February 26, 2018
Lurking behind every corner, sleuthing between every pillar, sneaking down narrow hallways, there is a person listening to your conversation. We are all inherently nosey.
From the conversation exchanged between an elderly couple at Panera or a phone call explaining the $275 credit-card charge Friday night, people are intrigued by the drama of others and tune their ears to catch a whiff of any gossip. People don’t eavesdrop to feel superior, or valued or even important; it lights a fire of curiosity and inquisition that burns deep in someone’s brain, like a car crash, you can’t look away from.
I mean, isn’t that why we listen, because we crave to learn more?
I pride myself in being a professional eavesdropper, always sectioning off about 20 percent of my brain to listening to the conversations of others (even when writing this, I am casually listening to the females beside me).
I constantly study people, always curious to see what people talk about, who they talk to, what manner and language, even the pauses and gap words they use. In my 18 years of professional eavesdropping, secrets of affairs, terminal illness, exclamations of love and tumultuous arguments have traveled secretly to my ears.
However, no place compares in terms of crazy stuff I have heard than Tech, from tutorials on how to get semen out of dorm sheets and drunk escapades, to arguments about what seven times eight is. However, you can’t just find these gems anywhere. You have to unplug, disconnect, search and listen, not to the nature buzzing and chirping outside, but to the sound of stupidity.
The bus stop, which is typically filled with profanities of missed buses and exclamations of forgotten tests, can also be a source of your daily dose of vitamin H (that stands for humor, you know). Instead of distancing yourself and blowing out your eardrums with bad rap music, you can listen to all the great, enriching and eloquent conversation our student body has to offer. From new weight loss fads that consist of eliminating one meal a day to the probability that a bird will fall out of the sky and cause a concussion, it only gets better from there.
And why limit yourself to the actual stop? Keep listening on the bus and see if you can snag a couple obligatory calls to loved ones about the importance of STD testing. The bus will (literally)transport you to the true haven for eavesdropping: campus.
When you go to the gym, you usually tune out and plug in, focusing on all 15 pounds of that iron about to be pumped. Instead, listen to riveting conversation of frat bros accompanied by the screams of the powerlifters monopolizing the squat racks. Don’t worry, there will be some conversation on lifting and form, even though it’s probably wrong. While on the bench, I overheard two guys measuring their pointer finger to their middle finger and calculating to see if that made them gay. Need I say more?
After a long day of listening in on people’s conversations, you need to re-energize, say at a facility that provides overpriced campus nutrients. Yes, dining halls are my final favorite place to eavesdrop because it is a group of people who sit, gossip and tell interesting stories, just like the reality shows.
Personally, I think the the juiciest dining hall is Turner, usually at odd hours like 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. Sit by large groups, and enjoy their banter as you munch on a bagel or sushi (or both, if you’re like me).
We have to find our own entertainment and joy in life. Sometimes, it’s nice just to sit back, relax and listen. Maybe you will hear nothing, but sometimes you will hear things that leave you smiling for hours.