Tuesday, September 20, 2011

School is in session!

So started my second year at JWU, lived in my dorm for approximately 28 hours, got an apartment, immensely larger, nicer, and cheaper, quite happy with that.

Anyway, I have been busy lately with the hustle of the startup of the academic year. As usual I spend my time always barefoot. I was on the first day confronted by a janitor who told me I forgot my shoes, playfully of course, when I told him I didn't wear shoes he seemed a little shocked. I wonder why. When going into one of the buildings a kid walking behind me said dude you forgot your shoes, to which I responded, "No, I don't wear shoes."

The only really unpleasant encounter was with some short elderly professor entering the same building. Well, I was entering, she was exiting. She looked down at me and said "Do you know you don't have shoes on?" I responded with a somewhat annoyed "Yes, I don't wear shoes" She said "You cant go into a building without shoes." I of course told her "Yes I can, JWU makes no policy against it, look in the book." guess what comes next? "It's a Health Code!" I have such a hard time holding my cool when people say this to me. "THATS NOT TRUE! LOOK IT UP!" I shouted. She in disbelief shouted back "Yes it is." I at this point had been walking in and she out, so I replied with a "YOURE WRONG, LOOK IT UP!" and walked away.

People like this really get to me. It is not her fault for being clueless. It really isn't. Most people think it is a Health Code. But every day I inform at least one person that it isn't, and that one at a time spread will hopefully achieve the slogan that adorns some of my cards: "BRING DOWN THE MYTH!"

Yesterday when spending time with my disabled Vietnam veteran friend, he asked me to get him an iced coffee at Duncan Donuts, I of course obliged. When I walked into the very narrow establishment, I passed several people staring in disgust/astonishment. I got to the counter, ordered what I needed to order as a very loud woman comes out of the back out of uniform (Off for the day I assume) and stands behind me for a few seconds, and yells "No shirt, No shoes, NO SERVICE!" I told her you have no sign on the door, she replied with a "NO!" which really didn't make much sense...? The woman behind the counter said "Oh you have no shoes on?" "To which I responded "Yeah, I never wear shoes, for my back." At that point another woman from behind the counter turned around and said "Are you that boy from last year with the skateboard?" I knew that I was the person she was referring to, I informed her that it was me last year, and she said to the louder woman "Yeah he never wears shoes even in the winter." the loud woman asked me the typical am I afraid of foot fungus, or athletes foot, I asked her if she knew how fungus worked. I explained how shoes form an incubator, and she cut me off halfway through saying she only made it to 11th grade. I didn't understand what she said the first time, I started explaining some simple physics, and she said "I DONT KNOW, I only made it to the 11th grade!" The woman behind the counter asked how I didn't get cold. I told her we are designed to walk barefoot, at that point one of the people behind the counter said "Well I'm designed to walk in these *click click click* high heels." I responded "No you're not, do you have any idea how much damage those cause your feet? She said "Yeah yeah I know." I paid for the coffee, walked out, and that has been my year so far in the barefoot related category.

Oh! one more thing, I found very interesting. My roommate, both are Chinese, one them asked me "Why don't you use shoes." and from then on said "You don't use shoes" or "He doesn't use shoes." I found this very interesting that she always said "use shoes" not "wear shoes." Almost as if the shoes were something like a drug. What do you shoe users out there think? Drug? Shoes do share a lot of the characteristics as well as tendencies to cause addiction/dependence.
Food for thought.

Barefooting is easy
Barefooting is good for you
Barefooting is NOT illegal
Join the revolution

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  1. I went barefoot a lot during college, both as an undergrad and as a grad student, and nobody had a problem with it at all. In fact, it was not all that unusual. This was at UNC-Asheville and later at the University of Virginia, and it wasn't in the sixties either; it was in the late 1980s! I went barefoot to class, in the library, in the dining hall, and so did other people, especially guys. And, it was not just hippies or countercultural types, either. Plenty of preppy guys and frat boys went barefoot to class and around campus generally. Nobody cared. Nobody said anything. Then, as now, there was no policy or law against it. I'm especially surprised that a professor would confront you. That would have been unthinkable in my experience, where professors were uniformly liberal and open to self-expression that broke outside the boundaries of the conventional. In fact, they prided themselves on it. If they had prohibited bare feet in class when I was in college, it would have emptied out the Literature and Music departments, not to mention decreasing the population of several others! What a shame that we have gone backwards in so many ways in this country. (Admittedly, there is some regionalism going on here as well; my experience is that the urban areas of New England and the Northeast generally, are incredibly aggressive and uptight, and that obviously is another reason that you experience problems that I did not).

  2. And I just remembered something else from my 1980s barefoot college days. My roommate for two years was a guy that was something of a human incarnation of the Shaggy character from the Scooby-Doo cartoons. His name was Adam, and he really did look like Shaggy, tall and lean and scruffy, and he had huge feet (must have been size 12). He went barefoot most of the time and he was proud of it too! In response to anyone who drew attention jokingly to his barefoot state, he used to lift up his somewhat grungy dogs, wiggle his toes, and say "Bare 'em and share 'em!" Haha! Good times!

  3. I've been following your blog, but never commented. I thought you might like this: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/codes/ It's a county government website with links to health codes throughout the state... One of the links says this (I added *** to make the good part stand out):

    Food Establishments-
    These regulations govern the construction and operation of food establishments. Learn what is necessary to open a restaurant and what the health department looks for during an inspection ***(and no, you won't find a requirement for customers to wear shirts and shoes)***. Including Sanitary Regulations for Hotels CHAPTER 431.