Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purple Day. . .a good day

This has been an interesting day. . ...well, aren't all days interesting?  ;-)  When I drove on campus pass one of the dorms my eyes caught sight of a Rainbow Flag out one of the windows.   hmmmm  Interesting.  For purple I have this great scarf. . . bright purple. . .ya can't miss it.  So I decided to set or copy a fashion trend I noticed one of these years. . . .LOL  It was just there, hanging down.  You think I made a statement?. .hahahaaa

In my first class at 11 a.m. I casually noted attendance . . . playing cool , , ,as i sized them up.  Quick tally I'd say about 3/4 had some purple, of some shade and location  [ I think all the shades of purple Bannister mentioned in his post were in evidence. ]  One girl had this huge purple pom-pom she was trying to keep attached to her hair!   Good luck, lady!  It proved to be quite a distraction and she removed it with a flourish.
One guy made a point of showing me his purple socks which lit up the aisle.  hahaaaa  Anyway we chatted and laughed together and then got down to work.

We were talking about factors which go into shaping our personalities.. . .One of the guys, sitting center stage right, raised his hand to ask a question.  So I said "Yes. . .Mr. Brack. . ."  For formal occasions I often call a student by his/her formal name.  He got kinda red and then said, as cooly as possible "Mr. O'Shea, were you always gay?"  There was an intake of breath from the group.  I wasn't / they weren't expecting that personal a question.  . . .I said "Now, Mr Brack, what makes you think I am gay?"  Silence.  Then Paul kinda grinned and said "Because, Mr O'Shea, you told us so!"  That broke the ice; we all laughed. . . some of it was a bit of nervous laughter. . . I scratched my head "I did?  . . . .Was I drunk?"  More laughter.  It wasn't and has never been a hostile environment so I was comfortable and thought to myself. . . "AHaaaaa. . .this gives me an opening I've been waiting for!  I can talk about being gay, how it "happens" and how being gay fits into my personality formation...", . . .and away we went.

It couldn't have worked better if I had set Paul up myself. . .so Mr Brack. . Paul, that is. . .asked "How did you know you are gay. . . .and when. . . ?"  And away we went. . . .it was fantabulous. . . hahahaha. . . This was an opportunity I wasn't going to lose. . . ..and, it happened all so innocently. . .coming naturally from wearing something PURPLE PURPLE to remember the gay kids all over who are bullied, and dont quite handle it, sadly. . . and about the prejudice springing from fear about being gay.

One of the jocks said, very honestly, he wanted to believe all this tolerance and acceptance, etc. but sometimes felt that gays in the military would "break down discipline" etc. . We've all heard/read that line of thinking.  He wasn't hostile. . . .but  a part of me. . .very briefly wanted to counter this by saying "Well, first of all , Sonny, the whole world is not after or interested in your ass. . . or any other part of your gorgeous anatomy". . . .It would have been real comedy. . .and also very cruel. . . .and I would have lost them. . .totally.  . . and betrayed the whole reason for Purple Day.  I would never do that to anyone. . . .but I do have some stray thoughts now and then. . . and some not quite noble, either.  hahahaaa

Anyway, it was an excellent day.  Guess what!  My after lunch 1 p.m. had heard about the morning class work, and wanted to do the same.  So, of course, we did.  They had tons of questions and got very involved.
A good DAY !

The photo above is the yellow bush outside the den window here at home. . .The angle and brightness of the sun makes it look like Spring. . .there is a softness to it all we don't associate with Fall.  I spent some time gazing at it. . . .thinking things over. . . .Yellow is one of my favorite colors, especially the Spring yellows. .

SO. .  ..away we go .. . always forward and upward. . . .. why not?  ;-)



Jabacue said...

What a great teaching moment Justin! Sounds like it was received very well by your 'audience'. Good on you teach.

Gary Kelly said...

Humor is such a powerful tool. People are so much more relaxed and receptive when they laugh. You did good, Mr O'Shea.

I was intrigued by Stew's comment that he's paranoid about people laughing at him. Well, Liberace was paranoid too. In his younger days he took himself very seriously as a concert pianist dressed up in his tuxedo. So he eventually made the decision to laugh along with his critics, and became the superstar who "cried all the way to the bank".

