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AR, I'm curious..how old are you? How and why did you get this guys email address? And what was the amount of the check? No, I'm not being nosy. I have good reason for asking these questions.

 

Imo, your parents are being cautious for good reason. Just because someone shows up in church every week doesn't mean they're wearing a halo. And there's nothing offensive about saying, 'Oh, what a lovely thought, but I'm so sorry, I can't accept that'. If this guy, this grown adult, wanted to do something nice and knows you're underage...and I would bet money you are...he should have contacted your PARENTS and given THEM the check FOR you. But he didn't. Giving a large monetary gift to a strange girl, especially if she's underage is, imo, totally inappropriate and would have me questioning his intentions. The sister should have known better, too. Red flags would be snapping in the wind.

 

 

I'm not saying anything bad about this guy, he may be the genuine article. But the fact that you're 'incredibly flattered and touched' and don't want to 'offend' him speaks volumes about your inexperience. That's exactly how a predator would want you to feel. They want you to feel flattered. Touched. Special. I'm not saying he is one, but they're out there and he flubbed royally, especially if you're underage, and should have handled this much differently if he wanted to simply do a kindness for someone. Again, this should have gone through your parents if you're underage. He should have spoken to them first. Not the sister. HIM. He should know better than to do what he did, no matter how 'nice' that gesture seems. If he is one of those bad news types, he couldn't hope for a better reaction from you.

 

Return the check with a simple, 'Thanks, but after thinking about this, I can't accept'. The end.

 

 

If your parents don't agree, why should it matter? They don't have to. You should be free to make this decision if it's something you really want.

 

'Why should it matter'? Seriously? And she's not free to make any decision if she's underage. Under the circumstances, I'm with her parents.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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...he should have contacted your PARENTS and given THEM the check FOR you. But he didn't. Giving a large monetary gift to a strange girl, especially if she's underage is, imo, totally inappropriate and would have me questioning his intentions. Red flags would be snapping in the wind.
I strongly disagree. As long as the man did not do anything that would have violated her personal rights or gone against her will, there is nothing inappropriate there.

 

'Why should it matter'? Seriously? And she's not free to make any decision if she's underage. Under the circumstances, I'm with her parents.
She is a separate individual and can make her own decisions. Period. A person isn't their parents' possession and unprivileged property just because of being underage. Underage people are people, too. People with rights - including legal ones - to decide for themselves.

 

Parents are not necessarily and "better" for their children than any other person out there, and can harm their own children worse than any other.

 

 

I second the others: It is YOUR choice, and none other's.

Edited by Shienvien

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Again, if this girl is underage she is, BY LAW, under the LEGAL guardianship of her PARENTS. They make the rules. They call the shots. BY LAW. And I don't care how much you disagree with that little fact. As long as she's under their roof, it's their rules. Write a letter to your congressman and tell him all about how you disagree with that.

 

If she's underage, she can't decide squat. By LAW. PERIOD. And this isn't a debate about 'good' parents vs. 'bad' parents. By their understandable and totally reasonable reaction, I'd say her parents are the looking out for her best interests, as it should be, and are blessed with a ton of plain common sense.

 

Anybody that wouldn't question a large, monetary gift given to a girl, especially if she's underage, by a strange man who didn't bother talking to her parents first, isn't thinking. At all.

 

And if she IS a grown adult living with her parents,then, and only then, can she decide how to handle that check.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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Mystic I think you're giving the wrong advice here.

 

#1 she doesn't have the email of the person who gave her the money, but the email of the choir director. Its probably the method used to contact the choir in mass anyway so the email didn't come from a suspicious source.

 

#2 AngesRadieux mentions her father has some sort of friction going on with the church. From what I can tell (cause I've seen this before with my Dad and my previous government teacther) the previous friction is coloring the gift so the parents may not see it as a helpful gift to help their daughter improve in something that is important to her.

 

#3 Her parents may also be proud and have trouble accepting help. Not something she mentioned but enough money to pay of for five lessons (at least where I live) is no small chunk of change.

