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Definition Doom

Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
Gracie Hart: That would be harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
[crowd is silent]
Gracie Hart: And world peace!
[crowd cheers ecstatically]


Definition Doom (or Healing on a Raid Team)

I’ve had the good fortune to work and hang out with some very smart artists. One lesson that I learned is that the problem with Conceptual Art is that you are obliged to view the work from the point of the view of the artist. Without this crutch, the piece does not stand on it’s own.

Defining yourself can have some advantages. I once worked with a guy who described himself as a “black, gay, dancer, choreographer from Compton.” He got some good press but I’d like to think that after a while that he’d want to be known for his work.

Labels have their uses. A nurse or a cop, they are immediate voices of authority and should be listened to when commanded. It is hard to dismiss someone with a badge, even if it is merely a name plate on an employee from WalMart.

Some people have inherent disadvantages due to gender or color that they have to overcome and hopefully they won’t let that only be their defining factor. I try to look past the preface of, “As a (mother of two or gay black man) I have the following opinions.” Should those qualifiers have weight in an argument? I’d like to think not.

I used to teach dancers who were taking classes in ballet and modern. They’d tell stories of telling people that they were dancers and the response was “pole”? I suggested that they call themselves artists who express themselves in dance or things along those lines.

We, as humans, want to label. We want that label so we can box people neatly. You will be labeled, the question is: how do YOU choose to be labeled? Even harder, how can you overcome your label.

I enjoy a lot about World of Warcraft because so much is stripped from every day interactions. We don’t see gender or age or color or religion; we see avatars and text, for the most part.

Here is what happened that blew me away.

I have been a long time healer in our guild raids. Many of my long time mates know me. But we are a very fluid guild. A lot of our raiders are new and only know me as a healer in the guild raids.

A few weeks ago, we had extra healers and my Raid Leader asked me to get on my hunter. This is a rare treat. If our average top dps in the raid was doing 40k damage, I was doing 54k damage. I blew them off the charts. My hunter raids with another team but mostly I worked very hard to get my gear up and my rotation down.

It was amazing the change. I had respect that I didn’t have before. I think I morphed into “player” instead of healer or damage dealer, I’m not sure. But the newer raiders were glad to see me and I was even “a beast” as a healer.

I’d not thought (at all) about one’s role in a raid, namely a healer, would be received by a group. Healers are overall support to the group, rarely addressing the boss at all.

If you feel stuck in a niche and feel that you are not respected (I always felt respected, btw) go ahead and roll a tank for a while, roll an arcane mage or … heal! Adding that extra layer to their perception of me garnered a lot of respect or, at least, a change in how I am viewed by the team.

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