One of the tips I read on my consulting interview study guide was to make sure you make a great first impression, from a bright smile to a firm handshake. I’ve always heard that first impression is really REALLY important, since you only got one chance at it. I thought back on the new people, things and my first impressions with them, I make a snap judgement regarding whether I will like this new experience and it takes quiet a lot for me to change my impression after that first encounter.
One example that’s on the top of my mind is Cornell University. For those of you who might not know, I am currently an undergrad at Cornell University. I’m sure you’ve all heard that Cornell is beautiful, located right by New York’s finger lake regions. Well, the first time I visited the campus was during the winter, when all the grass were yellow, the trees had already shed all their leaves. It was not what you would say beautiful in the least. With the cold wind and cloudy sky, the whole campus gave off a very dreading feeling. Thus, I almost did not apply, not until my parents pretty much forced me into it, which may or may not have caused some major breakdown/crying.
The first year on campus was interesting. I lived in the only girl’s dormitory for Freshmen. Sure it was really pretty outside, being a historical building, but there was bugs every where and a very scary olden day elevator. I remember distinctly this one time when a green bug literally fell from the ceiling on to my table, I freaked out and ran to my neighbor’s room and begged her to kill this mysterious bug for me. That year was also a year with a ton of snow. It was also the first time I slipped and fell in public on a sheet of ice when I mistook it for melted snow (it was darker than the road). I was also freezing my ass off because I didn’t have proper winter wear. Being from New York City I thought the winter at Ithaca wouldn’t be too different considering both places are in the same state. Yeah, that was very wrong assumption. Even though the campus was beautiful when it was snowy or it was green (when spring finally decided to come), I still found faults everywhere. When my friends and I saw the high schoolers who got accepted to the university come and visit the campus during end of April and early May, we would say beneath our breaths “don’t come here, everything you see right now is a lie.” I don’t know how Cornell does it, but somehow whenever there are those events the weather would be glorious. Now after three years on the hill, yes it is literally on a hill so winter is very hard, I think my impression of Cornell finally changed for the better. I appreciate it much much more than before, especially now since I took a semester off away from Ithaca. Here’s a picture of the “false” image you would only see like 20% of the time when you go to school there.
Now on to the rant.
Although I planned on only talk about first impression on today’s post, something has been bothering me none stop, persistently being on the back of my mind, so I had to write it down…I usually avoid these kind of controversial topics, because I don’t want to spark resentment and other negative feelings in readers but I feel the need to say something.
I’m sure you are all aware of the Brock Turner’s case by now. I’ve seen it on WordPress, Buzzfeed, Facebook, etc. If you don’t, you should read it up (here’s an article from the NY Times). Basically Turner was sentenced to only six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year. To make the matter more blood boiling is that Turner’s father not only not comment on his son’s actions, he wrote “his life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. that is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of 20 plus years of life.” While reading this I’m sitting here thinking… Mr. Turner have you never heard about people need to take responsibility for their actions? Yes, your son’s life will never be the same and yes he may (I don’t know) have worked hard to achieve his dreams, but he is also the one who made the decision of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Do you think your son is only one with dreams that he worked hard to achieve? What about the woman he raped, does she not have dreams? Not have a life that she’s working hard towards? Your son is not the human being on Earth who is working hard towards something, everyone is on one level or another. What makes you think that he is entitled to be let off so easy, which by the way he already has if you haven’t been able to see already, without reflecting on what he has done? What if your son was the victim and not the penetrator? What if another individual, who might be more privileged than your son, had done the assault? Would you still have the same opinion that this other individual’s action was just some “20 minute action” and there’s no need to make a bigger deal out of the case?
As for the judge who gave the sentence, I can’t help but think what kind of example do you think this ruling will have for other people who are reading the case? For the younger generation? For those with not a clear set of moral standards? Someone who’s of a similar status as Turner might think “oh I’m a star athlete, I don’t have any other previous criminal record, so I’m sure I’ll be fine if I go and rape this girl as this party because I want to and feel like she should have sex with me.”
As one tweet put it, he is not a star swimmer who raped someone, he’s a rapist who happen to be good at swimming, or something along the same lines (forgot who tweeted it).
I don’t think there is anything else makes more enraged than inequality and entitlement in this world, from board issues like racism and stereotyping to more specific ones like catcalling. To be honest, I think all of these problems comes down to one thing, a person thinks that they are better than another thus gave them the “right” to do what they do. I can’t help but question, what right do you have and who gave you the right to make you think you can commit these actions?
I’m sure there are places where I can better polish my words, but this is basically my angry rant after reading the articles on the Brock Turner case. I can go on and on about this, but I think I will stop it here until another time when some other issue lights up the anger fuse in me.