 

AngesRadieux if I were you I'd take the choir director up on their offer to try and talk to your parents. Perhaps though it would be best for them to only talk to your mom depending on the friction with your dad. Since you stated that the choir director is also the teacher you'd be with it might help put their minds at ease.

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I suggest you re-read her post. She emailed the guy himself.

 

As far as I'm concerned, I gave the best advice yet.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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I'm not underage--I'm over twenty one. I received his e-mail address from the music director at my church after the check was given to me because I didn't have any means of contacting him. I do understand my parents' concern, I'm not saying by any means that it's completely unfounded suspicion. However, going through my parents wouldn't have been possible for either of them. The music director at my church has only met them maybe two or three times. My mom doesn't go to church at all and my dad goes to a different church, and since I was twenty when I started going there and twenty one when I became a member, there really wasn't ever a need for anyone at the church to contact my parents.

 

I live with my parents and I'm still in college, but I'm not a minor.

 

Honestly, I understand that sending me a check at all is strange. But, if he was going to do it, there really wasn't any way other than through the music director at my church. He doesn't have my address, nor did he have my e-mail until I contacted him. No one at church has my parents' contact information, because it simply isn't relevant. As far as talking to them, at this point he really can't be the one to do it. I don't have his phone number. Even if I did, he was just at our church because he was visiting his sister for a week. He lives in California and I live on the east coast, so the time difference would make it difficult to catch each other.

 

Anyway, I'd absolutely love to be able to study with this teacher and I'd love to be able to take kindness at face value. However, I do understand that given the way society is, you can't always take kindness at face value, and I understand that there is a reason to be concerned by and suspicious of this gesture and I realize that in this regard my parents aren't being unreasonable in any way, hence why I'm uncertain as to the best way to proceed.

 

Edit: Sorry for confusion, but the choir director at the church /isn't/ the teacher I want to study with. If she was, she'd teach me either for free or at a reduced rate. But, voice wasn't the primary instrument that she studied and I'm beyond the level where lessons with her would be productive.

 

The teacher I want to study with directs two other choirs I'm in, that aren't in any way affiliated with the church.

Edited by AngesRadieux

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Agnus, as long as you're a grown adult, then you have to decide what's best, as is your right. Go with your gut. But understand, no matter how nice, this gift obligates you to nothing.

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Again, if this girl is underage she is, BY LAW, under the LEGAL guardianship of her PARENTS. They make the rules. They call the shots. BY LAW. And I don't care how much you disagree with that little fact. As long as she's under their roof, it's their rules. Write a letter to your congressman and tell him all about how you disagree with that.
Guardianship != the person herself has no rights whatsoever.

 

According to my country's laws, a 14-year-old can sign a working contract and work (albeit in accordance to the stricter regulations set on working people of that age) completely without - even against! - the consent of the parents. And take legal action against the parents, too, as well as be responsible for their own misdemeanours. 14-year-olds hold legal responsibility despite being underage. Many people I know moved out of their parents' homes before they were 18, and legally owned their own apartments, too.

 

So not even law isn't always on the parents' side.

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I didn't say that teens had no rights. By law, in the U.S. parents must provide food, clothing and shelter to their underage minors...and that's it. No more, no less. If kids here want out of their parents house, they must be emancipated by law.

 

In the U.S a teen can't work under the age of 16 without the parent's consent. I like your country's laws about 14 year olds working. Would that we had that here.

 

 

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Ugggg... I have a question guys.

 

Grant you this problem is nowhere near as big as some other people's but it is FRUSTRATING. I enjoy playing chess, trouble is that I feel like I am not good enough at it to make it worth while. I feel this way particularly when I lose and...I honestly wish that I didn't. THAT in turn makes being a good sport hard at times. I WANT to be a better sport, I really do. The trouble is that I NEVER feel 'good enough' at chess. NOT even when I am winning. *shrugs* Others have told me that I am not bad at chess, but I always end up rationalizing it with... yeah and who are you comparing me to? Someone that doesn't even play? At which point I am like... yeah, like that proves anything. Being a female in an activity still largely dominated by males doesn't help either, as it leaves me feeling like I have something to prove. I, on the other hand, end up comparing myself to really strong players and feeling like I fall way, WAY short of being anywhere near where I want to be. I know they mean well, but it doesn't help me. AND besides, how do I even know if they are telling the truth or just trying to 'spare my feelings'? ANYHOW... what do I do about those feelings since it really doesn't help anyone and , frankly, it ruins the fun of the game for me, constantly feeling like I never measure up.

