June 23rd, 2009

righteous shall walk by faith

"I felt my heart strangely warmed."

October 20, 2008, I sent an email to a bunch of people, titled "not actually Jonah, I swear" and with body text:
I did an Internet meme with one of my friends today, and for the "Ask you something I've wanted to know about you" part, she said, "I think you would make a wonderful minister. Is that something you've considered?"

I cracked up, because people keep telling me I should go to div school/seminary (and I would totally love getting to geek out about religion full-time) but I think I'm highly unsuited for most of what's involved in actually being a minister.

Today I Replied All (and tweaked the recipient list a bit):
Subject: Gee, where have I heard this before?

At lunch today, my coworker Cailin was asking if I was thinking about grad school, and I said no, I'm just taking classes for fun, enjoying my cushy job.  She said I "LIGHT UP" when I'm taking about religion or when religion comes up, and so I should think seriously about pursuing that as a career.  She also thinks I sell myself short in saying I'm not cut out for ordained ministry.  I didn't get into the fact that if I did decide to pursue ordained ministry I would have to do it through the United Methodist Church since CWM is my home, and that means stuff like itinerancy system... nevermind of course the fact that I'm queer.  She half-joked that I should set up The Church Of Elizabeth.  Haha, yeah, no.  (She also suggested theology professor as a career option, which I really don't feel a pull towards.)

One thing that's funny is that in sitting with the idea a bit after I sent the email, the idea of getting to do church as my LIFE was really thrilling me.  Though as Tallessyn (CWM's Music Minister) pointed out in her reply, "Just because you love something doesn't make it a vocation. i love math, for example."

Trelawney suggested that I examine my skill set and what kinds of work I might enjoy.  Which makes a lot of sense.  (I realized after lunch that one problem in having this conversation with Cailin was that Cailin doesn't seem to really grok what being a pastor entails -- she's not church people.)

I realized in talking to Ari this evening that really there are 2 separate issues on the table here: (1) Should I go to div school/seminary?  (2) Should I serve the church in ways beyond what I'm already doing?

I mean, I have an "imaginary div school plan" tag (plus a "blessed are the peacemakers tag" from when I was thinking about mediation work ... and yesterday I created a "future liturgical planner" tag).  It's not like I haven't thought about these things.

But I'm also still not a fan of the "you're too smart (or whatever) to be doing this job."  I appreciate Cailin's concern that I not wake up in 20 years and regret not having made different choices (and as long as I'm doing what I want to do, she will respect my choices ... she just knows how comfortable it is here and is wishing that someone had pushed her a little more a couple years ago and so she's trying to pass on the benefit of her experience to people she cares about), but I grew up with my mom doing about the same job I'm doing now, and she had and continues to have a fulfilling life, so I think in part the model I have is just different from the models she's used to.

The work I do isn't less valuable for not having cache, and I'm not selling myself short by not having a more high-status job title, and the work I do not for pay is important work even if I don't have a specific title or paycheck associated with it.

I mean, pastoral care is what I do (see also, the fact that I have a "we try and fix what comes apart" tag), just for select people rather than caring for an entire community.

Tiffany wants to have coffee with me when she gets back from maternity leave to talk about this, and I definitely support that.  Continuing to discern my gifts and graces and where the Spirit might be trying to lead me are all things that I should definitely be attending to throughout my life, and I think actualfax churchfolk are gonna be much better soundingboards and guides for helping me in that discernment process than some other classes of people.
hermione by oatmilk

Okay, I really need to go to bed; blogging will still be here after the sun rises.

Responding to the recent blowup about warnings on fanfic, fox1013 wrote:
Before I read a book, I will read the flap copy, the one-sentence Library of Congress summary, the LoC list of subject headings, and at least two or three reviews. I won't go to a movie without having read a detailed synopsis, and with a few exceptions (such as my attempt to see if I could deal with Survivor sans spoilers- as it turned out, it mostly made me angry when I didn't have the time to prepare myself for my favorites leaving), I know as much as I can about a TV episode before starting it. It takes effort to seek it out, but if you know where to look, it's easy and possible with nearly everything. I can't think of an example that won't spoil something for someone, but I do recommend poking around the LoC website and checking out titles of books you know. If you don't have access to review journals through your school, Amazon has excerpts from critical reviews for pretty much all the books they sell, and the IMDB keeps track of movie critics' responses. Both of these sites also have user reviews, where people will frequently mention if something is particularly problematic. When all else fails, I have heard good things about the Google machine.

The expectation for warnings isn't specially for fic because fic is held to different standards. It's specifically for fic because there isn't anywhere that one can, reliably, go to check this out.

Maybe what we need is a fannish equivalent of the Library of Congress- not a place to host fic, but one to keep track of warnings and subjects, so that people who don't want it don't need to be bothered but those who do can have a central location to check with.

Or maybe what we just need is a more universal understanding that triggers are not the same thing as squicks, and the difference between "ew" and "this will have me breaking down completely until I drug myself up and then collapse" is a big fucking difference, and if you don't get that maybe you should read imp's post (warning: very explicit discussion of sexual assault and the nature, anatomy, cause & effect of triggers. is itself triggery.) a few times until it clicks. You know, either way.
The bolding is my addition, highlighting the two really important ideas articulated here.


