I turned 34 a week ago, and passing into the second 2/3 of (very optimistically) 100 years has made me more reflective than usual. I used to be a deeply introspective person, but then I entered a Ph.D. program, got married, and had a child. Now I work 150% time during the school year, 100% during the summer. Which means: Lots of distractions.
I also used to think of myself as a writer, whereas now I think of myself as a blogger. There are bloggers who elevate blogging to an art, to writing. I'd like to be a writer again, someone who's thoughtful and more in touch with--more aware of--her authentic self, whomever she may be.
As regular readers know, I've been casting about for a different situation. (In a nutshell: I love my job, not sure of how well its future and mine intersect.) Later this month, I have a job interview to be director of a new, large, and relatively well-funded nonprofit learning institute, and the more I prepare for the marathon, 1.5-day interview, the more I realize I would probably be quite good at that job and would really enjoy the challenge. But is it right for me? Am I right for the folks down there? Only time, and a damn good interview, will tell.
At the same time, I'm increasingly being asked to take leadership responsibilities on the campus where I work in the teaching center. There's the "accessibility czar" position I've been all but offered that would actually allow me to move into even more of a leadership--but not necessarily bureaucratic--role on campus. And today someone told me she'd like to nominate me to be chair of the campus committee on the status of women at the university. I doubt I'll get that position--after all, I've missed most of the meetings (and will miss this month's) because I've been off conferencing--but it's nice to be thought of as a candidate.
Still, while I'm always looking for opportunities, I'm already feeling too busy. I love spending time with Lucas and Fang, but I need more time to reflect, to read, to think, to write, to be whomever I am when I'm not always writing reports or reading master's theses.
Summer is a good time to recommit to these pursuits, and so I will. . .as soon as I get these last two master's theses read. I have several dozen books on deck, and have already finished a couple of novels I'd recommend--the fascinating The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie and the quiet The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (trans. Alison Anderson). Next up: The BLDG BLOG Book by Geoff Manaugh of the fabulous BLDGBLOG. (What? You don't read BLDGBLOG? Come on--you like cool pictures, don't you? And urban futurism?)
Expect more posts of substance soon--especially since I've been asked (and am honored) to be a featured blogger at the upcoming New Media Consortium summer conference. Interested in reading more about the conference? Check out the also-featured blogs of the esteemed company I'll be keeping: Gardner Campbell, director of the Baylor Academy for Teaching and Learning and Chris Lott, a "disruptive technologist" (I kid you not--that's his title) at the University of Alaska. Also attending the conference--and as usual my partners in crime for an un-presentation on [insert whatever it is we end up talking about here]--are Barbara Sawhill from Oberlin's language lab and Laura Blankenship, formerly of Bryn Mawr and now the founder of Emerging Technologies Consulting. I'm looking forward to a couple days spent in the company of a few hundred people who really care about teaching and learning with technology.