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I have moved to newlyancient.com and will be writing regularly there! Content on this domain is no longer updated, but will be maintained as an archive in its original form.


Goodbye (and good luck)

I am stopping blogging. This is a personal decision which I have reached after careful contemplation and discussion. I am a very different person from when this blog was first launched, and this blog is no longer in touch with this new person. Recent events have only highlighted this. The person I have become is no longer a person I care to be, and this whole digital persona will continue to hold me back in the future. Therefore, I am abandoning this blog.

It has been a long road to this decision, and I would like to take a moment to look back at it…

The Radio Station

I remember when I once went on a local radio station. Despite being young at the time, the one thing which intrigued me was how the show snapped together amid the hectic mess. Papers were flying everywhere and everyone went a mile-a-minute, but there sat the host: munching on donuts, with a clear and steady voice broadcasting out over the airwaves. Hearing his voice, one would think the world was a safe place–even when he was talking about yet another car bomb in a place I could not pronounce. When I first started blogging, that was what I wanted. I wanted to be the one who people listened to, steady but also static. I wanted to be powerful, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with that power. I saw commenters as adoring fans rather than opportunities for conversation.

Eventually, I encountered the problem with being on a radio station: it always seemed the same. I didn’t listen to new voices, but just kept “on message.” I played the same hit songs, instead of new Indie albums. A steady voice became a monotone voice. I wrote about what would bring me traffic instead of what deserved traffic. Tired of the quest for one more listener, I left the station.

The Barber Shop

One of my favorite comic strips is Curtis, where an African-American boy walks into a barber shop and is greeted by a name which is always a little different from his own. The barber never gets his name right, but always engages Curtis in conversations about what is going on in the world. Nothing revolutionary is ever said, but the same ideas (often heard on the radio) are rehashed. Despite calling Curtis by the wrong name, the barber is always willing to invite Curtis into the community. I have found many people in the blogosphere equally inviting: despite not knowing my real name, I have been invited to share my ideas and become a part of the community. I was given a voice, which is something for which I am very thankful. Unfortunately, what I eventually came to realize was that I rarely talked about new ideas: in an effort to be accepted, I settled into groupthink. I continued to rehash the same thoughts over and over, because that is the best way to build community. Though I loved the community, my haircut was done and I eventually had to step out of that homogeneous group.

The Pet Store

As a child, a pet store was a wonderful place: it was filled with animals waiting to be loved. In my early months of blogging, this is what I saw the blogosphere as: many diverse faces just waiting to be met. I wanted to make a difference for these people, just as I wanted to give a young dog a home. Over time, I grew more cynical of the potential for change. I became the adult in a pet store: instead of seeing loving faces, I saw the potential problems. I saw the shedding, the walks which would be needed, the expenses of caring. Yet, just as a parent lets their young son bring home that dog, I resigned myself to it and stepped out of the pet store ready to continue down the road.

The Gas Station

In my small town, we still have a local gas station where a man comes out to wipe your windshield. I hear people complain about the price of gas (and rightly so), yet our country is still not ready to give up this unsustainable resource – it is the demon we love to hate. In many ways, I have treated the blogosphere in a similarly unsustainable way. I continued to pump feed after feed into my RSS reader, knowing full well that there is a limit to how much I can consume before the well of my attention runs dry. Yet, I continued to pump feeds in because I loved what everyone was writing or felt some obligation to them. I knew this could not be sustained, but I didn’t wish to toss out the old even as I explored the new. My blogging habits were unsustainable, because the demands on my attention were limitless but my attention is not. I reached peak demand, after which I simply had so much information coming at me that I couldn’t really focus on the important thoughts. Thus, I decided to leave my car behind and bike down to the harbor.

The Harbor

I have decided to leave this shore and set sail for the unknown. Like the parting scene in The Lord of the Rings, I am filled with both sorrow and joy. I am sorrowful that I must make this difficult decision and leave my friends and peers behind. Furthermore, I am very thankful for the support I have received from all members of the community.   In my heart, I know this is the right decision. Some day, our paths may cross again – on another shore, when I’m an older, wiser person. Until that day, I sail for foreign shores.

Goodbye, and good luck.

Sunset

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31 Responses to “Goodbye (and good luck)”


  1. 1 arthus

    I will not be responding publicly to comments on this post, though I will leave them open. Where I believe a comment my merits attention, I will respond via email to the individual commenter.

    In conclusion, a few clarifications:

    • This is not a response to any individual’s actions, but a reflection of myself and who I have become. Even more than that, it is decision about where I want to be going.
    • This does not mean I will never blog again. It simply means I will not blog in this forum, in this manner again.

