Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Too tall for comfort

Published: November 3, 2006
Section: Opinions

Discriminated against in all realms of life from the academic arena to governmental facilities. Inundated with the same senseless jokes and comments that show no creativity or originality. Constantly made aware of a physical difference when attempting as much as possible to lead a normal life. Pain, prejudice, bias and so many other consequences are hurled at me for my vertically excelled stature!
I know what youre thinking. You probably believe that being tall is a gift and provides many advantages in life. One might even state that they wished they were tall and given this advantage they would be able to compete in the NBA. Well, youve just fallen into just one of the annoying effects that above-average height poses! Those nagging questions, the bland remarks, the rehearsed responses, it is all part of this wretched difference that is supposed to be a blessing!

Well, first I might introduce myself so that my dear readers can gain a better understanding of the persistent woe that I constantly face. My name is Jordan Rothman and I am six feet nine inches tall. Though I am in about 16 clubs, two seasons of Varsity sports, and pop up all around campus, you probably know me as the person who is six feet nine inches tall. Though I am proud of many personality attributes and accomplishments, all I seem to be remembered as is the person who is six foot nine inches tall. Ever since I was young I have been above-average height, and have learned the hard way what a plight I face. I grew out of light-up shoes way too early;

I looked like the tall chipmunk by my Bar Mitzvah, and had many other adversities. All throughout this struggle finding clothes, accommodations, and even a dance partner is a constant struggle (maybe this last problem was an advantage at the nudey dance!).

I am willing to admit that there are certain advantages that come with being tall. Of course, everyone seems to recognize me and notice me in a crowd. My height provides an easy way to meet new people and start a conversation with even the most distant strangers. But these advantages easily turn sour as I am constantly bombarded, by even the closest of friends, by comments, jokes, and questions about my height. Yes my parents are tall, no my brothers are not, and no, Big and Tall is not where I shop, you need to be both BIG and TALL! Other people would say that my height gives me advantages in athletic competitions and doing other daily routines. But look at me, I am a goofy guy and I do not play basketball! Furthermore, the advantage I get from my height in track is only enough to elevate me out of the goofy abyss and into the realm of scrubbiness in the high jump! You cant even understand how many comments I get about the basketball thing, it is horrible!
The nicknames, the jokes, and all the negative things that are associated with advanced height are unbelievable. Furthermore, the sheer discrimination is horrendous. I am not claiming to have a serious disability, but sometimes I just want to be able to look myself in the mirror and love the person I am. This is highly problematic when most of the mirrors I have ever encountered are too short! Furthermore, doors, desks, and other simple facilities are difficult to negotiate with my big stature. One time I ran headfirst into a doorframe that was too low (Thank god my goofy snow cap saved me!). I have scored lower tests results because of cramped testing conditions, and all the time, when I go from the first floor study area in the Shapiro Campus Center and use the stairs to go up, I hit my head on the suspended light. All the time! Can someone please look into removing that fixture;

its dangerous to us of advance stature!

I only wish that someone could just walk around in my shoes for a day, though I know none of you will fit in them! Brandeis specifically poses more problems for me and the half dozen or so obnoxiously tall people enrolled here even more so than the outside world. Not only do I have hard a time finding women *cough* but I stick out like black sheep among the throngs of shorter students. Well, I guess Ill have to put on a smile and accept the comments, accommodations, and questions with a positive outlook. But dont even inquire if all of the parts of my body are proportional, thatll have to remain a mystery to all.