Because some people apparently care about such things, I make space on thishere site for the things I’ve written (here and elsewhere) that people think most highly about:
- My statement of teaching philosophy was published as part of the Open Faculty Patchbook in June 2017. It’s called Just Listen: Empathy and Science Pedagogy, and it has been incredibly well-received. Thanks again to the guy who spells his last name right for kicking me through it.
- The thing I was proudest of, however, stepped outside of my expertise and was simply a goodbye letter to my favorite streaming service, LAUNCHcast. It was published on Blogcritics in February 2009. It seems to have been a casualty of linkrot, though, so you have to deal with my archive of the essay.
- Much to many people’s surprise, I have a real peer-reviewed publication record. This research is from another lifetime ago, and while I had one short burst of undergraduate pursuing it in earnest (singular, God bless you Dr. Vanderbush and thanks for the dissertation acknowledgment) I’m going to have a mountain of catch-up work I want to do if I’m going to get serious about it again.
- That might be okay, as I’m presently pursuing other scholarship opportunities.
- I started keeping stats on what I wrote and how it got read in 2013, as I started using WordPress in earnest. I didn’t keep active tabs on what I wrote before then. However, ahead of that time, the thing I wrote that resonated the most was an essay from September 2007 that I called Grade D Culture, inspired by the long-forgotten University System of Georgia chancellorship of Stephen Portch. Working to communicate to the public the dangers of anti-intellectualism is a lifelong thing.
- (In that post is also a thing that believe-it-or-don’t still exists: the Dr. Chuck LiveJournal. My word, that’s an artifact of a long lost era. I’ve got to port some of those posts over here, too.)
- (The Xanga site, however, is lost to history, and we’re all probably better off.)
- Speaking of the aching in my heart for the long-forgotten chancellorship of Stephen Portch: my most-read essay in 2013 was a rather-ugly rant over the merger of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic, a gentle reminder that I will never quite be over Hank Huckaby’s relentless pursuit of efficiency (and relentless stripping of institutional mission) in the University System of Georgia.
- My most-read essay in 2014 was, rather predictably, my reflection on the first moment of realization that Virginia Intermont was at its end. 2014 was also the year that #EngagedAcademics was a thing on Twitter for a moment, no thanks to Nick Kristof. It was also the year that I first had to face up to the necessity of saying Black Lives Matter.
- 2015 was the year I got tired of people telling us we had to choose between STEM education and the liberal arts. (This piece still gets a CRAZY number of clicks; it landed in the comment section of Fareed Zakaria’s Washington Post piece on the topic, the very piece I ranted about, and people still look this up for a counterpoint. Keep writing, y’all. You never know the audience you’ll get, and you never know what gets the audience.)
- 2016 was the year I took the job I have now. It was also the year of the most frequently read essay in the Famous Songs You’ve Never Heard series, dealing with Come Wind’s “Birds Will Never Fly” (and the rest of the Move In Place album) – as well as a prelude to that post that has been more frequently read than any of the essays in the series proper, on Jimmy Eat World’s “I Will Steal You Back”. Nobody’s ever paid as much attention to that series as I’d like, and it kills me.
- 2017 is the year the Cumberland Gap just swallowed me whole.
- In another universe, mostly in Northwest Georgia, I did long-form scripture exposition (or preachin’, if that’s where you’re from), both for my church and for student ministries at Shorter University. There are five of those texts that I’ve gathered here. There might be a theme to them.
- In late 2006, in a spell of complete overconfidence, I gave a series of three messages as we tried to put together a young-adult service at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Rome, GA. The concept failed utterly and it taught me just how many people (not just supporting, but being present and being active) are necessary if you’re going to make anything organized-church fly, but the messages were okay enough that I’ll share ’em here. They were called, in order: “I am a hypocrite” (Romans 7:15-25), “Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus” (Luke 19:1-10), and “…together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:42-47).
- On April 10, 2007, I gave a message in Shorter’s whole-campus chapel called “If only love is done, it is enough.” It was based on the text of 1 John 3:11-23, and I wrote it in the wake of one suicide in the circle of my pastor’s family and in the aftermath of another suicide on Graduation Day, 2006. It helped me get my heart right for the years ahead.
- On the night of November 10, 2010, I visited Baptist Campus Ministries “Refuge” meeting at Shorter, and remembered a lot of large-group meetings we had at the old Rose Christian Fellowship and the guys who came back from Urbana 1990 blown away. Drawing from Paul Tokunaga’s message of a similar title, I asked “Will you love your campus?” and based my question on Romans 12:9-21. That’s the last time I gave any sort of message at Shorter, because I left that August for Virginia Intermont. It’s also the last time I’ve given any sort of message, period – I don’t work in that context anymore, and nobody has ever asked.
Where things go from here, I don’t have a clue.