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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Estremera: Eavesdropping while chomping on spicy chicken

THE university vicinity is a nice place to be. You get to peep into the trends among the young and listen into their conversations, and then you are able to put them neatly in two boxes. Yes, the university scene for me is made up of two boxes: the scholarly and the anti-scholarly.

You can see it in their demeanor and the way they talk. 

Hang out in the most popular eating place like, in our case, My Kebab. I also like the dimsum place and apparently students also like it, except that it's small and airconned. I love airconned restaurants and diners, but not with big groups of students, especially senior high school students. You know why?  Just one reason: They are loud.

Especially the anti-scholarly, those who seem wanting to prove something but cannot show anything for it, and so make up for that lack with the volume of their voice. I'm judgmental, especially when just observing like a fly on the wall. 

Among women, the skimpier the attire, the bigger the mouth. Maybe it's defiance, maybe it's showing off. Who knows with kids these days? 

Among men... as the look progresses to being unkempt, the voice becomes harsher, like a growl. Some can't even go beyond just harrumphing or grunting, before breaking out into a curse like... "Yawaa oi!" 

The scholarly look goes from the really nerdy, complete with eyeglasses, uneasy stance and very shy countenance to aggressively argumentative on social issues complete with a twang. I don't know why arguments on social issues have to be spoken with a twang. I don't get it. But still, these scholarly millennials can still break out into a curse to the tune of... "Yawaa oi!"

Yes, kids, they have an affinity with the 'yawa' it seems. But that's the inner tita in me manifesting, complete with raised eyebrow and glare.

I sit back, chew the last piece of my spicy fried chicken leg and recall the shrill scream let out by a grade schooler earlier in the day. A scream that would have easily earned us back in our days a quick pinch on the ears or the crotch. But no, these kids are allowed to scream and be shrill about it and I wonder how much louder the Gen-Z's would be given that this early they are already screaming in very shrill voices and getting away with it without even a warning glare.

Maybe in the near future, as my millennial staff and I would be sharing some university area food amid the Gen-Z, we would just smirk and say, "And we thought the millennials were loud, didn't we?"

Still, I hang on to the old way and make sure that every kid I hang out with or have the chance to mingle with knows the rules of keeping their voices low and respecting other people's spaces.

Sad to say, many present-day parents have misinterpret not being authoritarian to being permissive. Sad to say, both parenting styles suck big time. Authoritarian parents are strict with rules and allow very little dialogue between parent and child, and punishment is the flagship of disciplining and teaching a lesson. What you get are resentful children full of angst and anger. The permissive ones are those who tend to be lenient but do not want to be involved in a confrontation with their children. They may appear loving and accommodating, but with little rules set out for the children to follow, the result is that children with very little self-discipline and control.

I watch the scholarly young lady at the table next to mine as she discusses theories in societal settings. She has the air of confidence, almost boyish in asserting her views, and being... scholarly about it.

Then just as I placed my spoon and fork together, in preparation to leave, a group of young students drag the two tables on my left together, dragged four chairs to arrange around the table, and then sat down with as much noise as they can make. Three had braces and were speaking in that wersh-wersh lisp of the braced colegiala, the other had red hair that reminded me of Sailor Moon although I'm sure she was trying to be some Korean character, or even Manga. I wouldn't know. Me and my tita consciousness can only draw up Sailor Moon. 

The generation next, the cusp between the millennials and the Z's... saestremera@yahoo.com
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