He originally signed up for 18 hours of classes (something I thought was NOT a good idea) to make up for the previous term where he only took 12 hours (something I thought was NOT a good idea). However he decided to drop a course because he thought he would have trouble getting everything done. He is taking a creative writing course and that's the one he seems most excited about (or at least that's the one he talks to me about). They read a Hemingway short story the other day, which he really liked (I HATE Hemingway). Now he has his first story to write for next week. He is also taking Spanish, which was the bane of both of our existences when he was in high school. Luckily it seems fairly familiar to him now.
He found a job, running food at a local pub. He started on Friday but then got a call for a second interview at a country club. At the country club he would be serving at events--which is what he did in his last job and what he prefers. I've actually heard from him several times this week because he needed to discuss pros and cons of each job and figure out how to extrapolate himself from the pub job, should the country club become an offer. Angel is very loyal and hates the thought of quitting right after he's agreed to work there.
Probably the strangest bit of news I heard from him this week is that he has a reputation of being a d**chebag among his friends. It seems my son has developed an attitude. Now this may sound like a problem, but it seems that his friends prefer him this way and when he's not coping an attitude with them they ask him what's wrong. Angel was ALWAYS the gentle soul; the kind friend; the team player. It seems that he took too much abuse from his friends the first semester of freshman year so he started developing this other persona. He feels its working for him.
I know young adulthood is about trying on different personas and exercising different aspects of your personality. I also know that he'll probably experiment with a lot of behaviors I haven't seen at all or much of before. And while I'm not worried about him becoming this way permanently (actually I'm impressed that he recognizes what he's doing) I do think it speaks to the rigidity of masculine norms. I find it distressing in general that kind and caring young men don't fit in and that they need to act like jerks to be liked and respected. I can only hope that in time he realizes he doesn't like being this way and that popularity is not worth the act.
It took me many years to learn to surround myself with people who bring out the parts of me that I cherish and avoid the people who bring out the worst in me. I can only hope he comes to the same revelation.