Frozen Kindness?

by admin on February 25, 2013

Miss Jeanne, I was abruptly faced with a decision today in class and I’m afraid I was rude. At the very least, if I wasn’t rude, I’m still feeling guilty about my on the spot choice! I’d welcome your insight and that of EHell readers.

Background:
I am currently approaching the end of the 8 week long summer session of classes that starts off my graduate program. One of the summer courses is a lecture that meets for 3-4 hours at a time in an excessively air conditioned lecture hall. It is so cold in the lecture hall that despite the 100+ degree heat we’ve been experiencing lately in my area, I wear jeans or capris to class and willingly tolerate the sweaty trek from my car to the classroom because I know that once inside, I’ll still be slightly miserable and cold in spite of my best efforts to stay warm. I always carry a jacket with me and put it on once I get inside and go from one temperature extreme to the other.

Today, one of my classmates approached me during a short lecture break and quietly told me she needed my jacket to tie around her waist to hide the fact that she had bled onto her pants at some point during the past hour of class. At this point, we still had two hours of lecture time to sit through and as usual, I was covered in goosebumps in spite of the long pants and the jacket. The request caught me off guard and at first I didn’t quite hear her or understand what she was asking. Once I did, I hesitated, and apologized/explained that I was already freezing even WITH the jacket on and I really needed it. She approached a second student who did take off the jacket she was wearing and give it to her.

I continued to wear my own jacket and nonetheless shiver through the last two hours of class, all the while feeling like I had failed my classmate and broken some sort of girl code. Was it rude of me not to lend her my jacket? I know it certainly would’ve been a kindness, and I do readily help people when I feel like I can, but I really, really didn’t want to endure two hours of intense air conditioning with bare arms! What does EHell think?   0710-12

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