Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Entitlement at CBU



The piece below is a piece that I wrote while I was in college. For the most part, I was very happy at California Baptist University, and I believe it's a wonderful, Godly school run by Godly staff. However, by my Senior year, the attitudes of some of the students began to grate on me. That's when I wrote the piece below, which I recently revised. Each conversation below actually happened to me.

Entitlement at CBU

By Sandra Rose Hughes

“I don’t get how they always manage to screw up the PowerPoint slides in chapel. I mean, it’s not that hard,” said a loud female voice coming from the row of folding chairs behind Sandy. It was joined a few seconds later by a quieter voice, also female.
“Well…if you don’t have very much time, sometimes it is easy to make mistakes. Do you mean like the spelling errors?”
“Yeah, and the timing and the format. They’re not even creative.”
At this point, Sandy tuned her ears out of the conversation and tried to focus on the drama sketch she and her Drama team were about to perform.
Later that day, as Sandy stood in the cafeteria, waiting in the line to get a new kind of salad, she heard a boy behind her say, “The drama was okay this morning. Usually it’s so stupid.”
“Whatever,” his friend replied, “What are you doing in the salad line? Let’s get a burger. All the food here tastes like crap anyway. I don’t know what they do with all the money we pay them to feed us- I think we should totally complain to the Dean.”

Sitting at the campus coffee shop with her friend, B.J., Sandy stirred her smoothie as B.J. commented,
“Hey, I ran in to the president of the school yesterday! Guess what I did!”
“What?”
“Well, he smiled at me and kind of waved ‘cause he knew I was in leadership. Anyway, I walked right up to him and told him what I thought about how crummy living in the apartments is right now and how they should really do something about the campus housing before they even think about building that new music thing.”
“B.J.! How did he react?”
“He just kind of said, “Thanks for your input” or something stupid like that.”
“I have to go to class…I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye, Sandy.”

As she entered her class a few minutes early, Sandy noticed that the students were milling around, comparing the test scores they had received online. Nicole, a girl who Sandy knew vaguely because she had a habit of speaking up during class was passing a petition around to have the professor’s teaching investigated.
“It’s obvious he’s a terrible teacher,” the girl with the petition exclaimed, “The man doesn’t even speak English well, I mean, he’s from like Africa or something, right?”
“Indonesia” another student corrected her.
“Oh…same difference. Anyway, I don’t even know how he got this job to begin with, he’s totally incompetent. I am taking this petition to the dean, and I bet we can get him fired.”
When the petition came around to Sandy’s side of the stadium classroom, she passed it to the boy next to her without picking up a pen.

That afternoon, Sandy worked on homework in her private dorm room, (courtesy of being a Resident Assistant) with the door open for a few hours before she went to dinner. She noticed some of the girls she was responsible for looking out for and went to sit by them.

“Sandy!” one girl, Karen exclaimed. “I am so happy to see you! You’re never around, are you avoiding us or something?”
“Yeah, stop avoiding us, you’re never at home, Sandy, seriously, you don’t even know everything that’s been going on,” submitted Mary.
“Sandy, why are the bathrooms so dirty?” asked Nikki, “…we like live with total pigs on our hall.”
“No, it’s not the other people on the hall that are so dirty,” Karen jumped in, “it’s the maids, they are like so bad at cleaning. It’s really gross. Can’t you do anything about it, Sandy?”
“Well, first of all,” said Sandy, “they are not maids, they’re the cleaning staff. I am sure they are doing their jobs-“
“No way,” interjected Mary, “it is always messy, and I think they steal things. I left some jewelry in there one day, and like when I came back a week later to find it, it was totally gone. They don’t even speak English- people like that would totally steal stuff, Sandy! And what is with trying to clean right before chapel? I mean, don’t they know that like half the students need to get ready right then?”

“Hey girls, it’s been really nice to see you all…,” said Sandy quietly, “but one of my friends who I haven’t seen in like forever just walked in, so I am going to go sit by her. I promise I’ll talk to my boss about the cleaning people and see if anything can be done.”

After dinner, Sandy biked alone back to the dorm, snuck into the fairly clean bathroom to shower, closed her door even though it was barely seven pm, pondered how, after talking to so many people all day, she could still feel alone, and put in a pair of earplugs.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, the naive complaints of the ignorant. People who have never worked are very critical of those who do. Hopefully by now this generation has been corrected by life experience:).

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  2. Oh, I bet they have. Some of them might be envying the cleaning staff now.

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