David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   

December 19, 2019

This website is wrapping up its first decade, as it started in Fall 2010, providing me the opportunity to provide a ten-year retrospective like so many media outlets are doing. Why do a year in review when you can do a decade in review?  It allows me the chance to wonder what the decade has brought, to identify what cyber-crimes I have wrought.

It started in September 2010 with observations about serving both traditional and adult students.  It seems to be finishing with my concession that I am running out of observations about anything.

For the most part of the decade, I have set out to be the apoplectic academic, railing about the inanities of my industry, acrimonious toward educators too insulated to change, too traditional to overturn the underlying structures that define higher education's history (but, clearly, I am willing to postulate as pretentiously as the next doc). 

At some points in between the start and the end of the decade, however, disgusted by my never-ending diatribes, I chose chronicler as my unofficial role.  Out of my head, I even dedicated a semester to my HEAD (Higher Education Administration Diaries) that led me to capturing the details, to submitting the minutia, that is the everyday workload of an administrator.

Recognizing that my daily work life was a limited library, as well as appreciating that my underlying rancor was impossible to keep down, I went all in analog.  Any opportunity I had to discuss "Education By Association," I took.  Higher Ed became an NCAA tournament, the subject of Aimee Mann songs, the premise for table top sports games, t.v. game shows, even NPR radio game shows

By 2014, though, I had come to realize that the comparative value of academia was limited, as there aren't just enough ridiculous associations in an infinite universe.

Right when I first suspected my creative juices might be drying up, I found a personal angle, but not one that I would have chosen.  The accidental methane poisoning of my parents in April 2015 led me to use the blog as balm, as soothing aloe for the suddenly apathetic academic. I wrote some amazing pieces, in my humble opinion, that only a handful of people might really understand.  Not the smartest move for a public website.

Even as the pain of their death dissipated, I found that for the second half of the decade, my tendency was to turn consistently to poetry, even as it consistently turned people away.  My own near death experience in 2017, the cultural wars beginning with the 2016 election, and the presence of a very tumultuous period at SMC lent themselves more as subject of public posts than the regularity of higher education foolishness did. For instance, note that, at this point, it looks like 2019 will have just 3 instances of "Responding to the Ridiculous," and nothing since May.

And then last night I get this fantastic submission to my Contact page:

I had my cousins ask me to give a big applause for the work you have all put in writing this forum. Actually your superior writing skills has made me to have to begin my own site. Check out weblog I just developed for onion seo in flagstaff my email marketing denver seo company Well, I hope to engage in a chat and begin some fascinating topics with all of you in the near future. What a nice treasure to find , sharing very specialized helpful tips. The blog is very rare like a gem and will quicken things for my friends and I in my spare time. I am completely impressed by the secrets that everybody contributes on this web site. It shows how nicely everyone has understood these ideas. I saved a link to this website and will returning for trending information. You my experts are the best genius. I came upon the knowledge that I had already searched everywhere and also couldn't find. What a well developed forum.

Maybe my time here (on this site, not on this earth, don't worry, I am not keen on hyperbole) is far from done.  I need to seek out this writer's cousins, as they clearly recognize quality work.  In addition, my work clearly appears to be the efforts of many, since we "have all put [something] in writing this forum."  I have inspired someone to start his or her own site, but I don't know if I should go to Flagstaff, Arizona, or Denver, Colorado, to make his or her day.

My blogs have some kind of magical power as they seem able to "quicken things," although if this is just another way to tell me they are a good laxative, I might have to reassess this.  Most importantly, my team of writers is sharing secrets, which might make us loved and hated at the same time.

Perhaps what scares me most is the writer's anticipation of trending information.  Egads, that is a lot of pressure.

The good news is that I feel rejuvenated.  Maybe all hope is not lost.  I even feel like I can wrap up the decade with a brief poem:

As the decade winds down

And the last few days descend,

I am proud of the work

And the diatribes I've penned.

If the personal got in the way,

It at least reveals the friends.

All in all, I'd say the decade

Was truly a 10/10.