“I’ve got a rad reputation / as a cool dude”

Once upon a time, I had a reputation that preceded me:

Moodle Guide for Teachers
Bojan: “Smile for the camera, dude.”
Simon: “Oh wait, I forgot to tell you-“
Bojan: “What’s that?”
Simon: “Look out for Surfer Rob, man.
He will break your day.”
(Photo credit: st0nemas0nry)

I was the kid that teachers warn each other about. I was the talker, the disruptor, the cut-up; sometimes, I was the kid that made teachers wonder why they even bothered.

It followed me from one school to the next, but the way I remember it, I wasn’t even that bad – many of those teachers suffered from a characteristic (for the educational mentality of the time) lack of patience. Sure, I was loud, obnoxious, self-righteous, and sometimes I stole things. I would often talk out of turn, and that would be enough to get me into trouble.

Then I started swearing. I didn’t know the meaning of the word “profanity” until the sixth grade, but I used it nonetheless as part of my common vernacular. I can still be a little loose with it at times, especially when I’m upset.

“Once a bad kid, always a bad kid”. I was often thought of as a “bad kid”, but as it turns out I wasn’t. Because of the way my life has gone, I have this deep-seated belief that every person has within them a seed of the goodness in their true nature; it waits to be called forth, to become a force in one’s life. Young or old, we all have the ability to call forth this good spirit and to be a better person; the more we call, the more it becomes an integral part of who we are.

Later on in life I would try harder to keep my head down; at this point I feel as though I have elevated that to an art form. But would I like to build a better reputation? As a blogger? I must admit I wouldn’t mind having a reputation for well-written, high-quality content – good stories, inspiring haiku – something to keep my readers thinking all day.

I’m beginning to feel stagnant in my longform posts, or at best, hit-or-miss; I’m not writing the engaging content I once aspired to. If you have comments, suggestions, or criticism, now is the time to lay them out there and help me to become a better blogger.

Well – what do you think?

This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.

The title of this post is a nod to the Eagles’ Life in the Fast Lane, but I modified the line slightly to refer to me. 🙂

143 other responses have posted thus far:

