Looking back

It’s the last day of the year.  We have festivities planned and I will do what I normally do, which is to look forward not back.  But also, I like to learn from the past.  A year ago, I was halfway through the first year of a new job.  I was still really feeling my way.  To some extent, I still am, though there are certain parts of my job, especially interacting with kids, where I feel perfectly fine.  I think the nature of my field is such that I will always feel a little stretched.  So, it was mostly a good year.  One great thing about having a blog is that you have a bit of a record of your life.  I picked out the most popular posts to see what life was like and what my readers found most interesting.  Here’s the top six, with some commentary.

6.  Top Secret Rosies and Middle School:  In this post I reflect on seeing the movie Top Secret Rosies, which I ended up showing to a bunch of middle-schoolers.  They really related to the women in the movie and were impressed with their skills as the first real programmers.  I’m still proud of the work I’m doing at the middle school level in terms of computer science and hope to continue that work in the years to come.

5. Could you live without the Internet?:  A reflection on purposeful use of the Internet, and whether some critics of the Internet aren’t right about how it makes our connections weaker and our minds mushy.  One of the reasons I’ve started blogging more is of course, I have more time over the break, but also, I wanted to return to the reflective nature of blogging.  I wanted to use the Internet for its best purposes: to learn, to think through ideas, to connect with people with shared interests.  I think it’s important for us to keep thinking about our interactions with technology and not just accept them blindly.

4. Robotics competition results and more:  Some thoughts on last year’s robotics competitions.  I definitely learned a lot from that and thought I didn’t implement some of my plans for this year at the upper school level, I hope to next year.

3. Some thoughts on gender and robotics:  I muse about robotics again, and whether it’s worth the time and money and some of the inherent gender issues that come up, especially in this particular area.  I have a feeling this will be a regular feature of the blog.  I’m still sorting out what I think about it.  There are both pros and cons.

2. The meaning of life is over: A post about turning 43, wanting to lose weight (yes, it’s often on my mind), and what it’s like getting older.

1. Getting geeky wit’ it:  A post about taking my Mac apart to change out its hard drive, getting a new phone and other geeky projects. I enjoy writing these posts for sure!

Surprisingly, two or three of my top visited posts for 2011 are posts from 2010, so I didn’t include them.  It’s nice to see the geeky content is reigning supreme.  Here’s wishing you all a wonderful 2012, and may it be a bit geeky, too!