Final Words from a Co-Publisher

By J. Mark Bade, 2e Newsletter

September, 2018

By now you know that Bridges 2e Media, affiliated with Bridges Academy, will be taking over the role we’ve served for 15 years as publisher of news and information to the 2e community. In this issue, our final one before Bridges 2e Media begins publication, I’d like to offer a few thoughts, observations, and thanks.

First, thank you for opportunity to serve you for the past year… or two… or five, depending on how long you’ve been a subscriber. And a big thank-you to those who have been with us since Issue 1.

A year or so ago Linda and I set our end point as Issue 90. Fifteen years is a long time, and we have things on our “bucket lists,” individually and jointly, that it’s time to focus on. We’re pleased that Bridges 2e Media will be accepting the baton — or the type stick, as it were — from us. We plan to stay involved in the 2e community; our involvement has been extremely gratifying to us. We got to use our skills to contribute to a community we have high regard for and, in return, hear good things about our work; it doesn’t get better than that. (Becoming filthy rich would have been nice, but that didn’t happen.)

What an Audience!

Among the highlights of the newsletter has been our audience. Think about it. Our readers are:

  • Caring and empathetic enough to want to help high-ability kids who learn differently
  • Overwhelmingly likely themselves to be very intelligent.

Who could ask for a better audience? No bounced checks, no cheating (well, maybe some enthusiastic over-sharing of the newsletter), very little grumpiness from subscribers, and lots of insights from them. The only disadvantage was the occasional consequence of that truism first enunciated to us by early subscriber Helen Q, who told me: “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” So yes, we’ve had, for example, a few subscribers who were really disorganized at times. (“What, I just sent you a check for a subscription? Well, here’s another one.”) But it was all part of a great community we never knew existed until we started the newsletter.

If you subscribed to 2e Newsletter, chances are you were a parent; parents comprised about two-thirds of our audience. About 20 percent were educators. Another 10 percent or so were clinicians or service providers, and the remaining few percent were categorized only as “other.”

If we go by “modes” — the occurrences most common in a distribution or sample — you as a subscriber lived in California and were named Jennifer. You were not likely to live in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Wyoming, but rather in cities such as Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Seattle, and the Washington, DC, suburbs. But, actually, our subscribers lived all over the world. Most were from the U.S.; we loved getting subscriptions from place names such as Cabin John, Maryland. We also had sizable contingents from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, plus adventuresome souls from the Netherlands, South Africa, India, Japan, Sweden, Spain, China, Singapore, the UK, and Slovenia. Besides “Cabin John,” we got to vicariously know places such as Old Toongabbie, Australia, and Berwick upon Tweed, UK.

What a Journey

Here’s what we’re most proud of:

  • Helping build the 2e community
  • Any role we might have had in inspiring the founding of new, 2e-friendly schools
  • Helping parents realize they weren’t going alone on their journeys
  • Helping educators better serve 2e students.

Here are some of the things we’re grateful for:

  • Meeting professionals and advocates dedicated to “the cause”
  • Attending stimulating conferences
  • Receiving feedback from readers
  • Being able to depend on our Editorial Advisory Board for advice and guidance
  • Seeing some positive changes in how 2e young people are identified and accommodated at school.

Here are some things you missed from us over the past 15 years. While we were sometimes tempted, we avoided headlines such as “7 Things You Must Do Now to Regain Control of Your 2e Household!” Also, we felt no need to give negative reviews to useless books or products; we just didn’t publicize them.

We found out that some things didn’t make sense to do — like placing Google ads on our web pages. Do you know how few relevant products or services Google was able to find to advertise on our site? That’s what we all get for being in a niche community.

On the topic of ads, we accepted a few paid ads over the years, but realized that those could compromise the image of independence we preferred to maintain, of no influence on our editorial content. We would place ads for conferences we believed in, such as SENG or NAGC.

One thing we wish we could have done differently is to have devoted our working days solely to the newsletter. As it happened, we made our living as professional writers before we started the newsletter, and we continued to support ourselves that way until this year. That’s what we got for serving a niche community.

Parting Words

We’re hopeful for the future of twice-exceptional children and their families. We’ve seen progress over 15 years in terms of private schools catering to 2e students, and of public schools making efforts to identify and serve them.

What we’d really like to see are changes that will benefit 2e students while at the same time helping all students — like universal screening at an early age to identify every student’s strengths and challenges, a screening used as the basis for curriculum adaptation. (Universal screening is the only way we’ll ever discover how many twice-exceptional children there actually are in the world.)

We’d like to see more acceptance of neurodiversity and the concept of a much broader “normal,” acknowledging that all students learn differently and have different ways of experiencing the world. We’d like people to be able to accept the idea of intellectual giftedness as comfortably as they accept athletic giftedness or musical giftedness.

We encourage all of those in this niche 2e community to stay involved — to advocate and explain twice-exceptionality to friends and relatives; to teachers and school boards; and to elected and appointed officials who have the power to effect change in education policy and practices. Get involved and stay involved using organizations such as NAGC, SENG, TECA, COPAA, CEC, LDA, and others. Communicate with the 2e community via Facebook, LinkedIn, local parent groups, and any other means you can. 

The last 15 years have been a great journey for us. Thanks for sharing it, and we wish you the best of luck on your own 2e journey.

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