This blog post comes to you from the McGill SSMU building, while I wait for my final exam of the winter semester. Fortunately the next exam is extremely easy so I can afford to blog while I wait instead of studying. It’s actually been quite hard to study for these last two exams, because I’ve expected them to be really easy. But instead of reading about my exams, let’s talk about what I’m doing right now: eavesdropping.
People watching: let’s be honest; we all do it. People watching is not only entertaining, but informative. Babies people watch constantly, because it’s the only way they can learn about normal human behaviors and figure out how to emulate them. It’s a great skill to develop, especially since you can use it in new situations to learn how others behave and respond accordingly. But watching people is only one half of the equation; you also have to listen.
I have a bizarre subconscious drive to listen to conversations around me. For example, the people in front of me are swooning over each other. In public, which is really uncomfortable, but besides that they’ve talked about a TV show, which I assume is anime, and which the guy didn’t really want to watch (even though he said he might watch it later,) but his girlfriend seemed to think was a really good show. While I was editing Godzilla they were talking about how actors’ carriers develop. Then they started talking about Japanese grammar. The people to the right of me are studying for some sort of biology exam. They were talking about some process in cells, which I’ve forgotten now, but at some point they moved on to viral treatments to cancer, which they decided was not based on Hepatitis. The people to the left, who have gone elsewhere, were talking watching Glee. One said she didn’t like “musicals,” and said that she mutes the singing during Aladdin. Also, I didn’t write these things as I heard them: I wrote them from memory a few minutes later.
Let me clarify: I don’t do this on purpose. In fact, since I’ve started writing, I’ve mostly stopped processing the noises around me, but even when I was concentrating on editing Godzilla I was listening – to some extent – to all three conversations at once. I guess it’s an interesting and potentially useful skill, but I feel kind of creepy. Maybe it’s a side effect of growing up in a rural environment and moving to an urban environment; now that there are more people around me I feel sort of surrounded and feel the need to monitor people at all times. It could also be that an entire year of taking the bus to school, staring out the window and listening in search of some form of entertainment has produced a bad habit. Who knows. It’s an interesting habit, but it’s uncomfortable.
That’s your tidbit for the day: I’m an unintentional eavesdropper. So if you’re on the bus or in the caf and feel the need to talk on your cell phone or loudly discuss your complicated relationships and how John won’t go out with you but Tim totally thinks your cute but he’s – like – ew… be warned: I might be there, and whether I like it or not, I’ll be listening.