Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Class Portrait

Every now and then (about once every three months) for the past 2 years we would do a « Class Portrait » during our religion class. The teacher would pick a random person and then one by one, everyone from the class had to say what they thought about this person in honesty. Then when everyone’s done, the person about whom everyone had been talking can give some comments (or not) and then picks next person.

Our religion teacher is quite into philosophy and psychology. So he suggested to listen carefully to the words that people use while they talk about this other person, because in those words the person that speaks is actually showing and forming its own portrait. He also explained the principle of projection and reflection and urged us many times to really LISTEN to the words. At the beginning (last year) well, we couldn’t say that much about each other. We would all just say like “yes nice boy” or “nice girl” and get on with it. That’s kinda what happened during first year when we would do Class Portrait. Then it became a bit more interesting as we got to know the “new” people some more. There is this quiet girl in my class. I used to be good friends with her about 3-4 years ago. But she is sooooo locked up, never says a thing, very closed person. So yes obviously everyone said:”You’re a nice girl, but you don’t talk much and that’s kind of a pity”. So after 20 people said about the same sentence about her she just started to cry. Which was actually quite cool cus I’m sure she released some stuff while crying.

Now, this year we only did class portrait at the beginning (which was the usual “I like you” but now also sometimes “sometimes you irritate me” line). But today it was our last and final Class Portrait, sort of to finish our last religion classes of the year. And as we are all going to graduate and will probably never see each other again; the teacher thought it might be nice to try it out once more.
So this was my first class portrait since I found myself through Desteni. And it was quite an experience. First of all, when it was said “We’re going to have a Class Portrait” I went, oh no, not again, I never know what to say about anyone and we’ll all just say “yes I like you, NEXT!”.
So I just said to teacher “I’m don’t have anything to say so I’ll just say nothing” as I didn’t want to participate in it really. Oh, he also said we should focus on telling what we learnt from each other and I was like “uuhmmm oops”.

So I layed my head down on my backpack which I converted into a sort of pillow thanks to my scarf and my hoodie, and started to focus on 4 count breath.

I got some reactions of people going “ooh you’re so laaaaame”, but I was like “ok whatever”. Then I got a bit nervous. I am in this class, everyone’s participating in this class portrait – except for me. So I was nervous about what they would think of me for not participating but fuck – I sure as hell wasn’t going to join in and please their ego’s by telling them how much I like them. I wasn’t all too sure about what I should say so I decided that just saying nothing was good option, hence me not saying anything about anyone. So whenever I heard that it was a person’s turn that was sitting close to me I knew teacher would soon say “Leila” and expect me to say something anyway. So I would have this little whirlwind going down my solar plexus and when he aid my name I would lift up my head and say “nothing” or “I pass”.

Then at some point it was this guy’s turn to pick someone. Now, if there’s something everyone agrees on about this guy – it’s that he looooves being on people their nerves, gives him some kind of kick or satisfaction or I don’t know what. So he said “well you know what Leila, I pick you, now you’re gonna get it”. I was like “surprise, surprise...” So he starts talking about how he doesn’t really know me and all and then he thinks I’m throwing away my talents… that I am being self destructive. I went “go figure” (in my head that is lol). This guy smokes lots of weed and drinks a lot. So I was going ‘hmm who’s the self destructive one here”. Also when I would mention in conversations that I don’t go to parties, don’t do alcohol or drugs – they (and especially he) would say “Oh my god Leila, you have no life, what is your problem, you are pathetic”.Uhm yea, mostly when they say that kinda stuff I go “yea ha-ha-ha.”.

Then a girl started talking about me. We used to be very close friends and all but somehow we kinda drifted away from each other and I never regretted that cus I saw that this was best for me and also for her as we we’re not really “supporting” each other anymore anyway whatsoever. This year, especially past 6 months, I hardly talked to her, only about silly stuff, never serious. Like maybe in those 6 months we exchanged like uhm 20 lines lol. It was like we were never best friends and I didn’t mind. Ah, I just recall something lol. There was this time, last year, when aaaall the girls had boyfriends and they would talk only about sex. Sex sex sex. Then at some point this friend decides she wants to have sex. And boy, from that time on she wasn’t the same anymore. Damn. I had NO idea having sex for first time (and every other time afterwards) could make such an impact on someone. She started to talk about sex as well all the time. She would hook up with the “cool gang” (I wasn’t part of any gang, I was just in class and could go along with pretty much everyone, hadn’t my ‘specific’ group of people with whom I would hang out with.), wear different clothes, act all cool, talk about guys all the time, make sure her hair was pretty and all that it’s like she had this prisonality shift…

Then it didn’t work out with her perfect dreamboy and she started to hop from one boyfriend to another like a female Casanova. At school she would be down, put on her big headphones and listen to music while looking all depressed.

Now, thing is she truly believes she KNOWS me. Now if there is something I’m sure about, it’s that nobody knows me, lol, I made sure of that my entire life, out of protection of some sorts.

So she starts talking about how we used to be the best of friends, then got away from each other, that we hardly talk anymore, blabla, says it’s a pity and then she says I am always busy breaking down people.

