Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

The Evolution of Just Looking Comes to a Close

It has been a full year now that I have been “Just Looking” on almost every Tuesday here on page three of The Hoya. Now that the end is near, here is an explanation of what this column has meant for me and an insight into how I frame my perspective of Georgetown.

When the time came last September to choose a name for my column, I decided that I wanted to find the zaniest, stupidest name possible in order to draw attention to my words. I had decided on “Operational Hummus,” a name that had sprung up late one night when the kind folks at The Little Cafe explained that they could not give us an order of hummus to accompany our requested falafel. I questioned the possibility of The Little Cafe running out of hummus since so many of the items on their menu (including the falafel) involve the Mediterranean staple. I quickly drew the conclusion that they must have been out of the surplus used to fill side orders of hummus but probably still had a reserve of operational hummus remaining, with which they were able to fill orders that involved hummus as an ingredient.

Fortunately, I realized the night before my first column was to be published that this would have been a disaster. A terrible, terrible idea.

I am not exactly sure how I arrived at the name “Just Looking,” but I am glad I did. The best concrete example of how this phrase fits my personality finds me in some sort of clothing or shoe store. When the helpful customer-sales-representative-assistant type person roves over to me and asks if she or he may help me, I explain meekly that I am just looking. I like to have a chance to take a look around to see if I can find what I am looking for on my own. I suppose part of me enjoys the scavenger-hunt-esque challenge of searching for my purchase of choice. But often I find the process of locating an item helps me to learn more about the object, offering an opportunity to sort through similar and complementary merchandise.

It is this same idea of accomplishing a task by myself, on my own terms, that presents problems for me in my math class when my professor hovers over my shoulder waiting for me to follow the complicated series of suggestions and instructions he has offered. I need that brief period of time to just look and absorb the situation. Once I have developed a method by which I wish to proceed, then I will pursue a course of action.

In sports, I am not aggressive. This type of timidity poses a problem in many team sports, prompting me to shift from seven years of youth soccer to a mediocre yet enjoyable high school cross country career. And now it leads me to think a little more carefully about with whom I play pick-up games of ultimate Frisbee. When it is clear the tone of the game is friendly and non-contact, I have a rough time when the person I decide to guard confuses a wildly swung elbow into my throat with “good position.” I find this extremely frustrating and unnecessary.

In public speaking situations, I need to think before I toss something into the discussion. As a result, I am a quiet student unless I have a set presentation to offer. I will follow the professor’s presentation, but I usually do not find myself in a position where I have developed a coherent thought worthy of sharing with the rest of the class. I much prefer to concentrate on internalizing the material and see where the next step of the lecture will take us.

Of course, I can distinguish between a situation in which I have the luxury of time during which I may formulate my thoughts and a crisis in which I need to think and act immediately. I actually find a sense of calm and patience to be ironically helpful when pressure is high because it prevents me from panicking.

Also, in casual settings a well-placed remark flows easily when I know that once it leaves my mouth, its ultimate destinations are the ears of my friends. When listening to music, I can change the words from their true form to my mocking version almost subconsciously, much to the amusement and annoyance of those around me.

A few months into my sophomore year, I learned writing is where all of this changes for me. Writing a column in The Hoya this past year has been my opportunity to share a few rotations of the Ferris wheel in my head with the rest of our campus community. There are many unique points of view of our campus out there, some of them similar, some conflicting. “Just Looking” has provided me with the chance to think for a few hours each week of what I want to share with you for a few minutes. I have had a wonderful time tossing ideas out there, and I thank you for reading.

Just Looking appears Tuesdays in The Hoya.

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