I’m talking to myself a lot today.  I do that normally, but today it’s worse than usual:  no one is answering.

My school is observing the National Day of Silence, and I’m one of the few people NOT participating.  One of my professors begged us several weeks ago not to participate during her class because it’s a three-hour discussion-based class with only 8 students:

“Of course we all support gay rights!”  she said.  “Don’t do this to me!”

Our class eventually rigged up a plan in which the students participating will use a gmail chatroom on one of the smart screens… we in seminary like to follow the letter not the spirit of the law.

I participated every year in the Day of Silence at my undergrad, but the effect on my conservative campus was small—-only one or two people in each class participating.

So here, while I fear appearing like a bigot, I don’t feel the urgency in advocacy the same way I did in that more hostile/apathetic environment.  It’s way easier NOT to disrupt my day/routine on behalf of others.

I enjoy talking; I dislike listening; I especially disliked sitting in my college cafeteria listening to ten of my closest friends discuss “Battlestar Galactica” because they know that I cannot protest the subject matter.  I felt lonely & angry, but I suffered through it as a sacrifice on behalf of my closeted friends. 

At my seminary it’s different.  Now, I get lonely as one of my few friends who haven’t taken a vow of silence.   

My take-away message, however, is that as a white, educated, middle-class, American heterosexual I can talk all day long about whatever I want to whomever I want without worrying about getting interrupted…  and that’s what the day is all about, right?

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2 Responses to Monologue

  1. cody says:

    i like this reflection, and how you had to win it by pushing through your first reaction. reminds me of Freire’s observation that only the suffering ones have the consciousness to generate real change. we’re taught not to like the implications of this — that we are collectively healed by the suffering of others. i even took a class in which the majority of students wanted to take the cross out of christianity. but despite our most incredulous liberal sensitivities, it does seem that from time to time we must listen to the voiceless and, as much as it is possible, become voiceless ourselves.

    • La Peregrina says:


      Thanks so much for this comment and sorry it took me four weeks to approve it! Hopefully my internet access will be a bit more steady in the future! (also in the future, your comments will be approved automatically — it’s just the first time that someone posts that I have to approve it)


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