Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Post is All Over the Place...

Just a few random thoughts that I'm putting down here. 
  • The class for next term is Advanced Web Graphic Design. I'm a little nervous because I haven't been practicing very much and I'm afraid I'm going to have to relearn everything that I had learned before. (Which doesn't feel like very much, generally speaking.)
  • It occurs to me that while there is a great deal of information on avoiding "toxic people" there is much less online information on what you're supposed to do if you're the one with toxic personality traits. (I suppose the reasoning is that the toxic person will eventually figure it out when everyone they know deserts them.) It also occurs to me that you might have learned toxic behaviors as a result of having a toxic person in your life.
  • I am still extremely cranky about certain individuals (including myself) in my intro to sociology class. Still burned by the argument about feminism. Basically, the class definition of "feminist" was 'scary activist person' and they were not prepared by my definition of feminist as 'someone who believes in equality and women's rights.' Of course, I didn't define my terms in a suitably coherent manner and I ended up having to apologize for hurting everyone's feelings.      
  • I'll admit that a lot of my crankiness about the class is because of the person who was someone who had also been in my class at the Really Bad School. I know that she most likely didn't say anything about me to the other class members but I have no idea of whether she did or not. No, I don't expect someone who had managed to make a career for herself after being at the Really Bad School to actually be professional. I pretty much soured to everyone in the class because of her which was a shame since I liked the teacher. Why yes, I am kind of paranoid, why do you ask
  • This is something I've been thinking about off and one for years since I've read the book The Games People Play. First, while I do recognize some of the defense mechanisms and behavior patterns, I despise the victim blaming aspects of the book. I also hate the titles and the concept because generally speaking, GAME implies an activity that SOMEONE IS DOING ON PURPOSE. 
Random songs which are awesome:

Some songs that have turned up on my iTunes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My School Socio-Autobiography

This was my final assignment for my Sociology class. We had to write a paper about events in our lives that influenced our school experience.What I wrote was about my previous attempts at going into college and how I ended up going to DeVry.I got an A for this assignment, though I feel that it still needed/needs a lot of work. The sociological themes I addressed are pretty much all over the place. I do include some references to what I feel are examples of entrenched sexism, and I think I have an overall "conflict theory" basis for a lot of the paper. I'm posting this here primarily as a frame of  reference for any future school-related stories that I tell.

My previous attempts at going to school were generally very brief and largely unsuccessful. Initially, I had not actually wanted to go college because I had not felt there was anything I was really interested in doing that would earn enough money to live on. My school experience up to that point had been extremely bad. I had been in special education for most of grade school and junior high, plus one year of high school. Most of my school experience involved avoiding bullies and being in high stress situations and getting in trouble at school and at home.  I did not want to have to deal with even more school, where I anticipated more of the same. I encountered a great deal of pressure from my family to go to school, even though we were a lower income family and my parents had made no attempt at *saving for college for any of us.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dealing with Dysfunction in Your Family

While it is very true that no family is perfect and there will always be problems of one kind or another, it is also true that some families are even less perfect. The hardest part of dealing with dysfunctional situations is first handling your own reactions to that situation and the various issues surrounding it. While I do have some experience with family problems (due to being the center of the problem more often than not) I am not a counselor or therapist, so consider your own situation carefully before acting on any of my advice and (if you have one) talk to your therapist.

First, there is no "typical" dysfunctional family. A dysfunctional family might be physically or emotionally abusive; it might be one where the parents are extremely neglectful. It might be a family with very rigid rules and expectations. It might be a family where there are family members with a history of mental illness such as clinical depression. What makes a dysfunctional family dysfunctional is that the relationships between family members create more emotional and mental harm than good. 

Read the rest of this article at Associated Content

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who are You Again?

I have a chronically bad memory for names and only a limited ability to attach names to faces. People I don’t know or don’t know well tend to be faceless and almost completely interchangeable with any other person until I’ve interacted with them long enough that they are distinguishable. This is a problem that has followed me throughout my school and work experience. I also have almost no talent with small talk, which in general, has made most of my social experiences highly unpredictable at best.

As an example, throughout my early school experience I was a very isolated person who very seldom interacted with others. I had only a small group of friends and people I interacted with only because I was in a class where we had to share a desk. Most of my interactions outside of this group of friends was mostly hostile because I had inadvertently given offense or because I had done something terminally awkward or stupid.  (This was a very frequent occurrence all throughout everything. If there is something ridiculous or incorrect to say, chances are very good I will be the one who says it. This is one of the reasons why I do not talk.)

