Somewhere along the line I forgot to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of my blog. How long ago did I forget? Well, I think its been 11.5 years now since I started blogging so I guess it slipped my mind. A lot has changed here in the last decade. When I started blogging no one even knew what a blog was. Evan Williams was a lowly programmer hosting a computer out of his house in California. When he made updates to the Blogger code he posted a notice on the webpage saying the site would be down for a couple hours. When it was time to upgrade computer equipment or add a second server he raised funds any way he knew how. I still have a blogger tshirt in my closet somewhere when Evan was raising funds for a database server. Don’t know who Evan Williams is? Well you probably know his latest creation. Its a little app by the name of Twitter.
My blog has gone through a number of changes over the last 10 years. The posts are spread across no less than four databases over the years, fracturing the integrity of my blog history each time. Now you know why half of them are missing. Its never been very high on my priority list to add them all back. Maybe someday. At the very least I want all of the posts from Iraq added to the database.
As you might have noticed, I have done very little blogging over the last year or so. This was mostly due to the schedule and time constraints of finishing my teaching degree and being a new parent. But part of it was because of a clash of ideology. You see, I was told by a number of individuals that if I ever expected to get a teaching job in Wisconsin I needed to shut up and pretend that I am a Democrat. I was told to bite my tongue and nod my head in acceptance whenever politics came to light. We were warned by school administrators visiting my college that young teachers should expect to be Googled and have their past dredged up. Anything that showed up would be fair game in the hiring process. So I did what any naive unemployed teacher-in-training would do: I censored myself. I went through my blog and hid any posts that were overtly conservative in nature. I hid direct criticism of Democrats. I made it look generically military with little political affiliation. I bit my tongue. I withheld stats and facts that popped into my head whenever someone tried making a dishonest claim about how much teachers make, or how much “the rich” are taxed, or any of the other outrageous claims that were freely propagated. I sat idly by and said nothing when teachers were arrested for making death threats, or got phony doctors slips so they could skip off to protest in Madison. I was appalled by the lack of moral fiber present in the behavior of those who are supposed to be the most morally upstanding people in our society.
After a lot of self reflection I finally realized that if I have to pretend to be someone else, if I have to pass a political litmus test, if I have to constantly be censored, if I have to constantly look on and bite my tongue to pursue a teaching career then perhaps this career path is not all it is portrayed to be.
Now please understand me here. I’m not looking for the opportunity to slander or badmouth teachers for the sake of disagreement. I’m not looking for the opportunity to air dirty laundry or disagreements with faculty or administrators. I do not have the right to resort to personal attacks on another person’s character. But I do have the right to engage in friendly, civil debate without being called an asshole, a “Walker plant,” a “Koch sucker,” or have my chances at a career threatened, or the tires on my car slashed, or my personal finances and political donations printed off from the internet and passed around school like a rap-sheet for pedophilia. If I cannot engage in friendly debate, be respected for my own views, or be hired and employed on my own merit and not on my political affiliations then perhaps I chose the wrong career path. And perhaps this whole teaching thing is not the all inclusive, multicultural, and benevolent endeavor that it is portrayed to be.