Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Everything that has a beginning, has an end"

As we approach the end of the semester and get ever closer to the "Age of Obama," the pop culture element of my class shifts from the Rocky films to The Matrix. We examine how the digital age transforms our worlds and, as the films progress, the lines among human-machine-computer blur and sometimes erase.

At one point, the Oracle prophesies that "everything that has a beginning, has an end." I wish she had said "ending" for a more symmetrical sentence, but alas the script writers did not consult me. Her line, however, is apropos for my time at Teaching United States History. I had a beginning here - almost two years ago. And this post stands as my end. I have had a wonderful time at this blog and I look forward to following where it goes in the future.

Here is what I learned from blogging about teaching:

  • Some new technology is useful (read any and all of Tona's posts and you will see what an expert teacher can do expertly using new programs), some seems more trouble than it is worth.
  • Chatting about what is possible, new, and fresh in teaching is a lot more enjoyable than lamenting the state of economic affairs, the growth of class size, and the apathy of some students. These negatives are realities, but they tire me out. When I look back at all the comments my students have had on blog posts or at the additions they are making to colorofchrist.com, I smile and enjoy the ride.
  • Scholars who are asked "to write" pieces usually decline (about 50% of the time), but when asked to respond to interview questions that percentage goes up to at least 75%. The interviews here - from Ted Andrews, Amy Bass, Linford Fisher, Matt Hedstrom, and so many others, have been so useful for my classroom.
  • Kevin Schultz is much funnier than I am - in person, in the classroom, and on the blog. Sigh, guess I'll just have to settle with being richer.
  • I was in the right room. There is an old business adage that if you are the most talented person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. The writers for this blog made points I had not ever considered (such as re-vamping my syllabus to look cooler). Thanks to all.
Stay classy, world, Ed Blum, San Diego State University

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