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Inside the Beaver's Dam

The Dam Insider is keeping an eye out for you, tracking the elected leaders of Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin and beyond. Email your thoughts or tips. Emails may be published unless otherwise requested. Requests will be honored.

Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, United States

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We hardly knew thee

While it didn't last long, it certainly had an impact.
The time has come for me to write the final chapter in this blog's short history. About one year ago, after contemplating the idea for months, I sat down and registered this domain. I had no expectations. I wasn't sure if anyone outside my family would ever read what I had to share. As it went, the interest level among those whom I had never met rose well past the same from those with whom I have broken bread. Word of mouth is among the most cost-effective methods of advertising, and that's just how this forum gained the number of readers that it did. At its peak, more than 700 people were checking this website daily. I'm proud of that. Without a doubt, some of those readers were opposed to the theme of my messages, but without that opposition, this forum would have lost much of the fire and energy that made it such a compelling daily read.

I have never before responded to comments about the anonymity of my writing. This blog has never been about me. It has been about the issues facing the people of Beaver Dam, Dodge County and Wisconsin. Unquestionably I have colored the issues with my opinion. However, I am convinced that had these same issues been presented in a fair, unbiased manner, interest in, and interaction with, this blog would have been significantly hampered. Never did I censor anyone's comments or opinions - I simple gave the ball the push it needed to roll.
That said, I will now take a moment to make this blog about me. Azor is right, I have moved out of Beaver Dam and I am now paying dues to WEAC, the state teacher's union (However, I am paying a reduced amount after requesting that I receive a refund of the portion of my dues that apply to political lobbying efforts. That amounts to an overwhelming $19.95!). Yes, I am now a teacher. Everyday I enter the classroom with integrity. My political views are checked at the door. Unfortunately, I can not say the same for some other professional educators whom I have met or observed, whether in Beaver Dam or elsewhere, conservative or liberal, and that's too bad. Young minds are amazingly impressionable. Teachers are charged with, among other things, the duty to open those minds to discovery and understanding, not expose them to rhetoric. I take this duty very seriously. I am not the best teacher out there, but I believe I give about 100 students a day the opportunity to expand their minds, sharpen their tools of analysis, and develop their capability to understand the world that they will one day change.

What is the future of blogging in Beaver Dam and Dodge County? Simple. It's up to you. When I started this blog 12 months ago I had zero readers but a whole lot to say. In time the readership developed and that drove me to continue my work. Now that I am finished, who will take the torch? Will someone step up or will this forum slowly fade to black? Contact me if you are interested in taking the reigns of this site.
Liberal or conservative. Organized labor or independent. Politico or sideline observer. It matters not. What matters is that you have an opinion. Put it out there. Be consistent. Start the conversation.

And I thought happiness was Beaver Dam in my rear view mirror...