A Sanctuary for Misfits

August 18, 2008
The legacy of round tables began with King Arthur’s court. According to legend, Arthur designed his Round Table to prevent disorder in his court. At rectangular tables, someone sits at the head of the table, giving them precedence over the others seated at the table. As a result, fights would occur and jealousy abounded. At a round table, however, each person feels equal. No one person feels excluded or separated from the others.

Like King Arthur, my table has a circular shape, preventing any person seated at my table from feeling slighted. A rectangular table inevitably causes a divide among people: some feel elevated in status; some feel removed from the conversation. A round table cures this dilemma, as each person sits next to another. The positive vibes inspired by the shape create a sanctuary for those seated at the table.

A safe haven for all, my table, meaning those seated there, accepts the unique personalities of all visitors. I consider every person seated at my table a friend, whether I know them well or not. I, as well as the rest of my table, accept them for who they are. Each person possesses a unique personality, and often differing opinions. In spite of those differences, tolerance prevails. The diversity of my friends’ interests never ceases to amaze me: academics, music, dance, theatre, Anime, history, art, computers. I exclude no one from my table, allowing members of all races, genders, sexual orientation, intelligence levels, ages, and religions to commingle as long as they, too, accept the other members of the table. Though a wide spread inhabits my table, many of the people drawn to my table possess high levels of intelligence. They seem to be naturally drawn to my table; I suppose we all think quite alike, drawing us together.

My table strives to better society. Though some may view our table as a bunch of misfits, our table consists of accepting people with a common goal to better society by acting unique. We strive to stand out from the crowd in as many ways as possible. We differ in our way of dress; many of us have exceptionally high grades. We discuss any topic that transpires at my table. Whether trivial or of great importance, every word uttered earns the respect deserved. Laughter, we understand, breeds happiness. To prevent the stress of everyday life, we strive to laugh as often as possible, even in the midst of the causes of our stress. We help each other survive the hardest of days, knowing that they will return the favor. The existence of my table has acted as a lifesaver many times this year. During my high stress periods, such as AP tests, ACTs, tech weeks and show weeks, finals, and drama between people, I have found my niche at my table. Always there to offer me comfort, my table allows me to get through the day. I can discuss my problems, receive feedback, and just laugh.

Inspirations for projects of many types originate at my table. At my table, a few regulars helped to organize my school’s Day of Silence. Ideas for a GSA dance and other stimuli for gay rights volleyed across the table. Another member of the table gathered a crowd for an Arlington Heights community fundraiser at the local bowling alley. Ideas constantly flow from person to person on how to better our school, ourselves, and our community. While the majority of our ideas may never come into play, we still created the ideas, and some other person joining our table later, or even an innocent passerby, may hear and put our idea into play. Our discussions around our table have inspired more trivial ideas as well. Stories, plays, poems, songs, and art created by the members of my table have stemmed from our discussions, and the unique attitudes of our tablemates.

My round table inspires a democratic attitude. For the people who would generally fit under the category of “nerd” or “geek” or “freak” or any general form of “outcast,” my table acts as a sanctuary: a sanctuary for misfits. For now, our table allows us to get through our days. In the future the table may enable us to better the world: someday we will actually implement our plethora of ideas. For now, we can laugh, joke, and make the world a merrier place.

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