Up a Road Slowly: Lagging Behind in Blogging 101

Road photo by Julia

It’s not quite the upward path I envisioned, but it is a road. (Photo by Julia Fleming)

When I was in the sixth grade, I read Irene Hunt’s Up a Road Slowly. Hunt’s best-known children’s book is Across Five Aprils, which I missed in my own childhood and discovered when my children and I were studying the Civil War. As a child, I didn’t particularly enjoy Up a Road Slowly, so I didn’t seek out Hunt’s other books. The visual image created by Hunt’s title–of climbing up a steep path, one step at  a time–is what I remembered ruefully this morning, after paying a visit to the Blogging 101 Commons with its busy chatter about today’s assignment. I felt so far behind most of the other bloggers. How can I reconcile completion of the Blogging 101 assignments with the demands of my real life (as opposed to my virtual life)?

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Is my voluntary commitment to Blogging 101 barring me from the beauty of fall in the mountains? (This photo was taken by an iPhone 5 with no filters or HDR.)

Thanks to being out of town the last two weekends in September, I got woefully behind on the assignments. Two days ago, I made a feeble stab at “Start Personalizing,” but what I am longing to work on is the assignment that the other bloggers are doing–which changes from day to day! My rate of doing assignments seems to be two a week, at best. My true dilemma: do I press on to the next assignment, even when I feel that I didn’t master the skill taught by a previous assignment?

For 24 hours, I erroneously believed that Blogging 101 had ended, after I misunderstood this assignment. Thanks to the entertaining, nostalgic, evocativewitty, and lovely responses to various community challenges posted by other Blogging 101ers, I realized that I was wrong. Nope, the powers-that-be are still posting assignments for the blogging novice; it’s not time to post that “Elegy for Blogging 101” just yet. I’ve gone back to following the Commons: sure, my Reader is overflowing, but at least I know that assignments are still forthcoming.

I’ve tried jumping ahead with the assignments–this post is partly in response to the Nature Photo Challenge but primarily a response to the Daily Post’s Photo Challenge, which was to photograph and write about a sign. The words “Patient Entrance” not only had a literal meaning for me, as I walked into the shot clinic, but they also spoke to me as a new blogger who loves the exchange of ideas that she finds here at WPW (WordPress World) but finds the balance of responsibility and creativity difficult to manage. Yesterday, my college son, who is home on Fall Break, expressed his concern at finding me on my laptop 24/7: “You’re like a teenager, Mom. You’re always on the computer!” As I explained, I didn’t own a computer when I was in college or grad school: shouldn’t I get some catch-up time for the years that I missed? He pointed out that I was using a logical fallacy to justify my excessive computer time. (At least he’s learning something at college.)

If I am to enter successfully into the blogosphere, my family will need to be patient with me. Even my husband’s stoic silence may crack under the strain of unwashed dishes and cluttered countertops. But a double measure of patience is needed here: I need to be patient with myself as the latest assignments on Blogging 101 blow temptingly past me. Maybe I should even make a written list as the assignments come up, so that–if I decide to jump ahead–I could cross that one off the list?

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The color of this maple tree’s leaves changed with my perspective.

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The light also made a difference.

Although jumping ahead is permissible in Blogging 101–almost anything is permissible in Blogging 101, aside from disrespect, theft, or violation of blogger etiquette (a crime that I have inadvertently committed more than once)–I know myself to be a sequential learner. I like the contents of anthologies to be arranged chronologically. I am not a fan of unit studies (a common approach in homeschools), because I prefer to learn about events in the order that they occurred, not through a common theme. If I’m starting to read a new series, I prefer to start with the first book. Using my trusty Blogging 101: Zero to Hero bookmark on my toolbar, I shall look to see what assignment comes next for me personally–after my son has returned to college!  (I’m only able to type this post because he stayed up late rewatching the first movie in the Bourne trilogy, but I hear him walking around upstairs now. Time to get off the computer and cook him the nice breakfast that he doesn’t get at school.) Meanwhile, onward and upward, as I patiently enter the blogging world.

This was an interesting sign, but it inspires thoughts of the Jazz Age as opposed to the Blogging Age.

This was an interesting sign, but it inspires thoughts of the Jazz Age as opposed to the Blogging Age.

Note: All photos in this post were taken on an iPhone 5s.