June is finally here, and the last day of school came to a close yesterday afternoon. It is more or less officially summer, although in Florida summer is more of a way of life than a season. In any case, I now have a couple of months of prepping ahead of me for my much needed switch from teaching biology and anatomy to teaching Bible, apologetics, psychology, and possibly theology. I’ll most likely post some thoughts on what it was like teaching science for a year, but in the mean time, here’s what was most read on the blog this past month.
Top 10 Posts for May
- How To Not Address Homosexuality As A Christian
- Inception within Inception
- The Goodness of Inequality
- Psalms As Torah: Reading Biblical Song Ethically
- The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context
- Equipping Counselors For Your Church: Conclusion
- Ryan Gosling and Theology
- How To Worship When You Think The Songs Suck
- Muse: Absolution
- Stewarding the Environment at SeaWorld
New Posting Schedule
Typically, I’ve attempted to post M-F over roughly the past year. Before that I was going for at least a weekly post, but it was really hit or miss. Over this past year of consistent weekday posting I’ve noticed that while I can make definitely make it happen, it seems to be at the expense of quality posts and writing. Since I’ve been feeling like I need a break, all I can guarantee is that over the summer I’ll post at least twice a week. Basically, you can expect a weekly book review (and I’ve got some good ones) and at least one other post on something bouncing around in my head.
Going into the fall, I’ll shift to posting on a M-W-F schedule, which is more conducive to my teaching schedule (read: load). Only once I feel like the quality has improved (and you can help point out when that happens) will I entertain bumping the posting to a more frequent schedule. The tentatively plan is for Monday to be for book reviews, Wednesday for a article in an on-going series or some other interesting post, and Friday to be for miscellaneous lists or something that is not an article. This week has been a kind of example with Monday offering you a book review, Wednesday offering a list of upcoming books for review, and today being a short article on the state of the blog (and then because I had time, and a short heads up Thursday for our reading group).
Writing and Productivity
Part of the rationale behind the new posting schedule is a reorganization of my productivity flow. Looking ahead to the fall, I don’t foresee being able to blog on T/Th/F (since I’ll be teaching all day instead of just two periods) and I don’t plan to spend a good bit of the day M/W focusing on the blog like I have been. As I revisit how I go about getting things done, I want to have the freedom to draft out blog posts farther in advance (especially book reviews) and spend more time on the editing process. So, in a way, I may spend more time writing over the summer than I have in the past few months, but you’ll actually see less blog posts.
Though it is not a main focus of the blog, because it is so ubiquitous I plan to at least fill you in as I go back over my workflow. I’ve always been fairly efficient at getting things done, and some of my tips and tricks could be helpful. The downside though is that efficiency kills creativity and I’d like to do better on the latter (which at least at first is going to seem less efficient). I’d like to become more creative and therefore more effective as a communicator. This probably won’t happen overnight, so bear with me.
Now, it wouldn’t really be summer without some poolside reading (once again, a year-round activity here in Florida). Typically, I read outside of the theology/biblical studies genre over the summer, sometimes far outside of it. Last summer for instance, I had some interesting picks, some of which I’m re-reading for pleasure this summer. I was however a bit too ambitious in picking the books I did, which let’s be honest, is a perpetual problem of mine. I was also finishing up work on my thesis, which had its own reading load attached. Similarly, this summer I’ve got class prep which also has some attached reading. I also have reviews to do, which has reading attached, and I’m guessing you’ve sensed a theme at this point.
What I want to recover though is unattached reading. You know, pleasure reading. Certainly the reading I do for other reasons can be pleasurable, but along the way over the last year I kind of lost the joy of reading. Over the summer, I’d like to get back to doing reading simply because its enjoyable and not because I have to write something about the book at a later date. Since I’ve been so assignment driven for so long, this might be difficult, but I’ve got a few months to get the hang of it.
Lastly, the pursuit of unattached reading for the pure joy of it is part of a larger pursuit. In the heavily productivity-laden focus I’ve had for the last 8-9 years of school and work, it has started feeling like a part of me died, and not in a good way. Now, I’m sure part of my soul didn’t really die, but I lost a certain more vibrant part of my personality (I think) and I’d like to recover it. Some of it (I think) has come out over the last year from being a high school teacher. But some of it could still be further cultivated. I’m not sure I can really explain it more at this point, so I would imagine the July editorial will flesh out the details.
In the meantime, school’s out for summer, and I’m excited for that for a whole new set of reasons that come with being a teacher!
Now, if I could just finish grading…