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06 September 2012 @ 04:05 am
Oh, post-midnight realisations, abusing Livejournal, and rec'ing.

More serious: I totally prefer to be underestimated and fly under the radar at first.

It suddenly hit me what a driving force that is for me in relation to Hufflepuff. At the same time that I love the House and its qualities, I'm drawn to its sub-par reputation for being a bunch of duffers as much out of my desire to fight against that with all my might (as I did with going to an agricultural high school, where the students had the reputation for being stupid farmers who couldn't handle academics) as for it taking the pressure off me personally, for when I don't feel able to perform. Lower the expectations and all... ("I expected nothing; those expectations were met" or "I didn't expect much and I wasn't disappointed" but there are also phrases with positive spins to it, though I can’t remember them as they’re generally not as clever.) Which may be a bit shoddy in that it’s somewhat prejudiced: at the Aggie many of the students weren't skilled with academics, it's true, but many were brilliant in other ways--so it seems wrong to use them as a leg-up for my own reputation, even if that's not what I intended at all. Comparatively, I was quite skilled with learning academics and that comparison made me look better (although also by comparison, I had little interest in and sucked at Agricultural Mechanics). At least I didn't do it for uni, though--not that specifically, though I did still push to be underestimated, from what I recall. In college interviews, for instance, people formed an idea of me based on seeing "agricultural high school" on my transcript; in those interviews I usually looked surprisingly good--‘surprising’ because they pictured something else. I was aware of that, of surpassing expectations due to being underestimated. It was comfortable. Sometimes I do it on purpose, sometimes it's just leftover from the child I was, as a generally quiet elder daughter with a little show-off brother: he'd run up to everyone with his latest achievement, I often didn't bring it up but could rarely deny being pleased when someone noticed and commented.

I've always preferred it that people not expect anything of me coming into a situation--one of the reasons I seldom discuss my marks (I think I was the only one of my friends who didn't post my year or dissertation marks to Facebook). Although I also don't generally use it as an opportunity to step out of the shadows as a knight in impeccably shining armour either; usually, in real life, I prefer to keep it all shadowed unless it's required by the moment (or is yanked out by questions, when it comes to things like marks :B). 'course, most of you all know me through my Livejournal, which is lots of me-me-me 'I' statements dealing with my attempts to gain something akin to a foothold in a world that, for me, seems to sway between unexpectedly steady confidence and terrible why-should-I-leave-bed insecurity.

Do any of you find that you prefer to enter into a situation 1) underestimated, 2) with no preformed expectations of your ability or personality whatsoever, whenever possible (you could also group 1 and 2 together), or 3) with people having formed some sort of platform that you're (usually) confident you'll meet? (House for HP, schools attended, marks achieved, career background, word-of-mouth recommendations or references, general positive gossip, etc.)

Less Serious: What kind of a respectable Ravenclaw would have a pug?

Pugs literally huff and puff. They're bundles of love that show affection pretty indiscriminately, including that burglar trying to nick the television... They work very hard for their food, which they love, so they're also almost always close to the kitchen or able to get there quickly. Loyal pups, really; they make great watch dogs. Just not, er, guard dogs--that's why it's best the badger is the House emblem, not a pug which would be rather useless at the Battle of Hogwarts. Oh! Unless one wanted to petrify an army with cute (use pug puppies), trample an army with love (any age should suffice), flatten an army with stench (older pugs--genetically bad teeth--should work best), of decimate an army with sleepy adorableness (again, any age, once the sleep comes on with the slowly uncurling tail, the snores, and the sleep running/'barking'). But Voldemort has no nose, so this is a fatal flaw in the plan. Best the badgers then, yes indeed. Oh oh oh! And featherxquill had Amelia Bone's Patronus as a pug in one story (I squeed aaaaaall over that line).

Awwwr pugster just looked up at me, blinked, huffed, and licked his face sleepily--all while looking like an old, adorable, not-quite-so-wise sloth. He just puffed at me, too. I think he's saying, "You crazy nude two-legger, why are you over there and not over here? We could be snuggled up together, sleeping. And you wouldn't be making that strange click-clacking sound. How do you spend hours in front of a screen that doesn't feed you or throw your toys or rub your belly? I don't understand your world. So come to mine and we'll sleep. Please?"

