March 19, 2004

PREJUDICED

I am a horrible person.
I found that out today, and it's been eating at me all evening.

There's something about the uniform that makes all soldiers look upstanding and dignified. The uniform is the great equalizer, and all soldiers who come in my office are treated the same. But on a training holiday, like today was, we often help soldiers in civilian clothes.

A soldier came in the office today dressed straight out of 8 Mile who wanted to sign up for my English class. My gut reaction as he said this was that he was never going to pass the grammar placement test to make it into the class. I handed him the test, and he brought it back to me with a nice side order of humble pie.

He got the highest score I've ever seen. And he wanted to look back over the ones he'd missed and try to figure out why he missed them. He shocked the hell out of me. We had a great discussion about grammar as we corrected his mistakes, and I told him I'd be incredibly happy to have him in my class. He shook my hand as he left, and I felt like a complete jerk on the inside.

I consider myself an open person. I actually loved 8 Mile. I even went through a stage when I was 18 where I dressed a bit "alternative", so I should be the last person to judge someone based on how he's dressed. But I did it without thinking today, and I'm ashamed of myself, especially since I was so obviously wrong about this soldier. I really don't feel good about my gut reaction today, but how do you change your instinct?

Posted by: Sarah at 05:02 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 You don't. You are now, officially, a member of the Armed Forces! There will always be something in the back of your mind asking why someone in the military would ever dress like that.

Posted by: Mike at March 19, 2004 09:34 PM (3t8Bu)

2 Don't be so hard on yourself! It's a knee-jerk reaction and we all suffer from it. And trust me, as you get older, it only gets worse!

Posted by: Tammi at March 20, 2004 01:02 PM (qg4Lf)

3 Not to worry--you may have "thought" it, but you didn't ACT on it. You're fine.

Posted by: david at March 20, 2004 10:02 PM (QIZUp)

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