kfwyre's recent activity

  1. Comment on Kind Words (Tildes Edition) in ~talk

    kfwyre
    Link
    Request: I hope it's not seen as gauche of me to put in my own request on my own thread, but I could use some pep from others here. I wasn't planning to share this, but the need arose so I figured...

    Request: I hope it's not seen as gauche of me to put in my own request on my own thread, but I could use some pep from others here. I wasn't planning to share this, but the need arose so I figured I would.

    I started up another year teaching and it's clear that my resentments for my job have fully taken over. Normally, at the beginning of the school year I have a new, fresh energy that slowly ebbs over time. This year I already feel like I'm running on empty, just a few weeks in. The demands of the job want me to slam on the gas pedal and not let up. I'm doing that, like I have every year, but I'm not even moving this time. The engine is dead. I'm at a full stop. And I've got a long way still to go.

    I have experience with depression and can feel its telltale claws starting to sink into me. I don't believe it happens because my brain has a chemical imbalance but because my life situations are imbalanced. Every period of depression I've had has coincided with extreme life difficulty. I can feel it coming on again. I'm fighting it with all my might by eating well, going outside, exercising, and so on. Unfortunately, all of that feels like I'm not addressing the root cause: I hate my job. I loathe it. It feels like a bad marriage, where the weight of years of frustrations have built up to the point that I can't even come close to seeing what I once loved in it.

    I feel trapped. Leaving teaching would be leaving a career I have worked incredibly hard for. I am still paying off my graduate degree. It took me years to climb the bureaucratic ladders of teacher credentialing. I'd be throwing away my entire career, and likely taking a significant paycut (and not to mention losing my amazing time off). Plus, what if I hate the new thing just as much? Am I even skilled enough for it? I have no doubt I can crush an interview, but people don't just get hired for speaking well, they get hired for what they can do, and we all know the popular perception of teachers as "those who can't." For as much pride as I take in my strengths, I can't deny that the shoe fits. Outside of being very patient with very difficult people, I'm unskilled.

    On paper, it makes sense to stay, right? It can't be that bad, right? I'm lucky to have a job, especially one that pays well. There are plenty of people that work far harder and earn far less. I should be grateful, right?

    I think my resentments have made me lose perspective, but I also think that some of my previous perspective was simply naive. Have I gained the clarity of experience or have I lost the focus of passion?

    I don't know, all I know is that I cried earlier this evening when I tried to go to bed -- early, mind you, because good sleep fights depression. I didn't cry because of any particular thing -- just that going to sleep means there's nothing separating me from another day of work. If I go to sleep, the unconsciousness makes the next day immediate. If I stay up, I can fight the future and hold it off a little bit.

    I'm going to really go to sleep now. I've been keeping to a consistent bedtime and it's been doing wonders for me, and if I don't turn off my phone I'll get sucked in, stay up, and be a zombie tomorrow. The day is already long enough. Trudging through it tired only drags it out more.

    I'm not looking for answers or solutions, just kindness, thoughts, and concord. If you've got a solution, by all means, feel free to share it, just know that there's far more complexity to the situation than I've shared here. This isn't something with an easy answer.

    I'd love to wake up tomorrow to messages, either here or by PM, from others in similar boats or with warm words to share. Similar to another poster here, I'll be deleting this at some point, but for now I'll leave it up. Goodnight all.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on What’s the status on anonymous comments? in ~tildes

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    I had the same thought when posting it. Part of what makes the game work is that it's fully anonymous.

    I had the same thought when posting it. Part of what makes the game work is that it's fully anonymous.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Kind Words (Tildes Edition) in ~talk

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    Response: This is something I can relate to, and I'm not just saying that because I posted this thread. If you've seen my comments around Tildes then you'll know I also have a tendency to...

    Response: This is something I can relate to, and I'm not just saying that because I posted this thread. If you've seen my comments around Tildes then you'll know I also have a tendency to overshare! And not just online either. I don't have any advice on that part other than I know the feeling too -- the second guessing something as it leaves your mouth and the beating yourself up after you get home and replay the conversation in the shower. The wondering what the other person thinks of you. The shame of meeting them the next time and all you can think is they KNOW, why did I tell them THAT?

