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Searching and Discoverability at Domains17

In our Information Age, I think we are all lost in a sea so vast that neither shore nor bottom are visible. We grab onto the first lifesavers thrown at us, FaceBook and other social web sites, and grateful to stay afloat, we do not venture far. It is not the fear of drowning that makes us cling to the known, but rather the complete lack of markers to know which way to swim. 

Martha Burris challenged us to think about the concrete space of the internet, the metaphors for understanding it, and I keep coming back to this infinite sea. If our Domains provide a place to stand and perhaps even an archipelago with acquaintances on them, we are still only small specs in the infinite sea. 

I think the great challenge for us is in building our boats and learning to navigate. We have grown reliant on guides like Google or the social media echo chambers, but with these we only skim the surface and touch briefly at nearby/easily accessible points of call. 

As we think about giving our students voice/a domain to stand upon, we also need to teach them to navigate and the means to be found by others. I think we need to spend more time thinking about discoverability. How do we help people find us and how do we know which way to set out to find them. 

If Facebook and Google are navigation by sight, how do we learn to follow the stars or create the new compass to turn away from the shores and chart new paths. As we discover new lands, how do we learn and respect the cultures of others, and share the paths to connect more people. 

The internet has opened a world of information to us, but how do we venture forth? Do we trust the colonizing guides that have always reached out to us, or can we find a new way and extend our hands to the students who will go further?

A Letter of Apology to My Daughter

Dear Evie,

When I laid you down in bed tonight, I made you a promise. “When I wake you up in the morning, I’m going to tell you I love you and that Hillary won.” When you wake up, you’ll know by the sound of my voice and by the tears in my eyes, that I was wrong.

Tonight you were so sweet to your momma. You gave her hugs and told her not to worry. In the morning, I bet you’ll do the same for me. You’ll tell me it’s ok and give me a hug and ask to watch a cartoon. You will be in your morning routine, as sweet and innocent as you were this morning, unaware of the change around you.

But the world will not be the same tomorrow as it was today. A few hours ago, while you were in the bath, I told you that a woman was going to be the most powerful leader in the world. We talked about how the current President was black and how your friends are black and brown and white, and none of that matters. Tomorrow, you’ll ask why Hillary lost, and I’ll have a hard time coming up with an answer more intelligible for you than sexism and racism.

Before you were born, before you were even conceived, we picked out the name Evelyn for you. It was my grandmother’s, name and she was a strong woman. We would call you Evie while you were our little girl, and Evelyn when you were a professor, a CEO, or the President.

But tonight a woman who’s worked her whole life as a public servant, who has more experience than anyone who’s ever run for this office, lost. What’s worse is that Hillary didn’t lose to a well-spoken, charming leader. She didn’t lose to a smart, determined thinker. She didn’t lose to a humble man-of-the-people.

Tonight, Hillary lost to a man who has made a fortune swindling people. A man who has bragged about adultery and sexual assault. A man who has stoked the flames of racism and nationalism. A man who cannot forgive a slight and who knows no humbleness. A businessman whose very election will bring the economy crashing down as we wakeup.

I am so sorry that a woman cannot be president. I’m so sorry that our country, that you love, would rather elect such a man. I am so sorry for the horrible things you will hear on the playground tomorrow from kids repeating the words of this president-elect. I am so sorry that we have failed you.

I hope one day the world will again be as full of hope and opportunity as it was when I laid you down to bed. I hope we have not failed you as badly as I fear. I hope that when you’re old enough to realize the enormity of our failure, of my failure, that you will still be as sweet, as kind as you will be in the morning, and that you will again hug me and tell me not to worry.

I love you,
Dad

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