Date: 7/7/18 11:21 am
From: Treesa Hertzel <Autumn207...>
Subject: [obol] Re: [boo] A Potpourri of a few Birds & Butterflies — COBOL injustice
This thread needs to be taken off-line. Please respond to one another privately and not to OBOL. Thank you.

Treesa Hertzel
OBOL Moderator

On Jul 7, 2018, at 10:59 AM, Courtney Kelly Jett <ckjannabirds...> wrote:

Thanks Jack for being supportive, on boo, I really appreciate your effort, it touches my heart, I feel some small hope that maybe I can have a happier experience of belonging in birding community, in future.

Also, thanks Nels for his supportive post onto COBOL.

I want to address now, the following message which was posted on the boo listserve (so is no longer private), because if I don’t, it is a false slur on my name.

Joel wrote:

“ I would agree that the moderator of the COBOL list pulled the trigger too fast on that particular posting. I intend to send him my opinion on that privately.
However my understanding is that he was responding based on a past pattern which has caused some real problems, so I'll cut him a bit of slack.
There's usually more to the story than meets the eye. “

Joel’s understanding is mistaken.

There IS more to the story than meets the eye, and it isn’t me causing problems.

— What “real problems”??? —

I have never caused any problems.

I maybe have triggered some emotional distress in some people who are uncomfortable with my openness/warmth/transparency/etc., or perhaps have triggered some jealousy? but that is not me causing problems : this is their distress, their discomfort, their heart-blockage, their side of the tennis court.

I would be willing to make public anything from my side of the court. I have nothing to hide. Happily, I get to experience what Rick Hanson calls “the bliss of blamelessness.”

Two people did blame me for responding to the moderator publicly, on July 4th,
(which, was an impulsive reaction on my part, which I almost never do, and which I am not yet sorry for! and afterwards I asked myself, What lessons can I learn here? and the number one lesson that came to mind was, Wow! I let myself be a human being! Wow — I don’t always have to try so hard to behave Perfectly, whatever that is, it’s okay to be a human, like other humans :-) ).

As to “respecting privacy” of others, some of us apparently hold sacred, different values :
& I believe it is wrong to keep secret,
Abuse of Power and arbitrary bullying,
probably Sexism and Age-ism,
in this case by people who represent birding community and Audubon society
(especially when I have first tried to resolve it privately and am ignored.)

I am a uniformly kind and gentle person. To give some better proof of my character and values :
I practice Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication at Bend’s Compassion Center, and am also a valued and loved member of yoga and Insight Meditation communities. I am good with children and children love me. I have been requested to and have volunteered sometimes for Birding For Preschoolers, also for Birding By Ear, and some in public schools, and to do bird-face-painting at Fledgling Fun, because some members of birding community do value me and my goodness.

It is therefore especially baffling, some of the Alpha-ape-wannabe hostility/aggression I have experienced from some (few) prominent Oregon birders, people in power representing community. And it is painful to me, that such behavior receives blind support from others; or, that, here is so much indifference to how our fellow birders may be poorly treating fellow birders.

I have also experienced, significantly more, wonderful support and help and some friendship, from many other birders; including, generous goodness of so many, who taught me to bird ; unfortunately, most of this is private support from people who dislike confrontation/fighting even more than I do.

Thus, is my “lover’s quarrel with” Central Oregon birding community : I have felt so much love and gratitude for many birders who I have enjoyed birding with, and also I hate some of how I have been hypocritically, judgmentally treated, unaccountably, unfairly.

I have now been banned from COBOL, after many prev. threats to do so. I have been silenced so I can’t participate and belong. And maybe, who knows? maybe this is what many birders approve of.

I would like to stress that I have never broken any official COBOL rule.

Per official rules, all my posts have had recent bird sightings, in our central counties, and I have not been political, and I am not cruel.

& yes I have included other sentences expressing excitement/joy and gratitude and wonder, and words like “compassion” and “enjoy”, (rarely, “yoga” and “meditation”), and yes my posts tend to be long, even when I try to make them short!
— but there are no official COBOL rules against this!