    If I had to give any advice, it's that it's really easy to find oneself inadequate. I think LGBT people like us face this even more than most, as so many of us grow up with messaging telling us such outright. Remember that this world is yours as much as it is everyone else's. You are not a visitor but an inhabitant, and you have just as much right to be yourself as everyone else does. This goes not just for being trans but for the whole of your person. You are adequate and you are enough. Nobody has the right to tell you otherwise.

    Note: You mentioned deleting your post later. I've changed the original text so that Requesters have the option to receive public posts or PMs -- that way anyone who wishes to delete their post can do so without lingering remnants of it in public responses. If you'd rather receive PMs for your post, feel free to edit that in and I can delete this and send it to you that way instead.

    6 votes
  4. Comment on [Kind Words] (lo fi chill beats to write to) is now available on Steam! in ~games

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Picked this up and "played" it for an hour today. It's fantastic. I was worried that it was going to be full of trolls and people trying to ruin a good thing, but every post I saw and received...

    Picked this up and "played" it for an hour today. It's fantastic. I was worried that it was going to be full of trolls and people trying to ruin a good thing, but every post I saw and received felt sincere and positive.

    Playing it not only helps you (I got some legitimately great responses to my first request, for example), but it makes you feel like you're playing a healer in real life. Highly recommended if the idea of writing short, supportive letters to anonymous penpals sounds like a good time to you.

    EDIT: I've now put a couple hours in and I really have to commend the devs and the community. I still haven't seen a single out of line post or response. Everything has been earnest and wholesome. It's a great space to hang out in.

    3 votes
  5. For those that aren't familiar with it, Kind Words is a recently released "game" where players can write a message about a difficulty they're facing or something that's troubling them. Other real...

    For those that aren't familiar with it, Kind Words is a recently released "game" where players can write a message about a difficulty they're facing or something that's troubling them. Other real people in the game can then respond, letting that person know that they're not alone. Players can also write un-addressed messages of positivity in the game, which are spread to other users via paper airplanes.

    I figured we could have a thread on Tildes with our own version of the game via comments.

    Here's how I figure it will work. We'll have three post types:

    Request: share your situation in order to get kind words in response
    Response: offer kind words to other people who have posted here
    Airplane: write general thoughts of goodwill for all the readers of the thread

    Please begin your post by naming its type in bold font. For those posing Requests, please let people know if you would rather receive public responses or PMs.

    Example post:

    Request: Sometimes I find myself wondering if there's any point to anything. It feels like I'm working so hard at meaningless stuff, just to get by. Anyone else feel this way?

    That isn't my request, just an example of what someone might type.

    Remember that the point of the thread is to let people know that they are heard and that they are not alone!

    Let's all be kind!

    22 votes
  6. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    While most games I play for narrative or mechanic enjoyment, ABZÛ was one that I enjoyed pretty much entirely for its aesthetics. It was beautiful and lovely -- outright stunning in places.

    While most games I play for narrative or mechanic enjoyment, ABZÛ was one that I enjoyed pretty much entirely for its aesthetics. It was beautiful and lovely -- outright stunning in places.

    1 vote
  7. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link
    I finished with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which I liked overall but didn't fully love. I thought the setting was lovely and the individual pieces of the game were great, but something about...

    I finished with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, which I liked overall but didn't fully love. I thought the setting was lovely and the individual pieces of the game were great, but something about it didn't fully "click" for me. I wish I had a more cogent criticism of it, but I can't really put my finger on why it didn't grip me as it should have. Nevertheless, I'd still recommend it should someone want a solid, creepy, atmospheric adventure game.

