Sunday, April 17, 2016

New Beginnings

I don't do memes. I don't do groups and prompts. I just don't. Except I am now doing a meme.

Last week, I became aware of a tsunami of sorts when a few presently-reluctant-but-once-prodigious bloggers all began to post. What?!

Apparently, they and others, still hang out on FB and got to wondering why they stopped blogging and began opining that they should start again. Somehow, I got invited along the way, and my unjoining/ungroupie self has decided to join and group.

While I never stopped blogging, my blog certainly changed over the years, and to some degree, although not entirely, I stopped writing.

When I first began to blog, back in 2003, although photos soon popped up on my blog, my posts were mostly prose. Over time, I shifted to a marked photo emphasis. Oh, a few posts are still heavier on the writing, but not many.

Anyolehow ... this new group of Comeback Bloggers (yes, that's the name) plans to post a topic per week, and members have that week to come up with their contributions. The first topic is appropriate for those who have fallen by the blogging wayside: Why Did You Start Blogging in the First Place.

I was still fairly early into my retirement years and found my interests often revolved around the computer. For one thing, I had taken an interest in coding web pages and had taken a few online courses. I had also been teaching myself Photoshop. One day, an email list that I had subscribed to mentioned Blogger and how easy it was to set up a blog. And so I clicked on the link to Blogger, set up a page, and have been posting ever since.

In the early days, I sometimes wrote at length, comparatively speaking at any rate. For example: my third entry, A Jumble of Late Night Thoughts About Good Teachers and Associated Things, was 13 paragraphs long. I don't expect anyone to go back to it now, but to get a bit of the flavour, here is a little excerpt.

"I don't think, heck I know, that most people have no idea just how good the average teacher is: the guy or gal who is probably teaching thirty kids for four to five hours per day. Most of us keep most of them moderately entertained, moderately on track, do a pretty fine job of babysitting; and we teach them a heck of a lot of important stuff while we're at it. Through it all, students accumulate skills and knowledge, develop their intellects, learn of their strengths and weaknesses. They learn despite shortcomings: theirs and/or ours. The average teacher is quite proactive in challenging and developing up to or more than thirty young minds at a time for those four or five hours a day. Calculate how long it takes for you to prepare a ten minute speech, and think upon that. Let that inform you about the strength of the average teacher who does yeoman service for many hours each day: the one whom we don't bother to call good."

Once the grandchildren came along, I shifted to more photocentric postings, partly because they were so darn cute and deserved public adulation and partly because I spent a lot of time with them, babysitting full time for about 4 years and seemingly always being on call with less time to string coherent thoughts together. At the same time, my interest in photography even increased and Blogger had made posting photos much easier, so the shift was natural. (Note: posting photos was not always easy in the early days.)

Frankly, for the most part, I have let my writing slide. While I expect my blog to remain generally photocentric, I could certainly use a weekly prompt to nudge the gray matter into putting a few words and thoughts together. This may be a lot to ask of myself as I slip further into my dotage and risk destroying my keyboard with the drool that now courses from my quivering lips as my enfeebled brain searches desperately for the right words that become more and more difficult to retrieve.

Oh, by the way in case you can't tell: I have a wacky sense of humour and kid a lot, or at least a little. I kind of slip it in and may seem serious, and I think that some people don't necessarily catch on. Stay tuned.


16 comments:

Marie Smith said...

I look forward to your renewed vigor at blogging!

Ginger said...

Wow. Great paragraph on teachers, AC. Loved the humor, loved this post, and found a grin on my face as I finished reading it.

Ruth said...

You write very well, even if you have posted photo centrically lately. I don't think I am made of strong enough stuff to have had a teaching career in a school.

KGMom said...

I am not sure I would call we happy band of resuscitated bloggers a meme. I "googled" meme and found this definition: A meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture".

Well, I submit blogging itself is a meme. As is Facebook. I think what we're doing is encouraging each other as writers, trying to write on a common theme or topic, and promising to read and react to what we say.

But, whatever, glad you have joined...even if you decide when necessary to unjoin.

Jayne said...

Nice to "meet" you, John. I've certainly seen you around Blogger during the years, and not sure why our blog paths didn't cross at some point. We're happy you've joined us. Apparently, a good many of us feel we need to exercise our writing muscles. This is going to be so enjoyable.

Tabor said...

I am definitely NOT a joiner. I just do not like a forced structure to this free time of writing. I started a blog...because...it was almost something I just had to do. I remember being a bit frightened in doing it and putting myself out there to the world of strangers, but as I have grown older, I realize that fear is silliness. I also post thinks on FB thinking I am being funny and then being taken seriously!

graceeverydayblog said...

Glad you are here! Looking forward to writing AND cute grandkid photos!

Melodee said...

Looking forward to reading more of your writing. I have known you online for so long - back before there WERE grandkids!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Like Jayne, I think I have seen you around as well. Good to connect. And here's to some happy blogging :)

Linda Kay said...

John, please think about joining me on Wednesdays for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom where we use a picture to begin our story or poem. We would love to have you join us!

Hena Tayeb said...

It is interesting to see how our styles of blogging.. self expression etc evolve..
Looking forward to see what your weekly prompts are and how you express them

Mara said...

I haven't been following your blog since the beginning beginning (yes, meant to be twice), but I cottoned on once the cute and adulation deserving grands came along. I always love your photos and I do think you have a great writing style as well.

Look forward to see more of all three. Please!

Vicki Lane said...

Interesting to know how you got started. I too have become more photocentric over the years-- every other day just photos.

Geezers said...

An interesting idea for a first blog post after a haitus of several months...."why did you start blogging?"

Will perhaps have to use that as my theme for next week.

Kay said...

I really like your "whacky sense of humor." Your photos are excellent, but it's good to mix prose with it too. And oh yes, the grandkids are indeed adorable.
Coincidentally, I had my rare back-in-the-classroom dream last night. I haven't had one in a while.

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm glad you decided to join us, even if it goes against your nature!