This thread reminds me time this summer when I was completely silent and didn’t make any post on the CD forum, and a post I did about it. It’s buried in the forum some where, and it was so nicely called a “novel” by JosephM :P.
Anyway, here is some part of it:
I used to read threads, and usually ended up shaking my head from time to time thinking, “Why are people doing this?” At the end, after months of frustration and disappointment, I took the easy way out and ignored most parts.
But then I start thinking, how can I believe in the benefit of the forum when I don’t even go in there anymore? How can I recommend them to fellow FIRST participants when I don’t even want anything to do with those places anymore? As a mentor in FIRST, am I really doing others any good by introducing them into such a hostile environment where they only learn to talk the same way with the same attitude?
I remember the good old times when I was eager to go into the forum and see people talking about interesting issues. I was too afraid to post replies, and was silently reading posts after posts learning whatever I can to prepare myself to enter one of the most exciting places in FIRST community, arming myself with basic knowledge of just about everything, and making sure I sort out my own line of thinking/feeling before I form my voice. And it was a wonderful experience. I ended up posting 2nd most at the 2001 season, and made lots and lots of friends here and there online or at competition. I heard many similar comments from lots of those friends. And I thank all the other posters on the forum for showing me how wonderful the CD forum is.
But now… somehow, all of those seems to have faded away. Well, I guess I can’t say all, but definitely a lot of them.
I start thinking about the role I want to take in FIRST and in other places, and I remember how much fun it was to inspire people, and teach them new things. It was truly exciting when I show the students the competition, the robots, the forum and chatroom, and maybe other neat stuff in FIRST. I really believe education and inspiration is the path of life I want to take.
Believe it or not, when we register for this forum, and posted the first word in one of the forums, we took on a little of the responsibility of showing others what’s the right thing to say. Lots and lots of viewers who come in here to read the forum look up to us for good ideas and data, because when we started showing our voices in the FIRST community in the forum/chatroom, we became sort of a role model, for newer members to come in and see, what’s the proper way to have intellectual discussions about something we are really excited about. The newer members look at what’s posted/said in the forum/chatroom to see how people are supposed to expression opinions and communicate. In a way, we are all teachers from the beginning we stop being a reader and start being a poster.
So start posting and show a good example to others ;-). We have a job to do, if we want something to happen the way we want it to. I always though, “if you want something bad enough, you can work hard to make it happen.” Talk to people, have interesting discussions, show your voice in the good ways you are supposed to. Make an example, and start influencing and inspiring others. There are lots of teams out there waiting to benefit from the CD forum just the way we benefit when we started.
It is an important task we are taking on right now, whether you realize it or not. The subtle ways in which we express ourselves form a voice in the FIRST community that others look up to and learn from.
Its going to take a while… But, I really do hope we can restore this forum and the chat room to what they are supposed to be… Places for intelligent discussions about this competition, really good ways to meet others with similar passion, and a fun learning experience where we can learn, share, and inspire ourselves and others.
And that continue to be my wishes…
Please note that, it is not up to yourself and yourself only to make things better. After all, the forum and chat room are formed by many people when they wanted to share their experience with others. Not anyone of us can be expected to change the way everybody acts… But get this: if EVERYONE of us want it enough, it will happen.