Sunday, 9 January 2011

Its All Beyond Me, Honest!

Not so long ago, April 2008 I started a blog, Grumpy Old Ken. (My son in law set it up, I'm not capable.) In fact I was uncertain as to exactly what a blog was. I was soon put right by a 'superior being', so much so that I almost packed it up there and then. But several more sympathetic bloggers gave me help and encouragement. Visit other peoples blogs, they said and leave comments, favourable of course and keep your own blogs reasonably short. And I noticed some people blogged daily, an awesome task; plus almost all blogs seemed more interesting than mine. But I persevered and gradually made friends with fellow bloggers, formed a pattern of 'posting', around every five or six days (See I also learnt the language!) and thoroughly enjoyed my new hobby. I got a 'county thing' (Site Meter) and I was secretly pleased that evidently around twenty five people daily read my efforts at dispensing 'wit and wisdom'. Until I was informed that half of the visits were merely me 'clocking on' so to speak on my own blog!
People who know me soon realise I am in fact hopelessly nontechnical. I have mastered the light switch, just, but not a washing machine's controls, mobile phones, television remote controls and bank card dispensers. (I am no longer allowed a bank card by my wife as I was frequently retrieving it from the counter after feeding in the wrong card details for the umpteenth time.) And who else would try to dry his hands in a hotel toilet by bunging their hands up the dispensing 'hole' of a contraceptive machine. (See post dated 27th April 2008.) All of which suggests I have no real idea as to how the world operates. Which makes my week to me all the more astounding.
I went to my blog late morning as usual. (Few geriatrics are early risers!) I love to check the people who do me the honour of 'following' my blog. After over two years it numbered just over 120 people, all valued. (Including on the list is Grumpy Old Ken. I've no idea why, I told you I don't really know what I'm doing!) Only overnight the number had jumped to over 170. Plus seemingly over 100 people were visiting hourly and over 3000 people visited in twenty four hours. Today the number is less, but still around the 2000 mark (plus 300 plus followers). I experienced many emotions, baffling incredulity being the most obvious, then all was revealed. Evidently I have been listed as a 'Blog of Note', (how?) by a Google 'committee or panel'. My Andy Warhol fifteen minutes of fame. Now I'm many things, but I'm not completely stupid. One, I know there are many blogs out there that are better, more deserving of attention than my limited efforts and two, very shortly things will be back to normal, though any knock on effect of increased interest will be welcome. But isn't it amazing, at least it is to me, the sheer power of a mention by a 'panel' on that all powerful instrument, the internet. Thank you, (Google?), the world, my world and my posts will never be the same again.
The following post is the one I intended had my week not been hijacked by such exciting times!
As I enter the New Year, retired, content, watching the world go by, I cannot help but contemplate with awe my diary as a secondary school teacher.
January 8th 1985.
'The new style pupil reports mean we as a group, no longer sit night after night in the various staffrooms and marking areas feverishly conjuring up marks and suitable comments. No longer will the enquiry be heard 'Are there two t's in prat?' Neither will the spelling of bugger be solicited, serious or otherwise. Jokes about Burnham Tests will no doubt disappear.
'They all do a Burnham Test.'
'Whats a Burnham Test?'
'All the kids do a test. Afterwards I don't mark 'em, I burn 'em!'
Ingenious comments will no doubt continue but fail to gain a wider audience.
'Henry is an apathetic perapetetic.' (Meaning Henry wanders round the classroom, aimlessly.)
I once wrote that a girl was, amongst other things, apathetic. I received a letter, somewhat abusive, in reply, stating that I had no right to suggest there was mental illness in the family.
The literacy of many of our pupil's parents leaves much to be desired. The banter will be sadly missed now that reports are no longer a collective task. But the spirit of the comments will no doubt remain the same. 'Satisfactory' will continue to tell the initiated (but not the parent) that little Willy has never done a homework this school term. Grade C indicates that Artful Archie has responded to bribes for the three weeks before reports are to be issued. Grade D is only used in emergencies if a pupil's attendance is so poor that he or she cannot be remembered. Grade A obviously signifies teacher's pet. Initial enthusiam in and for teaching so often gives way to cynicism and some dishonesty. For this we, the teachers in the profession must take our share of the blame. But in fairness it must be stated that the pressures in a large urban comprehensive are high. Hence the cynical humour to hide the anxieties, the disappointments, the disillusion.
Parent to teacher at Parents Evening.
'I must admit I'm far from happy. I'm told you are rude, umptious and abusive.'
Teacher.'Who told you that, you silly cow!'
Another parent, same meeting.
'Tell me, do you work to a syllabus?'
Teacher of ten years experience.
''I'll go and find out for you.'' '

(The dog, Buster by the way, helped to keep me sane!)

