The First Rule of Write Club is…

…you do not talk about Write Club. The second rule of Write Club is you DO NOT TALK about Write Club.

Okay, that isn’t how they’re numbered by Claire P. Curtis, and she doesn’t call it Write Club. But Writing Group has rules:

  1. [Y]ou must schedule a time every week
  2. There is no backing out.
  3. [All are] responsible for reading and commenting carefully.
  4. Three seems to be the  magic number

(School House Rock bonus link by Brooke).

    Do read the entire article: The rules are fleshed out with personal experience, and Curtis has excellent suggestions about choosing participants and making Writing Group work.

    I have occasionally discussed a Writing Group with colleagues, mostly back when we were in course work and already had plenty of external pressure to write. During the dissertation years…well, you’d have to be a sadist to bring up a Writing Group with an ABD (that’s “all but dissertation,” or “antisocial behavior disorders”). And anyway, putting three ABDs into a room for Writing Group would be like the legendary Roman death sentence for parricide.

    It is probably time for me to re-think Writing Group: my employment situation is settled for the next few years, and while my administration and teaching responsibilities are pretty consuming—especially for the next year—I should be able to carve out some manageable, defined space for research and writing. To offer an analogy: my wife, who handles the books in our household, has always been amazingly good at making sure we “pay ourselves first” even with our often-preposterously-modest incomes: something goes into savings before any bill payments go out. Writing, by analogy, is how an academic “pays herself first.”

    Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of Write Club?

    [The First Rule of Write Club is… was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2011/03/30. Except as noted, it is © 2011 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

    Stop Making the Blogosphere So Damned Interesting, Jim Getz

    Grades are due Monday evening, and I am still crawling along.

    As if I don’t have enough distractions, a riveting conversation on Pentateuch criticism broke out at Jim Getz’s place. The trigger was David Carr’s RBL review of Joel Baden’s J, E, and the Redaction of the Pentateuch. When the RBL newsletter had come out, some friends and I emailed one another about the tone of the review (as junior scholars, our reaction amounted to “There but for the grace of God…”).

    The comments thread to Jim’s post is striking for the attendance of actual players and other luminaries. Bloggers tend to be more junior than senior, and the place of senior scholars in the blogosphere has sometimes been isolated, rarely-updated news-release outlets, not closely in conversation with other Bible-centric blogging. At Jim’s post, the comments thread became the kind of discourse, with the kind of participation, that I think we’d all like to see more of.

    Which really ticks me off this week, because as I have said, I don’t have time for that kind of thing right now. :^) Back to papers.

    “Reunited, Hey, Hey”

    Like many of you, I am informed by email that AAR will again in the future be holding its annual meetings in the same time and place that SBL holds its annual meetings.

    Reached for comment, AAR would not say on the record that it has decided that SBL does not smell like cheese, eat paste, and sweat when it holds AAR’s hand crossing the street. (SBL, reached for comment, looked at its shoes and mumbled aggressively about “the kewl kids.”) Person-on-the-street interviews suggest that a reduced percentage of corduroy jackets with patched sleeves in SBL, and an increase in annual papers with “gender” in the title, may be among the relevant factors in this reunion.

    In related news: AAR and SBL seen sitting at the same lunch table. Occasional brushing-together of feet probably not “footsie,” but promisingly, does not result in a masking tape dividing line on the floor.

    [“Reunited, Hey, Hey” was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/06/28. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

    Culturally Diverse Classrooms (Liveblog)

    Today, we welcome Dr. Nancy Ramsay (Brite Divinity School) and Dr. Frank Yamada (McCormick Theological Seminary) to host “a faculty workshop on understanding power dimensions in culturally diverse classrooms.”

    Should the format afford me opportunity, I’ll try to live blog here from time to time during the day.

    [I should have added that the event is organized by Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.]

    Overall: A really good day. Lots to simmer on while walking to and from the train this week.

    3:00: When we ask students to put themselves at risk by self-contextualizing and making contextual claims, we want to be prepared to sometimes lead them in “taking a step back”: pulling back to a relatively safe analytical stance.

    2:20: “Over time, it becomes less about ‘How can we be multicultural?’ and more about ‘How do we negotiate the multiform culture we comprise?’”

    1:30: What does an incoming student “look” like? What does a graduating student “look” like?

    1:10: Hard to sum up the things that came out of break-out groups and lunch discussion, except that I really do work with some incredibly smart and reflective educators.

    10:55: Given the desirability of at least limited permeability (to define institution), how can that permeability be defined in ways that yet fully promote diversity?