Edited by Silverswift

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It's good that you got that little rant off your chess. (Sounds like chest, get it? Huehuehue.. My puns are terrible...)

Anyway, you shouldn't care about being the best or being good. Do you have fun playing chess? Do you play it because you have a passion for it? If so, just keep playing and doing what you love! You don't have to feel inferior in any way. It's not that you're bad, it's just that they're really good at it.

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Ugggg... I have a question guys.

 

Grant you this problem is nowhere near as big as some other people's but it is FRUSTRATING. I enjoy playing chess, trouble is that I feel like I am not good enough at it to make it worth while. I feel this way particularly when I lose and...I honestly wish that I didn't. THAT in turn makes being a good sport hard at times. I WANT to be a better sport, I really do. The trouble is that I NEVER feel 'good enough' at chess. NOT even when I am winning. *shrugs* Others have told me that I am not bad at chess, but I always end up rationalizing it with... yeah and who are you comparing me to? Someone that doesn't even play? At which point I am like... yeah, like that proves anything. Being a female in an activity still largely dominated by males doesn't help either, as it leaves me feeling like I have something to prove. I, on the other hand, end up comparing myself to really strong players and feeling like I fall way, WAY short of being anywhere near where I want to be. I know they mean well, but it doesn't help me. AND besides, how do I even know if they are telling the truth or just trying to 'spare my feelings'? ANYHOW... what do I do about those feelings since it really doesn't help anyone and , frankly, it ruins the fun of the game for me, constantly feeling like I never measure up.

 

 

This world is all about 'sparing someone's feelings' and God help you if you don't, so it's highly unlikely you'll ever get straight up truth or an honest opinion from anyone, even if you ask for it.

 

It doesn't sound to me like you're having a lot of fun. It sounds to me like you're dealing with a lot of stress. I mean, is chess something you're looking at as a career, to make money off of it? What was your motive for getting into it? That's what you have to figure out first. And what is your goal here? To be a chess master, to play in tournaments, or just have some fun playing now and again?

 

And who exactly are you trying to prove something to? And why? You have to figure that out for yourself.

 

If you really want the truth, start talking to a chess master and play a few games with them. If you don't have what it takes, you'll get the truth one way or the other and you'll probably get some good advice about how to up your game as well.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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Honestly, I initially got into playing simply because I enjoyed it.

 

I am not sure at what point it became anything more than that or even how or why. I am not sure I ever actually planned on going into it as a career or anything like that. THOUGH playing in a tournament once in a while just because might be interesting if nothing else. The thing is I would like to know if I am getting better or not... and often times it doesn't feel like I am. As for who i am trying to 'prove something to' probably myself more than anything, if I really think about it and am honest. At some point joining a chess club, where I might tun into a person such as you describe, Medieval mystic, might interest me... though I can't where I am at, now.

 

Maybe Melomancer is right and i should just let it go and play just because I enjoy it.

After all, winning would mean nothing if I didn't actually enjoy the game for its own sake, too.

Edited by Silverswift

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I totally agree with Melomancer's advice. It's the best advice. You should be playing the game for the excitement and enjoyment of it. There's stress in every sport or hobby. But some mild stress on an off day is a whole lot different than something that just makes you unhappy.

 

If you really want to know where you're at and get better and can handle the truth, start talking to people that are masters at the game. Have you read up on chess? Have you researched what it is that makes someone a really good chess player? If not, maybe that's a good place to start.

 

Here's some opinions on what makes a good chess player:

 

 

http://www.chesscircle.net/forums/showthre...-chess-player...

