Running on Faith

I’m breaking a CogDog rule that states one should not blog about (not) blogging here in this post because I have been a mess at writing for the last month or so. I’m not sure what it is — perhaps the TLT Symposium, followed by reading and submitting all the staff review and development plans for ETS, or wrapping up my class, or Alan Levine’s visit, directly followed by presenting at the Pennsylvania One to One Conference, or maybe it was giving a talk at the awe inspiring Faculty Academy event at the University of Mary Washington — no matter, I haven’t made even a moment to write. What is a shame about that is the simple fact that I have missed out on preserving all of my reflections from these events. What that means to me is that I am not practicing what I preach — I am not actively engaging in the notion of ongoing reflection. I’ve let my blogging get in the way of my reflecting, and that shouldn’t happen.

What I think I mean is that blogging and reflecting may have become two very different things to me. If I think of my bog as a place devoted to my personal reflection and growth then I am not using it the way I should be — I’m worrying about fleshed out content instead of capturing moments. I have fallen into the trap of thinking that my reflections are a bore to you — and to tell you the truth I should know they are because on lots of levels they are a bore to me. The thing is that I have to see my blog as a place that I can indulge my own reflection without worrying about you. At the end of the day I don’t sell ads on this site and I certainly don’t take my google analytics seriously. So why should I worry about pleasing anyone? My goal should be to write what is happening in my head and at best hope some folks decide it is worth a comment or a conversation.

That’s not to say I’m not worrued about writing in complete thoughts and provoking thinking from those that do stop by. What it means is that I need to press to use this space as if no one is reading every now and then … I need to use it the way we are hoping the students at Penn State will — as a place to engage your own reflection as much as you do those who read.

So with that in mind I’ll be sharing thoughts about our four Faculty Fellows we have arriving in ETS in the next two weeks, new ideas we’re kicking around for our platforms, Learning Design Summer Camp, and if you’ll indulge me, some thoughts on things that are really not for you.

6 thoughts on “Running on Faith

  1. So, will it ruin the spirit of the moment if you know I’ve stopped by? I think there is a place for both capturing moments and fleshing out.

    One of my favorite postmodern authors, who was once on the Penn State faculty and lived in Pine Grove Mills, John Barth, writes whole novels where he writes about writing or not writing (and won a National Book Award), so I don’t know how that fits in with the rule you cite not to blog about blogging or not blogging.

    Your post also makes me think of the notebooks kept by artists with quick sketches, later fleshed out in full-fledged works.

    Now, in my case, being a less confident person, I always worry about “you” in the collective sense and am deeply worried if no one comments on my blog posts. I guess I shouldn’t care, but it’s difficult for me.

  2. Yo, that’s not my rule!

    But ironically, you’ve touched on a blog post that has been brewing.

    I blog for myself, Period. If someone else gets something out of it, bonus. But is my record, my story, and if I don’t do it when the thoughts occur, it’s gone. Jon Udell had a piece in one of his recent podcasts about this concept of narrating the work we do– even more than assembling artifacts in the portfolio sense, it is the story of what we do in our work that matters over a long run.

    Blog when the mood is right, when its wrong, just keep the story going.

  3. @Mary That’s the thing, I’m thrilled when people do stop by. Finding the balance between worrying that people won’t want to read and just narrating the work I do (as @ Alan Levine says so perfectly). In many ways, quite a bit of the writing I do here is about telling stories about my/our work and I really enjoy being able to reflect on it in the open. I think at the end of the day it needs to be about finding your voice and making sure you use it.

  4. I like what @Alan Levine said about narrating the work we do. It is about the process, not the product.

    Sometimes its just disparate thoughts and sometimes its deep connection and fleshed out thoughts. Either way it is all part of the narrative. Keep at it Cole!

  5. Pingback: ________ing About Not ________ing » CogDogBlog

  6. Hey Cole. Just this morning, we started talking about a “One X per day” challenge for July. Not necessarily a blog post — we’ve done that. Maybe one picture a day. One video a day. One story a day. I think it would be up to each of us to choose our X — and the form of X doesn’t have to be the same from day to day. You could choose a picture with commentary one day, a video the next, an interview the third day, etc…

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