    On a final note, I would like to thank the people who helped me make this decision. Your support has helped me to think this through and leave in the best way publicly. Thank you.

  2. 2 /gradster(1)/

    Well, I know this won’t do anything, but I know we’ll miss you out here. Good luck to you too!

    /gradster(1)/

  3. 3 Carolyn Foote

    Arthus,

    Your voice will be missed. I still recall how impressed I was at Educon with your presentation–better than many teachers I’ve seen over the years.

    Keep up the hard thinking and good works, whatever venue you choose!

  4. 4 Chris Betcher

    Good luck Arthus. I want to wish you well with whatever endeavours come your way. I know you’ll end up doing something wonderful with your life… and thanks for the different you’ve made so far.

  5. 5 Clay Burell

    Every cell in the human body is said to be replaced every seven years. Sounds like a good metaphor for the “shedding” of “14-year-old Arthus.”

    The very intelligent pioneer beneath that old skin, though? I hope he doesn’t stay gone forever. Nobody else has done what he has in the history of 21st c. educational discourse thus far (which may sound more grandiose than it deserves, considering we’re a really small pot of fish so far).

    Here’s to the next stage, whatever it brings, and a toast to what just concluded with the old one.

    It’s no crime to be young, and no shame to grow out of it. I’m sure many, many people will miss you, wish you well, and thank you. I do, anyway.

  6. 6 Sarah Stewart

    I am a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realise you were only 14 until a few days ago! I must be the thickest person on the Internet! I am been very impressed by your incredible maturity & take on life - I wish I was half as insightful and articulate at my grand old age of 40 plus. I wish you all the best for the future. Sarah

  7. 7 Stacy

    I’ll miss seeing you around. Good luck Arthus (not that you’ll need it, Lindsea and I don’t call you Genius Child Arthus for nothin’) and my best wishes to you. :)

    Enjoy your summer vacation!

  8. 8 Sue Waters

    Good luck Arthus on your journey. You’ve given us all so much and hope that our paths do cross again.

  9. 9 Christian Long

    Well played. And for all the right reasons. So go enjoy the resulting calm which you’ve certainly earned at this point.

    BTW, you nailed the issue of tone/intention/ownership quite well, if you’ll allow me to don my English teacher cap for a second. The parallel “Main St” (et al) structure offers a solid handhold for the reader as they move through your ideas; even better are the anecdotal layers. Legitimate meat-on-the-bone writing style that the reader can work with and visualize. Far better than the temptation to explain abstract concepts with abstract concepts. Well done.

    Ultimately as this conversation dies down (which it will in a few days), trust that the decision you’ve made will give you that opening you’ve been craving; indeed it’ll allow the rest of what we’ve talked about together to come to fruition, too.

    Clay’s points above re: regeneration/change are spot-on. Your reasons for it? Even better. Not sure you need to wave/accept the “nobody else…21st c educational discourse” flag he spoke about, however, especially given where your heart/gut really is these days. Suppose someone else can debate the ‘poster boy’ motif if they’re so hungry. But the humble/simplified version of what Clay is hinting at? Well, that does indeed have merit…and I think he’s got a good read on what matters most for you.

    Look forward to catching up voice-to-voice later this weekend. No doubt we have that ‘project’ to brainstorm together, fella.

  10. 10 Corrie "skydaddy" Bergeron

    Two blessings I leave you with, thrice may you be blessed:

    May the Lord bless thee and keep thee, may the Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee, May the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

    Or if you prefer…

    May the hinges on the doors of friendship never grow rusty. May you learn to swear, and to fight, and to steal, and to lie.

    And when ye swear, swear by Truth. And when ye fight, fight for what’s worthy. And when ye steal, steal away from bad company.

    And when ye lie, lie in the arms of yer ain true love.

    I expect that you can find me, if so you choose…

    ;-p

    I’ll be honored.

  11. 11 mizminh

    Travel well Arthus,
    Travel far

    Enjoy the wild neurological sculpting that is adolescence.

    Cherish yourself.

    :)
    minh-who-will-miss-you

  12. 12 Brian C. Smith

    Thank you for sharing your perspective through this venue. You’ve opened more than a few eyes of adults, educators and administrators and I will continue to use your writing, perspective and leadership as an example of how we so often underestimate the children and students of our world. Best wishes and good luck to you.

  13. 13 mrsdurff

    I don’t blame you - you are not the ideal that we have so wanted to make you. Not to say you are not an extremely intelligent person. What I mean is that we in the edublogosphere have imagined you as fitting a certain template and you did not. You were like a round peg being stuffed in a square hole. And that is not fair to you. So I don’t blame you for blasting your way out of our badly pre-conceived notions.
    Just remember, like that Joni Mitchell song, just call our names & we’ll come running-we will be there.

