Including Yourself OutPublish date: Fri May 14, 2021
Tags: groups inclusivity mental-health opinion politics
‘They’ keep saying in mental health that you’ve got to remember to take care of yourself rather than focussing only on other’s needs. That sounds selfish, but I realized the frustration I expressed in the post Wear Your Name With Pride on my politics blog is an example of this. When participating as part of the Makerspace Advisory Group for the Midland Public Library I wanted to be inclusive and ‘big tent’, so I suggested and promoted the idea of including STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering ,Arts and Math) instead of just Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), as well as including crossovers between traditional ‘making’ and technology making.
The problem that has arisen is that has resulted in traditional making and arts displacing technology as the focus, or even a major component of the current adult Maker Place programming. Since my major interest and reason for being part of the Maker Place was an interest in technology, perhaps combined with other things to create great things, I’ve advocated for an approach that leaves me out in the cold.
I certainly feel very ‘Ender’-ish when it comes to the Maker Place and it (current) lack of focus or interest in technology as an area of focus. And while the library appears to have kids programs that do some science-related programming, I think it’s pretty clear that the current situation is not terribly interesting and appealing to those of us who enjoy STEM as more than a means to an end, and who have traditionally sought out fields like Science, Computers, Engineering, and Math, and those who would do so given the right exposure and opportunity.
I’m feeling quite disappointed and once again the odd one out in all of this, and also feeling a bit burned that my attempts to include other have left me without a place to be.