Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Protein Shakes and English Papers

Protein Shakes and English Papers

Throughout my life I have interacted with people of various race, intellect, religion, political view's, and gender. Until now I have never realized how both my demeanor and dialogue change with each given group of friends. There have been times where I have tried to bridge the gap between two different discourse communities, but people tend to retreat back to their original group, due to the fact that they are already accepted and accustomed to the practices of their original group. Coming to Highlands there are many different discourse communities, but I will focus only on the two that I interact with on a daily basis. These two communities are: The Football Players and Highlands Faculty. Now, I wouldn't say there is a conflict between the two communities, but there is a definite lack of interaction between these two communities. I don't mean every football player doesn't communicate well with there Professor, but there is a difference of tone and language that is used between both.

The third day of college I made a few friends with some of the football players staying at melody. I would soon learn what was acceptable within this group of friends and what was not. When greeting a football player I usually use a variation of slang such as "What it do?" or "What's cracking Big Money" to gain the attention of a friend. Though both examples are grammatically incorrect, the Football players recognize the greeting. As far as conversation, the topics usually are either about sports, food, girls, or music. Referencing school work or classes in a conversation is never ignored, but the conversation always veers back to the topics of social situations. Musically, most of the football players listen to ATL style rap like Waka Flocka Flame and Lil Wayne. Personally I am not a fan of Waka or Lil Wayne, but I manage to put up with it. Now there are a few exceptions, like my friend Jeremy, who listens to mostly Dub step. But these exceptions are scarce. I do not mean to typecast the whole football team as hip-hop fans, but most of the football players I have met have some liking for the Sucker Free Countdown playlists. What really initiated me into the circle of athletic kids in Melody Hall was the fact that I could dance. I do not play football, soccer, or wrestle at all. My athletic ability is limited to dancing like a goofball, but somehow it really caught the attention of all the athletes.

While talking with my football buddies, there are times were school is brought up, but it is usually the topic of having difficulty doing homework or going to class. I understand that these men are occupied with training for a very demanding sport and that exhaustion sets in right after practice and right before class. As far as meeting with their teacher, I hear sometimes that they stay after class to speak with them briefly, but never scheduled appointments. It's understandable, and maybe it isn't a conflict between football players and teachers but a scheduling issue. Regardless, most of the football players and most everyone else addresses the Faculty here at highlands with respect.

The way I address the Faculty here at Highlands is very different from both discourse communities I have mentioned before. I completely refrain from cursing and present myself in a respectable manner. I can joke a little between a professor but mainly I am talking to them about assignments or homework. It has been just a few weeks though, so my demeanor may change with some teachers depending on their attitude. The conversations I partake in with professors are almost always about the class material, but if I am lucky, sometimes the conversation meanders to something else interesting and off topic.

"Robert, did you finish the online quiz before class?" Mr. Mascarenaz would state as I entered class.

"Why of course Professor M. It is what I am here for." is what I would reply with.

In each discourse community I am involved with, I use different dialogues, attitudes, and appearances. Though everyone from the dawn of time says to be yourself, sometimes being yourself includes being different around some people. I do believe in staying true to yourself, but if you present yourself differently to certain groups of people you can go far in life. As far as bridging the gap between communities, I believe it is possible, but not likely to happen.


  1. No Lil' Wayne? or Waka? Waka Blogga.

    "mind so sharp I f around and cut my head off."
    "I get Brain like Pinky."

    these hip hop artists discuss important mental issues that I think could be very critical towards your college education.

  2. Actually, "What's cracking Big Money?" is grammatically correct ;-)

    You've given some interesting insight into 2 very different discourse communities, and while you've hinted at their conflict, you haven't explained it. What is it about their values, beliefs, and goals, that causes them to not see eye to eye, so to speak?

    Aside from that, you've told a pretty interesting story, but I'd still love to see a scene with some extended dialogue and a better description of this goofy dancing ;-)