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An educated mind is an opened mind. An opened mind is a liberal mind. Teachers don't have to intend to create liberals, it happens naturally.

On the inside:

  • Raising the Level?
  • Links to other education-related stories.
  • As always, the topics will be whatever you want to discuss.

Door's Open...

Raising the Level?

There are times I have to wonder if it is all worth it.  Is the time I spend here just wasted effort?  This is one of those times.

Now I know that Daily Kos is not designed and built to fulfill my needs.  And I know that there are people for whom this is nothing more than someplace they can bitch and moan, merely "a board" or an "opinion forum".  It is more than that to me.  I view Daily Kos  as a community.

But what kind of community do I see?  Increasingly I am afraid that what I see is a community built on disrespect for the views of others.  At first, the thing that attracted us to this place was disrespect for the views of the "other side," of the administration and their minions and supporters, of their self-serving (lack of?) principles and convoluted logic.  But I guess that hasn't been enough for some of us.  We have turned the disrespect upon ourselves, attacking each other in the name of raising the purity level here.  At the rate which this is progressing and the rate at which the invecting is soaring, I fear that the Daily Kos is in decline, rapidly deteriorating towards irrelevancy.

The personal invective hurled by one person towards another because the first disagrees with the second, or as is more commonly the case, because the second doesn't agree with the first, is staggering.  The disrespect for people's belief systems is causing, at least in me, cognitive dissonance that I'm not sure I wish to battle at this stage of my life.

Aside:

    Q:  What stage is that, Robyn?  

    A:  At the Tuesday meeting of the Bloomfield College Gay/Nongay Alliance, my partner Debbie and I volunteered to have our civil union ceremony be a public event, in keeping with our consistent striving for the educational, as part of the college's Out and Proud Week.  It should be a time of joy.  Hanging around Daily Kos is not currently assisting in the formation of that emotion.

We see person A scream about the "single issue" member B, when what A is really screaming about is the fact that B's single issue is not A's single issue, or that B has a different take on the issue than does A.

We cannot all be right at the same time and too many members are demanding that those with whom they disagree stop participating.  Pardon me if I think that is not right.  In speaking up in defense of those who are being threatened, I and others have been attacked ourselves.  We must be right-wing freakazoids of some sort.  If we try to assure people of our standing on the left, we  have been abused and demeaned.  The other day I enumerated the reasons and  evidence that I was indeed from the far far left...and was told I was being an elitist for mentioning it...by someone whose proof that he was a leftist is that he has supported some unnamed candidate or other.  

The level is indeed low.  There is a drought of respect and trust.  There is a lack of critical thinking, even here.  Asking people to think about what they are writing is seen as an attack.  Pointing out an error in logic, hoping to raise the bar the tiniest bit, is called ad hominem.  Insisting that words not be distorted solely as means of attack is seen as classist.  The educated amongst us are often told we should behave as if we are not educated.  Anti-intellectualism is rampant.

Hunter is leaving?  Everyone is blaming Jerome, of course, but they are missing Hunter's point:

I am tired of months of fights in which every diarist tries to out-top the purity of the last, and where every fight is dominated by clownish, overpainted rhetoric that cannot distinguish between the most vile of neocons and some guy three diaries up or down that might have a procedural objection, strategic disagreement or, terror of terrors, different phrasing of the points of an issue.

To blame Jerome or pacifists is to misread Hunter's message.

The attack on pacifists here has pushed me to my limits.  I would be sad, but perhaps it is time for me to go as well.  I will be examining that over the next couple of weeks, if only because I would like to say goodbye to Bill in Portland Maine before I go.  I'd also like to find someone who would keep Teacher's Lounge going, if at all possible.  We all like to see our children have a chance to grow and prosper.  No one wants to see their "child" die.

But I would really like someone to give me a meaningful reason to stay.  I expect instead that I will be provided with many more reasons to go.  

--Robyn Elaine Serven
--Bloomfield College, NJ

Education Round-up:  I've categorized.
Philosophy and PoliticsStories:  Ourselves and OthersFreedom on CampusNCLB/Department of Education/Standardized Testing/AssessmentMoneyAction, Advocacy and Information
I'll be hanging around most of the day, actively waiting for your comments (actually, I'll be working in another program, but I'm close by), so at least one person will be here to discuss whatever anyone wants to discuss.
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Every Saturday I'll post a clean slate, between 10am and 12am EST.

Originally posted to Robyn's Perch on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:46 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If trying to be a voice of reason... (46+ / 0-)

    ...is unappreciated, maybe it's time to write those books that need writing.  Tilting at windmills isn't always what is cracked up to be.

    Robyn

    Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

    by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:46:06 AM PST

    •  rserven (16+ / 0-)

      Your diary above is moving, and dispiriting.  I am also troubled by the purity-authenticity issue here, and the lack of critical thinking at times.  

      But, if I can be at least one voice, please stay.  I doubt things will change completely, but we need voices like yours.  Even if you are the vox clamantis, howling in the wilderness while others rage on despite you.  And yet, a voice like yours is the one that can anchor us.

      Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

      by Statius on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:51:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If I remember correctly, you used to play footbal (8+ / 0-)

      And your words here echo my feelings to a great degree. And, in my head I keep hearing the words - "When the going gets tough, the tough get going".

      I wish I had time now to respond more compoletely, but I need to run out.

      Congrats on the big day for you and your partner.

    •  you're needed, Robyn (10+ / 0-)

      you've consistently been a voice of reason, a poet, in a sea of ... whatever it's become.

      there are so many diarists here i simply completely avoid anymore --- and i remember when i relished reading as much as i could. these days, though? meh. i'm increasingly limited in my choices.

      i'm especially troubled because it feels as if the recent strife is being preyed upon, and not for good reason. intentionally exploited.

      i didn't miss that section of Hunter's diary --- but i also saw Jerome equating Hunter with Dick Cheney on the basis of a cherry-picked, noncontextualized sentence or two. it felt pretty deliberate to me. it was highly insulting. and in the wake of all the rest of it, i can absolutely understand how Hunter feels.

      i'm glad you posted this. but the time to give up isn't yet. i think we have one final chance to turn it around. after that? not so sure.

