Member Questionnaire 1 (Vinnatan)What is beauty? What is love?
I'm really sorry for writing a book here. Feel free to skim or something. I thought it was just best to include a lot of information in case it is relevant. Thank you very much to anyone who reads this and responds.
When I think something is beautiful, I want to look at it and be around it and not leave it. I think there are some things which could objectively be called beautiful and that people who pretend otherwise are wrong. But sometimes people really think something is beautiful when I don't, so there must be some variability. I think someone should have a good reason why something is beautiful to them, though. It should affect their emotions.What are your most important values?
I don't think I know what love is or could tell you.
I would like to know everything and be able to do everything. I think knowledge/skills are important. I try very hard to blend in and not irritate anyone or make their life worse. I think everyone should show at least this respect for others, even if they do not go out of their way to volunteer or do good deeds. In addition, I would really love the feeling of being in a close-knit community. I think preserving nature is important.Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
No. The reason I don't is because I couldn't accept something that goes against what I experience every day. I've never seen or felt the influence of a god or anything like that, and miracles don't really happen. I have a hard time accepting things if I do not have very convincing evidence they are true. I'm also not one to go in for weird multi-verse quantum mechanics stuff. Maybe if I do the math for myself. I like the idea of tradition, though.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
I'm not sure. I think killing people must be wrong, but people say many wars are necessary. I'd have to do a lot of reading and thinking about this to make up my mind. It's very hard for me to care much about wars that take place far away, although I think I should. It's interesting that military development often improves civilian life, but that isn't really an excuse.What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
I'd say power is when you can make people do things that benefit you. I'm not usually interested in being a leader.
I love to learn languages and read about languages. When I go to college in the fall, I'd love to do a linguistics major, but I'm worried it won't be practical enough. My big problem here is that I can't commit to learning just one or several languages, so I know a lot about basic vocabulary and structure of a lot of languages, but I'm not very good at any of them. I'm not really sure why I like languages. I try to think about it but haven't come up with anything yet. Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Reading books is another big hobby of mine. I like reading anything there is - novels, textbooks, non-fiction, cereal boxes. It's sort of an easy and fun way to rack up knowledge and learn about life safely. Reading makes me feel like I am accomplishing something, even though I know that passively absorbing information isn't necessarily making my life better or helping me achieve anything.
I like to hike and camp. Nature is beautiful and being around it makes me happy.
I like RPG games. D&D, computer games, Pokemon, whatever. I like making the world in my mind and pretending I'm there. I also like following a clear system. And the fantasy seems more exciting than my own life sometimes.
I like to cook. First, I like making something with my own hands and knowing I did it. Second, I like eating. And third, I like following recipes because you know exactly what to do to get to where you want to be.
Totally. I'm sort of a hypochondriac. Whenever I have any symptoms, I google them and read every page I can find, sometimes for hours. I worry about my health and getting sick or dying. I think drug development is a fascinating field, how different chemicals work on your body.What do you think of daily chores?
I'm pretty focused on my body. I'm always worried about how I look. I'm not overweight at all, but I'd like to lose a little weight and get more in shape. But I have a problem being consistent or keeping up the motivation for more than a few days at a time, so success is mixed.
My room is a mess. I'm disorganized for school. I carry all my papers in one big stack. I used to lose things, but I've gotten better about it. Usually my motto for daily chores is "I'll just do it later". I'll set stuff down and promise myself I'll clean it up later. I don't always. Messiness doesn't bother me. I feel like I should be and sometimes want to be clean and neat, but it's very hard for me. I feel like my energy is better put to use for other things.Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
I always loved the Lord of the Rings. I really like fairy tales and stuff like that. Fiction is best when I can really get into it and identify with the characters. I'm reading Middlemarch right now and I like it. I tend to read classics because they are safer. If so many other people liked the book, then I probably will, too. And it makes me feel like I'm advancing my knowledge or doing something more important. I like non-fiction on a variety of subjects. I learn best from reading my textbook, not listening to lectures.What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
I like to read poetry because I like how it sounds, but only if it rhymes. I refuse to read unrhymed, free-verse "poetry" - I have principles!
I'm not really a movie person. Sometimes I get bored in the middle of movies. I hate action movies and fell asleep during the Avengers. I like movies with an interesting plot. It's OK if they are very exciting or violent if there's a point in them rather than just action and defeating the bad guy. Oh, and comedy is good too, as long as it's actually funny to me.
Everything makes me cry. When someone criticizes me, I cry. I cry because I don't like myself or feel lost. I cry at sad movies or just when I think about something sad happening. I cry more when I'm tired. Last night I started crying because I thought about how the world wasn't perfect. I kind of like crying because it's relieving.Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
Cute things and happy things make me smile. Good music makes me smile. Other people make me smile because I know I won't make any friends if I'm gloomy around them.
I love those rare occasions where I feel accepted and part of a group where we are all great friends and love each other. When a bunch of people all sing a song together, I feel like that's the epitome of group belonging and happiness. Usually I'm on the outside and watching everyone else be best friends with each other. I try to fit in, but I don't always succeed. A lot of times I just don't want to be around others. I feel like other people have something I don't, but I haven't figured out what it is yet.What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
I feel like there is an awful lot to dislike about myself. Other people say that I'm irresponsible. It's true that I am. I can't really stand pressure. When I feel overwhelmed, I shut down and do nothing. Last year, I thought school was very hard. The harder it got, the less work I did. By the end I was always procrastinating, didn't turn in any homework, failed a lot of chemistry tests, and almost didn't even do a final project for a class. When there is less pressure, I am much better about doing what needs to be done. Sometimes I just won't keep a promise or do something if I don't feel like it. I know this is very bad and I want to change it.What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I feel like I'm quite selfish and care more about myself than other people. I want to be more generous, kind, and caring. I whine/complain too much. Even if I don't do it out loud, I do it in my head.
