness.  I did not pay my tuition to listen to him blabber.  I'm willing to give him another week or so, and if he doesn't knock it off, I will pull him aside and tell him as much.  I found myself gripping my pen and wondering if the loss of one eye would be enough to silence him for more than thirty seconds so that we could get through the blasted lecture.

I have met, throughout my life, many young men who fit the above description well in demeanor if not physically.  That need to show how smart they are, to parade their knowledge before you as if merely knowing something should earn them great praise, and even better if it's something that no one else knows.  This sort of thing does not win you friends and lovers, my dears.  So stop doing it.

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