"None of us is promised tomorrow."

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (1)

John wrote that exactly a month ago, in a post on the occasion of the 2-year anniversary of his blog, where he reflected on what he had accomplished over those two years:

In looking back, I think I've pretty well accomplished my central purpose, to document my work as a writing teacher in a large two-year college. I write from the context of 40 years of full-time teaching, with an annual course load of 8 classes, typically loaded this way: 5 first-year comp (150 students), 1 developmental comp (25 students), 2 elective courses, one in literature, one in linguistics (90 students), for an annual total of 265 students. Over that time, I also taught summer session about 80% of the years. What I have tried to do here is describe some of the day-to-day realities of teaching, service and professional development work that fits most of the people who teach college composition full-time, namely my community college colleagues.

I've also tried to address issues of theory and practice as they have been articulated by leaders in our profession through journals and conferences. And, frankly, I count myself as one of those leaders.

That post also made reference to the health problems that claimed his life yesterday, problems that kept him, over the last month or so, from posting at the prolific rate that he had established for himself over the last two years. This should have been a sign, I suppose, but John was also adamant about his blog as "a public place, not one where I will go into personal and private matters," and so I had no idea that his health was so precarious.

I can't say that I really knew John all that well, having only met him face to face in March in San Francisco, but of course I knew him better than that. Anytime I posted something critical of the field (and granted, it's not all that often), I could rely on the fact that he'd leave me a comment, not out of a desire to defend the field so much as to let me know that "the field" was listening. There are some people who do that, who listen so well, that it ceases to matter so much whether or not they agree. A lot of the time, it's enough to know that you're taken seriously.

And it was important to me (to many of us, I suspect) that John, whose experiences were vastly different from my own, took me/us seriously. Maybe that's why, even though I would be hard pressed to demonstrate that he and I were anything more than acquaintances, I feel like I've lost a good friend today. I feel like we've all lost a good friend today.

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: "None of us is promised tomorrow.".

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.collinvsblog.net/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.cgi/406


I suppose that our discipline is still small enough that many of us experience a sense of kinship with fellow comp/rhetors. I never met John F2F but read and admired his blog, and I, too, am saddened by his passing. He was always open-minded, always inquiring, always listening and worth listening to.

A very sweet and thoughtful comment, C. All these thoughts make my eyes water.

A lovely tribute. I have once again experienced the sense of losing someone I never met, someone I suddenly wish I could have studied with, or at least met and knew.

Leave a comment



Powered by Movable Type 4.1

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on June 22, 2005 3:01 PM.

The Great Wiki Disaster of 2005 was the previous entry in this blog.

To Dance or to Coma, that is the question is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.