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Date Posted: 03:57:45 07/31/09 Fri
Author: Steven/Aquaman/U of O Linguist (Nostalgic)
Subject: Thanks, everyone!! (years too late, but sincerely...)
Hey Scoobies!! I recently signed up for Netflix, and of course the first things added to my Q were BTVS - all 7 seasons, staggered for one disc a week. Starting from the beginning and watching these episodes all over again, I realized something - I got so much more out of this show BECAUSE OF THIS BOARD!! At the time, I was a student of linguistics at the u of Oregon, funding my schooling by teaching scuba diving and making jewelry. Buffy was a great distraction - Until I logged onto this site and began posting on this board. That's when my linguistics education and my "distraction" became one and the same - I wrote my senior thesis on my theory of narrative syntax, which I helped develope and format by trying bits of it out on y'all. Your feedback - sometimes positive, many times negative - was invaluable. You all taught me, showed me where and when I was being obtuse, incomprehensible, unnecessarily complex, overly abstract, and just plain old self-involved to the point of forgetting that my writing was worthless if those who read it could not understand my rambling, disjointed thoughts. And I was guilty of all of these things, so very often. Especially self-involved!!!
At the time, school, work, my love life, and my ego (God, it was huge - but that's what it takes, sometimes, to thrive in academia, and I don't regret) made me a bit hard to get along with, and I abruptly quit posting on this site when the series came to an end - coincidentally, about the time my thesis was coming due. Other things demanded my attention, and then life led me in other directions, and I never returned to say thanks for the debates, the critiques, the ideas, the support. Yes, it was supportive, even when it got somewhat antagonistic. Such, also, is the nature of academia.
I never did go to grad school - I burned out on school, and that is perhaps why I burned out on this forum. I still make jewelry (see www.decompressionstopstudios.com/eyesjewelry) and I now sell photography, graphic designs, and t-shirts of my underwater friends (see www.decompressionstopstudios.com for the best of my portfolio). I never, ever do semantic analysis anymore!!
But once, it was the most important thing in my life. And this forum was a huge part of that life - it seems like another person, now, looking back even though it was just a few years ago. If the person I am today was posting, I would not be anywhere near as egomaniacal, in-your-face, self-obsessed, or smugly superior. I also, surely, would be nowhere near as interesting or provocative. I've become - Oh My God - a middle-aged man. Married, checking my credit score, paying a mortgage.
I am glad to see that many of y'all are still here, still friends, still philosophers. You may not have recognized the content of my emotions at the time, but through all the bombast and bitchiness, the ego and the excess, I loved this forum and loved our interaction and, yes, loved you all.
You all made BTVS much more special than it would have otherwise been. And those debates still reverberate, especially now, watching this wonderful show again from my new, older, more tamed perspective. (Re-VERBerate, damn I would have had a field day with that word, once upon a time!!)
I hope in retrospect that your overall experience of me was something that y'all considered positive, even if the specific bits and pieces sometimes seemed negative at the time. I certainly feel that way. Given my out-of-touch-with-reality state of mind at the time, this forum was a major source of grounding for me. And boy did I need grounding!
Thanks. I'm still obviously long-winded. But all of these words really are just saying, again and in many ways, thanks.
PS - Just FYI, if any of you even remember the situation:
Although I did post under several names, I was also telling the truth when I said that there were two other boys and one girl, who I used to work with, who used my computer (and also my name, on several occasions, much to my dismay) to post on this site. Y'all thought they were all me, and that was a reasonable conclusion, given my posting habits, and given your negative experiences with trolls that came before me.
That misunderstanding was the source of a good bit of antagonism, all my fault I admit, because I hated being made responsible for another's ignorant words. But my reaction to that misunderstanding was also ignorant, and for that I sincerely apologize. It was my responsibility, as a new poster, to defuse this misunderstanding, and instead I fueled it, out of just plain bitchiness. PLease accept my apology for this "screw-you" attitude I took concerning this situation. It is the only thing I regret about our interactions.
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