August Farewell 2022

It’s been almost two months since my last post, and perhaps this will be my last. It’s too soon to tell. I still have to finalize part one (11 chapters), with 3 more parts to follow (51 chapters in all). I feel a sense of urgency to finish. (I even had a dream about a future where a group of people were sitting around a campfire, their main source of light, reading a battered copy of my book. They were looking for ideas about how to rebuild a sense of community. Yeah, sure, I thought when I woke. It made me laugh…)

The world has changed in ways I could never have imagined in the eight and a half years I’ve been blogging. There are still moments of peace and beauty, kindness, and everyday acts of heroism but they’ve not been enough to stem the tide of cruelty, stupidity, and unreason that now dominate almost every social institution.

That’s why I have decided to finally retire from teaching. There’s no longer any wiggle room for me to challenge the oppressive status quo in dumbed-down standardized curricula. Academic institutions have increasingly become solely concerned with their survival, competing to maximize the number of students they can attract while cutting faculty and sacrificing the quality of the education they provide. It’s especially tragic when education fails to take a stand as libraries and school boards are under attack to make sure future generations have no opportunities to learn to think critically, feed their curiosity to learn more, or express their joy and wonder through creative arts.

Now, I prefer to garden,

A gift from squirrel gardeners

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Potentilla, cone flowers (Echinacea), and nine bark in bloom

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Carrots, tomatoes, and chard nearing harvest

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to spend time with family,

My Nephew and his twin sons (3 ½), my granddaughter, and daughter

at the Park Point Beach on Lake Superior

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Meeting my grandnephews for the first time as their dad introduces us.

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My nephew and his sons at lunch – Sam (blue shirt) and Ben (black shirt)

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A family gathering – my granddaughter, grandson, daughter, nephew, grandnephews, and me

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to dog sit,

Sweet Cinnamon spent a few days with me while my daughter was traveling

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and to work with two dear friends who are helping as readers for the book manuscript I’m editing, We Remember: Stories about Ojibwe Child Welfare. It’s based on a critical ethnographic study I conducted two decades ago. I had to put it aside many times for too many years in order to teach.

In the process of answering my readers’ questions about things I assumed everyone knows, I find myself having to explore issues more deeply and completely so I can explain them with greater clarity. The process has brought us closer, even though one friend lives in Oregon and the other in Alabama. They both feel the manuscript is compelling and still relevant today, a fact I find depressing. Yet that makes it all the more important for me to finish and share it while I can.

In the process of preparing the manuscript for possible publication, I realized that some of my older blog posts need to be kept private. They’re posts about the study findings. Few people have viewed those posts in recent years anyway. It will take some tedious time to change them from public to private, though. There are at least 30 of them!

I am deeply grateful for the blogging friends I had when the essays were posted. They provided incredibly helpful and supportive feedback, much like my manuscript readers now.

I am also grateful for the newer blogging friends who continue to share inspiration, knowledge, beauty, and kindness. I will try to keep up with your blogs even though I doubt I will post much in the future.

An aside, I’ve had to block comments on all posts older than 45 days because of a barrage of spammers this year – more than 100 a day on some days. The only open space left for comments on my blog will be this post for a short while and on the contact page. Some days, only one spammer finds it…

I can’t make any promises about my ability to respond to comments in a timely fashion, though. I need to stay in my own culture and “language” to be able to keep editing.

Sending my gratitude and best wishes to all. 💜

30 thoughts on “August Farewell 2022

  1. Carol, I have learned much from you and have enjoyed reading your posts so much. I look forward to reading your book and hope you will email me at joangarrabrantlcsw@gmail.com when it is published. I understand how frustrating it must be for teachers at all levels right now and am glad you will have time to focus on gardening, family, writing, and other things that you find meaningful and enjoyable. I will miss you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Carol, I totally empathise with your words above. As I age, I too, enjoy gardening as a main pursuit although I`m still working 2 days a week, recruiting and training volunteers for a sitting service, offering carers a little bit of respite for a couple of hours each week.
    I`m sure you will have read or heard what a dreadful state the UK is currently in, following decades of appalling government. The rich get richer and the poor struggle, we have a horrendous winter ahead of us as our electricity bills have soared to ridiculous and unmanageable heights. I know it`s a cliche to say `I can`t do anything about it` but I feel powerless to help other than with donations of food and clothes. So I read, I tend lovingly to my garden, I walk a friend`s dog and I try not to ponder too much on my grandchildren`s and great grandchildren`s future for I shall be long gone. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs and my life has been hugely enriched by your intelligent writing. It has been my privilege to have known you such as we do. Good luck with the book!
    Love from Helen. xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m not good at responding to farewells (or even semi-farewells, as I take your post to be), but I’d just like to say that it has been a pleasure to get to know you (even if only in limited fashion). The world is a better place because of like you, and if this is your last post, it leaves a lasting impression.

