Writing – Failure to Launch


Michael Jordan said that, he was successful because he failed so many times.” If that is true then my struggles with writing over the past few months could ultimately make me a super star. My computer is laden down with half-written paragraphs, sentence fragments and unfinished blogs I find that I am no longer sure enough of my own state of mind to share it with others. And too frequently I find myself wondering if its contents have become so outdated or even wrong, as to be not worth sharing to begin with.

I typically write about education which was and is my life and things that I find illogical or inconsistent in the systems that surround us. Over the past few months although I have not lost the ability to care it seems that a sense of hopelessness and society’s seemingly unending assaults on my own foundational beliefs about how things do and should work have entered my mind like a mindless commercial jingle driving out critical thought. A jingle  that even when I manage to banish it returns like a song from the “Sound of Music” to haunt my day.

Concerns about the direction and tenor of our, society, political and educational systems have become so strong as to have paralyzed my ability to think in enough depth to write about anything. I often wonder if I have succumbed to the banter of talking heads in the media on both sides for I now find that many things of which I was certain I understood are withering under the onslaught of society’s and the media’s seeming acceptance of any and all  aberrations as “open mindedness” .


If you think the previous paragraph is homophobic, xenophobic or any other phobic you have failed the test! Your internal bias has jumped to an unwarranted conclusion based on what you think I wrote rather than what I actually wrote.

I am a teacher at heart and I guess that almost everything I write has the ultimate goal of teaching but it seems that unlike the classroom you rarely see if your lesson in the form of a blog is successful. My personal goal in writing is never to persuade but to generate enough clarity that it creates the need to think in those who are the readers. At times I am sure others profoundly disagree with points that I attempt to make. Other times people profess that they are “offended by the content of my writing. Disagree with me if you wish, that is part of discourse and compromise but profess offense at your own risk.
I fear that the use of “I’m offended”, words represented by “letters,’ rewriting classics to remove unacceptable language, and the other strictures of political correctness combined with underlying “ends justify the means mentality” have stricken the US with the ferocity of the Spanish Flu not causing death of physical being but often times the death of thoughtful consideration and compromise.

I’ll readily admit It hurts when you write something you have considered thoughtful and deep and then others, some of whom you have respected, can only see the surface of the thought you have created, in the torturous distorted reflection of their own bias. I stopped writing because I wondered if indeed all my writings reflected my own bias is such a way that I couldn’t see the truth of myself in my own words. I often wonder if those who watch CNN realize that those who watch Fox News are as unbelieving of the content of CNN as CNN watchers are of Fox’s content. I Read Fox.com and CNN. Com several times daily and I am constantly not as much concerned about the difference in their  factual content, as there is usually very little difference in the two factually, but am considerably more wary of the bias they display in the choices of loaded words, phrasing, which stories to cover and how long they choose to cover them. The real bias in network news is not in the fact of the matter covered as it is a matter of which story we choose to cover. Do Rush, MSNBC, Fox or CNN care enough about the future of our society to control themselves? I doubt it in the face of heated competition to be first and ideologically correct.
Am I, I often wonder guilty of this type of bias? Have I become an illogical idiot in the face of constant illogical thought? Has society rightfully passed my antiquated thoughts  by leaving me like dinosaur footprints in clay, still visible but destined to wash away soon or be covered by a new layer of fragmented  sediment. Sediments  who are blissfully unaware that they too are future fossils.
This has been a rambling mess but at least I finished it for the first time in months and so I can start again as I find that  the old proverb is true  that “ in order to end you must first begin.”


About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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One Response to Writing – Failure to Launch

  1. Wendy Prigge says:

    Hey, I started an edukator blog recently, inspired by yours. I SO,SO enjoy your perspective and your humorous anecdotes (i.e. real stories) from school. I, too, struggle with finishing my thoughts. I often think I should write our legislators and try to let people know things like: the politicians’ so-called reforms are not reforms at all, because they keep coming up with the same crap we have been dodging for the last 40 years or so. Yes, we should have universal preschool for 4-year-olds, but that isn’t reform. To me, reform would be actually changing the structure of how schools are administered, school funding formulas to provide adequate teacher continuing education, infrastructure reforms, delivery of instruction like blended courses and extended days, and all kinds of other things that could actually change if the politicians would butt out.

    Of course, I too, am a fossil but I still interact with lots of iowa teachers and administrators. I am really enjoying the time to put a few thoughts together enough to post a blog now and then. So PLEASE keep writing. I don’t care if we are always coherent or not. I agree with your goal of making people think. Sometimes I am going to try to persuade, too. I’m not as funny as you are; you have better stories.

    My blog is edukatorspot@blogspot.com. url for first post: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6285757357581315106#editor/target=post;postID=8370179884586747455

    You are the first author I mentioned in my blog. I’m about to take off on Zoah when I have the chance — because he points out that the US educational system is headed in the wrong direction. Some very coherent thinkers agree with you!! (Some incoherent thinkers, too, like me.) So take a break when you need it, and keep those posts coming!

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