Saturday, October 07, 2017

those were uncomfortable

To a tired old adult who is sick of adulting, the last two weeks' worth of Pony had some...perhaps unintentional lessons.

Last week: The CMC set up a "cutie mark" camp so that "blank flank" ponies (funny how fast that went from a slur, to a mere descriptor) could find their special talents.

Unfortunately, there was a Pegasus in the ointment - Thunderlane's younger brother, Rumble. Rumble has....issues. Apparently he wants SO BADLY to get a cutie mark for flying well, that he's afraid of getting any other - and so he purposefully screws up at stuff, and then finally tells a pony who likes to paint circles (?) that after she got her cutie mark for doing haiku, she might as well give up painting circles, because there will be no more time for that. And that's generally Rumble's schtick: when you find your "special talent," you're gonna be so busy doing it that you won't have time for other stuff, even if it's stuff you like or stuff you are good at.

Um, yeah.

Actually, that kind of IS adulthood, I find: That is why I am sitting in my office on a beautiful October Saturday, Homecoming in fact, and trying to dredge up the motivation to write an exam, rewrite a paper, and maybe prep some lecture stuff. Because I can't count on having time during the week to work uninterrupted; there's always stuff that comes up, and I can't be unprepared for class. (With the exam - it's for Friday - I have to get it done because I get someone with an accommodation for extra time, and it needs to get over to the appropriate office at least a day early....)

And anyway: Rumble leads the ponies off to an anti-cutie-mark camp where they finally decide all they can do is lie around because otherwise, they might get a cutie mark, and then their future is all planned out for them. (I joked once, several seasons ago: are they required to leave school once they get their mark? Like, "Childhood was fun but now you get to go get a job for the next 50-pony-years")

And yeah. Work-life balance is a thing but with this new prep it's more like WORK-life balance for me right now. And I can't drop anything.

Which leads us to episode two: the Bait and Switch cruise.

Twilight's parents "win" a cruise on an airship (Hm. Kind of like those places that call you up claiming you've "won" a stay at a resort). At first she's not going to go because Princess Stuff, but Spike as much as pushes her out the door and says he can handle it.

Long story short: the cruise is a scam (at least for Twilight, and to a lesser extent, Cadance): Iron Will booked a "theme cruise" for princess fans.

Okay, I get that the real lesson in this is probably "Just give Famous People their space already," but for me it was more like "Everyone wants a piece of you to the point where you don't get to do the things you were longing to do.

It was a real gut-punch when Twilight missed the ONE thing she wanted to do - essentially an Equestrian version of a meteor shower - because she was doing everything to keep the other ponies, the ones who had paid Iron Will, happy.

Not gonna lie: the episode made me angry. So many inconsiderate ponies. And yes, Iron Will (a minotaur) is the one really at fault here because he's the one who perpetrated the scam, but Twilight's parents kind of are too, for not reading the fine print. And Cadence....did I mishear or did she actually *set the whole thing up* where Twilight was expected to sacrifice herself for the family's happiness? Wow. Selfish.

But yeah: all too often the young single childless woman is the one pushed to carry the brunt of the work/emotional labor/whatever - because she doesn't have a kid to care for, or a husband, or she's "young and has the energy" or all that. (And I'm not all THAT young any more, as it turns out)

But yes, it really was a gut punch seeing Twilight miss the one thing she had been looking forward to. Because I've kind of been there myself, at times. (I really did want to go to Sherman for better grocery shopping this weekend but just could not swing it and get what I "had to do" done).

And when Twilight finally blew up - yes, I can see that that might be effective, but I can't blow up at my students. Or my co-workers. Or my fellow congregants. And sometimes, when I say, "I'm really kind of overwhelmed here and I can't" people don't hear it. (This whole paper rewrite thing - I've been saying for three weeks I can't do it, and finally, I just had to stop demurring).

I don't know. Is it too much to ask that people be able to recognize the signs of someone being overwhelmed, without us having to get sick/blow up/break down sobbing/have our work progressively decline in quality to the point where we get reprimanded? I don't know.

I'm also unhappy that Iron Will apparently got off scot-free in this; he literally bailed out when things got bad and the presumption is he gets to keep all the money he made. And that's wrong and that shouldn't happen, not in a kid's show. (Maybe in a future episode he will get his comeuppance? I won't get to see next week's "live" because I will be working on a research project. I WISH Discovery Family showed them earlier in the day).

I still haven't e-mailed back the student who was effectively blaming me for their poor grade. I can't think of anything to say to them. I need to e-mail them back but I can't think of anything helpful.

I'm so tired. I hate the middle of the semester.

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