I finally met Michael Feldstein at the recent The Open Forum 2008. It was a really fun meeting with incredible food (warm cookies and cold milk for the morning break? are you kidding me?!?). However, the most personally rewarding part of the meeting for me came afterward, in Michael’s brain dump about the meeting, in which he writes:
David Wiley and Vijay Kumar are my new heroes: I am not an edupunk. That is not a value judgment; it is simply an observation about my personal style when it comes to fomenting revolution. There are many good edupunks in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) who I respect but could never emulate. David and Vijay are different. One the one hand, they are fiercely and relentlessly idealistic. They do not settle for a world that is merely somewhat better. But on the other hand, they have managed to crawl deep into the belly of the machine and begin taking it apart from the inside out. They are equally comfortable, gracious, and fluent whether they are talking to a middle school teacher or a head of state. That is the kind of person I want to be when I grow up.
I feel similarly about so many of you in this community. If I had the time I would catalog at length the various ways in which Brian (who taught me about blogs and RSS), Jim (who continues to tutor me on WPMU whether he realizes it or not), Stephen (who is – in the best possible sense – my evil-twin-conscience), Jon (who continues to show me new angles on faith, openness, and world domination), and many others of you are complete inspirations to me.
Perhaps such a piece of writing would sound too much like a lovefest. I must honestly admit to feeling the warm, rosy glow of love and gratitude in my heart just thinking about you all and what I would say in a longer post. Suffice it to say that I really do sincerely love all you edubloggers. You inspire me, show me new ways of thinking, and reinforce my belief that our brothers and sisters in the world deserve more and better in terms of their opportunities to learn. It may just be the Christmas spirit, but if I were to pause and reflect any other day of the year, I think I would come to the same conclusions.
Merry Christmas, Edubloggers.