Hello internet! As always, I’m on the cutting edge of 15 years ago, and have finally decided to start a blog. Blogging does not come naturally to me. A complex mix of imposter syndrome (“who would want to read what I’m writing?”), academic time crunch (“if I’m writing, it should be something that should get me tenure, and blogging ain’t it”), and why bother (“if I really have something to say, Twitter is a fine place to go talking about it”) has kept me from ever blogging. But, lately, these reasons don’t mean as much to me. While Twitter has been a great place to interact with folks, to learn and to share, it’s not a great repository or archive- I can’t easily find what I was thinking and talking about previously. The relatively bigger thoughts I’ve had- longish threads on OER, international law, or Indiana Jones as an academic, are essentially blog posts, just harder to read, find, and refer back to.
I am lucky in so many ways, not least of which is that I landed a tenure-track job with students I absolutely love and actually managed to achieve the requirements for tenure,which I will officially have as of September 2020. With that pressure off, I get a little bit of time and a lot of mental space back, which I am choosing to use for this blog- to have a place to develop some of the thoughts that knock around in my brain.
I also can’t deny the impact of swimming in Open Pedagogy and OER ponds is having on me, as an impetus for blogging. Through a very traditional education (I survived 2 decades of Catholic School!) and graduate training in a very traditional discipline, journaling and blogging were never really part of the curriculum. Insofar as blogging ever entered the picture, it was high level analysis, mini-digest-of-polished-research-type blogging. However, Writing Across the Curriculum training and teaching began to show me what low stakes, frequent writing can do, and Open Pedagogy takes that lower stakes writing and makes it public, which I’ve seen have almost magical effects for other folks students as well as my own. And if I’m willing to make my students do it, and if I gain so much from reading what others blog, it seems only fitting I should try it out myself. And finally, 15 years after starting graduate school, I’ve gained the confidence to own what I’m saying- no one else may want to read it, but I’m going to write it out anyway, because it’s useful to me to do so, and someone somewhere might like it. If that someone is you, awesome. If not, that’s okay too- I’ll just be over here, thinking and writing about academia, political science, OER, teaching, and whatever else pops up along the way.