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5.10: Chance 5

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Last of my official chances was this afternoon, I had a couple of hours spent sitting working with a small group of people, I had my incentive as described just now, and my plan to say good morning to people, to force myself to say more than one word at a time.
And what happened, I just didn’t talk. Or, that is, I mumbled something vaguely word like when I was greeted and when I was leaving, that was it. should have been easy, but when it came to it, I just couldn’t make myself do it.
Though, partly this was not my fault, it seems whenever I want to talk to someone they are always either busy working, and I think they do not want to be interrupted, or more often already talking to someone else. Two of the people in our group managed to talk continuously the whole two hours, I couldn’t have gotten a word in anywhere, even had I heard of any of the books, TV programs, games and whatever else they were discussing. So, slightly disappointed with myself, I set my laptop up in the kitchen, and waited for one of my flatmates to pass by, meaning to make up for it then. And still, I didn’t. One person came and said hello, I said hello back, they asked if I was working, I said yes, then that was it. Other people came and went and just ignored me, and I couldn’t bring myself to talk to them first, however easy it should be. I am starting to think I need to do something unusual to get people to ask me about it. I think I should go to breakfast tomorrow wearing nothing but my shorts, walk through the flat dressed for the beach rather than this time of year, someone will stop me and ask why, and I will be able to answer them. But I doubt I will bother.

No, all I have to do is simply force myself to say something. Anything at all, I have gotten used to the idea that I am the sort of person that does not talk, so has everyone else, I need to break that idea, get used to the idea that I am someone that does talk, whatever it is that that someone says, even if it doesn’t wuite feel like me, I need to start acting like that. I am sure the moment I gather enough courage to say something to someone as they pass me, it will all suddenly become so much easier, but I can’t make that next step.

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5.10: Chance 4

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

All this worrying about talking to people, and other stuff going on in my life recently, I totally forgot about the review this morning, rather than sitting around the class working and occasionally going to see the tutor for help, we had to take all our work in, put it up on the boards and give short presentations before discussing it with the tutors. This meant rather less opportunity for talking to my classmates, unfortunately, but I did do quite well in the presentation, talked just about as much as I could have wanted, explained my work, answered questions, discussed thing with the tutors, I even managed to point out a couple of details they had missed, and what is more, they actually quite liked my work as well. So, no chatting to classmates, but my best presentation by far, so that is something.
Meanwhile, I should add that I now have an incentive to talk more, I have found something that I really want, and have agreed to let myself buy it only when I have gone and talked to someone, though I decided not to include this presentation, or ordering food and drinks in a cafe, since those were things expected of me. Shouldn’t be too hard, right, just when someone says hello or some such to me, reply, a couple more exchanges of words, that’s it…

3.10: Chance 3

November 27, 2011 2 comments

I think I need to talk louder, more than anything else. Often when I say something, people don’t quite hear, I have to repeat it, and often only bother to say the most important part. Sometimes people miss what I am saying altogether, such that it was hardly worth bothering, or mishear and think I said something else. So, that is what I need to work on, chances I get to say something, say it louder.
As for today’s chance, I did talk a little more, added comments that were not answers to direct questions, that sort of thing, though of course not very loud, such that I think a couple may have gone totally unnoticed, and I didn’t make some of the comments I had wanted to. Though, as it turns out, I may have extra chances coming up, I worry that turning up to these events, meeting people and then sitting saying nothing is making thigns a little awkward for others, perhaps they aren’t sure why I bother to go, or something, I don’t know, but I think I will continue to turn up every chance I get, and talk a little more each time, I am getting into this, slowly, but truth is, my going and saying things unasked this morning was a huge step forwards, now I just have to continue that and build on it, and also remember that I have taken what is for me a large step, my limited progress so far may mean I forget that and feel disappointed still.

2.10 Chance 2

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I completely forgot about this until late at night. Or perhaps partly I just wanted to avoid it. Truth is, I should have thought more about this one, perhaps it was not even much of a chance at all, spending a little while with someone that talks barely any more than I do, whilst we were both intent on getting our work done, and I should have remembered there was a good chance noone else at all would bother turning up.
Tomorrow, though, I will do better, especially if I can get there a little early and greet people as they arrive, before they start talking to each other. Then, I will try to find chances to add in my own comments, not something I would usually do, but I am running out of time, desperate times, desperate measures and all that. But perhaps it will not come to that, if all goes well, merely saying a few words at the begining will be enough to signal to the others that I am intersted in being included in the conversation a little.

