January 2011 Archives

Sobriquet 69.2

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As I sit here listening to Social Distortion's newest album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, I'm trying to figure out just what to do with this newly rebooted version of the Sobriquet Magazine blog. Here are some of the possibilities I've been toying with:

1. This time it's personal
Part of me rather likes the idea of reserving this space as a place for personal reflection and self-exploration. Of course, there's another piece of me that balks at the idea of adding my name to the seemingly bottomless list of people sporadically publishing their whimsical ramblings about life without any real unifying theme. Granted, some people, whether because of pre-existing fame, a unique perspective, a brilliant sense of humor, a brand of snarkiness, or an engaging writing style, do attract readers to such blogs, but such cases seem to be rare exceptions. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with writing a personal blog, especially if the objective is to share one's ideas and experiences with friends and family or simply with the general public without expecting to build more than a modest readership, but if I am to keep a diary, I'd rather keep it handwritten and next to my bed. Besides, almost any sort of blog can include elements of one's personal life, if one so wishes.

2. If it ain't broke, don't fix it
My dissertation blog was such a pleasant experience that I sometimes wonder if it mightn't be a good idea to pick up where I left off, chronicling the life of a newly-minted Ph.D. as he attempts to find his way in the world. I suspect that I could write a good deal about teaching, researching, applying for jobs, and other similar topics and that it could be of interest to like-minded people, but I have never thought it was a particularly good idea to discuss certain aspects of one's life in public, so this is not really a possibility I'm eager to pursue.

3. Get some schoolin'
As a teacher, I am also a student, and there are tons of things I'd like to learn. I could blog about a series of crash courses I decide to undertake. I mean, I could spend a month or two learning about electricity, classical music, baroque art, gardening, or any number of other subjects I'd like to explore.

 

4. Go Morgan Spurlock on the world
Another possibility I have considered is taking a month to try my hand a different projects and blogging about the experience à la Morgan Spurlock's Thirty Days project. I could attempt living off the grid for a week or try my hand(s) at the 100 Push Ups challenge or watch fifty classic films. I mean, really, there's an awful lot of potential in this area.

And, you know, I'm open to suggestions...

Sobriquet 69.1

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As regular readers have noticed, Sobriquet Magazine has been on partial hiatus for the better part of a year. With the exception of some really wonderful work by Dylan WinchockRoger Sederat, and Robert Savino Oventile and a couple of in-house music and book reviews, no new content has appeared on the site, and the publication has essentially been in hibernation mode ever since I completed my doctoral dissertation and weblog chronicling that process last April.

I have decided to reboot the Sobriquet Magazine blog because, frankly, I have missed it. As frustrated as I often felt while working on my dissertation, I enjoyed the sense of purpose it provided me and I learned to appreciate the discipline and -- dare I write it? -- structure regular journaling made possible for me. So I have returned to the medium I found so rewarding.

Of course, I am no longer engaged in as rigorous a project as a dissertation inevitably is for a doctoral student, so I have neither the sense of urgency nor the excitement of journeying into new intellectual territory that helped transform my project into a modest academic resource for scholars of J. M. Coetzee, but I do have a desire to write more.

I assume that this blog will have a slightly academic bent to it, if only because my life as a college teacher and researcher unavoidably colors my perceptions and experiences of the world around me, but I do not wish for this project to be overly scholarly, either. Hopefully, something interesting and worthwhile will emerge.

We'll see.

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