Wondering Vulnerably in Public

I had the chance to write this morning with friends and colleagues from the .  They were kind enough to let me come speak with them about some of the things I’m wondering about when it comes to writing and technology lately.

Our prompt, at one point, was taken from a comment Claudia left here the other day.  She asked:

Do your students know how you, the teacher, write? Can they catch you somewhere in the middle of your own learning process, doubting, wondering, as a vulnerable human far from the know-all/authority in the subject ideal?

Here’s what I wrote in response ((Most of this I wrote earlier.  I polished and embellished a little before publishing here.)):

I’ve discovered that more and more, I’m wondering in public. I’m wondering on Twitter, or via Evernote, or here on the blog, or in a half dozen other places, and it’s beautiful.  It’s messy and scary and contagious and weird – and it’s okay.

I used to be afraid of my words being seen or overseen or misunderstood.  Now, certain that they will be all of those things, I am less concerned.

That’s a certain shift – perhaps because of age or maybe overconfidence or just because of comfort with myself – but I’m less concerned about your reaction to my thinking.

No. That’s not right. As a writer and a teacher, I’m very concerned with your reaction to my thinking expressed via my words. But I’m less concerned with that reaction interfering with my ability to understand myself. That is to say – I’m okay with my thinking. And I’m growing more okay if you’re not so okay with it.

So, in writing to learn today, I learned a little bit about myself.  That’s good. Thanks, Claudia, for the great prompt.
You can read all the responses from the group, too, if you’d like.

6 thoughts on “Wondering Vulnerably in Public

  1. Earlier today, when you tweeted the link to the Google document, I was getting ready to go to work. I felt glad and yet sorry I had to go out. Anyway, it’s been worth waiting for the evening to read at ease.

    Your response is so beautiful. I think that choosing to be a teacher is a decision, a choice of viewpoint to life, to how you decide to learn and grow as a person. Being in front of people who are younger, less experienced, can often deform the reality that it is a bit of a coincidence who happens to be the teacher and who the learner.

    In a very shelfish, obscure corner of myself, I’m feeling glad I had a role to play in your learning today. It makes me less vulnerable to know we are more even. 😉

    Thank you, Bud. Wish I had been there.

  2. Rob Quinn says:

    I’ve noticed a similar “letting go” in the nascent stages of my blogging life. I do, however, tend to be more guarded of that process around my students. I intend to work on that, not least of all by joining my Senior Humanities Students in creating a Capstone Project next year. I’m hopeful that by doing the same kind of work alongside them that they themselves are doing, that I will allow them the kinds of glances into my process that Claudia was asking about.

    Thanks – as usual a thought-provoking post!

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