I thought it would be a good time for this post with school starting and more opportunities to talk to people. Ahah, just kidding. I’m doing this because it felt like a very doable post to write. Oh, and I also realized that if you’re doing online, you probably have the same amount of opportunities as before school started.
I included what I hope are questions for a range of conversations—some could work for people you recently met and some would probably be better for friends you know well.
1. What’s a food you like now that you didn’t like when you were younger?
I feel like there’s certain “fun facts” about the human body that have been turned into “common facts” because enough people know about them. The one that’s pertinent to this question is the fact about how your tastebuds change every 7 years. (Um, which might not even be true?? I just searched it, and the internet is giving mixed signals. But whatever, it’s too late if it’s false.)
Kind of related: Oh my, I just searched up the biting off your finger one (this is another one that I would consider as a “common fact”), and apparently, this one is false? Something about how you could bite it off, but it wouldn’t be that easy. Oh wait, I should probably clarify in case you haven’t heard this fact before: the claim is that your jaw could bite your finger off as easily as a carrot (it’s always compared to a carrot), but your mind doesn’t let you.
Anyways. Even if neither of those facts are true, this question still is legit. For me, the biggest change of heart I’ve had is over eggplant. I used to despise eggplant. I would never ever eat it. The food I changed my mind most recently about is cherries. For most of my life I’ve thought that I didn’t like cherries—I think it’s because of that terrible cherry-flavored cold/flu medicine. But this summer, I tried one and realized they’re pretty good.
2. Does school right now feel more like school or summer?
I’m talking about the mindset. If summer’s mindset is a 1, and normal school’s mindset is a 10, mine might be as low as a 3 right now. My school’s doing a hybrid version where half goes to school while the other half does online at home and then flips the next day, but my brain’s not taking it nearly as seriously as real school. It’s like when your teacher’s gone and there’s a sub. Are you really going to learn something that class period?
My school requires us to keep our cameras on, but I’m still able to listen to music, eat snacks, and text people during class. I can wear pajamas. I can sit on the floor. I can sneak in a nap. And since I only have to physically go to school every other day, every weekend feels a little like a long weekend.
3. If you were a teacher, would you rather a student not pay attention and be on their phone or a student not pay attention but seem like they are?
Clarification just in case the wording is confusing: either way, they’re not paying attention. But in the first one, they’re clearly looking at their phone and not trying to hide it at all, and in the second, they’re making eye-contact/nodding/etc., but they’re actually zoned out. And in both cases, you know they’re not listening. So with all those hypothetical rules down, does their body language make a difference?
I’m going to try and explain why I think this question is interesting. I would be curious to see if someone even has a preference or if they would say both are fundamentally the same and it doesn’t matter. Then if they do have a preference, I would want to hear their explanation for why. It kind of feels like you’re choosing between whether you would rather want people to be extremely blatant about their feelings or to be tactful even if you know it’s fake.
For me, if I chose the first one, I would be annoyed at the student, and if I chose the second, I think I would feel awkward and less confident about my teaching abilities. As of this moment, I’m leaning towards the first person, but I’m not sure.
4. Where do you think I’m going to live?
This is a question that was asked on a group chat, and I think it was more fun that way than it would’ve been if it was just a one-on-one conversation. I accidentally led into this conversation by making a statement of who I thought was the most southern person out of all of us (none of us are very southern), and then when I was explaining why, it turned into this really entertaining conversation.
For this one, it’s you answering about your friends, and your friends answering about you. It’s not really where someone’s statistically most likely to end up living at or what’s most reasonable. They weren’t predictions. It’s more like trying to be accurate about their personalities, not accurate about their futures.
For each person, we did two parts. The first was rural/suburb/city, except that now that I’m looking at it, nobody got rural. (My friend said I would be a middle-sized city or a bigger city in a smaller state, so I guess that’s another option.) The second category was less organized. It was either different countries, general regions, specific states, specific parts of states, or specific cities.
All of us live in the US so that’s the perspective the answers came from. There were eight of us, and we basically only did four different places for eight people: northeast, California, the south (mostly Austin, Texas), and Colorado. Answers that appeared once were the Carolinas, Chicago, Canada, and NA (aka not available as a catch-all for anywhere abroad). I wrote our answers down so hopefully we’ll remember doing this.
5. Would it surprise you if I (fill in the blank)?
This is a recurring question I ask Jonathan. Usually I phrase it as, “Would it weird you out if…?” I dyed my hair? Always wore nail polish? Got a nose ring? Stopped reading? (No, no, yes, yes.)
Overall, he’s said no more than he’s said yes. It surprises me when he says no because usually I ask him about scenarios that would weird myself out if I did them. But all his no’s have kind of shifted my mentality.
Him seeing me as someone who could do and be all of these different things that I’ve always seen as out of my comfort zone makes me feel more free to change. I have the tendency to see myself and others as people I already know, so I get thrown for a loop when people change. But his way of seeing me as someone who could go in all sorts of directions makes me hold onto “who I am” and who others “are” less tightly.
What would your answers be for these questions?
Have you heard of those “fun facts”?
If you’re in school, what format are you doing?
P.P.S. The first post in the series.