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#2026924 - 02/04/13 01:38 PM Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students"
P.M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
I have recently hung up posters around my neighborhood advertising my services as a piano teacher. I have included my phone number on there for people to call. Since I have never advertised before (all of it came by word of mouth) I have some questions. I teach young children in my apartment complex out of my apartment. I hung up posters to similar complexes around me and also had my mom hang up posters at her job since she works with many of the parents who live in our complex. I am basically expecting parents of young children to call me since that is who I was advertising to and young children are the majority of the students that I currently teach....but what if I get someone who does not have the best intentions? How can I weed out people who may be looking to harm me, etc? I do not want to invite some random stranger into my house and then have them hurt me in some way.

While this may sound paranoid, I am looking at this realistically and would really appreciate some advice on what to do if I get a call from someone who sounds suspicious.

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#2026951 - 02/04/13 02:24 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Toastie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 210
Loc: UK
I think it's unlikely, as I genuinely doubt someone dangerous would be seeking out a piano teacher in order to go to their house to attack them. But the answer is you just don't know. There is an element of trust involved I guess. You could try having someone in the house with you when you meet students for the first time. Though it is your absolute right to turn away anyone who you don't feel comfortable with after you speak to them or meet them - you just need to have a few ready prepared excuses about your waiting list, or the fact you're only interested in teaching children currently or whatever. Practise them first.
_________________________
Complete Beginner August 2012
'Play Piano' Book 1 - finished
'Play Piano' Book 2 - finished
Grade 1 Sight Reading - finished
Grade 1 Exam Pieces
Grade 1 Scales
The Easy Piano Collection Classical Gold
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#2026961 - 02/04/13 02:48 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Do an extended phone interview before you let anyone into your home. The more specific your questions are, the more easily you can weed out the suspicious customers.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2026964 - 02/04/13 02:52 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
catpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 55
This might be weird, but I google every single one of my students/students' parents before I contact them. I get most of my requests online so I have their name before speaking with them. I'm a bit paranoid about it too, but I'm a young woman going into people's houses and I just like to make sure people are who they say they are. (Usually nothing weird comes up, but there was one woman who came up in a very recent article about stealing $1,000 of clothes at a local high end clothing store - not someone I would want to work for.)

Even though 99.9% of the time people have good intentions, it's good to play it safe however you can. There is a bit of a risk involved for anyone working in people's homes/having people come into your home.

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#2027001 - 02/04/13 04:15 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
I think it's unlikely that anyone would come for a piano lesson with any other intention than learning the piano. If you are teaching children then anyone turning up is going to have a child with them surely?

Mind you I do sometimes turn away callers who I'm unsure about by telling them I have no space, which is often the case anyway. It's usually the ones who have no time, no instrument or intention to get one or those who sound like terminal teacher hoppers. Last week I had an enquiry from someone who started the conversation by pointing out that there were four other teachers in my area who charged less and also offered free consultations. Sorry, fully booked!
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027025 - 02/04/13 05:10 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Meet them at Starbucks instead of at your home.
_________________________
Clef


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#2027060 - 02/04/13 06:22 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Jeff Clef]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Meet them at Starbucks instead of at your home.


Jeff, you beat me to it. I was going to post the exact same thing.

I would never have the first meeting in my home.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2027064 - 02/04/13 06:30 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Really?

If someone calls to enquiry about lessons you wouldn't seriously expect them to meet you in Starbucks would you? I would think that this would raise suspicions on their part and they would be very unlikely to sign up.

I suppose there is a small element of risk involved but if you worried about things like this too much you would never leave your house. When you think about it there is more risk in taking your child to the home of someone who has put a leaflet up claiming to be a piano teacher. Just saying.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027098 - 02/04/13 07:40 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris H.

I suppose there is a small element of risk involved but if you worried about things like this too much you would never leave your house.

There is a difference between going out of the house, and letting people into your house. Even when going out, women have to be more careful than men - that is the sad reality. I think this has all be discussed before, and at the time there was a similar divide where many of the male teachers didn't see a problem - because obviously there isn't one for them. Male teachers have other problems.

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#2027113 - 02/04/13 08:24 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Remember that we are talking about someone advertising lessons for children. If a large guy shows up with no child then don't let him in. Don't apartments have a spy hole so you can see who is there before you open the door?

Do you ever let people in to repair an appliance or deliver items or read a meter?

If you meet someone in Starbucks and they seem okay what's to stop them turning nasty once you let them into your house?

I mean, where do you draw the line?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027115 - 02/04/13 08:36 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris H.

I mean, where do you draw the line?

Wherever you think it is safe to draw the line. That is a personal decisions that each of us has to make. In regards to delivery people etc., there is a protocol where they must present clear identification which is also borne out by the home company. Not so long ago a man came to my door claiming to be from the phone company. When I called, they said they had not sent anyone and the door was not opened for him. In this case it was some kind of sales scam, but still.

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#2027156 - 02/04/13 10:09 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
I am a guy, and had a young male student show up for lessons with whom I felt uncomfortable. I have learned to trust those feelings.

After the lesson I Googled him, and found that he had been arrested for a violent crime and was on parole.

On the second lesson (first lesson after Googling him), his hands shook real bad, so bad it was impossible to play the piano; A clear sign he was on speed, most likely meth.

You never know about people nowadays. Women have to be very careful, and men do too.

Originally Posted By: ChrisH
If a large guy shows up with no child then don't let him in.


FYI, some criminals are women, acting alone, or with partners.

By all means trust your feelings, and if you feel that you need to put up a screening barrier (such as holding your first meeting at Starbucks), then by all means do so. Don't be ashamed of being too careful.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#2027165 - 02/04/13 10:44 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Is the OP really small? If not, a normal or big person could always fight the student if they are dangerous. Don't be threatened, they should be scared of you instead of you being scared of them.


Edited by adak (02/04/13 10:45 PM)
_________________________
Casio Privia PX-150


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#2027167 - 02/04/13 10:51 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: rocket88]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rocket88
he was on speed, most likely meth.

Wow, there's a first for everything.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2027172 - 02/04/13 11:04 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: AZNpiano]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5276
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: rocket88
he was on speed, most likely meth.

Wow, there's a first for everything.
Yikes! Indeed!

I don't get that... I do keep a low cautionary sense in my head, but rarely there's anything to worry about over here. Plus all my appointments are done out in the public, as a first meeting, thus most problems are eliminating.

This applies to most people, even professional musicians. My studio is a bit withdrawn from public means of transportation, so I usually offer to pick up my guests from the metro station. This means that the final screening is done on the road. If they don't feel comfortable they don't get in the car. If I don't feel comfortable I don't get them in the car.

Of course there's two things that seem to help out:
a. I'm BIG! I'm quite huge, so I don't get the random hassler problems.
b. My online profile is very complete, which helps for those who find me from the internet.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2027173 - 02/04/13 11:07 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: adak]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: adak
Is the OP really small? If not, a normal or big person could always fight the student if they are dangerous.
Are you kidding? I don't know about anyone else, but I've never had a physical fight in my life. Who knows what I could do if my life were actually threatened, but to say that I "could always fight the student if they are dangerous" seems pretty far-fetched to me.
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2027191 - 02/04/13 11:38 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 484
If I was worried, I would not put up flyers or advertise. Word of mouth is safer. You sound like a young woman living at home with a parent, maybe alone often. I could be wrong, but that is the idea I'm getting. If anything, I'd not have strangers meet you at home for the first time and I would ask a friend to be at the coffee shop at a different table for the interview if you decide to advertise by flyer. You might also consider another person to be in the home for the first home lesson.

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#2027208 - 02/05/13 12:20 AM Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Meet them at Starbucks instead of at your home.


Originally Posted By: rocket88
Jeff, you beat me to it. I was going to post the exact same thing.
I would never have the first meeting in my home.


Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Really?

If someone calls to enquiry about lessons you wouldn't seriously expect them to meet you in Starbucks would you?


I like the idea of Starbucks, or maybe even Chuck-E-Cheese. You could tell “him” that you wanted to get a good look at him in the daylight first.

Also warn him that you will be “Goggling” him, but only if things go well.

Make certain you use the standard dialog, as in you are looking for a “classical” relationship, but don’t want anything too serious. If he comes forward with something like, “But when do I get ‘to play’,” gently remind him that YOU are the teacher.

Be sure to close the conversation with the fact that you are not looking for a long commitment . . .

OOPS! Wrong Forum . . .
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027233 - 02/05/13 01:26 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
Yes, it is the wrong forum for making fun of people.

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#2027241 - 02/05/13 01:58 AM Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Not making fun of anyone, but the Starbucks idea did capture my imagination . . . and let us not forget Google . . .
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027247 - 02/05/13 02:23 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
Well, that's good to hear. smile

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#2027248 - 02/05/13 02:23 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: LoPresti]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Not making fun of anyone, but the Starbucks idea did capture my imagination . . . and let us not forget Google . . .

I've googled potential clients before. What's wrong with that? The last two students' parents googled me before they came to have lessons with me. Believe it or not, it is done, not as an invasion of privacy, but a matter of research.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2027265 - 02/05/13 04:03 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Well I must say this is all completely new to me. I'm sorry but the idea that a psychopath who meant to harm someone would do so by booking a piano lesson just seems too far fetched. For a start you even have a contact number for them because you have spoken on the phone to begin with. There must be easier ways for them to go about this. Not to mention the fact that at some point you will have to let them into your home in order to start teaching them, what then?

The biggest problem I have with meeting in public is that I can't imagine doing a consultation lesson without having a piano to use. As far as I'm aware Starbucks don't have one.

I think it's very sad that people feel this way but if it really bothers you there are some practical steps you can take to minimise the risk. Not taking adult students is one of them. Like I said you can turn away anyone who shows up without a child for a start. You could set up CCTV and make your students aware that they are being watched. Tell your neighbour when you are teaching and ask them to listen out for anything out of the ordinary or maybe even be around for that first meeting. Also ask lots of questions on the phone, you can tell if someone is serious about lessons even at this stage. But you won't eliminate the risk altogether, I'm afraid it goes with the territory for teachers who work alone out of their own home.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027294 - 02/05/13 06:44 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
It's not a totally ridiculous idea - anyone who is a sociopath will use any excuse to find a victim - request to view a house and get the estate agent alone, etc, etc. For a new adult student I make sure my husband will be at home. PM, can you have a friend or neighbour around for the first lesson? After the first lesson, you have to trust your instincts. Either they are into piano, or they're not.
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#2027314 - 02/05/13 08:13 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: currawong]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: adak
Is the OP really small? If not, a normal or big person could always fight the student if they are dangerous.
Are you kidding? I don't know about anyone else, but I've never had a physical fight in my life. Who knows what I could do if my life were actually threatened, but to say that I "could always fight the student if they are dangerous" seems pretty far-fetched to me.


