Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Learning and Memory

When people ask me how grad school is, I tell them, 'I've learned a lot of things, and almost none of them are what I thought I'd learn.'

Last night I realized I must unlearn the 'You're doing it all wrong! Give it to me!'. Mr. S and I may strangle one another before his thesis is done.

Yesterday I ran into a guy I hadn't seen in a couple years.

'You've changed,' he said, 'a lot. You're so assertive. But not in a mean or annoying way. Just so confident and together.'

'It's selected for,' I said.

'You're kind of scary now actually, in a totally take-no-nonsense way.... Most of the people I'm scared of are women.'

'Dear, we have to be a little scary, twice as tough as the men, or nobody will take us seriously. Five years of misogynistic BS, you don't put up with it any more.'

'Oh. Yeah, I think it's one of those things I'll never have to learn, because people will do their jobs and listen to me, and I can just smile and carry on, and it'll be fine.'

'Yep. Count your blessings: nobody will ever dismiss you because of what you're wearing.'

'Well, it's working for you. I'm impressed. And a little scared.'


And I wasn't even trying to scare him. It's the nicest compliment I've gotten in a while.