    Outside of that, I've only had time to do little bits of gaming here and there on my phone. I can't remember who brought it up or what thread it was in, but someone mentioned Holedown which has been a go-to piece of mindless momentary fun for me. It's reminiscent of Peggle, which is another mindless favorite of mine (but its mobile version is awful). Hexa Turn, meanwhile, is a minimalist puzzle game that's simple enough to pick up easily but challenging enough to require some legitimate thought. I also put Professor Layton and the Curious Village on a DS emulator, which is perfect for phonescreen gaming given that it doesn't need a controller at all.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Unofficial Weekly Discussion #4 - What is your most "thinking outside the box", "pie in the sky", and/or "out there" idea for Tildes? in ~tildes

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I haven't had time to read through all of the comments in the thread yet, so if someone else has proposed something like this, let me know. Small, Randomized, Casual, Weekly Chat Groups We would...

    I haven't had time to read through all of the comments in the thread yet, so if someone else has proposed something like this, let me know.

    Small, Randomized, Casual, Weekly Chat Groups

    We would definitely need a better title, but here's what I mean by that: each week, all of the users who were active on Tildes in the past week get randomly sorted into groups of roughly 30 people (the specific number is flexible, but low is good). Each group is then given a thread, private to only those users, to post/chat with each other about whatever. I see them as similar to our recurring weekly posts, only without a specific focus and with a much smaller subset of users.

    At the end of each week, the groups are rerolled and new threads are created.

    Anyone who's ever done "breakout sessions" in a conference has a model for what I'm going for. I feel like the smaller, private rooms would let individuals get to know each other better, and the random selection means I'm able to run into anyone on the site, not just people with common interests, as I do in my day-to-day business here. I think it has the potential to facilitate interpersonal connections and relationships, in the same way doing an icebreaker with strangers at a conference does.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on VSCO Girls Explained by Teens in ~misc

    kfwyre
    Link
    As a teacher, I see memes take kids by storm and then blow over shortly thereafter. Right now I hear chatter from students about VSCO girls constantly, and the hallways are filled with a chorus of...

    As a teacher, I see memes take kids by storm and then blow over shortly thereafter. Right now I hear chatter from students about VSCO girls constantly, and the hallways are filled with a chorus of "sk-sk-sks" during class change. Something else will take its place soon. Fad whiplash is strong, where every popular thing will eventually suffer under the weight of its success because everyone doing or talking about something makes it fundamentally uncool. I watched Fortnite go from the most amazing thing to passé seemingly overnight.

    The cynic in me thinks most widespread memes for kids are, as hinted at in the article, viral marketing. "VSCO girl" has the name of the app right in the phrase. "Alexa, play Despacito" was a rare two-for-one that highlighted both a product and a song. Fortnite probably owes most of its success to its dances--kids would, I'm not exaggerating, stand up and bust out "Orange Justice" when they got a right answer in class or a good quiz grade. Vines were nearly lost and forgotten to a dead platform, only to suddenly resurface en masse right as TikTok was trying to become a thing. The kids get a kick out of all of these memes and they're largely harmless1 so I'm not necessarily critical of them, but I'm pretty certain they're more strategic than irreverent.

    Even if a particular meme originates organically, I have no doubt that relevant companies see their rise and fuel them. "VSCO girl" is an identifier that has raised the profile of the app better than any advertising campaign ever could. They would be foolish not to capitalize on it.


    1I am bothered that "VSCO girl" seems to be another log on the fire of kids learning to be dismissive and critical of girls' appearances. Though many memes are value-neutral, I would argue this one isn't.

    15 votes
  10. Comment on Unofficial Weekly Discussion #4 - What is your most "thinking outside the box", "pie in the sky", and/or "out there" idea for Tildes? in ~tildes

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Thank you for this term! I've thought a lot about the same concept (and think it could work wonderfully on Tildes). I've been using "juries" and "distributed moderation" as my own mental...

    Thank you for this term! I've thought a lot about the same concept (and think it could work wonderfully on Tildes). I've been using "juries" and "distributed moderation" as my own mental identifiers, but "sortition" is better and more accurate.

