Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend of slackdom

That's what I've decided this weekend will be. (Well, with two things I need to do - Sunday school lesson and grading some exams, but that might be this afternoon).

Because: allergies, whoa. Mine have been really bad. I'm convinced now it's allergies and not a cold or (God forbid) a relapse of that awful respiratory thing I had at the end of February, because the symptoms get better or worse depending on what I'm exposed to. They were a lot worse yesterday after spending Wednesday afternoon in the field with a class. Also going through soil samples every day does not help, though I wear a face mask for that. So I need a few days away from some of those things.

There's a trash-off tomorrow but I'm not going. For one reason: four hours out in the wind and bending down close to moldy leaves to pick up whatever leavings people have carelessly and thoughtlessly thrown around would be terrible for my allergies. For another: I just really want that time to myself. Also, I hate to say this, but I'm coming round to the philosophical viewpoint that maybe it's not good for the offenders for people to pick up their trash for them - as I've said before, the people who go do this service are people who would NEVER litter themselves. And while the people who cannot pick up the litter that blows/gets dropped in their yards (the disabled or very elderly) benefit from the day (and I've had people thank me because of those reasons), I sometimes wonder if having the trash periodically disappear kind of allows the people who toss it to figure they're entitled to, because there are obviously "little people" whose job it is to pick it up.

I don't know. I hate litter because it seems so unnecessary, but I also hate that x number of people put in x number of hours cleaning it up - and then a month later, it's all back. (As I've also said before: I'd love people caught littering to spend a mandatory - as in, you can't weasel out of it by paying a fine or whining that you're "too busy" or "too important" - 100 hours community service picking up trash.)


Also, I worked at the children's play last night. This is an annual effort between AAUW and the uni's theater department to fund our scholarships. I can only work the "public" performance (the others are during the day, for school groups), because of my class schedule.

Tickets are $2. I've actually had people gripe at me about the cost. All I can say is "It funds scholarships. And what does a movie cost these days?" (We don't currently have a movie theater; the nearest one is in Sherman. It was rumored a big new one was going to be built but as the posited location is where the IHOP now is, I guess the assumption is that people will just drive to Sherman.)

Something I noticed - I had had a number of the "theater kids" in my gen bio classes back when I taught gen bio. I saw a few of them again last night. I got to observe them interacting. I don't know how much of it was put on ("This is how people expect actors to be") and how much was actual, but of what was actual....well, there's a difference between the arts and the sciences that is real, I guess.

One student, on seeing the younger sister of a friend of hers, ran to hug her and waxed effusive about how tall she was getting and "OMG, are you 20 yet? Let me look at you. Don't grow up too fast!" (The child in question was perhaps 9.)

Me, in a similar situation: "It's good to see you again." And I probably wouldn't run-to-hug.

I wonder if the sciences attract more introverts and things like theater attract more extroverts? Lynn was speculating yesterday on whether it's more nurture or nature. I think it's both. I know I'm an introvert in part because I have "introvert genes" (everyone else in my family is) but also because I grew up in that family and being introverted was treated as normal. (I think where you might learn something about the development of either temperament would be in a family where there were some of each...see what temperament dominated in the child after they had one introverted and one extroverted parent).

I'm an introvert but I'm really not as shy as some. Some people equate introvert with "won't ever speak in public and wants to hide from people" but really it's more: introverts become overwhelmed when they have to do too many interactions, and they need to recharge either alone or with just one or two closely trusted people. I can talk to people in public and do. In fact, I'm actively disappointed when I'm riding Amtrak, get to the diner for the "communal seating" dinner, and wind up with other people who either (a) form a closed group and don't want to include me in the conversation or (b) spend the entire meal playing with their smartphone.

It's actually almost like there's a parabolic curve of shyness for me: people I barely know, if I feel like they are willing to talk to me, I can talk with them. People I know very well I'm comfortable with and I can talk, sometimes even saying stuff that later on makes me go, "WHY did you say that? Oversharing!" or "You didn't need to stick your oar in just then but you did."

But it's people I kind of know but haven't hit that level of comfort with that I get shy around - I think I'm still feeling like the relationship could go either way, and I don't want to do or say something stupid or oversharey or weird and make them not like me.

I will say I have a much harder time if I'm in a group where everyone else seems to have a history together - if I go to a party where most of the other people know each other well, or have come together and I went alone, I wind up assuming "They'd rather talk with each other than talk to me" and I kind of hug the wall. Or if the people seem smarter or "cooler" or more accomplished or something, where I start thinking, "They're going to judge me negatively. Look at these women, they all look so perfect and here I am with my cruddy flat shoes and my hair all a mess and no eye make-up on, they must think I'm some kind of country hick." Or something like that. And that's when I get shy and can't talk to anyone. And I realize my judging of the well-dressed or whatever people as "They're not going to like me because" is as prejudicial as would be their (theoretical) "Look at that woman, who does she think she is, can't she even comb her own hair?" but I've had experiences in the past where I wound up hanging out with people more concerned about appearance than I am and it got back to me that they thought I was kind of pathetic or something because of how I dressed.

(That's a big part of my introversion that gets to me - that feeling that everyone's eyes are on me and they're noticing every little thing and I'm going to be judged harshly. Really, I know, most people don't do that, but sometimes I get into that mindset and it's hard to break out.)


purlewe said...

I can say that I have a friend who is introverted (she has done research on it as she wanted to understand it) and her daughter she is raising is extroverted. My friend finds raising her daughter exhausting. If her daughter doesn't get a certain level of interaction she gets drained and exhausted, but if my friend does play dates for her she gets exhausted. She is actively waiting for the day her daughter can arrange and drive herself to events.

Kim in Oregon said...

I was a theatre person. Most are introverts.