Don’t ask what my hobbies are.
The start of the school year coincides with the recycling of icebreakers on the first day of class. While a delay in lecturing about Plutonian justice is appreciated by those of us who do not buy their books before the first day, there is one question that should be in the receptacle like that of “The Fault of Our Stars” in Floridian libraries: what are your hobbies?
Said question, one of many iterations, is usually the tag-along to what the professor actually wants to know: name, class and major. Yet this innocuous question activates my fight-or-flight as I forget every single thing I’ve ever done in the last 20 years on this planet. Suddenly, I am no longer a complex individual but merely a specter that bides their time by staring into the abysses.
People do not “hobby” like they used to. While my grandmother is fond of crocheting and my mom is an avid puzzle-completer, I partake in the more recent phenomena of binge-watching and “bed-rotting.” Yet, the implicit pecking order of hobbies does not admit those new developments to its upper echelons. I could say I read, write, hike or bike, but I follow Professor Umbridge’s instructions to Harry Potter that “I must not tell lies.”
Although I argue for the question’s euthanasia, I think my frustration with this inquiry is, most fundamentally, an indication that I must discover hobbies that can break the ice farther than global warming on the first day of school.