Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Airbus-sized ego?

On Good Friday, my husband and I noticed a large crowd gathered at the corner of our street, all eyes focussed on the sky. By the way, we live across from a runway. We ventured into the crowd, and as it turned out, a ginormous airplane was about to land at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport. We got front-row seats of the landing! Here is one of the photos my quick-thinking husband took of the behemoth (the plane, not my hair):

Me and the Airbus!

As we were waiting for it to arrive, we met a nice couple, and as usually happens during the course of introductions, we all ended up saying what we do for a living. When I tell people that I teach online, there are two types of reactions: smile-and-nod, or wow.

Usually it's the first type of reaction, that says please don't say anymore, I really regret asking you what you do, I don't get it and it sounds way over my head so I'll just slowly back up. This comes from people who are, I think, intimidated by technology, or perhaps just plain bored by it and everyone who loves it. I don't expect everyone to be fascinated by me or what I do, I get it, not everyone gets how fabulous I am, or how awesome my job is. Cue Audrey, change the subject. Gee, maybe my ego is oversized, kind of like that airbus.

Fortunately, that didn't happen while we were waiting for the airbus to land. I got the wow one this time. These people actually wanted to know how it worked, who I taught, etc etc. Talk about Good Friday!
What happens when you tell someone you blog?

It's the same when I tell people that I blog. Does anyone else get this, or is it just me?

There's a congealed smile, and a look that says "Oh you're THAT type." It comes from the belief that people who blog are somehow self-centered and egotistical. I know that's what they are thinking, because that's how I used to feel. It probably came from the typical way bloggers are portrayed in pop culture, as morons who assume the world is fascinated by every minute detail of their lives, including when they go to the bathroom. People who tweet are portrayed the same way. The movie "Julie and Julia" went a long way to turn that around, but not everyone saw the movie, unfortunately.

I think bloggers blog because:
  • We have found something about which we are passionate. Hopefully, it is also something we are good at, as Sir Ken Robinson talks about here:
  • Ken Robinson on Passion from The School of Life on Vimeo.
  • We are compelled to express ourselves. I started blogging because it felt like my head was about to burst. I needed a place to put all these thoughts, questions, ideas, feelings that kept swirling around in my head. It felt like there were themes to it all, connections that I could make if I could only organize it somehow. And putting all of it down somewhere that only I had access to just didn't seem good enough, because then it would end there.
  • We love to write. And to read! And the two things go together just like teaching and learning - sometimes it's hard to distinguish one from the other. Reading inspires me to write, writing helps me figure out what I think, thinking points me toward what I want to learn next, then I'm back to reading.
  • We like being published. It's way easier to be published now than about 10 years ago. It definitely gives one a sense of empowerment, that with one click I can make myself known to people all over the world!
  • It is exciting to find out that someone in India, or Australia, or South Africa has read your post!
  • We need to connect with other people. Comments are the lifeblood of blogging, because that's how we connect. I think that's the part that those people simply won't get until they have experienced it.
Sometimes it feels like the posts write themselves. Like the ideas and turns-of-phrase are sort of floating around waiting for someone to pluck them down and give them substance.

Anyway, the airbus is supposed to land here every Friday afternoon now, so I and my ego and my hair will be there again. All else aside, it is just unbelievable how such huge things can fly!


  1. Thanks for sharing the Ken Robinson video - I have seen other talks by him - he is always inspiring.

  2. You're welcome, Susan! I've been a fan ever since someone posted his "When Ideas have Sex" talk - that might have been you, actually!