My Blog

Because there are those who find the nature of this blog to be a bit progressive and hence might not have read its purpose, I am posting what the proletarian is about (as seen above). I went into this full of excitement and enthusiasm after attending a history meeting full of academics from a host of national elite private schools. But, my blog which at times — not always, has caused some rumblings. I am going to spend the next few days deciding if I want to dissolve the Proletarian and construct a new blog under an anonymous name. I think this might be fair except for my students — the driving force of my idealism. For those who do not know what I am about and what this blog is about, I hope this post helps some. Much of the Proletarian is a reflection of a lower-class kid shaped by his experiences in a black community that saw how institutional problems can impact people of color. Thus, such an impact influences one’s teaching philosophy, political views, and idealism. This blog has been great in helping me convey a sense of realness and diversity to my students and awesome colleagues (esp., in the history dept).

Almost three summers ago while attending a history conference, a professor of history from a very elite New England private school joined a group of us in a conference lounge for beverages and small talk. He started telling us about the wonderfully rich intellectual community he teaches in. Many of his students are pretty elite 11th and 12th graders who traveled from various parts of the country to attend the school. He mentioned that he kept a blog to write about academic life, political issues and ideas, as well as topics that would challenge his learning community.

After hearing him articulate his message, I then asked if his blog created any problems? His response was no. According to him, the joy of teaching in a diverse intellectual community is that it allows us (faculty members and students) to use our vast knowledge and expertise to challenge the thinking of our community. Because I was so moved by our discussion, I decided to create my own blog. Being the idealist that I am, I wanted to create a blog that addressed intellectual as well as social questions; I wanted to write about politics as well as my research and teaching interest. When I started this “blog” thing, my goal was to model the intellectual life of a teacher to students, friends, colleagues, and visitors. When I started this blog, I wanted to attract readers who would contribute their thoughts and ideas to any particular discussion. It has been two years since I first started blogging, and six months since I switched from blogspotto wordpress. I am excited about the number of people who take the time to read my thoughts and ideas. I am amazed at the volume of people who enjoy reading my blog, sharing a comment, or sending an e-mail with their opinions.

There are challenges that come with posting your thoughts and ideas on the Internet. Regardless of my best intention to use this blog as a medium for building a learning community, there are those who do not like views outside of their own. My goal is not to offend nor anger readers. The Bible is clear on how we should treat our brothers and sisters.

Blogging is not like keeping a private journal. Unlike journals, blogs should promote a conversation; blogs are not designed to be private. I have done a pretty good job avoiding controversial topics that offend people; however, there are those who define a learning community in a much different way than I. What I see as insightful and deserving of discourse, others might see as controversial and not deserving of attention. Claire Potter, professor of history and American Studies at Wesleyan University recently wrote about the pros and cons of anonymous blogs on her blog. I have been reading her Tenured-Radical blogfor a few years. She is pretty open and frank about her thoughts while challenging my thinking too. I even got to work with one of her Wesleyan colleagues in Colorado. Check out TR’s blog piece on this issue.


25 thoughts on “My Blog

  1. No, no, no. You are not allowed to dissolve this blog. It motivates me to grow and be more than one who teaches to survive. Your curiosity and passion for teaching is the most excitment I get in thinking about who I am and why I do what I do. I am sorry you feel as though you are not valued due to your differences. I am not surprised by this. I know how much you love your place, but wow thinkof all the places that would role over and give you the world if you would stop turning offers down. I hate that you rejected us — twice. What will it take? We have given all but the sink.

    I urge you not to dissolve this blog. Of course since I see you at conferences, I will know how to find your new blog. So I guess I really don’t care. Well, I like the people who comment here.

