Intimidation and Introduction

To start out this post, I want to give you a back story for why I am writing about it. And I don’t think I’m the only one who’s experienced this.

So there is this guy that I see EVERYWHERE. No exaggeration, I see him an average of 3 times a day in random places. Obviously, I do not know this person. I do not know his name or anything about him save for where he is at a few times during the day. With only awkward eye contact as my evidence, I have a hard time believing he hasn’t noticed me and/or thought I’m stalking him. Regardless of the fact that I think he’s pretty attractive, I feel like we see each other enough in a day that the only logical thing to do would be to introduce myself. However, I have no idea how to go about this.

If you talk to basically any guy on campus, they will say that they would absolutely love if a girl just randomly walked up to them and introduced herself. And while most girls realize that, we still are very uncomfortable with the idea of starting up a conversation with a guy we don’t even know.

There’s so much that I don’t understand about this phenomenon. Why is it that girls can go up to a random girl and say how much they love her hair/scarf/shoes/whatever and yet can’t introduce themselves to a guy? What do we expect? I don’t think any guy is going to respond poorly to a girl talking to him unsolicited. Sure, it might be awkward, but does it really matter?

Now, some people may say that guys are in the same boat, seeing as guys are often hesitant to introduce themselves to girls. But there’s some sense to that. At least on this campus, girls have a tendency to assume that any guy that takes 12 seconds to have a conversation with her is trying to sleep with her, and respond accordingly. Most of the guys I know have plenty of stories where they do something as simple as ask a girl a question about class and have her respond with a snip about having a boyfriend. Regardless of how presumptuous a reaction this is to have, it happens. And I understand that it can be humiliating. So guys, I can see how you would be hesitant to introduce yourself to a girl. But girls, what’s our excuse?

Now, I don’t have any sort of an answer to this problem. I’m just as awkward as everyone else. So to this, I ask you, fellow classmates, what is the big stigma with introductions? Is it our tendency to fall back on technology that deters us from real honest-to-God conversation? And additionally, if you are a guy, would you be okay with a girl randomly walking up to you and starting a conversation? What is the best way to go about it? Is it creepy to say that you’ve noticed someone around? Why do I have so many questions? Why is this so awkward? Help?

All anyone’s been able to talk about recently is the events which transpired at the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity. I know a lot of us are getting sick of hearing/reading/talking about it, so if you’re one of those people I suggest skipping this post.

Last week, Onward State published an article calling on the betterment of how women are treated at Penn State (linked here). While Melissa McCleery does a great job discussing the issue, I would like to go into further depth on this issue.

As disappointing as it is, I would be shocked to find out that what happened at Kappa Delta Rho is an isolated incident. The issue of privacy in this digital age is a large one. Millennials, for one, seem to not know the definition of the word. We have all heard the comments by the KDR member who spoke out, but in case you haven’t, he described the pictures to be posted as “satire” (interview here). While it remains to be debated whether or not this person knows the true definition of the word, it’s easy to see what he’s trying to say. The individuals who choose to post photos such as these find it humorous. They make slut-shaming a game. However, college kids are not the only culprits. It seems as though every other week some celebrity’s revealing photos are leaked for the world to see. There are entire sites dedicated to posting the photos of ex-girlfriends. It’s sickening. And with recent technology advancements, its easier than ever. While I personally love Snapchat, it supports privacy infringement in stride. Many people use the application to send provocative photos, banking on the promise that once the picture has been viewed, it will be deleted. However, snapchat still allows the receiving party to take a screenshot of the photo, and after that nothing can be done to retrieve it. It also allows for the possibility of people, such as the members of KDR to send pictures without a trace. Imagine if these young men had simply been taking snapchats of these women and sending them to their brothers instead of posting them. How could they be caught?

It’s scary to think about, but it’s possible that things like this do happen without our knowledge. Thankfully, pictures posted with the intention of getting a laugh or recognition tend to be posted on a more permanent platform, thus allowing these images to be traced. However, who’s to say people don’t send snapchats to their friends of the person they hooked up with asleep next to them?

I do not intend to scare, but it’s something that we need to think about. Whether pictures such as these are taken to be funny or to brag about getting laid, it’s wrong. The KDR member in the interview stated that this incident is not a legal issue, but why shouldn’t it be? It is one ladder rung below pornography, and it is a non-consensual sexual act. In my opinion, there is no reason for it not to be considered a legal matter. Whether or not these people are considered criminals, it’s about time we step up as a society and take a stand against blatant invasion of privacy.

Gruelling Group Work

We all have experienced the fun which comes from group projects. With every project you do as a group, you will take on a role which often varies depending on timing, nature of the project, class, etc.

1. The Figure Head: This person is often the most dominant personality in the group. They are known for taking over the conversation and sticking to their guns. Often, this person does most of the talking and idea-making. This person is an asset in that they often have a good understanding of what they are talking about, making them useful in oral presentations. More than anything, though, they take the lead on answering questions that most of us don’t want to answer.

2. The Micro-Manager: Known for being incredibly annoying and always on your case, this person has a love/hate relationship with the rest of the group. They will push you to make sure your part is done which can be irritating, but at the end of the day, they are the person who is going to make sure that all of the work is done right and submitted on time.

3. The Submissive One: This group member often gets by under the radar by simply doing what they’re told. You won’t hear much from them in the working process, but you can always count on them to get the job done to satisfaction.

4. The Confused One: This person is easily the most underrated group member. This person will ask tons of questions which may get on your nerves, but is actually really helpful. By talking through these questions, you gain a better understanding of the work you are doing and the group can make sure they are on the same page.

5. Devil’s Advocate: This is the arguer of the group. Most of the things they say will start with the words “Just to play Devil’s advocate”, which will make you cringe, but is ultimately a good thing. This person provides insight that you may not have considered and forces you to work through the kinks in your project.

6. The Busy One: This is the one you can never get a hold of, and often has other things to do whenever you want to meet. I’d love to say that they contribute meaningfully to the group, but mostly they just put their name on the final project.

7. The Tech-ey One: Often, this group member is the work mule of the group. They have a better understanding of the medium you are using for your project and they know it. They are content taking the reigns on the technology aspect and make sure everything looks as good as possible.

8. The Wild Card: Sadly, every group has one. This is just a person that despite lots of discussion just kinda does their own thing. This can fare either really well or really poorly. If you’re lucky, it’ll diversify your project just enough to make it effective. However, much of the time it just compromises the cohesiveness of the project.