No problem. Spring loaded fallboard. Push a button and WHAM! then they're trapped while you call the cops.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2027323 - 02/05/13 08:34 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
There were times I wasn't sure about meeting a new male adult student. It is a concern for women. I did let my husband know, and made sure he was in the home when I met the new student. Could you possibly bring a male friend with you to the first lesson? They could wait out in the car and once you get in and see what things are like you can text them at an agreed-upon time to let them know all is OK. I would even go so far as to say, "I have my friend waiting for me in the car - you can never be to careful these days!" or something like that.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2027325 - 02/05/13 08:36 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
R0B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/03/08
Posts: 1439
Loc: Australia
I go to teach in the homes of total strangers. Often on the back of nothing more than an email, or maybe a phone call. Never been a problem, nor do I anticipate it ever being one.

If I worried too much about things like that, I would probably never leave the house.

It is entirely possible, that more members of the public, have suffered at the hands of piano teachers, than the other way round laugh
_________________________
Rob

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#2027326 - 02/05/13 08:40 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Well I must say this is all completely new to me. I'm sorry but the idea that a psychopath who meant to harm someone would do so by booking a piano lesson just seems too far fetched. For a start you even have a contact number for them because you have spoken on the phone to begin with. There must be easier ways for them to go about this. Not to mention the fact that at some point you will have to let them into your home in order to start teaching them, what then?

The biggest problem I have with meeting in public is that I can't imagine doing a consultation lesson without having a piano to use. As far as I'm aware Starbucks don't have one.

I think it's very sad that people feel this way but if it really bothers you there are some practical steps you can take to minimise the risk. Not taking adult students is one of them. Like I said you can turn away anyone who shows up without a child for a start. You could set up CCTV and make your students aware that they are being watched. Tell your neighbour when you are teaching and ask them to listen out for anything out of the ordinary or maybe even be around for that first meeting. Also ask lots of questions on the phone, you can tell if someone is serious about lessons even at this stage. But you won't eliminate the risk altogether, I'm afraid it goes with the territory for teachers who work alone out of their own home.


Perhaps because you are not a woman you can't relate to the fact that we do have something to fear. Most of us cannot defend ourselves nor appear threatening, and if we are trying to make a living at teaching, it's not easy to turn away prospective students. I have to be cautious walking from my studio which is locked form the outside at night to my car parked 50 feet away. I don't live in paranoia, but I do have to be cautious, because if I'm not the consequences could be deadly.

Yes, listen to your gut instincts on the phone interview, which should be somewhat extensive. If you have a weird feeling about the student, DO NOT set them up for a lesson. I've learned to listen to my instincts on this.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2027336 - 02/05/13 09:22 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Morodiene, I can fully relate to your fears. In the same way that I'm sure you can relate to the fact that male teachers might feel uncomfortable being left alone with female students and of course children. There is a slight risk, yes. But in the scheme of things piano teaching isn't up there on the list of risky occupations.

Besides, all the concerned so far have been about women teachers finding themselves alone with an unknown male student. I get that bit. But the OP specifically stated that they were advertising lessons for children so presumably they would never find themselves in that situation.

I would be interested to hear from the OP on the responses so far and whether or not they feel that there has been much practical advice given in this thread other than scaremongering and stories of students turning up on drugs. I would be surprised if they don't go and rip their posters down in fear.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027352 - 02/05/13 10:04 AM Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: AZNpiano]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Not making fun of anyone . . . and let us not forget Google . . .

I've googled potential clients before. What's wrong with that? The last two students' parents googled me before they came to have lessons with me. Believe it or not, it is done, not as an invasion of privacy, but a matter of research.

But -- but -- AZN,

The "research tool" is SEVERELY flawed! A close friend if mine, known for 30 years, shows up as owning and managing a corporation in the mid-West, as an individual designer of advanced heating systems, and as a professor of Macro-Economics at an Ivy League university. In fact, he is NONE of those things, nor has he ever been!

Why wouldn't an intelligent and thinking individual like you use personal references? They have worked well for a few thousand years.

Ed

_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027353 - 02/05/13 10:05 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: catpiano]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2563
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: catpiano
This might be weird, but I google every single one of my students/students' parents before I contact them...


You teachers do know that your prospective students are googling you as well, don't you?
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2027355 - 02/05/13 10:14 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Yes but it's usually quicker and more informative for them to look at our websites.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2027356 - 02/05/13 10:15 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Morodiene]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
. . . Could you possibly bring a male friend with you to the first lesson? They could wait out in the car and once you get in and see what things are like you can text them at an agreed-upon time . . .

And I thought we agreed: NO TEXTING during lessons!
(Is that a gerund?)

OOPS! Wrong thread . . .
_________________________
In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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#2027363 - 02/05/13 10:35 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: LoPresti]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5276
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
. . . Could you possibly bring a male friend with you to the first lesson? They could wait out in the car and once you get in and see what things are like you can text them at an agreed-upon time . . .

And I thought we agreed: NO TEXTING during lessons!
(Is that a gerund?)

OOPS! Wrong thread . . .
Ed?

You're grounded! A second time a similar joke!?!?!

You're grounded! grin

Really though...

I'm a big male, as I mentioned earlier, so I can't really relate, but in these cases just trust your instincts and use some common sense... Don't meet with a total strange in the woods for a first lesson! Just make sure your husband, boy friend, etc are there in the next room...

BTw, the last thing I expect would be to turn this thread into a gun related thread.

OOPS!

(For the record, I think that everything to be said on the subject has been said and I'm making a little fun, but not in the expense of anyone but myself! I hope this is clear)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2027367 - 02/05/13 10:51 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Morodiene, I can fully relate to your fears. In the same way that I'm sure you can relate to the fact that male teachers might feel uncomfortable being left alone with female students and of course children.


Humans as a group are not very good at evaluating real risk as opposed to perceived risk.

We are fearful of things that have low likelihood of happening, and ignore those which really do pose a risk.

Except for people who frequent high crime areas, purchase drugs, etc., attacks by strangers are all but unknown.

That doesn't stop us from fearing them! We aren't very rational creatures, as you can tell from the flu shot thread.

It would be perfectly reasonable to advertise that you teach only students between the ages of 6 and 18. That should rule out most of those you fear.

And to stay safe: wear a seat belt, drink in moderation, don't smoke, get some exercise, use sun screen, get the flu shot.

And by all means have legal insurance. You are FAR more likely to have child slip on your stairs and sue successfully.
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#2027379 - 02/05/13 11:16 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Nikolas]
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Ed?

You're grounded! A second time a similar joke!?!?!

You're grounded! grin ...

Hi Nikolas,
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
. . . OOPS! Wrong Forum . . .

Originally Posted By: LoPresti
. . . OOPS! Wrong thread . . .

It is a developing theme, not simple recapitulation.

Anyway, I accept my punishment like a Man. KeyString has been trying to ground me (or otherwise silence my ramblings) for a very long time.

Ed
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#2027410 - 02/05/13 11:52 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: LoPresti]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: LoPresti
KeyString has been trying to ground me (or otherwise silence my ramblings) for a very long time.

I respond to posts. No, that has not happened. Censoring takes many forms including making people appear silly.

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#2027412 - 02/05/13 12:00 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
PianoManChuck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/05/12
Posts: 55
Loc: Los Angeles, California
Get one of those dummy cameras mounted on the wall like they have in some mom+pop shops. They usually have a red light that blinks (which draws their attention to the fact that there's a camera watching/recording them). That makes them think twice about trying anything.

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#2027632 - 02/05/13 06:46 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: PianoManChuck]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: PianoManChuck
Get one of those dummy cameras mounted on the wall like they have in some mom+pop shops. They usually have a red light that blinks (which draws their attention to the fact that there's a camera watching/recording them). That makes them think twice about trying anything.
Should I risk derailing the thread any further and ask what on earth a "mom + pop shop" is?
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#2027635 - 02/05/13 06:48 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: P.M.
While this may sound paranoid, I am looking at this realistically and would really appreciate some advice on what to do if I get a call from someone who sounds suspicious.
And in answer to the OP, if something sounds sus to me, I steer clear of it.
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#2027686 - 02/05/13 08:23 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
ymapazagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Hobart, Australia
I have been the victim of several random assaults in my life (unrelated to piano teaching fortunately!) so I do tend to be a little cautious. If I have a new male student I ask my boyfriend to be around. On the one occasion he couldn't be here I left his X-box on and made of a point of "asking him" to turn it down as my student arrived so they thought someone else was in the house.

I've only ever had one problem with a potential new enquirer, but it didn't even reach the point of him coming to my home. During our initial phone conversation I got a weird vibe and unfortunately my phone battery died mid conversation and I wasn't able to charge it for another half an hour. By the time I turned it back on I had 57 missed calls from him. That night he called me 208 times, and another 103 times the following day. I was too freaked out to answer, even though he obviously could have done with being told to sod off. The day after that he came into the school where I taught a few days a week. I wasn't in that day, but they sensed something was odd and let me know. I ended up going to the police. Turns out he was known to them. Fortunately it stopped once the police contacted him, but it was very scary at the time.

Aside from that, all of my students have been lovely!
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#2027690 - 02/05/13 08:35 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: currawong]
rocket88 Offline
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Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3160
Originally Posted By: currawong
Should I risk derailing the thread any further and ask what on earth a "mom + pop shop" is?


Its a small family-run store, as compared to a big chain store.
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#2027710 - 02/05/13 08:56 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2563
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Yes but it's usually quicker and more informative for them to look at our websites.


Hmmm. Using Google to check out prospective teachers, I've turned up rabid political leanings, criminal offenses, and other surprises that I'd expect teachers would likely omit from professional websites.
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#2027720 - 02/05/13 09:04 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: rocket88]
currawong Offline
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Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5936
Loc: Down Under
Thanks, rocket. You'd think after nearly 60 years of American television here that I'd be familiar with every little Americanism, but there are some that have slipped through. smile
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#2028060 - 02/06/13 12:20 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris Goslow Offline
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Registered: 07/06/11
Posts: 49
Loc: California, USA
Hi, P.M.:

I hope my comments help.

I can certainly understand your desire to attract only good quality potential students and to stay safe. That's totally natural. Yet in my experience I have found that we often get what we expect. You could just as easily be expecting someone really amazing to show up at your door as someone horrible. Great students also show up and will contact you. I think it's important to be on the look out for the good at least as much or more as anything bad.

On the other hand, maybe you could get a dog...?
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#2028092 - 02/06/13 01:02 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
ezpiano.org Online   content
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Quote:
On the other hand, maybe you could get a dog...?

Like thumb
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#2028098 - 02/06/13 01:07 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: ymapazagain]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
off topic, how does one get "randomly assaulted"? it doesn't make sense... and did you fight back?