 

http://chess.eusa.ed.ac.uk/Chess/Rules/guidelines.html

Edited by MedievalMystic

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So, someone's really incredible random act of kindness is turning into a massive headache. -.-

 

A few weeks ago, I was singing at church. The music director's brother, who studied music composition and occasionally arranges things for performance in our church, was visiting from California that same week. So, I sang a piece with a violinist, and then I sang his arrangement of "Down by the Riverside" with a band, in which he played the drums. After, he and I were talking, and he asked me where I was studying voice.

 

I told him that I'm currently singing in choirs, but I'm not studying privately because the teacher I'd like to study costs more than I can really afford. But, she and her husband are the directors of two of the choirs I sing with, so I still get some instruction, thought it's not the ideal situation.

 

Anyway, it was just conversation. I really didn't think anything of it other than just answering a question.

 

But, this past week I got an e-mail from the music director that she hoped I would be in church on Sunday because she had a gift for me. It turns out her brother mailed her a beautiful card writing what a pleasure it was to hear me sing and feel how I picked up on "Down by the Riverside" despite a bit of a glitch in the intro. In the card, there was a check for enough to cover five lessons with this teacher.

 

I was stunned. I mean, this guy lives on the complete opposite side of the country and has only ever met me once.

 

When I got home, I sent him an e-mail thanking him, but asking him if he was really certain about it and saying that I feel a little guilty because I can't pay him back. He responded telling me that people had helped him out when he was younger, and this was his way of paying it forward.

 

Meanwhile, I told my parents about it, and they told me in no uncertain terms that it's a bad idea to keep the money and I should return it. My mom said I shouldn't have even taken it home, But, what was I going to do? Throw it back at the music director without a second thought? How rude would that have been? I understand their concern, and it did occur to me that I might just not be able to accept such a tremendous gift from someone I barely know.

 

But, I'm not sure if there's a way not to accept it without causing some sort of hard feelings and seeming ungrateful. The last thing I want to do is offend someone who made such a kind gesture to me. So I contacted the music director, since it's from her brother, and asked her what to do. She said that she thinks I ought to keep it and if I think it'll help she'd talk to my parents to try to ease their concerns. But, I'm hesitant because I can see the conversation taking a bad turn and causing a fight. My church is really important to me, and there's already some friction between my dad and my church. He even asked me if I was sure I didn't want him to get me confirmed in a different church after I'd already become a member of this one. I really don't want to cause an even bigger rift.

 

Anyway, I'm just really torn and conflicted. On the one hand, I do understand that it all seems really strange and I can understand why my parents are concerned. It's not like he just sent me ten dollars, or even just offered to pay for a single lesson--and this woman's time doesn't come cheaply! On the other, I'm incredibly touched by the gesture and flattered that he thought highly enough of my singing to want to help me further my studies in the field, and the absolute last thing I want to do is offend him and seem ungrateful. It was an incredibly kind and generous thing for him to do and I really don't want to make him regret it.

 

I just don't know if there's really any way to handle the situation without someone getting upset. I don't want to fight with my parents over it. But how does one politely return a gift after the giver already confirmed that they're sure they want to give it?

 

I just wanted to rant.

I think your parents are merely trying to look out for you.(Hey, if you can't trust them, who can you trust?) I've heard some stories and have had some experiences that lead me to suspect that all too often, when people give you something, they expect something back. Now, please don't misunderstand - some people are just generous, but you have reason to be cautious.

 

If you want to return the gift, maybe you could try telling them that you'd prefer to earn your own money.

Or if he gave you a lot of money, perhaps you could tell him that you're simply uncomfortable accepting that much.

 

Thoughts? Good luck! :3

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AR, I'm curious..how old are you?  How and why did you get this guys email address? And what was the amount of the check?  No, I'm not being nosy.  I have good reason for asking these questions. 

