Spring 2018 Semester Starts Today

It's really snowing out there. Good way to start the term as I have been feeling unrested and unready for another semester. Thinking that I'll try to do the daily post again just to kick start what I'm thinking, feeling, and how I'm approaching things. Thought this soundtrack would be a good way to start this quiet, eerie day but I'm just sort of using it as background as I surf through some semi-interesting Lit Hub and Chronicle of Higher Ed essays. Not the most productive first day.

I would kind of like a year of quiet reading I think sometimes but then i know that would quickly convert into a year of halfheartedly playing video games and not showering until 4PM. The situation is not the root of my lack of motivation. But what is?

Pretty into a few writing projects but not really into writing right now. Not really finding interest in securing the time for it. I guess I'm wondering about audience a bit too much. If I write an academic-style article that seems pretty automatic but who would read it? And would I want them to read it?

If I just publish here who would read it? Is this really what publishing looks like?

I like Medium, that seems like a good site, but then who's reading that? Is that who I want reading stuff?

I think I'm going to go for a double approach, maybe triple: Publish here, on Medium, and also on Academia. I think some of my writing isn't really academic enough to be on Academia, but it might get some attention.

I spent a lot of time over the holiday break with my old book idea. I think now's probably the best time to be writing about collegiate debate programs since there's more choice than ever about what you (you as a college) can do with it. It's a good time to shop new theories of it. Practicing the difficult art of speech before audiences without compromising what you want to say and without pandering to the audience seems like the theme of most of my writing. It's really about teaching.

I think right now is the lowest point of confidence and highest point of discouragement I've had with the way debating is done by institutions at all levels. I think that this is good news, as there's no lower point to hit. Now the only way is up. And perhaps articulation, re-articulation of my concerns to myself (and anyone who wants to read them) could lead to iteration and reiteration of what debate should look like. And from that comes the monograph I think.

There are two projects here - one a more academic oriented book that will come first then secondarily one that I think might be a good popular press book about debating in the everyday. The difficulty in doing two projects speaks to how frustratingly distant scholarly publishing is from every other kind of publishing - which would be publishing the majority of people actually want to read. More on this in later posts; thinking about how to marshall a good defense and good practice that tenured faculty could use to support digital depositories and open peer review, which are essential (in my mind) parts to any long term survival strategy of the modern university.

So this is really just an "outline the projects" post which I think is ok for now, the snow is stopping and I probably should get out and get some things accomplished. Here's to a post every day!