Originally Posted By: ymapazagain
I have been the victim of several random assaults in my life (unrelated to piano teaching fortunately!) so I do tend to be a little cautious. If I have a new male student I ask my boyfriend to be around. On the one occasion he couldn't be here I left his X-box on and made of a point of "asking him" to turn it down as my student arrived so they thought someone else was in the house.

I've only ever had one problem with a potential new enquirer, but it didn't even reach the point of him coming to my home. During our initial phone conversation I got a weird vibe and unfortunately my phone battery died mid conversation and I wasn't able to charge it for another half an hour. By the time I turned it back on I had 57 missed calls from him. That night he called me 208 times, and another 103 times the following day. I was too freaked out to answer, even though he obviously could have done with being told to sod off. The day after that he came into the school where I taught a few days a week. I wasn't in that day, but they sensed something was odd and let me know. I ended up going to the police. Turns out he was known to them. Fortunately it stopped once the police contacted him, but it was very scary at the time.

Aside from that, all of my students have been lovely!
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#2028762 - 02/07/13 01:23 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Jeff Clef Offline
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Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...off topic, how does one get "randomly assaulted"? it doesn't make sense... and did you fight back?..."

It is nice, adak, that you feel so safe that you can't even imagine such a thing, not even with the help of television and movies--- and I don't actually believe it. It happened to me twice, in the 15 years I lived in San Francisco. The only occurrence which would be to the purpose of this thread, was one in which I was followed by 4 guys as I got off the bus on the way home from work. They were making cracks; I was paying attention to my surroundings (point number 1) and got out my anti-crime whistle--- it's like a police whistle; it was on my keyring--- and as they jumped me, I blew it. Which (point number 2) frightened them away, and people nearby came to help me. I was shaken up, but uninjured.

It's possible to help yourself, in some cases--- not all--- and to minimize both the risk of attack, and the injury. "Random" is another way of saying, "target of opportunity;" in other words, anyone will do.

I think the OP has gotten some fair and realistic advice, that may help her. If 'risk assessment' crosses the line into 'paranoia,' (which, it seems to me, is where you're trying to take it) then some other line of work, or a different work environment (a music school, or a studio associated with a music store) would probably suit her better... though the risk of crime or misadventure, though lower, never gets as low as zero. That is the way of the world, and everyone knows it.
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#2028773 - 02/07/13 01:40 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Originally Posted By: P.M.


While this may sound paranoid, I am looking at this realistically and would really appreciate some advice on what to do if I get a call from someone who sounds suspicious.


If I felt that someone sounded suspicious, I would not plan to meet them at all.

I have not had any calls like that so far. But I trust my intuition and do not need to confirm suspicions of danger...just steer clear.

Suddenly an old story comes to mind: 2 guys walk along, one stops and points at the ground and the dialog goes like this:
"That looks like sh-t. Do you think it is sh-t?"
"I don't know. Sniff it."
"Smells like sh-t. Do you think it's sh-t?"
"I don't know. Taste of it."
"Tastes like sh-t. Do you think it's sh-t?"
"Looks like sh-t, smells like sh-t, tastes like sh-t. Must be sh-t."
"Good thing we didn't step in it."


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (02/07/13 02:14 PM)

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#2028823 - 02/07/13 03:31 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Chris H.]
P.M. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 18
Hi Chris,

While I have advertised for children, I did state that I teach pianists from ages 4-80. I know the general population of people that live in my area, so I am not really afraid of that. However, I have also advertised in other places and that is why I asked the question. I have not gotten any inquiries so far, so nothing really to worry about there. I simply asked this question to see how other piano teachers have dealt with this issue.

Thanks for all of the feedback and if I do get into a situation like this, I will try to use the advice I received.

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#2028856 - 02/07/13 04:34 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2911
Loc: UK.
Well hopefully the situation will never arise where you feel uncomfortable or threatened by a student. I've yet to come across anyone who has booked a lesson with the wrong intentions. And I don't think it's always a gender issue. I am not a big guy and have had several male students who could probably overpower me quite easily if they wished.

If you do get enquiries from men I don't think it's unreasonable to ask them to meet you in a public place first. Most people would understand this.

With a bit of luck you will start getting some calls soon and can let us know how it goes.
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#2028932 - 02/07/13 06:54 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: adak]
malkin Offline
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Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2563
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: adak
off topic, how does one get "randomly assaulted"? it doesn't make sense...


Of course assault does not "make sense," it's a crime.
THE VICTIM IS NOT AT FAULT.

Oh, pardon me! Did I just shout?
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#2029067 - 02/07/13 11:49 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: adak]
ymapazagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted By: adak
off topic, how does one get "randomly assaulted"? it doesn't make sense... and did you fight back?


What doesn't make sense? I won't go into details about the type of assaults, but in each case I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (in broad daylight, open and seemingly safe places). If it wasn't me who was attacked it probably would have been someone else.
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#2029120 - 02/08/13 02:56 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: ymapazagain]
sinophilia Offline

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I'd like to say a couple of things that have been going on a lot in my mind recently. It's certainly true, and sad, that women are more at risk than men, but I'm sure most men can also be targeted. Not everybody is Rambo and there are men who are smaller and weaker than some women. The fact is, women as a category are seen as weak and vulnerable; we see ourselves as such and are taught to be worried and cautious from childhood. Instilling fear is a very good way to control people, and we all know how some men would like women to be kept in their place. Things have been changing but not completely, and women are the first to seek protection from men (and sometimes their trust is misplaced). Also, a woman who thinks herself weak (even if she might not be!) will not fight back if assaulted. She won't even try. Fighting back might at least catch the attacker by surprise. But women are not used to physical contact and fighting, most of us don't do it when we are little like most boys do. Men have an advantage in terms of physical strength, but I'm convinced that the strength of assaulters is mainly in their head, and in the victim's fear.

btw, if you are a woman don't forget to RISE next Thursday! http://onebillionrising.org

(sorry for the feminist rant - and slightly OT too)
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#2029125 - 02/08/13 03:10 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: sinophilia]
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I'd like to say a couple of things that have been going on a lot in my mind recently. It's certainly true, and sad, that women are more at risk than men, but I'm sure most men can also be targeted. Not everybody is Rambo and there are men who are smaller and weaker than some women. The fact is, women as a category are seen as weak and vulnerable; we see ourselves as such and are taught to be worried and cautious from childhood. Instilling fear is a very good way to control people, and we all know how some men would like women to be kept in their place. Things have been changing but not completely, and women are the first to seek protection from men (and sometimes their trust is misplaced). Also, a woman who thinks herself weak (even if she might not be!) will not fight back if assaulted. She won't even try. Fighting back might at least catch the attacker by surprise. But women are not used to physical contact and fighting, most of us don't do it when we are little like most boys do. Men have an advantage in terms of physical strength, but I'm convinced that the strength of assaulters is mainly in their head, and in the victim's fear.

btw, if you are a woman don't forget to RISE next Thursday! http://onebillionrising.org

(sorry for the feminist rant - and slightly OT too)


Violence against women is never right. The quickest way to end violence against women is if women fight back. If news got out that women are beating or killing their attackers then they would think twice before attacking women. Problem solved.


Edited by adak (02/08/13 03:32 AM)
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#2029150 - 02/08/13 04:33 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: adak]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: adak

Violence against women is never right. The quickest way to end violence against women is if women fight back. If news got out that women are beating or killing their attackers then they would think twice before attacking women. Problem solved.


Really????
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#2067827 - 04/21/13 12:33 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
red-rose Offline
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Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
I actually had this *exact* same thing happen to me! I put up fliers, and I listed on craigslist, and someone found me from craigslist. It was a guy and we emailed a couple times, and he mentioned his daughter (but he never actually told me her name - first warning sign.) But the weirdest thing was how in his emails he didn't really talk about his daughter, he just talked a bit about how he was in a band and played the drums and stuff. So, OF COURSE I was no way going to let him in my house without at least meeting him in a public place first. So as it neared our appointed meeting time at a coffee shop, I emailed him again and very specifically was like, "Ok, so I'll see you and your daughter, and make sure she brings her old piano books so I can look at them," (hint hint...don't even think about coming without her!)

Well, after waiting 15 minutes past the decided time, he never showed, and never emailed again to apologize. I was GLAD.

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#2067925 - 04/21/13 08:44 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: TimR
Humans as a group are not very good at evaluating real risk as opposed to perceived risk.

We are fearful of things that have low likelihood of happening, and ignore those which really do pose a risk.


Indeed.

This is such a sad discussion.

Everyone will evaluate this situation as they see fit, based on their experiences, their fears, and their attitudes about the world around them. But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

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#2067943 - 04/21/13 10:19 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

I don't think that what red-rose did is anything close to tying herself into knots. It was reasonable and prudent. I know you were responding to TimR, but I'd like RR's post not to be lost.

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#2067968 - 04/21/13 11:08 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

I don't think that what red-rose did is anything close to tying herself into knots. It was reasonable and prudent. I know you were responding to TimR, but I'd like RR's post not to be lost.

I love it when men have a private conversation about something that mainly involves women.

The word clueless comes to mind. smile
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#2067969 - 04/21/13 11:11 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: currawong]
Scott Hamlin Offline
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Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 553
Originally Posted By: currawong
I risk derailing the thread any further and ask what on earth a "mom + pop shop" is?


I wonder sometimes what the rest of
the world makes of our "turn of phrases"
like this...

I cna only guess you thought this was
a place to get a new Mom and bottle of soda.
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#2067991 - 04/21/13 12:00 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: red-rose]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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bump.
Originally Posted By: red-rose
I actually had this *exact* same thing happen to me! I put up fliers, and I listed on craigslist, and someone found me from craigslist. It was a guy and we emailed a couple times, and he mentioned his daughter (but he never actually told me her name - first warning sign.) But the weirdest thing was how in his emails he didn't really talk about his daughter, he just talked a bit about how he was in a band and played the drums and stuff. So, OF COURSE I was no way going to let him in my house without at least meeting him in a public place first. So as it neared our appointed meeting time at a coffee shop, I emailed him again and very specifically was like, "Ok, so I'll see you and your daughter, and make sure she brings her old piano books so I can look at them," (hint hint...don't even think about coming without her!)

Well, after waiting 15 minutes past the decided time, he never showed, and never emailed again to apologize. I was GLAD.

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#2067993 - 04/21/13 12:03 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10371
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Hey Gary, thanks for your dripping condescension! The smiley face doesn't hide it. My maleness (and TimR's) doesn't detract from,

a) people wildly overestimate some forms of risk, while under-appreciating much larger risks.

This is a well-researched fact that is not gender-specific.

b) My personal view that the thread is rather sad because so many people are expressing real fears that they are in danger in the normal pursuit of their professional activities. This is a comment on the current world.

