After the tornado I created two groups on Facebook. One was for the alumni so that they would know what had been rescued and what was happening with rebuilding plans. The other was for current students, so they would know what to expect when school started. The students were the ones that quickly decided that it would be a "badge of honor" to stick with our school even though it was now a trailer school. At the very least, they knew it would be a good story to tell. There is no way I could have reached that many people without the aid of technology.
Then there is this blog. Most of the time, it is simply a blog of my life. It isn't much different than the journals that I have kept for years--kind of boring and mundane. I have been amazed at the number of people who say they read it fairly regularly. These are the "Lurky Lous." They are the ones who never comment. I wouldn't know that many family and friends read it, except they tell me in person. (One cousin nags at me if I don't post often enough.)
The people who comment or follow openly are, for the most part, strangers. Except we have developed some blog land friendships. Talk about technology connecting people! I now have "friends" of all ages from all over the country, plus a couple of foreign countries. And what have I learned? We are all so similar. Our lives are quite different, and yet we have much more in common than not. It has surprised me.
What have I gained?
- I have learned that blogland is a terrific teaching tool. I have a former student with a Down Syndrome baby, and when I read her blog I realize how much help and shared advice she gets from other parents of Down Syndrome kids. (I also realize what an amazing mother she is.) If you have a question and put it out there in blogland--someone will be able to help you out.
- One of my favorite artistic bloggers sponsored a contest, and I am now going to be the proud owner of one of her creations. It is in the mail. Can you imagine how excited I am?!!
- Blogs enable me to armchair travel to places I really want to visit. (I now have a list of several other states where I want to visit wineries.)
- Going through a crisis in your life? Put it on your blog and you will have people all over the country and world praying for you or sending good thoughts your way. People really do care.
- There are just a lot of good, interesting people out there. They struggle with kids, home school their children, teach in public schools, take in foreign exchange students, and travel to places I dream about. They worry, economize, and share favorite finds: recipes, knitting patterns, blogs, books, movies, decorating tips, and about a million other things. I have learned so much.
A couple of weeks ago I told you about my aunt loaning me her copy of "The Girls From Ames." I read it on vacation and really enjoyed it. That blog hadn't been up but a day or so, when I heard from one of the girls from Ames! (I'm sure she has an alert that lets her know when their book is mentioned on the internet.) She wrote to let me know she was glad I enjoyed the book. And that, my friends, is an awesome perk of writing a blog!