teachable moments

Last 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.

Musings Past