23 January 2013

I Was Never Really Excited about Moving to Kentucky

If I am perfectly honest, I'll have to admit that I was not at all excited about moving to Kentucky.  In fact, when my husband first told me he would like to apply to the Ph.D. program at the University of Kentucky, I just couldn't understand.  Why Kentucky?  He wanted to study at the university where Wendell Berry and Guy Davanport once taught, and he thought UK had an excellent English Program.

So, 9 1/2 years ago we uprooted our little family and moved to Kentucky for my husband to pursue doctoral work at the University of Kentucky.  We had a 2 week old baby boy and another son who was 2 1/2 years old.  Four weeks from the date of our move I started teaching at a high school in Lexington, and a week later my husband started his course work.

July 2003
You know what? I like it okay here in Kentucky, and now it’s difficult to imagine leaving. I’ve made a place for myself here, met amazing friends and colleagues, established myself in a career in education, earned National Board Certification for Teaching, volunteered for various projects in my sons’ schools and in the literary community, traveled all around the state and throughout the country, and have been raising our boys in one of the friendliest places I know. (Having lived in 9 different states in my life, I know plenty of places)

As of today—January 23rd, 2013—Our sole purpose for moving to Kentucky has been fulfilled. Chris successfully defended his dissertation this afternoon. Right now, I’m not really sure what comes next for our family, but it’s a gratifying feeling to know we finished (My husband finished) what we moved to Kentucky to complete.

Lexington, KY fall 2012
Lexington, KY fall 2012

Update August 2014: So far, we're still staying in Lexington. Read here to learn more.

Update August 2015: We're still here & our oldest son who was 2 1/2 when we moved here started high school.

02 January 2013

One Year Blogging Anniversary

In the past few days I have enjoyed reading New Year or reflection blogpostsfrom some of my favorite bloggers. I was amazed at the statistics a few people shared, including the total number of page view sper day and overall for the year. One blogger shared that she averages close to 20,000 page views per day.  As a relatively new blogger, 20,000 views in a day sounds remarkable, especially considering I was happy to reach a yearly total of just over 20,000 views for Learning to Muse.
While most of the blogs I read are education related,I also follow a few who write about parenting, and homemaking because I have plenty to learn about these topics too.
While the numerical statistics for my blog are an okay starting point for me, I, of course, hope to have a larger reach in the coming year. Today marks the one year anniversary of my blog, so I thought I’d spend some time considering my reach and reflecting on what I learned during this first year in the blogosphere.
Global Connections.
 Pretty cool.  Learning to Muse had multiple page views from readers on four continents.  This is exciting to me because I like the idea of being globally connected to the world through my blog but also through social media, another goal of mine this past year. I've met many fine educators from all around the USA and even some from other countries. Some I've met only virtually through twitter and others I met during my travels. A few are friends and former students, and some are long time family friends with whom technology has enabled me to stay connected across many states.
Popular Posts.
My most popular post was titled Why I Left Teaching, and I suppose it was most popular because an Ed Week blogger linked to it when she told the world--anyone who says he/she loves teaching should stay in the classroom and teach or not expect veteran teachers to beg them to stay.  If you’ve read many of my blog posts, you will know this is an issue with which I have struggled because I do love teaching, but I also think educators who believe in teachers and students are needed as leaders.  It’s taken me a while to get to this line of thinking, but when I think about what it would be like to have people who no longer love teaching in a position like mine, it makes me sad. I think it would be terrible, actually.
Other popular posts were common core related, and that’s certainly no surprise, given that I’m in the USA where the common core has captured the attention of not only the education world, but certaint opics have even reached main stream media as well.
I love, love, love the fact that two of my popular posts are related to curiosity and wonder because, really, those ideas are part of what drove me to start this blog in the first place, and they are ideas that feed my goals as an educator and parent. Curiosity and wonder must become more a natural part of public education if we want genuine learning happening in our schools (and with that statement, I’ve circled back to where I started last year on January 2, 2012—with this blog).
Thanks for reading—I hope you experience peace and joy in the New Year!