Hello Arthus

I enjoyed "hanging out" with you the other day as we explored CamTwist using Adium's new video chat functionality. Furthermore, I think that the contributions in thought and discussion that you (and students similar to you) are adding to the blogosphere and other educational forums are profitable and extremely valuable, as you add a unique perspective that very few people can replicate. While I don't think that most of today's kids are like you, I do think that you are "representative of the kind of independent, engaged, proactive, and self-directed learner who will thrive in the flattened and connected world of the Internet."

Hence, thanks for your willingness to contribute and participate in the ed-tech community. You have certainly added a nice touch to my personal learning network and I will continue watch your career dedicated interest.

Nevertheless, the "responsible adult" in me (I know, it rarely glares it's ugly head) feels an intense need to extend one brief word of caution. I shall do it in the form of a story.

Last summer my brother-in-law, having achieved some form of success in his budding career as a dentist, decided to take his father, father-in-law, and nine-year-old son on a "dream trip" to Alaska: a kind of once-in-a-lifetime fathers and sons get-away, if you will.

And so it was as they fished, explored, and lived "high on the hog" for several days together in the beautiful backwoods of Alaska.

Upon their return, the youngest in the group (my nephew) was asked about his favorite part of the whole trip.

"What did you like most about your trip to Alaska," went the inquiry.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows," was his reply.

You see, my nephew was allowed to purchase the book during their trip and amazingly managed to read nearly all of it while touring Alaska.
I now pose the same questions to you that have already been posed to my brother-in-law. I will move from questions about my nephew to questions about yourself:
  1. Do you think that the money spent on my nephew's trip to Alaska was well-spent?
  2. Do you think that my brother-in-law will ever be able to "out-do" a trip like this - in the eyes of his son?
  3. Having already encountered this "once-in-a-lifetime" experience at such a young age, what's next?
  4. Will you (or my nephew) ever find satisfaction in future adventures - especially if they prove to be less engaging than what you have already encountered?
  5. Would you be better served in focusing on other things at this point in your journey, rather than on things that may, at first glance, appear to possess more magic?
To be honest, I don't know the answers to these questions (if, indeed, there are correct answers). Furthermore, it may well be - and I can only hope - that your experiences today simply lead you toward bigger and better adventures in the future. That said, I also hope that (A) you never run out of steam, and (2) you aren't forced into a mid-life crisis at the age of 19.

For what it's worth,


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