Out of Habit

Originally posted as part of Teacher’s Lounge at Daily Kos

Habit took over again on Thursday.

For no apparent reason other than it has been done for the past 120 weeks in a row, I started preparing another Teacher’s Lounge.  I started gathering links.  Unlike most weeks, however, I read few of the diaries at those links beyond the point of determining their subject matter.  I suppose that means some of them may be misplaced.  Truth is that my threshold of caring has drastically diminished.

And that’s not a good state of mind to be in.  It is not conducive to a job well done.

I care greatly about education, but most of the DKos membership seems to only care about it in fits and starts.  There was concern expressed for a day about an effeminate student in California being murdered because he was perceived to be gay (it was interesting to me that the diarist, who spoke in vehement opposition to transgender inclusion in ENDA when that was an issue, did not even use the term transgender in his diary, even though the stated reason for the murder concerned gender expression, but that’s another matter, I suppose).  Of course, a school shooting is always good for drawing some interest towards education…but it takes a mass murder to hold it for more than a day.  And we managed to have that…with the attendant gun control debate hijacking the subject as usual.  There were also several articles about the college presidency at William and Mary…but they didn’t seem to have much connection with the actual educational programs at William and Mary.  Nor do the diaries about the student loan situation speak much about education as anything other than a commodity.

And don’t get me started on the candidate diaries which are ostensibly about education.  Rarely is there any grist in those mills.  And I’ve sworn them off.  You have all managed to totally extinguish my interest in politics for the foreseeable future.

If it weren’t for teacherken and sometimes Ruben Salazar and a few others providing us with a few gems once in a while, I’d mostly be providing people with all chaff and no wheat.

For what purpose?  The original purpose for this feature was to provide a place for people with an interest in education to participate in conversations on that subject.  I assumed that would be teachers and students.  The latter rarely show up anymore.  And there are fewer of the former.

Doing this week after week seems to have become an exercise in fetishism.  And it is a distraction from my work (see The Task at Hand for more on that).  Increasingly that part is getting left behind because Saturday is taken up with Teacher’s Lounge and very few people read something of that nature on Friday night at Daily Kos.  When I can get more response…sometimes twice as much participation…at Docudharma from it’s 1200 members than I can get from Daily Kos with its 150,000, shouldn’t something change?

Something has to give.  It might as well be this.  Maybe.

I have not made any firm decisions.  It may be that one week…maybe even next week…there won’t be a Teacher’s Lounge anymore.  That would make me sad for awhile, but I would get over it.  Being able to do things on a Saturday besides blog all day would probably be a pleasure.  How would I know?  I’ve been doing Teacher’s Lounge for two and a third years.

Of course, as I have said from the beginning, I’d be more than happy to have someone take this over and do it better than I have.   Nobody has ever stepped forward to accept that burden.

If only one person is willing to do a job, maybe  that job is not all that much worth doing.


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    • Robyn on February 16, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    If you can’t find a thread…

    …hanging off that essay that you can grab onto and pursue, then I suggest you aren’t trying very hard.


  1. Could you try posting it here, maybe less often, and see what happens? But maybe you just need a break.

    I also wish teacherken would put his diaries up here.  They still generate interesting and thoughtful comments on dKos, but I’m finding myself less and less interested in visiting the page.  No need to blather on about why.  I’m sure most people know why.

  2. … you tend to teach regardless of the subject matter of your essays, imo.  Guess that’s because you’re a teacher, heh.

    My own very individual feeling is that you are breaking out into a new style of writing, as evidenced by your Philosophy essays.  Perhaps that has some bearing on how you feel about Teacher’s Lounge, I dunno.

    It’s possible, perhaps, that Teacher’s Lounge is metamorphosizing into something new?

    • pfiore8 on February 16, 2008 at 9:35 pm


    let it evolve. because you are.  

  3. …As an infrequent reader, I don’t necessarily have useful feedback, but I’d suggest there’s a medium position between continuance and abandonment, specifically the traditional leave of absence to step back for a bit and see what you think.  I think classroom teaching is isolating by nature and a lot of the commenters in your tl diaries have seemed absolutely thrilled to have someone to talk with, to express their perceptions and thoughts.  Some probably read the links, and some don’t, and the audience is only partially consistent.  And maybe because it’s my folks are teachers, so I get that energy and joy that comes from actually being able to talk about the experience, and the weirdness of teaching gigs…but if I had to identify one unalloyed good that I’ve seen in the tl series, that would be it…

    I also noted the discrepancy in SH’s diary, and the fact it was damn near word-for-word off the house blend peice :}

  4. the only person youre beholden to on the net is yourself.  if the ‘cost’ of doing something isnt worth what youre getting out of it, move on.

    • RiaD on February 16, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    what a dilema for you 🙁

    i only found TL thru top comments and seeing you there…it took awhile before i realized it was okay for me to drop in. i mostly only read TL, commenting very infrequently.

    i hadn’t long found you when the candidate diariy wars started… then buhdy opened & i came here… pretty much never looked back. since nanowrimo ended i haven’t gone orange for me; i go orange only to rec essayists from here.

    as a mom, grandma, x-busdriver/ sub teacher i find talking about education fascinating. i truly believe it is what will save the country. unless & untill we educate everyone… free fair education for all!… the country will continue to deteriorate.

    i’d love for you to do some essays on education…i’m sure if in your final TL you state a day for education here, they will come.

    selfishly greedy, i hope all the decent orange ppl come here (& lose that orange glow-lol)…

  5. enjoy your philosophy series here.

    Without indulging in another round of DK bashing, I think your Teacher’s Lounge series is comprehensive and thought provoking. I often wasn’t able to participate because I work shifts which is why I tend to miss many worthy regular series. Frankly engaging dialog without freak fests seems almost impossible there at this moment in time which is why I consciously withdrew from there. I still lurk here and there.

    I believe your efforts here ( perhaps I am biased ) are appreciated.

    • Alma on February 17, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Most of the time I don’t read any links from TL.  There’s just too much crap in my head to digest it most days.  

    I do usually recommend it if I see it in time.  With some of my friends, recommending a diary is my way of saying “Hi”.  NOT with yours.  I recommend TL, because you do an excellent job of rounding them up for people that are interested in that area.

    Congressional races, Bush crimes, war and peace are about all I can handle now at dkos, (oh, and pooties), and there’s nothing I like better than having a diarist that does an excellent roundup.  I figure the education community deserved to have their best roundup diarist recommended.  If it’s not working for you anymore, try something else.

    As for Morning Muse, and Friday Philosophy….I LOVE them.  🙂

  6. and I can’t claim to have been a consistent reader.  There have been a couple of Teacher’s Lounges’ that made a difference for me personally (How to think particularly) but as someone connected to the Ed biz in only a strictly ancillary (support) position, I often felt less than qualified to comment.

    Even if you decide to let it go, know — at least — that it did make a difference to at least one person.  Maybe I wasn’t the intended audience, but I certainly benefited.


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