If there were official rules against my “patterns causing serious problems”, if there were rules listed out clearly, and followed by all, these would be easy for me to follow.
But there are no such rules, and I haven’t done anything other, than what many/most other birders sometimes do.
Though, I do have a different/unique/affectionate writing Voice style.

People who sometimes thank others on COBOL, tell me not to do it; people who sometimes send or include personal notes to others, tell me not to do it; people who sometimes tell a story about their birding day, or who they’re birding with, or excited to, tell me not to do it; people who muse about some past birding memory, tell me not to do it.
(I’ve also been told, ‘Don’t ever again share bird poetry or art’ — even though, rarely, others do share bird poetry, and often, people share photographic art.)

When I do it, I am told I am “inappropriate.”

& to be clear, I have only committed any of these crimes, — which there are no rules against — , when posted together with a current and local bird list.

Example, March 13th, I posted about a birding day at Hatfield, expressing excitement and joy and gratitude to the birders who birded with me, and I included our current bird sightings list of all the birds we encountered, and then I wrote how this anniversary date was special, and I listed out some first birding memories and the birders I felt grateful to, for teaching me 5-years ago.

To which our moderator similarly responded,
“This was not an appropriate post to COBOL. It is about “current bird sightings” and not your reminiscing about birding past. Please no post like this in the future. I can’t moderate you because of your hit-and-run subscriptions. But, I can ban you from the list.”

I wrote to him the following note, which he ignored:

“Hi [moderator],
My post did have bird sightings: besides mentioning cranes, it also included a link to our full bird list from today.
I disagree with you that it was an inappropriate post,
and I don’t understand your hostility towards me. Your hostility also previously, is what keeps me from being a constant subscriber to COBOL: so that I am not tempted to post, only to receive these sort of discouraging responses from you (and some few others).
You may do as you like, regarding banning me from the list, and either way I bear you no ill will.
But I feel very sad about your response, and how it does not meet needs for me of Community, Acceptance, Belonging, kindness, friendship-love, sympathetic joy.
Your response shows to me that you do not Value me as a member of our birding community. You are not treating me with basic human Dignity.
And my birding talent and kindness, deserves more than basic Dignity, I deserve Respect.
I request that you consider treating me better in future, should we have future interactions.
I suspect you wouldn’t send a note like you sent to me, to any other of our core birders.
Wishing you well,
PS. I copy my note to a few supportive friend birders, who I respect deeply, so they can let me know if their opinion is with you, if I was inappropriate.
Either way, I would not intend posting often. I only posted once in 2017, I think only once in 2016. Maybe this will have been just my one posting day for 2018 :-) “

I copied it to 4 birders,
3 of whom supported me privately but not publicly,
1 of whom publicly supported the moderator.

The moderator didn’t respond: and has continued to behave similarly; (and also hasn’t responded to another couple notes I have written to him, in response to more similar notes to me.)

I have been recently told by a few other birders, (who I think are trying to be helpful to me? — I disagree with them) :

“You could have sent the whole email to your family and friends and that would have been fine. But the general group isn’t going to care ...
, just as we don’t care about pet geese’s birthdays, [and] the ins and outs of the wildlife rehabilitation business. I don’t think a mention of cranes and a link to a list are enough to make it a birding news message.”
“and whether it “meets [your] needs for . . . Community, Acceptance, Belonging, kindness, friendship-love, sympathetic joy” is totally irrelevant.”
“Unfortunately COBOL is not the place to share our innermost feelings.”

[The “innermost feelings” I had expressed on COBOL, were excitement and gratitude.]

“The objection he had (and others have mentioned in the past) is your “dear diary” style of writing”
“It is when you get cute that you get into trouble.“
“If you have private little things to say to Jake (or anyone else) send them privately and you will avoid trouble”
“Believe me, no one cares about [a mouse.]”
‘Don’t write anything except your bird list. You can include a line about the weather, but nothing else. Don’t mention cookies; don’t mention any other birder’s name.’
“Tom has his eyes on you so just be extra vigilant for a while to keep it to the birds!”