So, I’d be extremely surprised several years after the fact when someone who had apparently known me from school would come up to me and say hello. They would generally become upset if I told them I did not remember them, and would go to great lengths to try to make me remember them. I still have no idea why, since they had never spoken to me back then, and had no reason to speak to me at the time.

The conversations would go something like this:

Them: Oh, hi, Rena!

Me: ...do I know you?

Them: I’m so and so! We went to school together!

Me: ...I don’t know you, sorry.

Them: But I sat right next to you in class!

Me: ...I don’t remember you.

Them: But I was in the same class with you, don’t you remember the time that blah blah blah?

Me: ...Sorry, I still don’t know you, I don’t remember much of high school, I have stuff to do, bye!

And I would walk away with the vague conviction that I had done something wrong with the conversation. Some of the more awkward conversations would happen at somewhere I was working. Occasionally the encounter would be terminally unpleasant because I did recognize them...as someone who had been extremely hostile to me for one reason or another. Sometimes they would not realize that I was still angry with them about something they did and sometimes they did not remember what they had done. Very rarely, they wanted to take the opportunity to continue the abuse in an environment where I had even less ability to fight back or avoid them.

I’d like to think I am better at this now, but I have no way to test this, as I haven’t had any encounters where someone admitted to remembering me from school in years. (Not even the most recent case where I recognized someone from a college I had attended years and years ago during the nineties. I’m pretty sure she remembered me, as she promptly withdrew from the class--which was something of a relief for me, frankly, since this encounter would have been one of the hostile ones since that first college experience was a horrifically nightmarish.) Given that I still have the same inability to make small talk and am still very solitary in lots of ways, I think it’s a safe bet that the conversation will probably go a lot like the one above.   

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Work History

This is a general overview of my work experience. I've had very few jobs up to now, and until the past few years I was generally able to get a new job quickly. This changed in 2009 when I was laid off due to lack of work from a small electronic parts shop. Some of the work history I'm listing here is for a frame of reference for some of my work stories.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ask a Question, Get no Answer (and other General Communication Failures)

There are apparently questions that do not warrant answers because they are actually hostile requests to leave you alone. There are questions where either answer will get you in in huge trouble so you might as well pick the answer that you think is funny. There are apparently statements and requests that are so insulting the person you make the statement to is allowed to make a much larger dramatic deal of it than the statement or request warrants.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Choctaw Bingo

This is one of my favorite songs, appropo of absolutely nothing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random Thoughts...

I almost wish I had started this blog back in 2009 when I started A Wicked Convergence of Circumstances. I could have used this journal to rant about school and the like. Of course, I could simply import all of my school posts from my main journal, but that wouldn't really be the same.

(In fact, I probably will be importing certain posts from that journal to here. Mostly because some of them are kind of funny.)

I am very close to completing the web design program, and I'm currently floundering around wondering what I'm going to do next, and If I'll be able to get a job. I don't have a lot of confidence about my design abilities, since the basic skill sets are things that take me a long time to learn and master.

In other news vaguely related to this, I really, really can't stand google sites templates. It would be easier if I could make my own damn pages instead of using Google's WYSIWYG interface. (The blogger design interface is much easier to organize, though I don't really like that either.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Short List of Annoying People

I may or may not have managed to get twice my share of people who have either bullied or annoyed me. The meme that “if you’re having so much trouble, it must be you who is causing the trouble,” may or may not apply here. I know I am undoubtedly on the “List of Annoying People” of a lot of the people I have met, so I’m writing this list with a great sense of embarrassment. Names have been changed to distract the oblivious.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Short Rant Due to a Phrase

One of the discussion questions in the class shell concerned feminism. This was the question:

The book defines sexism as the belief that one gender is superior to the other. How does sexism of the 21st Century differ from the sexism of the 20th Century? What strides have been made to bridge the gender gap? What are the contemporary issues that reflect sexist behavior, attitudes or actions? Feel free to cite examples from work ,the military and school.
Somehow, this was railroaded into a discussion about how none of three other women classmates who responded were feminists and how feminine gender roles were Very Important. Everyone seemed to agree that equality was okay, but no one wanted to be a feminist because they didn't think it was worth it to work toward equal rights. (But of course, Females Needed to Be Kept in Their Place because Female Gender Roles are Important) Needless to say, I found the discussion very, very frustrating.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Ad Sense is Silly

For some reason, I'm getting a lot of Christian themed ads. I have no idea why, but it's slightly amusing, considering.