What was the most recent situation that made you feel uncomfortable?

You mean besides everything, ’cause anxiety?

What was the most physical pain you felt this year?

Car accidents are bad. 0/5 stars. Do not recommend.

What was the last thing you celebrated?

My grandpa’s birthday. Before that, my birthday (with POPPLE CAKE!!!!…not this fancy, though), my brother’s birthday, and my grandma’s 95th birthday. Yay birthdays!

Who would you want to talk to that’s dead? What would it be?

What would what be? The dead person? Let’s assume this is supposed to ask what the conversation would be about…Well, I think hanging out with Mr. Rogers would be super duper awesome. We’d talk about EVERYTHING. ‘Cause he’s Mr. Rogers. My grandpa would also be on the list. We’d talk about everything, ’cause he’s grandpa. (Not grandpa who’s birthday was previously mentioned.)

I think a party with Mr. Rogers, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, LeVar Burton, Sir Patrick Stewart, and Malala Yousafzai (plus me, of course) would be lovely. Since Mr. Rogers is the only one of them not still alive, we could all watch his show together to include him. It seems totally possible.



What the World Needs Now

Oh hey, internet. I’ve time to type, so I’m going to do another one of those journaly question things today. But, when you read this, it won’t be today anymore ’cause I’ll schedule it to post on a different today. Cool, eh?

What is the most touching thing you’ve seen lately?

The first thing that comes to mind for this happened a week or two ago after one of my story telling sessions. While we were setting up the story for others to see, one new little boy (3 years old) was waiting his turn to place his part of the story and a little girl who was new last year (almost 6 years old) started talking to him. They walked around a bit, and he found a picture of his family on a poster. He pointed to it and told her who was in the picture, and she held his hand and listened, occasionally saying little comments to encourage him to keep talking (even though she couldn’t understand all of his words–she asked me for clarification). Then, she made sure he put his story piece down when it was time and made sure he would get back to his family alright.

If you could take home a zoo animal, what would it be?

Ignoring any practicality or legality or safety or other issues, I’ve thought about penguin kidnapping. I’ve been to a zoo that has an open, above-ground penguin space. It would be so easy to stick a net in and catch one! Mr. Popper’s Penguins may also have influenced the idea. Fennec foxes, polar bears, red pandas, binterongs, moose, skunk…things that aren’t mammals…lots of neat animals at the zoo. None really good for taking home.

When did you last prove someone wrong?

Maybe not the last time, but the most interesting was sometime within the last couple of months on Facebook. One of my friends (actually, the boyfriend of a friend) posted some photo meme about race and violence and stuff like that. It posed the question “What am I missing?” about why black people rioting is okay or some stupid thing like that. I answered the question with facts, including “It’s not okay. Nobody’s saying it is.” He, and a few super rude friends of his who’ve never met or talked to me before, took that as a reason to attack me and lob insults like “Your a stupid liberal” and “Go to your safe space” and “Go away little girl” and other things like that. You know the type. Well, I left the conversation, but they kept attacking me and asking me questions. I eventually responded. After quite a while, he said something that was basically condemning what he and they had done to me, but he thought he was just insulting me/people like me, and also said he was always attacked for his opinion on Facebook when clearly the opposite was happening. I pointed that out and said something about hoping, if they got anything out of this, they’d at least realize we all have more in common than they think. I also said something about safe spaces not being an insult but I’m voluntarily participating in a super insulting and disagreeing space and they were the ones trying to get rid of any feelings/ideas they didn’t like (which isn’t what a safe space is anyway). His friends attacked once more, and he actually stepped in and said something like, “Guys, she’s right. She’s been nothing but polite and truthful here. It’s time to stop.” The others made a few more posts, but then gave up. I haven’t seen a post quite that bad from him since (though I don’t actually check his page).



Worth a Try for this Young One

I have an app on my phone that’s supposed to be a journal made easy. It poses a question every day. In theory, I write an answer, and have my responses saved for whatever purpose whenever I want them, plus journaling is generally healthy. But, of course, that’s not what actually happens. So, I had an idea. In an effort to actually write here more often and with more purpose (or maybe not), I’ll use those questions/answers for blogginess. Feel free to comment on my answers or add your own.

Have you ever felt discriminated against?

I’ve definitely encountered (usually) subtle/unintentional but definite discrimination based on my age, especially from people just a smidge older than my parents. Most of it is along the lines of me giving an idea, suggestion, opinion, etc. and having that totally ignored/dismissed (even when it’s specifically asked for)…often, this is followed by the same person either using the idea as their own later or taking the same comment seriously when it comes from someone older (even when I have as much or more relevant knowledge/experience as the older person).

One odd (to me) example was two women in their mid 60s-early 70s. They were telling a group we’re all part of about how they wanted to start a Qigong group for exercise. Somebody asked what the word meant. They didn’t know. I explained something about it being about Qi/Chi…and they interrupted/shut me down with “No, it’s not. It’s spelled differently.” Then went on telling more things that weren’t entirely true. If we’re going to engage in cultural appropriation, let’s at least know the most basic definition of a thing, okay? It’s not hard; I mean, two seconds on Google or a few minutes at a local library would give you that much. Also, transcription, transliteration, and translation are full of such things. Multiple spellings for a word is not a new concept (even just within English…unless colour doesn’t mean the same as color).