He wore the most outrageous costumes on stage and often remarked that the Queen was jealous. Hehe.

Yes, humor is indeed a very powerful weapon.

Stew said...

It's always interesting to see what a simple piece of flair can do. Today a simple purple scarf sparked a wonderful conversation.
And that's all it takes sometimes to make one's day.

May all your days be so special.

JCinmeforever said...

Kudos Justin! I think it's great you are open of yourself with confidence. That in itself is encouraging to others who may not be as open. It also shares in some ways to our straight community that we (gays) are not all the 'bad' things they think we are!

JustinO'Shea said...

THANK you all for your support and encouragement!
Much appreciated. . .. ;-)


Stew said...

Thanks Gary. I'm working on not caring so much what others think. I am proud of who I am.

And JC is so right, if we live openly, others will see that we are not so bad. As we've seen with all the bullying, sometimes they are the bad ones, not us.

"Can't we all just get along?"

JustinO'Shea said...

Yes, Stew, we can and we will get along! When we look at it, there is now even a lot of "getting along". . much to everyone's surprise. . .

Only the frightened see us as "bad", don't you think. . . .? ;-)


Coop said...

Justin, that was great. I told you about my "wear purple" attempt right? Groan! **smacks forehead**

JC is correct. Many 'Gay people' starting to live openly... with confidence... and that is a good thing.

Enlighten (me/us) about "personality formation". Please, Mr O'Shea?

Gary Kelly said...

Only the frightened see us as bad?

Interesting observation, JustinO.

But frightened of what? Why would any straight person feel intimidated or threatened by a gay person?

You don't need to be Sigmund to figure that one out.

JustinO'Shea said...

Nope. . .Siggy Freund is not needed here. hahaha

Tis said by those who do the surveys that occasional homosexual reveries are not uncommon. They've heard the myth that only a guy realy knows how to give good head. .. and they are curious. Str8s guys try it out, often enough.

In under=grad school I was friendly with a hunky 6'5" basketball player. . ."str8 as an arrow" etc etc. . .but liked to ask questions "what's it like. . ?"

And kept trying to get me to let him "sleep over" once a month. . he wanted "a change". . . he wanted to do IT with me. I was tempted but there was something in me that said "as hunky hung as you are I don't want you using me to get your rocks off. . .to play gay",

We remained friends and he never found out from me what it was like, hahahaaa (He shoulda come along in high school. . hahahaa)

I still hear from him occasionally and we laugh and chatter away. . but he gave up asking. . .and found someone else to toy with.
Says he likes it. (WHY wouldnt he? He is one honest dude. )

Canonize me now? hahahahaaaaaaa
j/k. . ;-)

JustinO'Shea said...

Oh my dear COOPs. . . that is a huge order. . to tell you what personality formation is. . . bro, that's a whole semester in the syllabus! and then some all thru the psych program.

Let me think about it and see if I can't come up with a simple/brief synopsis. . . if/when I do I shall copyright it! LOL

Here is a numonic I use. . PMESS.
yep PEE=MESS/ /stud'ents remember it. Personality is formed/shaped by the PHYSICAL. . . MENTAL. . .EMOTIONAL. . .SOCIAL. . ..SPIRITUAL components in our lives, even as fetus in the womb.

The persona we present to the world is made up of all these factors and their multiple expressions in the sequential unfolding of ourselves in the various developmental facets of our lived experiences.

Gary Kelly said...

Yes, prof O'Shea, that's all very well. But why is the persona we present to the world often different to the persona we present in private?

Actually, that reminds me of an old saying... a friend is someone who knows you but likes you anyway.

JustinO'Shea said...

Could we say it this way, Prof?

There is only ONE persona. . not TWO.
The persona-in-private and the persona-in-public is just one person. . ..manisfesting different aspects of the same person. Just one person. . ..see my point?

Gary Kelly said...

No, I don't see your point, JustinO.

We are all actors capable of playing different roles. One actor, different roles. One person, different personas. One chameleon, different colors. N'est-ce pas?

JustinO'Shea said...

OK.. . no problems there. .. it's the use of words. . .you say here what i am trying to say. . .one person. . .each role shows some aspect of the one person.

huuuaaaaaahhhhhh !