      What's for Dinner? every Saturday night 6 - 6:30ish

      by cookiebear on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:06:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My feeling is that Hunter and Jerome... (8+ / 0-)

        ...could probably have worked out their differences, have found a way to bridge the gap.  But the comment section was an exercise in wedging the sides apart, to a distance where no span could reach from one side to the other.

        We are our own worst enemies.  Pogo was right.

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:30:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I posted a couple of comments in Jerome's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven

        diary thread reflecting this same thing. kos has also been quick to compare Democrats to Cheney (and Bush) lately. I find it repugnant and it makes me question why I want to be part of a community where the eponymous "leader" is amongt the most egregious offenders.

        My answer to myself is that there needs to be voices here that remind us of this fact. Voices that remind us that we can disagree without being compared to Cheney. In the past couple of weeks, I've been called a troll and an obvious Hillary supporter (which I'm not) simply because I've pointed out that kos that been unfairly attacking HRC - not on her words or policies but on slanted, biased misreadings of these words and policies.

        I demand truthful writing and reporting... especially from the Left. Or else - like Pogo says - we will have met the enemy and it is us.

    •  Amen, sister..... (16+ / 0-)

      Robyn I'm going to blockquote something you wrote above because is certainly bears repeating!

      But what kind of community do I see?  Increasingly I am afraid that what I see is a community built on disrespect for the views of others.  At first, the thing that attracted us to this place was disrespect for the views of the "other side," of the administration and their minions and supporters, of their self-serving (lack of?) principles and convoluted logic.  But I guess that hasn't been enough for some of us.  We have turned the disrespect upon ourselves, attacking each other in the name of rasing the purity level here.  At the rate which this is progressing and the rate at which the invecting is soaring, I fear that the Daily Kos is in decline, rapidly deteriorating towards irrelevancy.

      The personal invective hurled by one person towards another because the first disagrees with the second, or as is more commonly the case, because the second doesn't agree with the first, is staggering.  The disrespect for people's belief systems is causing, at least in me, cognitive dissonance that I'm not sure I wish to battle at this stage of my life.

      I'm struggling with the same issues as a TC diarist as it has been a long hard slog through diary after diary looking for top comments that reflect this site at is best since the election.  The downward spiral has been breathtaking in scope and manner.  

      As someone who has been very involved in searching comments for some months, I can tell you, although I have no statistics to prove it, that quite a few well reasoned voices have gone silent after so many senseless flame wars and petty bickering fests.  I don't know if they have left for good or if they are mearly waiting out the storms.  But I will tell you this, something very important has been washed away with those storms and that is the forward momentum for a lot of things that need to be done.

      When I viewed the video the other day of YKos06, I couldn't help but wonder if the hopes and dreams of so many fine people at this site will come together this year as it did last.

      How come we have lost the ability to treat each other better when we were 'losers' now that we have the chance to win for all our sakes and the world's, too?

      Are the points of disagreement so vast and important that they can't be rationally debated without all the destruction that has been so common the past few months?

      This diary is the most moving and open I have read on what is happening here.  Thank you, Robyn, for taking this on.  I can only hope it hasn't driven you away, but I fully understand your thinking and feelings  

      I wish you and Debbie the very best - in all things!

      ~Cronsense

      You make a living by what you get and a life by what you give. W. Churchill

      by Cronesense on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:17:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You know, (10+ / 0-)

        in some strange way, your comment makes me sympathetic to the reasoned Republicans (all, like, 3 of them) over the past 10 years. Maybe they just wanted to lower taxes. Maybe they just believe the onus should be on the individual, rather than the group. We disagree, we disagree strongly here. But looking at the larger picture, the reasoned voices on the other side have been silenced by the wackos and the maniacs, the haters and the conservative Purity Trolls. The party has become a joke.

        It would be a tremendous shame to let the same thing happen on our side. Is it really, really so bad if a candidate's plan to increase health insurance doesn't dovetail exactly with your personal idea? If Congress would rather investigate stuff before running the President out of the Oval Office with a pointy stick, is that really the worst thing ever?

        We all need to gain some perspective. Any improvement is just that -- improvement. It's not a reason to say "Woe is me!" Focus on the positive, work on doing more.

        •  That's the point, kath........ (8+ / 0-)

          and for all our arguing and bickering we need to understand one thing very clearly.  We only have power when we work AT the issues in the arena that matters the most!  We accomplish nothing with the senseless waste of energy and goodwill defaming differing POV.

          The effort needs to be directed at doing [writing, emailing ,faxing, calling, protesting, LTTE's,]  not at tearing each other apart.  

          Support who you believe in.  Tell me positive things about their positions and actions.  But, for god's sake, stop trying to be so negative when someone else likes some other candidate.  No one ever sold me anything by tearing down the competition.  It is a very lazy way to try to convince someone of something.    This comment is not directed at you Kath, just the general attitude of 'hating' different candidates and positions of importance.  

          Yes, we are a very frustrated group of individuals.  We have been boxed, framed, swiftboated and mislabeled for too long and all that energy has to go somewhere.  I hope it starts going in the direction it needs to soon.

          You make a living by what you get and a life by what you give. W. Churchill

          by Cronesense on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:41:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I know I wasn't the only one seeing... (10+ / 0-)

        ...what I have been seeing.  Even the community diaries have seemed more depressive than usual.  Trying to stay my upbeat optimistic self ;-> has not been easy.

        [Note: Thanks for highlighting the text.  I found a typo. 8-0]

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:41:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "unappreciated" (10+ / 0-)

      This is the first time you are in error on DKos. You are more appreciated than you realize. Remember, most lurk. The quiet ones need a voice too.

      I have felt like that before. One day I realized, "Tough. I got something to say and I gotta say it or I will explode." Not wanting to creat a mess, I post and write diaries.

