Saturday, November 03, 2007

Origins

I began blogging before it was called blogging.

In the fall of 1999, I transferred from Western Washington University in Bellingham to the University of Washington in Seattle, where I declared a double major in Women Studies and French. I'd been a francophile since middle school, when I began taking French classes. So when I saw a listing for a class called The History of Paris, I immediately signed up. A month into the class, the professor distributed a flyer for a month-long study abroad in Paris. It was worth 10 credits I think, and the tuition was something like $1100. On the flyer was a photo of Nike (Winged Victory), which is my favorite sculpture of all time. The moment I saw this flyer, I told myself I had to go.

And I did! In the summer of 2000, I made a geocities site to update what I was doing and seeing. There were about 25 of us, living at the Cite Universitaire in the south of Paris, in the Provinces dormitory. Our classes met every morning Monday through Thursday in both French language and Paris literature. Each day the French professor (a native Parisian woman who was both the kindest and most intelligent woman I've ever met) made us a traditional lunch and every Friday was field trip day. One day we took the train all the way out to Chartres; we toured Versailles; we went to Notre Dame first thing in the morning for fresh orange juice and croissants, and visiting the top of the towers.

Unfortunately, at some point a couple years later, I apparently deleted all those entries, much to my regret.

Perhaps fortunately, I went to Europe for five weeks in the summer of 2001 after I graduated from college. My mom and I spent a week touring Greece, then I went to Italy alone for eight days or so, from there I met up with my aunt and cousin in Paris for a week. My mom met us there at the end of the week and we all traveled north to Scotland (the Isle of Skye, the seat of my mom's family's ancestors), and finally ended with four days in London. All those uninteresting entries do live on.

After that, I periodically updated the website (which was just called a website, the term blog wouldn't come along for several years), which was cheesy and pathetic and just plain silly. Mostly I complained about being bored and lonely, or whatever stupid moody mood I was in. Oh, and in 2002, I made another Geocities website for my AmeriCorps team.

So in February 2004, around the time I came to NYC to interview for the Fellows program, and at which time I had amassed a grand total of 700 page views, I moved over to Blogger.

Later I moved all the old entries over, and there they are in the archives. I warn you--they are bad! Very un-good! As much as the entries nowadays are not exactly prize-winning fare, those old ones are worse. But hey, practice makes perfect, right? Something like that. That's what I tell my students. And yes, I think my writing has gotten better. At least it's good when I make an effort, which is not often. So I hope to work on that a little bit this month, when I shall post daily in honor of NaBloPoMo.

Thus, my blog is nearly seven and a half years old, and it is not just a teacher blog. It started way before I became a teacher and will continue for probably long after I'm no longer a teacher. Oh, and the name is NOT a reference to my many shifting moods. It is actually named after an awesome mix CD I made in early 2004.

Here is the song list:

*Shades of Grey--Cry, Cry, Cry
*Guilty--Bonnie Raitt
*Tempted by the Fruit of Another--Squeeze
*The Downeaster Alexa--Billy Joel
*One Day I'll Fly Away--Moulin Rouge soundtrack
*Seasons of Love--Rent soundtrack
*The Water is Wide--Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Dixie Chicks
*Son of a Preacher Man--Marianne Faithful
*Seven--Prince
*Low--Kelly Clarkson
*Freedom--Wham
*Center of the Sun--Conjure One f/ Poe
*Tears from the Moon--Conjure One f/ Sinead O'Connor
*Think Twice--Groove Armada
*Little Plastic Castle--Ani Difranco
*The Wild Rose--Nick Cave f/ Kylie Minogue
*Sistersong--Ani Difranco, Tori Amos, Paula Cole
*Grey--Ani Difranco
*Colourblind--Counting Crows

1 comment:

jonathan said...

We both blogged the word "ungood" today.

Did I ever tell you about using the internet before it was called "the internet"...? Sometimes the regular link to Europe (to Europe!) was down, and you had to tell your communications to go via George Washington University's servers instead of by the standard path...

Actually true, but not as cool as blogging before blogging!