  2. I definitely do not think that you should dissolve the Proletarian in any way, shape, or form. You should take pride in the fact that you have been able to, in a little less than three years with no advertisement, create a place where over 800 people weekly visit to hear the thoughts of one individual and contrast those ideals to their own. You must also admit as well that this blog experience has created relationships amongst you and your students that may not have existed otherwise. One of your main points in class is that we have certain rights under the constitution and that we as citizens should feel completely empowered to use them to their fullest extent. This blog is no different. You have the right of free speech and free thought (a right that so many in third world countries could only dream of). So what if others do not share the same ideals as you. The world would not be interesting if all of it’s inhabitants shared the same morals and thoughts. Why do you think that Orwell’s 1984 was such a boring book 🙂 . You have told me several times that you created this blog as a way of challenging the thinking of others and I believe that you have done a truly outstanding job of that thus far. I wont tell you what to do because I could tell in class today that you were visually very distressed but I would like to remind you of everything that you have accomplished throughout the past three years. You have created a place where people can come and debate their own beliefs amongst one another without the hassle of having to stay true to what is socially acceptable. So what if a few people have been rude to you on this website, consider how many more people have become your friends throughout the experience and how many of your students you have had a positive impact on throughout this experience. I just wanted to remind you of that and I pray that you act according to your own judgement and not based on the wants and hopes of others. God bless.

  3. Here’s the thing, Carson, and I’ve learned this from my own experience: there is no way that you can avoid conflict in ANY kind of meaningful discourse. The best you can hope for is that the “combatants” will be civil and relevant in their contributions to the conversation. Trolls are a fact of internet life, and the best thing for intellectual, rational people to do is to leave them be.

    More to my point is the idea that YOU are not responsible for what ANYONE ELSE thinks. You cannot control how someone is or is not going to respond to something you say. Your only responsibility is to say what you do in a way that most honors your truth.

    I do my very best to NOT censor my blog, but I will delete, without any compunction or guilt – any comments that are hurtful, inflammatory, or dangerous. This is YOUR forum; just like in your classroom, you get to make the rules. If folks leaving comments don’t abide by those rules, they don’t get to play.

    I’m adding my voice to the chorus that’s encouraging you to stay. At the very least, if you DO go, I want you to send me a private email directing me to your new diggs. If you let me follow you, I promise not to out you.

  4. yours is the only liberal blog that i can stand to read but that’s because i know you well and know that you’re really a closet conservative just trying to stir the pot 🙂

    if you quit now what will i have to make me laugh (or throw things thru the window)?

  5. Carson,

    First of all, ou should be proud of yourself – 170,00 visitors is no small feat. To attract that kind of traffic, you are doing something right. Please do not dissolve the Proletarian, you are too intelligent to hide behind a mask of anonymity.

    Just of curiosity, why are you contemplating dissolving the Proletarian?

  6. Well, I, for one, think it would be a shame. I have enjoyed reading what you have to say … and, being a new member of the faculty at HCHS, I have loved reading the student’s comments. It has let me get to know a little bit about some of the former students and a little bit about some of the students who are not in my classes and a little bit more about some of the students who are in my classes … things that typically do not arise in a discussion on vertical angles and congruence. 🙂

    I feel so privileged to have read Dillon’s thoughts on so many subjects and to have seen Josh jump into the discussion from time to time. I might not have ever known the impact of racism on Lizzie as a Latina (though I don’t presume to know all of it based on one comment) if not for your blog … and at least I am aware and that is important because racism hurts her personally and I need to take a moment and honor that. I need to know that our students want us, as a faculty, to tackle some of the more insidious sins,like uncontrolled anger, that we still struggle with … and (I am assuming) … not approach them from a hypocritical perspective but from a REAL perspective of … it may be hard, but we are called to love our enemies, and to not go into rages, to forgive, to be kind, etc. and that we still have to die to flesh from time to time. I am glad for the reminder that what our students need more than anything is for us to be authentic.

    So, even though I don’t always agree with you on everything and I don’t disagree with you on everything… (I like vouchers, you don’t … but we both value education for rich and poor alike … and we both agree that SOMETHING needs to be done to fix the education system) I do think this blog is an amazing forum for allowing the students (and others) to exchange ideas.