      Not many post on mine or even recommend much. However,  maybe those 20 people were educated or influenced by one diary. It becomes worthy if only one person reads it.

      Hope you stay or come back in the future. You are valued here.

      timendi causa est nescire

      by vassmer on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:32:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have noticed a shrillness in the commentary too (5+ / 0-)

      I chalked it up to our current political environment and how dispiriting it is to progressives. ...to gain a majority in both houses, but to not be able to move the agenda forward is annoying.

      Plus the fascination with the 2008 election 20 months in advance of it just seems to be fueling the discord.

      Please stick around. I don't think this can go on forever.

    •  Robyn... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JPete, rserven

      i would dearly love to see you visit My Left Wing every once in a while.

      From what I gather by your pains here, you might actually like it over there.

      I've missed seeing you and reading you.

    •  I really appreciate the work you do here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven
      And I'm pretty determined that the hyenas shouldn't win.

      Most communities seem to go through a stage like this of growing pains. I feel confident that the steady regulars can outdo the shrill hyenas.

      Let's bury them in well-reasoned interesting content.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:04:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Might be worth waiting a while. (9+ / 0-)

    As more and more people blog here, diaries scroll by faster and faster making the kind of thoughtful dialogue you call for above harder to keep going. I would expect the new format people are working on to help with this in some way, so that diaries stay live longer and hence the pace of comments can be more thoughtful. If so, things may get better.

    In any case, the election isn't going to help things much, but maybe people will get tired of too much disrespect and too much shrill commentary and things will mellow out.

    It might be worth waiting a while to see how things go.

    •  All elections all of the time... (7+ / 0-)

      ...leaves issues ignored.  I'd like it if this community could work towards advancing those issues and solving the problems they present.  Apparently we're done with issues until after the next election.  Working towards a better society is my goal.  Does anyone think anything like that can happen here?

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:05:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Issues? Yes. (7+ / 0-)

        Absolutely.

        But you have to tap into the community. When I wrote the second Kossacks Under 35 dairy, on student loans, I was seriously SHOCKED that it got so many comments, and made the rec list. But I'd tapped into the exact community that wanted to talk about the issue.

        If you want to debate issues, you first need to create a public sphere for the debate. That's the hardest part, with diaries scrolling off the list so fast. Perhaps you could contact other people who would be interested in starting the debate, and tell them when to look for the diary. It really helps to "seed" your diaries with people who are actively interested in the debate. When other Kossacks see that the diary is getting comments and attention, they will chime in. Or at least read it.

        •  exactly (8+ / 0-)

          there's a reason that OrangeCloud115's diaries consistently hit the rec list --- her diairies are sublimely - ?? - issue and policy oriented, and tap right into a large audience at dKos for whom the environment, ag and food safety are primary issues.

          ditto A Siegel --- his diaries, at first, dropped down pretty quickly, but he's had one or two hit the rec list, for the same reasons as Orange's

          and Robyn's, too --- come on, now, Robyn, Teacher's Lounge has made it up there, as well, and is attracting a larger audience as time goes by.

          elections are almost secondary for me, except that i absolutely believe in the general principle of ousting the current admin.

          but specific issues? tackling policy? learning more about environmental, agricultural and food safety matters? the possibilities of effecting positive changes? spreading the word about global warming? right up my alley.

          What's for Dinner? every Saturday night 6 - 6:30ish

          by cookiebear on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:21:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Distance and Perspective (8+ / 0-)

            I totally agree. Feminisms has also been really great, especially when people wander in to learn, or ask a question. I LOVE it when people ask questions.

            Again, this is where distance and perspective come in. It is heartening, in a very cursory way, to read the growing cries for impeachment. Not because I necessarily agree or disagree, but because the idea is gaining prominence and growing closer to reaching the mainstream. How cool is it to have people talking about how the Republican President is such an unmitigated disaster and must be removed from office before he can strike again? Clammyc's discussions of the Overton Window are helpful here -- it provides a way to think about how ideas become widespread.

            That said, I really do avoid certain topics like the plague, and consider the diary list to be a sociological survey of what's on people's minds.

            •  interesting (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, algebrateacher, rserven, kath25

              consider the diary list to be a sociological survey of what's on people's minds.

              i tend to see it as a measure of who's on the site at a particular moment in time, especially the rec list. many of the best diaries drop like stones, though.

              that said, the last few weeks, i've been in writing hell and have had to sit on the computer for hours on end --- fortunately, it looks like that will come to an end, come Monday night - Tuesday ::all praise to the thunderbeings!::

              but it's been an eye opener.

              What's for Dinner? every Saturday night 6 - 6:30ish

              by cookiebear on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:31:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's where those commercials are useful (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cookiebear, TiaRachel, rserven, kath25

          "Kossacks Under 35" Thursdays...
          "Feminisms" Wednesdays...
          "Teachers' Lounge" Saturday mornings...

          Human beings find comfort in the predictable and do good corporative work when voluntarily organized.

        •  It may be an oddity... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cookiebear, mvr, kath25

          ...related to when I have time to visit.  I reserve Saturdays for this, of course, and am here Thursday afternoons and Fridays fixing the links.  Sometimes I sneak a few minutes during Lab Time or after class during the other weekdays.  And then I stop by mornings and evenings to post a poem.  Maybe my problem is a function of the Friday/Saturday thing.  Are people "worse" then?

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:33:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cookiebear, annetteboardman, mvr, rserven

            the weekday 9-5 tends to draw unsupervised white collars, self-employed, and students. Evenings tends to draw a different crowd. Night owls are a crazy bunch.

            Perhaps you may be right. Saturdays and Sundays can be a strange time, as a lot of people use them for their offline activities.

            Many people participate here because they are strapped to their desk and computer anyways.

            For teachers, I think this is a great time to have the diary. It would be inane to have it during the school week! :-)

      •  There are certainly plenty of NONelection (5+ / 0-)

        diaries....

        and yes, I think MOST kossacks want to work toward a better society, it's just that we don't agree on what that society would look like, or how to get there.

