Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Age 34

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.


Seeking Solace said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

What Now? said...

Happy birthday! Wishing you much happiness and discernment in the next year.

ArticulateDad said...

Wow! You're that young? Now I'm feeling old. ;) Happy birthday!