  1. Accordionist | Vintage Photography
  2. Why I write this Blog | A Teacher’s Blog
  3. Beat Me! | I am Shira
  4. perfect | yi-ching lin photography
  5. Crises and Time Management (short fiction) | The Jittery Goat
  6. Sweet girl | Life Love Lily
  7. DP Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Sabethville
  8. Share Your World – 2014 Week 1 | Khana’s Web
  9. Stolen bests | shame
  10. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  11. That Magnificent Woman | Shadows Of The Divine
  12. Blogger of good repute | A mom’s blog
  13. Reputation – A Friday Flash Crime Story | My Little Avalon
  14. Daily Prompt: Reputation | This Blog Needs A Title
  15. Blogger of Repute | Geek Ergo Sum
  16. Yes, I may be a Moody Bitch some (most) of the time… | thoughtsofrkh
  17. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Basically Beyond Basic
  18. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute « cognitive reflection
  19. I Bake Out of Love:Not Love of Money | Nicetomeetyou:I’mCourtney
  20. Daily Prompt: Blogger Repute | Square One Notes
  21. My Reputation: Daily Prompt | The Rider
  22. Reputation Vs. You | Unlocking The Inner Creative
  23. A matter of opinion. | Hope* the happy hugger
  24. Reputations That Elude Me | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  25. The Man who can. | L5GN
  26. A Writer is known by his Work | all my likes
  27. Daily Prompt: Blogger Of Repute | Finding Life
  28. Reputations, the Woman at the Well, and the Man from Nazareth | meanderedwanderings
  29. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  30. Keep away from-a Runaround Sue
  31. Wordz on a Page
  32. YOU. | Randomlyabstract’s Blog
  33. Daily Prompt: Me (Blogger of Repute) | This Portrait in Gray
  34. Being | Stories from aside
  35. Reputable Pup… | Haiku By Ku
  36. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | my father’s garden
  37. Am I Eccentric Or Just Normal In My Own Way? | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  38. Chocolate Ice Cream Cake | Miss Spicy Hat N’ Sugar Socks
  39. From One Crazy Life To Another
  40. HUMAN | hastywords
  41. Re Introduction to Photography by Char, Who, What She is. | Photography by Char
  42. How To Be A Blogger of Repute | froodian pseudoanalysis
  43. You Know I’ve Got a Bad Reputation | The Playground
  44. Blogger of Repute | Flowers and Breezes
  45. Daily Prompt – You (Show Yourself) | Serendipitous Cookery
  46. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | littlegirlstory
  47. A Portrait of You | The Magic Black Book
  48. Wrong Impression | Dance with the Rain
  49. So slow | Life is great
  50. “What’s your favorite color?”/Daily Prompt/Reputation | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  51. A Thousand Words… | LenzExperiments
  52. Day 16:When Daily Prompt and Zero to Hero come together | In my world
  53. Daily Prompt: Happy | Morrighan’s Muse
  54. Who do I appear to be? Superwoman? | Kimberly M. Ringer
  55. I am the girl who… | Chasing The Bubble
  56. Zero To Hero Day 16: Writing Prompt | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  57. Just a happy blogger 🙂 | Processing the life
  58. That Funny Guy Who Knows a Lot (or maybe that smart guy who’s really funny) | djgarcia94
  59. Daily Post: Being Reputable! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  60. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute – My newest business strategy | Be Inspired Be Inspiring
  61. Horny Harry’s House Of Ill Repute How May I Help You | Ana Lynn’s Blogging Adventures
  62. I’m a Princess | Better Than Reality
  63. Daily Prompt: You – Who me? | Mishe en Place
  64. My Bad Reputation
  65. A reputation for being honest: Do I deserve it? | Schizo Incognito
  66. Self-Portrait | Next Page, New Chapter
  67. YES ! | Dreams to Reality !
  68. Againputation | wordcoaster
  69. I Don’t Give a Damn About My Reputation | thanks for letting me autograph your cat
  70. Blogger of Repute | Help Along the Path
  71. I Don’t Give A Damn ‘Bout My Reputation | Verbose, Morose, and Comatose
  72. Reputation? Good and bad. | Emotional Fitness
  73. “Zero to Hero” Day 16: Confession of a super mom! |
  74. Eye of the beholder | Mindful Digressions
  75. A Scarlet Reputation | Rose Writes…
  76. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Occasional Stuff
  77. Zero to Hero Day 16: in Which I Am Required to Respond A Prompt I Could Possibly Give Half a Shit About (Someday) | Rose B Fischer
  78. Zero to hero day 16: Blogger of repute | Kicking On
  79. Day Sixteen: Make a writing prompt your own | Occasional Stuff
  80. Mostly Invisible | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  81. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | The Wandering Poet
  82. Gotta Protect My Reputation – Or Maybe Shed It | Edward Hotspur
  83. Blogger of repute | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
  84. Day 16: Thirty Seconds to a Post | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  85. So why should I care about a bad reputation, anyway? | SusannaAntihero
  86. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | Home that We Built
  87. Not Living Up to My Reputation | Sewing with Scooby Snacks
  88. 5 Things Men will never Understand about Women | MamaMickTerry
  89. DAY 16: MAKE A WRITING PROMPT YOUR OWN | ♥ Jackie Speaks It ♥
  90. Zero to Hero Day 16 – Reputation | Chris Musgrave – Writer in Training
  91. Reflection | belindabroughton
  92. Daily Prompt: Big Reps | One Starving Activist
  93. A Carefully Constructed Reputation | From a blank page to happily ever after
  94. Zero to Hero: Day 16 | theotherpalette
  95. Why I Love Those Plants of Ill Repute | Forest Garden
  96. The Shy, Unpleasant Girl | Nodus Tollens
  97. Daily prompt: Reputation? You have to be visible for one of those | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  98. What is YOUR Online Reputation? | Cheri Speak
  99. Bad Reputation? | yearofthehorses
  101. Sliver of a Second | field of thorns
  102. Well, This Could Be Awkward | Ellen Maybe
  103. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute. | Lux
  104. Blogger of repute | the mess keeper
  105. Daily Prompt | Thoughts of an INFP
  106. A Few of My Favorite Things…. | Coffee Crumbs
  107. Daily Prompt: Reputation | Artful Homesteader
  108. What’s in a Moniker? | My Author-itis
  109. Zero to Hero Day 16: Make a Writing Prompt Your Own | The Dragon’s Lair
  110. One of My Reputations | Brian Mok
  111. His & Hers: A shifting definition of “reputation” | Lauren Kells
  112. You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here | Shades of Teal
  113. Zero to Hero Challenge : Day 16 | Nicole Sloan’s Writing
  114. YOU RAISE ME UP | The Christian Gazette
  115. You Don’t Have To Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here | Boxes
  116. #ZerotoHero: Day 16 – Daily Prompt… Make It Your Own | Jottings and Writings
  117. The Grapevine… | Forty, c’est Fantastique !
  118. Zero-To-Hero #16 – Daily Prompt | My Weary Mind
  119. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  120. Not An Italian Leather Sofa | Anecdote Love
  121. Reputation Schmeputation — Zero to Hero day 16 | Cabin Pressure May Change
  122. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute
  123. You, Me and Bacardi | The Nameless One
  124. Zero To Hero Day 16: The Reputation Spectrum | Polymathically
  125. Reputation: Indicator of Society More Than Self | UpDownCharmedStrangeTopBottom
  126. confessions on reputations and being scared | life and loveliness
  127. Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | eyes like glass
  128. I have a Reputation | Break the mold
  129. Street Credit | Corned Beef Hashtag
  130. Whay You See | Jenn Lost in Chaos
  131. Day 16: Make a writing prompt your own | Words to the Wise or otherwise just words
  132. Extreme Anxiety | alienorajt
  133. #zerotohero Prompts — Make them Yours | pause 2 play
  134. Reputation | Ginger Haired Ape
  135. Zero to Hero + Daily Prompt: Blogger of Repute | A Hedonistic Wander
  136. My reputation | Beneath the veil
  137. What’s my Rep? | Alexia Jones
  138. hermit | yi-ching lin photography
  139. A Zero to Hero post: why I’m not grateful for reputations of any kind. | Life’s little mercies
  140. Reputations can be wrong | Branching Mama
  141. Reputation? Day 16 challenge… | Deb’s world
  142. To be Liked or Respected: That is the Question – Musings on reputation building | Marla’s Musings
  143. Character vs. Reputation | Yukta Kher
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  1. I like your haikus; short and quick to read. Like you said, sometimes they make me pause and think, sometimes they stay with me the whole day.