    Best wishes right back at you!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. We’ll miss you online Carol but it’s a step in the right direction as the virtual social environment becomes progressively more toxic. When civilization is collapsing, sometimes the best thing we can do is retreat to a safe place until the chaos subsides. Kudos for stepping out of academia on principled grounds; no more are students taught HOW to think but WHAT to think. All the best to you!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Lovely to see photos of you and the family, and your beautiful garden, Carol. Thank you for sharing your inspiring posts and it was so good to have met you in blogging… my best wishes for the future and God’s blessings. 🙏❤️💐

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you for all you’ve shared over these years. I’ve learned so much and been so moved by your words. You have taught so many beyond the classroom.

    And I love your dream, Carol. How much we need your book – battered though it may be – and that communal campfire! I believe at least some of your past students will carry some of that fire with them.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Carol, I will miss you! I had a dream last night I was talking to a large group of women in a cave and I was reading from a book and telling them my opinions about what I find optimistic about the younger generations. It was a very convivial mood! I was telling them I think the younger women have more courage and are more willing to take risks and that I was so hopeful because they were moving out of the cities into rural areas and had a real pioneering spirit. Maybe I was reading them your book?! Hehe. Or maybe just wishful thinking. 😆

    You know, once it’s published (and I can’t wait to read it!) you might find sharing excerpts here on your blog a good way to generate conversation and promote it some, no??

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Having been retired 22 years and at age 82, my wish is that life begins yet again for you Carol and that you‘ve saved the best for last. Your fresh insights will be missed.
    Ron

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Carol, it has been a joy and blessing to get to know you over the years through your blog. You fought the good fight for the benefit of your students. Now is the time to finish and publish your book, so many years in the making. Do let us know when it’s published. A big hug ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Carol, I send my gratitude and heartfelt congratulations on your retirement. I wish you well as you continue to get your book closer to publishing. It will serve many for years to come, I’m quite sure. I have appreciated your thought and deeply meaningful comments over the years. Although I will miss your posts, I honor your commitment. I do hope that we may see you here from time to time…perhaps once in a great while. Blessings to you, my friend. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hello dear Carol,
    Your latest post resonates and hits home on many levels… The world seems to have changed (in many ways not always for the better), and this phenomenon is indeed on a global scale. While I am sad to hear this, I completely understand and respect your decision. I believe very strongly that you have impacted many people during your career – both in the classroom, through your online blog, and in numerous other ways. May you continue to be blessed with wonderful moments with your family, dear ones, and of course the nature surrounding you. If you decide to share, I would be very keen to know when your book has been published.
    Thank you so much for your friendship and words of wisdom throughout the years.
    You will always have a friend here in Japan.

    All best,
    Takami

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi there, Carol… Nice tall sunflower plants! I just wanted to wish you best luck about your writing project — hope it all goes well for you. I am planning my own WP hiatus soon, no later than this autumn, because I want to work on a book of short stories. And as you know, it rakes some energy to devote oneself to keeping up with reading blogs and commenting, etc. So, I guess, its wishing you a good journey and thanks for all your reading and thoughts over these years. -Rob

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you for sharing!!.. WordPress is just a part of your world, one cannot ignore the rest and it appears you have a wonderful world waiting for you… and you will still be able to teach, to help someone learn in your time, your way…. have a wonderful journey and hope it is filled with love and happiness!!… 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May your spirit only know peace
    May your heart only know love
    May all your dreams come true
    May your life’s journey be filled with happiness
    And life is all that you wish for it to be….
    (Larry “Dutch” Woller)

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Good fortune and fair winds in your retirement Carol, I felt exactly the same as you do when I realized my education work was heading down the same road you described (Quote ..the oppressive status quo in dumbed-down standardized curricula… Unquote ) It must be so frustrating for a woman of your caliber, with such passion for education. If you are going for good, then I will miss your words of wisdom and kindness. For a good few years now, you have been my ‘Go to’ blog … I will miss you, Mon Ami, and I can already feel the hole in the universe that will be left when you have posted your final blog. Wishing you the best fortune in your retirement, from across the pond. All my love, Pat.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Blessings to you, Carol, and the important work you do. I too am often discouraged by the “cruelty, stupidity, and unreason that now dominate almost every social institution.” But I’m also encouraged by the quieter voices that still speak and write for kindness, knowledge, and respect. You are one of many, and I hope your book makes it to that campfire. Hugs, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  16. How you couch your thoughts on blogging, social media, and the state of the world in general, and especially, sadly, where education is concerned, is something I aspire to: a little grace and dignity instead of just succumbing to: “Everyone’s an idiot now, they don’t care about anyone else, and they definitely don’t know how to laugh at themselves anymore.”
    Congrats on your studies and impending book.
    Congrats on your impending sense of peace disconnecting somewhat from the sucking vortex of voices.
    I came across your blog late but have enjoyed it a lot. Will miss you; good luck with everything!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I have benefitted thoroughly by reading your blog, Carol. Joining with all here to wish you peace and gentle joy with everyone and everything you encounter. Thank you for sharing so much with us all. Enjoy the world, as it is and how we wish it to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Carol. So many things are happening in your life! I understand it all and I send lots of love and light to combat the negativity. I can feel that you are following your purpose and to that I say a GIANT AWESOME!! You know when it is time for you do what you need to do. I think that you will be missed…in the classroom…here on your blog. But I am happy I got here in time to put my full support and positive energy behind…with…you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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