Assignment Number One: “About” me.

I now fully feel like I’m one of Tyler Durden’s minions from Fight Club.  I’ll never forget the night Tyler (played by Brad Pitt) implored his followers to all go out and get in a fight with a total stranger…  and of all things: lose.  Watching a clip from the movie will tell you it wasn’t all that easy.  Ok, wait.  I’m not actually engaging in any sort of urban terrorism here.  This is just blogging.  Edu-blogging.  Coaching from afar.  Connecting.  And today…  telling folks about me.  I wonder if Steve Dembo has ever thought of himself as Durden.  Here’s me:  betting that he hasn’t.

faces of me

However, Mr. Dembo certainly is putting the edublogosphere, and anyone else who cares to read, on assignment.  Today’s “assignment” comes as part one of thirty in the “Thirty Days to Being a Better Blogger” series.  Now this is one ambitious task.  I feel particularly giddy if I roll off more than one post in a week.  And the assignment for day one:  the “About” page.  Seems simple enough.  However, even though this page comes complete in nearly any readymade blog theme, few people capitalize on it.  Reading today’s post at Teach42 made me a believer in the importance of this page in any blog.

“…when you get right down to it, the About page is absolutely critical to a blog. It provides visitors insight into who the author is, what they can expect to see on the blog, and what sort of lenses the information is being viewed through.”  ~S.Dembo

So be sure to fix up your About page in the very near future.  I would expect a few folks might even pay a bit more attention in the near future.  Actually, when you think about it, you have likely already tapped this page on any blog I have pointed you toward already.  Think about it.  Have you?  Be sure to check out the pages in the blogroll on the lower half of the right column here.  They are all huge references for me.  It might be good to scan a few of those to see how they let their readers know who and what they can expect to read there.

I do hope the next twenty-nine assignments stay as far away from the “Fight Club” list as possible…  I’m way too out of shape for that kind of battle.  Anyone care to play along here with me?

Sean Nash

District Online Learning Coordinator (eCampus) in a large public district of over thirty individual schools. Most recently, a district instruction coordinator. Biology instructor since 1993. Find more about my passions and my work at http://nashworld.me

7 Comments

  1. (Take two!)

    LOL, you are absolutely right, I have never considered myself as Durden. And that is one painful analogy 🙂

    However, I do think that anybody that survives through all 30 days will be a leaner, meaner, more conscientious blogger.

    Glad to have you along!

  2. I enjoyed your About page and I love the pictures with you facial expressions. I have added you to my Google Reader. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

  3. As I watched the Fight Club clip, I more personally, and perhaps obviously in my building, related the assignment to “get into a fight” with our tech cohort’s assignment for the participating teachers to get them to engage in their own blogging (which includes widely reading, responding and creating in our “assignment”).

    I can’t help but LOL as I watched the clip and saw the dude with the water hose spraying people as they walked by to get them to engage. Nash, you have to totally relate to that type of attempt with our teachers. And here’s the best part…soaking wet, it is working!

  4. @Steve – thanks for posting that twice. Marking that comment as spam was quite the mistake!

    @Pam – Heh. Thanks. Those images were generated one boring summer day about seven years or so ago. I took them with a new Sony CLie’ handheld that I was playing around with. Funny. Now that little clamshell beast sits on my nightstand, relegated to being a remote for the TV in our bedroom that never gets viewed.

    @Jeanette – I do feel like that at times. Actually, I remember relating this scene in the movie to JincyT. the first year I was an inst. coach. I remember telling her how much I wished we could engage in just that sort of vigilante PD on a weekly basis. I know, I know… perhaps that is a bit too constructivist. (tongue in cheek here) I personally think that approach is terribly motivating. Then again, I am a still-somewhat-childish male, and that is how I like to learn. 😉

  5. If only we could adopt this philosophy with our students more often — starting a fight and losing. Maybe not a fight, but challenging our students — with no intention of “winning” but instead fighting the fight as a way of getting them to dig deeper to find the information, content, material, facts, etc., they need to defend their thinking, their reasoning, their opinion, their ideas. In fact, it’s a good concept to take into collaboration at least once in a while: Present an off-beat, unusual or less-popular idea just for the sake of starting the argument — or at least conversation — that might lead to a better instructional plan or assessment tool, for example.

  6. @tori – I know. I agree with you totally. This is the way I deliver instruction within the four walls of my classroom. My kids get it pretty quickly that they are going to be challenged to get messy in thought and bend an idea or two.

    I have always been a bit skeered of delivering that type of “challenge” in a professional development format. I think our staff is gaining new boldness. However, even a short three years ago our staff was far too straight-laced, conventional and conservative.

    Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it is time to let a bit of my right-brained weirdness seep into the realm of pd. You think?

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