Scheiss Weekly: Age Six

Mamacita says:  I’ve been blogging for six years now, and it has changed me.  Even the way I blogged in the beginning has changed.  I think that part has changed for a lot of people.

When most of us first started putting bits and pieces of ourselves “out there” for “strangers” to see, we didn’t use our real names.  We made up fake or cute names for ourselves, and for our spouses and children, too.  After all, the internet is huge and strange and full of dark, creepy neighborhoods and “iffy” people, and if nobody knew who we really were, we felt safer.  Well, I did.  Now, most of us don’t bother with the original fake names; we use our real names because everybody knows anyway.  Heck, pole dancers are coming out of the woodwork these days, trying to buy “Mamacita” from me, but they can’t have it.  Not officially, anyway.    They can sign their posts that way but they can’t have the url’s or the Twitter name.

But, most of you know who I am now.  I don’t mind.  I like it.  Some of you know where I live because you’ve been here, and that makes me happy, too.

Fake internet names.  It’s almost funny now.

Then something happened.

Those internet strangers. . . they turned into real people.  Then the real people turned into real people with actual names and locations.  And then, well, then. . . a lot of them turned into real and actual friends.

Not just people with whom we exchanged advice and ideas and conversation, but friends.

I know there are those who do not believe an internet friend is the same thing as a real-life friend, but they are wrong.  In fact, I think we sometimes end up knowing more about an internet friend – assuming (and we have to assume this) – that we’re all telling the truth about ourselves – and I think we are.  Oh, there’s the occasional scam.  I’ve been scammed that way myself twice, BIG TIME.

This made me perhaps a bit more wary, but ultimately, I trust people because that’s how people become trustworthy, and I know that 99.99% of the blogosphere- at least the neighbors I’m familiar with – is populated with awesome people, and I’m proud to know them.

Proud to know them, both online and off.  Yes, I’ve met many of my online friends for realz, as the kids say, and it’s bloody awesome when that happens.

Conventions, conferences, meetings, Tweet-ups. . . . these are safe and convenient ways to meet online acquaintances and friends, but let me tell you something.  When someone you have come to know well and like and love to talk to invites you out to visit, that’s a happening one never forgets.  It’s a blind friendship date, and mine turned out wonderfully.  You know who you are, you wonderful, beautiful, fabulous people you.

But I digress.

Blogging has changed me.  It has encouraged me to be retrospective, to look inward and find ideas I didn’t even know I had.  It has helped me understand myself and other people.  It has forced me to look at things I’ve done, or that other people did, with fresh eyes.  It has helped me forgive.  It has made me look closely and from afar, because both microscope and telescope are equally important.  It has helped me deal with various situations.  It has renewed my trust in people.  It has helped me find myself, and others.

Part of these changes came naturally, as a result of this new way of looking at and expressing myself.  However, some of the changes came in another way.

Comments.

Total strangers who had something to say about what I had said.  People who were kind, and unkind, and full of wonderful advice.  People who came back to this blog again and again, like people with something in common who meet for lunch.  Occasionally someone told me off, which I occasionally needed.  People made accusations, and yelled at me with capital letters.  Sometimes my daughter and sister commented, telling me that my personal view of a situation or occurrence wasn’t necessarily the only one.  We all need to be reminded of THAT, you know.  It helped.  All of it helped.

In other words, after six years of blogging, I think I know myself better.  I think I understand other people a little better.  I think I’m able to look back at certain situations with a more understanding eye.  I’ve “met” people who were hurting much more than I was, people who were much more talented than I am, people who were WAY nicer than I am, people who were mean and hateful and dishonest, people who were kind and loving and genuine, people whose creative talent made me stand up in awe, people I’ve actually really met, people I can’t wait to meet, people who banded together and raised money for someone in need who they’d never actually met, people who were hurting, people who were helping, people who were living in the Blogosphere as if it were an actual neighborhood (which it IS),  people I’m now working for, people I’d love to work for, people I like so much there simply are no words. . . . .

Before I moved to the Blogosphere, my world was pretty limited.  I taught in the same room in the same building all day and then I went home.  Sometimes, after school, I waited tables all night and cooked in a deli all weekend.  We never had much money.  Every day was pretty much the same, and I’d been working with the same people for years and years.  It’s not just online that people are fooled about other people.

Once I moved into the blogosphere, though, my entire life was different.  I had a different job, different schedule, different EVERYTHING, including a different outlook on life.  It took a little while to let my guard down and trust people, but once I did, it was liberating.  It was like one of those corny commercials that show a woman running along the beach, arms uplifted, living the moment.  It seriously was.  And we all know that most corny things are also true things.

Anyway, now that Scheiss Weekly is six years old, I wanted to thank you all for freeing me from the cage in which I was apparently living, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.  A public school teacher is a slave, and I’m not kidding, and most of them don’t even know it until they leave and start doing something else.  But that’s another post, isn’t it.

