Breaking My Silence

So before Seagram’s got me all upset, it had been nearly two months since my last post.  And I hadn’t been doing too much posting before that long break, either.  What’s that about, you ask.  Truly, I’m not entirely sure.  Or, rather, I’m not sure which factor carried the most weight.

I’ve been having a bit of an identity crisis for the last year.  Once I stopped teaching, I had a hard time figuring out what my blog was supposed to be.  It wasn’t all teaching all the time before last December, but my teaching definitely informed who I was here.  I was afraid that, without having my students’ fabulous stories and all the things I learned from them, my blog would become the place for me to rant about racism, sexism and my wholly uninteresting pet peeves … and if you look over my posts from the last year, that’s mostly what you’ll see.  I was so busy trying to figure out who and what I was if I wasn’t “teacher lady,” I stopped writing entirely.

Add to that the self-imposed gag-order on writing about the work I left teaching to do.  It’s still true that I don’t want to talk too specifically about my work because doing so will give up the last little bit of anonymity I like to kid myself that I have here.  But, like teaching, my work is so much of what I’m doing.  It’s the reason I was in Detroit last month, the reason I’m having a whole other, off-blog kind of identity crisis right now … and yet I still feel I can’t write about it.  I know that anyone who reads here can easily figure out who I am.  There are so many dots to connect that lead right to me, and yet I still hold back.

In two months, this blog will be four years old, and I’m questioning whether I should just shut it down and move on.  I don’t think I want to shut down, but I’m still feeling stuck.  Certainly it’s true that there will always be things that annoy the crap out of me, and I’ll always be ready to rant about them, but I’m really not looking to just be pissed off online all the time.  So what am I left with?

I could tell you that today, in honor of their election into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and because of the nice memory the song always calls up for me), I had the Beastie Boys’ She’s Crafty playing on a loop on my iPod.  And I could tell you that I know Fox must be pleased that Guns-n-Roses was voted in — in their first year of eligibility, no less.  And you might wonder: Guns-n-Roses?  And I’d say: yes, they’ve been Fox’s guilty pleasure the whole of their 25 years.

And then we’d all say: so what?

Yeah, exactly.  In any case, Seagrams forced an end to my silence.  We’ll see what happens.

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9 thoughts on “Breaking My Silence

  1. Oh, please don’t close up shop. I love having the chance to read your words, even if only every few months. (Thank you, Seagrams! No, wait, that’s not quite right…)

    It’s funny that you associate this space so strongly with your identity as a teacher, as while I certainly do remember posts that were related to that job, some of your writing that has stuck with me most strongly has not been about that. Your memories of your childhood and your travels, as well as your commentary about news and events, have been the posts that have stayed with me most vividly.

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    1. Seconded, seconded, SECONDED. j’s suggestion to start a new blog isn’t a bad one — even if it’s just a private thing for you to work out what you’re doing in the blogosphere post-teaching. (That’s how my current blog started — it was just for me, for months, until I decided to unveil it.)

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  2. j

    agreed. yes, please, please don’t go. maybe a new blog, if this feels too connected to only one piece of who you are and how you think. as if it’s that easliy dis-entwined..

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  3. Thanks, ladies (Julie, so great to see you here!). It’s true that this blog has been about so much more than my teaching, and it’s interesting that I have such a hard time seeing it that way, remembering all the other things I’ve written about. Thanks for the reminder that there’s more to me than what I do for work. We’ll see how this evolves …

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  4. And we are all glad that the silence has been broken. Reading your posts in between classes are my guilty pleasure. Whenever I need a good read, a provoking thought, or a “My students do that too”, I read your blog.
    You are a gift to the blogosphere!

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  5. Molly

    When I think of your blog, I think of you as a writer more than as a teacher. You write about the people you meet in the city, about your family and your childhood, about Jamaica and your strong feelings about the place and people. Maybe when you sit down to write, your mind goes to your students. And those have been some powerful stories. But I remember the whole month of poems in a particular style and the stories about your aunt and the incredible science projects at summer camp even more powerfully than the stories about your students. Not to mention the guy in Jamaica — no, not that one, the other one. Your life is a book, whether and how much you want it to be an open book is really up to you. There are many forms of writing, and if I know anything about you, you are still writing. Maybe it’s just not here, and that is okay, for anybody, including your readers, who feels any affection for you. But we miss reading you.

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  6. Thanks, Tisha. Thanks, Molly. It’s interesting to see just how much I’ve minimized all the other kinds of writing I’ve put up on this site. Of course it hasn’t all been about teaching! In fact, there really aren’t all that many posts about teaching over the course of the three years.

    Molly, you’re right: of course I’ve been writing even if I haven’t been posting. All different kinds of things. Maybe I’ll put some of them here.

    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

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