    As to the longer content, we’ll that’s up to you. What’s your passion?

  2. You have to write for you. People are fickle and busy, and the Internet gods are fooling with things again such that we can’t even be sure anyone sees a post. Write for you, and your passion will speak through the words.

      • I’ve decided it’s all I can do. Multiple times, I have followed the rules and built followings, only to watch my numbers plummet when the rules changed. It used to bug me, but I had to realize that I am writing because I must, for me.

        • That’s why when people follow me for a bit then drop off because I’m not reading them – I do feel a little guilty about that but I have to remind myself that I can’t read everyone every time they post. I hope I can get back to my stories soon.

    • I agree with this. That’s what I do over at The Dragon’s Lair. I know it’s tempting to try and write for your audience, but your audience should be attracted to your blog by who you are. Don’t change that.

  3. I had a reputation that followed me around several bars. I was, briefly, a minor legend.
    Ah, the good old days…

    What about your longform is hit or miss? Quality of writing? The topic? Your interest in writing that piece?
    Ignore the stats. Write the stuff you want. This is your corner of the sphere, and it’s sole purpose is to let you say what you want to say, in whatever form you want.
    Like Andra said, write for you, not the stats. Whether they come or not, you’ll have the satisfaction of telling the best possible story you can.

      • well, at least you know the problem. You’re still doing the haiku. Why not just wait for something to move you?
        I did my first trifecta in a while recently, because I felt the same way about the prompts – no time, no energy.

        You write well. Unless you’re on a deadline, just do it for fun and let it come.

  4. I think that being a bad boy or a rebel is kind of a right of passage for us guys, Something we take to the absolute max before coming down and seeing the difference it makes. Kudos on having been in both! 😀

  5. Personally, some of the prompts are completely de-inspiring to me (this one is). I don’t feel obliged to dance on my toes. I’ve also had a bit of a personal dilemma lately about two things. First, the internet can be addictive. Reading, posting, checking stats is a bit reminiscent of a dark time in the world of Facecrack. Second, blogging is not the same (to me) as writing a novel and I THINK it can be a distraction from more involved forms that need intense concentration. If someone is going to “prompt” me to write about something about which I care little, should I even bother with it? I suspect next week, when classes start, I will only write the prompts that authentically “prompt” me. I don’t know if that speaks (as I’d hoped to) to your question about whether you’re writing at a level to inspire your readers. I don’t think you’re obligated to do that all the time. Who could even achieve that?


    • I definitely feel you on the social networking aspect of the blog, there’s a bit of “responsibility” tied to that and it tends to get a little time-consuming. And like I told Andra, I want to get back to my stories – perhaps that’s what I should be doing!

    • 😀 I like it in the context because it rhymes with “bad” (for the quote,) but also it was my junior high school nickname – “Rad Rob”. Blithe self-affirmation, it was, but that was the fun of it.

