I became friends with a lot of the makers of All Hands Active and spent most of my day there. During really nice days, we would all meet up and play handball at some random place around the city, and on not-so-nice days I usually spent either playing video games or thinking of ways I could benefit the organization. I tried to run a few classes with what little skill I had, I pushed others to do classes, and eventually my response to everything was, “That’s really awesome. When do you wanna do a class on that?”
A growing concern for me was that I didn’t know anything about programming, yet everyone running the organization and making all the decisions was. Everything was always about making an app, learning something to do with LUA, and the neverending battle of whether Python or Ruby was more useful. I had no idea what this was, and got the feeling that more people in the community weren’t showing up here because that’s all they thought the hackerspace was.
I eventually came up with the idea to do an art show, showcasing what we could do away from our computers. Lots of meetings and gatherings happened to prepare and plan, and it might have actually been this way, but because I had never done anything like this before, it felt like I was the only one working my ass off to make sure it was a success. We got a bunch of local artists involved to donate their pieces, had live art done, and live music. We ended up raising almost $300 and a few people learned about us and what we do, which I guess made it a success.
Like I said, I felt like I was the only one busting my ass on the whole project and became resentful to a few of the people in the organization. I felt as if the people claiming to “BE” the organization, or rather, the “Inside Crew” should have been promoting and being more involved than they were. This drove me a little crazy, and by a little I mean I almost had a nervous breakdown, Girl Interrupted style. Almost directly after the show, I went on a much needed vacation. So I spent two weeks in Virginia with my brother and his wife relearning how to relax, react to opposition properly, and do nothing for once. I got into touch with some old friends I lost touched with and made a promise to myself to see them again upon my arrival back into town.
Upon my arrival, I began preparing for my yearly pilgrimage to the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and spent the time I had promised to the dear souls I had pretty much abandoned during my year in Ann Arbor. I realized I lost touch with the person I was, the one who liked sitting on the front porch and chain-smoking cigarettes and talking with everyone about the science of sending a jar of your nail clippings into space until the sun came up. In spending so much time catching up with these wonderful, forgiving, and compassionate people, I had begun to slack on my work with All Hands Active, and in the relationship I was in.
Coming up next: Flip Tables and Exit Stage Left