Archive for May 13th, 2008
May 13, 2008 in The Way It Were
Tags: blog, blogging, btsa, bullshit, department, edublog, edublogosphere, getting, history, in, lead teacher, master, oy, quiz, responsibilities, senior, social science, student, teacher, the cobbler, trouble, weekly
The Cobbler looked me over, and, with apocalyptic undertones, said:
My lungs but collapsed, even though I had no earthly reason to be worried. What had I written that could get anyone in trouble? If I ever write about the department, here, I’m complimentary more often than not. Then, I remembered.
Earlier that day, another teacher told me he had found my blog — how did you like it? What did you think of it? — and had recognized himself in one of the entries. How ’bout that?
Apparently, there was trouble. Months ago, I had quoted him on mentioning how much bullshit BTSA is, and he could tell who he was. I agreed to change every recognizable feature mentioned in the blog except his gender — I’m not that good, whatever “Mr.” Mercer has to say about it — and I agreed to do so without banter or argument. I’d rather not make enemies out of these people, if only out of self-preservation.
There’s a lot more to it than that, of course, though it should without saying.
That I had a blog shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone — I told my master teacher often enough and early enough this semester. It should have been no secret around the department, either. Multiple teachers had seen me log on to the blog during lunch or my prep periods.
Moreover: Everything is anonymous. No Internet third party without a first-hand knowledge of both me and my school could figure out which teacher is which. Naturally, that assumes that the third party could figure out which district or even region of California I blog from.
The Cobbler returned me to reality, having continued talking during that interlude.
… now we’re not telling you to stop, because First-Amendment freedom of speech and all of that.
I interjected: But I kept it anonymous.
But I could tell who it was. Everyone who read it could tell who it was. That doesn’t matter. Now, I don’t know if he’s beyond the firing date or not …
He said, to emphasize that he had, in fact, read the entry in question.
… and that’s not the point, either.
He went on to hit the same notes of collaboration, trust and openness in my textbooks, the same notes to which I’ve heard every adminstrator at least pays lip service. The Cobbler added that I shouldn’t be burning bridges by writing about anything that someone had told me in confidence — for the record, I didn’t have that impression — and that this would count as a betrayal of trust within the department.
His chiding then made a sharp left turn, back into “what this is really about” territory.
Every day, we experience a thousand moments, each of those moments setting in motion a thousand slightly different possibilities in the future. When we make these choices, we are thrust toward another day's crossroads, where we have another thousand choices.
Given the infinite number of choices we make in a lifetime, why do we choose so many of the same routes and make just as many of the same mistakes as our parents and grandparents?
I plan to learn from their mistakes. Let's see how far I get.
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