Why do I blog?

So my name is Loren, as you can guess, and I'm responsible for this blog. I started this blog after my mentor in my first year of public school teaching suggested I put my thoughts down on paper. Being someone who is very technically inclined, I blogged instead. She really liked it, but no one else ever bothered to read it. I took an 11-month hiatus, but started it back up in the Fall of 2009, and when I started it back up, I found some people actually read it, and even liked it. As a result, I have all the impetus I need to keep on blogging.

As you read this blog, you probably notice something--mainly the fact that I don't quite fit the description of a normal teacher. You're absolutely correct, mainly because I usually defy an accurate description.Throughout my life, people have tried to label me because it seems that that's how most people try to get to know me. The issue is that I tend to be a bit paradoxical by nature. People think they have me placed in a nice little box, then I do something that is the completely opposite of what's expected.

After all, what do you label someone who teaches reading, but is always the first one asked to solve a tough math problem? Born and raised in the bowels of college football country but only watches European soccer? What about always wondering about life, yet hate philosophy? Able to be creative at a moment's notice, yet be relentlessly logical like an engineer? How about try to deal with life logically but be an evangelical Christian who strives to live by Faith and not Reason? Be an evangelical Christian theologically, but constantly poking holes in the evangelical lifestyle? Or simply having a very extroverted, happy-go-lucky personality, yet have virtually no friends for reasons unbeknownst to him.

It the last that befuddles me. I've spent most of my life wondering if my problem was because since I defied most attempts to be labeled, people just didn't like me. Becoming a teacher has to a large degree reinforced this belief, because a lot of my peers don't know what to do with me. Apparently I don't fit the mold of being a teacher. I seek the most efficient solution, demand excellence from my students when mediocre is the accepted standard, and most importantly, give my frank opinion on things, and go as far as putting my name on them in places like this blog. This is the reason why I call this blog Teaching on Mars. I initially wanted to call it Stranger in a Strange Land after the Robert A. Heinlein novel and Bible reference, but that was taken long ago. Instead, I picked Teaching on Mars because, well, I feel like I teach on a different planet where I was raised, and that's just about the best way to say it.

I'm tired of being labeled, and tired of being rejected because I can't be conveniently labeled. I want to be accepted and appreciated because I'm me. Loren. Quirks and all. Blogging has shown me that there are people out there who do get me, and don't mind the fact that I don't fit their labels. And that's something I'm glad to finally hear.


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