- Bringing the discussion from FB to here. Vishwa blogs at A Walk in the Drizzle
3.. It so happened that my peer’s parent passed away a few months ago. My peer is (an older) woman who is an associate professor in a college in the city. I have had interactions with her for purposes of work, we hangout over a cup of coffee, after our discussions or a task, she shares the cakes she bakes at home, we talk about the course, our projects… and walk back to our rooms.
Two things stood out from that night. A friend and I had rushed from a dinner mid way to be with her at her place hearing the news~ Her relatives present thought we were her students from the college, however, even in the middle of the grief and sobbing the peer was quick to correct, we were not, She also added, we were her senior peers from the campus! My friend and I had joined a year or two earlier than her for the course. The relatives and us, just looked at each other unable to respond. The friend and I kept quiet as long as we were in the house, but exploded the minute we were out of her apartment gates (Age/seniority…?? I’ll be an anomaly, I have friends in all age groups).
The second thing that stood out was none of us knew her whereabouts with respect to her relations. (not that it mattered) When the HOD asked how she was holding up and about her partner, I just shook my head and said, “I have no idea Professor! She’s not a friend!” This was the third thing. There was an automatic assumption as to what her relationships would be given her position and age! or that as a peer I would know (there I bring up the age).
I’ve been thinking after post modernism, space and privacy, the ‘would bes’ and ‘could bes’ have come to rule our conversation. All of a sudden, people may give you dirty looks if you say “What ‘can’ you do?” What could be possible or the phrase could be kind of brings in that giving/acknowledging the space factor, the privacy factor, somehow… I think, pre pomo, it was kind of crude, it was kind of more real with relations! Who would think before we ask such information! and who would hesitate in warranting such! Now a days everything is hidden somehow behind possibilities and spaces.. it is not just the pubic and personal, but there is an inner layer called the private (all that is good.. still, when it dominates the conversation, about what can I ask and what I can’t. )
Where to draw that line! I don’t know.. I go overboard, almost all the time without thinking what the other may feel and then it comes back What am I doing, like I please Where to draw that l…
Source: Where to draw that line!