They’re probably the two people who do this to me the most. They also talk about me as if I’m not good enough to have any sort of opinion or leadership role when they think I can’t hear them (“She really needs to learn better” and “Who does she think she is?” and actually something like “She’s too young to be here”; please note I barely talk to them or anyone else unless approached, because anxiety, so it’s not like I’m running around giving everyone unwanted suggestions or demanding control or anything like that…they do that, though. Who do they think they are? They really need to learn better.). When those comments were made, I was less than 15 feet away, directly opposite them after a meeting, in an otherwise empty and silent room, and their volume was like that of little kids who haven’t quite learned how to whisper yet but really want to, like they were trying to be secretive but really not succeeding. I guess being young has some advantages when it comes to hearing and being nice. (Not really, obviously they’re not representative of all or most people their age. I know this is a them thing and not a their age thing. Actually, I have a lot of friends close to their age. They think I’m pretty cool, and I think they’re pretty cool. Because we’re nice people who don’t think a person’s value is based on how long they’ve been alive. But it would be a comment I’d make to them if I thought they’d get it.)

Similarly, but also with a bit of discrimination based on preferences due in part to mental illness and also possibly a bit about gender in a weird way, one of those women apparently hates that email is a form of communication (at least when used by young women she’s perhaps a bit intimidated by).
She actually made a meeting with two supervisor-type people and me to complain about how I sent her an email with a few questions. (I had gone to one of them, a woman a bit younger than this main character, because of the dismissive and insulting response I got from her; main character demanded the additional mediator, an older man, and the meeting in general, so that she could…get me in trouble? Validate her treatment of me? Pretend she’s always right? Pretend I’m never right? Cover up her actual mistakes that she eventually admitted to but still didn’t want to correct?).
I see her at most once a week, and the questions needed to be addressed right away. I wrote succinctly and politely, even complimenting her and clearly stating “I don’t think this is a problem” for one part (“…but it is different from how we’ve done it in the past, so we need to make sure everyone knows ahead of time.”).

She decided I was saying she wasn’t good at anything and should just give up on everything. She said that in front of the supervisors in response to something I said that was not even about her, but a general statement about programs that are developmentally appropriate being a good thing that we have going. Apparently, she didn’t know what “developmentally appropriate” meant and thought it was some subjective thing I was saying we didn’t have because of her? (Also, I’d never tell anyone that they’re not good at anything, because it’s really stupid and against all my philosophies for life, but whatever.)
Eventually, they convinced her that I might have some good ideas because I do indeed have  relevant knowledge and experience and training and education, and she, in an obviously insincere manner, asked for an idea for an upcoming event. I gave one. The supervisors liked it. She said she’d do it. She didn’t. She didn’t even pretend, and, surprise, the event didn’t go very well because it was poorly designed for the target group. I ended up leading a few spontaneous activities because it was basically over after five minutes…and there were over 30 minutes left. I wonder what might have helped avoid that? Or what could have helped make the next similar event not a repeat of those problems? She saw all that, and actually acknowledged that it was good I knew what to do then…but didn’t seem to be able to apply that realization to anything else.
Yet I was the one “in trouble” at the end of the meeting and told to change. Apparently type is not something people can understand. (Because books haven’t been a thing for centuries?) I was told that I should only communicate with anyone there through face to face talking, except maybe for specific scheduling (which the original email was, so…?).

Way to totally ignore a whole bunch of neurodiversity and mental illness issues (plus general comfort, productivity, and practicality). Thanks. (Yes, the psych part is known to the male supervisor. He just doesn’t seem to get it. He also uses email and writes newsletters frequently. So…?) (Now, there’s a new supervisory type person who is a man close to her age and who prefers email/other text-based communication for efficiency and later reference. He also values my knowledge and experience. Ha!…well, the fact that he types doesn’t seem to bother her, only if I or one of the few other women under 40 do it. *Sigh*)

There was also the time, with the male supervisor-type and a group of adults of various ages during planning for hiring that new guy, when another similarly dispositioned woman said something about how we’d obviously need to hire someone just out of college for the job (with other comments about age and gender, and totally ignoring that college can happen at any point in a person’s life after high school, not just at 18-23). I said I didn’t think that mattered (because age isn’t a good requirement for a job? Isn’t that obvious?), and supervisor man plus a couple others expressed surprise that I would say that…because I’ve only been out of college for a few years so obviously I must think that matters?
Part of the job involved working with kids and teens, but a lot is also with parents and adults in general. Some of the people there seemed to be under the impression that kids and especially teens would not like or respect anyone “old” even though they had absolutely no evidence for that. Most of the “favorite teachers” I know, who work with kids and teens every day, are not just a few years older than their students (though some are, because…kids don’t care!). We ended up with a man in his late 50s (I think), which is probably good because some of them seem to actually have the opposite problem they thought the kids might (but don’t, because duh). Adults these days…*shakes head*

Well, that’s enough for now, I think. Hope that wasn’t too bitter and/or snarky and/or full of punctuation marks for you.

Oh, also, people discriminate against sheep all the time. Buildings and all the rest of society are almost never ungulate-friendly. Please check your privilege.