Saturday, October 30, 2010

Farewell, Vermont

At the end of April 2008, I pulled into the parking lot of Landmark College. As I moved into my new apartment, I was excited for what lay ahead. Though, I was somewhat nervous, as I didn’t know anyone, but was sure I would make friends quickly, as I never had a problem with it anywhere else (like when I went to Film School). Unfortunately, the flaw in my thinking was that I never had a problem making friends as a student. And now, I was no longer the student. This flaw had quite profound effects.

While some aspects of my job really annoyed me, I enjoyed other parts. I met a lot of great students, and had some great coworkers/bosses. Though, I didn’t really feel like I had any friends. I absolutely dreaded weekends, where I would have absolutely nothing to do. Or, if I did have something to do, it was almost always alone. Going to a movie by myself. Going to dinner by myself. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with residents that I was friendly with, and my coworkers all had their own lives, so I was very lonely. I was used to having lots of friends, and not having any was really hard. Often, by Sunday nights, I seriously thought I might be suffering from depression. I couldn’t wait for Monday morning meetings, where I would actually have social interaction with my coworkers.

Towards Christmas, I decided that I wanted to go into speech pathology. I then had to decide if I would stay in Vermont, or go back to Washington. Seeing that I was already in Vermont, and could do a Masters program quicker here, I opted to stay. So that summer, I moved to Burlington. It was instantly a relief. While I didn’t have any friends, I had roommates who were all cool. Just being able to watch a movie with someone was a huge improvement. I was also in a very happening town. Unlike Putney, there were tons of things going on, and tons of people around my age.

As school started, I took a cognitive neuroscience class and started to feel happy again. I made a really good friend, and she and I could just talk and talk and talk. I also became friends with my professor, which was awesome! It was so fun to just go chat with her and pick her brain about neurology and other related topics I found interesting.

In speech pathology, the field is dominated by girls. In the higher level classes, there was only one other guy besides me. That was great and all, and while I did have a couple of friends, I started to miss my guy friends even more. I would often come home, and one of my roommates would have all of his buddies over. They would be hanging out, having a BBQ, etc. It made me really miss Washington.

When I got my video production job, I was a little concerned that that might keep me here in Vermont longer than I wanted. I had a job I loved, and knew it was just a matter of time before I met a girl. I could feel myself starting to get comfortable. I liked where I lived, I liked my roommates, I liked my stuff, I liked the few friends I had, and as I mentioned, I loved my job. So perhaps it was a blessing that I was let go when I was. I wasn’t able to get too comfortable, or too settled in. While losing my job really caught me off guard, I almost immediately saw the silver lining to it: I had no reason not to go back home. The previous day, my friend had texted me, saying something to the extent of “come home!” It felt good to be able to say “I am.” Rather than “someday…”

So as my final days in Vermont are upon me, I have to admit that while I will miss certain aspects of it, especially the few friends I have… I can’t wait to get back to Washington! I’m sorry I was gone so long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guys & Girs: Room Differences

When I was a freshmen in college, my roommate and I had an awesome room! We put a lot of work into it, and because of its awesomeness, it was often used as the “example room” when campus tours would come through the dorms. If you were to come in to see our room, you would have noticed a few things. First, the room was quite large for a dorm room. Part of this was because it was on the third floor, and had vaulted ceilings (making it feel larger). Second, we had a LOT of stuff in that room, including a small foam couch. Third, the walls were absolutely covered with posters, specifically, posters of scantily clad women and cool cars. The posters were not only on the walls, but the vaulted ceiling as well.

As basically anyone can probably tell you, this is not unique at all. Most college guy’s bed/dorm room walls are covered with posters and pictures of bikini babes and sleek cars. However, the typical guy’s room stands in stark contrast when compared to a typical college girl’s dorm/bed room. Girls tended to have pictures of their friends, families, post cards, and other sentimental things.

I am curious why this happens. My first reaction was that it seems girls were surrounding themselves with things they have and have experienced, while guys were surrounding themselves with mostly fantasy. Girls have pics of their pets and vacations with friends, while guys have pics of girls they will never sleep with, and cars they will probably never drive.

Though, it seems vastly unfair to claim that girls live in reality, while guys live in a fantasy land. And I can’t think of any other evidence that would suggest such a thing. So I am going to guess that that is not what is going on here. What’s more likely is a difference between what the different sexes find stimulating. Guys are more visually stimulated, so they surround themselves with things they like to look at. Girls are more emotion based, so they surround themselves with things that elicit positive emotional responses.

I could be wrong, but that’s all I got.