I seem to have a hard time committing to things and finishing projects. Although there are a lot of things I want to do, I can never really follow through with them. I'm flighty. I change my mind so often. I change my interests after days or weeks. I like to make schedules and lists but I don't always follow them. I have mood swings. I'll be super happy for a few days and then feel kind of sad and melancholic. Sometimes it's within the span of hours. It's not crazy or bipolar or anything, my mood just changes a lot.
I worry a lot and get anxious if things don't go just right. I am not the kind of person to have an unplanned adventure, although I wish I was.
I'm sensitive and very scared of what other people think of me. I honestly don't usually join online forums because I feel like people are harsher and more blunt (or I read their posts as being harsher and more blunt) than they are in real life. I try not to do things that will make me stand out too much or make people dislike me.
I think I'm a sore loser and only want to do something if I can win. People used to call me really smart when I was a kid, and I believed them. It was sort of crushing to find out that I'm just average. Even so, I want people to have an opinion of me that's better than what I really am.
I feel like I'm bad at making real friends. I like to be alone a lot. I feel very drained when in the company of others, even my good friends.
Oh yeah, and I've been told I'm very pessimistic. I just don't want to be disappointed.
Thinking of strengths for myself is hard. I guess I'm good at making plans. I'm good at writing papers for school. When I get angry, I don't yell or argue much but just walk away and think about it. I don't know if that's good or brooding. I can't think of much else that I'm better at than average.In what areas of your life would you like help?
I'd like to learn to make good friends and stop being afraid of being judged. I'd like to learn to be in control of myself. I'd like to stop being so lazy and get stuff done without huge pauses and breaks. I want a direction in my life.Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
I always feel stuck in a rut. Even though there are things I want to do, I feel like there is this crushing inertia that keeps me from actually doing them for real, even if they are not hard. Usually I wait or do something else. I make sure to always say yes when people ask me to hang out with them, even when I want to say no. Sometimes going outside with people is the only thing keeping me from staying inside and reading and thinking all day.What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I love when people are so friendly and inviting and make themselves seem like they really care about you. That's the person I wish I could be. I like when they have an interesting background and will tell you about the interesting things they do, and then do them with you. Most people I talk to are the kind of people who are heading off to Ivy League schools in the fall. They are more hardworking than me. I admire them.How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I can't stand when people are overly loud. I don't like when people swear. It seems vulgar and disrespectful to me. I hate when people are so boring and they want to tell me about every detail in the book they read and I didn't. I do not like pretentious people who think they are much smarter or better than me because of something they do, or try to talk too much about philosophy or religion or something if we don't know each other very well. It sounds pretty silly and shallow to me, like they are trying to show off.
I can be really critical of people behind their backs. I always notice if they are ugly, rude, annoying, or whatever. I pay a lot of attentions to other people and how they interact with each other. Group dynamics are super interesting to me.
I love the idea of romance. In a partner, I most want a guy who is attractive (of course), smart, strong, and in-control. He should know what he's doing. It's better if he's funny. I don't want to argue with him too much. And we should agree about our general worldview.If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
I'd be afraid I couldn't be a good mother or I'd get sick of taking care of a kid for that long. I'd also be afraid that I couldn't influence him enough and he wouldn't become a good, respectful person. My worst nightmare is that he'd go to school and be a bully, or throw tantrums at his friend's house. I want to teach him better than that. A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
I'd also be afraid I don't know enough about childrearing. If I have a kid, I'll make sure to to read all the research and try to do everything just right... I would definitely be the person to play classical music to my baby in the womb because I read that it will make them smarter or something.
Inwardly, I'd think my friend is stupid or doesn't understand or something. Or maybe I'd think that I'm stupid and don't understand and I should look at the issue again. I wouldn't tell my friend though. I'd listen to her talk and change the subject. I don't discuss controversial topics in public. I don't want somebody to dislike me about it, especially when I'm liable to change my view on the topic at any time. I often don't feel informed enough to comment.Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
I really hope people as a whole are good. I want to be alone a lot, but I also want to be a part of society. It's conflicting. When I am around others for too long, I want to get away and spend a long time by myself. I'm not sure about a prevalent social problem. I don't like too many laws or being watched. Maybe the invasion of privacy by the government.How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I choose friends based on who has the same interests as me and who will accept me. How do you behave around strangers?
I usually try to be very happy and upbeat around my friends. It's best to always be friendly. I definitely don't want to be a depressing and sad influence on them. I try to make a lot of jokes, but I don't know if I'm always funny. Sometimes people say that I am. I'm afraid that the people who I consider my best friends have other best friends who aren't me. I have a hard time getting really close to people where I can talk about most aspects of my life with them, or problems I am having. I'd really like to have this though.
Strangers scare me! I don't like to talk to shop clerks or call on the phone to make appointments. I'm always worried there is some special code or script for those sorts of things I might not know. Or I'm worried they'll think I'm ignorant. I'm getting better about that though. I just try to smile and be pleasant.
I don't start conversations with strangers. It's OK if they start one with me, but then I become afraid I might not have enough to say to keep up the conversation. It's not like I am "anti-small-talk" or anything. I don't even think I'm that bad at it. It's just a little stressful. Strangers are usually OK.