    I think it could go a long way if we baked custodial and moderation duties into the user experience here. Instead of Tildes just being a place we come to comment, part of our time here is also handling other issues as one of the many users of the site. Not only are there lots of practical benefits from doing so (many of which you laid out in the other thread), but I also agree there are some psychological ones as well (giving users here a sense of responsibility, duty, and ownership).

    I've also thought a lot about how this could go wrong, and I think layers of sortition might be a viable way to go. Decisions could be farmed out to a random set of users, and then contentious, divisive, or difficult ones could then be evaluated by a secondary set of random users, for example, to establish whether or not the decision itself is in line. Heck, we could even have decisions vetted by several different sets of random users, so that redundancy can guard against "rogue" decisions.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on How Eating Out Keeps You Poor in ~finance

    kfwyre
    Link
    This video is sensible financial advice that's unfortunately marred by a terrible clickbait title. After watching it, it's clear that the video is using "poor" to mean "deprived of extra money"...

    This video is sensible financial advice that's unfortunately marred by a terrible clickbait title. After watching it, it's clear that the video is using "poor" to mean "deprived of extra money" rather than "in poverty" given that the person they use for an example has an annual income of $75,000. The ideas in the video are valuable to consider and will work for someone in that situation, but they are far from relevant to people with more limited financial situations--especially those in poverty.

    10 votes
  12. Comment on noclip.website - A website that lets you view famous levels from all kinds of games in 3D in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link
    What a fantastic site! I hope they're able to set up even more games. There are so many I would love to do freelook tours of! They don't take donations right now, but this is easily something I...

    What a fantastic site! I hope they're able to set up even more games. There are so many I would love to do freelook tours of! They don't take donations right now, but this is easily something I could see myself supporting on Patreon.

    Also, this is a somewhat off-topic question (please label this comment as such), but I've noticed more and more websites straying from the usual .com, .net, .org naming conventions and am seeing more places like this one with full words like .website, .social, or .deals. What's the cause for this change in conventions, and can sites now use any word after the dot? For example, could Tildes be located at tildes.tildes, or could I make a site that was something like home.kfwyre?

    7 votes
  13. Comment on Conversion therapy group founder comes out as gay, apologizes in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't expect you to respond, as you've disengaged, and I will respect that. I will, for the purposes of everyone else reading this, push back on one point in your comment that directly applies...

    I don't expect you to respond, as you've disengaged, and I will respect that.

    I will, for the purposes of everyone else reading this, push back on one point in your comment that directly applies to me and my intentions. You argue that I lack empathy for Game, which is not true. I've been open here on Tildes about growing up gay and religious, so I have a strong understanding of the forces at play. This is a subject that is very close to home for me.

    Empathy is understanding -- not endorsement. It is possible for me to be critical of Game while simultaneously understanding why he might have taken the actions and life path that he did. Empathy also encourages us to consider the experiences of more than just one individual, so part of my criticism for Game is also rooted in empathy for the people he hurt.

    12 votes
  14. Comment on Conversion therapy group founder comes out as gay, apologizes in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I appreciate the empathy you're bringing to the situation. Perspective taking is a hugely important skill, and I think your comments here are valuable. With that said, I don't want to strain the...

    I appreciate the empathy you're bringing to the situation. Perspective taking is a hugely important skill, and I think your comments here are valuable. With that said, I don't want to strain the analogy past its breaking point, but I feel it's worth noting that in your analogy the victim is consenting to the help in the first place and the savior only appears after the initial, unrelated harm.

    These are important distinctions to me, because with conversion therapy, while there are certainly some who do go on their own as consenting adults, many are going under the duress of parents, a community, or society at large. Furthermore, this pressure is partially enabled by the existence of ex-gay ministries themselves. My parents, for example, believed I could change my orientation partially because Exodus International was a longstanding pillar that reinforced anti-gay rhetoric disguised as doctrine. Exodus masked erasure as "change" and coercion as "ministry" and directly contributed to the mindsets of hatred that made growing up so oppressive for people like me. It didn't matter how squeaky clean and above-board their practices were, and it didn't matter how well-intentioned the people running their programs were, because their messaging and existence still drove communities like mine to misdiagnose my immutable sexuality as a deeply-rooted, shameful spiritual sickness in need of curing.