    10:20: I have habitually tended to privilege bottom-up construction of systems and of changes to systems, but I find myself persuaded concerning the importance of cultivating “key (powerful) constituencies” in an institution as prerequisite for an organized, team effort toward change.

    9:52: Mental tangent: when we talk about a focus on better accomplishing educational mission by improving our own institutional integrity, I keep being reminded of the role of the five tenets of Taikwon-Do in the practice of that art: you become better at the external goal (doing something) by improving your self (becoming something).

    9:50: Identifying practices that imagine power as “a scarce commodity,” and those that imagine power as “integrative or expansive.”

    9:45: An institution might have a track record and articulate goals regarding diversity and progressive inclusiveness, but could yet be looking for “ways of keeping that in remembrance.”

    9:35: Questions around how rooting out systemic oppression and exclusiveness benefits those of the dominant (white, or male, or hetero) group. Responses involve individual benefit and sharing in collective benefit.

    9:17: “The work in the classroom will not flourish if there is not concurrent institutional change.” I like starting here: it defuses any individual defensiveness about current practice and results.

    9:10: The first half of the day looks to be titled, “Institutional Power and Privilege.”

    [Culturally Diverse Classrooms (Liveblog) was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/MONTH/DATE. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

    Blogiversary (No Fooling)

    Today “Anumma” is one year old: on April 1, 2009 I wrote the first piece of substance in this space. Fascinatingly (to me, anyway), that first bit of writing is still the 3rd most popular of my posts (2nd most popular if you don’t count carnivals).

    The most popular post remains some mess about the President, the “antichrist,” and lightning, a piece written in a casual hour before my second cup of coffee. That thing still garners comments, even as of yesterday. I’d like to say that, if I had known how many people would read it, I would have spent more time on it; but the truth is, if had had that knowledge, I wouldn’t have been capable of writing it.

    As a special Blogiversary present, you all made March 2010 the biggest month of my twelve. So, thanks!

    Annuma’s biggest referrers are Charles, Doug, and Bryan, partly from linking Anumma in posts and partly because these are well-trafficked sites that honor me by putting Anumma on their blogrolls. Thanks, guys. For my part, I am pleased to have sent some meager traffic over to Akma, Bryan, and Jim.

    The most popular search terms bringing readers to Anumma remain “lightning from the heights,” “obama antichrist video,” and other variations on “I or somebody close to me is a hopeless rube who should be sat on every first Tuesday in November.” As a Joss Whedon fan and in my opposition to Bible woo, I am happy to see that “phlebotinum” still draws readers.

    My second favorite thing about maintaining this space is the writing itself, which also happens to be my least favorite thing. But my most favorite thing about maintaining this space is the conversations I have enjoyed, here and elsewhere, arising from my participation in these overlapping online communities. I am a changed person for them.

    On average, in internet terms, the number of folks who wander through this space on a given day is laughably small. But, even that small average number of daily visitors is larger than the number of students who have enrolled in my largest introductory survey course. An exciting and challenging thought, that.

    Thanks, and thanks again, and peace.

    [Blogiversary (No Fooling) was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/04/01. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

    Why We Love the Top 50 Bibliobloggers

    What do I love about the Top 50 Bibliobloggers?

    5. They know who they are.

    4. They support academic blogging on the Bible by nominating posts to the Biblical Studies Carnival.

    3. They honor the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day by linking “down,” where possible, to blogs that are smaller than theirs.

    2. They support academic blogging on the Bible by nominating posts to the Biblical Studies Carnival.

    1. They know who they are.

    The upcoming, February-edition Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted here in the first few days of March. See the previous BSC over at Duane’s. Nominate posts for the next so it can be as good as the last!

    [Why We Love the Top 50 Bibliobloggers was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2020/02/16. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

    Reminder to Biblioblogging Top 50 and the Lower 50s Alike

    Remember that the 51st Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted here. During this month February, while you are reading blog posts anywhere on biblical studies, nominate your favorites to the Carnival so I can include them (on linked page, scroll down to “Submitting Entries”).

    February 3rd was Blogroll Amnesty Day, in which bloggers “link down” to smaller blogs instead of “up” to the A-list blogs. In the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day:

    1. You Big Dogs in biblioblogging—you know who you are—could keep an eye toward reading and linking to the Littler Dogs where you may.
    2. You Little Dogs in biblioblogging: remember that when anybody nominates posts during February, I will find opportunity to link to the nominator’s own content before the Carnival. It’s not like car keys under your seat, but you don’t pay taxes and insurance on my humble linky love, either.

    Eighteen nominating days left: vote early, and vote often.

    [Reminder to Biblioblogging Top 50 and the Lower 50s Alike was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/02/10. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]