Have you donated to Jordan Yates’ College Fund? If so, why did you donate?

Interesting question. I’m going to go a little meta on this.

Disclaimer before I do. I had kept it anonymous, but what the hell. Yes, I have donated.

The divine Lady X has put up this question (hey Mary!). The question is risky: it involves a named Quoran, it can potentially be construed as insincere by moderation, and it can invite adverse ad hominem comment. I think the question is fine: the discourse has been quite civil so far, and people with dissenting views have not been shouted down, but heard out.

I’m interested in the question of why I chose to donate. A little self-indulgent of me to do so, perhaps, but Lady X asked, the question is the community’s now, and I get to give an answer.

Posting a fundraising request on Quora is a very risky thing to do. Jordan Yates, bless her, has shown awareness of this, and has been careful about how she’s positioned the fundraiser. Not everyone I know is OK with it (including people I respect), and that’s to be expected. I think the argument against it is unfair, but I’m not interested in changing the minds of people who think so; and, I suspect deep down, neither does Jordan.

I like Jordan. I don’t know Jordan as well as I do a lot of people on Quora. I have close friends here, and she’s not one of them. She has close friends here, and I’m not one of them. But I like to think I’m one of those people she recognises and smiles good morning to as she logs on in the morning, just as I do when I see her. If not, well, whatevs. She doesn’t have to upvote my cartoon of her. 🙂

(You know about the cartoon, right? I love youse women? The one where she looks nothing like she actually looks?)

Are there worthier causes than Jordan? On the actuarial scales of human misery, sure, Jordan isn’t in Raqqa. Or, for that matter, Jordan. I give my obol to Medecins Sans Frontiers; but yes, I could give more to more “deserving” folks.

Nor did I donate to invest in the future of American education. Not my country. There’s severe teacher attrition in Australia; I don’t know if it’s the same in America; but in case it is, I don’t want Jordan feeling beholden to a bunch of us if things don’t work out, and she has to go to plan B. I’m on plan C or D by now in my life, and having to switch plans feels awful enough already.

Ultimately? Jordan’s part of my community. She adds some value to my life. I have a distant but true respect for her, and how she grapples with things in her charming, dorky way. It has so pleased me to send a tip her way. Because she needs it, and because I like her voice, and because I trust that she will exercise the best judgement she can.

And at the end of the day, because it has so pleased me.

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