Community Blog Party: Scott’s take

Scott finds writing about himself in the third person odd but enjoys other types of writing. He frequently wishes his brain had a brain.


I like community.

It is difficult not to like community, the concept; it is a little easier to not like certain communities, I try not to. After all community is, in theory, all about something common providing unity, which is rather appealing. We all have hopes, fears, dreams and other sorts of conceptual nouns that we hope that others have or at least understand as well.

For me at least, and I suspect a lot of you, the first community I was a part of was a playgroup, maybe you went to nursery school. A few times a week I was left in the company of other like-minded four year olds and we’d play games and make things and get juice, you know that watery sweetner saturated squash particular to churches, at the same times each session. A community I was thrust into. I didn’t scope out all the local playgroups and settle on this particular one. Similarly I didn’t get a say in whether or not I went to school let alone which one.

Your schooling is full of communities, or I suppose communal identies; from top down you have school attended, year that you are in, class that you are in, group that you are in, and so on. The rivalry between the two classes of my year was pretty intense. It informed the default split for seven years; games of football, or netball, who with and where you sat with at lunch time, where you hung out at breaktime. If this seems off-point bear in mind community tends to be about enjoying similar activities, having something to share with others, and feeling like you have a place you belong.

Then high-school happens and the previously drawn lines of division get rubbed out and you mix classes. In my first year I was split two ways, academic classes and pratical classes. In third year it was split again by subject columns, by fifth year it was spilt again. A greater and greater division of our previously established communities happening alongside that most fun transitional period called being a teenager.

When I was a teenager things, like what was interesting or smart or funny, suddenly seemed more important, more personal. I have never met, whilst I was one or since, a teenger who wasn’t a little bit unsure of themselves, split between what they like and think is important, and between what they think others like and think is important. The difficulty is that as all our pre-established communities are getting diced up by bureaucracy and life we also are becoming unsure of who we are.

It takes time to shed that insecurity I think. There is an element of knowing who you are before you can be a useful part of a community, but communities can also help you figure that out – so it goes.

Communities just take time, the good ones happen organically, without force, when you aren’t paying attention – just like you or me.

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3 thoughts on “Community Blog Party: Scott’s take

  1. The line you said was so true. The good ones do come about organically and it’s often the ones you don’t even realise!

    I loved your timeline from toddler to adulthood. Looking back being thrust into communities we had no choice over did help mould us. Whether we liked it or not.

  2. That was really interesting. I wonder what difference it would make if we weren’t split into different categories of abilities and interests so early on… there’s a category for everything now, by the time we are grwon we never really have to come in contact with anyone who is that different from us.

  3. It’s funny, I was so so thankful to be split into new classes by third year of high school. I don’t think I’d have lasted much longer if I hadn’t been. I was the only one in my original class who made it to uni straight from high school and had an awful time in those first two years. I’m all for streaming classes at different abilities, I don’t think it’s fair on pupils if you don’t because you end up with kids are bored and not learning, and kids who can’t keep up and not learning otherwise – and then you have resentment developing…!

    After you got split up for most of the day into the subjects you wanted to do, and the compulsory ones were split into different levels of ability, we were able to build up friendships and appreciate one another in the classes where we were together. I’m friends still with a good chunk of people I went to high school with.

    I would say a similar thing happens in university halls of residence. You are thrust into living with a whole bunch of people – strangers – from all over the place. You either embrace it or isolate yourself from it.

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