Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Art Blog: To POST or not to POST

“To post or not to post, this is the question!”

Ok kids, gather around. Sheree is sitting here waiting for you. Please form a half circle around me. I want to tell you a story. Yes. I even say this to college kids. They get it. I am not patronizing. I just create a routine. “Storytime” is just a silly, but fun way to tell students it is time to learn about art history, being an artist, or learning about art life. If you know me, it fits my personality. After the first or second lecture, the students get it. In fact, they smile with delight. It is almost as enlightening as a library story time you might have experienced as a child. However, this is the grown up version.

So, come along. Scoot in. Make a half circle around Sheree. I have a story to tell.

Ok. It is 2008. We are in the age of the internet and the World Wide Web. Just like George Orwell said………….Do you all know about George Orwell? His book, 1984? Well anyway, our privacy or lack thereof is an issue. As you all know, I have been looking for a new job. I very willingly participate in internet activities. I have a website. I have a blog. I do YouTube videos. I have nothing to hide (or do I?)

A few weeks ago, I noticed a coincidence. I looked at one of my blog widgets and thought (very innocently) “Oh, that is in the same location I just applied for a job.” There was no further thought on the issue. Then a day or two later, I noticed the same thing again. Different place, but same coincidence. I started to see a pattern. I did a little research via my widget database and I found out that people are reading. I am not sure who. I am not sure why. I do know those people live in the exact same towns as the jobs for which I have applied. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

OK. OK. There is nothing wrong with that. So employers do their research. This is a good thing. However in my case, it makes me wonder. If you are a reader of this blog, you know I am honest. You know I am blunt. I say nothing that is that offensive, but there are moments I say things that SOME people might think is not politically correct or at least, palatable. To be perfectly honest I must say what I want. I even debated myself when I chose to put up my OBAMA logo. I thought, "Ooooh Sheree. Some people won't like that!" Then I thought again. I realized if somebody doesn't like me because I support Obama, I don't care. LOL That is why it is up there in all its glory!

I am not so outrageous. The only thing that makes me worry a bit is if someone takes me out of context. If they don’t take time to read a number of posts so they can get a true reading; this is very troublesome. If you want to learn about me, take the time to see the WHOLE picture. If someone just reads one post and thinks that represents everything I stand for, I don’t want to work for them anyway. Yet there is this little voice inside me that says, “Stop! Stop it all! Don’t say anything! You want that job, don’t you?”

Yes. I want a new job, but not at the cost of my integrity or beliefs or what I stand for as an artist. So……………………………….today’s assignment is this.

Answer this question:
Do you think I should continue to post my thoughts or not? Maybe I should just stop and be silent. Maybe I should blab away. So, should I post or not post? What do you think?

Click for detail view
“Watching” by Sheree Rensel
Click to for detail view
Just like "1984". People are watching.


This Brazen Teacher said...

Are these potential employers finding your blog via their own net search? Or because you post this blog address on your resume?

I say keep being real... and figure out how to keep the employers from finding out this is your blog. Send them to a politically watered down blog with just your art.

JafaBrit's Art said...

What I have noticed is that some people read a blog and think because they get a keyhole view of you they know you somehow. ( Some seem to make those judgments based on seeing a few paintings even). Thing is a blog is only a part of who we are, and we are multi-faceted creatures. They can only get a general idea, but maybe that general idea is enough to put some off, including a potential employer. That could be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing.

Really it is a personal decision and one I have difficulty answering.

self taught artist said...

I would say you have to my knowledge, done a terrific job of protecting the place and people (establishment/kids) whereby you work.
You may RANT occasionally but you do this more about your own experiences and desires.
Honestly, you are not a threat to a company if they hire you by dint of your blogging.
ps i'm reading a bio. on george (real name eric blair)

Martha Marshall said...

Everything I've read in your blog strikes me as heartfelt, sincere, and deeply committed to your teaching and the kids you've influenced. How could that be a bad thing?

Sheree Rensel said...

o far, all of those I have noticed have found me though general Yahoo or Google searches. This is what my blog widgets say anyway.
No watered down version for me. I don't see what I say on this regular version that is so awful. If they don't like it, well....I can't control that. If I was blatantly outrageous or nasty or whatever, I can see why it would be a problem. I am not. At least, I don't think so.
Besides, I like the fact that IF THEY TAKE THE TIME to read enough, they can see I am a very cool person (if I say so myself!) LOL LOL LOL If they don't want someone like me working for them, so be it. That is their problem.

Sheree Rensel said...

There are a lot of people who are like that. I know if I am looking up a person, I try to find out EVERYTHING about them. I read their blog, I look at their art, and I snoop around other sites too using search engines.
Hopefully, these people will do that too. I have no idea if they are. I just hope.
I too like to see the whole picture!

Sheree Rensel said...

I think the majority of my posts show a very good side of my nature. These so called "rants" are not just examples of anger out of control. I always have a reason and make good points of debate. Gosh, I hope I would not be penalized because of my blog. How lame would that be?

Sheree Rensel said...

Your comment is very perceptive. You know I am sincere and a heartfelt kind of person. I would hate to think someone would "read in" otherwise. I am so proud of this blog. I really am. I have written so much here and it is all sincere and I think, relevant. If someone sees it as negative, oh well. I can't do anything about that.

dryadart said...

I think about this too, I know some of my students read my blog, I assume anyone out there who can find out my name can find my blog if they take the time, I try to protect the innocent, my family, friends, students from exposure... but what's the point if you're not honest? I say keep on blogging, keep on being you, the universe doesn't like fakes, and who wants to work somewhere if you have to be someone you are not??

Martha Marshall said...

Oh, and PS: If you were fake, then I guess that means you'd have to move to somewhere in the "not real America." LOL!!!

Sheree Rensel said...

Well fortunately (?) my students aren't at the level they could manage or even think of the idea of googling me. Thank goodness!!! LOL LOL
However, I have kept most of my stuff very squeaky clean because I don't want anything to jeopardize my current job.
Unfortunately, the world does seem to support FAKES. I don't; nor do I want to be one.
I totally agree with you. I don't want to work for a place who doesn't understand me or makes me pretend to be something I am not!

Sheree Rensel said...

Hey Martha,
I think there is an irony in your comment. I think the "not real America" is alive and well in many people's minds. You know. DE-NIAL is not only a river in Egypt!!

Look at all the two faced B.S. going on in our country. You know what I mean. Oh gosh. Don't get me started.

Have a great weekend Martha!!
GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!