  14. 14 GingerTPLC

    I hope we do see you around, making your mark on this world in your own chosen way! You’ve been a heck of an inspiration! And if you ever get into an eBay jam again… ;-)

    “Good bye, proud world! I’m going home; Thou art not my friend, and I’m not thine”
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. 15 Anne (whynot88)

    ‘Tis never a bad thing to reinvent yourself. Imagine how boring it would be if we all actually did “grow up.” How ’bout we all just “grow”??

    Peace Arthus! Hope to encounter you again someday…

  16. 16 Wendy Drexler

    Arthus,

    Thank you for your wisdom. It will no doubt follow you wherever you choose to go.

    Wendy

  17. 17 Scott S. Floyd

    Thanks for the wisdom you have shared, Arthus. I hope to still catch your Apple tips on Twitter every now and then.

  18. 18 Beth Lloyd

    Hoping you have more time to ride your bike…it is a great way to let your thoughts and ideas take shape. Enjoy life!

  19. 19 Doug Symington

    I wanted to add my voice to those wishing you all the best into the future. As others have said, your voice has been a welcome, and insightful contribution to discussion education and learning with technology. In particular, I’d like to thank you for the times that you appeared on EdTechBrainstorm.

    I also want to thank you for making the effort to interact with “the old people” and the patience and maturity you have, and continue to show. I too remember very fondly your session from EduCon and just how very effective it was–for both face-to-face and online audiences.

    All the best to you into the future and I eagerly anticipate following your exploits.

  20. 20 Judi

    I’m just sad that I found your blog so late…just last week I stumbled across it and was looking forward to following your blogs. I found you quite insightful–even though you may think you didn’t talk about new ideas. I truly enjoyed your perspective. Thank you.

    And you may have been thinking of Tennyson when you wrote your last lines. I know I did when reading them.

    …yearning in desire
    To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
    Beyond the utmost bound of human thought…

    ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and sitting well in order smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,–
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

  21. 21 Joseph Thibault

    No doubt you are already on to the bigger, better and more exciting. Glad to have jumped on board while the content was coming fresh. At least this will be up for a while longer and others can come to learn…

    See you on the flip side,
    -Joe

  22. 22 Gnorb

    Verbose as I usually am, goodbyes are something I don’t care for.

    So see you later, somewhere. And good luck. Keep in touch (door’s always open, though hopefully it doesn’t always lead to the barber shop).

  23. 23 stellth

    Just started to follow you on twitter. Just starting to listen. Looking forward to the next derivation. You can find me if you want to…

    Nothing deep.

    Have fun.

  24. 24 Claire Thompson

    Thanks for articulating so well why you are leaving. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and following your conversations elsewhere on the ‘net. You’ve had to endure far too much as of late and I’m glad that you will be taking a break (for lack of a better term).

    Some day, our paths may cross again – on another shore, when I’m an older, wiser person. I look forward to hearing your voice in the future, Arthus. Becoming the adult in the pet store is not much fun, but gaining wisdom is very satisfying.

    All the best.
    -Claire

  25. 25 Cheryl Oakes

    Arthus,
    Glad to have known you and chatted on the edtechtalk channel and wow2.0 . You already know that the universe is a wild and wonderful place. For some of us traveling in this space we have found solace in the fact that many have come before us and many more will come later. Although it may be hard to fathom, let the universe work the magic, things happen for a reason. We may not like the reason, but remain open to the next step. I am looking forward to what your next step may be. You have impacted many of us and for that I am glad. When you are ready look for us at Seedlings. Cheryl

  26. 26 Andrea Hernandez

    as usual, I’m always slow to learn what’s going on. I had missed “seeing” you on twitter of late, so clicked here and there..and found myself here.

    Great analogies you’ve given here…I think I understand a bit of what you’re feeling. I remember sitting in front of the fireplace and throwing in journal after journal of mine from my younger days. it got to a point where I couldn’t bear to read them myself and couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else reading them. However, what you’ve written is in a much higher league, in my opinion, and I am glad that you’ve chosen to leave your blog online (at least for now).

    All the best to you.
    -Andrea aka edtechworkshop

  27. 27 Lisa Linn

    Hi Arthus,

    Like Andrea, I have been otherwise occupied for the last several months, and discovered your absence in the same way.

    You will surly be missed in the “ether-sphere” but you must march to your own drummer. Just know that you have enlightened and inspired many people, and given some of us hope when we thought there was none. Enjoy, struggle, and contribute what is best for you, and that will make all the difference.

    Hope to hear your voice again sometime in the future -until then be well and be happy.

    Mrs Lisa Linn
    AKA Clare Lane

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