So, in Italian class we learned how to ask someone’s age and then tell them our age. Now, this is a class where I get called on only about half the time my hand is up, so when I was the first person of whom she asked this, I was thrown.
She says my name, “Justine?”
I’m thinking, “Really? Are you really about to ask my age for the entire class?”
"Quanti anni hai tu?"
I fumbled through the answer, “Io ho quarantotto anni.”
Then, for the benefit, I suppose, of those in the class who don’t know what 48 sounds like in Italian, she confirms in English, “48? You’re 48?”
This is like some cliché out a movie, right?
I have never been concerned with age. Half the time I can’t even remember how old I am and have to look at which Superbowl just happened to remember the number. The issue at school, though, is that I’m loathe to bring up things about my life that makes me separate from my classmates. I don’t want to have an experience at UCLA that is separate and apart from everyone else. I just don’t see the point of that. So I don’t mention my husband, my kids, my career, etc. I talk about what’s in front of us: projects, papers, exams, etc. I have some close friends at school with whom I mention the other parts of my life, but this is after we’ve established some great relationships.
So there I am in a class that is already thick with “separateness” amongst the students, a class being run by a TA who seems frustrated to be there, and I’m called out. I’ve though about dropping this class many times for various reasons, but dammit, I want to learn Italian.
So, “separateness”, watch it grow. I just have to not give a shit if it does.