I'm hungry. Tired. Grouchy. As I'm looking up european post modern choreography on youtube, (on mute) I hear an irritated voice say, "is that homework"? I become aware of the studious looking girl sitting next to me.
Her hair sleekly falls to her shoulders. She's wearing a button up 3/4 sleeve shirt, a pencil skirt, and glasses that suggest there's nothing wrong with her vision and she has impeccable style. I'm startled. I'd been in my own world; feeling sorry for myself for being tired and unable to eat granola gracefully. "Is that homework?" she repeats again, sounding a little less irritated and a little more patronizing. She continues, "Because if it's not, you're really not supposed to be using this section of the library's computers."
Half amused and half perplexed, I answer (my mouth half full of granola) "actually it is homework." She doesn't believe me. Slowly, she says, "what are you studying?"
Now I'm annoyed. Who does this girl think she is? The library police?
Determined to keep my cool, I tell her I'm pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in the Department of Modern Dance. "That oughta shut her up", I think to myself. There's a pause. She has nothing to say. (Good.)
I return to the youtube search. She responds, "I used to dance". My eyes flicker to her computer. She's working on some sort of equations. I'm thinking statistics or calculus. Goodness, how I hated those classes. I immediately feel sorry for this girl and regret being irritated by her. Maybe I can make some polite conversation. I ask her what her major is. She answers: Math.
Then she continues (with a hint of smugness), "so I can get a real job someday."
Another awkward pause.
I'm trying to figure out if she's trying to be funny, or suggesting that I will never get a job. Either way, this girl seems to lack some very basic social skills, and I'm more concerned for her than offended by her comments. I shrug, and cheerfully say something along the lines of "good for you for being so smart", and mention something about how I've always hated math because I'm so terrible at it. She rolls her eyes, and says perhaps the most depressing thing I've heard all semester:
"who says I don't hate math?"
Third awkward pause.
I go back to my youtube clips.
Not quite sure what to think about all of this, friends. I don't want to read too much into it. Most likely it was just an odd girl having an odd day (during an odd time of the month). I'm not suggesting that she's depressed because she's a mathematician rather than an artist. It was actually quite an interesting pop in my grouchy and tired afternoon. I do wish her the best. (Even though she really needs to see a therapist if that's how she behaves to every stranger she meets.)
I wonder if she looks up dance on youtube during her free time.
I will say this: I'm very glad I'm not studying math.
Even if it means I don't dress cute all the time.
ps- for another awkward dance-y story that this reminds me of: http://theveryhappypear.blogspot.com/2011/01/matryoshka-story.html