Internet III: The Joys and Perils of Connection

I am thankful for the Internet: it allowed a former student of mine to find me and reconnect.

Granted, the outcome was very positive. Said student was even rather complimentary! Some might take that as a given, this student took the time and energy to look me up, right? I definitely appreciate those positive vibes!

Fact of the matter is, I am far from perfect. <collective gasp> I apologize; I should have warned everyone to sit before making such an announcement. But there you have it. I goof up all too frequently. Say days ending in “y”. (Which is not tomorrow, btw).

Anyway, while I have always tried my best, OK, usually tried my best, (more often than not?) to be conscious of the potential impact my interactions have on my students, even adopting the physicians’ “First, do no harm” perspective, I am never certain of how that works out.

Oh, sure, all of the students (to date) who have contacted me have been very complimentary. I could paste them up and have quite the “I love Me” wall. But there is always that niggling fear that instead of “looking me up”, there are some students out there that want to “hunt me down” for some off hand remark that just happened to hit them in a vulnerability. How’s that for a teachable moment or window of opportunity?

Am I really that paranoid? Nah. Although part of me prays: “Dear God! I hope so!” I am very aware of the impact I potentially have on “young and impressionable minds”. and that the difference between “raising up a child in the ways he should go” and “brainwashing” is largely a matter of perspective.

To sum up, since I have already been yammering too long: I take this very positive re-connection as an ongoing sign that I am God’s favorite. 😉   After all, the contacts I’ve had to date have been positive. So the “evidence” is in my favor to interpret as I will. Of course, that simply means that anyone who has felt less than warm and fuzzy when thinking about me just doesn’t feel vindictive enough to track me down.

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