  6. I already think you’re a briliant blogger. Smarter than the average bear, I’m a little to stupid to understand sometimes but that means your intellectual, which I think means you fart a lot or something, right?

    • Okay, smart, yes – stupid? Not you, dearie. I’m sure it’s just a slight linguistic gap. And you’ve got me on the gas attacks – I can be quite scandalous some days, which makes me glad to work in a noisy, industrial environment. 🙂

  7. I’ve been feeling a lot the same way lately. The prompts don’t speak to me and though I do have the time, there are days I don’t have the interest or the energy. And I think Reader hasn’t been working properly for a month or so. I miss people’s posts and it seems they miss mine unless I post something right after I do a prompt, then they see both together. It is frustrating but like everyone is saying, you just gotta do it for you and not worry about the rest. And you DO come across as intelligent and interesting.

  8. I was the kid that teachers warn each other about.

    I think you’ve written a lot just with this, Rob. I was elementary education major, so I did receive teacher training at one time. One of the issues that really struck me was how incredibly conformist the public school system continues to be. Many times the issue is cast in an aspect of gender, i.e., that “rough and rowdy” boys are often cowed and shamed to their active natures compared to more “quiet and submissive” girls– but I look at my daughter, who is wild and creative in her own right, and I think schools are just designed to punish kinesthetic learners outside of a P.E. setting.

    Run with this, Rob. I sense there’s a lot more to the story, and I would read it.

    • I’ll have to can-of-worms that, but I’ll take you up on your challenge down the road, Jak.

      Coincidentally, I was a secondary English education major, and I do think you’re right about the problems with school design; now they’re trying to attack it using a group-learning aesthetic that seems to be designed to punish introverts. Is it the lesser of two evils? Maybe. I should run with that, too.

      • Fair enough, Rob.

        And spot on with that observation– I was going to write a bit about that, but figured I’d save it for later, so thank you for pointing that aspect out. My daughter indeed faced that group-learning approach in the school district’s gifted program the past two years, and it was disastrous. It works really well for more extroverted types looking to go into business management (I say that because my youngest sister was also part of this program, and her recent studies for her MBA sounded very similar), but yes, absolutely, it punishes those who are more introverted and learn in different ways.

        Fortunately, she’s in a very good middle school and is away from much of that mess– she is much, MUCH happier. If you write on this, Rob, I’ll be looking forward to what you have to say.

  9. Hello, Rob. Spirit. That’s the spark that rebelled causing a bit of trouble for you in school. I see you survived very well — your blog is interesting, well-designed, and full of diverse postings. I imagine you’ve created a life that is the also full of spirit and interest.

    It’s a difficult task for teachers to honor the spirit and also rein it enough to focus on the learning. And it’s an even more difficult task to encourage that spirit to grow in a way that guides without controlling. In today’s schools, teachers are mandated to improve scores, not to nurture nature and help students develop their talents, which, in turn, would lead to success in any area the young person would choose. Since my own boys were those with a reputation, I understood the soul behind the scenes, and always looked to begin conversations with those kids before their year with me — what were there interests? what was it that captured their imaginations? how could I use that to bring them into the learning community, instead of skirting the edges? How do I build in movement and humor? These are the questions I would ask and consider, so “that kid” would find a place in our class. But again, teachers are watched and paced and managed to teach to those test scores; and time is taken that would otherwise be the conversations and activities to honor the spirit of each kid.

    Thanks for the reflection; it inspires me to continue the quest to honor each spirit.

    • I really appreciate that there are teachers like you out there, because I’m sure my daughter will have the same spirit. I know it’s tougher than ever to teach in a natural fashion rather than trying to make the government happy, but keep on truckin’ the best you can, and thanks for all the hard work you do, Sheri!

