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Author Topic: Gettin' Yourself Some Chicken
Ralphie
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Okay, so Slash and I were at the stop light on a busy intersection near my house. On three corners of this intersection are fastfood restaurants - a Burger King, a Taco Bell, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken. As we sit there at our stop light, we look over toward the Taco Bell corner and there, walking toward the crosswalk in front of us, is a short, very stocky man with Down's Syndrome. He's wearing blue sweats, cut-off at the knees, and he's holding a microphone, dis-attached to a CD player with a headset that he is also carrying. And he is singing into that non-amplified microphone like he was performing in front of 20,000 people. He is seriously going at it, waiting for the crosswalk to turn green for him.

As we wait, the crosswalk turns green, and he crosses in front of our car, just absolutely belting into his unattached microphone. We watch as he crosses the KFC parking lot, and disappears inside. Slash and I looked at each other, and I say, in half surprise and half amusement, "I'll be damned. He was just going to get himself some chicken."

Slash says, equally surprised and amused, "Yup, he was gettin' himself some chicken."

After a moment of speculating on who this guy was and what his life story must be, we talked a while about how incredibly fortunate he is. How we would kill to have such a nonexistent sense of self-consciousness. How incredibly heavenly it would be when your day is made up of walking around, belting into a microphone for your own enjoyment, and then just going and getting some KFC.

And I realized I just want to get me some chicken. I want to embrace all my weaknesses, learn to be okay with them, and tap into my ability to feel joy just being myself, wherever Iím at. Whenever I think about that guy, I honestly, literally want to be him. I feel he has a major advantage over me. I feel overwhelmed with life, and heís taking delight in the simplest of pleasures.

Squicky and I talked on AIM last night (and youíre an angel, Squick Ė thank you) and we determined it wasnít the chicken acquiring so much as it was the singing on the walk there. Does this guy have any major problems in his life? Iím sure he does. But heís still belting one out into a microphone without an amp, and in his mind itís the greatest thing life can offer him.

This bothers me a great deal. Sometimes I believe it is the ones with most disadvantages that truly appreciate what they have. I feel unappreciative and jaded. I donít want to be so stupidly introspective, picking apart every behavior and habit, ad nauseum, until I can no longer see the forest for the trees. What is the secret Iím missing? What does this guy know that I donít know?

I need to learn his arcane ways. Cause I just want to walk to KFC and sing into a microphone, and I just want me some chicken.

[ September 19, 2003, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: Ralphie ]

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MacBeth
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not to be a downer but...if that happens to YOU they will lock you away and call it dementia...trust me I know...

[ September 19, 2003, 09:14 PM: Message edited by: MacBeth ]

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Bonny Mad Jenny
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Do it Ralphie!

A man came to speak to my school today who had cerberal palsey (is that how you spell it?) he told us that he used to try to be "normal" but that his life is so much better now that he has realised that it's okay to be "disabled" He said that if he had the chance to be "normal" he wouldn't take it; he likes being a minority and an outsider. It was a really interesting speach (he is a great speaker, very humorous) and one of the main points he made was that our society conditions us to think that we won't be liked unless we're perfect. He said that we need to argue with the voices in our heads that tell us we're not good enough, thin enough, smart enough and just be who we are.

If you are someone who sings into an unattached microphone as they cross the street to get some chicken don't listen to the voice that tells you you'll look stupid. Listen to the voice that says how much fun it would be!

~Dragon

[ September 19, 2003, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: Bonny Mad Jenny ]

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Icarus
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Is it really his lack of self-consciousness you envy? Self-consciousness can be worked on. It seems more likely, though, when people say that they envy someone with a handicap, or their pets, or people in some third world country who live "the simple life" that they are not so much envying that person's simplicity of life as wishing they could run away from their own stresses.

I would not prefer to be that guy. *shrug*

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Ralphie
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Yeah, I would say there's a measure of that, Icarus. I would swap stresses, until I didn't want his anymore, and then I'd want to swap again. ::grins::

However, it mostly comes down to an ability to be happy no matter what. That is the arcane secret, and I want to know the combo to the lock.

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Icarus
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Interesting. I wonder what it says to me that I would not want to be happy at that cost. Maybe it's a lack of imagination on my part. Or maybe too good an imagination.

Say, wanna Parachat?

