Tag Archives: Musings

The Courtesy of Giving Outs – or The Illusion of Choice

I don’t plan on doing much pontificating, or ranting on this blog, but I thought I’d talk about this.

Here’s a scenario:

You have a friend who is throwing a party, or a get-togther, or something.  They’ve sent you an invitation, and tell you that they “hope you can make it”.  For some reason or another (it could be any reason, really), you can’t actually make the party, and say “Sorry, I can’t be there!”.

At which point, your friend completely rejects your decision, and starts questioning you on why it is that you can’t make it.  They try to find solutions for you, just so that you can show up.  They just can’t take “no” as an answer, and leave it be.  It just doesn’t sink in for them.

That really pisses me off.  And it doesn’t have to be an invitation to a party, either.  It happens anytime someone gives you a choice, and then rejects your decision. This is not a choice – it’s the illusion of a choice.  The only way it seems like a real choice is when you choose in the other person’s favour – in which case, everything is peachy-keen.  Choosing otherwise, however, becomes a hassle.

It gets even worse if they try to punish you, or shame you for your choice.  “Oh come on, don’t be a jerk…”, “That’s lame, dude…”, “You’re really letting us down…”, etc.  It sort of implies that you (the person who was given the choice) are not capable of making the “correct” choice, or are not capable of forseeing the outcomes of the choice.  To me, this type of behaviour, while not intentionally malicious,  is highly manipulative and disrespectful.

The best situation, is when the other person simply respects your choice.  They might question you on your choice out of sheer curiosity (“are you doing something else that night?  Oh, that’s cool, no worries…”), but no struggle.  I refer to this as “giving outs”.

For example, anytime I invite people over, I do my best to “give outs”.  I say something like, “want to come over?  If not, that’s cool – I just thought it’d be a nice day to hang out”.

Honestly, I think it’s just a matter of courtesy and respect.

What my Brain is Chewing On Right Now…

I’ve been neglecting my blog.

So here’s just a taste of what’s on my mind right now:


  • I was recently accepted to Graduate School at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Computer Sciences.
  • I went on an OLM refactoring sprint this past weekend.  Parts of the code were driving me nuts, and I feel much better about it now.  I think with this past weekend, plus the code spring over reading week, I’ve made some nice headway with this project.
  • The UCDP Directors’ Shows are underway!  Lots of tech work to do around here, and nobody sleeps when the shows are up.
  • My CSC301 midterm is coming up.  I need to beef up on Design Patterns, Intellectual Property / Copyright Law, and a crapload of Javascript/CAKE/Canvas stuff
  • I have a “site specific” movement piece that I need to write/choreograph with a group.  I’ve got a good group, but the assignment looks hard.  This is my final project in Movement class.
  • I need to memorize and present a personal letter / journal entry from an explorer / conqueror for Voice class.  This is my final project for Voice.
  • I need to memorize and rehearse my scene for Twelfth Night for Performance class.  I also have to write at least two pieces of short music for it.
  • I have to write a 12 page paper, weighing the evidence supporting the notion of CIA involvement with the assassination of John F. Kennedy for my INI304 class.
  • My CSC301 team and I need to beef up our Family Tree Viewer for the final presentation

Personal / Career

  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work on OLM this summer
  • I might be doing GSoC this summer.
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work for several impressive startups in Toronto
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work for a large school board
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work as a stage technician for the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer.  This would make two summers in a row, if I do it.
  • I’m heading to Poland in late June with a bunch of my UCDP classmates, to see some overseas theatre.
  • I want a vacation.  I miss family, home, Grimsby.
  • There are several theatre companies using the UCDP facilities over the summer, and I’ve been offered the opportunity to stage tech for them, and otherwise get involved.

So, I’m busy.  But I’m enjoying it.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m up to.