1. To avoid the staggered half-apologetic posting schedule of some of my closest blogging friends (I’m looking at you, Derek) I have been busy for the past week doing what I do best: thinking about writing.
I can’t begin to guess how many leads I’ve written in my head in advance of even transcribing my notes and how many Tweets, headlines, blog posts or chapters of my memoirs I’ve composed in my head only to forget them before I could chronicle them.
But beyond remembering deja vu-like phrases and strung together sentences, the biggest deterrent to me blogging over the past week has been you: the reader.
When I was at Technician, and even now at The Garner Citizen, it’s fairly easy to pick out what stories are newsworthy. Anything an average student would need/want to know belongs in the Technician and anything concerning sports in the Garner area probably deserves a mention in the Citizen’s sports pages.
NYTMag’s most recent series of stories has been concerned with “The Way We Live Now” and has had an increased focus on social networking and how it has changed…well everything.
Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to Daniel and Jessica concerning the articles:
“Even when we write in our personal blogs or Tweets or whatever, often we have to think twice about how others will perceive us. How many times have you done something and immediately thought, “Wow, I can’t wait to write about this on our travel blog” or began thinking about how to write it while you were still experiencing it. … If you’re constantly chronicling your present, are you ever truly experiencing it?”
And so, NYTMag gave me a writer’s block that I couldn’t shake. If I blogged, was I really benefitting myself since my posts would be tid bits about my life packaged in a way that you, the reader, may find entertaining? If I discuss the strangest class I’ve ever enrolled in (see below) in a story-telling manner am I sapping myself of my ability to appreciate it by trying to convince you to as well?
(Yes. Overanalysis. But that’s typically what I do. I search for motives and reasons and I just really like the question why…especially when I feel like I have a hunch it will lead to someone asking why not. I don’t really look for meanings in absolutely everything, but I have this divining rod within me that feels poetic justice wins out in the end. I guess I’m still convinced this life is just a novel I’m living and that each event and happening foreshadows something else. Yeah that sounds a lot like fate, but I like using lots of words to describe concepts…it’s good for the vocabulary and prevents me from falling victim to Orwell’s dreaded Newspeak).
And so I’ve decided to break down a few events I wanted to write about in shorter forms below. These are my thoughts of the past week. Enjoy:
2. So I’m a history major and at N.C. State, the jewel in the crown that is your useless History B.A. is a senior seminar known as HI 491. (Derek will remember this as well).
There are different sections and they’re all very specifically tailored to minute details in history. I wanted to take the one about the Jimmy Carter administration (My mentor’s favorite president) but ended up in one about NOLA and Katrina. Not bad, right? It’s exciting, it’s current, it’s history I lived through.
But then I received a rather disappointing letter from a former professor of mine. It was a D. I deserved it, but this did mean I needed to add a new class to graduate on time. After a few tweaks to my schedule, I was set to graduate, though I was now enrolled in a different seminar: Rule of law from a historical perspective.
Let’s recap: Need to pass difficult class. Enrolled in exciting class. Need to pass additional class. Enrolled in another class, plus a class that’s title draws me to sleep.
But then, amazingness struck! This class began when the head of the history department was talking to a colleague about blah blah blah…and then the TEAGL foundation (a derivative of Exxon-Mobil, somehow) sponsored the class.
So this is an experimental class of 11 with two professors who have some cash to burn. This means the hummus in my refrigerator was paid for by a grant. It also means the dinners we’re having later this semester (including travel) will be paid for by this grant, but that may not even be the best part.
This course, which is all about philosophy and deep-thinking overanalysis (see above for why this makes me excited), will include a final paper that may be published in a book my professors are writing about their experiment.
So I get free hummus, dinners, a degree and a chance to be published in a real academic book? Saddle up and ride!
3. I feel like this article is an essential read for anyone in any of my shoes right now. That is, in college, in your 20s, concerned about when it’s time to grow up, unsure about any career paths or goals, wondering if moving back home is a pathway toward a career goal, unsure about graduate school, Americorps, Peace Corps, the Armed Forces, considering studying abroad or taking a year off, contemplating what religion is, means or should be…pretty much any normal thought of a college student/20-something. Which is exactly what the article is about.
Take a look at it (it’s very long, though) and let me know what you think…I would like to devote a lecture to it…or at least find out if someone else was as encouraged and discouraged by it at the same time.
4. I love Ferris Bueller’s day off.
To learn a bit more about what you consider news (at least, the type of news content I can create), allow me to attempt a funneling of your comments. Post 1 was on blogging itself as I contrasted my views and experiences with that of some articles found in a recent periodical. Post 2 was a hyperlocal focus on a class I’m in. Post 3 is similar to Post 1, though I’d like to expand it in a way that focuses on how I feel like the article affects society as a whole. Post 4, well that’s just because that movie could be considered among my cinematic building blocks of life along with Anchorman.
So what do you, the reader, prefer? Wanna know what I think about me, what’s going on in my life, what I think about you and society and how much you disappoint me, or more about Ferris?
Comment away! This blogging adventure is brand-new for me, and I want you guys to come along with me.