 

Imo, your parents are being cautious for good reason.  Just because someone shows up in church every week doesn't mean they're wearing a halo.    And there's nothing offensive about saying, 'Oh, what a lovely thought, but I'm so sorry, I can't accept that'.  If this guy, this grown adult, wanted to do something nice and knows you're underage...and I would bet money you are...he should have contacted your PARENTS and given THEM the check FOR you.  But he didn't.  Giving a large monetary gift to a strange  girl, especially if she's underage is, imo, totally inappropriate and would have me questioning his intentions.  The sister should have known better, too.  Red flags would be snapping in the wind. 

 

 

I'm not saying anything bad about this guy, he may be the genuine article.  But the fact that you're 'incredibly flattered and touched' and don't want to 'offend' him speaks volumes about your inexperience.  That's exactly how a predator would want you to feel.  They want you to feel flattered.  Touched.  Special. I'm  not saying he is one, but they're out there and he flubbed royally, especially if you're underage, and should have handled this much differently if he wanted to simply do a kindness for someone.  Again, this should have gone through your parents if you're underage.  He should have spoken to them first.  Not the sister.  HIM.  He should know better than to do what he did, no matter how 'nice' that gesture seems.  If he is one of those bad news types, he couldn't hope for a better reaction from you. 

 

Return the check with a simple, 'Thanks, but after thinking about this, I can't accept'.  The end.

 

 

 

 

'Why should it matter'?  Seriously?    And she's not free to make any decision if she's underage.  Under the circumstances, I'm with her parents.

I assumed she was older. :U If she had been underage, I wholeheartedly agree that he should have talked to her parents or something, too. Though, still, even if he was a predator, I don't really know how much of a threat he could be, other than trying to come back to where she is and/or sending her pictures and creepy messages via email, which she could report to police and have him arrested anyway. :P

 

But even for someone underage, I think that, in this case, they're free to make the decision. It doesn't really have to do with legal/law things. Yes, by law those underage don't really hold a lot of responsibility and can't make decisions and it falls on their parents. And honestly? I don't agree with that in the slightest. :\ While it is the parents' responsibility to raise and teach the child certain things, if the child screws up, I don't think it should be the parents' fault in a lot of different situations. But I think that's for a separate thread so I won't go into it much further than that.

 

She is an individual. She should be able to make this decision. I really don't see how this one goes into legal/law stuff, except maybe some forms to enroll her in the class.

 

Also it seems she is indeed legally an adult so I don't think it matters any more. c:

 

(also uh, personally I didn't want to just assume or even have too much suspicion about the guy, since I think that predators often make it a stereotype to assume every adult (or just older) man doing ANYTHING with children automatically means he must be a pedo. I understand the dangers of not immediately assuming, but can't a guy just be nice to children without being labelled a pedo? I just feel bad for the guys out there that get in trouble for that, even when they're not. D: )

 

I mean, there's still the possible suspicion of him still being a creeper, but hopefully since she now knows who he is, if he tries to do anything appropriate she can just report it and have him arrested or something. c:

 

I understand your suspicion, though, too, but I just don't agree with it. Not in this case, anyway.

 

----

 

EDIT: @ Silverswift

 

Yes, as the others said, you should play for enjoyment. c: However, I think that, from the sounds of it, this longing to be 'the best' is really hindering your enjoyment of it. I used to get that way about drawing/other art stuff. I wanted to be better than this person or another, and it was really making it hard for me to create art because it just wasn't good enough, to me. But then I realized that I didn't need to be as good as those people, I just needed to be good as me. So now I still try very hard to improve, and I'm still under the slight feeling of 'this isn't good enough, I must get better!", but since I'm no longer feeling like I need to be as good as someone else, that kind of drive improves my own ability.

 

When I play chess, sure I get down when I lose, but then again it's not like I play much. I'm decent at it. But the best thing is that you can learn firsthand from the other player. Whenever you're playing against others, analyze their moves. If they beat you, maybe ask them to show you something you never thought of doing before if they're using a certain strategy. Thank them no matter what, if they win or lose to you. But most importantly, just remember to have fun. It's a fun game, really, and it can get intense, but it's just a game. Keep trying to get better, but don't get down on yourself for losing. It's a learning experience that should help you strive to get better, not to feel like a failure.

