So, Kate Nowak over at http://function-of-time.blogspot.com has asked folks to consider why they blog. I’ll take a swing at blogging about why I blog. I’ll stick to her questions and try to make sense of this in some way. I don’t know that I have much to say that moves the conversation forward, but I’ll try
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in your building got you into it? Desperation?
I’d be reluctant to call it desperation, but when I stopped being a student in 2007 and moved to a new school far from my previous home, I found myself really looking for stimulus. Much of it came from one of my administrators and some of it came from other colleagues. I still had student access to databases and was reading journal articles, but I also started poking around and finding some ideas on the net – I’d like to say it was around 2009 by then. I was home for awhile when my little girl was born and I remember starting to read some blogs I had run across. The first two writers I remember really feeling attached to – in a virtual way – were Dan Meyer and Sam Shah. I can’t swear to the timeline, but this is the past that I remember now.
2. What keeps you coming back? What’s the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
I feel a bit restless intellectually and professionally at times. I enjoy the people I work with and I enjoy picking their brains. But, I think that when I was in my doc program I got spoiled by the level of discussion/debate and by the frequency with which new ideas/techniques were flying across my radar. I think that the tingle I get in the mornings when I start opening my email links to the blogs I subscribe to is a way to recapture some of that sensation. It’s rewarding to feel part of such a large community of people anxious to share. I’ve been in the classroom since 1987 as a teacher and I can’t even remember how isolated I must have felt all those years before I had the ability to reach out the way we do now. Again, I had some colleagues I loved, but the sheer amount of interaction that is possible now is just mind-boggling. A little intimidating, in fact.
3. If you write, why do you write? What’s the biggest thing you get out of it?
Is it a little too self serving to say that I get a sense of validation from my writing? That, I’d have to admit, is my first motivation. Organizing my thoughts and trying to make sense of them is the second motivation. The third would be my need to not simply feel like I am not just a parasite. I hope to, in some small measure, add something to the culture,knowledge, and experience that is being shared so freely on the blog world.
4. If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to’s? Stories?
Some stories of what you see as the arc of this community. Some tips about how to forge and maintain connections. Some vision statement of what you see as the near future of this community endeavor.
I think “restless” is an apt word choice. At least, it rings true for me. Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.
Thanks for the push – it motivated me to organize those thoughts.