As I look back at past blog posts from this year, it occurs to me that 2011 has been a year that has taken me further away from a lot of blogging, writing, and reading activities. And it occurs to me that I’ve done a lot of other quasi-administrative and otherwise not writing/reading/blogging things this year– being on the search for the department head for example, not to mention all of the things I mention in this post.
So while there were plenty of highlights from the last year, not as many of them seem to have made them to the blog this year. Among those posts and events I’ll remember though:
- It snowed and people freaked out, perhaps a little too much.
- I had a big grading experiment I called “Das Gradeinator.” I thought I blogged about it in other places too, but I guess not. In any event, I learned a lot from that– about what to do and what not to do– and I think I’ll bring back a more streamlined version that takes better advantage of some of the power of Google’s spreadsheets.
- I tried to write regular reviews of academic articles, and I did a terrible job of keeping up with my goal of one or so a week. Failed at that miserably. But as I look back at those entries, I do think it was a good idea, and I want to try to do it again this coming year (see below on resolutions). This was my favorite review, btw.
- I went to the CCCCs and had a good time, even if the panel I was on was at the last possible moment of the conference, even if only four people showed up. By the way, as of this morning, 126 people have viewed the video I made for my presentation, which for me raises questions about the value of face to face presentations, but that is another story.
- Bin Laden got killed and I found out that something was going on via Facebook.
- I ended up getting an iPad2 and also ended up getting another one from EMU– a long story.
- Computers and Writing was a lot of fun because it was in Ann Arbor at the U of Michigan. I put together a little Krause-vision tour of the area and had the pleasure of hanging out with conference folk and going home at night. The speed-roundtable that I chaired went great, and I got the John Lovas blogger award, which was nice. I won’t be there this year, unfortunately, but I am getting to a point where I get kind of “conferenced out.”
- Will “graduated” from eighth grade.
- I wrote a bit about Google+, which I have only so-so used.
- Annette and I went and saw Tony Bennett and not Deathcab for Cutie.
- We moved back into Pray-Harrold and I suffered a bit from grand office guilt.
- I tried to start a new blog on Academic iPad writing (for a month, though I might come back to that again, too).
- The WIDE-EMU went really well (and I reflect a bit here), and I hope we can do something more with all of that in the form of an article or another similar conference.
- I wrote about an article in The Atlantic about Iowa.
- And we went to Harry Potter-land.
I’m leaving stuff out, of course. I was kind of surprised to see it, but it doesn’t look like I blogged at all about our travels through the UP to Minnesota or to Glen Arbor, for example. But you get the idea.
I don’t usually have New Year’s resolutions since I always think of the “year” starting when school begins in August, but I do have a few resolutions I’m hoping to work on starting this January:
- No mornings at EMU. And as a related resolution, not be up at school quite as much. I was there almost every day/all day this fall and, as I think about it, close to that much last winter. A lot of that had to do with teaching an overload and “ramping up” as I was stepping into the writing program coordinator job, but now that the dust has settled, I can settle in a bit too. I already have things on my calendar that will break this “no mornings at school” resolution, but still, a boy can try.
- Get serious about the “immediacy” book thing. The most satisfying writing experiences I had this past fall was practicing what I was preaching in ENGL 621 and “touching it every day,” and by “it,” I mean going back to my dissertation in an effort to revive that project into a book, something I should have done literally a decade ago. I don’t know if I’ll get there or not, but it is worth a try.
- School myself on HTML 5 (which I’m teaching this term) and PHP/MySQL. We’ll see how that goes.
- And the usual eating right/losing weight/exercise thing. I have more thoughts on that, but I don’t want to jinx myself here, so let’s just say I have some goals and plans I’ll keep to myself for now.