And no, I wasn't saying anything specific about the OP's first post. In a sense, for her the barn door was opened by her method of advertising. Once you go beyond word of mouth you enter the regular commercial world. Because teachers tend to work in their home (or in someone else's home) they may face more risk than many other service providers who work in a public place. How much risk is a very subjective issue. What to do about it is yet another subjective call.

But even in the more public part of the service industry people take precautions. And again, it is sad that they feel compelled to do so. Ob-Gyns today often have a person (witness) in the room when they do an exam. [That person earns a salary, and it is part of the social cost of medicine]. This person is there in the room in large part to protect the physician against future legal claims that they abused a patient.
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#2068025 - 04/21/13 01:08 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
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Piano*Dad, I have a question. This thread has been dead for some time. This morning Red Rose, who I assume is a female teacher, told us about her experience. It was concrete, factual, and I think useful. You followed her thread to respond, not to what she said, but to an old post by TimR. Was there a reason you did that? Why not respond to what was just posted which was real, non-speculative, pertinent and current? Might you want to do so now?

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#2068027 - 04/21/13 01:14 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

This is a well-researched fact that is not gender-specific.

At this moment I am not interested in what research does, but in what we actually experience. The fact is that many private teachers will teach out of their own homes, where they are totally alone with someone on a regular basis. You do not have that as a professor, and being male, the risk is also not the same, though your risks might be different - such as being accused of things. These are practical considerations, and they are real. Those in such situations need to discuss them. Not via philosophical speculation or vague research with statistical results.

Red Rose had a very specific incident. She was contacted by someone saying he had a daughter, but only talking about himself, and when they were to meet to discuss lessons, he did not show up and definitely had no daughter to show.

People take precautions for other things, such as financial. There are downpayments, for example. I have twice done work for clients who then did not pay me, and learned the hard way to research your client and get unknown individuals to prepay for at least part of your work. Nobody would call this excessive. So why should other risks not be viewed the same way?

What about Red Rose's specific example?

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#2068039 - 04/21/13 01:44 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

I don't think that what red-rose did is anything close to tying herself into knots. It was reasonable and prudent. I know you were responding to TimR, but I'd like RR's post not to be lost.

I love it when men have a private conversation about something that mainly involves women.

The word clueless comes to mind. smile


Gary, I must agree. It's probably a rare thing where a man feels vulnerable or at risk for being violated. There are things women these days *must* do and think about on a daily basis to be vigilant. It's much better than the alternative.
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#2068090 - 04/21/13 03:17 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: red-rose]
Stanny Offline
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Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Originally Posted By: red-rose
I actually had this *exact* same thing happen to me! I put up fliers, and I listed on craigslist, and someone found me from craigslist. It was a guy and we emailed a couple times, and he mentioned his daughter (but he never actually told me her name - first warning sign.) But the weirdest thing was how in his emails he didn't really talk about his daughter, he just talked a bit about how he was in a band and played the drums and stuff. So, OF COURSE I was no way going to let him in my house without at least meeting him in a public place first. So as it neared our appointed meeting time at a coffee shop, I emailed him again and very specifically was like, "Ok, so I'll see you and your daughter, and make sure she brings her old piano books so I can look at them," (hint hint...don't even think about coming without her!)

Well, after waiting 15 minutes past the decided time, he never showed, and never emailed again to apologize. I was GLAD.


You were smart to meet in a public place and insist on the daughter being there.
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#2068146 - 04/21/13 04:53 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Piano*Dad, I have a question. This thread has been dead for some time. This morning Red Rose, who I assume is a female teacher, told us about her experience. It was concrete, factual, and I think useful. You followed her thread to respond, not to what she said, but to an old post by TimR. Was there a reason you did that? Why not respond to what was just posted which was real, non-speculative, pertinent and current? Might you want to do so now?


Because I had not noticed that it was a retread thread. This is one of the dangers of bringing a thread back to life.
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#2068154 - 04/21/13 05:18 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: keystring
Piano*Dad, I have a question. This thread has been dead for some time. This morning Red Rose, who I assume is a female teacher, told us about her experience. It was concrete, factual, and I think useful. You followed her thread to respond, not to what she said, but to an old post by TimR. Was there a reason you did that? Why not respond to what was just posted which was real, non-speculative, pertinent and current? Might you want to do so now?


Because I had not noticed that it was a retread thread. This is one of the dangers of bringing a thread back to life.

It is also part of being clueless.

You are not listening to what women are saying in this thread. If that bothers you, tough. You did the man thing, barged in with a ton of cold logic and entirely failed to get the point.

The POINT is that women have a much harder time protecting themselves. But do continue with TimR, who is not even part of this conversation at present...
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#2068156 - 04/21/13 05:23 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Morodiene]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

I don't think that what red-rose did is anything close to tying herself into knots. It was reasonable and prudent. I know you were responding to TimR, but I'd like RR's post not to be lost.

I love it when men have a private conversation about something that mainly involves women.

The word clueless comes to mind. smile


Gary, I must agree. It's probably a rare thing where a man feels vulnerable or at risk for being violated. There are things women these days *must* do and think about on a daily basis to be vigilant. It's much better than the alternative.

You are absolutely correct. My wife is a level-headed as anyone can be, but I am bigger and stronger. I may not have more chance in a fight than she does, but someone will not guess that. And when I was younger I was very strong. I am just short of 6 feet tall, and I once leveled another guy in my 20s, put him in an emergency room with one punch - concussion.

And I am NOT proud of this. It was one of the most shameful things I have ever done. But I am here with my real name. If I were a woman, I would be using a pseudonym.

I do not know one woman who has not been stalked at least once just as a result of being part of a forum.

Women do not have equal rights. They may sometime in the future, but they get paid less, get listened to less and get taken advantage of more.

The glass ceiling is no illusion.

And for the record ANYONE who wants to challenge me on this issue will get a sharp reply. I will not back down. I have seen my wife treated as a second class person over and over again. The reason?

She is a woman.
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#2068159 - 04/21/13 05:27 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Quote:
What about Red Rose's specific example?


It seems to me she used her intuition (and no, that's not a female thing, Gary) and judgment. What else can we say. The guy may have been a creep. Who knows. When someone posts an experience like that, what is there really to say? "Nice going."
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#2068161 - 04/21/13 05:29 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And for the record ANYONE who wants to challenge me on this issue will get a sharp reply. I will not back down.


So, "not backing down" gives you license to insult people? My "male" logic offends you? Oh well.

Right now I'm feeling some real contempt for you.
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#2068162 - 04/21/13 05:33 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
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Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

What kinds of communities are these?

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#2068164 - 04/21/13 05:39 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Overexposed Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into


OT: I just love this! I think I need to print it and put it on my refrigerator. I'm adding it to my collection of quotes.

Just saying this statement was a good intervention for me today, a useful mantra to stop stewing about a situation I'm dealing with.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (04/21/13 05:40 PM)

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#2068175 - 04/21/13 06:10 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
What about Red Rose's specific example?

It seems to me she used her intuition ....What else can we say. The guy may have been a creep.

I see it a somewhat different angle. I think that what I am countering is a general notion that we do things based on vague feelings and instincts, the extremes of which are being described as paranoia. There are many things that are done which have been well thought out and planned. Creating a budget so that you aren't caught out, locking your door before you leave the house, giving your students a test at the start of a semester (if you do) in order to see where they are before starting to teach, asking an unknown new client for prepayment. What Red Rose described is a logical strategy, and it is one that I have seen advised. That lifts it out of the vague rhealm of feelings and speculation, which is where you and TimR were heading earlier today.

In my freelance work, many of us are encountering the problem of distance work and ending up not being paid. So we have developed some strategies such as checking your customer's background, getting a partial prepayment, which we've found minimizes the risks. Here RR has told us things that she has done, which are also things I've seen recommended. For those in that situation (working alone in a private place) this may be a practical thing to consider.

I would put John v. d. Brooke's videocam in the same category. Through one decision he is able to provide his students with material to study when they get home, and protection against accusations which haunt male teachers in particular. It's the practical nature that seems interesting.

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#2068176 - 04/21/13 06:12 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
And for the record ANYONE who wants to challenge me on this issue will get a sharp reply. I will not back down.


So, "not backing down" gives you license to insult people? My "male" logic offends you? Oh well.

Right now I'm feeling some real contempt for you.

Ditto...
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#2068178 - 04/21/13 06:16 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

What kinds of communities are these?

Right. Like the massacre that just took place in Boston was in a third world country...

People who teach privately often do so in their own homes. Some of them are women, and some do not live with anyone else.

If just one crazy gets in, it may be too late.

Last time I heard things like rape and such also happen in the US.

It's paranoia until it happens to you.

Nice empathy, by the way.

Oh, I notice you do not use your name. Must be conincidence...
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#2068181 - 04/21/13 06:25 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Gary D. Offline
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Final thought: if the WOMEN in this thread and on PW think I am wrong, if the world is a whole lot more equal and fair to both men and women than I think, I'll apologize to everyone.

I think the world remains a man's world, and I think the Good Ol' Boy Club is quite alive and well - and that women are NOT treated fairly or equally in this society.

But I am a man...

Bowing out...
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#2068186 - 04/21/13 06:44 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
plbpusa Offline
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Yes i agree! I get many "strange" calls regarding silly questions, of course relating to pricing and such! Great post OP!

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#2068192 - 04/21/13 06:51 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

What kinds of communities are these?


And what kind of poster on a forum thinks that it's wise for women to not think about these things that happen EVERY DAY? One does not have to be in the third-world country to get raped or murdered. How dare you equate a woman being smart about who she does business with for her own safety with someone who suffers from paranoia?

What is sad and tragic is that you think you can get away with saying such things.
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#2068196 - 04/21/13 07:04 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

Today's post involved a female teacher who received a response from a man who said he had a daughter, but only talked about himself, and failed to show up for the meeting in which he was asked to bring his daughter.

Are you doing the reductio ad absurdum tactic of turning this very rational thing into the kinds of ridiculous things that you have listed?

A simple question: When you leave the house, do you lock the door? That's a rational precaution. So is meeting a questionable individual in a public place.

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#2068198 - 04/21/13 07:13 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Final thought: if the WOMEN in this thread and on PW think I am wrong, if the world is a whole lot more equal and fair to both men and women than I think, I'll apologize to everyone.


I don't think a single woman said that.

There is also the lovely thing that if women respond with emotion, then everyone knows that they are irrational and emotion. Maybe the newer generation can let go (I honestly don't know) but for some of us some things are rather ingrained.

My biggest effort was to get Red Rose acknowledged, and not trivialized or swept under the rug. Her actions were professional. They should be seen as such! If she is trivialized, then everyone is.