102 comments:

Sonzeh said...

Great Blog, such a good read.
Check out my blog? I recently followed yours.

http://thewalkingphotography.blogspot.com/

the fly in the web said...

Well deserved fame!
I'm always glad when your latest post turns up.

I always used to think, as a pupil, that the biggest insult at prize giving day was a prize for effort...so made sure not to make any.

positive affimation said...

This is very inspiring. How i wish more people will turn out to be like this.

Valerie said...

I am so pleased you've got the Blog of Note award. It's well deserved.

Rosalind Adam said...

How exciting to get so many new followers and congrats on being a blog of note. I'm quite sad the way I check my (in comparison) meagre number of followers each morning. The number rarely changes.

When I was a teacher I hated, loathed writing reports. My most embarrassing parents' evening was when I gave one Tracey's parents the report meant for a completely different Tracey. I say embarrassing, I'm hoping they didn't notice. I certainly wasn't going to own up. All they got was a stunned gulp when they mentioned their daughter's full name. Glad I'm out of that particular rat race.

Anonymous said...

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THE COLLAPSE OF THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IN 20 QUESTIONS

http://newaninvitationtothetruth.blogspot.com/

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O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven?

http://jesussonofmary1432.blogspot.com/

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Mitch said...

Loved the blog. The notes from your diary at the end were pretty funny!

Eddie Bluelights said...

My heartiest congratulations Ken on this very exciting news, Blog of Note. Very well deserved - your blog is always a very good read and one of my New year's resolutions is th come her more often. I did notice a significant increase in your numbers of followers, increasing very rapidly and just put it down to a lot of people finally findling out just how good a blog you have.
Happy New Year Ken and happy blogging ~ Eddie

Anonymous said...

Trying to get paper towels from a condom machine...LOL that made my day. I love you man.

Sue said...

Love this!! Great Job on this blog!!

sleepinl8 said...

wow! for a guy who doesn't think he knows what he's doing, that is pretty spectacular! here's a post i think you (and plenty of others) can relate to:
http://libbygee.blogspot.com/2010/11/connected.html

sleepinl8 said...

oh and check out my blog as well:
http://www.sleepinl8.blogspot.com

BeautifulMystery said...

This is such a great blog! You have a gift of words Mr. Ken. Wish I could be half as talented as you. Keep it up!

Moannie said...

Ken, I jumped from 50 followers on my resurrected View from this End. To 400+ with 12.000 hits. Course it can't last...the effort to write something truly interesting is immense, but it sure feels good while it lasts.

Bernard said...

Mixed feeling on this Ken.
It happened to one of my followers way back in July. She had about 38 followers one day and 800 the next!
There was a fair amount of discussion about this 'instant success', and you can read it here and also in the comments. :)
http://worldfrommywindow.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-become-blogger-of-note.html
I, a mere mortal, can only manage to read,comment & reply to a much smaller, and manageable number. :)
You've a hell of a lot of blogs to read every morning now!
Oh, yes. I nearly forgot.
Congratulations!.......Bernard.

BloggerGirl26 said...

Hey...a blog I like. I've been looking to branch out and read other blogs besides mine and my two close friends.

I'm like you most of the time the views on my blog is my checking in. I'm hoping one day I'll have alot of followers, but I know it will take time.

Good to know you and I'm looking forward to reading more!

Dumdad said...

FYI,

I've closed my blog and opened a new one, also called The Other Side of Paris. This is my new home:

http://theothersideofparis.wordpress.com/

sildude said...

Well done indeed.

Ange said...

