Meet My Student Bloggers | If You Build It, Will They Come?

Image by Sophie Janotta from Pixabay

I submitted final grades today [yay!], but I cannot let the semester go until I fulfill my promise to my students to share links to their blogs here on Pics and Posts.

Yes–I taught a blogging class this semester! Since this was my first time teaching the course and learning new technology can be difficult for some, I kept the goals simple. I expected students to create blogs based on their (non-academic) interests, learn some WordPress basics, interact with other bloggers, and blog on a regular basis.

Easy-peasy, right?

There were a couple of “experienced” bloggers in the course and they were lifesavers for me and the other students–especially with the technical stuff.

We covered all the “beginner” topics and talked  [a lot] about working around the pitfalls. But I underscored no matter how many strategies we have, keeping up with a blog requires practice, a little discipline, and patience.

Students were encouraged to share their blog posts on social media and follow bloggers who share their interests, but I cautioned against “blogging for likes” or following just to get followers. That creates unnecessary pressure and mental clutter and diminishes the pleasure one can find in maintaining a blog.

Though the students were excited about the course and the idea of becoming bloggers, they quickly learned that finding a niche and something to say isn’t always easy; finding time to blog with a busy-busy schedule is even more challenging. I think some were also surprised when they discovered blogging involves more than writing and posting. They seemed to have in mind that if they wrote the posts, the readers would magically appear.

[Imagine me rolling my eyes at them for resisting my pleas to add tags and categories and ignoring my constantly repeating that blogging is also about building community.]

See below for the list of blogs. They’re an eclectic bunch, with blogs based on travel experiences in Spain; natural hair care; minimalism and veganism;  fitness;  self-love; and navigating/loving life for college students and the rest of us. Please take a moment to visit them, comment, like a post or two and/or follow. I trust you will like them and they will be so encouraged by your feedback!

Here are my “honorary” students:

The students have been blogging for about three months, but I think they’re well on their way. If they continue–and I hope they do–their blogs will evolve and grow.

I’ve received many requests to teach the class next year, and I’ve taken lots of notes on what I’d do differently–so we’ll see!

Have a happy week!

In a Certain Light | Ty 4 Thoughts

“In a Certain Light,” iPhone Photo by Tyhara Rain

What if we already are
Who we’ve been dying to become
In certain light I can plainly see
A reflection of magnificence
Hidden in you
Maybe even in me
“Four,” Sleeping At Last

Today’s post features an image by my multitalented teaching assistant, Tyhara Rain. She found and captured this beauty on one of our escapes from the office. She featured the image and quote in a blog post a month ago. With her permission, I’m sharing here. Visit Tyhara’s blog, Ty 4 Thoughts,  to read about her experience with the leaf. She’s new to the blogosphere, so maybe, your visit will encourage her to post a little more frequently.

Quotes Challenge Day 1: Do It Afraid!

As I was fretting over today’s blog post, I received notification from Divya of Merry Motherhood that she nominated me for the Three Quotes in Three Days challenge. Quotes? Of course, I’m in!

The rules are pretty simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominates you
  2. Post one quote per day for 3 consecutive days
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day

Thanks Divya! [Divya blogs about first-time motherhood among other things. You’ll love her Day 1 quote–straight from Calvin and Hobbes!]

This challenge is especially timely since I’ve been working on projects that involve integrating quotes for the last couple of weeks. Now, I have a reason to share a few of them immediately–instead of some time later.

Today, I’m sharing the photo and quote I shared for the “Fierce Woman” swap I blogged about a week ago.

When I blogged about Sally Ride two years ago, I asked readers for their favorite “fierce woman” quote. My blogging friend Sheila of Sheila’s Corner Studio responded with a quote by Georgia O’Keeffe that I knew I had to work into a photo:

I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.  –Georgia O’Keeffe

The quote speaks to Sheila because:

[I] found that when I was in high school, and I have never forgotten it. I found it so hard to believe, and so reassuring. She was such a trailblazer, before her time. Since then, I have read about many extraordinary women who claim to have felt the same way. Yet, they have achieved great success.

I didn’t expect it to take me almost two years to use this quote. Part of the reason is that I didn’t want to use just any photo. I wanted to imitate O’Keeffe’s style with a photo edit. After many tries, I was satisfied. I think.

O’Keeffe Inspired

Here’s a link to some of O’Keeffe’s flowers.  How did I do?

The trick was placement of the quote.

Inspired O’Keeffe Inspired

Unlike O’Keeffe, being “absolutely terrified” has hindered my conquering a few things. I’m not a complete “fraidy-cat” though. What I have done, I’ve pretty much done straight through the terror–which emboldens me to take on bigger, scarier ventures. As cliché as it sounds, “doing it afraid” takes real courage. In fact–as O’Keeffe’s words suggest–facing each day takes courage.

Today’s nominees are:

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more inspiration!

I’ve Been Nominated–Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

Very Inspiring Blog AwardThanks to Noor Gharbo, I’ve been nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.”  How cool is that?  There are a few things the award requires.

  1. I love children’s art.  If it weren’t for the pesky issue of time, I would cut and paste and doodle with my son all day just to have loads of his work to mount and post and place in our journals and scrapbooks.
  2. I can hardly draw a stick figure, but my son thinks I’m a good artist. I appreciate that.
  3. I enjoy cooking, but haven’t found (or created) my dream kitchen, the one I actually enjoy cooking in.  While we’re on the subject of cooking, I am looking forward to my six-year-old developing more sophisticated tastes.  How much longer will I have to endure rice and pasta?!
  4. I admire my parents probably more than anyone else in the world.  I seek to emulate their courage, strength, faith and integrity in parenting and in life in general.
  5. I really can live without chocolate, but I don’t want to.  I lived without it (and did not miss it) for about 8-10 years (from pre-teen years to maybe early twenties) and then later all throughout my pregnancy and the first 10 or so months of my son’s life. I just like it and it helps me get through the emotional rough spots.  Do I sound like an addict?
  6. I write and decorate postcards when I’m feeling the crafty urge, but don’t really have time to create.  When I have “even less” time, I just pick up my camera and snap whatever is around me.
  7. I really like people and, in spite of the few not-so-good people I’ve encountered directly or indirectly, I believe people are generally good and want to “do good.” I typically give people the benefit of the doubt–unless the issues of domestic violence, molestation and/or rape come up.   Then, I assume guilt first and ask questions later.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.  My choices are varied. I’m sure you expect mail, art, and photography.  Other blogs I’m nominating (and I’m inspired by) comment on academia (teaching, writing, research), feature creative writing and artistry, shed light on (seriously and humorously)  parenting and womanhood and  inspire self and spiritual awareness and growth.  And the nominees are…(drum roll, please):
  1. Mictlantecuhtli
  2. Wacky Womanhood
  3. Writing for Daisies
  4. Studio Mothers: Creative Practice and Life Design
  5. Unbound Boxes, Limping Gods
  6. Friperee(n)
  7. Small Matters: Taking Time to Notice
  8. Cakers & Co.
  9. Brent’s iPhone 4s and Japan
  10. Stillness of Heart
  11. Jo’s Little Pictures
  12. Scott Fillmer: Life in Faith and Photos
  13. Glenrosa Journeys
  14. Edith Levy Photography
  15. Leanne Cole Photography
  • Now, I must inform the bloggers of the nomination.  I will do that as soon as soon as I click “publish.”

Please take some time to peruse the blogs listed.  Maybe, you’ll find them very inspiring too!

Here’s a quick review of the rules (just in case you missed something).

  • Display the award logo on your blog 
  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Post 7 things about yourself not listed on your About Me page
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them 
  • Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Happy Reading!