Your side of it is appreciated, and a guy not being silent on these things is very important.

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#2068199 - 04/21/13 07:27 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Quote:
What about Red Rose's specific example?

It seems to me she used her intuition ....What else can we say. The guy may have been a creep.

I see it a somewhat different angle. I think that what I am countering is a general notion that we do things based on vague feelings and instincts, the extremes of which are being described as paranoia. There are many things that are done which have been well thought out and planned. Creating a budget so that you aren't caught out, locking your door before you leave the house, giving your students a test at the start of a semester (if you do) in order to see where they are before starting to teach, asking an unknown new client for prepayment. What Red Rose described is a logical strategy, and it is one that I have seen advised. That lifts it out of the vague rhealm of feelings and speculation, which is where you and TimR were heading earlier today.


I hear you. But let's examine exactly what Red Rose said ...

Originally Posted By: Red Rose
It was a guy and we emailed a couple times, and he mentioned his daughter (but he never actually told me her name - first warning sign.) But the weirdest thing was how in his emails he didn't really talk about his daughter, he just talked a bit about how he was in a band and played the drums and stuff. So, OF COURSE I was no way going to let him in my house without at least meeting him in a public place first.


First, let me say that RR's approach here seems quite sensible. But from what she said, this Starbucks approach for a first meeting is NOT her general policy. She did it in this case because she sensed something amiss.

That is why I said that these kind of experiences are hard to comment upon, beyond the usual forum "head nodding" in agreement. What lesson do I learn? Well, I learn that if I feel that a person is suspicious, based on what they say in emails or phone calls, that I should not let them into my house. OK, I think most of us knew that already.

Should all preliminary business be conducted in the local Starbucks? That to me is a more interesting question. The fact that many people feel the need to do this suggests a number of things:

1. It's a sad commentary on the state of society that women feel such risk.

Gary's shorts were in such a twist about my seeming lack of empathy for female second-class status (where on earth did he get that from what I posted, one wonders) that he did not acknowledge that I actually said that.

2. It's a serious cost in peoples' time if they do it as a general policy.

Do teachers think they learn enough in a Starbucks meeting to take a student? I doubt it. That demands a second meeting in the home to get the student into something approximating the lesson format.

But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.
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#2068206 - 04/21/13 07:58 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring

There is also the lovely thing that if women respond with emotion, then everyone knows that they are irrational and emotion. Maybe the newer generation can let go (I honestly don't know) but for some of us some things are rather ingrained.

This is a very hot-button issue to me. I see men debate some of the things I believe you are touching upon as if it does not touch them, and I think there are many men who are not touched.

Now, I really am done.
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#2068207 - 04/21/13 07:59 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad


But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.


Who cares? She can do whatever she wants, and it doesn't have to be in her policy.

If she gets weirded out by a potential student or parent, then she has every right to make a judgment call. If the guy and daughter turned out OK, then I'm sure she would want to see the girl at her studio to give her a thorough check through.

Any guy who would begrudge a woman doing this probably isn't right for her studio anyways.
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#2068208 - 04/21/13 08:01 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Morodiene]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad


But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.


Who cares? She can do whatever she wants, and it doesn't have to be in her policy.

If she gets weirded out by a potential student or parent, then she has every right to make a judgment call. If the guy and daughter turned out OK, then I'm sure she would want to see the girl at her studio to give her a thorough check through.

Any guy who would begrudge a woman doing this probably isn't right for her studio anyways.

thumb
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#2068209 - 04/21/13 08:06 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Morodiene]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad


But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.


Who cares? She can do whatever she wants, and it doesn't have to be in her policy.

If she gets weirded out by a potential student or parent, then she has every right to make a judgment call. If the guy and daughter turned out OK, then I'm sure she would want to see the girl at her studio to give her a thorough check through.

Any guy who would begrudge a woman doing this probably isn't right for her studio anyways.


Please tell me where I said she can't do what she wants? Please tell me where I said that she doesn't have the right "to make a judgment call."

Please read what I wrote and stop treating people as the enemy because you presume you know their deepest attitudes. Frankly, I'm getting sick of being smeared because of other peoples' hot buttons. Your hot button doesn't give you the right to condescend or to deliberately misread.
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#2068211 - 04/21/13 08:08 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad


But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.


Who cares? She can do whatever she wants, and it doesn't have to be in her policy.

If she gets weirded out by a potential student or parent, then she has every right to make a judgment call. If the guy and daughter turned out OK, then I'm sure she would want to see the girl at her studio to give her a thorough check through.

Any guy who would begrudge a woman doing this probably isn't right for her studio anyways.

thumb


Thank you, Gary. Another person who lacks the decency even to read what I wrote.
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#2068218 - 04/21/13 08:34 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
keystring Online   content
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I was not paying that much attention to the other dialogue since I had started one just before and wanted that point to come across. But I can see that objection and its reasons which you must have missed. Your first comment was about people "tying themselves into knots", and the second was about people "wildly overestimating some forms of risk". if this was in response to what the posting teacher had just said, then it seemed to trivialize them and make them seem silly. Probably closer to the truth is that you missed that post or only half-read it. Yet I find it an important post, because it dealt with a real experience.

Going on:

Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
First, let me say that RR's approach here seems quite sensible. But from what she said, this Starbucks approach for a first meeting is NOT her general policy. She did it in this case because she sensed something amiss.


A business policy will have precautions in place for certain circumstances. In the analogy from my present profession, most of us accept payment after rendering service and bill clients afterward, but for clients who present red flags prepayment is recommended. This is a distinction from making decisions based on "feelings" with wild over- and underestimations. Most businesses create checklists or things to watch for.

Quote:
Should all preliminary business be conducted in the local Starbucks? That to me is a more interesting question.....

2. It's a serious cost in peoples' time if they do it as a general policy.

Do teachers think they learn enough in a Starbucks meeting to take a student? I doubt it. That demands a second meeting in the home to get the student into something approximating the lesson format.


I run a business where the projects I do are relatively short term, some taking a day, and others taking a few weeks at most. Teachers forge a business relationship that lasts years. One important thing that I learned in running a business is that the preliminary preparation you do has a major effect even though it doesn't bring in any money. If you land in a mess because you didn't check things out, it is costly and time consuming. So if an extra step is needed where the situation suggests it, then this is not a "cost on people's time" - more like a prudent business expense.

For the last part of your question, the piano teachers might be able to answer that. I think that a fair bit can actually be learned over a cup of coffee.


Edited by keystring (04/21/13 08:54 PM)

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#2068235 - 04/21/13 08:59 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Keystring,

I'm not sure exactly what we're "debating" here. Is it, "Does RR have a good business policy?" Got me. I haven't seen it laid out as a business policy. RR didn't discuss it that way.

Is it, "can one rationalize the Starbucks approach "for occasional potential clients who rub you the wrong way over the phone" as a good formal business approach? Yeah, sure, I guess. That seems pretty obvious to me.

I'm not sure anyone in this benighted thread is pondering either point. We're getting things like, "if she feels weirded out ..." That sounds rather like a "feeling" to me. And that's not something that is easy for one person to communicate to another, which is why I said a while back that experiential posts often just get a group hug or a collective head nodding in approval. Yes, if someone feels weirded out, by all means ask to meet the weirding one in advance, over coffee. Heck, I said that was very sensible of RR. It's sensible policy for anyone.
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#2068238 - 04/21/13 08:59 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad


But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy. Maybe it is, but that did not come across in the post.


Who cares? She can do whatever she wants, and it doesn't have to be in her policy.

If she gets weirded out by a potential student or parent, then she has every right to make a judgment call. If the guy and daughter turned out OK, then I'm sure she would want to see the girl at her studio to give her a thorough check through.

Any guy who would begrudge a woman doing this probably isn't right for her studio anyways.


Please tell me where I said she can't do what she wants? Please tell me where I said that she doesn't have the right "to make a judgment call."

Please read what I wrote and stop treating people as the enemy because you presume you know their deepest attitudes. Frankly, I'm getting sick of being smeared because of other peoples' hot buttons. Your hot button doesn't give you the right to condescend or to deliberately misread.


You said: "But Red Rose did not say that this was her general policy."
I said: "who cares?"

Did you mean something other than: "She should have it stated in her policy that the first meeting will be at Starbucks"?
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#2068248 - 04/21/13 09:15 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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If you read the rest of my long post to Keystring, i.e. go beyond that one sentence of mine that you quote, you will see the rest of the context. I was addressing Keystring's very specific contention that we needed to get beyond feelings. Please read all of Keystring's post, and all of my response. Keystring said, among other things,

Originally Posted By: keystring
I see it a somewhat different angle. I think that what I am countering is a general notion that we do things based on vague feelings and instincts,


I replied that RR had indeed used her instincts and feelings, appropriately so in this case. It was her instinct that caused her to behave the way she did, not a formal policy. Then you berate me for callousness? What the ...???

I said this:

Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
First, let me say that RR's approach here seems quite sensible. But from what she said, this Starbucks approach for a first meeting is NOT her general policy. She did it in this case because she sensed something amiss.

That is why I said that these kind of experiences are hard to comment upon, beyond the usual forum "head nodding" in agreement. What lesson do I learn? Well, I learn that if I feel that a person is suspicious, based on what they say in emails or phone calls, that I should not let them into my house. OK, I think most of us knew that already.


How do you jump from this to me saying she ought to have a business policy before taking someone to coffee instead of to her house?
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#2068280 - 04/21/13 10:23 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
If you read the rest of my long post to Keystring, i.e. go beyond that one sentence of mine that you quote, you will see the rest of the context. I was addressing Keystring's very specific contention that we needed to get beyond feelings. Please read all of Keystring's post, and all of my response. Keystring said, among other things,

Originally Posted By: keystring
I see it a somewhat different angle. I think that what I am countering is a general notion that we do things based on vague feelings and instincts,


I replied that RR had indeed used her instincts and feelings, appropriately so in this case. It was her instinct that caused her to behave the way she did, not a formal policy. Then you berate me for callousness? What the ...???

I said this:

Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
First, let me say that RR's approach here seems quite sensible. But from what she said, this Starbucks approach for a first meeting is NOT her general policy. She did it in this case because she sensed something amiss.

That is why I said that these kind of experiences are hard to comment upon, beyond the usual forum "head nodding" in agreement. What lesson do I learn? Well, I learn that if I feel that a person is suspicious, based on what they say in emails or phone calls, that I should not let them into my house. OK, I think most of us knew that already.


How do you jump from this to me saying she ought to have a business policy before taking someone to coffee instead of to her house?



OK, I see you were responding to keystring's statement about making a decision logically vs. emotionally. I apologize for jumping to conclusions. I got all riled up with the Journey's idiotic post and read into what you wrote. I'm sorry for that.