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jexx
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Psshht...no they won't, MacBeth, and believe me, *I* know. I've spent the past 8 years gettin' myself some chicken, while living on some of the most conservative, paranoid real estate in the United States. Yes, friends, I am an Army Spouse. An Army Spouse with a penchant for celebrating obscure holidays (Talk Like A Pirate Day, Don Ho Day) in appropriate costume and with props.
I do the boogie-woogie to loud disco music while selling America's Hope (USMA cadets) caffeine and chocolate.
I sing pirate chanties (okay, one pirate chanty, and the SpongeBob song) and paint my face black and yellow for Spirit Fridays (the day before our inevitable defeats at football...sigh).
I am *not* beautiful, but act as if I am. I am a firm believer in my own attractiveness and expect people to be charmed by me. Eventually, they submit. I am persistent.
I sing karaoke with my dad. Once I accidentally chose a duet to sing by myself ("Love Shack"-B52's), and soldiered right on through.
You only have one life (probably), and you have to choose how you are going to move through it. With kindness, I hope, and that includes being kind to yourself. You are beautiful. You are smart. You have the potential to be whatever you desire. Yes, even a rock star. Even a person who sings on street corners for his own amusement. How sad it would be if no one sang for his/her own amusement.

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LadyDove
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jexx- that was great.

My husband is someone who seems completely without inhibitions. He loves to play. He learned play well as a child.
He walks around shoeless in the office; has been known to moon a gathering of co-workers; sings Bob Dylan at the top of his lungs whenever someone mentions anything that even remotely sounds like a BD lyric; and yes, he always crosses the street acting like the little stick figure in the signal light. There are times when he is "just gettin' himself some chicken".

Yet he is very stressed. When he has a quiet moment, he worries. He worries about the company; the employees; being a good son, husband and father. He is a very intense private person and a very relaxed public figure.

I am the opposite. One on one, you get the best of me. I don't worry, but work toward being the best person I can be. I look for areas to improve, and feel that progress is made one day at a time. I am comfortable with myself and I am comfortable with the other person.

In a group, you see the child/parent me who is either not sure what to do and say, or very busy doing every little thing. I worry about what I'm saying, how I'm saying it, what I'm wearing, whether there's spinach in my teeth, etc. Yes, I am stressed too. But you'll get the worst of that if you catch me off-guard in public.

Anyway, I think that we all have our moments when we are willing to just be. To embrace all the little pleasures and to not care what anyone else thinks. I don't know that it's realistic to believe that having a filter is necessarily a bad thing. It keeps us from being "careless" with ourselves and with other peoples lives and feelings.

I do think it would be nice to be able to turn the filter off at will.

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Shan
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I had a similar experience many, many years ago, Ralphie. I was in-between jobs and doing the search for anything that didn't = flipping hamburgers, scrubbing toilets, etc. So, of course, sitting on the bus I meet this lady with Down's, dressed in her crisp, spotless McD's uniform, happy as a lark and telling all of us how proud she was of her job washing the dishes and sweeping the floor, how she looked forward to each day.

My first feeling? Shame.

My second? Hope.

My next action? I took the motel housekeeping job until I could get back into college and a better job.

I guess you could say I owe her! She taught me a beautiful lesson. I'm grateful.

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Icarus
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Shan! Welcome back!

[Big Grin]

Come Parachat!

Landmark thread coming up soon? [Wink]

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Troubadour
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Yeah, but would it be a frankenchicken? *weg*
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xnera
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This morning at work, the owner of the company told us about an email she had received. It was all about having a positive outlook on life. The email included the following story entitled Attitude is Everything.

It's a wonderful story. I had it hanging in my cubicle for nearly five years. The thing is, I don't think I really lived by it until this year.

I still don't understand exactly what happened that caused a shift in my mind. Maybe it was getting to a point where I felt I was as low as I could get. Maybe I had just finally had enough. Whatever it was, I suddenly found that I was no longer dwelling on my problems so much. Oh sure, I still thought about them and worried a heck of a lot, but rather than see the negative only, I began to see the positive.

I began to see everything as a learning experience. And believing that, my problems were no longer terribly crises. Instead, they were adventures, and puzzles to be solved. And most of all, lessons to be learned. I began to be excited about life. My confidence level increased. Now, my "bad" times are no longer days or weeks on end, but merely hours. And I'm so incredibly grateful for this. I'm finally happy.