1.10 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Philosophy day again, and late at night again, anyways, though, Hegel, another interesting philosopher.
Hegel was one of the first people since ancient Greece to take the study of history seriously, up until his time it had just been a vague idea of some things that once happened, and of people that once lived, and left mostly at that. Hegel, though, dedicated quite a bit of effort to the subject, trying to understand how cultures and traditons and systems of governance had been different in the past, and then moved in the even more interesting direction of trying to see patterns in the subject, to see where things were going and thus what was going to happen next.
From this, he developed theories loosely based on those of Kant, in which the universe became a thing known as the Geist (as in Zeitgeist) a general consciousness that was moving ever forwards towards some vague aim. Change was inherent in all things, always striving towards this future, but unlike with Schopenhauer’s ‘Will’, there was purpose and intent to this movement, and that intent was self realisation, understanding and the development of perfection.
Meanwhile, he was also working on a similar theory, the idea of the synthesis. Linking this back to the concept of change and development, he declared the ideas of ‘being’ and ‘not being’ two opposing realities, which could be merged into a synthesis, that of becoming, of changing and moving forwards with the Geist. This synthesis was soon extended outwards, all of existance was a series of ideas and facts, each of which was opposed, thesis to antitheis, and all of which could be then merged into a synthesis, a compomise of the two opposing positions, which would then become the new thesis, and move one step further along in its development.
This was of particular interest in the field of politics, where opposing ideologies held opposing ideas, which could in theory be merged to create new political theories, and thus bring society one step closer to perfection. From this came the Hegelian theory of political development, though, whilst Hegel himself never chose a side, his supporters were soon divided into opposing camps. The Right Hegelians believed that society as they lived in was approaching perfection and needed only a little refining to smooth out the bugs. The Left Hegelians, though, thought that the whole of society was wrong, outdated, and that a whole new one was needed, in fact many amongst them attempted to design the perfect society right there and then, rather than waiting for it to develop step by step. these opposing factions would later form the basis of the Fascist and Socialist movements that would shape much of the history of the 20th century. Meanwhile, the same idea of development towards perfection was to prove a great inspiration to the ongoing efforts to explain evolution, alongside Schopenhauer’s ideas of the brutality and competitiveness of nature.
Hegel, though, argued that each of us was a part of the time in which we lived, that noone could be outside of the world as tey knew it then, noone could live or think as though they were in a past age or a future one, however much they tried. Those that tried to bring the future in right then were doomed to failure, everything had to be undertaken in its own time, step by step. Meanwhile, though, something was always left behind, as he saw it, some remnant of past civilizations, old traditions, and also reminders of each individual’s past as they change through their lives.

So that is old philosophers in ages past thinking and trying to understand how we see the world, how we understand what goes on around us, how the universe works. From there they influenced generations of scientists and philosophers. Perhaps one day I will go on to discuss science of the era, but next week, political and moral theories developed out of these ideas, the suppression of the working class, revolution and change, the welfare state, and Marxism.

1.10: Chance 1

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, that could have gone better. I managed to lose the people I was supposed to be going and talking to, then when I finally found them again, they were just leaving. Turns out, they had decided at the last minute we are not going to meet up and work this afternoon, instead we are all going home to work on our own, and then email everything in to one person ready for them to print the night before it needs to be done. And this in spite of the fact that I had already emailed them to say I thought the whole idea was to learn from each others’ work, rather than just to get it done.
Anyway, so I did manage to meet one of the group members, turns out he was in a hurry to be off home, stopped only long enough to tell me what was happening, with a couple of gaps for me to say ‘yes, OK’ and so on, then disappeared. I mean, at least I said something, but I was all ready to actually have a little bit of a conversaton, I even had a couple of ideas to share that might have made all this a lot easier.
Tomorrow, though, it will go better, I know that is due to be a long and casual meeting, and that if I get there on time, there will be only one other person there, and she always says hello to me as I enter…

1.10 learning to talk

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Now here is something that may actually interest a few new people around the internet, a little insight into my life away from writing and cousework. I have found it difficult to actually go out and talk to people for as long as I can remember, and it seems to get more difficult all the time. I think at least partly it is that my expectation of myself is not to talk, so I lack confidence and don’t bother, other people’s expectations of me stop them bothering to try communicating with me, and then, of course, I lack practice, it is difficult for me to know what to say and when.
Exactly what is wrong with me, I have no idea, I have confused a few psychologists and therapists so far, they keep suggesting new things it could be, nothing ever quite seems to fit, and certainly labels don’t actually help me overcome the difficulty. Neither, as it turns out, does meeting with someone to discuss the issue, it isn’t as though they can actually do anything to help, whatever I have to do, I need to do myself. I stopped bothering to go and see the people that were meant to be helping for a few weeks recently after we both got frustrated with the lack of progress there and elsewhere (more on this, a lot more, in some of my earlier posts, perhaps I will link to them from here if the idea gets enough interest)
I have always been frustrated with this part of me, but just recently I have become even more determined than ever to do something about it, and now have a plan. The things that are most difficult for me are firstly, having other people actually try talking to me, I can be very quiet, hard to hear, then I don’t say much early in any discussion, people assume I will not talk much back to them, that sort of thing, so if I decide I want to say something, it becomes a little awkward to find a chance to do so, I am not very good in groups where everyone else is talking, or with going up to someone and starting a conversation myself. Secondly, I just don’t know what to say, so many different things I could say when I meet someone, which to go with, or all too easy just to go, oh well it doesn’t matter, they don’t expect me to say anything at all, then later, I often have little to contribute, I don’t have the same experiences or interests to discuss, I can’t remember things I want to say exactly at the moment I need to, and so on…
Anywy, this plan, I have over the course of the next few days five chances to meet with people and talk to them, just five, then after that, it is back to the usual university routine of only ever seeing people I know at all once or twice either side of the christmas break, whilst my flatmates are already acting like I don’t exist, that will prove a greater challenge, though I have more time there.

Introduction out of the way, what I intend to do is, every time I go to one of these meetings, someone will presumably say something to me as I enter, they usually do. I will then reply with ‘Good morning’, having chosen this response beforehand I know exactly what to say in that moment, and it forces me to say more than I might do otherwise. And, as well, it could lead into some comment about my choice of greeting, particularly during the afternoon. From there, then, I hope to be able to persuade those I am meeting with that I am making an effort to talk, to be able to slip one or two more comments in later, and to gradually build up from there.
First chance is in a couple of hours time, let’s see how that goes…