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This Is Who I Am.

One of the things that I hate about the "networked" world that we live in is that we often only "know" people through the posts they write or the Tweets they send out into the ether.  That often gives us a false sense of just who somebody is -- and when we're satisfied with that level of connection, we inadvertently lose out on the more human aspects of relationships.

That's why I work hard to connect with people beyond their professional content.  Whether I'm checking out their Flickr photos, leaving them a blog comment just to let them know I'm thinking about them, following their Instagram feed or singing karaoke with them at some professional conference that brought us together, seeing the personal side of folks that I'm learning alongside matters to me.

That's also why I try to give others a look behind MY professional mask every now and then.  Whether I'm sharing news about the birth of my daughter, my feelings about adoption, the shame I feel when I fail to live up to my own standards, or my addiction to reality television, I want you to see a bit of the real me.  More importantly, I want you to know that I am real.

And that's why I wanted to share this video with you:

 


 

If you haven't met her, that's my daughter Reece.  I lost a tragic bet to some crazy Canadian hockey fans yesterday (see here and here) and she wanted to help me sing the Canadian National Anthem on YouTube.  The moment was priceless for me simply because Reece almost NEVER wants to be on camera.  To capture that digitally and have it stored away forever means everything to me, that's for sure.

And I hope it gives you a better sense of the guy sitting behind the Radical keyboard.  Sure, I write about professional learning communities and using technology in schools.  Yes, I'm pissed about the impact that crappy #edpolicy is having on my classroom.  No, I won't stop posting slides and lessons and pro-D content for you to use in your work.

But I'm also a proud hockey fan who likes to make a good bet every now and then.  More importantly, I'm a proud dad who isn't phased by Tic-Tac spit or embarrassed to wipe my kid's mouth with a sock I found on  my desk. 

This is who I am.

_________________________________

Related Radical Reads:

Welcoming the Newest Radical

This One's for You, Dad

Random Acts of Patriotism (or Man Up, Canada)

 

19 Comments

Precious Crabtree commented on February 22, 2014 at 1:45pm:

Connection

Bill, 

Your post was so fun and it is clear that you are a proud father who loves his daughter very much. She is adorable by the way!  I read your post about adoptions too..  My husband and I are in the beginning stages because after 6 years and 6 fertility treatments, we were unable to have our own children.  It is inspiring to hear from others who have been able to bring joy into their lives through adoption.  I am very political and pro-education on FB and Twitter, but never share the my more personal side with my "friends or followers".  I admire your courage to let your silly side show, while still being a tempered radical. 

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 22, 2014 at 2:15pm:

Hey Precious,

Hey Precious,

First, thanks a ton for the kind words about my girl.  She's truly everything to me.  And I'm not even exaggerating. 

More importantly, drop me an email if you ever want to talk adoption:  wferriter at outlook dot com

I've "been there and done that" when it comes to fertility treatments and the struggle to move forward with adoption. Pretty much researched all the available options at one point or another.  More than happy to share those experiences with you.  They were equally heartwarming and heartbreaking at times. 

The most important suggestion that I'd give you would be to move forward!  My daughter is as much a part of me as if we had been able to have her "the old fashioned way."  Biology is totally overrated when it comes to parenting.

#love

Bill

Precious Crabtree commented on February 22, 2014 at 3:09pm:

Thanks!

I sent you an email! Thanks, Bill!! :)

Becky @bybng commented on February 22, 2014 at 3:29pm:

Oh. My. Goodness!

I think that video is just so adorable! You can definitely tell she is your universe. Thanks for sharing, Bill!

Renee Moore commented on February 22, 2014 at 3:57pm:

Super SingingTic Tacs!

I have got to share this with my Canadian Mom and other relatives! May make them reconsider God Save the Queen.

These are precious moments. Thanks for sharing the Ferriter News.

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 23, 2014 at 8:59am:

The Tic Tacs were classic,

The Tic Tacs were classic, weren't they, Renee! 

I thought I was getting a semi-solid Tic Tac.  Instead, I got a handful of spit! 

And I've never been happier about getting a handful of spit.

#toofunny

Bill

Bill Ivey commented on February 22, 2014 at 6:43pm:

This post is...

... emblematic of what first drew me to you as an edu-person: you were both edu- and -person! That meant when I finally met you for real, it felt like a smooth, almost unnoticeable shift in our relationship.

Periodically, I wonder about setting up a @bivey_teacher account (or whatever) for my edu- self and keeping @bivey for my -person self. Then I think, how could I even attempt to separate those two selves? And moreover, what would be gained by trying?