  10. There are so many conversations going on here, I don’t know where to start. I’m responding to the main thread about being tagged as a bad kid. The other day while waiting in an outdoor queue to drop off a couple of prescription requests, this young woman started to talk to me; the conversation went this way and that and it finally arrived at the question, “Do you think that people are inherently good or bad?” Not the run of the mill kind of question, but provocative just the same. I have never seen an evil baby. When I see babies and children, I see innocence. I see curiosity. Same thing with puppies. But I have seen good kids turn “bad” and pups that become aggressive. They why and how can we prevent this is the million dollar question. We wouldn’t need prisons if we could solve this dilemma.
    As a teacher, I come across students who make the wrong choice. perhaps they are bored and get restless; I know I get agitated when I get bored. perhaps they need attention and aren’t getting it at home. perhaps they need acceptance. I know that I have this sarcastic side and have been known to use it to create a laugh, a laugh is a sign of acceptance, and I admit I’ve done this at the expense of other people. I’m working on not doing this, but I don’t always succeed in holding my tongue.
    The other day I was working with a fifth grade class. Emma had a tough time with her temper. The teacher had told her twice to be nice and not be so defensive when talking to her classmates. After one time of being talked to, I went over to her and asked her if she were mad. It’s was very apparent as she sulked at her desk. Frown on her face. Face scrunched up. Arms crossed. She was good at pouting. She said she was mad. I asked her what benefit she got from staying mad; she said she probably would stay mad for a while. I asked her why she got mad and she said she was cool. Another student overheard this comment and said, “No, Emma you are not cool.”
    Because I’m a substitute teacher, I may never see this child again, but I wonder if anyone is going to take the time to help her sort this out or will she just get labeled as having some sort of anger disorder.
    Thanks for the blog as it certainly sparked me to write.

    • Well, I’ll tell you what: I bet that child has benefitted from that one instance of introspection into her emotional reaction. I get the feeling if kids got more of that, they might learn to be more thoughtful and deliberate about how they choose to react to things. Instead of being feral human beings, we have the opportunity to reflect the civility and intelligence that are the hallmarks of being human in the modern world, but I just don’t think there’s enough emphasis on emotional intelligence guidance in schools, and I think that’s part of why the American education is in this partially lapsed state.

      Thanks for your thoughts, and feel free to add anything if it comes up!

      • Since the teacher was in the classroom, and it was the teacher that scolded the child, I wasn’t sure if it “were my place” to talk to the child. Instinct told me that she needed more than a scolding in front of the other children; this only seem to create more distance. I wanted to open a dialogue. I was also at a disadvantage as this was the first day I had ever been in that classroom, and Emma didn’t know me from Adam. I can only hope that by my reaching out to her will have an impact down the road. We are all at choice when it comes to our feelings.

        • Right, but we have to learn that, and if nobody ever tells us, then the world may never give us a chance to figure it out for ourselves – as a teacher, that puts you and the others in a position of power: to enlighten the young as you educate them.

          Now that I’m better with children (having a daughter who is almost two years old) I wish I had a chance to take another crack at the education program.

            • I hear that. When I was in pedagogy classes we were told that in our practicum that we weren’t in a position to correct student behavior and so I ended up looking pretty dumb when the teacher stepped out for about five minutes and a group of four boys started with some Jew-baiting talk, and I just sat there until the other students started to look at me like I was supposed to do something, at which point I said, “do you think we could change the subject, guys?” I know it’s not my classroom but some things don’t really need the rules to apply. I think you did good, and that I should have acted a little faster.

  11. It is amazing how the labels others give us can start to affect the way we behave. I hope that today’s teachers and parents are more enlightened in terms of the verbiage they use around children. I am sure if your teachers had chosen to treat you as a “good kid” your thoughts about yourself would have been much different. I completely agree with you that everyone has goodness in them. I don’t believe that any label you were given by someone else defines who you are or determines who you will be.


    • Thanks for that. I’ll tell you what, I think you hit it when you said that if they had treated me as though I weren’t being “bad” so much as “sidetracked” (maybe?) that I would have responded differently, because one thing I remember is how weird it felt when one of these teachers were actually nice to me for a change, and how somehow that brought my focus on them for a good chunk of time – proof positive that patience works wonders with kids, and that’s how I try to approach raising my daughter. I think it’s a good philosophy.

  12. Sounds like you turned out okay after all. My advice is to just keep writing. You’ll find your voice eventually. I’m no expert though.

  13. Listen – your blog is your blog – and the content will change – in form, style, subject – much like the moon waxes and wanes.

    Go with the tidal flow.

    You wanna publish something short and pithy as a response to a WPPrompt? Do it!

    No one says you have to “dig deep” all of the time.

    Sometimes man, you have to let go and fill the well with what inspires you – an image, a reblog, a whatever ….

    So just be cool – ride the waves man – just get in the water and let the surf take you where it will. Besides, it may lead you to a whole other place, and it can’t be all “bad.”

    Water nourishes and cleanses … so …. surf’s up, yes?

    By the way … if you have been writing “your private stuff” – this may be part of the reason why you ain’t necessarily feeling all together “together” here – it takes time, effort and can be a brain drain, as well as inspirational, so from one “bad kid” (hid behind the “angel face”) to another – stop busting your balls.
    (Can I say that here? 😉 )

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