Now this was interesting to me, cus lately I had been noticing (althought I wouldn’t talk to her) she was getting very annoyed and irritated by what I said to other people. Like for instance, this girl arrives at school in the morning and she had a new haircut. Of course everyone goes standing in circle around here saying “ooh, your hair is so pretty, I like it so much”, then I would come up to circle and say “ooh, your hair is so ugly, I don’t like it” in same tone as the other folks were saying that it was pretty. You know, me having fun with this entire situation. It’s like this action reaction thing. Girl gets new haircut – programmed reaction: friends say how pretty it is. So for fun I said “ooh, your hair is so ugly, I don’t like it”. Now this girl was standing there as well somewhere, heard what I said and told me “LEILA!! You are so mean saying that, you always break people down!” I was like hey chill out you know with a LOL like face haha.

Now lol seems like this girl would only stand near me and hear what I say whenever something like this occurred. Like someone made a painting and she’s all nervous and anxious, fearing we won’t like it. She shows painting, everyone goes “oooh how pretty” so I say “omg that just SUCKS you know, damn you are SOOO BAAaaaaaaad” (hihi, playing around with their fears) but the person in question to who I was making joke, would know I was joking and showing them in some sort of way that their fear was silly. But this girl would stand near again, hear it, take it personally and make comment like “you so mean, Leila, not nice always breaking down people”. Now this was happening a lot, and she would only be near me with such events. So yea, that’s how it kinda caught my attention and so it was interesting that during the class portrait she said “that Leila is aaaalways breaking down people”.
Oh but it got even better. Then she says “I think Leila’s problem is that she doesn’t accept herself”. At that point was my head was laying down my eyes were closed. But when I heard that sentence I opened my eyes like WHAM and thought “you gotta be KIDDING ME”. I really couldn’t get how she could just project that unto me, and expect me to believe that. It was really, quite unreal hearing her say that. I just couldn’t believe she said that. I was like wtf I’ve been accepting myself more than ever you know lol. And then she said, yes, I really think it’s a pity the way you behave lately, it’s sad…

So that’s when I started to giggle behind my scarf hihihihi. Lolol

Then some people made sense saying well nobody really knows Leila, she’s quite a mystery, she doesn’t show herself, she just makes fun all the time and maybe hides behind her humour. So then I thought, yes this is the case, finally some common lol. And also a lot of remarks were made that I was mean sometimes ( lol I never know when I’m mean, but I guess when I say something and it hurts, its gotta be true somehow lolol ). Uuhm, what else did they say, oh yes pity and all that, sad the way I’ve been lately (funny cus lately I’ve been enjoying myself more than ever hahaaha).

Hmm, that was it kinda I think. Very interesting it was.
Then during break I went up to this other friend with whom I used (?, lol) to have a love/hate relationship with. She has this idea that I despise her and that she’s beneath my level and that she’s inferior to me.
But anyway, I went up to her, cus there was actually something that I wanted to say to her. So I wanted to say it to her face to face. I felt like “hell I don’t need a class portrait to finally say something honest to someone”.
So I said:” you know who the person is from which I’ve learnt the most? It’s you.” Now she had this big surprise look all over her face cus she probably never considered that. I explained that she helped me a great deal, because she was person from class with who I have experienced the most conflict. And that in that conflict that I blamed her to be responsible for, I realised it was my own conflict and that it had everything to do with me and not with her. Told her, she was a great mirror. But then she responded like “Oh, really, I’m honoured, I’m flattered!” so I went shit I probably fed something by saying that lolol.

Haha, and then this friend comes up with who I had a lot of cool conversations with lately and he says a bit agitated “Leila, don’t listen to them, they’re all liars, they don’t know fuck all! I’ll give em some punches in the face, see how they like that” so I just laughed hahahaahaha.
And then while smoking some people come around saying “hey don’t take it personally, I didn’t want to hurt you okay? If I wanted to hurt you I would have so no worries.” I said I did not take it personally and all and then thought hmm people actually think they can hurt other beings with words. It’s allllll about self. Alll is responsible for experience of self.

Hmm, anyway lol, it was also cool to close eyes and just listen to the words coming from people their mouth. Most of them would direct their words towards the teacher, while the teacher was just sitting there, not really participating but listening carefully. Also, from the moment they would start, their voice tonality changed. Like they were giving a speech or something like that. Talking to a crowd, talking politely, while it was all actually about being honest…. Then at some point I decided I wanted to look at the people as they were speaking the words they spoke. I would find that when they would start uhm, they would fidget a bit on their chair for the first few seconds, change the way they were positioned a bit, speak, but not look to person about who they were talking.

Some would even start to play with their clothes very nervously, looking down, rubbing their upper legs with their hands the entire time while talking. And then start caressing their chest lol. Haha. And when the bell would ring and we went outside everyone just sighed saying “ppft this is bullshit, so hypocrite stuff”. And I was like well then don’t suggest you want a class portrait if you don’t even like it you know. I mean, the whole thing was about being honest. No one there was honest. Mind honest sure, but self honest no way. Also when some people would be in some kind of fight they would come complain to me and say “we need another class portrait”. So I’m like “if you need a class portrait for you to say something “honest”-like to someone, cus you’re too chicken scared to say in their face, you might as well just drop it”.

Also, what I noticed, was that no one was actually sharing their own personal experience of this other person, but rather just some up information and knowledge! Like “uhm yea, we listen to same music, we get along, she’s nice, she probably has fun with her brother at home” stuff like that lol.

Haha, one friend waited for me when the class portrait ended and he asked “so what do you think about his class portrait”. I said “it’s bullshit”. He said “yea I know, it’s fucking bullshit, I was waiting till I could get out my shovel to carry away all their drool from pleasing each others egos” lol. He also said no one was honest. And later everyone was like well yea you know what I don’t care, after this I’m not ever going to see you anyway.

So much for honesty at school.
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