    Just my two cents…


  7. Hooray! By the way, Carson, you are not allowed to:

    A) Ever dissolve this blog
    B) Leave HCHS before I get to take at least ONE of your classes, hopefully two

  8. Glad to hear the Proletarian is not going anywhere. Beat the sheep off with those chains that are the only things you risk losing. Huh? You know what I mean. Love you man…

  9. I’m so glad you’re sticking around. From all accounts, I really missed out by leaving CAC before you arrived. I enjoy this blog immensely. (Of course, to be fair, I’m supposed to be working, so maybe anything would seem brilliant. 😉

  10. justthisgirl,

    I am curious now as to who you are? I guess I know you. Yes I am excited to keep the blog going. It has been much fun in creating a great deal of discussion. If you o not want to tell me who you are that is cool. Or, feel free to email me. What years were you at CAC? I do stay in contact with people there and miss it a lot.

  11. I would hate to see your blog go, Edward. Your perspective is unique (to me at least), and your voice is important. Of course, I am not one to pass judgement on how much to reveal in a blog. Once I was outed ( a long while ago ), I noticed that I self-censor too much, probably.

  12. Mr. Carson (may I call you Edward?),

    I just wanted to say thanks for the training yesterday in El Paso. I really enjoyed it and it gave me some good ideas which I can use in my AP World class. I have also enjoyed the blog, although I would say we are on different sides politically speaking. Don’t get rid of it. It is always good to have open forums such as these. A civil exchange of ideas can not ever be a bad thing.


  13. Libertarian:

    I too enjoyed meeting and working with so many great people. El Paso is great. I am thinking that I will keep the blog up, but as saintseester noted above, I might need to rethink my position on a few topics addressed a great deal here.

  14. Edward,
    I can understand the censoring idea. Sometimes we have to do that, for one reason or another. But as one who is confident in his beliefs and not afraid of listening to those with which I disagree, I will look forward to your blog and I am now a regular reader. I am also happy to see you enjoyed your stay in El Paso. Too bad you didn’t stay longer. Today is cooler, dark and the mountains are shrouded in clouds. Almost winter like.

  15. Libertarian:

    I think that is the key: Feeling secure in what one believes; I realize this takes some if not many a life of challenges to figure this out, but in the end people are better for it. I believe in God and his power, but that is not the case in the home I grew up in. Often as it relates to faith, ideology, etc, families feel that they must condition members overnight or lose them forever. Because of this, people often look to police ideas different from their own. Thus, the notion of challenging people to think is often a myth. I like to think of the movie Dead Poets Society.

  16. “This guy Joe Wurzelbacher gets it, and he correctly labels Obama and his policies as “Socialist”.

    Obama tells him, “It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too.”

    Obama claims that the 98% of small businesses make less than $250,000 a year, which of course is a flat out lie. And one of Barack Obama’s most potent campaign claims is that he’ll cut taxes for no less than 95% of working families. He’s even promising to cut taxes enough that the governments tax share of GDP will be no more than 18.2% — which is lower than it is today.

    Its a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that hes also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of tax cut. For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase tax credit. Barack Obama is proposing to create or expand no fewer than seven such credits for individuals.

    If Barack Obamas goal as President is to spread the wealth around, perhaps his unconditional meetings with Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, and Kim Jong-Il arent so crazy — if nothing else they can advise an Obama administration on economic policy.

    Why is Barack Obama being dishonest to the American people? And why does the mainstream media always cover for his lies?

    The answer: Because Obama is nothing more than a tax and spend Liberal who wants to turn America into The United Socialist States of America– he’s a Marxist. And the Obama-Media knows he would never win the election if they actually reported the truth.” – Link about the TRUTH that Obama is a Marxist. – Link about the failure of socialism/Communism and of a very interesting experiment regarding the effects of socialism.

    Do not respond at all to these comments they will not be met with any reply.

    If they are erased by the curator of this blog they will be reposted.

    Those for freedom will not be silenced!

  17. Pingback: Christian Scholars’ Panel « The Professor

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