It really made my day to see ianvirgil actually print out and use the TuPac poster from this post (which was inspired by Dan’s post ). Funny how distance no longer matters- as they’re both in CA and I’m way to the right in VA. I’m feeling a mixture of pride (I love when things I’ve done are actually useful and used) and envy. Not being in the classroom sucks at times. There are certainly benefits but I really miss the kids and those moments when things really click in the classroom. It’s frustrating at times to do all this thinking about teaching and to have such a better understanding (as well as more tools) than I ever had before yet to be without a class of my own. I’ll have the chance to work closely with Terry Dolson and her Core class next semester. We’ll see if that helps.
I went and saw one of my former students in jail this past weekend. Hakeem has been sentenced to 23 years with no chance of parole. He was arrested when he was 17. He still looked like the 6th grader I knew. Same smile. A number of new tattoos. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. I’m not good at small talk under normal situations. The stakes are raised when you haven’t seen the person in about 6 years and they only have 30 minutes of contact with non-prisoners a week. The poor reception on the phone didn’t help anything but Hakeem seemed happy enough to see me that it didn’t seem to matter. We talked. Apparently I need a hair cut because he thinks I look like Tom Brady. Hakeem also let me know that half my class is now in jail. He listed too many of those kids and what they were arrested for. It’s not like I’m totally naive, I figured a number of those kids would end up in jail but each name I heard knocked me down another notch. The whole thing has been eating at me more and more. So many people failed these kids.
From my original blog in a post from May 20, 2005 (thanks to the Internet Archive) In my extensive experience blogging (nearly two weeks now) I have managed to learn a few things. 1. Blogging has changed the way I read and think. Some of the people I read have been kind enough to come by here. I have a real audience, however small, of people I respect. That has changed how I read their blogs. I now look for ways I can join the conversation, ways I can contribute rather than just being a detached observer. I am now a productive part of a community and have a personal stake in what is happening. 2. Comments mean a lot. A comment often mean more than you’d expect. To me it means people are reading and are interested, which is important to me. Comments mean you have been heard. What you said mattered enough to someone to take the time to write something back. Comments and trackbacks are what changes this medium from an online diary to a conversation in a community. I try to leave more comments now. I hope they encourage others the same way they encourage me. This is also something to keep in mind when I am grading papers. 3. I now see why the open […]