Highly Serious: I have a rec for a Hufflepuff story!

It's called We Won't Go Down Without a Fight for hogwarts_houses. PG with Tonks, Hannah Abbott, Professor Sprout, and some other 'Puffs. On one level it's a unique narrative for Tonks--her adjustment to being a Hufflepuff--and on another level it's a very full moment before the Battle of Hogwarts (sad, compassionate, a little humourous, very powerful) and in the combination of feelings it is absolutely Hufflepuff. I loved these short moments for what they are in Tonks' life and what they indicate in the nature of Hufflepuff as a House/common room/family. I loved this Professor Sprout, too, which always makes me happy in fic. It's quick and well worth the read!

alskdflkjafd: I miss featherxquill.

I'm super happy that uni is going well and that you have fun and exciting things to read! (You should send me a reading list some time; I've always wanted to go through a uni English lit. reading list myself. :D ) Time-zones and busyness don't work well with IM D: . We should start up a comment chat or e-pal talk or something! And yes okay maybe this fourth item was inspired by remembering your pug!Amelia story. :Þ Aaalso from podfic and other things. PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION EVERYBODY. RIGHT HERE. I'VE GOT SOME AFFECTION, AND YOU CAN ALL SEE IT, OH MY OH MY.


I always knew my LJ was too TMI. (That's a bit like ATM machine. But more logical to me. Too too much information.)

It's 4am, my pug wants me for sleep-snuggles, I have to do the horses again tomorrow and visit the post office, and I have clearly lost my mind; I'm going to finish one page of my flist, go to sleep, and hope my dreams are a successful quest to find my sanity. And here I was going to go to bed early. I blame my accidental nap earlier today, when I was so exhausted from shovelling rain-soaked horse dung that I passed out on my bed for a while.

Sweet dreams all! Sorry for another random LJ spurt--I do this from time to time.
Shivshiv5468 on September 6th, 2012 08:36 am (UTC)
I'm too old to want to prove myself every time, so I want everyone to know I'm brilliant before we start. Saves time, and then we can get things done rather than sniffing bottoms and working out the pecking order
Kiwi Crocus: Hair || Floral hair.cranky__crocus on September 14th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
That makes complete sense to me. I feel new enough with everything that I'm doing that it feels best for me to enter in with less on my slate; it's often seemed that I'm more able to observe and learn from others when my initial slate is closer to empty. I can gather a few pieces of information before I get a reputation that I don't always get after, and I seem to get them faster.

Hopefully someday, when I feel more comfortable with my various skillsets and where I generally sit in the herd of humans, I'll feel more the way you do.
Shivshiv5468 on September 14th, 2012 06:39 am (UTC)
I think your approach is very sensible. As that Times article I linked to about how disappointing a Bright Young Thing found his colleagues showed, too much confidence makes you sound like a muppet when you're starting out.
Feather Quill: Unconditionallovefeatherxquill on September 6th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)

Already. And I only talked to you half an hour ago.

Fuck time difference.

But seriously your PDA made me all warm and fuzzy. Even if it is made of sad because we cannot talk as often at the moment.

I promise you it will be my summer hols before you know it (before I know it, even, wtf only one more week of class before mid-semester break).

♥ some more for good measure.
Kiwi Crocus: Hair || Green braid.cranky__crocus on September 14th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)

Yes, fuck time differences. And wonky sleep schedules that often make that difficulty worse.

Dwaaah, so glad the PDA made you feel warm and fuzzed out. :D Hoorah for summer hols and getting to talk more! Hopefully! (It'd suck if it just switched and I suddenly became ridiculously busy with jobs and my huge household and everything. Actually, it's possible just with the household alone, so I'm going to have to start really pushing myself to take alone-time. My house in England was pretty big too but as a culture England seems more introverted--even the extroverts, when in their own space--so I got lots of me-time whenever I wanted it but could still find social spaces. This household is Super Social.)