For what is worth, I personally have no problems with making emotional decisions. We are human beings and have emotions as well as intellectual, spiritual, and physical needs upon which we can base our decisions. Not any one is necessarily more or less important than another, although one may tend toward using one over another.
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#2068283 - 04/21/13 10:29 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

I don't think that what red-rose did is anything close to tying herself into knots. It was reasonable and prudent. I know you were responding to TimR, but I'd like RR's post not to be lost.

I love it when men have a private conversation about something that mainly involves women.

The word clueless comes to mind. smile


It would be clueless for men (or women) to have a "private conversation" about anything on a public internet internet forum.
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#2068292 - 04/21/13 10:45 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad

Is it, "can one rationalize the Starbucks approach "for occasional potential clients who rub you the wrong way over the phone" as a good formal business approach? Yeah, sure, I guess. That seems pretty obvious to me.

You are using quotation marks, but I can't tell whom you are quoting. Are you quoting someone, or are these your own words? If the latter, then it is again ridiculing and trivializing. "Who rub you the wrong way over the phone" sounds ridiculous.

If you are having problems with this, I wonder if it's due to experience. You are wondering about business practices - whether meeting a potential client at a public place to discuss business is a waste of time, for example. If you run your own business then this is not something you would wonder about, because it is common practice. I don't know if it can be explained.

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#2068299 - 04/21/13 10:53 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Yes, I'm quoting "myself" in those sentences. But you knew that.

Keystring, I'm not having problems with this. I'm wondering why you are expending so much effort constructing arguments about efficient business practice for this increasingly weird thread. My only comment about efficiency (if I recall correctly) was to note that a two-stage interview process starting at Starbucks and ending in the house, and doing this for every potential student, would probably be a drag on someone's time.
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#2068302 - 04/21/13 10:57 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Originally Posted By: Malkin
It would be clueless for men (or women) to have a "private conversation" about anything on a public internet internet forum.


Hah! Good one.
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#2068334 - 04/21/13 11:48 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: malkin

It would be clueless for men (or women) to have a "private conversation" about anything on a public internet internet forum.

OK. Let me clarify. I want to be crystal clear.

Piano Dad replies to a comment from TimR, written February 05, 2013 10:51 AM as if it were something rather current.

Originally Posted By: TimR

Humans as a group are not very good at evaluating real risk as opposed to perceived risk.

OK. So if we are going more than two months back, let's look at this:
Originally Posted By: adak

Violence against women is never right. The quickest way to end violence against women is if women fight back. If news got out that women are beating or killing their attackers then they would think twice before attacking women. Problem solved.

I won't comment.

So then we get this today:
Originally Posted By: red-rose
I actually had this *exact* same thing happen to me! I put up fliers, and I listed on craigslist, and someone found me from craigslist. It was a guy and we emailed a couple times, and he mentioned his daughter (but he never actually told me her name - first warning sign.) But the weirdest thing was how in his emails he didn't really talk about his daughter, he just talked a bit about how he was in a band and played the drums and stuff. So, OF COURSE I was no way going to let him in my house without at least meeting him in a public place first. So as it neared our appointed meeting time at a coffee shop, I emailed him again and very specifically was like, "Ok, so I'll see you and your daughter, and make sure she brings her old piano books so I can look at them," (hint hint...don't even think about coming without her!)

Well, after waiting 15 minutes past the decided time, he never showed, and never emailed again to apologize. I was GLAD.

That earns a response, not TO the person who posted, but to TimR, going back in time I suppose two months.
Originally Posted By: Piano Dad

Indeed.

This is such a sad discussion.

Everyone will evaluate this situation as they see fit, based on their experiences, their fears, and their attitudes about the world around them. But it's always wise to step back and ask just how many knots do you want to tie yourself into in order to feel comfortable existing in this world of ever present risk.

Now, I will concede that calling this a “private discussion” is inaccurate. What went through my mind, instead, is that a often a man would rather comment on a comment that is over two months old by another man, in public, in a way that totally ignores the woman as if she was not even here, rather than to answer the woman who has just expressed a thought and a worry.

So the word “private” is not accurate. But I do not have a word for what happens when one man replies to another as if the woman is not there and does not deserve to have her ideas directly addressed. That in my opinion was what happened today. I stand by that. I further suggest that this happens a lot in this world, where I further insist men have more power and assume that they deserve to have it.
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#2068351 - 04/22/13 12:33 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
But I do not have a word for what happens when one man replies to another as if the woman is not there and does not deserve to have her ideas directly addressed. That in my opinion was what happened today.

Gary, you have finally put into words what has been bothering me all day, and I could not put my finger on it.

It started when Red Rose came on and talked about a real situation, and the first response had nothing to do with what she had said. Instead it was some abstract speculation between two men. The various things that were put forth were further trivialized. I don't know what to call what happened with the things that I wrote. Is that much incomprehension really possible? In any case, earlier in the day I bumped today's original post up twice, because it seemed extremely important to do that - for this person to be heard.

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#2068378 - 04/22/13 01:43 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
1. It's a sad commentary on the state of society that women feel such risk.


That's exactly the point I was trying to make.

Not saying the fears are not justified, just pitying those who live in (unequal, anti-social, violent, misogynistic, drugged-up, poverty riddled, poorly educated, etc.) societies where one is condemned to live one's life in fear and not even feel free to act and safe in one's own home/studio.

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#2068381 - 04/22/13 01:45 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Polyphonist Offline
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My opinion on this subject is as follows:







Lock the thread.
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#2068453 - 04/22/13 03:56 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Right. Like the massacre that just took place in Boston was in a third world country...


Right! On just about every factual, critical social dimension you can think of that is relevant to this thread, the country recently bombed Iraq-style in Boston by its very own domestic terrorists who lived there and whose characters were formed in said country (like the domestic terrorist bombings before them in Oklahoma City and the long, proud tradition of institutionalized domestic terrorism embodied by the wildly popular Ku Klux Klan in years past) can, sadly, indeed be considered to be, for all practical purposes, a third-world country.

Here are some dimensions to consider to put some meat on the bone of PianoDad's justified lament:

Well-being of children
Of the so-called richest countries, kids in the US find themselves relatively unsafe & unhappy, at or close to the bottom of almost all measures, barely doing better than their poorest-from-the-list peers in: Latvia, Romania & Lithuania.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/18/opinion/blow-the-kids-are-not-all-right.html?nl=todaysheadlines
As go the kids, so goes a society.

Inequality
The US has some of the worst, heart-wrenching, humanity distorting socio-economic inequality of any country in the world making it look both on paper and on the streets a lot more like Colombia or Guatemala than a civilized, first-world Western democracy. http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/04/watch-video-on-wealth-inequality-in-the-u-s/

Freedom & Human Rights
The US has the lowest percentage of its citizens actually living in freedom outside of its fast-growing, for-profit industrial-prison complex. More prisoners by far than any other country in the world including Communist China or the old Soviet Gulag. The problems is compounded by not having an independent judiciary and conducting a $1 trillion war (ostensibly on drugs) against its own citizens. US citizens may also today be disappeared, executed or tortured on command by their government without recourse to constitutional protections. Sounds like junta-era Argentina to me.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html?pagewanted=all

Social Mobility
Increasingly there is less and less social mobility in the US. How far you go depends mostly on your parents, your family wealth and who you know or who you paid off more than your own study or hard work as in a functioning meritocracy. Just like most banana republics.
http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21...repairing-rungs

Lethal Violence
Despite having 500% more of its population locked up behind bars, with more guns than people, hundreds of thousands of untreated mental patients roaming the streets, millions addicted to illicit drugs & heroin-grade, addictive painkillers, unimaginable income inequality with almost all gains in wealth and income going to the top 5%, with 30% of children growing up in poverty, rampant racial discrimination, a culture that worships materialism, the most bloody & violent entertainment on earth being consumed an average of 5 (!) hours per day per household, the levels of lethal violence, murder & Columbine/Newton/etc. mass-murder mayhem are completely off the chart.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/us-gun-violence-connecticut_n_2318704.html

Abuse of Women
Almost one in five (!) American women have survived a rape (attempt). An estimated 17.000 girls are trafficked each year into sexual slavery. The US has some of the highest rates of venereal disease, teenage pregnancy & infant mortality of developed countries.
http://www.feminist.com/antiviolence/facts.html#statistics

Crumbling Infrastructure
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2013/01/23-crumbling-infrastructure-galston

Here is another point of view ranking developments in the US over the past thirty years using the original defining criteria for "1st world" versus "3rd world/banana republic" countries:
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/11/us-continues-descent-toward-third-world.html
http://www.activistpost.com/2010/08/10-signs-us-is-becoming-third-world.html

So sad and so unnecessary.
As to those who accuse me of not empathizing, I assure you I do empathize. I also stand by my previous statement and associated question:

Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

What kinds of communities are these?

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#2068499 - 04/22/13 07:56 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Morodiene Offline
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Thank you for clarifying, but what you wrote previously, the Journey, was poorly written at best if you meant to say the exact opposite. The big things that come across are "believe that they", referring to it as "paranoia", referring to anyone who posts here as being from a 3rd-world country, and calling those who victimize women "drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers" when it's not about piano teachers who live in 3rd world countries being paranoid at all! Your choice of words leaves much to be desired.
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#2068502 - 04/22/13 08:01 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Gary D.]
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted By: Gary D.

... But I do not have a word for what happens when one man replies to another as if the woman is not there and does not deserve to have her ideas directly addressed. That in my opinion was what happened today. I stand by that. I further suggest that this happens a lot in this world, where I further insist men have more power and assume that they deserve to have it.


I thought "clueless" worked pretty well, "rude" and "dehumanizing" fit the bill as well. I'm sure there are others, but I'm still sleepy this morning.
I find myself in situations at work where adult "care providers" will discuss children's 'deficits' while the kids are sitting there. I find it offensive and objectifying and almost always unnecessary.

I agree with you that this behavior is caused by a power differential.
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#2068527 - 04/22/13 09:00 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Right. Like the massacre that just took place in Boston was in a third world country...


Right! On just about every factual, critical social dimension you can think of that is relevant to this thread, the country recently bombed Iraq-style in Boston by its very own domestic terrorists who lived there and whose characters were formed in said country (like the domestic terrorist bombings before them in Oklahoma City and the long, proud tradition of institutionalized domestic terrorism embodied by the wildly popular Ku Klux Klan in years past) can, sadly, indeed be considered to be, for all practical purposes, a third-world country.

I'll let others comment on that. At least it is clear that you recognize that the problems we have been talking about exist.

But look at what you wrote:
Quote:

Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with the paranoia of living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers. Sad. Tragic.

When you write "psychopathic piano teacher slashers" it seems clever, not real. I don't know if that is your intention.

And paranoia?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paranoia

Get off the fence, please.