That said, I do worry sometimes that I work too hard at being "my best self" online. I know a ton has been written about the phenomenon and how it makes people feel worse about themselves when they see how cool other people seem to be. I've seen much less written about the stress involved in trying to be as cool in real life as your online self. Oy.

Anyway, thank you!!!

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 23, 2014 at 9:03am:

Bill wrote:

Bill wrote:

That said, I do worry sometimes that I work too hard at being "my best self" online.

------------------------------------

You know what I'm going to say, right Bill? 

Your "best self" is the self that is most like you, whatever that happens to be! 

And you're right -- it's pointless to try to pretend to be something that you are not.  Doing so just puts you in sticky positions where people choose to build relationships with the person they THOUGHT you were instead of the person you really are. 

In the end, being ourselves helps others to figure us out -- to see if we are worth the energy that relationships take.  But being ourselves also means we're more likely to come across people that we really care about, too.  It is as important to the health of our own networks as it is to the networks of people who choose to follow us.

Any of this make sense?

Bill

 

Bill Ivey commented on February 23, 2014 at 10:06am:

All of it.

All of it makes sense. Somewhere in there, of course, is figuring out who we really are. My biggest shock in becoming an adult was discovering I was still unfinished. My ongoing existential crisis is simultaneous relief and anguish at that notion.

All of which also reminds me of something my seventh grade students said last year during a unit they designed on "How do truth and lies in the media affect our lives?" or something to that effect. At one point, one of them asked, "Does it even matter if it's all made us who we are?" The implicit acceptance of self and others in that statement was one of the most powerful moments of the year. A seventh grader.

Diana commented on February 23, 2014 at 8:00am:

Ferriter news clip

Watching this made my day!! You are such a wonderful dad .....and friend. 

Diana commented on February 23, 2014 at 8:01am:

Ferriter news clip

Watching this made my day!! You are such a wonderful dad .....and friend. 

Anonymous commented on February 24, 2014 at 2:52pm:

Glad you liked it, Pal!

Glad you liked it, Pal!

I sure miss you, by the way...

Bill

Pat commented on February 24, 2014 at 5:32am:

Singing

This was a great video! I thought your daughter was precious and this was a great way to get her used to doing things on camera. She was definitely a natural! As you mentioned, this is a priceless keepsake for years to come. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself and your family. 

Paul Barnwell commented on February 24, 2014 at 2:14pm:

Bill,

Bill,

Great reflection!  I tend to keep my social media presence heavily skewed towards ideas and my professional work, which I think? reveals a good amount about me.  I'm not keen on taking time to"edit" other aspects of my life, deciding what and how to reveal.

Your thoughts challenge us all to consider the interplay between our real and online selves.  Happy Blogging!

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 26, 2014 at 6:11pm:

Paul wrote:

Paul wrote:

Great reflection!  I tend to keep my social media presence heavily skewed towards ideas and my professional work, which I think? reveals a good amount about me.

----------------------------------

I'm with you, Paul -- I think that people can learn a bunch about me from just my professional writing -- but I'm not sure that posts about education give people the human side of me as much as posts like this one. 

Any of this make sense?

Bill

Parry Graham commented on February 24, 2014 at 9:32pm:

Great video, and Reece is

Great video, and Reece is adorable! I will have a UNC cheerleading outfit in the mail to you tomorrow so that she can replace that unusual red and white ensemble she was wearing.

PG

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 26, 2014 at 6:12pm:

Hey PG,

Hey PG,

First, I hope you realize how much you are missed! 

Second, thanks for your kind words on my girl.  She's a beauty.

Finally, I wouldn't put her in a Carolina outfit if it were the last thing on earth.

Bill

PS: I'll give you a call this weekend.  We need to reconnect.

Steve Barrett commented on February 25, 2014 at 12:39pm:

Thank You For

Hi Bill.

I've always appreciated hearing your authentic voice in your writing-- I was especially proud of you (and humbled) by your post "If I'm .84 Points Away from Statistical Perfection, Why am I So Darn Angry?" Your post above confirms what I've always thought about you: You're someone I admire and emulate because of what you're not-- which all too lacking in our 'networked' education world.

Best,

Steve Barrett
Wildwood School
Los Angeles

 

Bill Ferriter Bill Ferriter commented on February 26, 2014 at 6:14pm:

Hey Steve,

Hey Steve,

Thanks a ton for your kind words.  Honestly, anytime someone digs my content, I'm jazzed -- but anytime they dig who I am, it means even more. 

#grateful

Bill

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