A Reflection on the First Week at School

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So I have transferred into an extremely hippie school. While they are part of a larger university, the smaller institution is full of their own idiosyncrasies. This morning in class we all introduced ourselves by our names as well as our preferred gender pronouns. I attended a class in which we spent approximately forty minutes under instruction to “explore the room as our animal selves.” A number of my classmates are not fans of deodorant. I sometimes feel as if I am wearing too many clothes that were not made by local vendors. I am certain I eat too much fast food. I find myself extraordinarily aware of a lack of free trade consciousness in my life.

Basically I feel like this is a strange place for me. See, I’m really not a hippie. I don’t like how corporations conduct themselves but I am not certain that the answer is to toss the corporations and also I’m pragmatic and I think that it’s a privilege to even be able to afford to shop somewhere that isn’t Walmart. Or to have a grocery store in your area that is easy to get to. I think that sure, it’s nice to support local businesses but that the reality of life is that it is also more expensive and so, again, it is a privilege to be in a place to be able to do so. I really like meat. Nothing will ever entice me to be a vegetarian, much less a vegan. While I do theoretically concede that what we put in our bodies may matter… if you’re going to put a gun to my head about it, I don’t care that much? I think that the way that food is handled in our society is not good but it seems like a secondary problem to me and I’ve yet to see or hear anything to make me think differently. And also you know. Let’s keep in mind that at the end of the day, in theĀ last presidential election I still (grudgingly and just barely but still) voted for the Republican candidate. It has not been that long since I changed stripes and although I am happier in my current world than I have ever been before, I still find myself sometimes bemused or dealing with old baggage, sometimes just feeling out of place.

However, let’s be clear. This school is amazing. My teachers are kind-of brilliant. I am nervous at how intense my classes are in a lot of respects. I feel pushed and excited already and it is only the first week. I am working extremely hard on staying open and excited, on being willing to learn, open to asking questions, to putting myself out there. It’s hard. I am sometimes worried that my inability to take things 100% seriously will take away from what I can get from the material… but I also can’t be what I’m not. A big part of one of my classes is just learning to accept exactly where and what you are. No judgments, just accept. Things could be different and given time they will be. But right now, this is where I’m at. A bit nervous, a bit excited, still feeling like I’m not quite sure of the ground I’m standing on, unsure how I’ll fit into this environment. All of those things are okay. It’s a new adventure. We’ll see where it takes me.

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