Saturday, September 19, 2015

Two Million

At some point this week, the hit count on this blog passed two million.

It's very gratifying, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that, as a hack writer, it's cool to have an audience.

But I don't for a moment imagine that those two million hits are about me, about two million times that people said, "That Pete Greene's a helluva guy-- let's just click on over and see what he's saying." It's about something else entirely.

That's two million times that somebody said, "This stupid thing that's happening in public education pisses me off."

That's two million times that somebody said, "Public education is foundational to our country, our democracy, our way of life, and for some reason, it seems to be under attack."

That's two million times that somebody said, "Public education matters to me, and we have got to do something about the attacks on it, even if it's only to share information, understanding and awareness."

That's two million times that somebody said, "Public education is one of the most important issues in America today, and we need to talk about it."

All right, yes. Rhetorical flourish. It's probably some combination of less than two million times for each of those, plus a few times that somebody said, "What's this? I thought I was clicking through to an article about Nigerian prince's penis enlargement treatment." Hooray for the internet.

But my point is this-- two million hits don't mean that I'm an important guy. They mean I'm writing about important issues. And when I think back two years to when I got started, feeling as if there were just a handful of us, isolated and ignored and trying to build a grasp of what was going on, two million hits for this little blog feel like a piece of a victory, a small part of the work of building a network and spreading awareness.

This is post 1355. The blog started back in August of 2013, and I'd be grateful if you never went back and looked at that stuff, because it took me several months to figure out what I was doing. There is a book-- a kind of "best of" collection-- that you can buy here or on amazon. And because I love personalized stuff for Christmas presents, there's a cafepress store for me to shop for my family. All of this goes back to my original intent here-- to give myself a way to blow off steam about the ongoing attacks against public education and occasionally entertain myself in the process.

But beyond that original purpose, I've found the need to try to spread the word and awareness and understanding and, somehow, simultaneously fight back and build bridges. I have been fortunate to meet (both in the meatworld and in cyberia) many intelligent, gifted, passionate people who have influenced and inspired me a thousand different ways. And I hope that I've been able to shed some light and provide some language for the discussion.

This is an important conversation we've been having, and I'm privileged to be even a small part of it. We have lots of work to do, lots of people to wake up, and lots of progress to make for public education. Keep talking. Keep reading. Keep passing along the work of writers that speak to you (the right hand blogroll on this page is a great place to begin).

American public education is too important for us to keep silent.


  1. I probably account for at least a couple thousand of that 2 million. Can't speak for anyone else, but what brings me back is your understanding and ability to express how all of this "rephorm" stuff is really about humanity, or the undermining of humanity. I read dozens of blogs nearly every day and all of them have important things to say and say it well, but I think you have a unique way of wrapping up democracy, relationships and, well, humanity. Thanks.

  2. Agreed, Dienne.

    Peter, give yourself credit. You might not have started out trying to be a high count blogger, but your style of writing, passion for public education, and talent with words has made you one. Yes, part of your readership is due to the reasons you give, but there are a lot of us who keep coming back because you do a great job...

  3. "But I don't for a moment imagine that those two million hits are about me, about two million times that people said,'That Pete Greene's a helluva guy-- let's just click on over and see what he's saying.' "

    Actually, that is exactly what I do say. Except instead of "Pete Greene", I think of you as Kermie and yes, in exactly the voice Miss Piggy uses when she wants something.

    And I second Dienne and Stu's emotions.

    Christine Langhoff

  4. I also account for a lot of the hits. I always click on your blog before anything else, and do it several times a day to see if there's anything new and to also see what insightful and informative comments are evoked.

    Sure it's about the fight for public education, but I always go to you first. Not only is your writing the most clever and entertaining, it's the most insightful and comprehensive. You bring out the humanity with your language, while your understanding of so many things -- philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, and even pop culture -- allows you to synthesize information in a way that is unique. I really enjoy and am grateful for it.