        As to issues and diaries about issues....if you write them I will come.

        I've got lots of people on my hotlist, and many don't write about elections.

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

        by plf515 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:11:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but only (5+ / 0-)

        through constant struggle.  No need for Hemlock yet!

        Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

        by Statius on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:11:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You can always take a break. (12+ / 0-)

    If you think that you aren't getting what you want out of the community, take a break and then come back. Or, do as I do -- avoid contentious diaries, or the comments.

    The larger issue, I think, is figuring out what work you want to do, and then deciding if it is possible to do that sort of work here. Then figure out how that work might possibly take shape.

    You are lucky that you have a full life offline that you can embrace. Sometimes I wonder if those who try to make this website difficult simply lack any other space or community of their own.

    Congratulations to you and Debbie! I am very happy to hear that you are going to be civil unionized by my home state. :-)

  •  I think it depends a lot on which diaries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vassmer, rserven, kath25

    you go to....

    I frankly don't see as much hostility as you seem to.  

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 08:57:34 AM PST

    •  Well, it depends. (9+ / 0-)

      Certain diaries/diarists/diary topics tend to become contentious and tedious rather quickly and can easily be avoided.

      But honestly, even in non-polemic diaries, I have still seen comments that make unnecessary and unprogressive references towards gender, sexuality, and sex acts. It's really frustrating. Even the liberals have a lot of unnecessary biases.

      So it depends on what you react to. Personally, I get so annoyed with anyone trying to write off younger voters. We saved your ass in November by increasing our turnout 25% over 2002. We accounted for 2 million extra votes. Yet, the attitude that we're apathetic and obsessed with Justin Timberlake persists. :-)

      I would say, though, that also having encountered people here who are unwilling to listen to reason, or even my explanations of my own experiences, and simply say, "that's bullshit!" is unbelievably frustrating, and tends to result in my closing the computer and reading a magazine for 30 minutes before responding with "that is not civilized debate."  

      •  Yes well..... (4+ / 0-)

        with so many people here, some are going to be jerks. And topics like sexuality draw jerks like sugar draws ants.  

        What are you reading? on Friday mornings
        What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

        by plf515 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:06:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But... (3+ / 0-)

          It's worthwhile trying to respond to the jerks. You may open some minds. But you're also going to get insulted some of the time. It's tough.

          It's also really important, I think, to demonstrate that you are standing up for something. God, how much have I gotten out of seeing other people stand up for what they believe in, and figuring out how to do it myself, all the time. (Especially in front of a room of 20+ Texan college students, when it must be subversive and based on leading questions.)

      •  Liberals do have "unncecessary biases" (5+ / 0-)

        and it is frustrating. I have been a target a few times. You make some good comments!!!!

        Not only have I seen the "write off" of younger voters by some but outright hatred of older boomers and the elderly here. It astonishes me since every single vote counts. Everyone has something to bring to the table!

        I learned to "ignore." I don't have time to read all the diaries nor all comments. When there is something I've read that is disturbing, I will respond. However, I will only respond once and try to educate the person, usually adding a link for the individual to read and learn.

        I don't have time to get into arguments or take it personally. It isn't worth it. There will ALWAYS be unreasonable people.

        timendi causa est nescire

        by vassmer on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:19:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Writing off younger voters (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cookiebear, bibble, mvr, rserven, Cronesense, kath25

        I have seen instances of what you have alluded to.

        I am 48.  For me to criticize the "younger vote" would be to invalidate what I did once-upon-a-time in 1980 where, for months, I kept something alive just out of shear will and I-cannot-be-embarrassed passion.  I used my brains, too, but I know I made mistakes because I had no mentor.

        Anyone who would slap down the efforts of young people to be good democrats (small d) is someone who needs to go take a trip to the desert, metaphorically.

        •  My personal fave (6+ / 0-)

          is when I'm commenting in a bonddad diary, and I relate the issue at hand to someone my age (25), and I get several responses from people older than me, telling me that a.) they're worse off and older, so shut up, and b.) I can't possibly understand because I'm so young.  

          Um, it's not my fault that you're in a bad situation? Thank you for taking it out on me? I avoid commenting now. Not worth it.

          This brings up the concept of the "echo chamber." Some diaries are just echo chambers, and anyone who comments to the contrary will likely learn quickly that it's not worth it. I am not singling out the commenters in bonddad's diaries (the diaries themselves are excellent), but I have seen this happen in a variety of places.

          •  Happened to me when I wrote about money (7+ / 0-)

            I wrote about teacher money in some comments and someone else started talking about how teaching was part-time work, we should stop whining and look how good our healthcare and retirement plans are.

            Turned out the commenter had limited experience teaching and what there was was almost fifty years ago.  She'd had a bad career.  Why was she writing?  I don't know but I suspect she just wanted to have an argument, just to have conversation.

            •  I remember something like that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              algebrateacher, rserven, kath25

              Don't remember if it was that exact incident.  But it was kinda disappointing for me.  I eventually stopped trying to talk sense, and just let her talk to herself.  Some people are lonely.

              •  Yes, you were there. I asked her to explain a (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                annetteboardman, rserven, kath25

                comment because I wasn't sure what she was saying.  I was also preparing a reposte to something she said and, I admit, I was going to be nasty.  Luckily for me, she answered my question fully and I understood, or at least I think I understood.

                Loneliness is a terrible thing at any age.  When I realized that she was speaking from a perspective that was almost fifty years in the brewing, and perhaps stewing, I stopped responding.

                Looking back on it today, I wish I had said something nice.  I may have changed her opinion.

    •  I am who I am. (16+ / 0-)

      I am a teacher.  I am a taoist.  I am an altruist.  I aspire to be a peacemaker.  Put those all together and I am obliged to teach those who can be taught, to fight against ignorance and darkness in favor of knowledge and enlightenment.

