On Life and Love

Further disabusing noble notions

Since I’ve already established myself as an insecure sexist, it’s time I banish my reputation as hard-working and committed.

Our chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE, pronounced “nez-bee”) held nominations for officer positions Tuesday evening. I’d already told our president that I wasn’t going up for my current position again, and that I may not even stay as a general member next year (although I most likely will).

So anyway, Ms. Prez is going through the positions and describing the duties, taking nominations after each description. I’m dozing during the descriptions and waking up in time to see the eager-beaver freshmen dish out nominations for themselves while present executive board members quietly accept any nominations for themselves or quietly decline. I remember those eager-beaver times. Ah, the halcyon days…

Then we come to my current position, and Ms. Prez describes the duties. No one gets nominated. She mentions that the only real requirement is that they be able to update a website. Crickets chirp, and I mention nothing about laying out the newsletter, since they won’t have the software I use, anyway. I smile at the ceiling, as I’m slouched back in my seat, the epitome of disrespectful inattention. Ms. Prez sounds annoyed. Someone nominates another woman in NSBE, and Ms. Prez quickly seconds. Then,

“I nominate Lissa.” Who this fool was, I don’t know.


I don’t even raise my head. “Declined.”

That was the highlight of my week. There was a chorus of “day-um” and snickers at the speed to which I declined; I haven’t gotten myself in good with the freshmen in NSBE this year, so they just giggled as I continued to not-measure-up in my duties. Andrea (who was sitting right next to me) just about fell out of her chair laughing, particularly at the fact that I only raised my head when people started making noise.

Shaina said, “We’re never going to see you again, Lissa.”

I gave a smile and a shrug. I made my priorities very clear to Ms. Prez about a month ago—school, work, Thorn, sleep, and NSBE, in that order. That’ll hold into next year, and if my workload permits NSBE work, then I’ll certainly dive in and become active again. I like some of the things we’re doing under Ms. Prez, and I hope she hasn’t been discouraged by the lack of participation this year and ease up too much next year. But the incessant scheduling of events on Thursdays makes attendance near impossible given the above priorities, and excessively long (and repetitive and boring) meetings on Tuesdays don’t always seem like a productive use of my time, particular if project team members would like to meet then.

But NSBE is finally doing things—real community service, in particular—so I don’t want to just write them off as being unworthy of my time. I hate the people we’ve picked up this past year—they’re a bunch of rabble-rousing, punk-ass… nevermind—but I love the deeds. Unfortunately, the people make the organization, and Andrea is pretty much my only real tie to the social side of NSBE at this point.

On a completely irrelevant note, are Prime and I the only ones disturbed by the Darius Rucker Burger King commercial? I get chills every time I see it. The Boondocks that Prime shows in his post is too funny, though. “Maybe it was supposed to air only in Japan.” Indeed.


  • rackrent

    you’re still hardworking, Lissa. It’s good that you could let less important things go!

  • Jenny

    i’m not as disturbed by hootie as i am by the blatant use of women’s asses to sell a fucking cheeseburger. then again, why should i be surprised? sex sells everything from herbal essences shampoo to axe body wash to diamonds.

  • Jenny

    oh, yeah, the original reason i decided to comment was to tell you that i’m proud of you for dropping it. yay you!

  • Hannah

    Sleep is also one of my lowest priorities, and school is definitely the highest also. I feel like somehow I’m a sad little person for that, do you ever?

  • Lissa

    Jenny–Your comment stayed with me all day; “the blatant use of women’s asses to sell a fucking cheeseburger.” Too funny, and indeed, it is rather sad and disturbing.

    Hannah–I don’t [often] feel like I’m a sad little person, but I’m told damn near daily that I am for my sleep-related priorities. My [internal] response? “At least I’m doing the damn thang.” *grin*

  • Hannah

    Yes, there is that feeling of, “I may not be sleeping, but I am going to understand this (fill in the blank) better than you are tomorrow.” I always like that–superiority complex? I don’t know. But I get so excited when I do work that I wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway…heh. I laughed at Jenny’s comment so hard I almost fell off this bed (it’s about four feet in the air, I swear–it’s my sister’s and I’m not used to it).

  • Lissa

    RHIT is bad about instilling superiority complexes. Grr. Arrogance is eViL. We live in our little bubble and think we’re hot shit, which is bullcrap. Grr again.

  • Hannah

    I agree. It makes me pretty mad how nose-in-the-air we can be. I want to say how snobby “they” can be, but I know it’s me sometimes, too. The worst part is, you never get any self esteem out of it, because within the bubble it’s always, “you suck, you are not the smartest,” and the view of the people outside is, “we are superior to them.” So what ends up happening is there are a bunch of pretty smart people who are all psychologically twisted, as if high school wasn’t bad enough at doing that to us. Hhh. But yeah, man, I guess I was being arrogant.