This week’s featured contributor, Notyouraveragedummy, is a native New Yorker and is a deeply thoughtful and well-rounded person. Her wisdom comes from her life’s lessons and her background. She has 88,000 plus contributions and counting! We value her approach to building knowledge on the site. She is a real asset to Answers.com. Read on to learn more about Notyouraveragedummy.
First Name: Sorry, I don’t share my real name on the internet.
Occupation: I am currently retired. I am a former homemaker, clerk typist for a trucking company, administrative manager for an international copier/photography company and an administrative assistant for a social services agency.
What is your Answers.com username and how did it come about?
My user name ‘Notyouraveragedummy’ was a term that my father used. My father believed in strict discipline. He spoke to you, never with you. However, every now and then, in the same stern tone he always used, you would hear these words and you would know that you did something good. My father had been gone for 46 years, but the day I was signing in to Answers.com, those were the words that instantly came to mind.
Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?
I was born and raised in upstate New York, and except for a six-year period living in DC and Maryland, I have lived in the same town. I really loved living in DC but when kids came into the picture it became too difficult (and expensive) to dash here and there on crowded buses or by taxi. I fondly call New York ‘The Tax State.’ I’ve always wanted to write that on the signs that say ‘Welcome to New York.’ But it is a special place for me. Besides the fact that it’s home, I truly enjoy the change in seasons. All four seasons are distinctive and have each has its own character and beauty (and tribulations). When you say New York, most people think New York City, but one of the state’s major industries is agriculture. You don’t have to travel far from any city here to see farmland. And when you’ve had your fill of mountains, lakes, and rivers, New York City is a day trip from most areas in the state. I’ve visited the city many times but never get to see all I want.
How did you discover Answers.com?
I came here much the same as everyone else, I was searching the internet for something and boom, there it was. I poked around a bit and thought, “Aha, you’ve spent a lifetime reading, researching, and peeking under rocks. This is the place where all that information belongs.” I use a number of Q&A sites, but this is the one that does it best. Answers.com has so much going for it. I really appreciate the interaction with other contributors, the seemingly endless lists of categories, the variety of skill levels of the information contributed, and the efforts to maintain high standards. I love chatting with folks on topics of mutual interest and learning one more thing about something I thought I knew all about!
Do you have a favorite category? Most despised category?
I like too many to choose a favorite: a different day, a different subject. I don’t despise any but there are some that I know nothing about. I will still correct the grammar or capitalization for topics even if I’m totally clueless about the question or answer.
If you were inviting someone to join Answers.com, what reason(s) would you give them to convince them they would love being a part of our community?
Most of the people that I know don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time on the internet. But when I see new contributors that don’t quite get the rules or think they don’t need no stinkin’ rules, I often make an effort to show them that even they can find something of real interest here and enjoy being a real contributor. I have even mentioned to some that learning to follow the rules and, in particular, practicing good grammar here will benefit their own future. You never know, someone just might get it.
What accomplishments on Answers.com are you proud of?
That’s for others to tell me. I think all my work is brilliant but that’s just my personal opinion.
What life accomplishments are you proud of?
I am proud of having successfully raised three children, none of whom has ever been arrested and all of whom support themselves.
Growing up, what was your favorite cartoon character and why?
There wasn’t much in the way of cartoons when I was growing up. Does Howdy Doody count?
What are your special talents, interests, hobbies, or collections?
Well, let me see. I’ve done so many things over the years. Since I was knee high, I’ve been reading everything in sight. As a child, I read all of the age appropriate books, plus all of my parents reading material from Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Asimov, and Norah Lofts, to Popular Mechanics, Ladies Home Journal, or an occasional Model Railroader Magazine. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I made a lot of things myself. I made clothes and sweaters, crocheted doilies and embroidered tablecloths, baked pies and cookies, refinished furniture, and painted anything that sat still long enough. My special talent was repurposing and making anything from what I had on hand. That is a good thing when you don’t have much money. Then came the day I had to return to work. I turned my jelly making bag into my pantyhose washing bag and never looked back. There wasn’t much time for hobbies or projects then, but I still kept reading. About twenty years ago, I discovered the world of nonfiction: science and investigation, history and human stories and that became my real passion. That’s where you find me today.
Who or what is your inspiration in life?
My parents have always been my inspiration. The most important thing that I learned from them was to teach by example. It was not something they told me, it was what they did. If you believe in something that you feel others should believe and when you live those beliefs, you will have much less ‘splainin’ to do. This works especially well when raising children. My inspiration has also come from the people and world around me, the world I read about and the people I read about. No matter how badly things turn in my life, I know of people who have had so much worse, people who endure much more than is required of me.
What is one quirky or interesting random fact about you that most people may not know?
I have no idea. I have difficulty seeing myself because I know all of my shortcomings so intimately and struggle with them every day. I know that I have talents and abilities, but for those I thank my ancestors for passing them on to me. I remember stories my mother told me of family members long ago whose antics, accomplishments, and peculiarities are reflected in what I do and how I do it. One fortunate trait, for which I am grateful, is the ability to see things (people, issues, the world) from a number of perspectives at once. I hope this is reflected in many of my answers. I don’t always succeed but I always try to be objective.
One of the things that I’ve learned on my own is to question what you believe to be true. Perhaps it’s because I found so many of my youthful ideals did not live up to reality, perhaps it’s because of the influence of living through the 60s era, perhaps it’s because I had the opportunity to meet people from so many different places and societies. It’s not easy to see this in some of my answers because, without interaction with the person who asks, the answer can only be one dimensional when I know the three dimensional answer. That’s why I keep the scientific equation on my bio page, in hopes that anyone stopping by will think about it. That’s one of my favorite things, when someone thinks about something in a way they haven’t thought of before!