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25 September 2013

But do I go back to class? And am I overthinking this. Hi, Jessamyn sent me over. I had a newish friend reprimand me during a class, then later (maybe a day later) I got an e-mail from him saying "I'm trying to cut down my net time, help me by not writing much here." So I sense (I think) that he is pushing me away.

This is a platonic setup, and I get it that anyone can say goodbye at any time without even a reason, that's life.

I'm taking a course from him, and now wonder if I belong there. It's hard to approach someone who reprimands you. At least it is for me.

I know this is sparse. I could write a novelette but do not have time. And I am new to metachat. OK, I can back off. I would back up to Washington State if I thought that would help.
Ouch. I bet that hurt. But it's probably not about you. And even if it is, you shouldn't let it stop you! Is this a class in a academic setting, or somewhere less formal (art class at the community center, etc)? Either way, I think you should keep going.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 25 September | 21:06
I'm a little confused. When he said, "I'm trying to cut down my net time, help me by not writing much here," where's "here"?
posted by occhiblu 25 September | 21:17
"Here" = "this e-mail account."
posted by intrepid_simple(ton) 25 September | 21:34
I would read that as him asking you to back off a little, then, too, and I like TPS's reminder that it may not be about you. I don't think you have to stop taking the class, at least not if you're enjoying it.
posted by occhiblu 25 September | 21:37
Agreed. I'd maybe back off from him, but definitely not the course!
posted by gaspode 25 September | 22:50
I think you can take him at his word about cutting down on net time. I've done that and I realize it makes me seem colder to people who were once used to me being all over Facebook, but it's not about them, it's about my own need to reduce distraction and increase my focus on face to face life.

Was the reprimand related to the email, or something that happened in class?

People do have boundaries and they're allowed to. It could be this is just this person letting you know where his are. If you respect them and are calm about it, it should allow you to understand how to interact with him in ways he prefers.

Is there something more that makes this seem more urgent than just a regular friendship?
posted by Miko 25 September | 23:00
It's not clear whether this person has a position that affects you or whether this reprimand had to do with this class or something personal-- are you peers and this is a casual situation? Did you know him before the class or because of it? Is he the reason you're in class?

If you need/enjoy/already paid for the class, go to class. If this reprimand was about something in the class-- interfering, distracting, undermining his authority/ability to teach, etc.-- that seems very different than, well, I'm unclear on this whole "reprimand" thing. Did something happen that needed to be reprimanded? Was it a correction or obviously a purely emotional reaction? How did others react?

You are definitely over-thinking it, but can you see it objectively? If you are going to think about something, have it be productive. Dropping a class seems like an extreme reaction.

This person has things to do, like teach, and as a newish friend, it makes sense to give them some space so you can see how they respond, and see how you respond.
Since you say you can back off, I'm guessing you've been on? Perhaps that energy could be directed elsewhere? Can I recommend some media?
posted by ethylene 26 September | 02:22
No, I backed off immediately. ( understand boundaries. I realize I'm not giving a lot of details but that's for a reason. It's a fun class, it's pay by the week. And thanks, ethylene, but I've got a long list that needs to be done :-).
posted by intrepid_simple(ton) 26 September | 07:09
And he apologized --kind of-- I was still wrong, but I didn't know that at the time. I mean what I did wasn't the end of the world, just not knowing.

You all are very kind.
posted by intrepid_simple(ton) 26 September | 07:16
Welcome! I know a lot of younger academics who have issues negotiating social interactions with their students who become or want to become friends. Since you say you're taking a class for fun, pay-by-the-week, their experiences might not be exactly the same, but if it's something that's still bugging you, feel free to email me at the address in my profile, as I'd rather not share other people's stories here.
posted by Twiggy 26 September | 11:02
You sound like you care about doing the right thing and being decent. Sometimes it is impossible to understand other people's reactions to things; probably most of the time it has less to do with you and more to do with them. So you made a mistake because you didn't know something - happens to all of us. If you like taking the class keep going. If it feels too awkward or isn't enjoyable or worthwhile because of what happened, find a different class. Just keep doing stuff and living your life, ya know?

Meanwhile, now that you've jumped in the pool here, stick around!
posted by Kangaroo 26 September | 11:32
I wouldn't say it's a big deal either way. He doesn't want to spend much time on email. Don't email him unless necessary for formal class related issues. Life goes on.
posted by Firas 26 September | 11:40
Twiggy, I clicked on your name at the end of your post but saw no address -- help me?
posted by intrepid_simple(ton) 26 September | 15:28
Well, I thought we're friends to begin with, I and I knew this class would be fun (and maybe a friend helps another friend build his following). I suppose I should give him the opportunity to have a bad day, and not freak out myself.
posted by intrepid_simple(ton) 26 September | 15:42
Moon can haz bunny || What are we reading these days?