culture shock

so, i knew it would happen; i guess i should really be impressed that it took so long. i only have my hippie parents and their hippie friends to blame for that one.

everyone knows wesleyan is a bubble. you leave (the way i see it, the school put me into forced academic retirement when they gave me that diploma), and words like queer and privilege and hegemony and problematic either have completely different meanings or are no longer part of the lexicon. in some ways, i really feel like i'm in a different world than my coworkers.

so yesterday (friday) one of my fellow leap teachers is talking about her ex-girlfriend. granted, this is massachusetts, home of everything that's wrong with the moral fabric of this nation, so i shouldn't have been surprised. but this was like some sort of double culture shock because i was so used to living in this radical world i wasn't sure how far left the rest of the world was. (yes, that's kinda messed up, but... just keep reading) so, that was way cool in an oh, maybe i don't have to worry about being the crazy leftist at work, way. yay. not that i was that worried; leap teachers are cool.

so today we had this conference/day of workshops thing that almost everyone went to. there's this training hours requirement thing that it filled. the first workshop was about how kids make friends and how their friendships work. it was so-so. then was the keynote speaker. then 5 of us girls went to a workshop about women working with women, basically discussing how all that middle school-type backstabbing/competitiveness/bullshit still happens between grown-up women. which is true, tho we actually all agreed we don't do it at leap. but, still valuable stuff to talk about.

then we had lunch. yummy.

then i went to this workshop on character education through cooperative recreation (learning social skills through playing games). it was really cool, and interesting, and valuable. only, the guy blamed a lot of the problems in schools on teachers' unions. now, the conference was full of after-school program teachers, most of whom raised their hand when asked during the keynote address whether we make enough money. the owner of our program was there so none of us raised our hand, though we already all make more than minimum wage so we're probably doing better than most of them. so, here we are mostly making shit for money, and this presenter (who is a professional presenter/inventor/something, not a caregiver) is shitting all over unions. grr. also, dose of reality. not that tuesday/wednesday wasn't that already... but still. fuckin' reality, why you gotta be so crappy?

so then we went out for a drink! yay work socializing! i'd heard so much about it from KPd, it was nice to finally get in on that action. well, kinda; i still had to drive home, as did almost everyone else, and my coworkers aren't as big lushes... but i heard stories about parties in the past...

so, we got to talking about the election, and i was so relieved to hear all but one of the people there had voted for kerry. or not voted at all. of course, we're all registered in massachusetts, so not a big deal anyway. but, the one who hadn't voted was the very same who is queer, and claimed she would have voted for bush! i didn't get a chance to ask why cuz she was at the other end of the table. i'm really interested. because i don't understand how a person could think, "well, you don't think i deserve the same rights as straight people, but you're totally qualified to lead this country." she's still a great person, but... pwhat?

so, it turns out, sometimes the real world makes less sense than the crazy leftist/radical/PCU. or i'm too wesleyanified to understand the real world. sigh; i really gotta move to the wesghetto in nyc.