Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why I blog: 200 posts later...

My Blogger Dashboard is slighty ahead of my Blog's counter, but I sense that I'm passing a milestone here: 200+ posts. Woo hoo!

I began this blog after my oldest daughter, Joanna, began one of her own. I didn't want to crowd her with my comments on her blog, so I began my own. Little did I know how much I would enjoy blogging.

Readers of my blog know that I use personal affirmations to help move myself towards goals that are important to me. I have three affirmations/choices that tie closely to why I blog.

1) I choose to find delight in interacting with my wife, family, friends.
2) I choose to write to inspire and to instruct. It gives me satisfaction.
3) I enjoy the feedback my readers provide. I feel their love and care.

I work hard to be genuine. I detest hypocrisy. As an educator, I often teach writing. My master's thesis in education explored the question: Does my writing teacher write? I discovered that blogging gave me a forum for practicing the craft of genuine writing.

Blogging provides me with and opportunity to interact with my readers. I love your comments. (I also love the insights offered on your blogs. It's a two-way street.)

Blogging helps me distill out of my life those things that have inspired and instructed me. I discover what I believe through the writing process. Through blogging I've discovered a like-minded community of caring, thoughtful people.

I also enjoy the sense of unknown influence. I began my blog in October of 2008. In December, I started using Google's Analytics to track visitors. (Joanna taught me how.) Here are some statistics regarding my blog that Analytics has compiled since December of 2008:

1,058 unique visitors
5,608 page-views
2,374 visits from 60 countries. (Top 5: US, UK, Taiwan, Canada, India)
1,820 visits from the US (47 states -- just missing S. Dakota, W. Virginia, and New Jersey)

Analytics provides me with a sense of involvement in the blog-o-sphere, but it is my regular readers and comment-ers who motivate me to blog. You are the ones who inspire me share my musings and miscellaneous thoughts. Thanks for your friendship and involvement.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My vacations is ending... let the holidays begin!

Today was the last day of my summer vacation. It's was a long summer break this year, and I thoroughly enjoyed all eleven weeks or so.

The final three days of summer, I started getting up a bit earlier, and I worked (for free) five or six hours each day. Not only does my body get ready for the earlier rising time, but I'm prepared enough to relax and enjoy the first holiday of the school year: Labor Day!

We work two days without students, take a three day weekend, and the students show up Tuesday. Many or most of the teachers at the elementary school have been busy getting their classrooms ready. The others, I suspect, will be working (for free) over the Labor Day Weekend.

I'm ready and able to relax because I'm weeks ahead of where I was last year at this time. Last year was my first working at a new school and new grade levels. Apprehensions of last year were mostly imaginary, this year, I know what's ahead: the unexpected!

That's right: what lies ahead is the unexpected. I have a better idea this year about the actual challenges of the job, but life always has the unexpected.

But the unexpected isn't always bad. My #1 affirmation/choice is: "I choose to achieve my goals, with the surprising help of God and others."

Who says all things unexpected are negative. As I left today, I found out that one of my neediest, most challenging students, moved. That was unexpected.

Another upgraded affirmation/choice of mine is: "I choose to make a positive difference wherever I go. I let it be easy."

I'm going to let this year be easy. "I choose to be calm and confident."

Often, you find what you're looking for. I'm looking for surprising help, unforced efforts, positive results, and poise.

I wonder what I'll find?