Either we are paranoid as we talk about such things, in which case we are irrationally suspicious and distrustful.

Or we are simply dealing with the world as it is, or more precisely (in this case) life in the US, as it is.

And then this whole thread has NOTHING to do with paranoia. It has to do with coping with violence, and protecting ourselves.
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#2068531 - 04/22/13 09:29 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
TimR Online   content
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It may be possible to take reasonable precautions without living in a state of fear.

The US has had a steady 25 year long decline in gun violence. You wouldn't know that from the news. It might lead to a falsely inflated sense of fear, and maybe exaggerated reactions to a perceived threat.

The world is at a 13,000 year low in violence. Ditto. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-decline-of-violence

I checked auto accidents back to 1994. Again, steady decline in fatalities per driver and per population from then to now.

Still makes sense to wear a seat belt.

And wear sunscreen, and get vaccinated.
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#2068534 - 04/22/13 09:39 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
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The "reasonable precautions" part sounds good, TimR.

An aspect of the term "reasonable precautions" is that they are seen as reasonable - not paranoid, not irrational fearfulness (change your attitude and you can stop worrying) - but it's reasonable, it makes sense, it should be talked about in order to find good solutions (it's ok to talk about), and it should be taken seriously. Those involved should be taken seriously. We're also talking about ordinary, everyday things most of the time, rather than the extremes that grab the headlines. Walking to the grocery at night. Answering a knock at the door. Whom to let in the door and how far they get into your house. This goes for anyone that is considered an easy mark, including the elderly.

When discussing precautions it should be taken seriously. I have a funny feeling that our society is more at ease when discussing the protection of property, than when discussing the protection of persons. Could that be so?

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#2068569 - 04/22/13 10:35 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: TimR]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: TimR
It may be possible to take reasonable precautions without living in a state of fear.

Tim, I'm not sure anyone here was talking about living in a state of fear. Were they?
Quote:

The US has had a steady 25 year long decline in gun violence. You wouldn't know that from the news. It might lead to a falsely inflated sense of fear, and maybe exaggerated reactions to a perceived threat.

Tell that to the parents of the the children who were gunned down in Newtown.

Maybe things are less violent here, statistically. Does that really matter if you are the person being stalked?

I'm suggesting there is a kind of "tone-deafness" common to people who view the world through pure logic and statistics. It has its place. I'm not denying that. But there is more to being human than a dispassionate objectivity that does not take into consideration the pain of personal experience.

I'm not sure being very careful about who we let in our front door and wearing sunscreen are analogous. Seat belts? Maybe...
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#2068579 - 04/22/13 10:50 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
theJourney Offline
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According to your Merriam link, paranoia is:

Quote:

excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others


which I do believe could potentially apply to the fear displayed in this thread.

According to the statistics, most female Americans are much more likely to be assaulted, raped or murdered by their fathers, husbands or boyfriends than by any random prospective piano student...yet, until the abuse starts the fear is usually not directed towards them and Starbucks rendezvous won't be able to do anything to help them.

It is also probably more dangerous to walk alone at night as a woman in most American cities than to meet with a prospective piano student in your own studio.


My sentence was meant to be readable with or without the content in parentheses. I agree that more of the sentence should have been parenthesized.

Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with (the paranoia of) living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country (filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers). Sad. Tragic.

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#2068581 - 04/22/13 10:51 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
red-rose Offline
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Good grief, everyone, I wasn't exactly looking for validation, but thanks, anyways, lol!

FTR, that was the first (and only so far) time I'd ever gotten contacted by someone that wasn't "through" someone I know, so I don't really have a "policy" in place, since I don't feel the need to take any extra precautions when someone has a personal connection to someone I already know and trust.

Finally, I do not believe that my decision to meet in a public place was "emotional" in the slightest. I think it was completely logical. (Aside from the fact that I would probably require *anyone* to whom I was going to give my address to and potentially be alone in my house with to meet me in a public place first - and wouldn't they also want to do the same, before coming to my house?) there were some *logical* inconsistencies to what this person who was emailing me was saying. Like has been already mentioned; not talking about his daughter who I would be teaching, and giving me unnecessary details about his own life and interests.

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#2068583 - 04/22/13 10:54 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
red-rose Offline
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Originally Posted By: theJourney
According to your Merriam link, paranoia is:

Quote:

excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others


which I do believe could potentially apply to the fear displayed in this thread.

According to the statistics, most female Americans are much more likely to be assaulted, raped or murdered by their fathers, husbands or boyfriends than by any random prospective piano student...yet, until the abuse starts the fear is usually not directed towards them and Starbucks rendezvous won't be able to do anything to help them.

It is also probably more dangerous to walk alone at night as a woman in most American cities than to meet with a prospective piano student in your own studio.


My sentence was meant to be readable with or without the content in parentheses. I agree that more of the sentence should have been parenthesized.

Wow. Until reading a thread like this, how easily one forgets that a great number of those posting here seem to (believe that they) have to cope with (the paranoia of) living in a dangerous, threatening, disintegrating, third-world country (filled with drug-addled, psychopathic piano teacher slashers). Sad. Tragic.

So. Freaking. What.
Just because someone takes precautions does not mean they are "paranoid."

I've completely lost track of who said what in this thread so far, but like has been pointed out, people who lock their front doors must be "paranoid" by your logic.

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#2068595 - 04/22/13 11:11 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
theJourney Offline
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I guess it depends on the your mental state, the rational and factual basis of a risk assessment underlying the fear and the kinds of precautions taken and whether they interfere with your quality of life.

If someone's suspiciousness or distrustfulness of others is irrational or becomes so excessive that one is unnecessarily hindered, then that would be paranoid. For example, using 5 or 6 different locks on their front door and then still not daring to leave the house. Or, having to conduct 2 interviews with every new piano student, 1 in a public Starbucks under video surveillance and a second one at their studio with an armed guard or bodybuilding nephew present.

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#2068596 - 04/22/13 11:12 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: theJourney

which I do believe could potentially apply to the fear displayed in this thread.

No such thing has been displayed.
Quote:

It is also probably more dangerous to walk alone at night as a woman in most American cities ...

This is the piano teacher forum, and it deals with issues and decisions that must be made by piano teachers. Again I will deal with a different business analogy. If small business owners were to discuss how to protect themselves from common financial risk, how appropriate would it be to talk about the danger of muggings while walking through a bad part of town at night?

Red Rose, a teacher, gave a concrete example in a thread about a teaching concern, and how she handled it professionally. It's that simple. And it deserves consideration.

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#2068597 - 04/22/13 11:13 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: red-rose]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: red-rose

So. Freaking. What.

thumb

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#2068606 - 04/22/13 11:28 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: keystring
This is the piano teacher forum, and it deals with issues and decisions that must be made by piano teachers. Again I will deal with a different business analogy. If small business owners were to discuss how to protect themselves from common financial risk, how appropriate would it be to talk about the danger of muggings while walking through a bad part of town at night?

A better business analogy would be if retail shop owners were to discuss how to protect themselves against shoplifting theft by customers ... only to realize that there might actually be much more risk and losses come from thefts from the company's own employees leaving with goods through the back door rather than shoplifting.

Originally Posted By: keystring

Red Rose, a teacher, gave a concrete example in a thread about a teaching concern, and how she handled it professionally. It's that simple. And it deserves consideration.


Of course it deserves consideration. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety to the degree they deem necessary given their environment and their own circumstances.

I still would love to have an answer to my question: what kinds of communities are these that have prospective piano students, of all people, showing up high on meth or planning a rape during their first sample lesson with a new piano teacher. Would hate to have anyone I know have to live in a such a place...

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#2068612 - 04/22/13 11:49 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
red-rose Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: theJourney

A better business analogy would be if retail shop owners were to discuss how to protect themselves against shoplifting theft by customers ... only to realize that there might actually be much more risk and losses come from thefts from the company's own employees leaving with goods through the back door rather than shoplifting.

But what's wrong with the shop owners making plans to prevent BOTH from happening? NOTHING is wrong with that! (In fact, that would be wise!)


Edited by red-rose (04/22/13 11:50 AM)

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#2068615 - 04/22/13 11:53 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: theJourney


I still would love to have an answer to my question: what kinds of communities are these that have prospective piano students, of all people, showing up high on meth or planning a rape during their first sample lesson with a new piano teacher. Would hate to have anyone I know have to live in a such a place...


Your question is unreasonable and so it doesn't deserve an answer. You are trying to take something very real and serious and stretch to the point of hyperbole. Who said anything about meth? You can go on assuming that no one means another person harm.


Edited by Morodiene (04/22/13 11:55 AM)
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#2068616 - 04/22/13 11:55 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Loc: Canada
Don't feed the troll.

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#2068618 - 04/22/13 11:57 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
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Originally Posted By: keystring
Don't feed the troll.


wise words smile
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#2068623 - 04/22/13 12:01 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5500
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Don't feed the troll.

I agree.
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#2068703 - 04/22/13 02:49 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: AZNpiano]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4810
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: keystring
Don't feed the troll.

I agree.

So do I. thumb
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#2069169 - 04/23/13 07:47 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
You could ask for a reference.

Nobody would choose a piano teacher without checking references. The same could apply to students.
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#2069643 - 04/23/13 11:04 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: theJourney]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
I still would love to have an answer to my question: what kinds of communities are these that have prospective piano students, of all people, showing up high on meth or planning a rape during their first sample lesson with a new piano teacher. Would hate to have anyone I know have to live in a such a place...


I've been lurking, and reading. (And a HUGE thank you to Gary for getting the issues and articulating them so incredibly well, and to Keystring and everyone else who has contributed.)

theJourney, I find your responses confusing. Part of what confuses me is that, in the paragraph I quote above, you seem to suggest that crime/assaults only take place in "bad neighborhoods", and that someone who lives in a "good neighborhood" is somehow immune from criminal activity.

Am I misunderstanding what you're saying? Because I think *surely* you know that crime is not limited to "bad neighborhoods".

I tend to agree that there are not hoardes of crazy people out there specifically targetting piano teachers. However, I do believe that there are plenty of people out there that are capable of harming others, and that are opportunists in choosing victims. While they might not start out looking for "piano teachers" - I'd think that the opportunity to be alone with a (possibly young) woman in her home for some period of time... might look attractive to them.

And, there's a similar situation that this has reminded me of. Realtors. (Similar in the sense that they are alone with strangers.) I don't think criminals specifically are trying exact revenge on realtors in general, I think that assaults and murders (see below!) are opportunistic.

-----

"Georgia Man Uses Home Showing To Make Sexual Advances On Agents" - "An Albany, Georgia man went through the local real estate book and started calling the agents he found attractive..." While "making advances" is a far cry from assault, the man went far enough over the line that he was arrested, and pled guilty to 4 counts of disorderly conduct

"Ohio realty agents wary after 2 killings, robbery" (2010) - 1 female realtor killed, 1 male realtor killed, 1 female realtor robbed (and told she'd be killed if she called the police).

