Over-participation (rant, sorry)

Irina Rempt ira at rempt.xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 15 17:10:30 EST 2000

Found this in my postponed-messages folder and decided to send it
after all. It's just more ranting, no need to read it :-)

On Mon, 10 Jan 2000, Jacob Proffitt wrote:

> On Mon, 10 Jan 2000 23:09:31 +0100 (CET), Irina Rempt wrote:
> >And how do I face her next week when term starts again? Do I just
> >keep silent, hiding the fact that I know and understand things? When
> >I ask a question I'm not showing off, I genuinely want to know;
> >should I ask stupid questions?
> My approach to situations like that is to be as kind and understanding as
> possible, but to let her work out her own hang ups.  If you hold back
> yourself, you deny who and what you are.  You may also hold back an insight
> that is needed by another in the class (even the teacher).

That might be the answer (she's a veritable model of kindness and
understanding herself, yecch), but it would probably use up all of my
energy that I desperately need to get some learning done. You may
have noticed that I wrote that there are only two people there who
know what it's all about, and the other one isn't the teacher :-(

Anyway, next time we have a different teacher and I know that *he*
doesn't disapprove of independent thinking.

And Elise wrote:

> I know exactly what you mean and I say -- Dare!  Think of yourself
> - swashbuckling across the endless sea of Thought, swinging from
> the mizzenmast of intellect, brandishing your rapier wit, boldly
> asking questions no one has dared ask before! 

And make enemies left and right? No, thanks. I'd rather be
over-cautious, at least for the present. I want to *finish* that
course, and *then* I'll be able to be fully myself again. I have a
lot of experience with mimicry that I can make use of without losing
myself altogether.

That said, I'm trying to teach my gifted eldest daughter to speak up
and be what she is without putting on the drab cloak - hope that she
doesn't get into the habit the way I did as a child, so she'll be
able to swashbuckle across the endless sea of Thought without taking
notice of people's disdainful stares.

>   Ugh.  Did you read DWJ's autobio (I think it was that) where she
> talks about her parents generation having No Imagination?

Yes. Ugh indeed. But this woman is roughly of my generation (and
DWJ's), in her early fifties, and she should rightly be among those
with excess imagination. I was too young to "be there" in the late
sixties (ten in 1968), but she must have been a *teenager*. I wonder
how she got that way - "she got religion" might be the answer, but so
did I and it never spoiled me.

> Oftentimes (well, in my experience) a person is made to feel
> inconsiderate for really going for it more enthusiastically than
> the rest of a group. So then the chastened one hangs back and tries
> to make the others feel comfortable - and that person's focus has
> completely changed, has it not? Instead of enjoying themselves and
> focusing on their endeavor, it's all group politics suddenly and
> whatever was initially to be gained falls by the wayside. I've done
> this about a million times. I so sympathize with your position.

You are *so* right. That's exactly how it feels.

> What about thinking of it a bit differently ----> by doing what you
> want you are *helping* them.

Tried and failed, already. If they resent it, it's not helping but

> Say what you want, ask what you want and find out all you want.
> It's your time (and money, if you have to pay) and you aren't
> hurting anyone. They will survive being occasionally less placid :D

Well, in my black moods I think I *am* hurting them - I'm stealing
their thunder (not that they have any, but I'm taking away any
opportunity they might want) and taking away their spotlight time. I
was brought up to take up as little room as possible, and I'm only
now beginning to learn that I don't have to take myself away if
there's but one person who could possibly object to my presence.
(I've been known not to board a bus because it was full - not because
I thought there would be no room for me, but because I thought
everybody else had more right than me to be on that bus purely by
virtue of being other people).


            Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.
irina at rempt.xs4all.nl (myself) - http://valdyas.conlang.org (Valdyas)
        http://www.xs4all.nl/~bsarempt/irina/index.html (home)

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list