He really did turn me into a writer ...

The following is an e-mail that I received yesterday from a former student. He was in my grade eight class last year and participated in my PhD research. The post that he refers to in his e-mail is my farewell entry that I posted at the end of August to thank my former students for a wonderful year of cognitive engagement.

Hello Mr. Glogowski

It's Phil, just incase you haven't guessed already. I'd just like to thank you for a great year of blogging, and to wish you luck in the years ahead. You really managed to make a few of us into writers. I think writing/blogging will be something I'll carry with me my whole life. I currently have a temporary site for what I call "memoirs of a geek" just a cheezy name for another one of the thousands of blogs out there. I'm not really blogging much, because i'll just end up moving soon, and i'm busy working on a template. Soon I'll be on ... , and there'll be a place for the jarbs to stay there. For now they're at joones.blogspot.com, another temporary place. Anyways, Your last (last) post really spurred me on, so i figured I'd write a post about it. It would be put up on ... , I talk about you and you're blogging in the classroom work, so I figured I'd ask your permission to post it. And it's just a good excuse to say hello to my most favouritest teacher. The post goes like this :

My old Language teacher posted this as his very last entry to his blog in our class blogosphere at the end of this summer. He seemed like he was able to sum the whole thing up, not just our overdue-run as a blogosphere, but writing itself.

"I'm assuming that someone is still reading this.

I just wanted to thank you again for your wonderful work and for allowing me to learn from it. I spent the last two months writing my thesis. I got up every day, had a grapefruit, sat down at my desk, and wrote from 9:00am until, quite often, midnight. It hasn't always been easy. I spent many hours staring at the screen of my laptop, trying to figure out how to phrase my thoughts in the best possible way. Sometimes, I got up, walked around the house, picked up an old book and read my favourite passages. Sometimes, I wrote. Yes, I wrote letters to people who don't exist. I made them up, but the writing kept me busy. When I couldn't think of anything to add to my thesis, I switched to writing letters to people who don't exist. It might sound crazy but the point is that I never stopped writing. Then, when I was out of ideas, exhausted by all the mental work, I would visit this page and, inevitably, there was always a new entry here. That motivated me. Your energy and passion for writing kept motivating me to go back to my work and keep writing. Thank you.

Soon, I will be at a conference talking to hundreds of people about blogging. I will tell them this story. I will tell them your stories - the love for writing that made you write over the summer even though you really didn't have to. But that's the thing about writers. We don't write to see our names in print or on a shelf at Chapters. We write because life without writing just wouldn't be the same.

Keep in touch."

He started a class blogosphere with us, his 6th grade 8 class, and he caused at least 5 out of 30 kids to really become writers. I'm considering it as a career, even. Teaching language, just as he does. He really did turn me into a writer, and that's what I am. I write code for web pages, and I write the content that fills them. I've really found my way into writing, had a poetry phase for a bit (ya rly) and then started writing what I call "jarbs" (it stands for "just another random blog") I've written a full 100+ in just one year. I figure I'll be writing them for the rest of my life. It's an outlet. Mr. Glogowski really captured it well when he said "That's the thing about writers. We don't write to see our names in print or on a shelf at Chapters. We write because life without writing just wouldn't be the same."

It's partially why I write on this blog even though I know only a handful of people read it.

Thanks, Mr. G.

By the way, I googled your name just for the fun of it and found your "Blog Of Proximal Development", and your edublog winnings, Congradulations on that! I really think you've started something great here, someday every language class will be blogged-up. We may just be headed to a better-worded, and well written world.

Thanks again.

Thanks, Phil!