I'm having a hard time blogging of late. I just checked and I started on February 19, 2005, so I guess that makes a little over three years of intermittent blogging. I don't seem as invested, or vested, as I was at some times. The problem is what to write about. I have this desire to write about the life of a community college English teacher, not like that matters much in the long run. The problem is, I don't want to be seen as a bridge burner, someone complaining about the stupid things students do (which they do, but not in hugely great numbers) or being disappointed about class assignments and department politics. Some folks might find that interesting, and in some ways it is, but as the saying about academe goes, the fights are so nasty because the stakes are so low. Our fights are rarely nasty, though the stakes, in the big picture, are not so low either when we think about students. Still, I don't want to by dissing my students and colleagues like some non-celebrity gossip. I like almost all those I work with, and don't actively dislike any others, though I feel mild antipathy for a few. Still, why be nasty?
I've thought about writing something of a memoir of my life because I've been thinking, as my father approaches his 80th birthday this coming December, that I want my son to know more about me when he gets on in life. I don't know that much about my father's early life. I know a few stories, his finding a body along the shores of the Spokane River as a kid (likely a suicide), how either he or two friends, in a game of chicken, rode their bikes around the block, with one turning left and the other right, and them smashing head on into each other because they didn't account for heading in opposite directions. But there isn't much more beyond a few tales of this sort. It's like I want us to go back to an oral storytelling mode in order to preserve our history. I don't want my son to wonder so much about me when he gets older. Of course, there are some things I won't be, or wouldn't be writing about, because it's more personal than I want to be, even for the few readers who stumble or come across this site. It's not a dirty laundry sort of thing as much as it is a personal privacy sort of thing, though like everyone, I have my dirty laundry.
There are some innocuous things I can write about, but who cares about those? I'm working on a college readiness project to help high school faculty prepare expectations for junior and senior high school English classes so more high school graduates will be college ready. Right now 42 percent of Washington state's high school grades, who have passed the state's assessment, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), test into either developmental English or math, with some in both. As important as this project is, it bores me. Maybe in the fall I can write about my interim department chair stint, which will last just a few months, until winter break. Who knows. All I know at this point is, as the title indicates, I'm burned out on blogging and because of that haven't done much. We'll see how this plays out, if I get a sudden burst of inspiration to keep slogging on, if I just slog on every now and then. Who knows.