I am free, and doing work I LOVE, and meeting all kinds of people and finding them awesome.  Nobody will ever cage me again.  And if I want to show my students that all things are in some way connected, I damn well will and nobody can stop me.

I love my blog.  I love the Blogosphere.  I love the people I’ve met through this blog and through people I met through this blog.  They are real.  We are all real  The Blogosphere is real.  It is here, and it is now, and it is here to stay.  Twitter and Facebook, etc, are all wonderful and I like them and I use them but ultimately, somehow, it always comes back to the blog.  Some things need more than 140 characters to be said properly.

This is a long post.  If you’ve made it this far, I thank you.  Corny, sentimental mush?  Oh, sure.  I’m good at that; just ask my kids.

But just so you know it’s really me. . . . . BEHAVE YOURSELVES!


Comments

Scheiss Weekly: Age Six — 20 Comments

  1. Professor, when you turned that cup of “water” upside down on top of my head and stuck my pencil through it, you had me. No other teacher ever commanded my attention like that little science stunt did. All semester, I was afraid to even blink for fear I’d miss some other cool thing you said or did. What do I remember most? “Everything is connected to everything else.” And today when you quoted that “The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper,” I almost wept. You have made me love learning. Thank you.

  2. Professor, when you turned that cup of “water” upside down on top of my head and stuck my pencil through it, you had me. No other teacher ever commanded my attention like that little science stunt did. All semester, I was afraid to even blink for fear I’d miss some other cool thing you said or did. What do I remember most? “Everything is connected to everything else.” And today when you quoted that “The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper,” I almost wept. You have made me love learning. Thank you.

  3. Jane, I just want you to know, (not like you don’t, but I know you love hearing it) that you have far exceeded any other teacher in making an impact on my life. I’m TERRIBLE with remembering exact moments on the spot, but in this case, I think it’s that there are far too many to recount. It’s more so been an accumulation of just being yourself and being there for me when I had no one else. I’m positive there are so many other children who passed through your classroom at one point or another that can say the same thing. And now that I’m gone from that place, as are you, you continue to be an amazing mentor and friend to me. Always there when I need random help on a paper, or just to listen when I need a shoulder to lean on. I was so thankful I had you and Pam in my life back during that time. And now that I’m older, I’m so thankful that you’re STILL a part of my life. You’ll never know how much you’ve truly made a difference to me. Thank you so much.

  4. Jane, I just want you to know, (not like you don’t, but I know you love hearing it) that you have far exceeded any other teacher in making an impact on my life. I’m TERRIBLE with remembering exact moments on the spot, but in this case, I think it’s that there are far too many to recount. It’s more so been an accumulation of just being yourself and being there for me when I had no one else. I’m positive there are so many other children who passed through your classroom at one point or another that can say the same thing. And now that I’m gone from that place, as are you, you continue to be an amazing mentor and friend to me. Always there when I need random help on a paper, or just to listen when I need a shoulder to lean on. I was so thankful I had you and Pam in my life back during that time. And now that I’m older, I’m so thankful that you’re STILL a part of my life. You’ll never know how much you’ve truly made a difference to me. Thank you so much.

  5. after one conversation with turner, I stopped believing in God. the next day you walked in like you always did and said “good morning” just like you always did. and somehow I believed again. you saying the morning was good made it good. but every time i sat there and listened to turner, i couldn’t believe in a God who would let somebody like him be in charge of us kids. All the good teachers somehow quit and only the bad ones was left behind. this is being a good leader, turner? today, years later, i still think of turner as the man whose example made a lot of kids not believe in God any more. mrs. goodwin, you were the only bright spot in my life back then. prolly I never said thanks but I will now. Thank you.

  6. after one conversation with turner, I stopped believing in God. the next day you walked in like you always did and said “good morning” just like you always did. and somehow I believed again. you saying the morning was good made it good. but every time i sat there and listened to turner, i couldn’t believe in a God who would let somebody like him be in charge of us kids. All the good teachers somehow quit and only the bad ones was left behind. this is being a good leader, turner? today, years later, i still think of turner as the man whose example made a lot of kids not believe in God any more. mrs. goodwin, you were the only bright spot in my life back then. prolly I never said thanks but I will now. Thank you.

  7. I always remember that day those boys called Colin a bad name and we told you about it. It was like you turned into some kind of X-man, you’re not tall but somehow you towered over everything, and your eyes were flashing and throwing sparks. We just knew you would not allow any of us to be hurt like that. The principle wasn’t going to do anything about it but you did. You came to Colin’s defense and took care of the whole thing and I bet that kid won’t ever use a hurtful racial insult ever again. I won’t ever forget how you handled that day. You were our hero. When we were in your room, we were all safe. I was so glad to find you online. If you don’t mind, I’m going to let my friends know you’re on here. I want to be like you.