Edited by edwardelricfreak

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(also uh, personally I didn't want to just assume or even have too much suspicion about the guy, since I think that predators often make it a stereotype to assume every adult (or just older) man doing ANYTHING with children automatically means he must be a pedo. I understand the dangers of not immediately assuming, but can't a guy just be nice to children without being labelled a pedo? I just feel bad for the guys out there that get in trouble for that, even when they're not. D: )

 

I mean, there's still the possible suspicion of him still being a creeper, but hopefully since she now knows who he is, if he tries to do anything appropriate she can just report it and have him arrested or something. c:

 

I understand your suspicion, though, too, but I just don't agree with it. Not in this case, anyway.

 

Now that I know the OP of that post is an adult I'm not as worried as I was before. I don't advise paranoia in people, but I do advise caution.

 

 

I'm not sure how I feel at this point. On the one hand, yeah, this could be looked at as a kind gesture, no more, no less. And that's the end of it. But under the same circumstances, I'd be asking myself why this guy, who simply wanted to do something nice, didn't just pay the teacher on the down low and have the teacher contact me, explaining that some anonymous person was so impressed with my singing ability that they paid for me to get some lessons. That way all of that squirmy pressure is eliminated.

 

The OP herself said that she didn't want to 'offend' the guy for being so nice. A gift like that, especially if it's a lot of money, has a tendency to make you feel obligated somehow to that person, like you owe them something in return.

 

What if he comes back into town and shows up at church again. What if he asks the OP out to lunch? Is she obligated to go? After all, this guy just spent maybe hundreds of dollars for lessons...would it, under the circumstances, be rude to refuse? That's the kind of stuff that would be swirling around in my head as I stared at that check.

 

What if this guy starts emailing the OP, quite often all of a sudden, and turns into a royal pain in the ass? Is the OP obligated to be nice to the guy, tolerate the emails, reply to them?

 

What I'm trying to say I guess is that gifts like this make someone feel that they MUST give something back. Especially women. It's how we're wired. And if the guy is bad news, well, he just got his foot in the door.

 

I don't know. Maybe I've been watching too many of these murder mystery reality shows. lol Or maybe I am a tad paranoid. If someone gave me a gift like that the first thing my mind would jump to is 'Ok, now what do you want in return?'

I don't trust people easily in this world, sad to say. :/

 

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Yes, as the others said, you should play for enjoyment. c: However, I think that, from the sounds of it, this longing to be 'the best' is really hindering your enjoyment of it. I used to get that way about drawing/other art stuff. I wanted to be better than this person or another, and it was really making it hard for me to create art because it just wasn't good enough, to me. But then I realized that I didn't need to be as good as those people, I just needed to be good as me. So now I still try very hard to improve, and I'm still under the slight feeling of 'this isn't good enough, I must get better!", but since I'm no longer feeling like I need to be as good as someone else, that kind of drive improves my own ability.

 

When I play chess, sure I get down when I lose, but then again it's not like I play much. I'm decent at it. But the best thing is that you can learn firsthand from the other player. Whenever you're playing against others, analyze their moves. If they beat you, maybe ask them to show you something you never thought of doing before if they're using a certain strategy. Thank them no matter what, if they win or lose to you. But most importantly, just remember to have fun. It's a fun game, really, and it can get intense, but it's just a game. Keep trying to get better, but don't get down on yourself for losing. It's a learning experience that should help you strive to get better, not to feel like a failure.

Thanks Eef.

 

I guess I just WISH that losing didn't feel so bad? If that makes sense.

Like you say... see it as a chance to learn rather than making me feel like a shame to the game or something.

 

Honestly it DOES hinder my enjoyment out of it. It is like, any improvement I do see is NEVER enough. It just plain makes it hard to have fun. Which is sad because that is why I initially started playing in the first place. It is like the whole win-lose thing has sort of sucked all the real joy I once took from the game out of it. Sad really. There are honestly times I could just ignore that aspect of it and... I dunno.

 

Funny thing... I never pictured art as being that competitive.