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Trespassiní Tiger
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((((((((((Ralphie)))))))))) [Kiss]

Hobbes [Smile]

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screechowl
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quote:
I want to embrace all my weaknesses, learn to be okay with them, and tap into my ability to feel joy just being myself, wherever I’m at. Whenever I think about that guy, I honestly, literally want to be him. I feel he has a major advantage over me. I feel overwhelmed with life, and he’s taking delight in the simplest of pleasures.
Well put. Very well put. I enjoyed your observation.

I also wish the same.

[ September 20, 2003, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: screechowl ]

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Storm Saxon
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Ralphie--that was one of your best posts ever. Thanks. [Kiss] Have some tiger germs!
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screechowl
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Xnera

I have copied that message. I intend to send it to a fellow principal. I learned today that his son had taken his own life. I thank you for the site.

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Shan
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Hi Icarus!

How does one parachat? (Feel free to e-mail the response so as not to bore the rest of the world who are probably cool enough to already know this)

Landmark? Nope - new name! [Razz]

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Icarus
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Click on the word "chat" on the banner at the top!
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Jenny Gardener
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I've been called a "free spirit". I decided, once, that life is too short to be inhibited about enjoying the things you do enjoy. I admitted to loving insects. I balance on curbs. I smile at people and make eye contact when walking down the street. I sniff flowers and touch fabrics. I have been known to run outside nekkid. I celebrate May Day when no one else in my community does. And I invite everyone I meet to put off their self-consciousness for a while and join in the fun!
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Shan
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Well, dang, that was simple Icky! Scary, but simple!
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Ralphie
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quote:
Yeah, but would it be a frankenchicken? *weg*
You know, Kels, if I hadn't already parodied you in the "Chicken Cross the Road" thread, that would be my parody. [Razz]
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Jexxster
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Inspiring observations from many of you (Ralphie, jexx, Shan, Jenny Gardener, and others). I really appreciate your sharing those with us/me.

Far too often I feel we let our inhibitions get in the way of us realizing our true potential. Fears of what others are thinking about us can shackle us as surely as any physical shackles. And what I find to be most tragic is that far too often we invent things that aren't really there, creating our own handicaps.

Good thoughts to start the day. Thanks again.

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Sopwith
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Ralphie, that was great. [Smile]

I think it's about the shedding of the greatest inhibition -- worrying about what the rest of the world thinks about us. The fellow with the microphone didn't care what others thought, he was in HIS moment and enjoying himself completely. No matter what anyone else thought, he was having a ball.

I wish I could find that same freedom within myself and then reap the rewards and satisfaction, or get myself some chicken.

It's how the "greats" do it and that fellow was definitely one of the greats, at least in his world if not everyone's.

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celia60
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He wasn't, by chance, singing know your chicken was he?

I KNOW MY CHICKEN.
YOU GOT TO KNOW YOUR CHICKEN.

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Erik Slaine
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In my last position, I was Employment Coordinator for a non-profit agency that specialized in the placement of persons with disabilities. Downs syndrome clients were a large part of our clientelle. You will find that many of them have no inhabitions whatsoever. You can imagine what this means!

Even though they had to be constantly supervised, it would be a mistake to think of them as children. I do miss them, and even though they are not completely innocent, they are usually sincere and honest. They are really fine people, and can be a real kick in the pants to talk to!

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sndrake
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quote:
A man came to speak to my school today who had cerberal palsey (is that how you spell it?) he told us that he used to try to be "normal" but that his life is so much better now that he has realised that it's okay to be "disabled" He said that if he had the chance to be "normal" he wouldn't take it; he likes being a minority and an outsider. It was a really interesting speach (he is a great speaker, very humorous) and one of the main points he made was that our society conditions us to think that we won't be liked unless we're perfect. He said that we need to argue with the voices in our heads that tell us we're not good enough, thin enough, smart enough and just be who we are.


Bonny Mad Jenny - I gotta ask - was this Norm Kunc?

It sounds like him and I know he's on the road right now. I've been friends with Norm and his wife Emma for about 10 years. It sure sounds like Norm - message, humor and all. Probably the best storyteller I've ever met.

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Ryuko
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Not being self-conscious is a great feeling... It's a hard place to get to, I can only stay there for a little while, but it's always worth it. Reciting Robert Frost poetry on a whim on a streetcorner, singing show tunes at the top of my lungs, running at breakneck speeds down the hallway of my dorm... Yeah... It's the best when you can just let the real you out for a lightning quick moment...
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TomDavidson
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When Sartre wrote that "hell is other people," he was indirectly touching on this point: that our self-consciousness and awareness of social taboos often prevent us from fully enjoying life. But there's another conclusion to be drawn from this, as well: that loneliness is an inevitable result of a lack of self-consciousness.

