I’m kind of cheating here, since I’m pulling content from WoW.com, but I thought this column and the comments that follow it were pretty interesting. In it, the Drama Mamas discuss what to do when someone in your group says something racist or sexist or offensive in some way. The suggested strategy is a good one, boiling down to basically: 1) tell the person you find it offensive and to stop and then 2) if they don’t stop, kick them from the group and 3) report them to Blizzard. I’ve had this experience more than once. Just the other day, while we were waiting for someone to return, a guy told a racist joke, a bad racist joke. I was stunned, but didn’t say anything. The other two people said something, and one even virtually spit on him. I doubt they reported him and we continued on our way, mostly as if nothing had happened. According to both the columnists and many of the commenters, this is a pretty common reaction. You’re thinking, damn, it’s just an avatar; I don’t even know this guy. And you just let it go.
But I think the argument to call these people on their misbehavior is a good one. It probably won’t change their underlying racism or sexism, but it might make the game space a more pleasant place for those of us who are behaving ourselves.
The whole pugging experience has made me think about how and why people behave so badly among strangers. When I was growing up, I was taught to be on my *best* behavior when I was around strangers. Yes, the Internet provides a screen to hide behind, but I still have the sensation that the people might be able to figure out who I am, and I’d want them to think highly of me. It’s amazing to me that there are people who’s idea of letting their hair down involves making everyone around them uncomfortable. When the guy told that racist joke, I thought, how does he know one of us isn’t black? Or is he the kind of guy who would tell that joke even if he knew one of us was black? Really, I shouldn’t want to play with a guy like that and I should have done something more. And next time, I will.
So . . . I’m interviewing someone famous tomorrow. I won’t tell you who yet, but you’re welcome to guess in the comments. I’m kind of giddy about it. It’s right up one of my alleys in terms of the things I’m interested in. And my kids think it’s pretty cool, too.
Okay, so I wasn’t feeling that deprived by the time I got going yesterday. The weather was truly awful: pelting rain, wind gusts over 30 mph. On my way into work a few traffic lights were out, making for interesting driving. My students presented their multimedia projects first thing and they were really fun to watch. It was a great way to start the day. Then we shifted into the topic for the day when the lights went out. No power in a computer-oriented lesson is a bad thing. We spent a while discussing Google and search and I was just about to give up, when the power came back on and we were able to continue. A good thing, because I didn’t want to get too behind. The rest of the class went well, for the most part. By the time I was done, I was feeling pretty energized. I grabbed lunch and waited to go to my students’ mock lessons where I had to play, first, a 10th grade student, and next, an 8th grade student. It was fun. I admire my students for getting up in front of the class with us behaving not so well. The weather was still blustery when I started to head out. As I was doing my mental check, I realized I didn’t have my purse. I headed back into the classroom. No purse. I remembered having it in the bathroom and decided I must have left it there. Back to the bathroom. No purse. Next stop, a couple of offices where the purse might have been turned in. One office. No purse. The other office. No one there. Next stop. Security. No purse. They sent me to another building to look. Building requires ID to get in. No ID.
I blame lack of sleep. I haven’t left my purse anywhere in over 20 years. And then, it was stolen, so not really my fault. So, add to my list of crazy things I have to do today canceling all my stuff, arranging for new ID and all that jazz.
On the plus side, I have a couple of projects that are gearing up, one new, one that was on hold, but which I’m ready to dive into again, and then I got another possibility that when I have time probably tomorrow, I’m going to check into. I also have been handed a very fun thing that will happen on Thursday that I’ll tell you all about as soon as it’s done. Also, I have a conference to attend this weekend that I’m also looking forward to. So I went from not wanting to do housework to not having time to do housework. Life is truly an interesting thing.
I think much of my anxiety of late comes from a lack of sleep. This morning, I woke at 5:30 and thought, crap, it feels like I haven’t slept at all. Despite having two cups of coffee, I can feel myself dragging already. Maybe I can just blame the rainy weather. I didn’t sleep well over the weekend, either, even though I slept in until 9 on Saturday. At a party that afternoon, someone told me I looked peaked.
I am one of those people who really does need a full 8-hours of sleep every night. I can survive on 7, but it catches up with me. Less than that and I am a wreck. I don’t think it helped that I didn’t really exercise much last week, ceding that time to class prep, birthday present shopping and other stuff that seemed important at the time, but now I can’t even remember what it was.
I have a late day at work today as I’m participating in my students’ mock class this afternoon. But I am definitely going to work out this afternoon, even though I still need to fully plan out tomorrow’s class. Some of that might happen over lunch. And I can always add finishing touches this afternoon.
I think I’m also feeling the effects of my house falling into disarray. The kids and the hubby have kept the kitchen in good order, but my office–hoo-boy–there are piles of crap everyone. Also, really need to do some long term planning. People, aka, my family, are starting to ask what my summer plans are. I don’t know, people. It’s January, for God’s sake.
Right now, I’d love to be in a tropical locale with a gentle ocean breeze and a mai tai in hand.
Motherlode has a post about ways to explain the Haiti situation to kids and ways that kids and families have helped. As it turns out, Geeky Girl came home yesterday excited about a bake sale she and her friends are organizing to benefit Haiti. I think it’s a fabulous idea, even if I’ll have to spend time Saturday baking something. They’re planning to station themselves at a busy but easily stopped at intersection in the neighborhood across from the school (the area is completely residential; lemonade stands and other things pop up here all the time). All the money will be sent to an organization to benefit Haiti. Should be an interesting enterprise.
First, a political cartoon. I’ve actually gotten quite worked up about various things happening in politics these days. Here’s a post that pretty much wraps up my thoughts. Read some of the comments, too. A few days ago, I decided that our government no longer really functions the way it should. And I don’t think it in any way represents “the people.” I don’t feel like my interests are at all represented and honestly, I don’t think my counterparts’ in the other party are either. It seems to me it’s a small slice of either crazy people or corporations. The vast majority of us are basically screwed. So here’s a cartoon, which doesn’t make me feel any better, but seems right on the money (pun intended).
On the fun side, I’ve been working with animation tools for my class. And they were very fun to play around with. Here’s a little something I whipped up during class: