- 1. What do you think made Kaleigh such a good mentor for your high school group?
- Background: Kaleigh was the first "tech maven" at New Vista High School. Under her guidance, and continuing under later leaders, students (AKA The Admins) were responsible for the school IT and AV work.
Kaleigh put a lot of trust and power in The Admins to make good technical decisions and handle administrative power responsibly. She would gently reign us in if we started going out of bounds and she made sure each of us were learning and growing. Very few high school students get the amount of responsibility and hands-on sysadmin experience that Kaleigh and New Vista afforded us; I know a few years after I graduated, student admins had a lot less power. I think some of the freedom we got from Kaleigh was because she had some personal issues she was dealing with, so we were often left without an adult in charge, but everybody was impressed with the results from The Admins.
- 2. How do you answer people when they say something like, "Wow, I've never met anyone who actually grew up here! What was it like to grow up in Boulder?"
- I think of many visits to the Boulder Public Library, seeing interesting people (like a guy dressed as Yoda) on the mall, and spending a lot of time in parks. My preschool had a garden and a rooster, my elementary school had regular field trips to the planetarium and nature trails, and my high school let students design their own paths to graduation. I think the main advantages to kids growing up in Boulder are the wealth of educational opportunities and the freedom for personal expression.
- 3. What rituals are important to your day-to-day life?
- The eight months I took of from work were an interesting opportunity to step back from daily ritual and see what patterns I naturally fall in to. While traveling, Molly and I often had a daily self-care ritual, eating in the dark, brushing teeth under the sky, checking in with each other on emotions and plans. Back at home, I found that without a ritual structure, I spent a lot of time on the Internet (a lot of it was job search related, a lot was reading interesting stuff, none of it was particularly structured) and not a lot of time hiking. The ritual of weekly or monthly social events -- game days, drum circles, cruiser bike rides -- keeps me from spending too much time computing. Now that I'm employed and once I get a place to live, I need to make sure to work out rituals that ensure exercise, fun, and fascination.
- 4. If it were up to you, how would you arrange the laws about marriage/civil union (broadly defined)?
- From a legal standpoint, I think marriage should be generalized to the concept of a "family unit" providing for things like shared financial responsibility, power of attorney and joint tax returns. It should be open to any set of people who live together (or plan to start doing so right away), including straight couples, gay couples, polyamorous groups, siblings, best friends, etc. I think the process for attaining family unit status should emphasize the rights and responsibilities entailed -- a lot of people who get married don't understand the full ramifications. When you get divorced, both parties have to list their assets and incomes, decide how to split property and handle current responsibilities; it seems like making people figure this out before they get married would be a good idea too.
Moving from hetero-only marriage to gender-doesn't-matter marriage is a process full of political challenges, but not many legal ones; only a few words of law have to change, a few forms need wording tweaks, and Bob and Bob are your uncles. Expanding further to the "family unit" idea requires a little more work. Should there be a limit to the number of parties? I think it's important for a triad to have the same rights as a couple and four sisters living in a house should have just as easy a time with joint ownership and taxes as a couple and their two kids, but would FLDS-like setups lead to abuse? I.e., benefits like tax reduction shouldn't be granted in linear proportion to the number of people involved. Of course, if every person in the current family unit had to approve new additions, prior wives would have a veto on new ones if they felt the husband wasn't caring enough for the wives he already had.
On the casual and religious side of things, I think social groups should develop whatever traditions they like. If your church doesn't want to recognize polygamy, gay marriage, divorce, or interracial marriage, that's fine and your members are free to follow those rules if they want. Socially, adults should be allowed to set up whatever romantic and living situations they want, regardless of whether they apply for legal status or not.
- 5. How does constant internet access change people's creative process?
- If you have a clever idea like a pun or a band name, you can quickly find out if anybody else has thought of it. You can easily connect with people around the world with similar interests, letting creative collaboration happen regardless of geography; literary movements tied to a location (like Paris a hundred years ago) seems a very pre-Internet concept. In some situations, constant 'net access might be a detractor to creativity; given easy access to everything, people won't have to seek creative solutions.
I found the following list, written in colored pencil alternating color every three lines, while listening to a Pimsleur Mandarin instruction tape. It's from a ritual I did with Green Sabbat at some point, probably a new moon in the Weltys' living room.
I am adamantly creative and playful.
I am not scared of the opinions of others.
I am willing to give unreciprocated assistance.
I stick with it until the end.
I pursue esoteric knowledge and share it.
I try to realistically assess my abilities.
I find nuances in hot topics.
I can be entertaining just by walking around.
I can listen, analyze, and reflect all at once.
I find beauty in forsaken places.
I can change course midstream.
I can be entirely anal or entirely nonchalant.
I can derive pleasure just from sitting in the sun.
I follow the Tao nonpretentiously.
I am hairy and proud.
I am a resident advisor.
I am a student leader.
I am a role model for personal expression.
I enjoy being naked.
What's awesome about you? Tell me why you're a swell person.