Summer is drawing to a close and I have been working steadily on things I need to complete to justify getting signed embossed paperage from a large Tier I research based state university. I am lucky enough to work beyond my home department and as a result come in contact with a seemingly limitless procession of people, from all walks of life. This is my second go-round in graduate school, having completely a History M.A. at Lamar University way back in 2012. This time and location is different from the last, not better or worse just different. And that is something people, especially those from the same walks of life, have a hard time seeing.
The great thing about university is, or should be, the meeting and mixing of ideas if not necessarily people. But time after weary time those super smart valedictorians come in all full of themselves only to realize they are in class with 30-40 (or 140) OTHER valedictorians, and they are not longer the smartest one in the class. They also can’t fathom the notion that not everyone in the same room watches the same television show, listens to the same music, drives the same car, eats the same food, etc. They are suddenly forced to interact, nay survive and rely on people who aren’t like them. It should lead to new awakenings, but it usually just ends in smaller friendship circles and long pouty tear-filled calls to your salutatorian friend who went to a different university.
This time of year always gets me to thinking about all the things I have never done compared to the plethora of people that share my same generational exposure. I have been trying to compile a list and I am still working on it, usually as something comes up in conversation that I am only tangentially a part of due to popular culture or standup comedians.
So, I shall lay bare some of my cultural shortcomings in hopes that it will at the very least start conversations about the possibility of other people being different even if you are absolutely sure that they are the same (or maybe they even paid the same amount to get into the same sorority or fraternity–but that is a different story altogether)
In no particular order I give you some of the things I have never done
I have never watched any of the Star Wars in any form of entirety. I remember seeing the R2-D2 and C-3PO arguing in the desert, the Ewoks, and freaking out at the swamp scene because Yoda sounded like Fozzie Bear. (traumatic, I know) Nor do I want to.
|No, Really. Fozzie. Bear. I kept waiting for him to say,
“Wakka, wakka, wakka.”
I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. I have only seen one movie that was a break from Field work in Utah, it was a middle one where a creepy short lady took over the school and some twins destroyed a testing day a la 1984 or something.
I do not worship at the altar of C.S. Lewis and find it odd that so many Christians do.
I have never seen Sesame Street, our TV didn’t pick up Houston 8 Public TV. My first Henson exposure was The Muppet Movie. I will take Gonzo over Elmo any day.
Along those same lines, I was in 3rd or 4th grade before I ever saw Reading Rainbow and was stunned to see Geordi LaForge hosting without his visor. And on the track of Star Trek, I only saw it on Friday nights because it came on at 9 o’clock and during the week that was past my bedtime and I don’t prefer one to the other. I do know my favorite character was Bones,(and I was pleased with his character in the new movie–the first new movie, I still haven’t seen the second one) and Geordi was second.
I have never seen an episode of Mr. Rogers neighborhood or Captain Kangaroo, but I recognize the greatness of both.
|Nope, still couldn’t tell you what comes on this station
besides NOVA and Nature
I only saw Nickelodeon when I stayed at a friend’s house, which wasn’t very often. So I have never seen Doug, Hey! Arthur, Rocko’s Modern Life, or any of the others.
|I don’t know who a single person is in this.
Okay, maybe a few from life context, but not their story,
other than the Airbender. I watched it when I lived with my cousin,
his daughters insisted.
I’ve never seen Animal House or all of the Blues Brothers.
I watched Beakman’s World on saturday morning, and have never seen an episode of Bill Nye. I thoroughly appreciate the latter’s continued work in public service and science service.
I don’t watch that many movies, and I really cannot stand sitcoms or even series. I don’t watch the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, or anything like that. I once saw an episode of Big Bang Theory while waiting with our dog at the vet’s office and thought it was terrible.
I liked Frasier and the early seasons of That 70’s Show, but didn’t rearrange my life to see them. I have only ever been part of a “watch party” or something similar for one thing: BBC’s Life series. We met every week at a friend’s house to watch it. I later got the Canadian copy as it had Attenborough narration and not Oprah.
I was in college before I ever saw an episode of NOVA or PBS Nature. I was also in college before I knew you could get to Galveston, TX any other way than the Ferry. We only ever went to see someone in the hospital there and always took the Ferry.
I never watched Lost, either when it was on, or when my wife marathoned it over the summer on Netflix.
I knew the Shel Silverstein wrote songs for Dr. Hook and Bobby Bare before I knew he had (apparently REALLY popular books of poems)I never owned a Shel Silverstein book until I was grown. I checked them out of the school library later, but we didn’t have those types of books at home. Not that we didn’t have a ton of books at home which I read all the time.
|Boby Bare and Shel Silverstein
The guy that wrote Marie Laveaux wrote
“Where the Sidewalk Ends?’
I like Doctor Who, but I am in no way a whovian.
The only movies I have ever seen twice in the theatres are The Watchmen and Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows. Sherlock came about because we went to see it with one set of friends, and then happen to run into an older set of friends later that invited us back.
I was 15 before I ever had a cheeseburger, and that was because my cousin took me to McDonalds during the viewing for my Grandfather and ordered us food. I don’t particularly care for cheese either. I have a friend that thinks that is grounds for never trusting me.
I never did grow into liking milk. I cook with it, and I like ice cream, but milk is still a big nope.
I have never seen Goonies. I had Goonies II for Nintendo and never beat it either.
I have never beaten a video game–not even with a Game Genie.
|My cousin had one, still never beat Mario.
I hate the way J.R.R. Tolkien and Stephen King write.
I’ve never changed a baby. Into a frog, lizard, or anything else, (or a diaper) I am pretty sure I have only held one, and I think it was asleep so it wasn’t even a bottle feeding hold. I have bottle fed nearly every farm and some wild animals you can think of, so there is a tradeoff maybe?
I don’t really know what I ever did instead of any of this, but there are a few things that I have thought of. I might add more at a later date, but who knows.
There are some things I did do that some of my friends may or may not have done, we never talked about it.
I started reading Michael Crichton books in late elementary school, and Clive Cussler books in Jr. High. I have read half of the “People of the (Wolf)” series and most of Louis L’amours stuff (to be honest they got old) I remember seeing Willow, the Neverending Story, and The Last Unicorn. I remember watching Unico and the Island of Magic and being terrified of the evil puppet thing. I didn’t find out until decades later that it was considered anime when I discovered what anime was.
|This guy I know, never remembered his name, but “The Flying Dog” was close enough
It’s not that I worked at not doing all these things, many of them just never came up. I don’t feel the need to run through and catch back up on all the things I have missed either, as I look back over the list now, I wonder just how much of them impacted and shaped my life as much as the people who had their lives changed by first seeing Star Wars, etc.
If you have made it this far, please feel free to share something that you never did, it doesn’t have to be Post Secret good or soul stirringly revealing, but if you think about it I bet there is something.