2017 in Review

if seventy were young
and death uncommon

e.e. cummings

This adventure in blogging at WordPress began in 2013, and since a huge peak in 2014 (almost 150,000 visitors and 423 posts), my posting and traffic have dwindled slightly each of the last three years with 2017 having approximately 90,500 visitors and my posting 185 new pieces.

Not completely sure what the data trends mean—or that I care to figure that out. But this blog now has over 10,000 followers and I think 2017 represented a year in which I allowed myself to be an essayist and a writer more often than something like a public intellectual or education reform analyst/critic.

I think this will be continued in 2018, but how can anybody know …

2017 was the first time in over three decades I could not call myself a road cyclist because of an accident on Xmas Eve 2016, and the last half of the year was a turbulent and painful loss of my father in June and mother in December. All of that weaves through the blog posts, of course.

My most viewed posts of 2017 are two enduring pieces not written last year—likely because they are about authors often searched online:

  1. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”: Allegory of Privilege
  2. “Fahrenheit 451” 60 Years Later: “Why do we need the things in books?”

But here are the top 10 posts original to 2017:

  1. Why Journalists Shouldn’t Write about Education
  2. Rejecting Growth Mindset and Grit at Three Levels
  3. First Days of Class: Who We Are, Why We Are Here
  4. Welcome to College!: How High School Fails Students
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird, White Saviors, and the Paradox of Obama and Race
  6. Navigating Choice Reading with High-Stakes Accountability in Mind
  7. Teaching Students to Dislike Poetry: “What is the most boring subject/possible?”
  8. Post and Courier (Charleston, SC): CCSD plan for teachers won’t work
  9. Seeing the Essay Again for the First Time
  10. The Tribalism that Divides: “the victims of the Us v. Them years/Wrecking all things virtuous and true”

And I’d like also to acknowledge my most-viewed original poems of 2017:

  1. ‘Merica (Charles Manson is dead)
  2. mirrors (we are monsters)
  3. functioning (falling)
  4. we rape the bees (because we can)
  5. the politics of lumber
  6. white folk (switchblade)
  7. Conversation 17 (equal parts unhappy and sad)
  8. fragility (and then i realize)
  9. broken (little private terrors)
  10. if god were a capitalist and created the world by playing Scrabble ®

If you read my blog regularly or simply come across it once in a while, I am deeply appreciative of you taking my words seriously. It is the thing a writer wants …

“if seventy were young/ and death uncommon…to say would be to sing”—may we say, may we sing into this new year.