Gee, affection seems to grow the less proximity I have to people. I ought to take a long vacation away from my wife, who considers me the most annoying man on earth. I haven't asked her exactly how many men she is comparing me to.
Before you see the video of a parting hug between Joel and I at last night's PEP, your homework is to read these 2 posts:
Klein finally admitted we were twins, saying each of us felt the other was the evil twin, funny coming from a guy who hangs out so much with Evil Moskowitz.
This never would have been on the record if Julie hadn't ran over to the camera - gee, thanks. I've written two pieces on Joel Klein which are companions to this video. I wanted to hug Joel as a way to say thank you for the way he has helped galvanize opposition to the ed deformers by an amazing group of Real Reformers. Would I have met Julie and Alev and the rest of the CAPEers? Or Leonie and Lisa and Mona and Khem and Bonnie - some of the leading ladies in the parent wing? Or the wonderful young teachers getting involved with GEM if not for Klein's policies of closing schools, favoring charters, forcing co-locations, multiple reorganizations, etc. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU JOEL KLEIN. May your successor continue your work of helping us organize Real Reformers.
Of course the reaction of my friends - as you can hear - was not totally positive. James Eterno sent over hand lotion. People shunned me - saying they won't come near me until I showered. They're all just haters. (But the depth of hatred towards Joel Klein is awesome - and let me say right here, I am not a hater. I love everybody.)
Some complained that I had let Klein use me to make himself look good. Since when has Klein ever cared about looking good? Well, maybe this was for the press to show what a good guy he is. But really, as my wife who has no connection to anything education-wise said- why should he care about trying to look good? He's gone. In fact, he gave Ed Notes, which has absolutely hammered him, some cache by calling it "powerful and pointed." It reminded me of the early editions of the print version around 1997. Soon after Randi took over the union, she opened up a Delegate Assembly by holding up Ed Notes and saying, "I love reading Ed Notes." Of course, all the Unity clones now felt it OK to read it and during meetings if you looked down from the stage, you would see half the people holding up Ed Notes and reading it.
Lot's of people speculate whether Joel Klein believes his own bullshit. Some say he knows it's all a con. I take the other view and think he is a True Believer who is passionate about what he has done. I've been in his presence too often not to see the flashes of anger and passion. I do not think it is an act.
I'll say more on this issue another time.
Oh, and what were those words that Joel whispered in my ear? I'll take that to my grave. Or at least until the next post.