Okay, I give in, up, throw in the towel, etc. You may have heard the expression: “silence is golden” or how about this one: “don’t say anything if you can’t say something nice.” Those are my mottos – up until today that is!
Honestly, I do not like for people to complain, myself included, unless they actively try to do something to improve the situation. This is what I have been trying to do. I have been doing things like reaching out to others (opening the ‘doors’ so to speak); participating in clubs; and most pleasurable, assisting with the Women’s Resource Center (“WRC”). I have politely asked, nudged, and humbly begged other students to help me help nontraditional students to have a voice. Unfortunately, however, my attempts have apparently failed. Other than my work with the WRC and the one student response I received there have been no responses.
True, some days people read my posts and this gives me encouragement. Also, there are a couple of professors that talk with and encourage me to continue trying. For them I am grateful and motivated to keep going and working towards bridging the gaps (as I see them) amongst the traditional and nontraditional students – especially the females.
Until then I will endure the bad ‘mini-scenes’ (as I call them) throughout each day even though they are discouraging. At times the mini-scenes are downright distressing and discriminating. I cannot tell you how many times my voice/presence is dismissed or disregarded. Many times I get a nonverbal response: the rolling eyes, the head turning, or the staring at you directly, as if to say “what an idiot.” I cannot really complain with the nonverbal responses, however, because at least it is something!
The typical verbal response - from another student - is met with questions about who I am, what I am doing, and why I am doing whatever it is I am doing. Take today for example, I had two separate exchanges that are still upsetting me and leave me shaking my own head (but in private) and secretly wondering why I am trying so hard; why I continually just ’keep the peace’ and let it roll. Well, this time I have to offer one more thought before I can let it all go and move on. It is the absolute worst thing that happens to me as a nontraditional female student – when I am ignored, no response, neither verbal or nonverbal. This happens much more often than not and is from professors in addition to students. I mean, it is as if you do not exist, that you have no purpose, that you are not valued enough to even acknowledge. Why does this happen, why do people behave this way, is it because it is true? Or, are they conveying a message that is not traditionally spoken or shown but is merely just known to be? I have no idea but I certainly would like an answer – if you know, please share it!
So, unless I hear otherwise I will continue with my standard motto - conduct yourself with grace and try to speak only that which you wouldn’t mind being read by anyone. (Hence my discretion herein about the woes of being who/what I am.)
This brings me to this exact point in time “check,” another day of being a nontraditional female student at CCU is behind me. I am wondering if perhaps writing with more of a negative tone will get more responses? The truth will soon be seen, but in the meantime I will continue to smile, nod yes, and think positive thoughts!
Oh yes, I almost forgot, that towel – I picked it up again. I will continue to reach out to other nontraditional students, especially females. Although I may not see or hear of the positive impact my efforts have made on others, I like to believe that there have been some. Also I am bound and determined to fight for a voice for the female nontraditional CCU students because we need a voice. Someone needs to take the initiative for our group, to examine our unique issues, look at ways to enhance our CCU experience and those of the traditional students. I have made a commitment for these pursuits and until I am told not to do so any longer I will keep on trying and I know will succeed!
Until next time, happy CCU trails!