Jan 4, 2011

New Year, Old Blog, New Name?

Over roughly the last month, my blog has laid fallow.  The end of last semester piled on not only the typical final exam/project preparation, grading, answering student complaints about grades, but also much basically administrative and governance work for my university.

As the person at FSU arguably with the most experience in the many possible permutations and features of the CLA, I was drawn into the still rather murky and messy process of writing our university's Quality Enhancement Plan.  The funding for the Writing Across the Curriculum pilot program on Close Readings I'm coordinating finally trickled down to my level, two months later than expected.  The last three weeks of the term also saw Faculty Senate, Academic Affairs, and COACHE report meetings.  I've also been preparing for teaching my typical load of four Critical Thinking classes, with two of these incorporating service learning and focusing on food awareness.  Final presentations and reports for my Chesnutt Library Fellowship (in Information Literacy) -- reporting a very mixed success (about which I'll blog in a later post) brought my on-campus obligations to a close.

Immediately following, I packed up and got on the road.  Over the break, I did spend a number of days at fixed locations, resting, relaxing, reading, catching up with my children, my fiancee, and my relatives.  But, I also logged on many, many miles on my aged Taurus Wagon, leaving the South behind and ranging over New York and the Midwest -- trips long enough for me to continue feeling the movement hours after I'd gotten out of the car.

Though originally intending to work as much as possible over the break, after wrapping up several critical and time-lined projects, I decided to put off all the rest of the work -- including blogging -- until I came back to Fayetteville State.  I decided that a real break, a renewal, was needed.

So, now I return to my blog, taking up slackened threads of conversation, following out old lines and adding new ones.  After three full months of developing the blog, much personal reflection, and some discussion with colleagues, two interconnected matters have become more and more clear.  First is that the real core, the passion, the direction, the motive force of my blogging (reflective of my broader work) is the wide and historically rich field of practical reasoning.  Ultimately, however varied (or even florid) the content-stems and foliage of my blog posts, every one of  their disparate topics drive their roots into and derive their nourishment from this soil.  Ethics, political theory, and study of emotions fit under that rubric, as do my interests in education, critical thinking, assessment of learning, prisons, even my focuses on religious matters.

Second, the blog needs a new, more memorable name more aptly fitted to this specific focus.  Looking to tag counts, A-named philosophers predominate: Aristotle, Anselm, (Thomas) Aquinas -- and I briefly toyed with the notion of renaming this AAA (or maybe 3A), but I worried that might restrict me unduly to those thinkers.  I'm hoping to come up with a decent new name in the next several weeks or so.  Any ideas readers send me will be warmly welcomed and fully considered.