Friday, August 10, 2007


I have been stewing.

Ever have something just awful happen, and you can't say something? Ever have your dreams dashed and you can't say anything? Ever have people you don't know contact you because you might be able to shed some light? Ever weigh every single word in a phone call? Ever use personal email, and home phone numbers exclusively? Ever been so angry you could just spit, and you can't even get up a wet mouth? Ever really want to trust somebody, but you can't let yourself?

Fear does that to you.

This where I am.

The departure of the two people responsible for the development of L3RN last week has shocked and rocked me. The wind of promise is out of my sails. My hopes are taking on water.

So I send cryptic emails, trying to find out more - and giving up a carefully measured very little of what I know. I lose sleep and second guess myself to ridiculous levels.

Fear. It is a powerful silencer.

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posted by Mark Ahlness @ 6:19 PM   10 Comments


At August 11, 2007 , Blogger Bob said...


Hang in there...


At August 11, 2007 , Blogger Tom Hoffman said...

That's a pretty cryptic post. Can you give us outside of Seattle any more context?

At August 11, 2007 , Blogger Doug Noon said...

I know you've had problems with filtering policies in your district. Maybe a comment that outlines your hopes (and fears) would be useful. I'm curious.

At August 12, 2007 , Anonymous Tom Krieglstein said...

Mark, as someone who is building web2.0 software for education, I can understand your frustration with being the creator and the relationship with the programmers. I am sorry to hear they left. There are many more programmers out there. Why not pick up some new ones and keep going?

At August 12, 2007 , Blogger Chris Lehmann said...

Hang in there, Mark... we're all watching L3RN and you and rooting for you and Seattle and your kids!

At August 12, 2007 , Blogger Mark Ahlness said...

Thanks for the notes of support. For the record, I have had nothing to do with the development of L3RN. I'm just a classroom teacher who was excited about the possibilities and vision I saw there. I contributed a couple of pieces of content on my own, but have since pulled them. I have said enough, and must try to walk away from this. - Mark

At August 13, 2007 , Blogger janice said...

I somehow want to show my support for you as a terrific teacher in response to this post which I don't really understand. I have not been good at dealing with my own fears in the past, so I don't feel like a fount of good advice. You shared with us all someone who is a fount of good advice, so I went to his blog and found a post that might be encouraging... You might want to check out:
Random Thoughts

At August 14, 2007 , Blogger Mark Ahlness said...

Janice, thanks for the wonderful Louis post. He is a great man - and doing pretty well as a blogger now, too!

To be clear(er) on my fears... I have been so upset at the situation surrounding the departure of the L3RN developers, that I was afraid I'd say something that would jeopardize my job security or lead to reprisals. Teachers know what I'm talking about. You gotta be careful when you speak in a public forum.

So in a sense I was only worried about myself - because I let myself get so excited about amazing accomplishments where I work. You care a lot about something, and when it is taken away - well, it's hard to keep your mouth shut.

At August 28, 2007 , Anonymous Allison M said...

Hello, Mark! Thanks for linking to my blog. I went back to the site and it's definitely not the same functionality I remember upon first visiting. Sorry to hear it's taken a few steps back. Do you happen to know more about what's next for L3RN?

At August 28, 2007 , Blogger Mark Ahlness said...

Allison, I agree with you on the change in L3RN, but I have no idea what's up. I look/search regularly and find nothing. - Mark


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