I love to walk around the campus on the first day of the new semester. From the snippets of conversation it’s obvious that many students have a genuine sense of excitement about the new things they’ll learn, the books they’ll be reading and the people that they’ll meet. This is my 49th semester opening day in my career in higher education, and I’m struck by the gift that the academic calendar gives us–that gift of a fresh start. New books, new classes–maybe even a new commitment to blogging.
I’m inspired by the surge of creativity emanating from Fredricksburg, particularly now that Gardner has begun to focus more energy on the care and feeding of his blog:
I resolve to blog at least once a day. Short or long, ill- or well-considered, focused or rambling, a post is better than silence, and I have learned to my cost how difficult it is to sustain momentum when I skip a day, or two, or ten. This blog has been a crucial part of my own teaching and learning for over three years now. It deserves more care and feeding than I’ve been giving it. Nothing against slow-blogging and its magnificent practitioners–but I feel I need the daily discipline.
Gardner’s recent posts have re-awakened a desire to get back in the game and start participating in the conversation again. I’d spent the last semester down in the weeds trying to improve some of the nitty-gritty details of the way we manage time, deliver services and organize information. (Or, as Jon Udell calls it in his IT Conversations interview with Gardner , taking a “more tempered approach” toward being a change agent and advocate for transformation.)
In many ways, the academic calendar is a historical artifact that sucks the life out of authentic learning. But the fact that twice a year we have the chance to start over, however symbolically, is pretty cool. No promises, but I’m going to hit the post button.