books and bully pulpits


Lane's had his blog for a few months now, but he didn't use it for much until we came on this trip to Asia. It's become a powerful tool for him to communicate with his class back in the US; he writes about his experiences on the trip, they read about it in school, and then the teacher has them do research so that they can ask him questions about his experiences. (Major props to his teacher, who's enthusiastically embraced this process and incorporated it into the classroom.) Lane has found he enjoys writing for an audience (who among us doesn't?), and it's wonderful to be able to see the dialog unfolding.

It appears, however, that now that he's started, Lane has really begun to grasp the power of personal online publishing. He's been pondering some political issues lately--specifically, the motivation behind book banning and censorship. He's got at least one friend whose parents have forbidden Harry Potter books, and this frustrates him.

A few days ago, he asked: "How much does it cost to write a letter to the newspaper and have them publish it?"

"You can't buy that," I replied. "They have to like what you wrote enough to publish it."

He thought for a bit. "But I could publish it for free on my blog, right?" I stifled a grin. "Why, yes. You could. But be careful how you write it, since I know that the people you're talking about are probably reading your blog. Before you post it, let me look it over."

So he wrote. And I read. And I didn't change a thing, aside from a few typos. I'm awfully proud of him, for both his ideas and his writing.


I'm enjoying your posts from Japan very much. And it's fun to visit Lane's blog and get two different takes on your adventures.

One thing I really love about blogs (some discussion lists and news groups do this though not as well, I think) is that it mixes ages and income groups and professions. A lot of us (especially if we don't have children) spend a lot of time around people who are a lot like us. Blogs can reinforce this, but they can also help us to spread ourselves around--I thought of this reading Lane's posts and seeing the dad responses and the teacher responses and the grandmother responses.

Thanks for sharing!

Hi Elizabeth,

My son and I have been following and enjoying your posts from Japan. What a wonderful trip! I'm very excited to have found another blogging child on the web. My son has had his blog for a while now, with increased interest in finding other kids to share comments with.

The post regarding the Harry Potter books spun some controversy on our end as well. He owns and has read all but the last book, and was sad to have read about the boy who isn't allowed to read them. This is a delicate topic and one I understand all too well.

It's great to see ideas and ideals spring forth from our children, their minds questioning and weighing and coming to their own conclusions. It's an awesome thing to be witness to.

May you have a safe trip.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on March 1, 2004 9:26 AM.

japanese hospitality was the previous entry in this blog.

poisoning feeding pigeons in the park kamakura is the next entry in this blog.

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


Category Archives