I’ll tumble for ya

As predicted, now that school has started, the gym is even more packed. That leads to hotter and sweatier group fitness classes and, if a certain fan isn’t on, very slippery floors. The past two classes I’ve taken I’ve ended up in my sock feet…but it’s always fun and I love shaking it to various Pitbull songs!

Other than working out, I’ve been busy prepping 4 separate course syllabi & course calendars. I’m also directing two thesis projects, so there’s lots of email on that front.

Quick aside:  Ever since I started teaching online writing courses in 2004, I’ve tried to reduce the amount of email by having a “General Questions” discussion forum. Students can post their questions and I can answer it there for the entire class to see, thus preventing repeat emails. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, another student will answer the question first and thus a community is born! Well, that varies from semester to semester, but this academic year I’ve been particularly impressed by my students’ abilities to rely upon each other for feedback & their appreciation of blogs, Skype, Twitter, and Google DOCs.

OK back to the title of this post.

Wait a second… 😛

In addition to having various WORD documents open while course planning, I’ve recently become obsessed with tumblr. And the cause of that obsession? Sherlock Homes. BBC’s Sherlock to be specific.

I won’t go into how brilliant each episode is or spoil Season 2 for you Americans who haven’t seen it yet [I have my sources], but instead focus on the fandom. The #IBelieveinSherlockHolmes movement has been amazing to watch and what I love about tumblr is that, given I have little time or skills to create my own fan art, I can “reblog” it.

Perhaps that’s lazy (and twitter has been considered blogging for lazy people) but look at the variety of ways the tumblr interface prompts you to post:

If I didn’t already have this blog space, which also has imported all of my USF blog posts from 2005-2008, I would definitely use tumblr as my primary blog. But, for now, this space will be for “longer thoughts” and my tumblr will be for spreading the word that #MoriartyWasReal and #IBelieveinSherlockHolmes!


Downton Abbeyoncé

This week, between workouts and the return to teaching, I have been drafting a post about my newly founded obsession with tumblr. I should get to publish that later this evening, but I wanted to quickly point out the site inspired me to create my tumblr account in the first place: Downton Abbeyoncé.

I’ve been a Downton Fan since last March when I first watched the series on my iPhone and while I might not know everything about Beyonce, I know enough to say the combo of these two are brilliant, fabulous and hilarious.

Here are my favorite creations:


If you do go subscribe to this tumblr, be warned that some images may contain Season 2 spoilers, but you can quickly remedy that by tuning in to Downton on PBS every Sunday night!


my new year’s resolution


When I was leaving the gym yesterday I overheard an instructor saying how packed the classes will be once all the students come back to town. We were already a group of 50 but the number is bound to rise since we get two waves of new years’ resolution-ers here due to the academic calendar. Classes [university, not gym] don’t start for us until January 23 thanks to the “Winterm” session.

So it hit me:  Why not put the same amount of effort into my blogging as I do at the gym in turbokick and zumba? I average 6 classes a week there but only managed 2 unique blog posts here last semester? WTF?!? Although I did sneak in a few posts over at the graduate course blog, how can I even call myself a blog researcher? Yes, the Catholic guilt crosses over to academia quite nicely, doesn’t it?

The thing is, I have wanted to blog about some new teaching methods and reflections, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t like to go public much anymore. Being on the tenure track means I’m constantly evaluated, and while I’ve received “Above” rankings every year and, so far, have successfully jumped through a number of Promotion hoops, I haven’t wanted to jeopardize things, either by accidentally ranting about students and committee work or expressing my honest opinions on the political scene in Wisconsin.

The fault also lies in social media. Even though my Twitter updates aren’t protected anymore, those posts are more dialogic as are my Facebook posts where comments and “likes” offer me instant response. In fact, now that Facebook won’t be importing the links to these blog posts [their effort to get users to post Notes], who knows how much traffic this blog will receive. But there are things I want to post about…things that show the world who I am and what my interests are.

Primarily, those things are pop culture-y, so it’s a good thing I’ll be attending the national Popular Culture Association conference this April. I’ll be on the Virtual Identities and Self-Promoting panel, but more on that later.

Til then, I have tons of tv & music things to post because they’ve shaped my 2011 & made me smile, none more than this LMFAO performance.

Battery is dying on the laptop, but you can expect to hear more from me soon cuz “I-I-I-I work out” and blog this year!