Here we go on another version of "get to know this blog-writer." I read Donna's answers to questions posed to her and have herein accepted the continuation of her task - to interview four people based upon writings in their blogs.
Following are my answers to the questions she posed to me (warning: my fingers got really excited to be typing today and it's a pretty long post). I'd like to continue this interview process and will create questions for the first four people who comment and agree to be interviewed.
5Q4Jenni from Donna
Q1. You started your blog in August of 2004. You mentioned late in August that you could easily be addicted to reading and commenting on blogs. Seven months later, would you say that you read blogs as much as you did in the beginning? Would you say that overall the experience has been positive or negative for you?
A1. I would definitely say that I read as much as I did in the beginning. The thing is now, I have almost too many that I regularly read. I do have to be careful to not get swept away reading blog after blog. One of the first things I do when I get to work is check on my list of blogs and if I'm not careful, it can easily be an hour or more before I get refocused on work!
The experience has definitely had positives and negatives. On the positive side, I have "met" so many new people and started to form relationships such that I feel I could call upon them when traveling through their towns - at least to say hello. Since I started out reading Mike Cope's blog, through the comments and connections made there, I feel somewhat safe with these new friends.
On the negative side, blogging is still (like email) a communication medium where emotions aren't shown clearly. Written words don't carry the tone and intent as do spoken words. I think it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of knowing each other and, if not careful, we can forget that we really don't know what the readers/writers are thinking or intending. I've been caught a couple of times hastily typing a harsh reaction to a negative comment - or assuming that I know the intentions of the commenter to be negative towards what I wrote. It is a side of this whole thing that I need to be more cautious of.
Also, it is somewhat harder to be completely free and write what I really want to because of the knowledge of some of the people who read. While I don't try to keep secrets, there are some secret parts of me that I might want to share, but am hesitant to blog about because of who I know to be in my audience. Don't know if that makes sense, but it is.
Overall, I'd definitely say positive.
Q2. Several times you have mentioned how important donating blood and platelets is to you. What was the impetus that made this so important to you?
A2. Well, I remember growing up that my dad donated blood regularly, and somewhere along the way he started giving platelets. The spring of my senior year of high school, I was able to give blood for the first time at a blood drive at my school. Earlier that school year, I had accompanied a close friend to Houston for a radiation treatment (she had cancer in her sinus cavity). I don't know if Emily ever had to have a platelet transfusion, but knowing personally someone who has gone through cancer treatments made the need more personal and real to me.
Most people don't give blood because they are too lazy to figure out how - not because they can't or are afraid. So, I have made a commitment to try and give as much as I can. Giving platelets is what I've chosen to do because they have a shorter shelf life than whole blood and they are so very critical in helping cancer patients make it. The process does take longer, but I think those three hours are spent in a more worthy manner by donating platelets than sitting at home watching TV.
Q3. Last year you were involved with your 10 year class reunion. What was the most surprising thing you discovered about your classmates? What was the most surprising thing you discovered about yourself?
A3. I think the most surprising thing that I discovered is that not too many of them had changed one bit. The people that I wasn't friends with in high school, I still wouldn't be friends with (for the most part). It was surprising that I had changed much more than I had thought. I don't have a lot of clear memories of high school, except that I was definitely not one of the "in crowd" and that I was much more of a goody-two-shoes than I would have thought. Over the past ten years, I have definitely grown into my faith and my opinions have shifted some. While I would still probably be defined by some as a goody-two-shoes, I think that moniker has definitely softened over the years.
I had a very interesting conversation with our class president at the reunion. If you had asked me in 1994 if I thought he was a Christian, I don't know what my answer would have been. But my impression was that he liked to party a lot and would be pretty much of a flake. Hunter and I had a great conversation and I came to realize that my perceptions of him from back then were pretty skewed. We may not go to the same denomination of church, but we are brother and sister in Christ for sure. It was an eye-opening revelation for me.
Q4. What caused you to start collecting thimbles? What was your first one?
A4. The spring of 1986 our family had our first actual family vacation (I wrote more about it here) planned to southern California - Disneyland, Universal Studios, Sea World, Tijuana Mexico. My parents decided that they didn't want us begging for each and every overpriced (yet cheap) trinket and t-shirt as souvenirs. So, we were told to pick one thing. One thing of which we were going to start a collection. I think they gave us choices, but I can't really remember. So, thimbles were my choice. They are generally inexpensive and found almost anywhere. My very first thimble is a pewter thimble with the castle at Disneyland in red glass on the top. Since then I've collected them from all over the world. And I can imagine continuing this collection for many years to come.
Q5. Preparing for and having your Lasik surgery was very important to you, overall how satisfied are you with the results? Would you consider having any other type of optional surgeries?
A5. Overall, I am very satisfied with my LASIK results. It is not 100% perfect and I will probably have a little enhancement procedure done to get it closer to perfect, but it is so very much better that before. I cannot really put into words what a difference it is to just wake up and look at the clock without having to put on glasses. Or to lay in bed and watch TV without smushing my glasses into my cheek. I know that I will become so accustomed to this that I will in time take it for granted (like I do so many of God's other gifts to me!), but I don't want to. I want to remember and relish the eyesight that was given back to me because of gifts that God lavished on the surgeons and scientists to could figure out such a procedure!
As far as any other optional surgeries, I can't think of any right now that I would consider.