Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I occasionally wonder if it is possible to relapse into culture shock. Odded out in an odd-numbered group, surrounded by conversation I find repulsive and no longer relate to, I find myself wanting to scream, flip out, or just run away. Is it my bitter, righteous mind and heavy heart, or the uncaring perhaps unknowing minds of others? Is it culture shock or a general cynicism and scorn I carry with me every day?

I know not.



Blogger Arthur said...

lack of context leaves me confused. I can imagine though.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Hero said...

It's both, and unavoidable.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Jenna V said...

cynicism and scorn =)

7:45 AM  
Blogger Katie80 said...

i wonder if it's just time to graduate. i find myself feeling like this often.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Mix said...

The lack of context was deliberate. It pops up in various environments, with an overriding theme described above, in all sorts of different venues.
And I'm not sure that graduation will matter. People are people are people, and the same themes will always be there. Luckily I have Jenny to guide me through the rough waters.

10:48 AM  
Blogger mp said...

sleep helps.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Bowman said...

Know how you feel. Some of those Salaamers that came to Egypt gave me reverse culture shock before I even came back to the States.

1:39 PM  
Blogger T-rent said...

My feelings on this and on a host of topics is: If you hold people to standards other than their own, you will always be disappointed. I dont know if this is the right way to think about it, but it gets me through the day.

This belief can really be used with cultural understanding, competence, etc. Once you find out someone's own standards you must tailor your interactions around that. You can influence their standards, but you cant outright change them.

This has lead me to a pretty strong resilence against culture shock and reverse culture shock.

4:35 PM  
Blogger T-rent said...

As well as being one of very few "universal" roommates on the planet. (sic. "universal donor")

4:37 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

If I didn't hold people in my life to a certain standard of common decency (ie, don't generalize an entire nation in front of me...don't call me or any other female a slut even if you think its a term of affection, etc) I would feel like I would be compromising the person I am. Maybe that's why I could never honestly call myself a "universal roomate".

Trent, I feel like we could go back and forth on this for oh say, a good month or so.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Jenna V said...

sometimes you need to just smile and remember that some people are living the dream, while others are most definitely... despite what they may believe...not.

Or maybe your dream's just different than their's.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Mix said...

T-bird touches on the idea, and it is that of standards. My main struggle is accepting others' "standards," if you will. I have a loose ideal of what some basic principles I think people should hold, and they are often not met, because those ideals are best instilled through experiences outside your comfort zone - experiences many people don't often realize. It's a source of great frustration; not being able to articulate thoughts derived from my own experiences to those who've never been there. The skill in "talking about 'it' and 'its' impact" is often overlooked and difficult to master.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Kleinsies said...

Interesting discussion. Not too sure I agree with T. I think that to hold someone to their own standards is not pushing them enough...and though you shouldn't hold them to your own arbitrary standards, they should be held to some sort of something. Maybe like Sara said, common decency or what have you.

Living in India, I've realized things that I can change, and things I can't; things that I can observe and things that I can participate in.

If you want to stick to observing, then hold them to their own standards. Its like saying "I respect you and your culture, but don't want to bring myself into it...to really know it...and I don't want you really in mine."

But if you want to participate, hold them to something else...after all, we're all people.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Kleinsies said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:34 PM  
Blogger T-rent said...

I wasn't so much saying you should push or challenge people, or even try to pursued them. I was saying that you cant get mad or frustrated.

I think a lot of discourse on topics like these are bullshit. People follow leaders who live by a standard that they appreciate. By demonstrating or by providing experiences that engage people, you can change minds, not by getting in polarizing debates where neither party understands the other.

The more frustrated and intollerent we become the more we loose the credibility of the people. A calm, caring approach coming from a place of understanding is the most affective way to promote your thoughts of how things should be or how people should act.

9:15 PM  

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