What I Learned from My Last Blog

Thank you for all of the feedback on my most recent blog. I have taken all of your reactions on this post on social media and my website to heart.

Based on your comments and after re-reading the blog, it is clear to me that I could have been more articulate in getting my message across. I also could have been more sensitive and thoughtful in my handling of this topic.

Based on my lack of clarity, I certainly understand some people’s confusion, anger and outrage about this blog post.

My understanding of the word “trigger” was that it meant having a strong emotional reaction to a sensitive and divisive issue. For some of you the word “trigger” was much more serious than what I was referring to. Obviously, I was unaware of the broader definition.

I appreciate every one of you who let me know how loaded it is for you. Many of you shared your own stories and examples to help me understand how you define the word.

Also, in re-reading the blog and listening to your comments, I realized that one thing I could have done a better job of conveying is that in my classes, I never want or encourage any student to share, relive or re-experience a personal traumatic experience.

The point I was trying to make in the blog is that in those relatively rare occasions when a student has a strong emotional reaction to a so called “hot-bed-issue,” that those incidents can sometimes be an opportunity for that class to define its boundaries.

Also, I never purposely try to provoke my students or cause them to be “triggered” in classes.

What I was attempting to do was to share my experience that when these uncomfortable incidents occur in class, they can sometimes be an opportunity to open up communication and learn from each other’s perspectives.

And finally, using Kavanaugh’s photo alongside the headline as it was worded was not a good choice on my part. I take full responsibility for that and I see now how that just lead to further confusion. I’ve changed the title and removed the photo on the blog on the website to correct those errors.

However, I cannot change the title or photo on Facebook without deleting the post, which would delete all of the comments, so I have chosen to keep the original post up.

This experience has been very humbling for me, and I truly appreciate people’s willingness to share their feedback and give me the opportunity to continue to improve.

3 replies
  1. karen Sandvoss
    karen Sandvoss says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful response, Jimmy. I wasn’t personally upset by your original post though I understand that others were, and since we’re all coming from different life-experiences, that makes sense. But I do really appreciate your willingness to respond quickly, take the comments to heart and then try and learn and grow from the experience. It’s so easy to lash out or hide when something like this comes up but you didn’t and that shows maturity and guts. Thanks for what you do.

  2. Gretchen
    Gretchen says:

    This is baloney and you know it . You’re just trying to save face while categorically negating all the BS you’ve said.

  3. Ben Hollis
    Ben Hollis says:

    Hi Jimmy. I must say, I’ve never liked the word “trigger.” As you’ve discovered, it does mean so many things to different people. And that can create confusion for sure. (Same for the use of the word “dating.” Loaded. Full of baggage and expectations. Not useful.) I find that I’m better off taking the time to describe what’s happening in me, rather than rely on the “convenient” short hand of a single word. This takes more time and effort on my part, and it’s well worth it.

    In the meantime, I really enjoy your postings. That one to therapists is spot on.


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