One of my favourite movies is Spellbound, a documentary that follows eight kids competing in the 72nd National Spelling Bee. The most interesting part of the documentary is how they show all the kids’ hometowns and families. It reminds me how people can live in the same country and speak the same language, yet have such different personalities, views and values, which were shaped by the environment they grew up in and their upbringing.
I have friends from all around the US (Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Minnesota, etc.), and I’ve never thought about how if I could see where they all live and what their offline lives are like, I’d likely be amazed by the differences. It’s something I don’t think about whenever I go online, but it’s probably for the best if I did, and if other people did as well. There would probably be less online conflict. For example, my friend who lives in the south once accidentally angered someone online by calling them “hon,” because while that’s considered polite where she’s from, it can be considered condescending in other regions. Putting that thought asides, the Internet is so cool because people with completely different backgrounds and interests can become friends with each other, and that’s harder to do in real life.
Long story short, I’m going to attend AWA-Con later this month to see some of my South Eastern US friends. I have been to Atlanta before, but not AWA.
ETA: I was a very good speller in elementary school and always aced spelling tests and placed first or second in class spelling bees, but when I started learning French, my brain cells collapsed. If you look at my writing from grade 6 or 7, you’ll see words like “dansed” and “parck” because I kept mixing up English and French spellings.