I think most of us are CAPABLE of living as if we were the only person alive, but choose not to do so because we value the company of others higher than we value complete freedom.

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Scott R
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quote:
It's the best when you can just let the real you out for a lightning quick moment...
This is so sad. . . you're only YOU for a couple brief moments a week?
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Ryuko
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Maybe I misphrased that... Perhaps I meant a purer expression of your energy. Of course I'm me, but I'm tempered by the cares of the world and concerns for my future, so I can't let my exhuberant, youthful, excited self out very often. When I do, it's just... great.... ^_^
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Hobbes
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((((((((((((Tom)))))))))))) *Agrees*

Hobbes [Smile]

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Dragon
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sndrake, yeah!
quote:
Probably the best storyteller I've ever met.
I have to agree, he was amazing!
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katharina
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What if the real you is horrendously boring?
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sndrake
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Dragon (and anyone else interested in this kind of stuff),

Norm and emma have a great website.

Norm Kunc and Emma Van der Klift

quote:
We have many biases...
And we've worked very hard to get them!

I had one of the best weeks of my adult life in 1997 when I spent a week with Norm and Emma. Part of it was at their home on the island of Nanaimo in British Columbia. The other part was spent travelling back and forth between an educational conference in B.C.

Mostly I get to see Norm when he cruises through Chicago - unfortunately, it's only once a year or so, and Emma isn't usually with him. [Frown]

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jehovoid
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quote:
Slash and I looked at each other, and I say, in half surprise and half amusement, "I'll be damned. He was just going to get himself some chicken."

Slash says, equally surprised and amused, "Yup, he was gettin' himself some chicken."

I think it's hilarious that you and your brother talk to each other like this.

As for wanting to be that guy, I couldn't bring myself to do it. I'd just be too afraid of what I'd be missing. The blow to my sense of humor alone would be devastating. How could you ever laugh at yourself if you weren't self-conscious?

A few weeks ago for a class I had to read a couple chapters from this book, The Varieties of Religious Experiece by William James (Henry James' pyschologist brother). In it he describes two types of people, the Healthy-Mind and the Sick Soul. Apparently about a century ago the Power of Positive Thinking was all the rage, and the idea was that you live life without worry, you enjoy nature, and when you fall down, you get up and keep going.

This is all fine and good, and certainly has its place in the world, but the other type, the Sick Soul, is perhaps the more complete person. The Sick Soul does not ignore the problems of evil, mortality, and the absurdity of life. While this type of thinking would probably destroy most people (i.e., lead to suicide), it also gives a more complete view of the world.

I certainly can't say that I'm a Sick Soul. Most of the time, I'm just going to get me some chicken. But I think I'd be missing out on something deeper if I didn't realize every now and then that I was singing into an unplugged microphone.

I don't feel sorry for that guy, but I certainly don't envy him.

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Dan_raven
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Decisions I have made:

When I was 6 I decided I would be one of the good guys, not one of the bad guys. I think much of this came from watching too many cartoons, but it has stuck.

When I was 8 I decided I would smile as often as possible. Whenever I was doing anything, I would remember to smile. THis made my life much better. Try it. Smile and being sad is much more difficult.

When I was 15 I decided that everyone in school was fighting to be normal. That was boring. The secret to having a great life is to be above normal. That, not normality, became my goal.

When I was 17 I was with a group of my drama club friends about to go to a costume party for drama geeks. I was dressed as Benny Hill in an old one piece mans swim suit that went from neck to ankle. I realized as I was about to make my entrance, that people would laugh when they saw me. The difference between embarrasment and a great time was whether I would laugh with them. If I was laughing, they were laughing with me. If I wasn't, they were laughing at me.

Ralphie, thanks for posting this Chicken scratch. It has reminded me that I've let some of my self promises lapse.

Jexx, I don't know you and haven't seen you, but reading your post, I seriously dought that you are not beautiful.

Kath, the real you cannot be boring. Boring is the mask we wear when we try to fit in, try to be normal, are afraid to be who we are.

[ September 22, 2003, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: Dan_raven ]

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katharina
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Dan, that means you believe that every person in the world is secretly at heart a fascinating soul stuffed by social concerns into a boring mold.

That's sweet.

