Thursday, August 27, 2009

Opposition - Day 2 in Comp 2

Ok, before I start my entry for today's class, I must vent.

I came in the door this afternoon from class to find an e-mail from the son-of-a-bitch (for those of you new readers, that's my soon-to-be-Ex), telling me that there are all kinds of crazy charges going on my side of the American Express bill.  I am so pissed right now because some dipshit is running around the world using my American Express credit card.  They booked a trip to Korea...uh, HI, what the hell would I need to be doing in Korea right now?  Then there were charges from France and another $2400 charged to  I am SO very pissed right now.  I'm a starving student.  My full measure of effort is focused on school, I've got no earthly time to be jetting around the world.  If I would be going anywhere, it'd be to Hawaii to visit my pal KP and his adorable kids.  WTF is wrong with people! Frickin' thieves!  OMG, if I got my hands on them right now, they'd so wish they'd never been born.

Ok, I'm done venting now.

So.  It's Thursday, and y'all have been dying to hear how my Composition II class is going...well, today, we got to watch an episode of the show "Everybody Loves Raymond" called "Ray's Journal".

Plot from When Marie finds the diary that Ray kept as a boy, he is embarrassed about much of the sexual content, but she is only upset over a single mean comment about her.

Now, I've never really been a big fan of the show "Everybody Loves Raymond".  I like Ray Romano.  Who can't love Manny the Mammoth from Ice Age.  He's dry, he's funny and he's very loveable in a clumsy kind of way.  BUT to watch an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond" is like watching the action in my own home growing up with my parents.  I try to stay as far away from traumatizing television as possible, because let's face it, you hang around with my family long enough and you're going to walk out with the same twitch Inspector Dreyfuss had when he was done dealing with Inspector Clouseau!  It's that bad.  You've heard of the good, the bad and the ugly, right?  Well that's what it was like growing up in my house and remarkably similar to an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond."  So, even though it is entertaining and "cute", it's just not my speed.

So anyhow, Doc T puts up the episode and we all sit, watch and laugh.  Admittedly, I did laugh, there were some sections that were quite funny, especially the part where Ray's brother, Robert, goes through the meticulous process of placing a decoy journal (filled with things he knew his mother would love to read) under his mattress, where his mother can find it, while his REAL journal was in a safety deposit box at the local bank.  Thinking about it, I wish I was that smart as a kid; with my mother who was as nosy as an armadillo in a grassy field filled with grub worms, I sure wish I would have been smart enough to open up an account like that to keep her nose out of my business.

But, as the story goes on, we find out Marie went through Ray's diary as a kid because she felt disconnected from her son.  However, I find that no earthly excuse to violate a child's privacy.

At 14 years old, any child is a walking hormone.  It's the beginning of puberty.  So all you have is a miniature adult with raging hormones looking for their identity as a human being.  In most cases, kids write in a journal because it is a way for them to express themselves without being judged or laughed at or worse, ridiculed.   They need someone to talk to, but talking to parents is the last thing they want to do because they don't know how to approach the subject or they are so embarrassed by their curiosity, that they don't want to share what they're thinking with another human soul.  Hence, in comes the journal, diary, blog, you name it, some sort of media where they can voice their curiosity and needs or misadventures without getting in trouble for them.

So we finish watching the video.  We were given a fair amount of time to write our "Diagnostic Essay", all this means is that Doc T wanted to see where we were as writers.  Y'all know me, once I get on a roll, it's all over with, I could write on a topic for days.  However, the main focus, I think, of the exercise (besides gauging our writing skill) was to see how well we could analyize two halves of an arguement.

After we were done, we got into a discussion about how we saw the two opposing sides of the arguement.  The question:  Who was right, who was wrong?

Doc T gets major points for being the only man I've ever seen that can create a "disagreement soup" and have it be smooth and tasteful as silk.  He played devil's advocate with us as he prodded on the discussion whether or not Marie was right to go through Ray's journal and if Ray had a right to be angry she did.  But then the discussion went even further, to the fact that simply, when you live under your parent's roof, there is no legalese of "Invasion or Right to Privacy".  When you live under your parent's roof, it's the "Law of Mom and Dad".  I can agree with that, but there is the small issue of respecting someone as an individual and the fact that parents seem to think they can get away with being disrespectful to their child because they think they're prying is a form of being a good parent.

Either way, like I said in my essay, "There is no right, there is no wrong, there is only opinion".  There is no clear winner or loser here.  Personally, I think Marie was an insensitive cow to be rifling her son's room for anything she could get her hands on to be close to her son.  She injured herself when she found the line in Ray's Journal "I hate my mom".  All my life I knew my mother was rifling my room and I never gave her one ounce of respect, and I never spoke to her honestly because I knew flat out that I could never trust her.  Marie played the sympathy card with Ray when she was confronted with the fact that she violated the trust between them by reading his private journal, she cried that she had no support from her husband and a long song and dance of "Oh feel sorry for me, I'm a victim."  To that I say a resounding BULLSHIT!  She found it, she read it.  When she found it, she could have glanced and known that was not something intended for her eyes.  Did she forget her own childhood and her need, as a young adult, for privacy?  It's all thrown under this double standard of "I'm the parent, I'm allowed to see everything and anything I want."  Question to all the parents out there, would you allow your child the same freedom with your things?  One hand washes the other folks.

What happened to Marie trying different ways or activities to involve her son in so that she could find an alternate course to be close to him?  What happened to not prying into other people's lives to vicariously live through others?  What happened to just outright getting a life?  Marie, like so many other parents, are victims of their overbearing need to possess their children.  Heavens yes, I believe in protecting and nurturing a child, giving them opportunities to grow and learn, but there is a vast difference between trying to be close to them and having the common sense to be patient.  When a child is in true need of a parent, opportunities will present themselves to get in there and do your job as a parent.

However, that's all fine and good to say that, I don't have children, so that's basically talking out my ass, but I do have experience being a child with an overbearing parent.

So, like I said, there is no clear winner or loser in today's discussion, however, being as that I've spent the last 7 years with no one to talk to and engage in discussions like this, oh, it was like giving candy to a baby, I couldn't have been happier.

I think every single student participated today, I might be wrong there were a couple who didn't have their hand up, but I basically nuked the classroom with my one last statement on the topic (I played devil's advocate myself defending Marie's actions):

What happens when you find something on it that says "Love you madly" like I found in my soon-to-be-Ex's e-mail from his girlfriend?  Does that give you the right to act?  I know I acted on what I found, because I also found 30 pages of phone records between the two.

I might as well have shot them all in the ass with a cattle prod.  They all became so uncomfortable with that.  I sat there amazed.  It was a PERFECT illustration of the arguement.  How could that make THEM uncomfortable?  I'm the one who has to live with it day in and day out while the son-of-a-bitch lives down the street with his girlfriend who looks EXACTLY like a Bassett Hound. 

(I did apologize to Doc T for nuking his classroom after class.)

So, today's class gets a resounding thumbs up!  I got to write an essay (one of my loves in life) and got to talk about a subject with depth and meaning, all the while getting the point of today's lesson:

Every arguement, disagreement or discussion has two (or more) sides, being able to jump with agility, grace and poise from one side of the fence to the other is the realm of the fair intellectual. 

As a wise man once said:

"Make your words kind, gentle and tasteful, for one day, you may be forced to eat them."

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