So, Sparkly, Reference Desk Girl and Boundary Girl all go/went to the same women-only university. And I just cannot comprehend the level of gossip that goes on between them and their friends about other people. One of them can say “This really annoying girl is in one of my classes…” and everyone else will know who it is, by name! There are two or three people who I will presumably never meet, but I now know all about how they are annoying and talk too much, according to Sparkly and her friends in her department. I swear my school was not like this.
This bothers me for a couple of reasons.
1. Last time there was one person who was clearly “that annoying girl who asks too many questions” to the rest of the class, I spent all my time thinking, “Oh, God, I would be her if I talked more,” and wishing I could hit the guy in front of me (who kept calling her stupid, semi-out-loud, to his friends) on the head with my graphing calculator. So I feel a little bit guilty and threatened when people do this, even when it’s in private about someone I’ve never met.
2. When I’ve been on the other end of this– when I’ve been irritated with someone in one of my classes– I tended to assume that it was at least partly my problem, not theirs. I’m very sensitive to background noise and distractions. Sometimes I’ve complained to other people about things like this that bothered me, but I didn’t really expect anyone else to feel the same way. So the fact that everyone here seems to have a consesus about what’s annoying feels foreign to me. Actually, this is part of a pattern– I don’t think that I’m normal, and every so often I come across a situation where it’s made obvious to me that other people do, and that’s confusing to me.