    It's also worth noting that homosexuality and ex-gay ministries are far from agreed upon among Christians. There are huge doctrinal debates about these that have been ongoing for a long time, but just as there are Christians who feel that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity, there are many who do not see the same friction. As such, people like Game have likely had to field criticism from not only outside their communities but from other Christians they trust as well. In fact, in their line of work, they are actually acutely primed to know the risks and potential harms of conversion therapy more than most people given the rates of recidivism and suicide that they see among their clients.

    In this way, I feel like a more fair analogy would be acknowledging that the savior has had some role in the victim's predicament in the first place. Let's say the savior was on the same road, driving their car wrecklessly. Furthermore, he has continually messaged to society that wearing a seatbelt is actually more harmful than not -- advice that the victim has taken seriously and whose parents taught him from a young age. Also, the savior has also taken a controversial position against advice given by doctors and even others they know personally that says that, in the event of serious injury, a victim must be moved rather than left. It's not a choice to move any victim, but a mandate, and it's one that made in light of him being aware that doing so increases the risk of permanent spinal injuries.

    As such, when the crash occurs, it's not simply some random misfire of chance -- it's partially linked to the savior's own behaviors. The savior himself has put the victim in danger that they wouldn't otherwise be in. Furthermore, they engage with the saving action of removing the victim from the car knowing that many others who have been moved in situations like this have had spinal cord injuries. In fact, they've seen it first-hand before -- some of their previous car crashes have resulted in paralyzed victims as well.

    Does that make Game or people like him a monster? No. I don't believe so. I think most people, myself included, are flawed and imperfect, and I think all of us make decisions that inadvertently deal damage to others. I also think that broken adults often come from broken children or broken situations, making our societal view of "monsters" limited in a largely detrimental way. As such, intent goes a long way with me, but it doesn't go all the way. Conversion therapy centers and ex-gay ministries have done harm independent of (and certainly in concert with) their intent, and Game is someone who has been directly responsible for some of that harm. There are no doubt many parents who have been misled by his teachings and many queer youth who have suffered not only under his practices but because his practices exist in the first place.

    8 votes
  15. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    kfwyre
    Link
    Life has picked back up for me, so I've had very little time to indulge in gaming. As such, my only progress this week is that I've put about an hour and a half into The Vanishing of Ethan Carter....

    Life has picked back up for me, so I've had very little time to indulge in gaming. As such, my only progress this week is that I've put about an hour and a half into The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

    I actually started it back when it was big, shortly after release, and I strongly disliked it -- mostly because I didn't understand its structure. I found everything in it to be very disconnected and inconsequential.

    What I didn't know, and what I think the game would benefit from making more explicit to the player, is that each area is its own little "scene" that tells a story when completed. I found this spoiler-free explanation of how the game works which is what prompted me to dive back in, and I'm enjoying it much more this time around. I now know that my first playthrough felt disconnected because I'd found a little bit of a lot of different scenes, but I never actually saw a whole scene through to completion.

    The game feels like Dear Esther meets Stephen King (both of these are great things). It's unsettling and uncomfortable in a good way, and I love that each scene has its own little individual flair, twist, or gimmick.

    The game is also flat out gorgeous. There have been several times that I've stopped my current narrative line so that I can just wander around and appreciate the environment. It has some stunning vistas.

    The story hasn't fully gripped me yet, but I appreciate the game less for the overall narrative it's trying to tell and more for its mood and snippets. My opinion on the story is still subject to change, however, given that I'm probably only about halfway through the game.

    1 vote
  16. Warning: this post may contain spoilers

    Doesn't necessarily have to be that you cried, though it certainly can be. It can also be that you connected with the characters or plot, or maybe you clicked with the game's sense of humor. Maybe it creeped you out something fierce, or maybe it forced you into difficult ethical decisions. Any strong personal response counts.

    • Why was the game so meaningful for you?
    • How did the game use the medium to enhance its resonance?

