- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
(For this week's Fun Monday, Ann over at for the long run wants to hear about a web site that's changed your life. A web site you can't live without. A web site whose inventor you'd like to see win a McArthur Genius Award. I'll share the three that launched me into the blogosphere.)
You know how some pretty wonderful things in your life begin with just an off-hand observation or question? For example: "I'd like to meet that guy. When do you want to go? Can we afford it?" Well, life as a blogger began for me in just this casual a way and the rewards have been both unexpected and great. One Saturday afternoon last May while we were out on one of our regular cultural rambles, I commented to longtime friend Kittyhawk that I was interested in starting a blog. The conversation then went off in another direction.
Later that same night I got an e-mail from Kittyhawk with this web site and her suggestion that I play around with it to see what this blogging phenomenon was all about. (Disclaimer time: I'm not at all tech savvy, but I do write regularly, including some pretty amusing e-mails to my working stiff friends from the Summit Court retirement digs.)
I immediately opened the web site blogger and before I knew it was the proud Momma of my very own blog,Summit Musings. Okay, I'll admit that my blog name is not the most clever--in fact, it's borderline pretentious! However, I was already at Step 2 Name Your Blog and didn't know how to turn back!
Before my blog and I went to bed that first night I had set up an account, named it, chosen a somewhat boring, but satisfying to me, brown template. I also figured out how to make that first post introducing my baby to the world. The next morning I had a chance to try commenting for the first time on someone else's blog. In the Sunday papers there was a story about Samantha Larson, the 18 year old from California who on Thursday, May 17, had successfully summited Mt. Everest, becoming the youngest person to climb the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Samantha posted reports of her Everest trek on a blog. It was a great thrill to join thousands of other bloggers in sending instant congratulations to Samantha on the mountain in Nepal!
I introduced Summit Musings to the world through a mass e-mail to all my friends. I told them that I started the blog as a way of staying tuned in with them--and the world--in retirement. I also had things on my mind and interests that I was never willing to discuss as much as I wanted to in conversations with friends and acquaintances. This blog was to be my platform and I hoped they would join in the discussions. The initial response was very gratifying. Periodically, I would send out "shameless blog promotions" alerting them that there was good stuff out on Summit Musings for their reading pleasure!
There came a time, however, when I felt that I was stalking my friends. They were working, busy living their own lives. My blog wasn't, nor did it need to be, the center of their universe--damn! I began searching for new reader communities and ways to improve my blog so people would want to visit me.
Those of you who use Blogger are quite familiar with Blogs of Note, their rotating lists of blogs that are well done and interesting. I began checking them out regularly and studying them for pointers on how to improve my blog. My first lucky find was caffeinated librarian . This is a very smart,well-written blog that is just chockful of observations and information on pop culture, books, music and current events--just what you'd expect from a mid-30s librarian. My favorite feature is CL's Thursday Tour de Blog. The Tour routes you to many other personal and public blogs and has been a source of other bloggers that are now regular reads for me.
I found Dave2 on CL's Tour de Blog and study it all the time. Dave2 has a great community of regular readers of all ages, it seems. He travels a great deal with work and makes an effort to meet fellow bloggers at blogging conferences that he sets up to coincide with his business travel. He is a great observer of human nature and doesn't suffer fools lightly. At first, I really had to screw up a lot of courage to comment on his blog--fearing getting flamed. But,so far, so good. Finally, Dave2 and his sidekick Bad Monkey are excellent sources of all things computer technology. I may never lust after the latest phone, game, or computer program, but I can read about it first at Blogography.
So, my education as a blogger is just beginning, but the more I study the better I hope my blog will be. I'm looking forward to checking out the web sites that other Fun Monday participants love. And, oh yes, can't sign off without sending Laurie at three dog blog a big thanks for her lesson on clickable links to a URL. Laurie, it worked!