      The image I often see of my photonic self is holding a lantern.  Finding an honest human is a worthy goal, but exposing a path for that human with the lamp I hold so that they can find their way forward has been my purpose.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:19:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ek hornbeck (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, rserven, Cronesense, kath25

    has a diary about community diaries up right now.  I mentioned this place there

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

    by plf515 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:15:11 AM PST

    •  I noticed. (4+ / 0-)

      This is a community diary for today, but maybe not always.  I'd like everyone to be welcome to participate and have voiced that sentiment, but some in the community think this is too specialized for them.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:22:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it should never be seen as too specialized (6+ / 0-)

        I know that Heidegger is a touchy person for some, but this quote from Introduction to Metaphysics seems appropriate:

        Of course, everyday understanding believes that one has knowledge when one needs to learn nothing more, because one has finished learning.  No.  The only one who knows is the one who understands that he must always learn again, and who above all, on the basis of this understanding, has brought himself to the point where he continually can learn.  This is far harder than possessing information.

        This is what dkos, for me, is about.  

        Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

        by Statius on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:27:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

    I wish you would not leave because I would miss you.

    I feel like you are a colleague of mine in a huge faculty.  I have come to listen to you simply because it is you who is talking.  I can say that's true for about a dozen people here at dkos.  That's not to say I don't read and respect others; it is that you have a positive track record in my opinion.  You and I know that's what it's like in a large faculty.  Sometimes you have to be one of the "grumblers," those people who grumble-grumble-grumble when other people are being unrealistic or downright foolish.

    Somebody suggested taking a break; maybe that's wise.  Or just don't come to the "meetings" as often for a while.  I really don't know; I'm just making suggestions.  That's the guy in me; always trying to fix things.

    Now is the time to leave Iraq but it is not the time to leave the field of battle here at dkos.  Please don't.

  •  Don't leave, Robyn. (7+ / 0-)

    Add my voice to those imploring you not to leave. Dkos needs articulate and clear voices of calmness and sanity right now. You have no way of knowing how much influence for reason you have nor the positive example you give.
    Congratulations to you and your partner. Much peace and love to both of you always.

  •  aer there any education blogs, by state? union ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, kath25

    the reason I ask is that I am underwhelmed by our union in Washington.

    On one hand, it does a good job of representing scared-of-everything never-gonna-rock-the-boat cuz I want to retire Washington teachers.

    On the other hand, NOT rocking the boat = complicity in crap like NCLB and ridiculous classroom management expectations dumped in teachers laps.

    If the union is supposed to be Hillary like - getting paid to be leaders by being in front of hte sheep, they are doing well.

    However, LEADERSHIP is not really there. As our country slides towards the Nigeria, Brazil, Kahzikstan ... models of society, a bunch of don't rock the boat putzes aren't gonna have any retirement in 20 years, given a broken society and bankrupt governments.

    I could see edu-blogs turnign into a big teacher's lounge bitch session, but

    I don't see the current avenues of persuing change as particularily effective - we need something new & different.

    rmm.  

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:48:12 AM PST

    •  So start something yourself. (7+ / 0-)

      This space didn't exist until I started it.  Do something for the betterment of your fellow beings.

      [By the way, given the topic of the essay, the Hillary dig is totally unappreciated.]

      I am a union member at our college.  They do some good.  They do some bad.  But they are not just working to keep jobs for unqualified people.  If you think they are, then it is time for you to get involved.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 09:53:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  interesting - 2nd time (0+ / 0-)

        you and I really mis-communicate.

        "dig" at hillary? yeah. whatever.

        as a math teacher, the facts of politics are just about whatever anyone wants to make up ...

        well, unless we are dealing with the facts of tens of millions who don't bother participating, or the decades of losing, or ...

        but, you've implied that I've implied things I had no intention of implying,

        which = to me,

        our communication styles are so different that written communication between us is probably a waste of time.

        good luck, I'll not bother your diaries again.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:10:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are plenty of education blogs (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cookiebear, rserven, seabos84, drchelo

      Some great ones are by teachers, other valuable blogs are union-related (such as UFT's EdWize).  You gotta look and try a snowball technique (looking at people's blogrolls), but they're definitely out there!

      •  Thank you, SDorn. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, suicide blonde

        I knew that someone would have the information that I did not (i.e. a place to start).

        I started Teacher's Lounge (way back before their were no links) because I didn't find an email list of the kind of atmosphere I was looking for.  Someone (my chair) suggested I start one of my own.  I did this instead. :-)

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:47:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  thanks. I see no reason to create something (0+ / 0-)

        which someone else is already doing - but,

        I know that is against the internet ethic of many who like re-inventing the wheel.

        It so helped in '03 - '04 with the dean campaign in seattle ... a zillion meetups and blogs and everythings all tripping over each other, competing for the same activists more often than expanding the pool of activists AND using them well.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 11:04:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What I find is that message boards and blogs are (5+ / 0-)

    like friends.  Relationships change and no one friend (blog, message board) can be everything one might hope a friend (blog, message board) would be.

  •  I'd like you to stay. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, mvr, rserven, kath25, Statius, Diaries

    As a person occupying the far left end of the spectrum myself, I see the "overton window" on this site being pushed even further right than it's been. (And I consider dkos to be right of center, if even that.)

    I'm shocked by what passes for "liberal" on this site. Sexism, racism, homophobia, blaming the poor for their circumstances - it's all here, on the "liberal" "Democratic" blog.