I hate this ! I am being told:

‘Just list your birds — don’t write any other sentences — because no one cares, and you sound like an idiot — so just list birds ONLY, maybe one line about the weather, but nothing else — if you want to participate in this community. WE can embellish our bird list, and write somewhat creatively if we wish to, and be friendly with who we are birding with; but you can’t, if you want to belong.’

This, is not Belonging !
This is arbitrary Censorship,
and now I have been banned: Silenced.

Which I’m not sure I even mind all that much, as why would I wish to participate in a toxic community? if that is indeed what our Central Oregon birding community is, (for now).

I am grateful to have received a dozen encouraging notes, from Oregon birders, as :

“Sorry to hear they banned you from COBOL. Not sure what their motivation in doing this to you is - possibly gives them a sense of power and control. If that is the case, they must suffer from a sense of insecurity or some other malady so they have to try and put you down so they can feel better about themselves.”

[This is also the premise of NVC :
that wherever there is Judgment, Criticism, “shaming, blaming, punishment” ... there are Unmet Needs and suffering.
“The idea is to release ourselves from judgment because when we are in judgment it is hard to connect with ourselves and others.”]

“I hope you will continue to post to the birding listservs and just be the person you are and write the way you do, which I and many others (I’m sure) enjoy. This world would be a poorer one if birding reports were all dry accounts of what was seen, without any mention of the human element.”

I do have several other Healthy communities where we value and see and enjoy and support eachother.
And this is what I wish for, also in birding community.
And if this is not what other birders want for birding community, or, they do wish for this but not to include me, then, okay, I accept that
This is the way things are, for now, (not how they need to continue into future),
and, for now, I don’t need to participate where I am not valued, as I am,

and, here I am, open to birding with individual kindred spirits, if some be found, if some birders reading this, see my Voice and my Values and think we might be compatible and enjoy birding with eachother, maybe all of this will lead to some good for me and for others, some new connecting with some positive and supportive birding companionship :-)
(Especially, I dearly would love to find some more birding companions near my age! Not to be Age-ist, I’m not, but, in 5-years of birding, I have only ever encountered two younger birders to bird with!)

Thanks for allowing me space to clear my name,

& if I am not banned from OBOL, or receive too many hostile responses, I will probably write once more soon, only to OBOL (since COBOL has banned me), to share our birds and to thank Tim Shelmerdine for helping me run the Davis Lake BBS yesterday, “gushing” thanks because he deserves them.

Enjoying birds and grateful for some birders,
Courtney Jett, Bend

Courtney Kelly Jett, Bend Oregon
Sent from a phone that is all brevity, no wit
Sent from a phone low on wits, high on bits

On Jul 6, 2018, at 6:48 PM, Jack Williamson <jack.williamson.jr...> <mailto:<jack.williamson.jr...>> wrote:

> Joel,
> What exactly was the offending "past pattern" of behavior you are referring to?
> I believe I have read most if not every one of her posts and I don't find anything inappropriate in any of them.
> Please cite the details.
> Jack Williamson
> West Linn, Oregon
> On Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 6:09 PM Joel Geier <joel.geier...> <mailto:<joel.geier...>> wrote:
> Jack and all,
> I would agree that the moderator of the COBOL list pulled the trigger too fast on that particular posting. I intend to send him my opinion on that privately.
> However my understanding is that he was responding based on a past pattern which has caused some real problems, so I'll cut him a bit of slack.
> There's usually more to the story than meets the eye.
> Joel
> On Fri, 2018-07-06 at 17:21 -0700, Jack Williamson wrote:
>> It is impossible for me to understand how a moderator of an Oregon birding listserv recently got away with singling out someone for making complimentary comments about their Breeding Bird Survey Assistant and mentioning the mice they encountered while sharing their tally of the each of the 47 species encountered on their route.
>> The full text of the email exchange is available by request.
>> <>
>> Jack Williamson
>> West Linn, Oregon

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