Or music either, which is the example my sister used.

 

I always viewed those as things is people did PURELY for enjoyment and the pleasure of creating something. Not like chess where there is OFTEN a winner or a loser ( Yes, there are draws but that is another topic entirely). It is sort of odd to hear that artists are like that too. I wouldn't have thought it. wink.gif

 

I do think I get what you are saying, though.

 

Instead of comparing myself to the World Champion, or to anyone else, I should be comparing myself to me? As in... how did I play this game? Have I learned/ improved at all from it?

 

That, honestly, certainly seems like a much less STRESSFUL comparison, for sure.

Edited by Silverswift

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I do think I get what you are saying, though.

 

Instead of comparing myself to the World Champion, or to anyone else, I should be comparing myself to me? As in... how did I play this game? Have I learned/ improved at all from it?

 

That, honestly, certainly seems like a much less STRESSFUL comparison, for sure.

Yes exactly

 

And yeah, while art doesn't exactly have strictly winners and losers, I think almost anything can have people in it that don't feel good enough and want to be as good as X or something.

 

But yes, that is exactly what I mean. The World Champion is the World Champion for a reason. But you don't need to be comparing yourself to them until you're up against them. :P And even then, it's still something to learn from, after all. Once you do get to face the best of the best, imo it would feel like an honor just to play against them. Sure, you'd like to win, but if it were me I wouldn't feel bad for losing because they were the best of the best. But I was still good enough to be able to go up against them!

 

I mean, I realize you're not to that point, but still. :P

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Yes exactly

 

And yeah, while art doesn't exactly have strictly winners and losers, I think almost anything can have people in it that don't feel good enough and want to be as good as X or something.

 

But yes, that is exactly what I mean. The World Champion is the World Champion for a reason. But you don't need to be comparing yourself to them until you're up against them. tongue.gif And even then, it's still something to learn from, after all. Once you do get to face the best of the best, imo it would feel like an honor just to play against them. Sure, you'd like to win, but if it were me I wouldn't feel bad for losing because they were the best of the best. But I was still good enough to be able to go up against them!

 

I mean, I realize you're not to that point, but still. tongue.gif

One has to wonder, then, Why I am so hard on myself?

Other than... there is part of me that WISHES I were at that point and fears I never will be.

Edited by Silverswift

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Now that I know the OP of that post is an adult I'm not as worried as I was before. I don't advise paranoia in people, but I do advise caution.

 

 

I'm not sure how I feel at this point. On the one hand, yeah, this could be looked at as a kind gesture, no more, no less. And that's the end of it. But under the same circumstances, I'd be asking myself why this guy, who simply wanted to do something nice, didn't just pay the teacher on the down low and have the teacher contact me, explaining that some anonymous person was so impressed with my singing ability that they paid for me to get some lessons. That way all of that squirmy pressure is eliminated.

 

The OP herself said that she didn't want to 'offend' the guy for being so nice. A gift like that, especially if it's a lot of money, has a tendency to make you feel obligated somehow to that person, like you owe them something in return.

 

What if he comes back into town and shows up at church again. What if he asks the OP out to lunch? Is she obligated to go? After all, this guy just spent maybe hundreds of dollars for lessons...would it, under the circumstances, be rude to refuse? That's the kind of stuff that would be swirling around in my head as I stared at that check.

 

What if this guy starts emailing the OP, quite often all of a sudden, and turns into a royal pain in the ass? Is the OP obligated to be nice to the guy, tolerate the emails, reply to them?

 

What I'm trying to say I guess is that gifts like this make someone feel that they MUST give something back. Especially women. It's how we're wired. And if the guy is bad news, well, he just got his foot in the door.

 

I don't know. Maybe I've been watching too many of these murder mystery reality shows. lol Or maybe I am a tad paranoid. If someone gave me a gift like that the first thing my mind would jump to is 'Ok, now what do you want in return?'

I don't trust people easily in this world, sad to say. :/

I totally understand the concern, because honestly I feel like it would create a sense of obligation.

