Friday, December 9, 2011

Things I'll Never Say

Receptionists. Not receptionist, receptionists. Edna Townsley was a receptionists. That statement wasn't just said out loud, that's how it was written in a Power Point presentation for all to see. Like, for a grade. Also, Charles Whitman, the UT sniper, was "killings the people because he had a tummer in his heads". I tried to take a picture of the screen, but between me trying to hide the laughter that convulsed my body and the little flap that covers my phone camera, I was unable to stealthily accomplish this.

We had to do presentations on Biological Criminal Behavior. The syllabus listed a few famous cases, such as Andrea Yates, Charles Whitman, and John Hinckley Jr. We were supposed to explain their cases and how a biological disorder affected them. Didn't have to be any of the above, those were just examples. The descriptions on the syllabus are pretty complete, so our instructor encouraged us to use OTHER examples.

I chose Dan White, the murderer of San Francisco Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Milk. His diminished capacity plea/Twinkie defense was pretty famous and there is doubt that he was actually suffering from any biological disorder. I thought the case was a nice representation of what could be proven and what was speculated in the criminal justice system and also, a perfect example of the difference between psychological theories and choice theories. If you didn't understand any of that, just know it was brilliant. Unfortunately, my team member, Joe Cool, thought it was fiction because "they made a movie about it" and the rest of the class asked if the movie was about "gay dudes and butt sex". Seriously, once the words "Homosexual" and "gay rights" left my lips, I knew I had lost them.

Mr. Deputy liked it. He informed the class that this was what he was ACTUALLY looking for in a presentation, to which one of the Juarez Teenagers (the girl) said "But ours was on a real person." Mr. Deputy actually held his head in his hands and shook it slowly with shame.

The first group did their presentation on Andrea Yates. Except pronounced with a rolling "r" and said "Aun" instead of "An". Also, "if Andrea would have just stopped having babies, she wouldn't have killed the babies." It wasn't just post-partum depression and schizophrenia, it was because she just kept having babies, therefore it was her fault that they "dies and stuff". Yes, all of that was written, but also read, word for horrifying word.

The Juarez Teenagers went next. Their presentation was like reading a wikipedia page, sort of informative, yet full of incorrect "facts". They were the ones who did Charles Whitman. The girl's accent is unbearably thick and she slurs her words together like one of those light-weight drunk girls at every high-school party that has ever existed. It was almost impossible to not correct everything that came out of her mouth. Actually, when she said that the shooting happened at UTEP, not UT Austin, I was in too much shock to correct her. I just nodded and sarcastically said "Yep, that is 100% correct." Mr. Deputy actually LOL'd and Fat Alberto, who sarcasm eludes, said "Nooo, it's cause I think it happened in Texas, but like, at Austin school." Mr. Deputy then said "Oh yeah, that's right, Austin High School here in El Paso." Unable to comprehend the sarcasm yet again, and giving in to his compulsive need to get the last word, Fat Alberto says "Nooooo, like the Longhorns, pinche UT." I just sighed and shared an internal LOL with Mr. Deputy when we saw the looks on each other's faces. I guess if I have to have an inside joke with anyone, it has to be him because everyone else IS the joke.

So after the presentations, we had to discuss the basis for the Classical School of behavior in humans. Each team was given a statement and had to decide if they agreed with it or not and why. Fat Alberto's team was given some pretty complex statements and after they said why or why not they agreed, Mr. Deputy asked what the rest of us thought. One statement was that  "Human beings are fundamentally rational, and most human behavior is the result of free will coupled with rational choice." We all pretty much agreed that this was a true statement, except Eduardo Scissor Hands. He's one of the Juarez Teenagers that wants to be a DEA agent despite his little citizenship issue. He described himself once to the girl Juarez Teenager as a "Mexican Johnny Depp but with more style." Apparently, more style means a slightly Beiber haircut, fingerless gloves and skinny jeans. Anyway, he stated that people who have mental illness can;t be rational and rational people don't commit crimes so the statement can't be true. I pointed out that the statement is saying MOST and not all, and that just because a person commits a crime, it doesn't mean they aren't rational. He then proceeded to talk himself into a corner and I verbally annihilated every defense missile he shot out. 