    One of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the public is the lipid hypothesis.

    by suicide blonde on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:04:50 AM PST

    •  Thank you... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kath25, suicide blonde, Diaries

      ...and thank you for your support in those nameless diaries.  I've noticed your Recs. :-)  Nice to "meet you" at last.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:07:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  rserven--First of all, congrats (4+ / 0-)

        re your union with your partner Debbie (health status update would be appreciated!).  Second--I know what you mean, things have gotten shriller and at times thinner on substantive discussion of late, and that can be discouraging at times for me too, because dkos has been one of my sanity anchors.  But generally when I start feeling like that, I fade out a bit, lurk more and comment less, and take some breaks (literally, don't show up here for a few days, watch a few comedies, read more, clean the house....).  I've also begun to pick my battles more, so to speak--I almost never venture into any of the shoutfests about Palestine and Israel, and I never, never get into any of the diaries about tobacco smokers' "rights," the "marijuana is harmless and the best thing since sliced bread and NIDA is an arm of the fascist state" diaries, or the dkos and/or Democratic Party bashing diaries by she-who-I-will-not-name-here-right-now. I worry, though, about the general direction of the site--I was at Yearlykos in Vegas, loved it, and want all the positive energy to continue.  Downside to taking breaks--you temporarily lose TU status, if that matters to anyone.

        ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

        by bibble on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:32:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  She still has to have the endrometrial lesion... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, suicide blonde

          ...taken care of.  I'm still worried about it, moreso than apparently anyone else.  But she does work longer and harder than I do for less money (she's an adjunct at two colleges (two different fields) plus a staff member at one of them), so medical stuff is currently simmering on the burner.

          Now I feel guilty enough to go empty the dishwasher and start another batch.

          Robyn

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 11:28:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I feel more comfortable in this community (13+ / 0-)

    Than in the community at large, outside dKos. And there is no simple resigning or withdrawing from that, is there. For me, anyway. So I do not see why I should depart dKos.

    I do think the problem is cultural, not exclusive to liberals or conservatives.

    Several years ago, shortly after 9/11, my sister and I were fortunate to hear Arun Gandhi speak. He spoke about his grandfather (a man of some renown, during his lifetime, when he was given the honorable title of 'Mahatma.'). He spoke about war, he spoke about peace, he spoke about violence, and love. But what interested me the most was that he spoke about a cultural aspect of this country. He said that in the Far East, truth was regarded as an ideal to be pursued, but never fully achieved or realized. In contrast, he felt, truth in this country is regarded as something one could 'own' or possess.

    For me, that seems more pronounced in more rigid conservatives, particularly radical Christians, but it seems equally identifiable on dKos, as well. Many people feel entitled to lambast others because of differing opinions on truth.

    Frustrations over injustices during the Bush administration may explain some of it, but one of the things I, at least, find most objectionable about their behavior is their lack of accountability. The lack of responsibility with which they approach their challenges. They always look at the other side to justify their behavior. They they they they they! But, really, that is a part of us, too. Or it can be.

    One of the worst things about 'trolls,' real-life or online, is how they tend to seduce us into adopting their standards of behavior. It is a point of some disgust to me that almost no hidden comments on this site are left without a reply. Many have dozens of replies. That's an unfathomable amount of energy to invest in trolls. Do those responding find it gratifying? I think they do, even those who express befuddlement at what trolls 'get' out of their trollish behavior. It's simple - it's the same gratification people get from 'smackdowns,' either directly or vicariously. Even if one has experienced that gratification before, let it go, please. It won't make you a better person, and it won't advance any progressive cause. There are no 'votes' to be won there, and no victories, really. What constitutes a victory over someone who has succeeded in making you waste your time and energy, in making you compromise your standards of behavior, when those things were their real objectives to begin with?

    I have not personally witnessed much of this 'development' you have identified in your brave diary, Robyn. But I wouldn't. Life presents endless opportunities for creative exploration. That some people in community choose to get bogged down in pie fights and infighting is not surprising. It may seem that their numbers are inordinately high. For a time they may be. They won't waste my energy, and they for damned sure aren't going to troll me into adopting similar behavior.

    There is no such thing as a perfect or ideal community. Even within my community of one, within my own being, I find problems, things I take issue with, things I want to change and improve. I cannot 'quit' that community of one, I cannot quit being a US citizen, in any reasonable way, and I don't see why I should let myself be run off by people I know I agree with and know I have more in common with than I do with George Bush, and those who support him. At least, I don't see why I should leave dKos when I'm not giving up the fight in our American society.

    There are those who are doing much more damage than those whose primary weapon is hurtful words. I don't have to read or listen to those, and I still have a terrific venue for expressing myself in positive and constructive ways.

    I try to treat those I encounter with the same respect I'd like from them. For me that's what it is about. The Bush doctrine promotes the idea of doing unto others before they can do unto you. It seems pro-active, in its viciously warped way, but really it is just another way of justifying misbehavior because of the misbehavior - or even possible future misbehavior - of others. It's really quite cowardly. I think it is the main reason Bush will soon be known (ie. outside of dKos, even) as the worst president this country has ever had. For corrupting the Golden Rule so inexcusably.

    Thank you for tackling this gnarly issue, Robyn. My hope is that you will stay, and focus on the things you do so well. Remember ... every battle is not yours to fight, and not every otherwise good person can be convinced that ours is a superior truth, any more than we will necessarily adopt the truths of others as our own. There will be those you can reach, though (and I am one of them), and the same exact challenge exists in every community you'll ever consider. I can't provide you a reason to stay, but I hope you can provide yourself that, as yours is one voice I'd really miss.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:36:23 AM PST

  •  oh maybe this is off topic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, annetteboardman, rserven

    because it is about education, but I have a question about American History as it is taught in public schools.

    My sister and I are nine years apart but attended the same school system. We recently had a conversation about the fact that each year when we were taught American History, we started at the beginning and never got to the end. So we learned about the Mayflower and the Revolution numerous times but never got to anything that happened after say, 1900. By June we would be halfway through the textbook and then we were gone for summer vacation. The next year we would begin with the Mayflower again. Did anyone else experience this? Or did we just attend a very unfortunate school system?

    PS Robyn I very rarely comment in gbcw diaries since I rarely ever open them. But I want you to know that I hope you will stay.

    This is the BEST DIARY EVER!

    by Marlboro Lite on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:37:39 AM PST

  •  Robyn, (10+ / 0-)

    as someone who's wobbled a few times on the verge of resigning from dkos, I sympathize completely.  The only reason I stayed after a particularly nasty feeling a while back was diary rescue: I felt like at least I was doing something I felt was constructive - in fact, I'd even stopped reading diaries that weren't on the rescue list, just to avoid the swamps.  I've mellowed out a little bit in the meantime, and I've been interacting a little more than I usually do, but it's definitely overwhelming sometimes.

