10 o’clock list: Condescending Kenyon Questions Never to Ask

Willy Wonka, perhaps the king of condescension.

Everyone’s a little judgmental. It’s just a fact. And we can all be a little condescending. But, since no one likes to be patronized, we should all probably learn to shut the heck up sometimes. There are just some loaded questions that I hear on a distressingly regular basis, filled with judging tone and often followed by a backhanded compliment to offset the hostility inevitable in the response. Here are the questions that you should (pretty please) not ask anyone ever:

  1. “Oh, you go to the KAC? I didn’t realize you worked out.” First of all, walking to class is totally a workout. Living on the 3rd floor of any building is a workout (unless it’s Caples, let’s be honest here). Navigating the servery is also a workout. Sort of. So just because we don’t all frequent the KAC doesn’t mean we’re lazy. Questions like this make me want to go sweat on your cardio machine and not wipe it down after.
  2. “You haven’t taken your QR yet?!” Okay, we can’t all be good at science or math or whatever a QR credit even is (clearly I haven’t gotten around to taking mine). I was too busy taking Intro to American Studies.
  3. “You’re an American Studies major? What are you going to do with that?” First of all, only American Studies majors can make fun of American Studies majors. Second, it’s not bullshit! I promise! We take real classes too! There are so many things you can do with that major. I just can’t think of any solid ones right now. But I will before I graduate. Probably.
  4.  “Wait, you go out on weekends? I’ve never seen you outside of the library.” Nobody likes to be mistaken for an indoor kid. Even indoors kids don’t like to be recognized as indoor kids.
  5. “You still don’t have a smartphone?” Almost everyone at Kenyon owns an iPhone. But let me tell you something about my shitty Samsung Brick: I have dropped this thing so many times and the screen is still intact. Can you do that with your iPhone? I think not. (Ed.: Yes.) And just because I need a real Bananagrams set to play Words with Friends and I can’t check my Facebook during dinner doesn’t mean my phone is any less worthy. It makes calls. It can send texts. It fulfills its purpose as a phone.
  6. “Is that whole plate of cookies for you?” Quick anecdote: When I was a first year and they had those chocolate-with-white-chocolate-chip cookies, my roommate and I would pile five cookies on our plates every time we walked into the servery so by the end of the meal we’d have roughly 20 cookies. Then we’d put them in her backpack and snack on them in our room for a week. We stopped doing this after we agreed that neither of us could stomach another chocolate-with-white-chocolate-chip cookie ever. So I’m well-acquainted with this question and the typical answer: *nervous laughter* “What? No! these are for the whole table…”
  7. To a senior: “So what are your plans for next year? Got a job lined up?” Never. Do. This. If they have a job for next year you better believe they would have told you already. Better not to ask.

11 responses

  1. YES 7 SO HARD. Also, “Have you thought about what you’re doing next year?” Wow no, I haven’t even thought about it, thanks.

  2. #7 is really important. And the only things that should be said in response to cookies are “Nice.” and “What, did they only have one left?”

    This list is wonderful.

  3. I was an American Studies major. After college I became a public radio producer and it was seriously the most helpful major I can imagine. Honestly. Both in the stuff I learned and in the way I was taught to approach original research.

    • I was an American Studies major, now I’m doing a PhD in humanitarian action. I agree with Jessica, the American Studies major was great for the methodological approach it encouraged. Would not trade it for any other major.

  4. #7. I think its totally acceptable to brag about getting a post senior job; that way, people will know who has one and wont be awkward to someone who doesn’t.

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