Wait, this isn't war, it's a good ol' fashioned debate. I live for this shit. Intelligent...well, a one-sided intelligent debate about an interesting topic....but that's not what this one was. Eduardo Scissor Hands behaved as if I had called his dear Abuelita a whore and accused his sister of aborting the Pope's baby. It was almost as if me having the nerve to disagree with him wounded his pride and he had to avenge it. He looked physically hurt and enraged at the same time and I just kept smiling and countering his poorly thought out talking points. Mr. Deputy kept siding with me, which of course didn't calm him down and he called me a hypocrite when I had the nerve to disagree with his belief that punishment is an absolute deterrent to crime. I told him that if punishment was REALLY a deterrent, police officers would not have jobs. No one would commit a crime because the punishment of others would have made everyone in the world not want to repeat that action. Does punishment deter SOME people? Yes, but not all. He told me I was a "Contraption" and when I asked if he meant I was contradicting myself, he said I was "contrapting" myself. Mr. Deputy went on to add that there is no way to say without a doubt making examples of others is a deterrent because we don't document the crimes that DON'T happen, just the ones that do, but Eduardo Scissor Hands wasn't having it. He informed me that "People who speak English think they're always righter and smarter". What. The. Fuck.

I wasn't aware that your inability to communicate your thoughts in the English language was my fault. I wasn't aware that in the United States of Fucking America, I should dumb myself down so you don't feel inferior. And what I did say to him was "You are aware YOU are speaking English right now. The whole class has for the whole night. So we must all be righter and smarter." He then told me that he doesn't know if I am being sarcastic or not. Mr. Deputy cuts me off and says "Oh, I have the answer to this one. In English because I am righter and smarter. Yes, she is absolutely being sarcastic right now." I mean, shit, even Fat Alberto was laughing his ass off. Joe Cool turned his head slightly towards Eduardo Scissor Hands and said "You do know that English is not what makes her smarter than you right?" Yeah, we totally fist bumped after that. I totally forgave him for thinking our presentation was fiction.

We continued to basically crush Eduardo Scissor Hand's soul as class progressed, even his own Juarez Teenagers sided with the rest of us. It was a little sad. His Mexican Machismo totally deserved to be anal raped, but I did start to feel bad, it isn't his fault that his culture foolishly praises every action the males in the family make. It isn't his fault that he was placed on a pedestal since birth by his Abuela, his Mami, his Tias and hermanas who told him the sun rose and set because of him. It isn't his fault he was ill-equipped to go toe-to-toe with someone like me, I blame all the women in his life that allowed him to think his opinion was relevant just because he is all that is man.

Once class was over, Mr. Deputy asked me to stick around. The Juarez Teenagers were still in the class as he thanked me for attempting to debate the subject matter. Eduardo Scissor Hands was drilling holes in us with his eyes and we both noticed. I laughed and said "You do know that this wasn't a personal attack against you right? People can have different opinions and talk about them without getting upset." Eduardo Scissor Hands replied "Well you don't have to say what you think." Huh? I was ASKED what I thought by Mr. Deputy, everyone was. That's how you earn participation points, you participate. Seeing the frustrated look on my face, Mr. Deputy said "Don't worry about it Mrs. Golden, you're the one with the A." Knowing how much that stung Eduardo Scissor Hands and his fragile Mexican ego pretty much made my night. Well, that and the fact he snatched up his bag and stormed out of the room did too. 

Maybe next week I'll go easier on him. It isn't his fault that I'm righter and smarter because I speak English.


Shannon said...

Way to be smarter, AND righter with your evil English ways. BAHAHA... Lord have mercy, your class makes me giggle.

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