Friday, February 04, 2011

Not Supposed to Say: "Passing" at Penn State

Part 1 of Series "Not Supposed to Say"

We talked in writing class the other day about ways each of us "pass". While the term most commonly refers to the way members of the lgbta communities can "pass" as straight through default assumptions, this situation applies to each of us in some way. There are things we hope no one will find out, things we pretend to understand and participate in because it will make things easier.

I pass in two polarized worlds. I keep my mouth shut a lot. For the following posts I will refer to them as "Christian world" and "Penn State". I don't want to put them in separate spheres. I live in both simultaneously. They are, however, distinct, and so I give them contrived names to help with clarity. 
I've begun to realize just how polarized my life as a college student has become. It wasn't in the beginning, but that was because I stayed within my chosen and created world: I stayed in Navigators. God was not satisfied with this state of affairs and I've been pried out of my happy isolation ever since.

Basically, I walk every day between two extremes of thought and belief. I myself do not change, at least I hope not. I hope that I have some integrity between the two worlds of my collegiate faith community and my collegiate "worldly" pursuits. I've longed for unity. What I mean is that I live in between two places that expect very different things from me and assume very different things about me.

I am also not allowed to speak those assumptions or contradict them. At least not without a lot of awkwardness. Strangely enough, this happens primarily within the Penn State World, the one where it boasts in its ability to say and do and be anything.

But I'm tired to not speaking in this supposedly "free" dialogue. It's time to explore the polar opposites I struggle in, the expectations and traditions of my past and faith against the expectations and traditions of the #1 Party School in the nation.

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