Friday, April 18, 2008

Eventful Day

My day was good and bad at the same time. I'm going to talk about the good part first so I can get it out of the way. Basically, I spent the entire day at my college with a friend of mine. We (along with several other people there) watched YouTube videos half the time. The other half I spent playing "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" on Nintendo Wii. I enjoyed the game, although I'm not as good as the people I was playing (they probably have played it a lot more than I have I'm sure). I got to show people some of my YouTube videos to which they found hilarious. It was a lot of fun.

Now the bad part -- I was working in a group I'm in for a project I'm doing in one of my classes. This one girl I have never had a very favorable opinion of, mainly by a distant first impression. I always like to give people a fair chance though and figured maybe I could form a friendly collaboration between us. After all, we have a paper we're all going to be graded on, so it's in our best interests to try and work nicely together. So when me and her collaborated a few weeks ago to try and share ideas for our portions of the paper, I gave her a lot of insight that I thought might help her. When it came to my portion of the paper, she threw out two basic ideas, didn't elaborate on them at all, and then got on her laptop and checked her e-mail the rest of the time. I was a little annoyed by that, but I let it slide. By the way, her part didn't arrive until today, the last chance we had to work together before turning it in Tuesday.

Today, we're debating my portion of the paper. There's an idea I had in my part that raised a few eyebrows, and understandably so. I formed an idea of how McDonald's could combat their troubles in the UK and elsewhere where governments have made it harder for McDonald's to advertise.

Once I explained it to others, they got where I was coming from and why it made sense. The other girl I mentioned above however wasn't satisfied. We ended up in a debate over it. Now I encourage any kind of debate if someone doesn't agree with me. My attitude is if someone doesn't agree with me, convince me that I need to change my opinion or see things differently. I stuck by my guns and provided an aggressive argument as to why I felt the plan could succeed. I listened to her, but I wasn't convinced. I can compromise, but not when the compromise means writing my part all over again. I wanted an alternative and she didn't have one.

Eventually, she told me that she felt like she was being attacked. I am an aggressive debater, but it's never personal. She didn't seem to get that, and proceeded to explain that she doesn't debate things with people because she gets very jumpy... and she was! She was very jumpy, and so as a natural reaction (and without thinking about it -- I wish I hadn't done it now), I put my hand on her shoulder and was basically going to try and tell her I wasn't attacking her. I wanted to defuse any tension that existed. She pulls away and tells me in a frustrated tone "don't touch me". I laughed and quickly backed away. It made me mad, but I tried to keep my cool.

It got worse. I did grammar corrections on everyone's parts, including this girl's part (apparently I'm good with grammar or something). Normally when I correct something, people are very active in seeing what I'm correcting and wanting to know the reasons behind it all. As I'm correcting this part though, the girl is talking to her friends the entire time, not even interested in any of the work I'm doing to her paper. I handed it to her when I finished. She thanked me, and I said "sure". I walked away and vented to a friend. I felt so used and treated like crap. I probably should have kept my hand to myself, but good God, she acted like I was a pervert or something. I'm still a little mad about it even now.