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Thứ Sáu, 15 tháng 10, 2010

My 3 hour class this morning revolved around farting, masturbation, menstruation, tampon, going to the toilet, tattooing, peeing in public, bad breath, armpit sweating. A good proportion of the time slot was spent on watching hilarious/ridiculous advertisements and Reality TV show on youtube.  Students shared their most embarrassing experiences with others in an open atmosphere. My prof actually said: "come on, admit it, who has never fart in a situation where they wish they shouldn't have had?" and we all broke out laughing.

I can't help thinking that back home, this kind of talk is such a taboo, not only in an academic setting like a forth year university classroom, but just in everyday conversation. Who would talk to their friends, let alone classmates and professor, that they have tried Viagra and it didn't help?

On my way home, I thought about all the weird "topics" we have dealt with from a sociological lens of view. The division of housework, personal choice in clothes shopping, preference in mate selection, etc. I get to hear stories from other people, both from their experiences or someone they know, lots of references and examples are drawn from movies and TV shows, less from music and newspapers. They are real, sometimes so normal and common to the extent that they are mundane, but yet, we study them sociologically. That's the difference.

It's actually funny to think about. I have only 5 hours of class a week as I am taking only 3 classes, but on average I have about 200 pages/week/class. But then when I actually go to class, instead of reviewing the dense and vast theories, we spend time talking about daily matters and problems, of course we try to be critical and more conscious. "Learning sociology changes your point of view forever. You can't see anything the same as you used to" - My first year professor (also a great inspirer) said that to her class of 300 students. Now I understand what she meant.

Yet my friends back home, especially the ones Im still in touch with, drain themselves out every single day with long hours in class. Some of them are doing two degrees. Most of them have extra classes, in English or another language. Im not sure what is their workload at home, but Im sure they don't talk about masturbation and the medicalization of masturbation in class.

They learn about complex calculation, abstract philosophy, out-dated policies, senseless history and go through unpractical physical training. Think about that and I feel so grateful for my education here ^^ A little talk about civilizing body and the self imposed control of farting doesn't hurt :))

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