Monday, November 30, 2009

Meanwhile...Outside of Utah

Over the Thanksgiving Break I had the opportunity to venture back home to Montana for the week to take in some quality family time and the great outdoors. I noticed as I was walking down the streets of Dillon (population 7000) that folks seemed eager to make eye contact and say hello. I thought his odd at first, as I had just returned from Provo, where eye contact is rarely made and hello is a foreign word that we can't understand.

This phenomenon got me thinking that the lack of communications between passersby could be connected to the population of a communication. It could be, and I am merely guessing, that the more population there is the less interest in the fellow man there is as well. I think this is a fairly decent explanation for what I experienced.

Keep up on your own research and let us know what you find on the Facebook page!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

It Takes Two To Make a Thing Go Right

I have always said that things are only awkward if you make them awkward. As often as possible, I try to make things not-awkward. I’ll smile at people I pass and I say hello to people if I think I know them. Hopefully, I do this in what is thought of as a “normal” manner.
Despite these efforts, I still encounter far too many awkward communications. So often the other person will look away even as they say hello. Other times they ignore my greetings entirely.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it takes two to exchange a pleasant moment of communication, but it only takes one to make it unbearably awkward. What is it that has made this so commonplace in our society? Why do we refuse to be comfortable exchanging a simple everyday greeting?
So, the next time greets you, how about going easy on them and not making it awkward.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Defying Fate

I am a firm believer in fate. Unfortuanately, my cowardice sometimes blocks that fate from ever occurring. Yesterday, as I walked into my huge Political Science class I decided that I would enagage in the awkward and sit somewhere new by someone completely different. Well, I was early enough to class that the room was still pretty empty. I picked the emptiest spot I could find and sat myself down in the hopes that by leaving plenty of room around me plenty of people would sit near me.

Of course, one of the cutest girls that I have come across in quite a while sits right in front of me. You would think with my bold assertion of being awkward yesterday, I woul have taken the initiative and starting chatting with her. Well, of course, that didn't happen. I sat there silent for the whole class period.

Later that night, we were required to go watch a documentary for that same class. It so happens, only about 30 of the 300 people from class actually showed up and this cute girl happened to be one of them, and of course, she was sitting right next to me again. Again, I believe in fate, and when you run into the same person more than once in the strangest of circumstances it is for sure fate working in your favor. But like I said sometimes my fate is obstructed by my cowardice. You guessed it, I "missed communication" again and probably jipped myself out of a date on Friday night.

Let's all try to learn from my mistakes and take a larger step into the world of awkward.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Day of Awkwardness

Oh boy was today ever filled with awkwardness!

In all honesty I didn't feel well today so I didn't do my part to make things awkward, but of course that didn't prevent an awkward moment from happening. Of all places for this to happen, it happened in one of my most tiring classes. I sat all by myself in an empty row today, partly because I was being anti-social, and waited for someone to come sit by me. No longer than two seconds later a guy came and sat nice to me, right next to me. I expected that someone would at least give me a seat between us, being that there was an entire row of empty seats, but he sat right next to me and asked "how are you?" I replied "Fine. How are you doing in this class?" I watched as the guy searched for a response, obviously thrown back that I skipped the casual how are you and went straight into the nitty gritty of reality. He replied, after hesitating, "not well," and continued to tell me in depth of how he had been doing on assignments and tests.

While this wasn't a normal awkward situation like the scenarios that are discussed in previous posts, I still feel that it is important how awkward we can be if we skip past the casual and ask questions that mean something. I didn't do this on purpose, I was just grumpy, but I do think it is interesting that I was able to make a stranger become completely candid about grades to me by simply cutting through the simple.

Be sure to let us know your "Day of Awkwardness" experiences on our facebook group.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both..."

So I had a strange and semi-awkward experience in my Doctrine & Covenants class. Everyday, me and my two homies sit in the back row. We're pretty legendary among our classmates for volunteering ourselves at every opportunity to read aloud, lead in a song...pretty much anything and everything. Earning us the distinction of "class pets." Well, before the class bell rang Professor Dorius (our instructor) approached us as we were chatterboxing about our weekends...

Professor Dorius: "Geoffrey, I thought you were the good one out of you three."
*Bewildered look graced my face*
Me: "Uh, what are you talking about Dr. Dorius??"
Professor Dorius: (Turning to my two friends) "Well, you know I passed him the other day walking on campus and he didn't even say hi to me. Can you believe it?"

Of course he said it jokingly...then later joked about my grade reflecting my negligence, but I was altogether just drawn aback. Being the nerd that I am, I usually find great entertainment value in approaching my teachers around campus with an awkward hi-five or handshake. After class, I asked him why he didn't just approach me first then..

Professor Dorius: "Well, you looked like you were in your own world and so I choose the higher path and let you go your way."
Me: "Hmmm, well next time you should take the road less traveled and say hey..."
*Both laugh*

What is this "higher path" to which he referred? That bothered me for about 2 minutes, until I was pleasantly distracted by some other entertaining thought. But that's beside the point. Obviously I must've been absorbed in something awesome when Professor Dorius saw me on campus, but evenso was it "noble" to avoid communication in the circumstance? Maybe, maybe not. I stand by my comment though that sadly "the road less traveled" is communication in
seemingly awkward situations.

It's my personal philosophy that "awkward" is a mentality. Inherently a situation cannot be awkward, but rather we ourselves impose it.

In my discussion with Brother Dorius, I alluded to one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost,
The Road Not Taken. I think the last stanza really captures my perception of Dorius' "higher path":

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Communication makes a difference, no matter what the circumstance. In my opinion, we need to modify our perception of "awkward" in order to realize sincere and meaningful communication.

-Geoffrey Simeona

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Hold on, I really need to take this..."


My name is Geoffrey Simeona and I answer fake phone calls. Every once in awhile, we see that one person on the planet that we’d rather NOT talk to...I’ll call her Ms. X. Everyone has one. I’ve been sick with the flu for the past week, so I was already in an uncomfortable and awkward state-of-mind when I saw Ms. X. As she approached me in the Library, I quickly switched my phone to silent under my backpack and “picked it up.”

Me: “Hey Jackie, what’s up? I’m just in the library. Blah blah blah blah…”

Ms. X stopped in front of my table until I made eye contact.

Me: (under my breath) “Hey how are ya? It’s way good to see you.”

Ms. X: “Yeah you too! I’ll try and catch up with you in a little bit.”

I know that’s probably the lamest, most jellyfish thing to do…but everyone does it! Or am I alone in this? In previous cases where I’ve answered fake calls, I’ve always been walking and not been in the mood to really talk to anyone…yet not wanting to seem rude at the same time. What’s your perception? Would you consider fake phone conversations/fake texting a rude or considerate means of preserving communication? Share your experiences.

-Geoffrey Simeona

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Forcing Awkwardness

Today in my Communications Media Writing class I was issued an assignment to interview three complete strangers (for the sake of extra-awkwardness I did four) and find something about them that is unique. I found that at the beginning of walking around campus looking for someone to interview I couldn't get over the shyness that no doubt would normally hamper my efforts.

I remembered that I really wasn't being awkward by approaching a stranger, in fact the action would be completely the opposite if I hadn't been caught up in the societal status quo of indifference. After realizing this I was able to interview folks with ease and found that I enjoyed what I was doing.

Maybe we should interview someone new everyday. Just an idea.