Normally, I write off-line before I post something here. Although it may not seem like it, I look at what I’ve written two or three times before I post it–taking words out and so on. With this post, I’m more or less writing uncensored. And that’s dangerous business. My students know it; I know it.
I really didn’t like my last post because I didn’t say what I really wanted to say. I thought maybe it didn’t fit–and besides, it was a little too private for a public audience. And it also involves another person. So what’s at stake here is wildly interesting and complicated–the question of locus. A blog is more or less a public space. So how much of yourself do you let hang out there? I said in one of my previous posts that vulnerability isn’t an all-or-none dichotomy. How much we let others know of our story (under some kind of vague assumption that our story is not only our story) is situated. No–I’ll never let it all hang out, certainly not in a public forum. I’ll tell more to my students, for instance, than i will to others in this space. And I have some very close friends to whom I’ll tell a lot more than that.
My students are placed in this same situation–they have to make decisions on precisely how much generally not-public information they can let go. The situation is always complicated by the vulnerability-authenticity-interesting relationship. When we say just what people would expect people to say, well, that’s boring. And I think that’s what I said in my last post. I was uneasy about going a little further and saying, I’m not alone anymore, which is probably obvious to any reader of these posts. My story is really not about the astronaut who sailed off. My story is about rescue and the importance of love.
There is some kind of relationship that I shouldn’t be avoiding: a relationship between my students and the other students (and me) and between me and you. Of course that’s not a strict relationship, but it’s not far off.