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ReflectionOur NMC community hosts a great many stories: history’s lessons, tomorrow’s dreams, and tales of triumph (and of other well-intentioned ideas yielding more modest results). We grow as colleagues share these stories. We’re uplifted and energized; we help carry each other’s burdens.

The 4x4x16 teaching@NMC blogging project brought a new challenge our way. Would we step beyond our comfortable and safe hallway chats to launch broader discussions? Write to share across NMC, but face public visibility beyond?

I took a risk and said “yes” to invest a bit of myself into our community. Since I’m not a frequent author of anything beyond email and Moodle posts (and since I’m as busy as any of us), blogging took quite a bit of my precious energy and time. I’ve long known that I wanted to do such a thing – I occasionally post thoughts on a rudimentary teaching blog – but urgency never rose high enough to overcome procrastination. Now I had deadlines to meet. Perceived peer pressure added more incentive than tasty ice cream (though I did thoroughly enjoy the Coffee Heath Bar Crunch).

Encouraging words and insightful question appeared in the posts shared by other bloggers. I’m glad to have been a part of it, and I hope NMC will repeat the project next year. I also hope that our teaching@nmc site will become a frequently-visited and treasured resource for NMC faculty.

Someday I will record memoirs for my children and grandchildren, sharing personal stories of tractors, dairy farms, trombones, engineering school, country-country moves, 10K races, home-building, teaching, and so on. This blogging project experience might just get me started.

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