Today is the first anniversary of “Ross All Over the Map.” For the last month or so I have posted very little—I have taken a short sabbatical of sorts; however, as I begin to set my sights on a new school year, I am ready to get back to it. I am ready to get off the lounge chair.Actually while the blog started in July, but it didn’t get its current name until September after a number of weeks called simply “Ross’ Blog”—a not-so compelling title. In the last year it has stayed true to its original intent, that is, to stray widely from the narrow confines of an education blog, travel blog, folk art blog, music blog, photography blog, or barbecue blog. I wanted a blog that could any of those things one day and another a few days later. It wanted it to go wherever I wanted to go. I liked the idea that it would be a blog by a generalist and for generalists.Here are some things I have noted:
- I have written far more for the blog than I would have ever expected on July 26, 2011. That in its first year I wrote over 100 entries astounds me.
- I have found it to be a useful tool for reflection on my profession, as well as on other aspects of my life.
- I have found that it has allowed me to refine and extend my thinking beyond the boundaries that may have limited it before.
- It has made me read what others write more carefully.
- It has, at times, made me brave—at least in my willingness to share some of what I write. For instance, I would not have believed that I would publish any poetry, and yet I wrote and posted four or so. I see now that the blog has reignited my interest in writing more poetry.
- It has been a means by which I have connected with people far afield from Atlanta.
- It has added drive to my desire to learn more about: photography, art, poetry, education, and music.
- It has been, at times, a unique and positive means of communication with many members of the school community where I live and work.
- In the school community it has helped me be defined by more than my job description.
- It has given me an ever-expanding archive of my engagement in the world around me.
- I have appreciated every bit of feedback I have received from readers.
By both necessity and purpose I have rejected the approach of over-planning what’s next for the blog, so I have little idea what it will become in its second year. I can only hope I find it as useful a tool in year two as I did in year one.