To be honest, I rarely care for the "blogs of note" but yours is a different story.

Your blog is very well written, and keeps the readers attention.

Kudos for sticking with blogging even when it was difficult to do so.

VioletSky said...

lordy Ken! I come here from my Reader and see you have hundreds (hundreds! of followers!!

...and to think I knew you when you but a newby blogger!

Happy New Year, you old grump.

Pearson Report said...

Thank goodness for our pets, they keep us sane!

Great post! Don't second guess the BON - you deserve it!

And special thanks for dropping in and taking a look at my site.

About the "Dinner for One" movie, I've now got the lowdown and I'll be posting it on my site shortly.

Drop by again,
Jenny

David L Macaulay said...

I just stumbled on your blog Ken. it's very funny. Love the line re drying your hands in a contraceptive machine. Think my blog has a way to go in comparison. Congrats on the blog of note designation.

http://britsintheus23.blogspot.com/

Grandpa said...

Hello Ken, greetings from the tropical Rainforest!

I know this post was up like 18 hours ago, but for some reason every time I clicked I was put to a "page not found" - until now, thankfully.

I am not as bad as you technically, but I can relate to most of the things you wrote.

I hope to hang around your blog for a while. You are welcome to visit me for a look at my retired Life on The Farm.

Duncan D. Horne said...

Just one problem - the font colour and the wallpaper colour don't match, it's almost impossible to read your writing!

www.duncaninkuantan.blogspot.com

simon said...

such a great blog, well done. check out my blog and tell me what you think :)
www.si4villa.blogger.com

Island Aspirant said...

I came to your blog when visiting the "Blogs of Note" due to the name. After reading a few entries I was surprised to see that you are a retired teacher as I have recently started in that profession. Since my journey to teaching is so unusual, I decided to start a blog myself. It has been almost a year and due to the lack of comments, I am sure only my wife and I read it. As a Technology teacher, I congratulate you on taking the leap to start a blog and becoming so successful.

Joe Geno said...

Great blog! I thoroughly enjoy your outlook and sense of humor!

Nota Bene said...

Well done! You are a modest man of many talents...glad I was reading long before the Googlites caught on!

Gaston Studio said...

Congratulations Ken! I can't imagine becoming a Blog of Note happening to a nicer person, nor a more deserving one.

Jane

Jinnah said...

Well done for the blog of note! Sounds like you deserve it, you seem to write honestly and straight up! Use the fame wisely my friend!! I dont know advertise a car boot sale or something!

Shea Goff said...

I'm so glad Google recommended you. I am also so very grateful that you were, at least during one time in your life, responsible for teaching our youth.

Maybe this is your way of continuing your teaching.

Best wishes to you in your retirement.
shea

quiti2x said...

hi ken..reading your blog is a delight! like tuesday's with morrie.. more power and world peace!

Rashmi Nair said...

It may sound really silly ... but I giggled all the way through your post. :D
Loved the spirit and the humour.
Never came across a teachers blog... The Grumpy Old Ken is a delight! :)

Freda said...

Well done! I know the number of readers or followers is not supposed to be the impetus, but it is gratifying all the same. And well deserved too.

Porcelain said...

I just started reading other people blogs, I started with yours. I think your awesome! You seem like a great man. KUDOS.

Bev said...

I discovered your blog today from 'Blogs Of Note', and it's really interesting to read a blog from such a different perspective to my own! Congratulations, it's well deserved :)

RS said...

aww, congrats!! I'm envious of you. Its a dream of mine to be selected as 'blogger of note' but I guess my time will come if I work and hope hard enough. =)

again, congratulations and keep on writing. this post made me giggle. you're funny! :) have a nice day.

Spencer Park said...

A great blog, well worthy of the praise!

spectator_sport said...

..Has fame changed you?
Hello pleasure to blog-into-you
what an interesting angry curmudgeon you are ..and I will be following you. Cheers!

From the Memoirs of a Recovered Jerk Magnet said...

I feel exactly how you did when you started blogging (is that even the correct term for what we are doing)?! Anyway, reading about your initial experience has lead me to have a little more faith in my blog skills. Thanks!

mumblingmayhem said...

