Thursday, July 30, 2009

Grand Diabolical Plans

I am organizing an activity for my middle school aged daughter. I have, in the past, organized other events so I have some experience in this area. Usually, unlike this activity, they involve some sort of kooky vision. This is not a requirement but, no matter how sane it is, when you approach people with your idea, they are going to look at you like you've just sprouted antennae.

"So this is not something for work or some kind of court-mandated community service project?"

"No, I thought it would be fun."

My new project is organizing a robotics club for my daughter's school. It is not outside my scope of interest or ability to create and run such a club. I have organized events, done fundraising, and herded children for a purpose. In this case, the tasks are supposed to be child-led but the children will need mentors--people with even the slightest expertise in something vaguely mechanical to help them with basic skills. Although I am interested, I don't have the skill sub-set that I'm looking for in mentors. There are many people in my community, however, that do.

So the letters went out earlier this week. I am saving my phone calls for next week when I can better gauge the insanity of my plan. However, I have already received some responses. There is an order to how these things go.
1. I make the plan and put out inquiries and feelers tailored to give an idea of the project needs and my expectations. I don't want to put large burdens on my support people because it chases them away.
2. I get responses back that generally look something like this:
"I don't have a lot of time for outside projects because I'm really busy...wait, what is it exactly that you want from me?"
3. Secondary responses: "Oh, is that all? I'm sorry that I responded to your carefully crafted query in a way that expressed non-interest because I didn't read it through. Seriously, you don't want money or a 20 hour a week commitment?"

It will be fun. It may not happen this year (as the daughter with the interest starts high school the following fall) but it will happen. I just need to get people excited about it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random Babbling

I have been searching for patterns lately and now they are everywhere, staring me in the face. I observe stories and how they play out in various forms. It's a bad habit, I suppose, but one that is necessary to the kinds of projects I do. But lately I feel a bit like a mouse in a maze that's being led to the cheese.

It seems that every time I watch television or watch a movie, it's all so cookie-cutter that I have many of the key events figured out before it's 1/3 over. We are spoonfed information. Why did that guy who is a doctor move in next door? Probably to help diagnose the disease that is about to rip through a suburban neighborhood. How funny that the little girl is obsessed with water and has dozens of half-full glasses of water around the house. It's quite convenient when the aliens that invade cannot tolerate the beverage.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I don't look people in the eye. It's a family trait, I've noticed. I thought it was a bad habit but it turns out, when I've tried to do it, the experience is simply too intense. Why is that? Is it the habit of not doing it that creates the feeling that it's too intimate? Is it something inborn--perhaps genetic or cultural--that makes this difficult? I've learned, too, to use hand and face gestures in an exaggerated way to avoid this uncomfortable situation. This makes me think it's about the wiring in my brain rather than the custom of my family.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Moving Slow

Happy Independence Day tomorrow! I am staying home for a quiet holiday in anticipation of my kids getting the creeping crud that hubby and I had earlier in the week. If it's getting boring around here, we can walk to the nearest park where there is an all-city celebration. It's a bit down the hill from us so that means we get great views of the fireworks!

It's been almost a month since my last post. For those few who ever check out this blog, you should pop over to my crafting blog, Craftastic World because I usually post there a few times a week. I'm also working on some math activities and crafts as well as some long-neglected writing projects.