Meet Jane Doe

Posted on June 22, 2011

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With facebook every once and awhile you receive a friend request from someone you don’t know and have absolutely no connection to. While it is a rare occurrence, because unlike myspace facebook isn’t swamped with weirdoes and pedophiles, the occasional friend request from a smokin’ hot Chinese foreign exchange student studying economics in her sophomore at Columbia University does appear in your notification hub. (Yes this happened to me. Yes I accepted her friend request. However I only did this so I could look at her photos, and after looking at most them, I deleted her from my friend’s list. Yes I know I am a creep. And yes I realize the profile is probably fake and was created by a 40+ year old dude. And dammit why can’t blogger have footnotes!?!?)

As some of you may know, I am going to be attending Ball State University in this and begin my pursuit towards a college degree and actually growing up. One of the scarier aspects about Ball State is that I will not know a single soul there. (There is a positive to this also because now I have a clean slate and can be who ever I want to be and other wellness class social flowery stuff. And one last time: why can’t blogger have footnotes!?!?). Anyway, two months ago I updated my facebook profile and under the education tab, and in the subsection of college, I was finally able to type in a name there. After typing in Ball State University, I felt a weird sense of personal gratification and accomplishment (even more so then why I received my high school diploma. Weird I know, but what is even weirder is that blogger doesn’t have footnotes). However besides receiving a feeling of achievement, I received a spot in the Ball State University Class of 2015 network. While I had the opportunity to friend request those also in the network I elected not to because I don’t know anyone going there and it is really weird when you get a friend request from someone you don’t know – and especially more creepy when instead of it coming from a smokin’ hot Chinese chick it is coming from a fat white male.

Prior to making the decision to attend Ball State I had been making fun of the school and the state of Indiana. Here is one of my favorites: Did you know David Letterman is Ball State’s ONLY Alum? Another one is this: When the Ball State’s admissions staff looked over my senior schedule and saw for my history it was called ‘Social Movements’ they all said, “What’s that?” And here is the last one (WARNING: Bad joke idea): The only difference between Alabama and Indiana is that the KKK in Alabama play football, while the KKK in Indiana play basketball. So, yeah, I had been kind of making fun of the school and the state of Indiana for a while now, but now I have stopped and am even excited about attending Ball State and heading off to Indiana. And this all thanks to a friend request I received on facebook from someone I have never met and have no connection to.

A couple days after I updated my profile and entered the Ball State Class of 2015 Network, I received a friend from a girl I had never met before. For privacy reasons she will be called Jane Doe. When I received her request I didn’t know what to with it. She also was a part of the Ball State Class of 2015 Network. And while her profile was legit, I didn’t know whether to accept or decline. I thought I should decline it because I don’t know her. I also thought I should accept it because there is a possibility I do meet her next her and if I deny her request, when she sees me she could say, “Hey, you’re the dick who declined my friend request. ‘F’ you.”

While I was on the fence as to whether or not I should accept or decline her friend request, I find out the following about Jane Doe: She has four younger sisters, that I estimate range between the ages of 5 and 16. She is raised by a single mother. The father’s whereabouts are unknown. Because of this Jane takes on a handful of motherly duties while the single mother provides for the family. However Jane also provides for the family, working at Subway every day after school from 3-6. From 6:30-10pm, while her mother is working (doing God knows what at those hours), she takes care of her younger sisters and does her homework. Jane does all this, all within the confines of a trailer – yes, I forgot to mention; she lives in a trailer park. Also under her profile she has the following written, “It has been a dream of mine since I was three to attend Ball State.”

After reading Jane’s profile the following hit me: I am prick for making all those jokes about Ball State. Listen I don’t know if Jane Doe is smarter than me, for all I know she could be, but here is what I do know: I have lived a more privileged life that has guided me and my education step by step, hand by hand, grade by grade and class by class. If I needed help I could get it whenever I wanted. Jane Doe couldn’t. She needed to be home at a certain hour making sure there was food on the table to feed her little sisters. If she didn’t understand something in a class or was sick for a week, she couldn’t go to tutor. Meanwhile I could. If she wanted to take a class to prepare for the SAT, she couldn’t. Meanwhile I could. What was available to me and my education were tools, which due to money, were non-accessible to Jane Doe. And for me to be making fun of the college she has dreamed about going to since she was three makes me a horrible person, because I know for a fact Jane Doe put in more hard work to attend college than I did. Maybe not in the areas college admission people look at when accepting applicants – such as providing for your family by working at Subway – but for the amount of shit Jane Doe did and put up with, she should be going to fucking Harvard.

I never declined Jane Doe’s friend request. I also never accepted it. I still have it sitting there in my notification hub as a reminder to myself for what I have learned. Will I ever accept it? Maybe if I meet her, have a class with her or a conversation or something. That being said, I don’t plan on declining it. It will continue to sit there on mu hub as in reality a notification, but metaphorically a reminder. Because unlike the last friend request I received from someone I had never met, instead of being a fake profile made by a 40+year old pedophile pretending to be a smokin’ hot foreign exchange student in her sophomore of studying economics at Columbia University, Jane Doe is a real person who has put together my perspective on the real world in the realist way possible, that no other real profile could ever really do.

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