drwex (drwex) wrote,

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Today's words

Roozle gave me Discipline. Education. Party. Work. Elections. As before, leave me a comment if you want some words for you.

Discipline: a mixed bag if ever there was one. Discipline can be seen as the drive to accomplish, to do what needs to be done whether one likes it or not. It can also be about the way one conducts oneself around others. I expect a certain level of discipline from my kids and much more from myself. Discipline can also mean rigidity or inflexibility and it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two sides of the coin when one is balanced on its edge. Do I have (self-)discipline? Sometimes. Mostly not. If I did I think I'd get more done.

Education: if you blur the distinction between education and learning then I'm all for it. If you're not here to learn something please get out of my way so I can. Learning how to have fun is good, too. Education is one way to formalize learning, to a greater or lesser degree. Like discipline it can cut both ways. Education can include self- and informal methods. A person who picks up a tool for the first time and attempts something new is educating herself, regardless of the setting or outcome. Because of my culture and background I grew up in an environment and with attitudes that highly prized formal learning, and education within a system of structured pupil-student relationships. It wasn't until near the end of my undergrad days that I realized I wasn't really being educated by schools so much as I was educating myself, within the framework that schools provided. That annoyed me somewhat at the time, and has made me warier of how my children are being educated now.

Party: if it's mine, then I'm usually in Host Mode and making sure everything is going well and people are having a good time. It makes me happy for people to be enjoying themselves at my parties. I like hosting parties, as long as they don't get too large. At others' parties I have a wide variety of reactions. I like to take the feel of the place and the crowd. I spend a lot of time orbiting, trying to see everything and talk to everyone at once. I have a strong fear of missing things/people. I suppose it leads to me being very distracted, and yet I sometimes managed to have a great time socializing with people at parties. Other kinds of parties are also fun - I don't get to enough of those in part because of a lack of babysitting and wanting to go with my sweetie.

Work: some people live to work. I work to live. That said, I'm extremely fortunate that I work in a field I love and that society has somehow decided that the work I do should command a high wage. Hooray for unearned privilege. That's not to say I don't work hard, nor that I didn't work hard to get where I am. It's just that "work hard" has a different meaning in my life than in, say, a farmer's life. My work is mental and sedentary and with remarkably few demands and standards that aren't self-imposed. That's privilege, even discounting the disproportionate degree to which white educated males make up the population I work within. I acknowledge all of that and am still very proud of the work I do and look down on slackers who take advantage of the laxness of the situation to do less than their best at this kind of work - or, really, any kind of work. I've also made conscious choices to put my family ahead of many aspects of work (and I have the privilege to make that choice). I could choose to work in jobs that would advance my career more, or pay more, at the expense of things like not being home for my kids' bedtimes almost every night. But I choose not to.

Election: I dunno why she picked this word. I've always been more of a passive observer of elections. I vote, and sometimes contribute or campaign a little for this or that candidate. But elections are generally poor ways of influencing political processes. I worry a lot about the application of the technologies I work with to elections - I *know* how bad things can get with computers and just how much technology is NOT a fix for what's wrong with our electoral process. I have a sort of abstract game-theory interest in other electoral systems but I don't see much likelihood that the US is going to change things. So we live with what we've got. Sometimes it produces amazing results, eh?
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