What they seem to be is a bunch of raucous assholes. What they are is a bunch of people choosing to be a parody of every raucous asshole to ever live. They are a very entertaining group to watch and converse with- a parody of excessive sexuality, a parody of close-mindedness- and then conversation accidentally breaks into something intelligent, and reality shows through. But not for long, and we're back to discussing the merits of scrawling (in University-approved sidewalk chalk) "BADGER BADGER BADGER" over every walkway on campus in the dark of night. This predictably turns into "beaver beaver beaver" and goes downhill from there, and it is thoroughly comical to watch- as all the participants are clearly aware. Less obvious is the cause of the laughter- it's not the dirty jokes, it's the meta-joke of the whole situation.
New forms of sex were invented. "PROUD TO BE A PERVERT" bumper stickers were planned. Fun was had by all in the conciousness of the sheer sarcasm of the excessive sexuality of this campus.
Who would think that I would enjoy that? But I truly did.
After that, I went back to the counter. The lady who rang up my order had asked me to come back once my meal was done because she needed to ask me something about computers. I am known to most of campus to be a "computer science dude," and those who don't know tend to be made aware by hearing me being asked (again) about something or other about one of my computer science classes. So it was no surprise that she knew me as someone to ask.
Her question was not easy to decipher. I quickly determined that she is not computer literate, but she was asking about getting a Southwestern Bell internet connection. She wanted to know if she should go dial-up or the more expensive DSL- and what the heck that was. I did my best to explain the two, and wound up having to touch on the infrastructure of the Internet and the nature of such communications in the process. But she understood- sort of- why I considered DSL to be the better choice.
It somehow- very fortunately- fell into conversation as to what computer she had.
Jeffrey- my Acting professor prefers to be addressed by his first name- would have been pround of the broadcast of my reaction, had he seen it. I was not expecting to be told that I was dealing with a Windows 95 machine. I then had to explain the concept of "obsolete" and why that computer would probably never get on the Internet and actually be able to do anything. I then had to explain the difference between hardware and software, in why she couldn't install some program to upgrade it.
She got the point across that a new computer was probably the best choice. And for her- and her level of literacy- I suggested a desktop Macintosh. While I dislike Macintosh's excessive user-friendliness to the point of not having a command prompt, it seemed perfect for her. And then I had to explain what Macintosh or Windows actually meant.
And y'know? While it took something of a bite out of my time to sleep before tomorrow's exam, being nice to people- especially people who are all too frequently ignored- is a very worthwhile way to spend time.