Doc’s Getting to Know You Meme

30 07 2007

Doc found a blog meme where the questions (not just answers) differ for each person.

So as Doc said, don’t be shy!

The Rules of the Meme:
1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like [the food you hate most in all the world]. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your [blog] with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

Here are Doc’s questions to me and my answers:

1. Why are strong willed females mistaken for men online?
Maybe it’s not will, so much as our style and interests that create that impression? Or maybe it really doesn’t happen except to Doc and me!

2. Are you a HP fan?
Bigtime and from the beginning, almost as its own meme — power of story for every occasion.

3. How much time do you spend online a day?
That’s like asking how much time I spend reading or thinking per day. No technology in the bedrooms but we have three networked computers in the common rooms of the house.The kids are old enough to be online too, and Favorite Daughter is an omnivorous reader/writer/blogger in her own right. So as a family, we’re always online in the sense that it’s become part of how we interact with each other and with ideas, events, knowledge. We’re not “just” online though.

From following Red Sox baseball without tv to reading newspapers and magazines, to learning why lobsters wear their eggs and whether there’s a southern borealis, to who Angelina Jolie’s mother is if Jon Voigt is her father, to what time that new movie starts and how it’s been reviewed, we ebb and flow around online access and laugh at ourselves for missing it when we’re out, and can’t get immediate gratification.

More than once Favorite Daughter has speed-dialed her cell phone to reach a friend online somewhere, to get us the answer to something we’ve just thought of, like which author or actor or director did so-and-so.

My professor dad did his thinking and writing on yellow legal pads with a pen and his terrible handwriting, and lots of revisionist scratch-outs, whether he was doing our taxes or writing a textbook, or just listing pros and cons for some family decision. So that’s how I learned to think and write too, first notebook paper and then a yellow pad at my elbow both at home and at work. Then I’d type it all out from the handwritten version, on my old manual when I was in school, and in my professional life secretaries would type it up for me like they did for my dad, and I’d make editorial revision marks all over it, and we’d go back and forth in hard copy. It took me years of not believing it was possible, to finally develop the same affinity and facility with word processing that I had with a pen and pad (though he never did.)  Now the kids have pushed me to this next level, interconnectivity in real time, for which I am SO grateful, and I can’t imagine going back, ever “going dark” again.

4. How much time on the phone?
Not counting solicitors? Almost none. Which is funny, because I vividly remember my mom in the early years when she was either on the phone, polishing something or playing bridge — and then the about-face when she went to grad school and became a university administrator (never home to BE on the phone at all but neither was I)

Oh, maybe you didn’t mean just the land line? Counting cellphones, I stay connected to DH and the kids by cellphone the same way we stay connected online, can’t imagine going dark. It’s part of who we are as a family, how close we are and how we are in the world now. It makes me wonder what will be in 20 more years that I can’t conceive of today . . . it’s not how much we actually say that’s meaningful to me but that we are connected even when we’re not talking. That benefit is constant and important to me.

5. Aside from the library, and the Internet, what’s the ultimate homeschooling resource?

Wow, a worthy question for which I haven’t an equally worthy answer. I love NPR and our carbon-powered minivan time together listening to it, but no, We could go back to Question #2 as a start, see what power of story Harry Potter as a resource offers on this — Love? (Mother love, love of thinking and learning, love of books and knowledge, love of friends and community, love of self.) Love of magic even, SOMETHING bigger than yourself, a passion for chess, cooking, video games or musical theatre. Perhaps Christian homeschoolers would answer that their homeschooling is based on “god as love” — wonder if thinking of love this way, as the ultimate homeschooling resource, might help bring home education lovers together in some kind of common understanding?

Or there’s curiosity which is more academic I suppose, but then curiosity killed the cat and I could hear Alasandra’s righteous indignation in my head, and the concept of loveless curiosity is pretty creepy when you think about it, like gossip or spying or stalking . . .



7 responses

30 07 2007

I’m not sure if you guessed, but the questions were submitted as a gauge to see how much we had in common. My computer is always on – although I may not be. “Who’s that old actor, you know, in that movie, you know, about the whale that tries to kill him?” And yes, we can find the answer, in 30 seconds or less, with that much information. Who wouldn’t love that? (Orca, 1977, Richard Harris). 4 kids, 1 parent, 9 cell phones, Netflix, NPR, my 14 year old van with the first mobile VCR I ever saw (since updated to a new van with surround sound DVD) and a collection of National Geographic videos. It’s a wonderful world.

30 07 2007

Are you a little stodgier than I am then? — my minivan is only TEN years old!

30 07 2007

Although I think of it as simply “pre-millennium” vintage . . .

30 07 2007

Well, I still have it, but I bought a new one last year. Does that count? I took the seats out of the old one and use it to haul goats now. They enjoy the videos too.

30 07 2007

Any favorites? I guess “Heidi” would be too obvious.

30 07 2007

Just saw this re: why I answer Question #2 with “power of story”:

. . .[Septermber 11] led us to call an old friend who is also a Navy SEAL officer. He offered the best advice I got anywhere on how to cope. “Do your job,” he said, “and read Harry Potter.”

So we did. At first it was escapism – something akin to what J. K. Rowling has said the books were for her – a comfortingly different world to go to, filled with real but different concerns. As she published more books, I continued to love the vision and the magic, but I also came to crave the message, and to believe that these are, in fact, the quintessential books of our time, a sort of moral compass in an age of terror.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this may or may not be what J. K. Rowling intended. It’s worth remembering that she began writing Harry years before September 11 and says she knew all along how the story ended. My other hero, J. R. R. Tolkien, used to insist that THE LORD OF THE RINGS was not the allegory for the Second World War that many people believed.

Others argue that great storytelling, no matter how otherworldly the setting, will always feel that it is somehow intimately about us, the readers. The author sets the hero his quest and his enemies, but we connect the dots, filling in the contemporary names and faces ourselves. . .

I’d rather have [my kids] slightly scared while absorbing J. K. Rowling’s finely shaded blacks, whites and grays than listening to the loud voices in our world (on both sides) who have all the answers and would have them believe that We are Good and They are Evil.

31 07 2007
Rolfe Schmidt

I was too cheap to get the DVD player for our van. So far the boys haven’t figured out that they’re missing something and have been content with the Raffi CDs.

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