 

Anyway, I've been e-mailing back and forth with his sister. She talked to our pastor about the situation, who I do trust. He's a father, as far as I know he only has sons, which is a little different, but not so much so that he couldn't relate to the situation. And he knows both me and the choir director, and he's also met her brother. So, in that regard, since he's more familiar with everyone involved, his assessment of the situation is probably better than my parents'. Anyway, after discussing it with him, he suggested the money going to the church and being used to set up a sort of scholarship fund for me, so that way the money would be coming to me through the church and not directly from this guy, which I do feel a lot better about. And in the future, with collections from church it could perhaps be expanded on so other people looking to further studies in the arts, but who aren't sure they can pay for lessons out of pocket, could apply and maybe get some help achieving their own goals.

 

She's going to talk to him today to make sure he's okay with it, but she told me she's pretty confident he won't have a problem with it. In any case, I'll feel better about it coming through the church and hopefully this way it can be handled without anyone getting offended or otherwise upset by it.

 

As far as not contacting the teacher directly, he doesn't know her. Since I wasn't actually studying with her when I spoke to him and I had no clue this would even cross his mind, it didn't seem relevant to give him a name. Since he lives on the opposite side of the country, he wouldn't be familiar with what teachers are available here, and studying with the wrong teacher can be (and has been in the past) a huge setback and end up doing more harm than good. So I do understand why he didn't try that.

 

But, it should be settled now. If everything works out when the music director calls her brother, it'll be arranged so the money's going through the church, which does make me feel better about it, because now there's a third party involved.

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Church or no church, make sure you have an agreement, in writing and notarized, that x number of lessons are to come to you out of that money before you hand it over.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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I don't know.  Maybe I've been watching too many of these murder mystery reality shows.  lol  Or maybe I am a tad paranoid.  If someone gave me a gift like that the first thing my mind would jump to is 'Ok, now what do you want in return?'

I don't trust people easily in this world, sad to say.  :/

I'm with you on this. I think I would return the money even if it goes through the church because I'd still know it's the guy's money :I

 

The only time I accepted "much" money from a non-blood related person was the time my boss didn't pay my salary punctually. I needed the money to book a flight to Tokyo. My best friend offered to lend it when I told her about my problem. Of course I gave her the money back as soon as possible, I am reliable. But I felt awful until I gave it back...this feeling of "damn now I owe you".

 

Well, I HAD people paying things for me - drinks, food, separate "normal" hotel room for one night...or for everything you need for spending time in a love hotel - the difference is all people involved knew what they wanted from the beginning and that's the only circumstance where foxy lady likes people paying for her *wink wink*

 

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One has to wonder, then, Why I am so hard on myself?

Other than... there is part of me that WISHES I were at that point and fears I never will be.

Well whatever that reason is, now you're being hard on yourself for being hard on yourself. ;P

 

Speaking as a mathematician(shush it's because I love math with the passion of a thousand burning suns): it happens to everyone. I've gotten real physical awards and felt bad about it because I tell myself I could have done better anyway and the contest wasn't that hard in the first place. Math is a SUPER STRESSFUL hobby a lot of the time - but I'm fairly sure that's the case for most everything if you love it and want to enjoy it to its full extent. Art, music, everything. Some people do misjudge their interests sometimes, but if you've enjoyed chess so far, I don't think it would be very productive for you to quit now. Because it's not as if there's something else you could pursue that doesn't get harder as it goes along.

 

Wow sorry if that was more depressing than helpful, yeesh. But really, I know what this is like. I've considered quitting math a hundred times but when I'm not considering it I'm looking back on when I did and wondering why I would ever do that. And as you work on that self-confidence just remember that you're not alone, yeah?

Edited by Fractional Pi Day

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Hi all.... I just need a hug today. Woke up late, only been awake for about two hours, and have already had episode of pure panic... I don't feel like going into the details but it had to do with my contamination fears and, well, I'm still feeling a little panicky (although I'm calming down now) and the great mood I was in when I woke up is gone. I can't even go to the store to get chocolate or ice-cream or something to calm down/cheer up because I need to do laundry first.

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