The type of students I despise

Right now I am enrolled in an Elementary French course at Fairfield University. My summer trip to France in 2012 spurred my desire to learn more about the language and culture. French is such a beautiful language, and I hope to use it one day when I return to the country.

Naturally, as with all courses, I am eager to learn. Being in this type of class means that I would surround myself with freshmen, so going in, I expected everyone to be clueless, but open to learn. I’ve noticed that such students exist, but I am appalled to find others who act entitled and are ignorant of common manners. On the first day of class, one student had the audacity to say that she was taking the class for an easy grade, stating that she had more than ten years of experience with the language. I remember our professor, a French woman, being rendered speechless. I couldn’t believe someone would say that. No wonder some foreigners tend to hate Americans!

However, I mostly hate those who feel they are more knowledgeable than others. One student is lagging behind. That person freezes up whenever asked a question. A few students in the class get impatient and point out the answer condescendingly.

C’mon, —-.” And they laugh.

The fact that some students act this way infuriates me, and yet, occasionally, these same people get answers wrong, too. Don’t you ever remember being that kid who didn’t get something the first time?

I clearly recall the third grade when I participated in a class spelling bee.  At that time, I still struggled with spelling and I had let myself think that I could never learn. It was my turn in the spelling bee, and the teacher requested that I spell “beyond.” But I spelled “beyond” as “beyonded.” Everyone starting laughing at me. The room seemed to shrink. I felt my self-esteem crumbling right there. My crush even laughed at me (at this age, such occurrence seemed to damage your entire being). Tears came, and then I ran out of the classroom and into the bathroom. I stayed there, on the toilet, surrounded by random graffiti that kids left behind on the walls, wishing there was toilet paper to actually use.

I could have been emotionally weak back then, but I’m sure other people have felt the same sting, but can hide their reactions better. I returned later and the teacher made everyone apologize, and all was forgotten then. But I still remember this incident – even when I can’t remember much else of my past – because it injured me in such a way that it took up to middle school for me to see that I can learn, as long as I ignore people who put me down for their own pleasure.

To the student who is struggling: Don’t believe you are incapable of learning. Reach out for help from people who don’t judge you. Talk to the professor. Don’t give up.

To the bullies in the classroom: Criticism is good when it is done to help an individual. When criticism is done merely because you feel superior, it is bad. Have patience. Remember that you can be on the other side. Remember how you feel then and promise not to treat another person the same way again.

We are all learning. Sure, you can say that humiliation motivates people to learn faster. But humiliating another person just because you are impatient makes you look like an asshole.

Badge of Intolerance goes to Teen Girl Scout Boycotter

If the Girl Scouts of America gave out a badge for intolerance, I’d say they should hand it to Taylor.

In a scripted Youtube video, the California-based Girl Scout of eight years demanded for a boycott of sales after she realized that the organization accepts transgenders into its troops.

“I have been taught by Girl Scouts to advocate for my beliefs and to discover, connect and take action when I see something I want to change in the world,” she said in her Youtube video that is popping up all over the Internet.

I say, good for you, Taylor. I like that she is speaking up. I consider myself a journalist, so I fully support her freedom of speech.

But here’s my exercise of freedom of speech: I disagree with Taylor’s warped perception of the world.

Of course,  to share my opinion, you must support LGTBQ rights, which I am certainly supportive of. Call it a product of my nearly nonexistent religious beliefs. Attribute it to my generation, where equality is not something that is just among women and men, but it is also about the sexual orientation of all population. I think all people should be equal. That includes letting a boy, who’s most comfortable as a girl, into Girl Scouts.

She clearly defined transgender Girl Scout as a boy who “wants to be a girl.”

Taylor has a problem with boys being around girls. “Then, really, any boy can join Girl Scouts by simply saying he wants to be a Girl Scout, ” she said. How many boys who identify themselves as boys want to join Girl Scouts?!? Taylor is blowing these transgender admissions out of proportion, and it’s very clear to me that she is not concerned about her troops’ disturbance but her own uncomfortable feelings regarding the topic.

You say, Taylor, that you and other girls don’t “feel safe” with a boy in the troops. Then doesn’t that mean you’re in danger in the world? Because, really, boys exist outside of the Girls Scouts. What boy would go so far as to enlist himself in a Girl Scouts troop just to get closer to girls?

The underlying (or prominent, depending on your view) strand of this protest is based on religion. Taylor has a cross clearly displayed around her neck. She cites mainly Baptist sources as support for her quotes.  Taylor insinuates that the Girl Scouts carry a certain religious belief.

This is not part of the official Girl Scouts policy, especially one that encourages diversity. Even more, today, most people should realize that being or acting like a girl is a socially constructed notion. Girl Scouts formed during a time when no one dared talk about gender as socially constructed. As with any organization, the policies must change according to the times they exist in.

In the end, I believe people will end up boycotting Girl Scouts Cookies for a very different reason than what Taylor is advocating for.