Congratulations on making Blog of Note. I'm new to Blogger and it is because of the Blog of Note mention that I stumbled across yours and decided to follow. I've just gotten started with one blog up so far, and I'm not the best but maybe you'll give a look one day.

Looking forward to reading more

Mumbling&Mayhem

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Grumpy..Congrats on being one of the chosen..you have a sense of humor at least! My Forgotten Old Photos Blog was chosen back in November...there was no way I could visit all the people that comment or became followers..way to big of a task.
Keep on ..keeping on:)

Docaitta said...

Excellent reading. Expect nothing less from a teacher. My mother taught grades p-3 in a single room for 35 years until she retired. Thanks for the smiles.

http://docaitta.blogspot.com
short for devoid of culture and indifferent to the arts

Gill - That British Woman said...

well done on all that you have achieved......

Gill in Canada

Blipfillypicklepoo said...

Congratulations on your "Blog of Note" recognition. I am new to blogging and have been amazed at all the varied voices on the internet. Have checked in on your blog a time or two and have enjoyed it. Will be back. Enjoy the acknowledgement of a blog well done.

Sam Wilkins said...

Well Ken I am glad that you are trying to get a grip with this technology thing, I wish there were more blogs like yours out there. Your blog inspires me and brightens my day at the same time! I am very glad you are doing it.

check my new blog out
http://takinglife74.blogspot.com/

A Beer for the Shower said...

Congratulations Ken!

Eleven's Ink said...

i am going to follow this blog most certain I got quite a few laughs out of it. I aspire to get my bachelors in English. It's my second tongue but I have fallen in love with it after reading books from John Wyndham. You are a really good writer, I can read the wit, it's awesome!

Continue the great work!

I have a blog about my writing and likings, check it out :

http://elevensink.blogspot.com

CTWOVAAT said...

Thanks so much for sharing this story .. Its really inspiring to newbies like us .. I was searching for the correct post to reply and am glad blogger put you out there in Blogs of Note.. Congratulations .. Here's wishing you great days ahead .. btw ... can I subscribe to your blog without a blogger/google account .. Ah dont bother ... I will just add you to my favorites :)

Tony said...

Well done, young padawan. You have done well. Now come to the dark side! We have cookies!

Richard G. Crockett said...

Hi Ken, I too found your blog in "Blogs of Note." I can see why you made the list. I like your honesty. I hope you'll just keep on doing what you have been doing. Cheers, Rick

Rick's Blog

~Suzy said...

This cracks me up, I love your honesty! I hope I can write like you!

Joey said...

Great post. I love this, what can I say I'm addicted to blogs. I think, and this what I think so don't hold it against me, that when a writer in their writing talks about their personal experience it just makes that piece of literature more interesting, but that's my opinion. I'm new at this whole blogging thing, but reading this gives me inspiration.
http://joey-lifeofadreamer.blogspot.com

LuvPepper said...

this blog is pretty good. has a good sense of humor. if you like this, you may like mine...
http://afraidofdinosaurs.blogspot.com

cathy said...

You got a very interesting blog. No wonder you got an award. Great job and keep it up!:D


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Jigga69 said...

You have such a great blog and interesting perspective, I definitely have a new daily blog to check up on. A bonafide inspiration for all up and coming bloggers like myself :)

Hopefully my blog can take off like your

Grumpy Old Ken said...

To all who commented on this post, many thanks. I promise I will visit the blogs of all of you but it will take time, bear with me1

Force of Nature said...

Came for the name but come back for your sense of humour.

A Good Moroccan said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog.

I'm sure Derbyshire has many delights.

Jack Brooks said...

It gets worse Ken. My Grandson, who isn't quite three years old, is already an old hand at using the apps on his Father's iphone and quite adept at using a nintendo DS. We are getting left behind old chum!

Pretty Pauline said...

I found you through blogs of note, and already I think you're fabulous!

Bernard said...

"For the good times are all gone,
And I'm bound for moving on,
I'll look for you,
If I'm ever back this way".

Bernard.

Heidi Olivia Tan said...