[Harvard Summer School] Intellectual Property, Class #1

Intellectual Property does not protect the idea, but simply the form it's expressed in.

I got all squeeful at every mention of "incentives."  Clearly I have been at my place of employ too long ;P
But yeah, it's a challenge.  My instinct is to say that people should be able to distribute information regardless of basically anything (insert caveat about respecting the safety of other persons, and an attentiveness to requests for confidentiality), but then of course I remember that if publishers/distributors don't make enough money then they're not going to be able to pay producers and thus people will choose to expend their energies on creating things they will get more benefit from.  [And yes I know that benefit is not always monetary -- feedback is a major currency of fic and vid [edit] and fanart! ... sorry /sin of omission [/edit] segments of fandom, for example -- and I'm not saying unregulated free market is necessarily the way to go.]

At one point, a woman across the room said: So if someone can take your idea from an essay you wrote, and improve on it, because you don't own the idea just the essay, what about taking a story that someone wrote, "improving" it, changing some of the events that happen, maybe adjusting it for an adult audience, adding violence and sex?
    Cate and I looked at each other, since I had responding to things the prof said with under-my-breath comments about how that would play into debates about fanworks.  (With copyright being so much about "original authorship," I understand better the OTW's emphasis on defining fanworks as "transformative works.")
    The prof's reply to this was: Come back on Wednesday.

I.1.8 "The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
This covers copyright and patent.  Trivia: only section of the Constitution to explain why.

Feist v. Rural Telephone (1992)
- degree of originality (the bar is low, but there is a bar)
- rejects "sweat of the brow" doctrine (how hard you worked creating something doesn't factor into copyright at all)
What are the implications for database owners?

Crediting the people you got your ideas from is important in academia, but copyright law doesn't care (remember, you can't copyright an idea).

Section 106 of the Copyright Act says "the owner of copyright has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize ... (2) to prepare derivative works based up on the copyrighted work."
Deriviate work = for example, adaptation of a work for another medium (like a screenplay of a novel), translation.

The prof mentioned Coming Through the Rye (which I had already heard about ... because it was connected to Sonia Sotamayor, believe it or not).  I said to Cate, "We already did this with The Wind Done Gone."  Indeed, the prof then went on to mention The Wind Done Gone, and he said that the author won by persuading the court that her work fell under "parody."  I haven't read the book, but that's not how I would describe that book.


Class got out about 20 minutes early (3 hours is a long time -- apparently the shift to a common calendar crunches Summer School since the fall starts earlier than usual, so instead of 7 weeks of 2.5hr classes, it's 6 weeks of 3hr classes) and I waited with her until the 9:35pm #69 came.  And then a Red Line to Alewife was approaching as I headed down to the Red Line, and I boarded with Esther and Galen and took the #96 back so as to keep talking.  Because Esther and I know each other through mutual friends rather than through fandom per se, we tend to forget that the other is also involved in fandom :)

Facebook has (multiple times, I believe) recommended to me my Aunt Marian and my Uncle Miles.  Tonight it recommended to me Beth from MML.  That was kind of eerie.  I actually like Beth a lot and would love to stay in touch -- but I am currently still harboring some bitterness and wariness toward MML as a whole.


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every week is ibarw

[intersectionality] rape and race

Today I mirrored most of the substance I've recently posted here over at my pro-blog. One post I'd been compiling but hadn't yet posted over here is as follows:

In response to cereta's post "On rape and men" (which I previously posted about here), shewhohashope posted [on LJ and DW] "On rape culture and civilisation"

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Also: Anti-Oppression Linkspam Community

And as always, sparkymonster's links for clueless white people.

[Walkman] technology influencing culture

From "The Soundtrack to Your Life: Celebrating 30 years of the Sony Walkman" by Greg Beato | June 23, 2009:
Despite the high price, the Walkman was ultimately a leveling device. A few years earlier, portable stereo systems—boomboxes—had liberated those who wanted to take their music with them everywhere from the tyranny of Top 40 playlists. But boomboxes offered sonic freedom only to those who were strong enough to lug a battery-eating briefcase around and intimidating enough to impose their love of The Village People on others without censure. For anyone with $200, however, the Walkman delivered the same aural sovereignty.

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professional me, self

[Tuesday] feeling sort of distanced

HBS did layoffs today (as did the rest of the University, I believe).  I gripe that we are nearly unfireable and the incentives system is poor and I gripe about particular people I work with, but actually looking at someone having gotten laid off... it's a human being vulnerable and in pain.  (Yes, I was actually surprised that I had this reaction -- I have a self-identity as a misanthrope in certain contexts, what can I say?)

Edit: I hadn't found any official press release on the HBS webpage, but it occurred to me later to check the HBSNews Twitter. Huh. /edit


I am unimpressed by my World Religions class (the prof just doesn't quite do it for me) and think I will just listen to the lectures during work from now on, reserving Tuesday and Thursday evenings for things I will get more out of.

At one point during our phonecall tonight, L. was like, "Oh, there was a religion-related class this fall that I was supposed to tell you about but now I can't remember what it was."  She mentioned "Dreams and The Dreaming" but couldn't remember if that was the class she had been thinking of.  Poking around the website some, I'm actually tempted by "Race in the Americas" (thanks, RaceFail).


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