Update, Feb. 3, 2013

Hands too sore to typeWorking on my site

I’ve spent most of the past three days just adding pages to my site and I still have nearly 300 pages from the old site that haven’t been transferred yet. I somehow keep forgetting that the 700 pages or so that made up the last version of my site didn’t just appear overnight, but that they represented ideas, materials, links, and other resources that accumulated over the course of more than 15 years!

That said, I keep seeing content that just needs to be on my site and while I realize the value of adding things slowly— not just so that they can be found and digested by visitors, but also to keep the attention of the search spiders (or so I’m told)— it’s not easy to think about a page I want to share, one that should be linking to something I already have on this new site, maybe even one I thought I had already converted, and not be able to get to everything all at once.

If ever there was a case for “slow and steady,” this would have to be it. I’m getting ready for my February newsletter and have been adding pages that will appear as links there. So I added a post about “The ‘Ideal’ Student,” one about “Working with Different Modality Strengths and Limitations,” and an excerpt from Creating Emotionally Safe Schools called “I’m Hyperactive, You’re Hyperactive.”

The formatting takes forever, especially if there is a table or worse, footnotes, involved. And since I have so much material from Creating Emotionally Safe Schoolsand since there wasn’t enough room in the book for the complete bibliography, I finally constructed the bibliography pages for the nearly 1400 resources I used for that book. Lots of repetitive motion, very mechanical processes of cutting, pasting, formatting, and a good bit of cross-linking.

So yeah, my hands are sore. Grateful for Jerry dragging me out of my chair for a nice walk today, but otherwise I’ve been going nonstop. And no, it doesn’t make much sense to sit here typing about how much it hurts to type, but I’m sort of on a roll and it feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve added any journal-type blog stuff to the site.

Newsletter

The February edition, which will probably go out in about 10 days from now, will focus on “Reaching At-Risk Kids.” I have a whole lot of stuff for this one and really could break it up into several different mailings on the topic over the coming year. (Slow and steady, slow and steady… oh yeah…). I’ve already identified the posts, podcasts, products, and presentations, which is a good chunk of the work. I just have to write the body of the newsletter, about 250-300 words to introduce the concept— often the hardest part of the entire process.

Podcasts

I hadn’t recorded a podcast since the end of October, possibly the longest I’ve gone without creating a new show since I started the series about 18 months ago. Lots of reasons for the break, but I finally sat down and pulled together the paperwork for the October show, an inspiring program featuring Glenn Capelli talking about Leading Learning: The Art, Science, and Craft of Teaching. The holdup was on my end, creating the PDF of the handout that goes with the program, as well as completing the data sheet with all the details. Just a few hours’ worth of work that somehow took three months to do!

In the meantime, I have just recorded a program with Jennifer Little on preventing school failure and I have one schedule for tomorrow with Mariam Adderholdt on perfectionism. Important content I’m excited about adding to the series. Watch for links. I’ve got a few other guests on the schedule, so things seem to be moving here again. Sponsorship is a little tentative at the moment, happening (or not) on a show-by-show basis, so I’m definitely interested in finding additional sponsors who can get behind what we’re doing with this show. Ideas?

“Pads”™ on the Back

The template project continues to grow. Having just picked up Albanian, Bosnian, and Ukrainian in the past few weeks, we now have 42 free downloads available in 40 languages. (The “extras” happen when we have two different versions of the same language, such as Japanese kanji and phonetic versions, or Latin and Cyrillic versions of the Serbian “Pads.”)

This is another project that, like the Spectrum Podcasts, desperately needs marketing, so please spread the word, and if anyone has any contacts in the media who want to do a piece on covering the world in positive messages, hey, let them know!

Odds and Ends

I know this is a time of transition for a lot of people and while many of my friends have long been enjoying their retirement, I feel like I’m still running full tilt in my work. Sure I’ve lost some of the stamina I had 30 years ago. I can live with that. (Sort of.) What concerns me more is this incredible lack of focus I seem to be experiencing. Part of that is about how long everything seems to take. And part of that is just stuff like taxes and finances after a really slow year that I just don’t feel like dealing with right now.

I think I’ve been hiding out in my site for the past few days because creating new posts from old Web pages is mechanical enough to keep me busy without thinking too hard, needing enough updating and polishing here and there to keep it from being totally mindless.

I’m having conversations about two possible writing projects and in the meantime, have been going through the 25 articles (20 of them available individually and all available in The Book of Article Reprints) and revising and updating them, some of them significantly overhauled from earlier versions. One by one, I’m laying them out in a new format based on the new letterhead I had to create to go with the new colors and logo on this site.

There are other possible projects in the works, several things sitting on back burners until the time and resources I need appear. I’m a little fuzzy about where I need to be concentrating my time, maybe even where I need to be directing my career. In the meantime, I’m spinning about as many plates as I can keep going and will keep you posted as a more concrete direction appears.

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