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Thursday, June 02, 2005

My First Comment

The virtual world is nerve racking. I first felt this way a year ago when I started my low-residency program for grad school. Most of my studying happens on a virtual campus called FirstClass, but back then I could hardly bring myself to log-in once a week. The endless silence surrounding my comments was intimidating. I couldn’t stand the experience of typing something without seeing people’s reactions. Give me just a face, a set of eyes, an “uh-huh,” or a nod!
Also, there was no saying something quietly. There was no sitting in the middle of class nodding my head and looking engaged. I had to write my thoughts on the conferences, otherwise the teachers thought I was being lazy. But then my comments were being blurted in that obnoxious Times New Roman font, wound up and pitchy, posted on the walls of our cyber class for every one to look at in black and white.
It has taken me until now to get it. I’m beginning to understand that hanging my comments out in the great “empty” can be freeing. The vacuum that follows my words makes me feel like I can say anything. Because in the gap where faces, and bodies, and non-verbals used to be is a single flashing cursor. And in that cursor I can create an audience. So today, I’m pretending that you and I are sitting in a circle (like “That Seventies Show”) and you are listening to me, nodding happily at my comments, and adding your own on top.;-)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Christin. I see you are at what you love to do--write. And I am trying to write when I can't even see. A big storm has just gone through leaving trees down around us and the power off. So the bright screen is pretty, and I remember you, whom I can't see now, are pretty also. But I can't see the keyboard, so am depending on skills learned years ago when I had to do all my writing on an old manual upright typewriter, with carbon copies that were horrible to make corrections on. Sorry you will never experience such joys! I am impressed with the giftedness of one of my offspring once removed, and wonder what life will be like some day for her offspring. Keep at it and a door will open. You know who.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

yeah...just like 'that 70's show.'
only i'm not stoned...

7:22 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Oh Yeah, I forgot about that part of "That 70's Show." I guess I'll keep my eye on you!;-)

4:40 PM  

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