  8. I always remember that day those boys called Colin a bad name and we told you about it. It was like you turned into some kind of X-man, you’re not tall but somehow you towered over everything, and your eyes were flashing and throwing sparks. We just knew you would not allow any of us to be hurt like that. The principle wasn’t going to do anything about it but you did. You came to Colin’s defense and took care of the whole thing and I bet that kid won’t ever use a hurtful racial insult ever again. I won’t ever forget how you handled that day. You were our hero. When we were in your room, we were all safe. I was so glad to find you online. If you don’t mind, I’m going to let my friends know you’re on here. I want to be like you.

  9. Happy Bloggiversary! I don’t often comment, but I read you regularly. You’re one of my favorites! (In fact, I gave you a beautiful blogger award back in February, but I didn’t think you’d care much for it, so I didn’t tell you about it. I regret that. 🙂 Here’s the link, if like: https://getalonghome.com/2010/02/its-a-major-award/ )

    Thanks for putting yourself out there so much. You are loved!

  10. Happy Bloggiversary! I don’t often comment, but I read you regularly. You’re one of my favorites! (In fact, I gave you a beautiful blogger award back in February, but I didn’t think you’d care much for it, so I didn’t tell you about it. I regret that. 🙂 Here’s the link, if like: https://getalonghome.com/2010/02/its-a-major-award/ )

    Thanks for putting yourself out there so much. You are loved!

  11. Mrs. Goodwin, you were the best teacher I ever had in all my life, really you were. Every day was an adventure in your room. Other teachers didn’t seem to really give a shit about us as people but you treated every one of us like somebody important. Ms. Cummings hated us all. Mrs. Peabody only liked the popular kids, and she was two-faced, as you found out, I guess. Well, us kids always knew how she was. Mr. Smith just slept all day. Mr. Cox was a dirty old man. Mrs. Hamilton was nice but boring. But YOU. Oh man. I remember almost everything you ever told us and all that stuff you SHOWED US! do you know, my friends and me still talk about your connections, and we still do it, you know, connect current events to a short story or a poem to somebody’s life happening. I can’t read anything, even the paper, without connecting stuff to other stuff! When you stood in the back of the room and cried during the holocaust film, we all knew you took it seriously and really cared. and that Christmas book you read to us! Your eyes were full of tears while you read to us and it affected me like you would not believe. I searched everywhere for that book and finally fouynd it on ebay. And your reading to us voice was like something off a cd. It was awesome.

    Okay. So. I want you to teach my kids. I want you to never die and teach forever. You rocked. You knew how to do it right. I never thanked you when I was a kid there in that hellhole but now we’re both well out of it and I just had to tell you what every kid in that school thought of you. And that is, you really, honestly knew how to reach us. Even Troy. So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  12. Mrs. Goodwin, you were the best teacher I ever had in all my life, really you were. Every day was an adventure in your room. Other teachers didn’t seem to really give a shit about us as people but you treated every one of us like somebody important. Ms. Cummings hated us all. Mrs. Peabody only liked the popular kids, and she was two-faced, as you found out, I guess. Well, us kids always knew how she was. Mr. Smith just slept all day. Mr. Cox was a dirty old man. Mrs. Hamilton was nice but boring. But YOU. Oh man. I remember almost everything you ever told us and all that stuff you SHOWED US! do you know, my friends and me still talk about your connections, and we still do it, you know, connect current events to a short story or a poem to somebody’s life happening. I can’t read anything, even the paper, without connecting stuff to other stuff! When you stood in the back of the room and cried during the holocaust film, we all knew you took it seriously and really cared. and that Christmas book you read to us! Your eyes were full of tears while you read to us and it affected me like you would not believe. I searched everywhere for that book and finally fouynd it on ebay. And your reading to us voice was like something off a cd. It was awesome.

    Okay. So. I want you to teach my kids. I want you to never die and teach forever. You rocked. You knew how to do it right. I never thanked you when I was a kid there in that hellhole but now we’re both well out of it and I just had to tell you what every kid in that school thought of you. And that is, you really, honestly knew how to reach us. Even Troy. So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  13. Jane, you know that one of the best days of my life was flying in to have supper with you at Steak-n-Shake. In fact, Carolyn still asks about “Miss Jane.” I adore you and treasure your wisdom and your humor. You are always, always welcome to come see me. Looks like I’ll be where I am for a while!

    Hugs and kisses!

  14. Jane, you know that one of the best days of my life was flying in to have supper with you at Steak-n-Shake. In fact, Carolyn still asks about “Miss Jane.” I adore you and treasure your wisdom and your humor. You are always, always welcome to come see me. Looks like I’ll be where I am for a while!

    Hugs and kisses!

  15. I absolutely agree with you. The relationships we make here are real; the advice people give us is heart-felt. Life cannot be captured in 140 characters or in a quick Facebook post. Thank you for sharing who you are on this blog!

  16. I absolutely agree with you. The relationships we make here are real; the advice people give us is heart-felt. Life cannot be captured in 140 characters or in a quick Facebook post. Thank you for sharing who you are on this blog!

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