Folks, take a look at this face. Um, the one in the top right of the screen, that is. Now tell me: does this look like the face of a student to you? And if so: WHY?!
I have been told I look like a student. I’m not quite sure whether to be flattered by this because it means I look like I’m fresh outta high school (unless the person meant I look like a mature student, obviously), or insulted because… well, because I’m not fresh outta high school, and where I come from, students tend to look a bit like they just went out in their pyjamas, and without brushing their hair. I mean, no offense to any students reading this, obviously, because I’m sure YOU are a fresh and fragrant student, and as well groomed as a show pony! No, really! But back to me, because, after all, it’s ALL ABOUT ME, oh yes it is.
My accuser is a random Internet person who sent me a Facebook message this morning saying that he goes to a college near me (well, in the same country, anyway. So, not really that near me.) and can he just ask what it is I’m studying, and which course I’m on? And also: can we be friends, please?
Well, at first I thought this was some weird kind of Facebook spam, and that I should just ignore it, but then I thought, "Be nice, Amber. For maybe there is another Amber (!) who actually is a student as this dude’s college, and maybe it was this other Amber he was trying to reach!" So I sent back a short but polite message saying "Sorry, dude, I think you have the wrong Amber, for I am no student, not I!" Or words to that effect. This is what he sent back to me:
"no amber i found u on facebook last night,and sent u message,i asked u if ur student and if ur student then wht course ur doing,and if ur not student then its ok,u looks like an student thats why i asked u,anways take care,im living in XXXXX and studying in XXXX,wana ask u if we can be friends???"
(Note: the bold text is mine, and he didn’t actually write "XXXXX" – I did that because I figured the seat of learning in question might not want people to know it’s apparently churning out illiterates. Miaow!)
Anyway, shocking use of txt spk (AAAARGH!) aside, I was bewildered by this message. I LOOKS LIKE AN STUDENT? Really? WHY? I mean, I use the same photo on my Facebook profile as I do on this blog, so my question to you all is this: what is it about me that just screams out to people: "I IS AN STUDENT! Write me messages in txt spk! I will like it!" WHAT?
I did appreciate his "quick recap" of the previous message, though, because my feeble brain needed that to be able to grasp just what exactly was going on. Those of us who is students are like that, you see.
ETA: It’s not the idea that I look younger than I am that made me scratch my head over this a bit, by the way, it’s the fact that my appearance apparently identifies me as having a specific occupation, with that occupation being "student". You know, like if someone looked at you and said, "oh, you look like a nurse," or "you look like a train driver" or something. So my question isn’t "do I look younger than I really am", rather "what it is about me that says "I am a younger person who is a student" as opposed to "I am a younger person who works as a receptionist in a cardboard box factory", for instance.