Hi Ken, I'm new to this blog site and deciding to check out the Blog of Note, and was sent to yours on the 3rd forward. Suffice to say, I like what I read so much that I clicked "Follow". Honest, it wasn't the number of followers you have (more than 500 now) or the fact that I wanted some blogs to follow. Well, you're the very first one I'm following.

ladytruth said...

Judging by your humble approach to an obviously well written blog, I'd say you're my kind of guy :) I can absolutely relate to man's best friend keeping your sanity intact when it comes to students. It also keeps them alive a day longer.

I think I'll make myself comfortable here, have a cup of tea and wait for the next post :)

Barb said...

Hi Ken, Here I am visiting Blogs of Note. I like your unassuming style - your words, I mean - not your appearance! Congratulations.

Jane Domian Cordova said...

Congrats on achieving "Blogs of Note" - exciting stuff!

What's Next said...

Wonderful stories! Congrats on receiving Blogs of Note!

Kristal said...

Many congratulations!

I had to laugh at your story of fooling yourself with the "counter" counting you checking in. I'm younger, and slightly more technologically savvy, but I fell for the same thing!

Also, as a former inner-city teacher myself, I enjoyed your stories of being a teacher.

Enjoy your new-found fame!

Gabriele Agustini said...

Fabulous blog!!
So glad you're writing it!!
Congratulations on being a Blog Of Note!
Well deserved!!

Zak said...

Here I sit shaking my head after reading, Grumpy Old Ken, today.

Why is it that I read your blog and question my existentialism both intrinsic and extrinsic?

I've been a freely obliging, helpful, caring and nurturing soul gently helping as many people as I can throughout my insignificant but rather eventful life, (sometimes at my own detriment), like somehow it's going to make some kind of difference in the big scheme of things in this world, when really it’s not.

When I'm lying in the ground slowly decomposing with critters like stratomyidae, dermestids and cheese skippers eating out the inside bits that once made me who I am ~ mind, body, Ew-eey! Creepy.

What difference will all this make?

To blog or not to blog?

To help or not to help? Does it matter? Does it make a difference?

Does anyone get my drift?

Zak.

PS: I liked your blog, Ken. Don’t ask me why. I have no idea. I just liked it. For some stupid reason I find myself attracted to grumpy old men just like the people that voted for this site...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi Ken
I have something for you to collect from my blog and would be honoured to present it to you.

Best wishes ~ Eddie

David Barringhaus said...

Whilst I am not at your age of experience, or profession (I'm a boilermaker)I do relate to your musings. I'm reading your blog in Antarctica,and wondering our I got here.

Great blog, I'll drop in from time to time, Cheers

Boilermaker in Antarctica

Ex-Rev said...

Congrats on the Blog of Note. I can see why they selected you. As a college student working on a Secondary Education/Social Studies degree, I found your real world grading scale hillarious.

Anonymous said...

what a great read - you've inspired me....still debating whether to start my own

noobventures said...

I love it here already! I've got an award for you, I'm your newest follower.

Pick it up here: http://penpaperandamouse.blogspot.com/2011/01/got-my-first-stylish-blogger-award.html

diney said...

Woooah! great stuff Ken! I don't know how folk have the time to read other blogs as well as post every day and live their lives too!!I've spent the last 5 hours reading other blogs and now it's time to collect my youngest from school, and I'm hosting a book club here tonight for which I haven't actually finished the book (Saturday night, Sunday Morning). Respect to you for all your fame!

Muteki said...

I remember when my old school changed from a regular ABCD grade system to some airy-fairy politically correct type one that basically told you nothing. I would imagine it must take the meaning out of it a lot for the teachers as well...

jaytm_73 said...

Respect your elders, respect their blog. ENjoyed reading congrats on all the followers. I'm still hoping to hit 10. Help a young fellow out.
http://jt-pad.blogspot.com

Vile Tuna said...

Ken, you are ace!

Gwen said...

You're an interesting guy - wish I'd known you when i was in U.K.
gwenskinner@hotmail.com

wisdom_in|the_trees said...

funny, your diary entry from 1985 still resonates today.. from a student's perspective

Anonymous said...

Nice

Mama Mary said...

