My 2015 (re-post!)

I was tagged by my sweet Twitter nephew Justin Birckbichler to write a reflective post. I don’t usually reflect on things, which I know is something horrible to admit.  But reflection requires quiet thought.  I am neither quiet nor thoughtful – I am much more likely to DO without thinking than is good for me.

So let’s start with things that I attempted in 2015 that didn’t work out so well:
– Ever walk out of the classroom thinking “Why didn’t they LOVE that? By golly in my mind that was going to be the best class session EVAH and they all stared at me blankly.”  This happened to me more times in 2015 than I care to admit.
– Ever get hired to do a speech on social media for parents and have two people show up who weren’t even parents?  Yep.  
– Ever give a talk on digital citizenship to high schoolers and spend the following week reading crass and nasty Tweets about yourself?  Yes it was ironic.  And yes, I must have really sucked that day.
– Ever fall for a hoax online because you’re so likely to believe horrible things about cable news?  Yep, I did that too.
– Ever receive a scathing email from someone you respect about how much he hated your book?  Yep. I can cross that off my list.
– Ever have a student tell you she’s not graduating because she failed your course?  And then wonder what you could have done differently to help her?   Yep.  This semester.  Awful.
– Ever lose your cool in front of your class because they’re not responding and then feel like shit afterwards and apologize? Yep.
– Ever get chosen for a conference and then have the moderator let the other people go on too long so that by the time you get to talk about media literacy, you have seven minutes?  I can also cross that off my list.
– Ever get an email from a brilliant student about how you missed a great chance at a class discussion one day?  Yep.
– Ever obsess over the one negative course evaluation while ignoring the 149 positive ones?  Always.
– Ever question what you’re doing with your life, wonder if you could be making more money, making more of a difference, using your talents in a different way?  Or for that matter, ever have days when you wonder if you have any talent whatsoever?  I had loads of those days toward the end of 2015.  Just not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

Things that worked out well:
– Having students groan when class is over – more times than I can count.
– Several speaking gigs where it was crowded and people were hungry for media literacy
– Getting emails from high schoolers saying “Thanks for coming to talk to us about social media”
– Sharing loads of online hoaxes and getting people to think of me when they see them
– Receiving Tweets and emails from strangers about how much they loved my book
– Loads of students who tell me “I’ll never look at the media in the same way again.”
– Meeting Twitter friends in real live at loads of conferences
– Getting a Christmas card from a student saying “You made me like school again.”

The adjunct life means nothing is concrete in 2016 except five courses spring semester.  And I know when I doubt myself, or screw up – I can turn to my wonderful friends on Twitter to remind me what’s really important:

Diet Coke and Star Wars.  xo