night was the first meeting of the Triangle Club Writers' Workshop, the
once-a-week teaching gig that I have from now until the end of the
school year. So this morning I am thinking about the kids, the
undergrads, and how I would feel about them reading the various things
I post here.
It's a strange new world we live in where everyone has a lot more
access to everyone else's personal lives... only because a lot of us
are posting it online for anyone to find. Some of the students in the
workshop are my friends on Facebook. Is that appropriate? Nowadays
there are always news stories about various authority figures, teachers
usually, getting in trouble via Facebook... like when those drunken
party pics are posted. And on the other side of the coin, what if I
know that the reason Billy didn't complete his assignment is that he's
been out partying every night? Am I really Billy's "friend"...?
(There's no one named Billy in the workshop.)
And then I thought about the last couple posts I've made here...
pooping? ... mid-life crisis? Do I really want to be sharing these kind
of thoughts with students when I'm supposed to be the voice of wisdom
and maturity? Is more information, more openness and transparency
always a good thing, or do some social structures depend on a certain
amount of secrecy and privacy?
I guess for the moment I'm content to risk it. I would hope that if any
of the undergrads happen to read what I write here, that it would
ultimately be more of a positive thing -- that it would make them feel
more connected to me, more comfortable in relating to me. I'd want them
to understand that older people still have the same kind of doubts,
confusions, anxieties, and foibles, as they do.
It's just that I know a lot more about songwriting.