David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
The 400 Blogs (That Blow)

June 21, 2018

At some point the last month, I passed another milestone--posting a 400th blog.  I am now slightly above that number, but disappointed that I didn't think to stop and assess the moment. In the past, I have stopped and taken account before (Reckoning and One Pithy DWF and 200 Solemn Blogs), but it has clearly been a long time since 200 and 400.

405 over a period of about 7 3/4 years means that I have blogged almost exactly once a week, which became my goal after about 6 months. Outside of the insanity of trying to maintain the daily (at least work-week daily) pace of HEAD--Higher Education Administrator Diaries, once a week has been almost manageable.  I say almost because not only does the higher education landscape seem blandly the same after 7 3/4 years, but so does my ability to frame any discussion.  It's probably one of the reasons I have turned more to poetry--less framework, less argument, less structure needed.

What has "It's All Academic," the blog site, been by the numbers since October 2010?

232,354 words (as a comparison, It's All Academic is about 106,000 words).

2745 words in the longest blog, January 5, 2018's Everything Compares 2 U.

574 words, the average length of blogs.

405 blogs (not counting this one)

269 references/allusions to popular music (Warren Zevon and Morrissey/The Smiths with 11 each).

248 main topics related to higher education (many more, indirectly).

212 TV/Movie references/allusions (combined because too many specific references could be to both, as with Monty Python, which has the most at 14).

91 Literary references (Popular culture easily winning out over my educational credentials).

81 words, the shortest blog, January 10, 2011's poem, Networking.

64 poems, some stand alone, some embedded within larger blogs.

58 main topics related to personal experiences, beliefs or issues (also, many more indirectly. If there were times I didn't want to shine the light too brightly into corners of academia, you have to accept there are as many times I didn't want to shine that light into the corners of my psyche).

54 main topics related to societal issues not housed within higher education.

50 sports references/allusions.

30 parodies, all within context of blog's main topic.

25 history/politics references, not embedded in a popular culture or literary reference.

17 unfinished blogs (not counted in the 405).

17 gaming references.

13 cartoon/comic references.

11 Top 10 lists.

11 post-conference observations.

8 direct reflections on my own heart attack, from almost exactly a year ago, and recovery.

6 people/animals eulogized/memorialized at time of death (2 parents, multiple eulogies; 2 pets; 1 mentor; 1 childhood acquaintance).

1 completed blog not posted for public consumption (not counted in the 405).

No surprises here particularly jump out at me. Maybe the relatively small numbers of any musical act I love, including Zevon and Morrissey/The Smiths as mentioned above.  I have been a little taken aback that more blogs weren't in excess of 1500 words, but only a handful are.  They all sure feel a lot longer as I work on them.

I also thought I might pick out a few favorites, but like children, they all are special . . . and deeply flawed.

So, I am not sure what, if anything, all of this really tells me.  I wanted to break down the higher education blogs to total the numbers of times I ranted about a specific area of academia, but too many were intertwined.  Even breaking down the history to the above has taken over a week, and has bordered on boredom while doing it.

I suppose I should just sit back and be relatively happy and proud.  I am not sure there are many things, good or bad, that I have done over 400 times the last 7+ years, especially if I remove the stuff done just to stay alive.  If I am honest with myself, a few of these may have been necessary to keep me alive.  And that extends well beyond the 8 cardiac chronicles.