February 22, 2024

Inspired by Billie Hara, I’ve decided to write my own “What I learned” list.

  • I learned that retweets can serve as temporary bookmarks, reminding me of where I found ideas I want to come back to later.
  • I learned that turning 42 puts you no closer to understanding the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.
  • I learned that the question is different for everyone.
  • I learned that I can do most anything I want, but I can’t do everything I want.
  • I learned how to install and format self-hosted WordPress blogs.
  • I learned that Einstein’s brain was stolen by the pathologist who did his autopsy.
  • I learned how to give a pill and worse to a cat.
  • I learned that I’m no good at cutting back on commitments.
  • I learned that I still love blogs best as digital writing tools despite the fact that most of the social benefits I once got from blogging now takes place on Facebook and Twitter.
  • I learned that I’m a Mac person.
  • I learned that I can easily become addicted to audiobooks.
  • I learned that I believe physics is poetry.
  • I learned that poetry is still my biggest interest.
  • I learned that after 40, poetry is about everything.
  • I learned that reading a single short story a day by a particular writer, like I did with Eudora Welty, is a very good way to absorb that writer’s voice and mindset.
  • I learned that the currency of the blog is in the individual post, but there’s nowhere to exchange that currency if you haven’t built up general name recognition and a network of potential readers somewhere.
  • I learned from my niece that other people want to be popular too and that it is considered rude not to like and comment on the Facebook walls of people who like and comment on yours.
  • I learned that not every social technology is intuitively obvious to me.  I don’t know what to do with Second Life and Google Wave, and I don’t know if I have time to find out.
  • I learned that there’s great amusement to be had in an oversized sweet potato sitting around the house as a conversation piece.
  • I learned that I can’t expect other people to share my enthusiasm for every project that comes along.
  • I learned that sometimes it’s better to speak my mind, sometimes it isn’t, and I’m unlikely to ever learn the difference.
  • I learned that it’s very difficult to say anything at all in less than 400 words.
  • I learned that tofu makes a great base for curry sauces.
  • I learned that the toughest audience is the closest audience.
  • I learned that nothing can compete with the imagination of a 4-year-old.
  • I learned that nothing is certain.
  • I learned that little things have the biggest impact despite the face that I only do it if I’m ready to overdo it.
  • I learned that I can take an interest in football if the Saints suddenly start winning (and then losing again).
  • I learned that belief in their own futures is the biggest thing students need to succeed.
  • I learned that having big goals means you are constantly going somewhere, and anywhere is better than nowhere.

I could keep going, but…this is probably more than enough.  I hope I remember to ask my students to do this next year.

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