In this article, they actually provide some tips (not too different from the idea of having your first meeting in a public place): "...reminding agents to take standard precautions when showing homes, such as following the prospective buyer into the property and not bending down or turning your back to the clients. Agents are also encouraged to meet new clients at the office, get identification and verify that they are preapproved for loans, all to help ensure that the potential buyers are serious and credible. "

Do you think that these people are paranoid for giving advice like "don't turn your back on your client" and "get identification"? Do you think that they must have been working in a really terrible neighborhood?

"St. Louis Real Estate Agent Assaulted While Showing Home" (2007) - A man posed as a buyer, got the (female) realtor into an unfinished part of the basement, took out a handgun, handcuffed her to a pole, and assaulted her (a later article reports that he was found guilty at trial).

Man Gets Death Sentence in Murder of 2 Atlanta Real Estate Agents Two young female realtors murdered in Atlanta (I can't find any of the original articles, this one tells that the man was found guilty and received the death penalty.)

-------

These were not crimes where the perpetrator knew the victim. These were not crimes that had anything to do with being in a terrible neighborhood.

They WERE crimes where a criminal sought out an opportunity - a chance to be alone with women in a private place.

Nobody here is talking about being paranoid. As has been pointed out, paranoid would be giving up teaching in-person forever, refusing to meet new people, and having 5 locks on the door.

And nobody is saying that the risk of encountering one of these psychos is high. Nobody expects that crazy killers are going to be beating down their door every other day.

Given what seems to me to be relatively sane, prudent advice ("if someone sounds suspicious, meet them in public") - I can't understand the responses that seem to make light of the fact that there are real risks in the world, even in good neighborhoods(!), and that seem to hint that taking simple precautions is frivolous paranoia.

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#2069813 - 04/24/13 08:40 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: saerra]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: saerra

Given what seems to me to be relatively sane, prudent advice ("if someone sounds suspicious, meet them in public") - I can't understand the responses that seem to make light of the fact that there are real risks in the world, even in good neighborhoods(!), and that seem to hint that taking simple precautions is frivolous paranoia.


I'm only quoting the above, but I appreciate everything you said, saerra. Thank you for your post!
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#2069852 - 04/24/13 09:45 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10371
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Who is "making light" of risk? Who is telling anyone that they're an idiot (note my deliberately over-the-top language) for meeting someone they deem strange at a public place? Saying that people tend to overestimate certain kinds of risk is not "making light" of anything. It is called bringing another point to the discussion. Saying that people "can" twist themselves into knots over things is, likewise, bringing another point to the table. Neither point is a judgment of any specific action taken by individuals who best understand their circumstances.

What has disturbed ME about this thread is how easily several people have donned the coat of moral superiority and used it to insult other people.

In my own case, I was judged ethically deficient because I did not notice that the thread was a retread, and I did not comment on the post immediately above mine. I thought I explained myself pretty well, but nonetheless my character was impugned on that non-evidence. Repeatedly. Well, the evidence that "I" have seen is that some people seem to enjoy anger and they have no problem presuming that they are the ethically chosen. Feh.
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#2069927 - 04/24/13 11:38 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
This thread is about strategies for solving problems encountered in the profession, specifically involving private teachers who may be alone with clients. It is not about personalities of participating members. On that subject, however, the comments involved posts by TJ, not you, P*D.

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#2069934 - 04/24/13 11:42 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10371
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Oh, really. I think you should reread some earlier posts, including your own.
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#2069936 - 04/24/13 11:45 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7606
Loc: New York City
The sooner this thread is locked, the better. The discussion is going nowhere and now we just have a petty argument going on. No value is being added to the conversation about the original topic of the thread.
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#2069941 - 04/24/13 11:56 AM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11708
Loc: Canada
The discussion did not go nowhere. Red Rose gave us a concrete example, and specific practical actions that she took. The important thing is to stay on topic, and not respond to anything that is not on topic. And keep directing back to the topic.

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#2070004 - 04/24/13 02:33 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: P.M.]
KurtZ Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 903
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
regardless of how I feel about the original propositions, the excoriation of P*D for having a shred of a viewpoint that doesn't fit with the consensus thought is shameful. How he has been treated, especially by one poster who apparently won't be happy unless P*D grovels is below the standards of discourse we usually expect here.

I've been reading P*D's reasoned and rational contributions to all of PW for quite a few years now. I really don't think he's a raging misogynist. Someone read a context into one line from a multi paragraph post that probably wasn't even correct and brought it up. Several others jumped on that interpretation and the clamor began. He has adequately supported himself and his intentions to broach a broader subject in parallel to but not strictly related to the OP . I agree with Polyphonist, you've all made your points and it's time to let it go.

respectfully submitted,

Kurt Z
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#2070174 - 04/24/13 06:59 PM Re: Screening Suspicious Sounding "Students" [Re: Piano*Dad]
saerra Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 842
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
Who is "making light" of risk? ... What has disturbed ME about this thread is how easily several people have donned the coat of moral superiority and used it to insult other people.


Hi PianoDad.

First, can I say - I have alot of respect for you, and I didn't intend for my post to come off as if I were attacking you, personally. I'm sorry if it did. I tried to choose my words carefully, but honestly, but it is an emotionally charged subject.

I was specifically trying to address Journey's repeated posts asking about "bad neighborhoods" (which I quoted). As I said, I'm trying to not attack anyone, but I'm genuinely confused. When Journey posted all of the crime statistics, I thought that he was agreeing that we live in a dangerous world. Crime happens. Being reasonably cautious makes sense. Then, he popped up with what sounded like a sarcastic question, asking "what kinds of communities are these that have prospective piano students, of all people, showing up high on meth or planning a rape during their first sample lesson with a new piano teacher. Would hate to have anyone I know have to live in a such a place... "

THAT is what I thought was making light of the situation, and that is what I was trying to clarify. To me, this reads as if suggesting that the only places where crime occurs are bad neighborhoods filled with murderers and drug addicts, and that anyone who is concerned about crime MUST live in a truly terrible place, bad enough that he "would hate to have anyone I know have to live in such a place".

I am trying to determine if I have completely misunderstood this, because the deeper implication is: "Look, your neighborhood is not that bad! You don't have druggies hanging out on your doorstep or shootings in your backyard. Therefore, crime is not likely, and it's silly to worry about it." That is what *I* thought he was trying to convey through sarcasm.

Perhaps I'm wrong (which is why I'm asking). I am open to the fact that I might be wrong. Given that it apparently read that way to many other posters though, if I AM wrong, it might be worth it for Journey to think about how to communicate the point more clearly.

Regarding your posts:

1. I'm (honestly) sorry that you are feeling attacked here. I suspect that if we were all sitting down together in person, chatting, it would not have gotten to this point. I hope and believe that maybe we're actually closer to agreement than is apparent, and it's just not coming across because of the medium. Rotten internet! wink

2. Not that my opinion matters much, but I don't blame you for missing that this was an old thread. Again, it happens. I've done it myself.

3. You said: "Saying that people tend to overestimate certain kinds of risk is not "making light" of anything. It is called bringing another point to the discussion. Saying that people "can" twist themselves into knots over things is, likewise, bringing another point to the table. "

True, but... if I could offer you another point of view? Given the pairing, it didn't come across as "here's another point of view". It came across as a direct reaction to what we were talking about.

As an example, if you and I were talking (in person), and you told me about this thread. You might say, "People can be such idiots online. They don't stop and listen to what you're saying, they jump to conclusions, and then they all gang up on you and act like you're evil incarnate."

If I then say, "Sometimes the folks posting really ARE idiots, and deserve that treatment!" - OUCH! EVEN if I mean it completely objectively - it still comes across as if I'm saying, "you're an idiot, you deserved it". (I may not even understand that this was something you experienced.)

Do you see how in that conversation you might think, "oh, she's saying that I'm an idiot, and I deserved it"? Even if *you* personally don't interpret things that way, can you see how it *could* be perceived as offensive, even if it was never remotely intended to be that way?

So when you say, "people overestimate risks..." - yes, as an objective fact, you are 100% correct! Absolutely. But, in the context of THIS conversation, that statement sounds like you're saying, "People overestimate risks. You are all overestimating the risk of being attacked. It such a low probability, you should not concern yourself with it at all."

Similarly, if we're talking about precautions for teachers to take to avoid being assaulted, and you say "people can twist themselves into knots over things" - whether you intend it or not - just by virtue of those things being juxtaposed - it will read to the majority of people as if you are saying something like, "this is such a minor risk, why would you bother putting so much thought and effort into it?" It also sounds as if you're saying, "YOU are all twisting yourselves into knots over this issue."

And, again if you don't mind me being honest here, I'm still not sure that I understand your point in saying that people overestimate risks and can tie themselves up in knots about stuff like this. I only realized this because I tried to think of how I would express that viewpoint, what I would have done differently. And, again, perhaps it's that I'm not getting what you're trying to communicate - but would you mind sharing a little about what the thought/intent was? (Because to me, everytime I come back to it, I can not separate it from the implication that by having this conversation, all of us are "overestimating risks/tying ourselves in knots" - without that - the statement feels like a non-sequitor.)

As I said, I'm not trying to attack you, and I'm asking so that I can understand your viewpoint (rather than just respond to the perception of your viewpoint.)

You also said: "Neither point is a judgment of any specific action taken by individuals who best understand their circumstances." Thank you for that. I think that message is getting lost in the emotion.

Finally, as to what people want to hear: I don't think anyone is asking for a groveling apology. For me, what I'd want to hear, is what idea did you intend to communicate? I think our perception must be very wrong (because I think you're a good person), but I can't figure out what you DID mean.

My hope is that, as often happens, we find out we're not actually that far apart on our beliefs (or as a friend used to say when we were accidentally arguing the same point against each other: "we're in violent agreement!")

One other thought. I think part of why you are feeling beat-up is Gary's posts, and I want to share what I liked about his post. I felt *relief* when I read his post. Not because of anything he said about you, but because I felt like he truly GOT it - he clearly understands that women are vulnerable, that we have to be wary, that we're not always treated as equals. To me it feels like a HUGE relief to have him articulate it.

And, absolutely no disrespect or moral superiority intended, I don't know if you see/believe those things. I can't tell from what you've written. So, it feels like part of the tension here is that we're coming from different worlds, and I'm not sure if you understand/believe the reality that many women experience as part of their normal, daily lives.

Thanks for reading, I hope this comes across in the way I intended it (respectfully trying to understand what's going on, and hopefully to help you understand why things were perceived so badly).

Thanks!

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