July 27, 2016
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Currently sitting in a shuttle in route to SF so tooootally free if you wanna chat
Just getting back from walking the dog
How was the walk?
Great! She shit so it was a success!
That always feels like a victory
I remember training my dog as a pup and saying "do your thing" until he did
To this day I smile when he takes a shit
Like a proud parent
hahah it's totally like that! For me it's "would you just shit already!?"
but if she does that means I can sleep soundly
it's the little wins
You guys just came back from Minneapolis right?
How was the motherland??
Hot and sticky! June in MN is the most humid of months...
I did forget how the wind sounds in the trees at night
that threw me off
and how green it is there
and I got to see the stars again
I forgot how big the sky is
but aside from that I missed SF
I was just talking about that earlier
We get so worked up about the "hustle" over here that we forget that it literally doesn't matter outside this city sometimes
yeah, that was nice. And nobody knew what podcasting was
or really cared
that was refreshing
I know a lot of folks would get frustrated with that experience but it was nice to be put into a situation where I had to explain my job so a 5-year old could understand
my niece asked me what I did
because her mom couldn't describe it
When I go back to Costa Rica literally nobody asks me what I do for a living
They don't actually care
Everyone just talks about the *other* things about life
it's nice to know there's more to life than work
I forget that so quickly in SF
Why do you think people are so focused on work over here?
I think it's about making something of yourself
You can make a name for yourself here if you work hard enough
some people really care about that....leaving their mark
I think in Costa Rica or Minnesota goals are most focused on other marks....kids mostly
The ultimate mark
yeah, nothing says legacy like flesh and blood
The way you put it makes it sound like it's all about ego
"Making a name for yourself"
Is that what you mean?
I think there's definitely ego involved, but I think it's also giving back to a community
paying it forward
I moved to SF because I had an opportunity to do something cool
so I took it.
I think that's a lot of why people move here in the first place....you have a shot to do something cool....so you take it
in my case, it was something outside of a cubicle
Getting to work on things you care about as opposed to a job where you're living for the weekends
it doesn't work for me.
that comes back to the value thing...i guess if i wanted to have kids my focus would probably be on stability
jobs are if nothing else, stable
I've been thinking a lot lately about that contrast between small towns and big cities
Some people in small towns have no ambitions to "change the world"
And they seem totally ok with that
And most of the people I've met in bigger cities have all these ambitions about "leaving a mark" and whatnot
yet they're tortured by their inability to do so
I think it goes back to the priorities thing again, right?
what do people want as their legacy?
do they want to try and make the world better or make the world better for one person?
Right — but I think people that "try to make the world better" eventually come to the realization that (a) they're not actually doing that or (b) it's not worth it
I see what you're saying
there's a lot of red tape to get through if you want to make the whole world better
maybe that's the problem though
maybe people are thinking too broad
maybe we need to start smaller...
I'm going to make the design community a better place
and after that...I'm going to make the development community a better place
and then after that...I'm going to make education in general a better place
and then before you know it we have free education and healthcare
ok...I got a little bit ahead of myself
I guess the question is *why*
why make the design community a better place?
because it can be
that's a bullshit answer
it's still a boys' club
but if we want design to be better we need more opinions and perspectives to get involved
how do you get people involved if they don't feel welcome?
well, how did you get involved?
I stepped in and forced Brian and Bryn to listen to me
it only took a couple people
but I still need them to be my advocates
it's weird how often people see me as "the wife"
I can't correct that on my own
I need support
but half the time Brian and Bryn and Jon and Sam and the rest of the guys don't notice it
because they're dudes
so if I don't step in and point it out....it's not going to get noticed
and nothing is going to change
I'll be "the wife" forever.
but the good news is I have their support
they hear me and see me and know it's something we need to work on
That's super interesting but let's back up: how did you get the confidence to say something in the first place?
when i first started the community looked like a boys' club
idk where the confidence came from
i have this tendency to jump into things without thinking too much about them
so I started messing around with an audio file one day and just said "you should let me do this"
I think the reason they let me in was because I stepped in and did it....I asked questions when I needed to but really just ran with it
that still takes a lot of balls (ovaries?)
only if you're afraid of rejection
How does someone go from feeling rejected from a boy's club to picking up the bat and swinging for the fences?
idk but I can tell you about the first time I realized there was such a thing
ok, so I went to boy scout camp when I was a kid. Long story. But I wanted to shoot a bow and arrow at a target with my brothers and the instructor wouldn't let me because he said "girls can't shoot a bow"
I was so confused because my dad had let me shoot a dozen times before that
so I took the bow my brother was using and shot when the instructor wasn't looking
I want to say I got a bullseye but I ran away too fast to see
did you get in trouble?
they wouldn't let me anywhere near the range after that
but all that was to say, I've always been familiar with that feeling of being the odd one out
I think I just got used to it and stopped caring
because I can shoot better than half the boys out there anyway
but it definitely helps if you have an advocate on your side
Do you think we should do away with all gender roles?
yes. but how we do that is tough
we'd have to basically start from scratch, but that's where having kids comes in handy....it's like a little mini do-over where we can slowly reverse those roles
There are some expectations that come with being a woman or a man
It sounds like you don't appreciate those expectations very much
Do you think some women do?
I think it quiets women
and I hate to see that.
I think it's a tragedy that women (or anybody) feel silenced by this
and I think you're probably right — we need the pendulum to swing back as much as possible
but I wonder why it's so hard for that message to resonate with others
when you say others who are you referring to?
I mean, the people that are not bent out of shape about feminism for example
I would imagine most people aren't stepping in because they don't notice it
51% of people notice it, right?
right, but you need and advocate and need to be willing to either call someone out and say "you need to help me"
or they need to step in themselves
you're putting yourself out there
for someone that isn't you
and how do we get those advocates?
the answer for me was finding a group that would stand up with me
the answer for other women may be similar or it may be just one man standing with her and giving her the floor
I realize that not all women are able to look someone in the eye and say "you. you're going to help me"
haha it's like when you need to call 911 around a group of people and nobody is moving
you need to single someone out....point to them and say, 'you. you're doing this'
maybe that's the structure we need?
no that's bad. that's how you get drug mules
I like the advocates approach
it doesn't pit genders against each other
and it asks women to work with men to find a solution
I hadn't heard that before
oh good. you got one good thing ?
but I think you're right
we need to work together
how do you think we get advocates?
I dunno, I think you appeal to what people want
There's empirical proof that diversity leads to success
in like, every conceivable measure
oh man! I just explained this to my dad
he asked why diversity was such a big deal, and why it mattered
here's where I got to exercise my 5-year-old explanation
I explained it using the 24 colors crayola crayons
for a long time we only had 12 basic colors that we could use
but the second we introduced 24 colors we could add more depth to our pages
it's the same with diversity the more views you include the more people you'll appeal to and the better your idea, product, service will be because more people will be able to understand
you should have seen his face!
I wish I had taken a picture
Sarah is a producer for the Spec Network, a self-starter, and the kind of person that makes things happen.
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