I’ve really resisted starting a blog. There are so many out there already. Who has time to read them all? I’m not an avid blog reader myself. We all spend so much time at the computer already, and I find myself eager to get done with my screen business so I can get back to reading my book. Truth to tell, I read only one blog regularly. Every morning when I fire up my computer, there is Diane Ravitch waiting to give me the latest on the status of public education and the predators seeking its demise. Her passions, admittedly sometimes a bit inflamed, track closely on the issues that have lit a fire under me through all my years as a teacher, teacher educator and school director.
So, why am I getting into the blog business after all? First, there’s a file on my computer labeled Marv Writing. Over the years, it’s filled up with pieces that can’t find a home, not because they’re weak, but because they’re either too long or too short for existing outlets, or their content is quirky in ways that make them difficult to cram into the traditional category boxes. I’m not one of those people who say, usually disingenuously, that they don’t need an audience. They’re just writing for themselves. Poppycock! (I actually saw someone use that quaint epithet in a Congressional hearing yesterday, perhaps as a contrast to our President’s use of BULLSHIT! – a topic about which he possesses considerable personal knowledge.) In any case, I do crave an audience that might be informed or moved by what I’ve written, eager to share it with others.
The contents of my computer file don’t fall under a single heading. More of them are about education than any other subject, but there are also memory pieces rooted in my childhood, pieces about people in my life, political pieces. So, if you’re one of the brave souls who will check my blog from time to time, no telling what the menu will be that day. That may be offputting for some, but for others the mix of professional and personal may be your cup of tea.
I’m going to post the old stuff a bit at a time in an order I haven’t decided on yet, and that brings me to the second reason for succumbing to the lure of blogging. If you’re a teacher reading this, you’ll recognize the experience of planning or already implementing a unit and discovering how your mind is so saturated with the topic at hand, that you’re constantly making connections with things that you’re seeing, reading or experiencing. I’m hoping that blogging will serve to focus me on things that I might write about which would otherwise pass across my line of vision and evaporate like a wisp of cloud not connected to a larger parent cloud. The truth is that at this stage of my life, I’m cut off from the material that I was awash in as a teacher. I need the kind of stimulus that columnists have, knowing that looming deadlines force their radars to operate at a more intense level, scanning the horizon for stuff that lends itself to shaping into a precious moment, a valuable insight that others might recognize = or reject. My brother-in-law can work up a righteous sweat expounding on the topic of people who choose to wear torn and holey jeans. Therein lies material that could be a piqued sentence or a minor dissertation on the shortcomings of a whole generation. I look forward to the chance to mix the writings already residing in my granary with new reflections, inspired by the knowledge that I have a place on the wall of the town square to post them, content in the knowledge that some passing townsman or townswoman will stop to take note. So, keep your eye on my wall. I’ll give you a heads up when there’s something new on that’s gone up.