Dear readers, I’m not sure where I’m headed
I’ve gotten lost before
I’ve woke up stone drunk
Face down in the floor
“Sad Professor,” R.E.M.
The last week of 2016 has literally kicked my ass—since I lie here only slightly less immobile than I was on Christmas Eve after being hit while cycling by a car.
The year is ending with serious physical pain and the expected depression of being injured and facing an uncertain future as a cyclist.
Even the accident, however, has found its way into my enduring life as a writer through my blog post Rage.
There is much in common between being an aging athlete and a writer—the constant fear of the end: What if I can never ride my bicycle again (which has actually confronted me now)? And, what if I never have anything to write again (the immediate fear after every single thing I write)?
This blog, however, is a most wonderful thing where being a writer has immediate feedback that confirms what every writer adores: readers.
My 2016 includes over 185,000 views, 116,000 visitors (readers), and 9400 followers.
As a writer, I marvel at the kindness of strangers, but I also struggle to recognize when a piece will work and when others seem to fade away.
Although not perfect science, there is something to end-of-year top-ten lists to highlight what has resonated, although my precious ignored babies remain ignored (yes, I do write pieces and believe they are wonderful only to watch as nearly no one reads them).
Here are my top ten blog posts from 2016, ones written in 2016 (top two were from previous years, actually), and listing them is just to say “thank you” and “with love”:
- Dear Journalists Covering Education, Let Me Explain
- “Out of Time” in Post-Truth Trumplandia
- To High School English Teachers (and All Teachers)
- Student Choice, Engagement Keys to Higher Quality Writing
- More Thoughts on Feedback, Grades, and Late Work
- Not How to Enjoy Grading But Why to Stop Grading
- Navigating a “No Zero” Policy
- How the 5-Paragraph Essay Fails as Warranted Practice
- Teacher Education and A Call to Activism
- Teaching Literacy, Not Literacy Skills
And here are the next five, just because:
- On Citation and the Research Paper
- Failing Still to Address Poverty Directly: Growth Mindset as Deficit Ideology
- Plagiarism: Caught between Academia and the Real World
- Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Ryan Lochte
- Formal Schooling and the Death of Literacy
While the numbers are much smaller, I want to give a nod also to the very kind souls who read my poetry so here are my top five most viewed/read poems written in 2016:
- Meditation 512: The you in the space we call awake
- 55 in third person: a space odyssey
- chrysalis (i hold my words in awe)
- just you (superhero jesus ®)
- lives, eyes, & faces (these obligations)
A bit broken and hobbled, and one never prone to optimism, I am buoyed by my dear readers, and I am hopeful with words there can be action—and tomorrow will be better.