Wednesday, March 7, 2007

"Sit in yer own damn seat!"

So, I was walking into my IDS 110 lecture in Pimentel Hall when I saw something terrible. Something which at first shocked me, and then the closer I got to it, the angrier I became. It was an inexcusable offense. It was blasphemy. It was madness.

Someone was sitting in my seat.

I am exceptionally territorial. I have had a lecture in Wheeler Auditorium every semester for the past two years, and since my very first day at Cal, I have sat in the exact same chair (K-4). In the rare occasions when someone has usurped my seat, I don't know whether I should vomit or punch them in the face. They stole my seat! What are they going to do next, steal my girlfriend (assuming I had one)?!

I've always been very territorial. This is part of the reason why I was so bummed out by being reassigned from Clark Kerr to Unit 2. Most times it's not a problem; I'm often one of the first people to get into any given classroom, and for the most part, people don't move around too much. Still, there are those days...there are other instances of the things I have to go through, as well.

In my hall staff meetings, I sit two seats from the end on the right side of the table. However, one of my coworkers enjoys sitting there, if only to forbid me from doing the same. I am not so easily discouraged. I simply set aside another chair, and then I would lift up my coworker's chair (with coworker) and move her to her rightful place at my left hand. I'd then scoot the other chair in and sit contentedly. Yes, I know it's not chivalrous, but my stubbornity often comes before my chivalry...at least when it comes to my territory.

But that's not even the most extreme it's been. A few years back, when I was but a lowly high school senior, I was shocked to find that one of my classmates in my AP English class had her keister planted firmly in my desk. Now, this was a not a lecture hall. There were no more than 15 people in that classroom, and we had been sitting in the same seats for 8 months. Why she chose that particular day and that particular desk, I didn't know. And frankly, I didn't care; she was in my seat, and that was all that mattered.

When I have a point to make, especially with someone I know, I tend to use "the silent stare," which is exactly what it sounds like. I will stare at the offender without saying a word. My glare has been described as quite intimidating and disorienting, and so most people will cave in rather than endure it. Unfortunately, this girl wouldn't move, although I could tell she was uncomfortable. I still believe she was either dared or (more likely) paid to do this. When I realized that I was getting nowhere fast, I decided to take more drastic steps, by which I mean I tried to physically move the desk. When I did, not only did she plant her feet in the ground, but she yelped with such force that you'd think I'd mollested her.

When the class bell finally rang, my AP English teacher asked what was going on. When the situation was to her, she said to me, "You can't physically move her, Andrew. You're going to have to either take another seat or stand."

"I'll stand, then."

And I did. For 90 minutes, I stood in place. As luck would have it, we had a surprise essay test that day. Using a 10 lb. English book as my hard surface, I wrote a four-page essay on some random topic while standing up for 90 minutes.

...And I still got the best grade on that test.

What I really thought was funny was that my AP English teacher said to me afterward, "You know, Andrew, at first I thought you were just being stubborn. But now I see you have great resolve and are very steadfast."

"Well," I replied, "that's what being stubborn is all about."

Unfortunately, my ability to do this is somewhat limited in a college environment. After all, I haven't known all of these people for four years. Hell, I haven't known many of them for more than four minutes. Any attempt to stare them down, or physically move them, or stand next to them, would be seen...negatively. What's a guy to do? Unfortunately, it means I'd just have to live it down, swallow my pride, and be uncomfortable for the next hour.

Now, the person was sitting in Row 3, Seat 20. While I'll avoid sitting next to a stranger (particularly one who looks sickly, as this one did), I did sit as close as possible. He was probably wondering why, in an empty classroom that could seat hundreds, I chose to sit two seats away from him. For my part, I was just sitting quietly, glancing at him out of the corner of my eye. This was going to be a long lecture.

Then, suddenly, he got up and left. I hadn't noticed, but he was packing up the whole time. Then it dawned on me: oh, he's from the previous class. How silly of me.

As soon as he was out of sight, I quickly hopped to my seat, lest someone else usurp it. I stretched out my interlaced fingers, cracking my knuckles, and smiled. Chalk one up to stubbornity.

1 comment:

Alexander said...

first thing, last.

FINALLY! after a month long Hiatus, I'm back to my regular free schedule!

i come back and someone's sitting in your sit seat?
and you didnt kick them out?

Oh how the Mighty have fallen...

see, i got that same problem in one of my classes. oddly enough my new problem-maker is a white girl named... Anna (how original).
i guess that's what the name means,

Anna- To pick on and cause problems for Alex.

differences is, she quickly learned her place. and her place sure as hell ain't in my sit. as a matter of fact, i kicked her out of my side of the class room. not to mention everyone else. i'm proud of that. they sit on one side, faces towards the windows looking right into the sun. and me? my back turned to them, to their windows, to their sun, to their harsh and blinding light.

anyway to hell with chivalry, i say that bitch deserves it!

say...

say who was the girl?