Awareness | Mark’s Remarks


marksI won’t lie to you: I’m aware many people read this column and I’m aware that many enjoy reading it.

There are times I really must give myself an ego check.  I get letters and emails from folks.  I’ve had a few phone calls.  People have stopped me on the street and told me they liked my column. It’s hard to be humble when you have a bunch of folks saying “Great job” all the time.

I’ve had some folks make fun of my column, too. The words “trite” and “lightweight” have been used. Some folks don’t like my Christian ramblings. Some folks just plain don’t like my ramblings.

My first inclination when I hear something negative is to say, “Well the last time I checked, it looked to me like your arms still worked. Your eyelids are functioning. Perhaps when you come to that page of the paper, you could either keep turning the pages or close your eyes.”

But then I stop. My sharp tongue has gotten me in a lot of trouble, and it continues to do so. I’m trying really hard to grow up, and I’m hoping that by the time I reach age… um….well, anyway, I’m hoping to be a little mature in the next decade.

Yes, it hurts my feelings a little when I hear certain negative comments. I haven’t heard a lot, mind you, but I’m sure there are still others who dislike this column and keep their comments to themselves. Thank you.

I know a couple of people who read my column each week just to make fun of it. If you are reading this, you know who you are.

I’m sure those same people are tired of hearing stories about my teaching career, my kids, my ideas about God, and so on and so on. Yep, some of these are people I call friends.

I should be flattered, I guess, to think someone is getting so much entertainment out of making fun of my column. And anyway, they are still buying the paper, aren’t they? I’m still paid for the stuff I write.

So, I should tell you I am well aware of many things regarding this column. It isn’t high brow stuff. I write what you might call “slice of life” stuff. I write about what I know about. No, I don’t have a journalism degree. I wrote for my school paper in high school. I took four years of journalism and was editor. But really, my writing is nothing fancy.

I am also aware of grammatical errors. Some of them are on purpose and some aren’t.  I use fragments and I start sentences with “and” sometimes. Sometimes I ramble. Often I ramble. I am often like a long-winded preacher, chasing “rabbits” as I restate what I’ve already said.

I’m sure some folks get tired of hearing a story about living with teenagers or toddlers, about cleaning out my garage or changing a tire. Even as a veteran educator, there are only so many columns one can write about the state of education today.

I also know that writing a column such of this will bring on a barrage of, “We think you are doing a great job! Don’t listen to them!” type comments.  Really, I’m not fishing for compliments.

I enjoy writing this column, and I enjoy knowing folks read it. I am pretty full of myself and enjoy telling stories about myself and those around me. My self-deprecation makes people laugh and I know this. I like to entertain. I like to tell stories that people can relate to. I plan to keep writing.

And I hope those people who read this column to make fun of it keep right on reading.  I’m not writing this to make them feel bad;  I’m just writing this to let them know I understand them and I am often as negative as they are. Heck, sometimes I agree that it’s all fluff.

Whatever the case, thanks for reading.

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