Awesome blog!!! I'm glad it was noted because it is indeed noteworthy. :D Hahaha... I'm gonna look forward to reading this. :D

Anonymous said...

You're a great writer and am adding this to my follow list! I'll look at yours if you look at mine!

http://www.timeforfact.blogger.com

Just a couple young rebels rambling, but we have fun.

Emily said...

I stumbled across your blog and loved it. When I read it I am 14 again, puttering around in garage with my grandfather listening to all his misadventures. It's a great feeling. Thank you.

http://exploringthepagus.blogspot.com/

jay said...

Remember when a television switch clicked loudly as you found a channel. Those were the days!

Joy said...

Love your honesty!!!!

Rebecca said...

Well, it only took the first two paragraphs to hook me and reel me in to following this blog! And when I skimmed down to the previous article with your photo of all your cameras, I knew this was a good place to be! Look forward to "following" you :)

Herbal Slimming said...

You're an inspiration to us all.

Y-I-AM said...

Being married to a secondary teacher, I do find your comments funny. I have recently started my own blog but I don't think it is nearly as interesting as yours! I am younger than you but also have problems with certain new tech, I don't understand what half the remotes in the house are for and luckily most of the knobs on the washing machine have fallen off so every piece of clothing has the same wash cycle, I just turn it on and add powder!

If you have time, take a look at mine (you don't have to though!)

http://discordiainsurburbia.blogspot.com/

Dmarie said...

Just found you on blogs of note. along with your 690+ followers, I think I'll look around awhile and see what all the fuss is about. congrats!

Kristin said...

I recently started my own blog and let me tell you I'm 25 and still find it confusing. But you gave me hope that maybe it will at least give me some form of entertainment in my life :)

sleepinl8 said...

Oh my God! I'm back on your blog 4 days later, and your followers have jumped about 350 since i last saw it! Incredible!

Jon said...

I know exactly how you mean! I've only just started my own, and I think only one person reads or follows it, and that's only because she's a friend of mine!

Though, in an attempt to shamelessly self-plug, here's the link to mine, should anyone wish to view it!

http://fires-of-insanity.blogspot.com

Mark said...

A blog of note indeed Ken - remember those of us who were here first!

Will said...

Love the blog. As a fellow teacher this made me laugh so much, especially as recently I have discovered a colleague of mine has been teaching the wrong syllabus for months.

Please check out my blog

http://willpowerofwill.blogspot.com

Jay said...

Quote from Grumpy old Ken: Remember yesterday today was tomorrow.

My comment: Can we have a re-run?

Natalija Rushidi said...

You can't really be grumpy Ken. You don't write like a grumpy person.

Shades Within You said...

Please keep posting I love it. I will follow yours. Check out mine please feel free to post your comments.

I love the picture with you and your dog.


http://shadeswithinyoullc.blogspot.com/

Amanda said...

I am an undergrad soon getting my master to teach secondary English. I love your pedagogy and general thought process, and I believe that any source of educational philosophy, whether it be my Education textbooks or a stranger's blog, can prepare me for my future career. I've also decided to post some poetry, flash fiction, and other writing genres to get my creativity out in the open. I must write if I expect my future students to write as well.

I'd be honored to follow you, or however this goes. I am new to it.

george115 said...

wow great blog, im new still trying to get hang of this so if anybody wants to see my blog they can :)http://griefinyourlife.blogspot.com

Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

Oh, my. 101 comments! I imagine by now you've heard it all. But I just had to comment anyway, even if this goes by the wayside and lands in the comment ditch.

I started my blog several years ago. It was supposed to be about writing. But what I learned is that I don't compartmentalize very well. And now that I have a book that will come out in the fall, I too, wondered, 'should I clean it up?' Should I take out the posts that aren't about writing? Should I take out the soapbox moments, the moments of non-professionalism? What if my new visitors don't like my house? In the end, I decided to leave it all there.

Your life is a journey. No matter how much you might want to clean up for your visitors, chances are, you'll forget and leave your underwear on the floor of the kitchen. And you'll probably put your foot in your mouth and have to have help getting it out. It is what it is. And I for one, like, no love, to read about other people's journeys - underwear and all! ~Karen