Monday, December 31, 2007

(Half of) 2007 in retrospect

I wasn't going to do the meme in which we post the first sentence of the first post of each month. I only started blogging in June, after all. But it does seem like a good way to reflect about the year, so here it is:

I find the end of December an odd time for musing about endings and beginnings. The winter solstice makes me want to hibernate until the days get longer, and feels like a time for waiting, rather than a time for making changes. The equinoxes feel more like a time of change to me - the autumn equinox, in particular, feels like a time for new beginnings. (Maybe that's the result of the academic cycle, though, rather than the cycle of seasons.)

But today's the day that our year ends, so... patterns and resolutions:
  • This blog has changed from me talking to myself about things I saw or things I read, to me talking to other people. It's nice to be part of a community, but I would like to go back to writing about odd observations more often.

  • As the fall semester progressed, I talked about teaching more and more. Perhaps that's normal, given that I was teaching four courses and three labs.

  • It's been a while since I've played Where on (Google) Earth.
  • I can't decide which rules to follow for capitalizing post titles. GSA rules, in which only the first letter is capitalized? The rule of titles I learned as a kid, in which all nouns and verbs are capitalized? The Lazy Internet Rule, in which nothing is capitalized unless I want to draw attention to it? I can't figure out what looks best on the blog, and what looks best on the geoblogosphere widget that I haven't figured out how to install.
And in the next year:

  • I want to do more blogging about peer-reviewed research. (Once a month seems like a good goal - it would make me set aside time to read articles, even during the busy time of the semester.) I love teaching, but it's easy to miss what's new in a discipline when I've got so many classes, and I don't want to become one of those greying professors whose classes forever reflect the ideas that were current when they were in graduate school.

  • I'm also going to try to post some kind of photo every month, and talk about what I see. I've got a bunch of digital photos that I took last year, but never got around to blogging about them - perhaps they can fill the time until I can go outside. (Or I can post pictures of deformation in Silly Putty or chocolate chip cookies, for that matter.)

  • And there are things that I started talking about last year - things that need finishing. I haven't looked at the pre- and post-tests I gave before showing An Inconvenient Truth, for instance, so I don't know whether the movie was useful at all.


Ron Schott said...

Personally I like a QuasiGermanic capitalization scheme. Capitalize whatever feels good.

I guess I better get a new "Where on (Google) Earth?" up if you're ready to play. (I've been slacking a little since I solved WoGE #82.) Any requests (topically or geographically)?

Thermochronic said...

"This blog has changed from me talking to myself about things I saw or things I read, to me talking to other people. It's nice to be part of a community, but I would like to go back to writing about odd observations more often."

I know what you are saying. When I first started I posted about music and sports regularly. Of course I had no readers, but now I feel odd when I do non-geo posts, I even find myself apologizing for them. Kind of absurd, really.

Happy New Year!

Kim said...

QuasiGermanic scheme - hee.

I wasn't requesting a challenge - my break from classes corresponds to my kid's break from daycare, which means that I'm on vacation, but don't have much personal free time.

Kim said...

Thermo - the funny thing is that I started this blog specifically to talk about geology. But as I've started talking to geologists, I worry that I've gotten shy about writing to non-scientists, or about writing about things that I don't understand as well as I think that I should.

I won't stop blogging about teaching, because teaching's what I do, and because I like talking to other people about teaching ideas. But I would like to talk to non-scientists (and to myself) more, as well.

Happy New Year to you, as well! (And I have no idea what's supposed to be capitalized there, either.)

RBH said...

As a non-geologist, I follow several geology blogs in my reader just in order to learn more about it. Think of many of your readers as students in one of your classes looking for a little extra. :)

Tuff Cookie said...

On An Inconvenient Truth...I'd be really interested in hearing how it affected your students' perceptions of global warming.

I found the movie intriguing but thought there was a little too much emphasis on how many different ways that Al Gore can look pensive. He had a very accessible and pretty Powerpoint, but we all know the dangers of that... A lot of glitz can be distracting from the down and dirty of the science that went into it.

I'm enjoying the blog, by the way - I've just started reading geoscience blogs and it's fun to hear what other geologists are thinking. And Happy New Year!

Kim said...

RBH - Thanks, and happy new year! I'll keep that in mind.

Tuff - I'll say more about An Inconvenient Truth when I've got time to look at the surveys. My gut feeling is that it's good as rhetoric (in the how-to-make-a-point-well sense), but it isn't good as an illustration of How Science Works. So I think it was useful when it was first released on DVD, but everyone has heard about it now, so it has lost a lot of its power. (And Happy New Year to you, too!)