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Yea for the weekend
buzzed, B&W
Ya know, I love Halloween (Entries about Haloween: 2002, more of 2002, 2003, and 2004) I don't know if my costume this year is good enough to win at Miller's - I figure I'm in contention, but who knows . . .

Anyway, Nate mentioned last night that I haven't posted in a while, hence this update.

Lots of randomness
Wednesday was interesting, as the women on our soccer team decided to boycott as they felt they weren't getting passed to enough. Lots of complicated issues here, and lots of possible explanations as to why the women don't get many passes. I was surprised that at least one player feels that I'm a part of the problem, on two levels - the first being that there are times when I don't pass to females, and secondly that as captain I should have done something about this. I was surprised to hear the first (I feel that I play to the space, as to where a person should be, rather than to any particular player), and bothered to hear the second. The second bugs me more so because on one hand they were arguing that as a team, the captain bears some responsibility, but in the rest of the conversation, they're explaining that part of the reason we fail is that we're not really a team - we're a ragtag group that shows up once a week to play a game. I think the most upsetting bit about this to me thought is that nothing was resolved - so the ladies didn't show up, we forfeit, and that's that. I explained the boycott to the people who showed up to play, but really, I was just a messenger at that point. The people who really did have issues with it could have picked some much more proactive means of making their point - there's definitely a part of me that feels like this was a "well screw you, I'm going home" type action. No dialogue was created (well, that's not true as I had a great conversation with some of the women later that night), and I can't see any long term change coming out of this.

So interesting links and things I've seen that I haven't posted about yet . . .

So, it seems that integrating by income has lead to better performance for a school district in NC. So, with the high correlation between income and race, one has to wonder why racial integration didn't lead to success? Or did we never make a true attempt at racial integration in our schools?

This guy gripes about how bad our education system is, specifically for engineering. He gripes about how the teachers don't really teach, that the workload is too intense, and that his grades sucked, and how this may lead to less and less people going into the math and sciences. The comments on slashdot, seemed rather pompous, with many people saying that the author got what he deserved - that engineering is rigorous, that it's not easy, and not everyone should be an engineer. While that may all be true, I think they missed the point when he was going on about how professors don't teach - at least from my experience, the vast majority of professors go through some slides/examples/etc and you're expected to understand the material. Of course, I don't think it's just engineering that has this problem - many universities just don't place an emphasis on whether a prof can teach or not, as the research and funding is more critical than the students.

Anyway, enough for now . . . I still have a backlog of links in my inbox, but they'll wait . . .

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...lots of possible explanations as to why the women don't get many passes.

I don't think that's the point and by focusing on it, you're probably making things worse.

It's not the point, and I didn't focus upon it. On the other hand, to improve the situation, you often have to look at what's wrong and how you can fix it . . . for me, it's probably the fact that I'm bad at passing, to either males or females.

For some of the other players on our team, it's a matter of culture, being ball hogs, and a plethora of other reasons. There's no one size fits all solution to this . . . while the boycott may have raised awareness for all of 5 minutes for most of the players I would guess (again, the culture, both of our team, and of themselves), it doesn't address the challenges we face as a team. It's not like people are suddenly going to pass to females because they boycotted a meaningless game. If we want change, it'd involve some serious paradigm shifts, primarily at the individual level, since again, we're not a team. To address the paradigm shifts, we'd need to inspect root causes . . .

But that wasn't the point - my frustration is with the way they decided to address the issue, which wasn't effective at all . . . no dialogue was created, and awareness wasn't really raised . . .

If some of the guys who are playing are the ones I played against when I was there, they just don't pass, or they only pass to each other. I don't think they have a gender bias, they only trust themselves and 1 or 2 other people.

Maybe you should sit your team down and have them watch the Will Ferrel movie "Kicking & Screaming," it seems to sort of mirror your situation :). Except I'm sure you don't captain like he does.

I don't like to read /. much anymore because of the general attitude. There's a certain pattern you need to follow to get modded up, and all other comments are typically ignored.

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