Friday, November 16, 2007

Parliamentary Procedure and Self-Perception

Yesterday in dental lab my class elected officers for the first ever American Dental Assistants Association in West Virginia. I went into class swearing to god that I would refuse any nomination I was given on the grounds that (a) I'm freakin busy (b) it's not my style to be in charge of ANYTHING - I'm neither a leader nor a follower, I'm an observant and sarcastic bystander...that reminds me of what Ringo said when asked by the press whether the Beatles were mod or rocker; he wittily replied "Neither, I'm a mocker"...excellent...Damn you, tangent! Where was I? Oh yes, reasons I planned to refuse possible duties...(c) I don't like "clubs". I'm rather anti-social, but not in a dangerous way.

When it came time for nominations my worst instincts were confirmed when I was put up for two out of the six posts. Secretary and Parliamentarian. Which brings me to the entire reason for this particular blog...when the term "parliamentarian" was written on the board, I was amazed when a good half of the class simultaneously said "That sounds like a Jen job." To which I replied somewhat under my breath "That's because you all think I'm the only person who knows what the word means." A few of the girls sitting near enough heard me and said that was exactly right. Ms. Shockey, our awesome instructor (well, I think she's awesome, in addition to her extensive dental knowledge and experience she is also a medical examiner...there's just something about a woman who cuts up dead bodies you gotta respect, know what I mean?) then explained what the term "parliamentary procedure" meant. Here's a link, in case you're not familiar with the term either. (Thank you wikipedia, bastion of quasi-knowledge.) Someone said "Yes, that sounds like Jen, she's a little ass kicker. She'll keep everybody in line."


Is that really how I come off? Anyone who has actually known me since I was young could tell you that I am "the smart one" or "the shy one" or maybe even "the funny one" in my family, but a tough girl? My psychology teacher said he thought I was probably pretty rebellious as an adolescent when we were discussing human development. Boy, could that not be the furthest thing from the truth. I've never been in a physical fight of any kind, I abhor confrontation, and I hate to admit it but it truly never even occurred to me as a teenager that I could have risen up and gone against my overbearing and overprotective mother's religious and socially paranoid house rules.

I know that we never see ourselves exactly as others do, but I really am surprised that the apparent general consensus about me at school is the exact opposite of how I see myself. I am, in my opinion, bookish, odd, vaguely amusing, pretty but in a weird way you can't quite put your finger on, and above all else, solitary to the point of being almost unable to identify with those around me. I like people, but only because I like to watch and analyze them in a very removed way, like a scientist with lab rats, not because I want their friendship or acceptance.

Are we who we think we are, or are we who others perceive us to be? Is it possible to be both? What if the two are diametrically opposed to one another?

By the way, I am now the parliamentarian for the West Virginia chapter of the American Dental Assistants Association. I couldn't turn down the nomination, even though I desperately wanted to. See? Told ya I can't stand confrontation...sigh...


Flo Oakes said...

Congratulations! Hahahahahaha:)
I was just talking to someone about how if I had 1/2 the self confidence in high school as I do now, I would have been a completely different person, and sometimes I want to go back to high school and BE that know? Not care what anyone thinks or says about me.
I am completely secure in everything about myself from my parenting practices to my beliefs to my favorite color.
I don't care if people don't agree with me, think I'm stupid, or think what I like is stupid, because....well....just because I don't care.
I think I come off fairly confident and people might label me as such, but this was NOT the same girl who once would cry if anyone disagreed or thought bad of her.
The mere fact that you have aged and you have gained confidence may lead some to think you were once the over-confident, rebellious type, you know? Especially if these are all "college" age kids who have yet to discover that themselves.

Also, I hate clubs too, especially once that start with the word "Mom's".

jenny moon said...

you know, even though i have always had relatively the same thoughts and feelings about other humans, it has only been over the past five years or so that i have actually begun letting them be more obvious in my actions...i guess that would affect how others are seeing me, even though to me i am no different...

don't get me started on mommy clubs - hotbeds of judgment and competition and comparison and complaining about husbands...ugh, no thanks