Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm back! + Thoughts on online communication

I got home late Sunday night, and jumped right into work with a funeral Monday. Whew! But I'm glad to be home and in my own bed...being the crazy aunt in the basement is just a part-time gig, but one I wish I could have more often. Exceptional One is a delight, and I really hate that I don't get to see her more often.
So on another note, I'm involved in this converstaion online about my DMin group's next class. It looks both exciting and demanding, and all the expectations of us (which are high) have not been clearly articulated. As we have been wont to do in the past, the group of us have been in contact via email to discuss it. Usually this is a good thing; we have very different personalities and work styles, and so we can talk through a lot and get a lot of different perspectives on things.
Not this time. One person's done a lot of legwork about where we will stay and what's being asked of us, which I appreciate, but questions came up about whether or not the class would be pass/fail, as we'd been led to expect, and about the compressed schedule. Some of us have some small anxiety about the timeframe and that the assignments as informally articulated to us seem ambitious. Intriguing and potentially fun, but ambitious.
All this is fine, as far as I'm concerned. Let's talk it out and get whatever info we need, so that we can be comfortable with it. But we have one classmate who's been trying, I think, to calm the waters. It's coming off, to me, as dismissive and condescending, and I think it's pretty well stifled any further conversation.
Here's my problem: if we were having this conversation in person, I'd say something. But we're not. It's happening via email and Facecrack, and that means we're only getting snippets of what one another is communication. I suspect my classmate has read too much anxiety into my emails and those of our other classmates. I don't think we've been able to read the nuances of our questions. And I'm pretty sure that I'm reading condescension in where I'm meant to hear that it isn't a big deal.
I usually love all the means of staying in touch the internet affords. Today, though, I'm reminded of how much of our communication relies on facial expression and tone of voice and intagibles that aren't communicated by words on a screen. So I'm going to let it blow over, and assume the best of all of us concerned. I just regret that here we seem to be having a communication glitch that could affect our relationships.
Or maybe it's just me, hence the letting go.

1 comment:

  1. well hooray to you for letting go... it isn't easy to do, but sometimes we just gotta.


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