    The size is what kills us.  It's hard to be a single voice in opposition when there's a huge wave going in the other direction.  It's also a huge rush if the wave's going in the same direction as you.  

    Please don't leave.  Of all the people on this site, you're in my top five as far as people I respect, and while I'm sure there are gung-ho educators who'd love to pick up teacher's lounge in your stay, and who could probably do a respectable job with it, the place will never be the same.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:43:13 AM PST

  •  Gresham's Law is inexorable (8+ / 0-)

    And so bad diaries and diarists drive out good ones.

    And so we leave the field to the barbarians.

    Life is not easy, never was, apparently was never intended to be.  And it always ends the same, in the ultimate, empty darkness.

    Gravity's Rainbow, as a famous, and completely, obsessively private, man once wrote.

    So what will we make of the space we occupy? That's the terrible freedom we are thrust into.

    Facing the ultimate darkness, seeing the barbarians in the hills, would you care to dance?

    The music also calls, and the original energy that impels our life into the world. For a time, we have the opportunity to sing, to dance, to express the joy of the original energy of our life.

    Would you rather live in a cave and curse the coming darkness?  There will be time for that, a time when our bodies betray us, our minds begin to slip away from us, a time when the entropy catches up with us.

    The only question is,  

    has that time come?

    If not, how about a dance?

    Abigail, I'm sure if there is something out there, looking down on us from somewhere else in the Universe, they're wise enough to stay away from us. --Grissom

    by world traveler on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:52:00 AM PST

  •  Part of why this entry of Teacher's Lounge (5+ / 0-)

    so moved me is that it points to a symptom of the anti-intellectualism that we all run into, whether it's on the left or the right.  To quote rserven (I don't know you well enough to use your first name):

    The level is indeed low.  There is a drought of respect and trust.  There is a lack of critical thinking, even here.  Asking people to think about what they are writing is seen as an attack.  Pointing out an error in logic, hoping to raise the bar the tiniest bit, is called ad hominem.  Insisting that words not be distorted solely as means of attack is seen as classist.  The educated amongst us are often told we should behave as if we are not educated.  Anti-intellectualism is rampant.

    I almost left immediately after I first came here because I was accused of playing the teacher, and of logging on right after the November election to rain on the parade of inflated rhetoric.

    But what is anti-intellectualism really?  It's a phrase I throw around with ease, and yet I am always at disease when I encounter it, or when I use it.  For me, I sense anti-intellectualism in almost any form of certainty, ideology, single-issue-ness, or ad hominem rhetoric.  I am not an absolute relativist, though.  Murder is wrong, as is rape, discrimination, and so on.

    But anti-intellectualism is about righteousness--it's about the comfort of knowing you are correct, and that your position is rightfully firm.  

    Anti-intellectualism is the suppression of well-founded questions.  It is the pointless attack of another point of view.  Intellectualism is paradox, but not a paradox of despair.  For in paradox I find mystery, and in mystery I find hope.  I find no hope in certitudes beyond "You should do no harm."

    Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

    by Statius on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 10:59:06 AM PST

    •  I insist my students call me Robyn... (4+ / 0-)

      ...so that we can be on the same side of learning and to put them at ease about what pronouns to use.

      Yesterday I tried patiently to explain to someone what nepotism was, in a endless circle kind of way.  I was berated, chastized, demeaned and called names.  In the end, I did not probably succeed.  I keep trying to remind myself that the diarist was not the only person reading what I was writing.  Sometimes that helps.  

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 11:09:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  rserven (0+ / 0-)

        Yesterday I tried patiently to explain to someone what nepotism was, in a endless circle kind of way.  I was berated, chastized, demeaned and called names.  In the end, I did not probably succeed.  

        I believe that you are refering to me here, so let me take a quick moment to deffend myself, FWIW.

        Let me start off by saying that I certainly am sorry if I've contributed to your desire to leave this site; I certainly didn't intend nor desire you to do so.  I've never exchanged comments with you before until you commented in my diary.

        You found me combative in our dialogure because your first comment insuated I was sexist.  

        I'd ask you to note the difference... (2+ / 0-)
        ...between the Bushes and the Clintons.  One was father son.  That's about heredity.  One is husband/wife.  That's not about heredity.  What message is to be drawn from the point of view that says that if a man becomes a president, his wife automatically is disqualified.  That sounds sexist to me.

        Suppose, for example, that two presidentially-qualified politicians meet, fall in love, and get married.  Is one of them no longer presidentially qualified?

        Please think critically about this point of view that is being expressed.

        Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

        by rserven on Fri Feb 23, 2007 at 11:31:33 AM PST

        I hope you can appreciate where I'm coming from when your first comment accuses me of having a sexist POV.  I found it to be insulting and confrontational; maybe you truly didn't mean it that way, but that is what I perceived.  Disliking the political dynasties doesn't make me sexist.  

        I don't want to hijack your diary or get back into yesterday's discussion; I don't want you to leave on my account.  You obviously have a tight knit group here and it would be a shame for you to throw that away.

        If a doctor can advocate for universal health care, why then can a general not advocate for peace?

        by areucrazy on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 11:58:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a difference between... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cookiebear, drchelo

          ..."That sounds sexist" and "You are sexist".  I choose my words carefully.  I assume everyone does and react accordingly.  You chose to take offense.  Why not rather examine why what I said might be so?

          William Graham Sumner (1906):

          [Critical thinking is]...the examination and test of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not. The critical faculty is a product of education and training. It is a mental habit and power. It is a prime condition of human welfare that men and women should be trained in it. It is our only guarantee against delusion, deception, superstition, and misapprehension of ourselves and our earthly circumstances.

