Wednesday, October 23, 2013

iExamen 2

Matt McIntyre
Into to Lit
Dr. Juniper Ellis
October 20th, 2013

            Before getting into detail on my reflection, take note that in class on the day where we had to present a word to describe ourselves, I said “sarcastic”.  For me this was actually more difficult than just sitting in silence and pondering thoughts. I had to go outside of my comfort zone, which is not something that can be done easily. My persona was altered for that entire day and people really noticed the difference in character.  Although we are students at a Jesuit institution, it is extremely uncommon to find people actually fulfilling their religious duty to serve others as the Jesuits would want done. For me, this practice caused a lot of frustration, laughs, and a kinder heart.
            As I began the day, I said to myself, “there is no way I’m doing this nonsense!” I’ve done my fair share of Jesuit initiatives in high school, but this one was a little radical even for me. An entire day of kind, true and non-hurtful words? That is nearly impossible for me. Not that I do it intentionally to hurt people, rather I use my words as a canvas to paint myself and show people my humorous side. I result to using pure sarcasm at least 10 conversations each day, so this task was difficult and made me quite angry.  It just so happened that this Examen was being done on the day that I came across the most nonsensical, rude, and just plain difficult people you could imagine. I had my lunch order ruined, an entire cup of soda spilled on my lap and the most obnoxious, demeaning man who could possibly serve me at the Apple store. I wanted so much to explode, but I kept my cool and I tried really hard. I got so unlucky that day, I finally had to just take the bad and laugh at it.
            Even more laughs were made. All of my roommates know how I speak and they know how open I am. I’m always talking and I’m always being comical. As I came in the dorm from lunch, my roommate, Neal, challenged me to a game of FIFA Soccer on the Xbox. I knew this would be the ultimate test because I love taunting my opponents just to play with their minds and emotions. As the game went on, I found myself saying things like, “nice team play by you,” or “wow, Neal, really nice shot, that was perfect.” It was so odd for me because I never play games like this and it was so odd for my roommates because they had nothing to do but laugh awkwardly, seeing as they had no clue why I was being kind. My roommates are so used to me being sarcastic that they thought me being sincere and kind was actually sarcasm. This is why I got a great amount of laughs and pure enjoyment out of this Examen compared to the previous one.
            After all was said and done, I felt surprisingly better about myself. It is not often you are asked to step back from your personal reality and be different.  Surely, I was hesitant and I questioned myself. As I went around complimenting people and being nicer, conversation came actually more difficult. I was not used to this new me, but I really enjoyed it. I walked away from every situation I was in that day and I felt better about myself. Warm, that is what I felt inside. I am not going to lie and say this experience changed me, but it showed me that I can change.
            This task called for you to dig deep mentally and spiritually. I had to understand that I was doing this for a much more superior reason than myself and once you stop thinking about solely yourself, your mind and eyes are opened wider than ever.

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