Sunday, July 15, 2007

the concept of lolo

i mapped myself out in some key identity concepts... i will add some things as this changes, ha ha. just having fun with inspiration. what i was thinking about today was myself as a person and myself as a teacher, two very different identities. while i know some teachers who connect with their students online through myspace or other social networking sites, mine is quite risque (that could be the understatement of the year... check it out -- and in thinking about proceeding into this next year, i want to navigate how to be able to keep my true self up on my page, and how to also not suggest to my students that i will be out, partying and dancing all the time and so it's not necessary for them to do their work. how do we become ourselves in the classroom in a way that can navigate this difficult terrain? i don't think it's always necessary to lie about myself or hide aspects of myself (i.e. tattoo's), i believe it's conditional, but i have to also think about being a role model and the types of messages i'm inadvertantly sending. i think it's just important to be deliberate... and maybe take the village voice photo shoot where i was on the cover of the gay pride issue off of myspace, yes?

that's another thing that i've been thinking about. i came out when i was 14 (and ironic that on the concept map above, i didn't list queer as part of my identity). i don't necessarily feel the need to come out to the whole MAC program, i think that it's been guessed or implied anyway... if you talk to me about it, you'll find that it's very complex. i don't believe in labels that are over-arching and all-determining, but i am queer. how do i use this vast community of resources and central part of my life in my language and approach to homophobia in my classrooms? to talking about and empathizing with different literacies? i was thinking about this in connection to the ways that an online space can be a place to build community within educators, as i was contacted by a member of my buddhist organization who is looking to connect with other gay SGI members on the east coast ( for more info about my buddhist practice)... ooh, one more thing. i was really excited to make a strong connection with an educator working in houston, texas. he's a high school history teacher and has very strong ideas about how to approach his classroom, we share a love for critical pedagogy, though we are in different subject areas, we have some pretty aligned approaches. we are going to have a dialogue that is rooted in our blogs, but for my ability to record it, i'll also be emailing with him, to deepen the level of exchange.

um and in other news, i'm completely obsessed with my group's wiki. like, dorkily so. and now i step back from procrastination in writing my summaries for pat... and get working. be well!!!



Liz Kolb, Ph.D. said...

Hi Lauren
I find your blog posts very insightful and I find myself really looking forward to reading your perspective. I appreciate your open-minded approach to our technology exploration and that you seem comfortable expressing yourself in our digital enviornment. I wanted to comment on your post about MySpace. While we will be talking about this more in class, I have found in the last year or so many legitamate orgianizations/professionals have MySpace sites. Here are a couple examples:
Ron Paul's MySpace

Barack Obama

ISTE's MySpace Site

Denver Public Library

Non-Profits on MySpace

I think social networking is starting to move from the "social toy" of our youth to the "knolwedge disseminating and collaborating tool" of the 21st Century. Making it even harder to ignore in the classroom. The question may soon become not if we should consider integrating social networking in schools, but how.

Shirley said...

I've been thinking about whether or not to flat-out delete my MySpace, not necessarily because of what's in it (a few expletives here and there never hurt anyone), but that I'm worried about what the students will think about me. All through school, I always pictured my teachers as being perfect little angels that left the classroom to tend to their families and sleep, and on weekends do something "right" like church or tutoring. I really agree that it's not necessary (or at least shouldn't be) to lie/hide things about ourselves, but I have no idea where to draw the line between being myself and being that role model that'll get me a job. I fear parents/school districts attacking me because I don't fit the standards (horror story - teacher had an unconventional job on the weekends that really helped with the low income, parents saw her being all unconventional and the like, and she was fired/let go a short time later because there was too much controversy regarding her being an adequate role model). But, in the same respect, if I do keep my MySpace, I feel obligated to "clean it up" to make it appropriate for everyone and to spare myself the hassle of dealing with situations like that. (And if I make it appropriate, it's not me.)

I've written way too much and just basically echoed your ideas, but my actual intent in this was to say that I love your use of Inspiration, and I think that could be a starting point for students - map out what you feel is your identity, and have students think about the idea that everyone has their own map, some sharing concepts, and some not. And I lost my train of thought on that. :)