And I’m back. Sort of. I know it’s been almost two years since my last post, and that has been fairly conscientious (though not entirely – I’ll admit to also being occasionally too lazy or intimidated to write anything for public consumption). I was ambivalent about launching the blog, and remain ambivalent about maintaining it. I’m hoping that a slight change in direction might animate me to write again and might move toward the essential goals of writing this blog in the first place.
When I started Language and Equity, the goal was to be in conversation with other academics around how the ideas and developments in our field might be diffused to educators, policy makers, and parents in order to improve schooling for emergent bilingual and otherwise linguistically stigmatized students. I soon realized that this approach, trying to advance ideas and promote their dispersion, was really just an accelerated and unchecked version of the peer-reviewed publication treadmill that I already find intimidating (important to the advancement of any field and the integrity of scholarship, but intimidating all the same). Unsurprisingly, I didn’t want to spend my scarce and valuable leisure time doing what I already spend the better part of my working hours doing – writing to be scrutinized and critiqued. Moreover, I found that like-minded individuals and colleagues with whom I already exchanged these ideas in face-to-face conversations on a quasi-regular basis comprised the (miniscule) audience the blog garnered in its infancy. What, I wondered, was the point of that?
I also have to acknowledge the role of the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. in my reluctance to post. As campaigns ramped up during primaries and the general election, as results rolled in on November 8th, and as disgrace after disgrace befell the office and the nation following the president’s inauguration, I felt (and still feel) increasingly disenchanted in the academy and myself. How could so much energy and effort invested in resisting oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and so forth in our scholarly work nevertheless give way to the election of the very embodiment of all these things?
So now I’m trying again, but mainly trying to avoid writing about the stuff about which I publish. I’ll focus on reacting to and sharing ideas, events, and resources that inspire me; as well as much more on my teaching, the oft overlooked facet of my public persona that nonetheless makes me feel much more human and connected than the publications that get more institutional recognition. Take 2. And…action.