          Education is good just so far as it produces well-developed critical faculty....A teacher of any subject who insists on accuracy and a rational control of all processes and methods, and who holds everything open to unlimited verification and revision is cultivating that method as a habit in the pupils. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded...They are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence...They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens.

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 12:45:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You'll also note... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cookiebear, drchelo

          ...that I did not name you or link to your diary or mention it in my diary.  I only mentioned it in a comment to aid in making a different point.

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 12:48:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also have my students do the same (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rserven

        but I don't presume such things in an online community.

        I'm sorry to hear about your recent exchange.  

        Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. -- Bertrand Russell

        by Statius on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 04:53:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  one reason for you to stay (7+ / 0-)

    is because we who would love to be pacifists, but consider ourselves more pragmatic, want and need well-reasoned true pacifists out there, pushing. on many issues, i consider purists a waste of time. environmental purists and pacifist purists help keep our eyes on ultimate prizes. you elevate our humanity.

    © 2007 because i needed a homepage, and the world needed another blogger...

    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 12:17:18 PM PST

    •  It is often very draining. (9+ / 0-)

      I thank you for expressing your view of me, but being called a fascist, a neocon, or a Nazi makes it difficult for me to contain my anger.  [I do get angry, believe it or not, even if I try never to post in anger.]  I don't like being angry.  As my close personal friends could tell you, I have an extreme dislike of confrontation.  That I do confront people about what they say, looking for or trying to generate sparks of understanding is indeed a connundrum about my nature.

      Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

      by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 12:54:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and that alone (6+ / 0-)

        must make this site, at times, very difficult for you.  fascinating, given all that you've had to confront, and all the courage it's required to do so. but there are, simply put, a lot of children here. you're an academic. you're used to a certain level of discourse and conduct; and even when they are not attained, they are, at least implicitly, goals to be striven for.

        for better and worse, this blog is very open and free-wheeling. in some ways, i think that serves it well; but in other ways, i think it's very destructive. i've certainly had my share of invective thrown at me, and i've not always risen above throwing it back. there are some prominent voices, here, who seem to think that personal vituperation is just normal political discourse. a lot of us wrestle with the prevalence of it. some of my favorite people have gbcw'd, but there are too many people i like and respect and enjoy- yourself included, obviously- for me to follow. and despite the destructiveness of certain people, there are still some great discussions.

        i hope you're just having a down day or two, and that the things you enjoy will keep you coming back!

        © 2007 because i needed a homepage, and the world needed another blogger...

        by Laurence Lewis on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 01:20:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If buhdy was around... (3+ / 0-)

          ...I'd ask him to stop by and give you a pony for being comment #100. ;-)

          Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

          by rserven on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 01:44:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Allow me! (4+ / 0-)

            Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

            Robyn, I echo everything Turk said - even if I haven't always dropped a comment of thanks (and even if I'm one of the most Teacher's Lounge-truant teachers here...) when I should have, I've learned an incredible amount by reading your posts.  For many folks - myself included - you are an eloquent, human window into worlds of which we may not otherwise get more than (probably erroneous) glimpses.  Whether it's higher ed funding, curriculum and instruction, or transgender politics, yours is a strong, passionate voice, and I, for one (and fwiw), would miss hearing what you have to say.

          •  When I was new here and scared to death (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cookiebear, Turkana, rserven, slksfca, drchelo

            to say anything, I posted a couple of comments on C&J and they were kind.  That made me braver.  Later it was buhdy who kept me happy when I was scared.

            Dawn G did books and I loved going there and seeing people who loved to read.  

            When it seemed she didn't have a diary anymore, I decided to try Bookflurries: Bookchat and people have been kind there.  I enjoy plf's diaries, too, despite coming by too late in the day to really participate.  That is my problem with teacher's lounge, too...sigh.  I guess I am one of the nightowls.

            Even if I don't visit you or teacherken every week, it is important to me to have you here. But, I have learned how exhausting it can be to prepare diaries and answer comments.

            I am wishing you the best possible celebration!  I am so happy for you!
            I hope Debbie's problem is cared for successfully  so you both can relax a little.

            On Friday, I learned that a biopsy on my throat was benign for which I am grateful.

            My very best wishes to you no matter what happens.
            I wouldn't want you to lose out on doing writing that you want to do because I beg you to stay. But...  :)

            "Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit." Wade Davis

            by cfk on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 03:14:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  it's not just that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Turkana, rserven

          there are different styles of interaction.  I tend, in general, to be very confrontational.  But I try not to be rude.

          What are you reading? on Friday mornings
          What have you got to learn? (or teach) on Saturdays

          by plf515 on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 05:50:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As Lisa Loeb said, "Stay". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven

    We need every voice of reason out there. And between us, you're definitely a voice I appreciate hearing.

    ...there was no doubt...the moment...it was savored...

    by Diaries on Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 03:54:12 PM PST

  •  Please don't leave, Robyn. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven

    There may be lots of reasoned arguments I could make to try to get you to stick around, but at bottom they would all come down to :

    I would miss you very much.

  •  Educational funding problem - help? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rserven
    OK, I didn't make it here on Saturday and so now this will probably not get read but just in case, and because I may not remember this week, I'm writing this anyway.

    My daughter's school has one class per grade, averaging around 20 students. This is working great K-3 - the learning is phenomenal, the teachers are wonderful, and the state sends supplemental funding to keep the class size at this level. Hooray.

    However, the problem is funding 4-6. At that point, the state wants the classrooms to be 25-30 kids, and funds at that assumption. We've done well by having one extra large class and by scavenging funds, but we may not be able to do that in the next year or two. Where/how do we create 4th graders out of thin air?

    This is a CA Distinguished school in a community with 70% free lunches. We might be able to grow the whole student body by a couple of kids per grade but then we'd lose the Class Size reduction money for K-3, ironically putting us more in the hole. The alternative would be to combine the 4-6 into two classrooms of 30 each, ugh. Any leads on grant money, other strategies, etc? We've got a sharp principal but I know he can't be omnicient in terms of grant resources.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 12:19:39 PM PST

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