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.