You Know Me
Howdy! If you’re a regular here you almost surely know me in the internet way of knowing people, or else your League experience must be quite unusual in that you rarely read the comment threads (which in the case of this blog would be sort of a sad state of affairs): I’m Mike Drew! I’ve commented here fairly extensively nearly as long as the League has been a thing, starting just a couple of months after it launched. I’ve submitted a couple of guest posts and generally made a nuisance of myself, having a great time all the while. And guess what? I’ve finally succumbed to the sustained pleading by the editors of the blog for me to become a contributor. Well okay, not exactly that: I’ve finally accepted one of a couple of very kind offers over the years to join as a contributor. It’s a thing that’s long overdue, and I’m both excited and, frankly, relieved that it’s a done deal.
The delay was all to my own hesitation. Back around the time management was getting the Main-Blog/Sub-Blog architecture started, our editors very generously offered me a spot as a regular contributor. I was very tempted, but declined out of a fear that my level of production wouldn’t be enough to justify being featured as a regular contributor for a growing group blog, and also out of an awareness that it would be my first venture in blogging (in published writing of any kind, if I’m honest…) other than commenting. I thought I owed the place something of an effort in self-tutorial and practice at my own digs, rather than joining up solely on the strength of my comments.
So I wish I could say it was as after spending the last couple of years perfecting our craft at my own private digs (which do exist, scant as the entries there are) that I’ve concluded that my skills as a writer of blog are finely honed enough to have earned a place on a group blog as esteemed as this one. But it’s not the case. Rather, when I recently emailed a guest submission to Erik, he (very reasonably) replied basically to the effect of: “Mike, dude, it’s just a bother for us at this point to pretend you’re not a member here; how about you just post it yourself? Here’s your password.” (Not his exact words.) And that was that. So here I am.
About me, there’s not a terribly great deal to say. I’m a Midwesterner with a somewhat eclectic educational/professional background. I studied political science and cello performance at the University of Wisconsin, and have worked with AmeriCorps in school literacy volunteer coordination and in the continuing legal education field. I currently make my home in Saint Paul, Minnesota where my long-time girlfriend is about to start her third year of law school. I’m a blind partisan of my home state of Wisconsin and its capital city, my home town of Madison. My love of the Midwest isn’t exclusive: I spent some time living on the East Coast (in Long Island City, Queens, NY, to be specific), and enjoyed the experience enough that I’d consider moving back if the right opportunity arose. But I’d just as happily stick here in the Upper Midwest. I don’t know much of the Western United States, but I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about it from our significant delegation of representatives to the League from the Great West.
I have a great love for and fascination with the astonishing diversity of concrete realities that we have in this country -- among places, people, viewpoints, and, indeed, across time, and I hope to offer some of my (not particularly remarkable) experience of that in what I bring to the League. That said, I have a tendency in my writing, especially in comments, to get caught up in more abstract discussions of ideas and the meanings of language. I’ll probably still do some of that too, but I’m going to try to steer my writing toward, as I say, the concrete. In either kind of discussion, please remember that I remain an amateur in this business, and that I welcome and invite feedback to my posts -- on the substance, but especially on the craft of the posts themselves. The former we of course welcome in comments; the latter I’d prefer to receive by email at email@example.com. A main goal of mine in this endeavor is to improve as a writer, so I really am happy to receive feedback of any kind.
With that I’ll cut myself off. I look forward to continuing to share views with you all. In addition to doing that here, for any in the League community who use Twitter, I can be found there and am usually up for a round of truncated exchanges on any topic @MikeDrewWhat. I hope to see you all around a lot.
Forward! (That’s our state motto, not a political slogan.)
(The song in the video is by a band called Air Traffic Controllers that I only just ran across while looking for some other song for this post that I thought had the lyric “You Know Me” in it. They’re out of Boston, and the name refers to the frontman’s past as an air traffic controller for the Navy. I hadn’t heard of them, and I consider it a nice find. (They’ve got a kind of Guster/Folk Implosion vibe). This blogging thing is already paying off! I’m also happy to be able support someone who served in the military during this violent era even if in this small, immaterial way. I encourage you to give them a try if it’s your kind of music at all. Some more of their stuff is available at their website.)