Self-Care

If blogging for the last 8+ years has taught me anything, it’s that writer’s block is usually temporary, and that sometimes all I need to knock the cobwebs off is to push out a quickie post like this one, almost as a statement of purpose or resolve or something – even as a pseudo-cognitive-behavioral approach to getting back into the writing groove. I don’t know why it works, just that it usually does. So here’s hoping this is sufficient to get me going again.

Heh. Well.

In the 2+ months since I wrote those prophetic words, I’ve been doing pretty much everything BUT blogging:

  • Grad school: I did a Rodney Dangerfield and went back to school to take two additional graduate courses in curriculum development this year.  Exhausting but beneficial… glad I did it but glad it’s over.
  • Dissertation reviews: I’ve started a nice little side gig reviewing doctoral dissertations for APA format for my doc program alma mater.  Profitable, and it’s taken a serious chunk out of my student loan balance… but since I do it in the evenings and weekends, also very tiring and time-consuming.
  • Work: Now that I’m past the first year of “what the hell am I doing” in my position, I’ve gotten down to the nitty-gritty work of program evaluation and development.  I’m excited about the work my staff and I have been doing this year and into next, which includes expanding course offerings at the high school in the Music, Family & Consumer Science, and Business departments.

It’s really the grad school and dissertation review work that has taken the wind out of my blogging sails, so now that the grad work is over and there is going to be a lull in dissertation work until probably mid to late summer, I finally have some time to breathe.   Never one to look a gift pause in the mouth, I finally have a chance to focus on the near future; namely, my plans for the summer.

At the risk of beating the “lifelong learner” trope to death, I’m excited to be able to set aside some time for my own learning this summer.  I’m not sure if/how they will make me better at my job, or a better husband/dad/person, but I don’t see a damn thing wrong with learning for learning’s sake.

  • Guitar: I got my first bass guitar 25 years ago for 8th grade graduation, and I picked up guitar about two years later.  While I was an avid performer in my younger days and coordinated (and performed in) rock shows with my students as a teacher, my Tele has taken a backseat in recent years to caring for infants/toddlers and two rounds of grad school in 12 years.  Life circumstances prevent me from committing to guitar lessons (my first preference), but I am committing to getting my gear in good shape and woodshedding with the help of YouTube tutorials and Android apps.  I’m trying to spend at least 30 minutes a day with guitar in hand for the remainder of the school year, hopefully more once summer hits.
  • Programming: This goal is not particularly well-defined yet, but with the anticipated addition of programming courses at our high school over the next two years, I want to get a better understanding of coding principles and some experience in Java and/or Python. My Comp Sci-major floormate Lee taught me some basic HTML my freshman year of college in 1995 so I have the most basic of understandings on which to build, but that’s about it. I haven’t explored this in any depth yet, but I hear good things about Codecademy.

If you have any suggestions to help me with either goal, I’m all ears; please leave me your thoughts in the comments.

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