Tuesday, December 12, 2006

RANT: Y'all ONLY know what it's like/being male middle-class and white

I'll be the first to admit that it doesn't take much to annoy me or make me mad. But it does, however, take a lot for me to actually let you know that you have done so. I try hard to be nice to people, even if I think they are obnoxious or rude or have bad ideas about how our group project should be done. Oops. There I go.

(If you live with me? You're going to want to leave this page now before you have to hear this story one. more. time.)

I am pulling my hair out over a project that's due in the morning. And really, it should be no big deal: it's an intro course on multimedia. It's been piece of cake--the class is geared toward freshmen and sophomores, so it was smooth sailing for me during the first two months.

And then we started working on our final projects. In groups. That were picked by our instructor.

The basic project is this: create a product, a website to explain it, and a video to market it. Not bad at all.

But then the guy who would become my Favorite Group Member (FGM) took over (and let's face it, the girl for whom this class seems like a cakewalk is not going to take kindly to NOT BEING IN CHARGE) (why all the cake references?). My approach to group work? Delegate. His approach? "Let's all do everything together." Ha. Ha. Ha.

Anyway, after taking over, this guy developed an idea for a real estate agency that sells apartments in the ghetto. And not just any ghetto, but the "Miami ghetto" which is really just a few streets in Oxford where the houses are run-down. Rich white kids live there, with their pearls, iPods, and BMW's. This "ghetto" he speaks of does not exist. And after writing this piece and being scared to EVER go back to Cincinnati EVER AGAIN (a story for another time), I was not too keen on the idea of poking fun at "the ghetto." Because we are all rich white kids who don't get it.

And because FGM does not get it, we continued to develop the worst idea ever.

So I went along with it, I'm in the damn video, I DESIGNED THE WEBSITE (which FGM just wasn't sure if he liked or not), I'm hosting everything on my webspace. And FGM was a big jerk, and no one else wanted to do any work. So I began to hate this project with the kind of rage I generally reserve for Swim Team Mothers.

The rage comes from two places. The first is that I have never been part of a group that was so...bad at being a group. (Notice: If you leave a comment about life lessons, I will punch you in the face. And, I will delete your comment.) But mostly, I don't like FGM. He is awful.

Second, it comes from the lack of respect for people who actually live in a ghetto, who don't sell drugs because it's funny or have a gun because they pretend to be bad ass, but because that is the reality of their lives. And when I have to sit around with these people, I get the feeling that they take for granted their comfortable lifestyles. Which is about 75% of the reason why FGM is awful. I am embarrassed to be a part of this project.

I finished the website over the weekend and had put it behind me when I got an email from a group member today that said she didn't feel comfortable with all the stereotypes we'd used, so could I go in and change the website. Well OF COURSE I will! But why didn't she say something sooner, when I wanted to change the whole project? Or when I tried to point out that it was AN AWFUL IDEA?

So I will change the website. I couldn't agree with her more. I just feel like it's too little, too late.

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