    Please give adequate spoiler warnings!
    (You can use a <details> block to make a convenient collapsible section.)

    21 votes
  17. Comment on A taste test of meat-replacement burgers, including the Impossible burger, Beyond Burger, and others in ~food

    kfwyre
    Link
    My sole exposure to meatless patties so far has been the Impossible Whopper at Burger King. I didn't do a side-by-side taste test with a meat menu item, nor did I try the patty on its own, but as...

    My sole exposure to meatless patties so far has been the Impossible Whopper at Burger King. I didn't do a side-by-side taste test with a meat menu item, nor did I try the patty on its own, but as a whole burger I thought it was great (and this is coming from a regular meat-eater). I've actually re-ordered it since and feel like it will replace fast-food burgers for me should they keep it on their menu long-term.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on LGBTQ individuals, how's life? in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    You too! As I said earlier, I really appreciate your questioning and perspective. You gave me a lot to think about. I also have some homework to do myself regarding polyamory.

    You too! As I said earlier, I really appreciate your questioning and perspective. You gave me a lot to think about. I also have some homework to do myself regarding polyamory.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Five steps to becoming a read out-loud book hero in ~books

    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I complain a lot on here about my teaching career, but one of my great joys of the job is being able to read out loud to kids. There's something magical in seeing a room full of imaginations going...

    I complain a lot on here about my teaching career, but one of my great joys of the job is being able to read out loud to kids. There's something magical in seeing a room full of imaginations going all at once, each recreating the words of the story as images in their minds. There's something personally gratifying about knowing you made a character or poignant moment come alive for one or more of them. I also find that, as a reader, I gain a much deeper appreciation for a text when I read it out loud to a group. I inhabit the story more and feel it more deeply.

    Many parents stop reading to their kids at early ages, feeling like it's childish or detrimental to the kid's independent reading ability. Both of these are untrue! Reading out loud to your child is a wonderful way to bond with them as they grow, help them talk through and navigate the issues that literature brings up, and instill in them a life-long love of reading that pays dividends in both life satisfaction and academic performance.

    5 votes
  20. Comment on LGBTQ individuals, how's life? in ~lgbt

    kfwyre
    Link Parent
    I've heard it described as the "explore/exploit trade-off", which is a useful mental framework for me. You can choose to "explore", meaning seek out something new, or you can choose to "exploit",...

    I've heard it described as the "explore/exploit trade-off", which is a useful mental framework for me. You can choose to "explore", meaning seek out something new, or you can choose to "exploit", or go with a known quantity. This trade-off happens all the time for us. Watch a new movie, or an old favorite? Hang out with good friends or go out and meet new ones?

    With regards to relationships, I fall very heavily on the "exploit" side of things. "Exploring" has no interest for me. I hated it even when I was doing it. I wanted to fast-forward and get to where I am now. I hated the "explore" phase and live for the "exploit" one. I'm the same way, as previously mentioned, with food. Give me something I know I love every single time!

    But I see the other side too. With media, I am the complete opposite. "Explore" all the way! I can't tell you the last time I re-read a book I loved, because I never do it. I'm always looking for something new. I have a hard time reading through a full series because I'm itching to start something else. Hell, I have a hard time with even a single long book! Not because of attention issues, but because my "explore" side kicks in.

    With videogames, it's even worse. My friends describe me as having "gaming wanderlust." I don't understand how people can put in hundreds, even thousands of hours into the same game. My Steam library is full of games that I've played for an hour or two and then dropped. I don't often complete games, and it's not for lack of interest! It's because I have a pretty strong pull to try something new and interesting. I genuinely enjoy the process of seeing what's out there and dabbling a little bit in a lot of things. I don't feel bad for not finishing games -- it's just how I play them!

    It very well could be that you and I are just on different ends of a continuum, with you falling heavily on the "explore" side and me on the "exploit" one with regard to relationships. Neither position is better, and there are benefits and drawbacks to both, but if we're both fulfilled, then it means we're each in the right places, right?

    7 votes