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jexx
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Dan,

[Blushing]

You make me blush. Hehe. Maybe I meant to say that I am not *traditionally* beautiful, or something. Anyway, I think I'm great-looking, most of the time. I also agree with everything you say. It is terribly hard to be sad when you are smiling.

Everyone has had valuable things to say in this thread, and I'm enjoying it greatly. I also agree that a degree of self-conciousness is important, as far as getting along with others is concerned (per TomD's and jehovoid's points, yes, I understand that and thank you for bringing that up, it's fabulous). I just think that making yourself happy ("an it harm none", per Wicca, and yes, I know *rollingeyes* at Wicca, but it makes sense often) is important, too.

And you thought this wasn't going to be an Onanism thread!

(I had to say it before someone else did)

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Dragon
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sndrake, thanks for that link. I love the handicaped simbol with the sign! [Big Grin]
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odouls268
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::was actively eating chicken when he found this thread::

yummy.
buffalo style chicken strips. mm.

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Icarus
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That's odd . . . I was eating chicken passively.

[Razz]

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jehovoid
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"To chicken out" is an intransitive verb.

I don't know what "to chicken" means, but I don't think I wanna find out.

(edit: However, if it's anything like "to egg," I think it would be fun to do this Halloween.)

[ September 22, 2003, 10:55 PM: Message edited by: jehovoid ]

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MrSquicky
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quote:
I think most of us are CAPABLE of living as if we were the only person alive
I find that description of what Ralphie is talking about to be extremely depressing.

I guess it's a definition of human nature thing. I happen to believe that people, at their very base nature, have the potential to be great. What I'm getting from that statement is that you believe that they are doomed to be completely selfish without being forced not to be.

The active principle here is not creating your own little world, but rather engagement, hopefully in a more or less complete sense, in your own unique view of the one that already exists. This surely does not mean that you act as if no one else exists. Self-consciousness is not bad in and of itself, but rather because it often makes this engagement impossible.

In fact, I'd argue that being engaged in another person, in treating them like a subject, is a very healthy way of dealing with people. Certainly, it is much better than the, in our culture, more prevelant attitude of treating them like objects. As self-consciousness is very much a treating of yourself as an object rather than subject, I find it likely that it often contributes or is contributed to by the same factors that lead to this in inter-personal relationships.

If people want to follow up on this type of idea, I am again going to recommend picking up a copy of Viola Spolin's wonderful book Improvisation for the Theater. She's does a much better and much more detailed job of making the case for engagement than I ever could. I especially recommend reading about the initial orientation exercise, called Exposure. I can honestly say that introduction to the concepts in this exercise changed my life, and that is it much richer as a result.

[ September 22, 2003, 11:39 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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MrSquicky
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Incidentally, Ralphie, Tom's quote is exactlly why I make the case in terms of the difference between sub- and super- consciousness.
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Jenny Gardener
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It's much more fun to be a teacher when you're not worried about coming off as the Authority Figure Who Must Always Be Right. If I trip over an extension cord, I expect my students to laugh. Because durn it, that's funny! Also, if I am not afraid to be natural with the students, they are not afraid to be natural with me. They'll tell me straight up whether my lessons are boring or engaging. They'll let me know what's bothering them, both at school and at home. And we can laugh and learn together rather than at odds with each other.

I'm so subversive. [Evil]

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katharina
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How old are your students?
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hansenj
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[Eek!]

<---Misread the title of this thread as "Gettin' Yourself Some Children"

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Jenny Gardener
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I've taught all ages as a substitute. Right now, I'm in 2nd grade.

*************************************************
Ralphie, I must admit that your thread title made me blush and feel like a geek at the same time. In an X-Men comic book, there were a couple of kids at Xavier's school who were making out. The boy looked like a chicken and was called "Beak". His girlfriend's name was "Angel". And their friends teased her about "getting some chicken." And later in the series, she got pregnant by the chicken-boy. Soooo.... [Eek!] [Blushing] [Blushing] [Eek!]

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Ralphie
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Maybe that was the secret to that man's happiness.

And, in which case - yes. I'll never turn out more chicken.

[Monkeys]

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Synesthesia
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I'm weird.
I laugh too loud at silly things like numbers on a book.
At work
In front of everybody
If I enjoy a song I'll wave my hands and clap and laugh delightedly.
I act like a 4 year old half the time, which is especially good when things get so STRESSFUL because at least I can laugh my self half out of existence over something so stupid.

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