Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Closing time

I've decided that it's time for Mode for Caleb to come to an end.

That should come as little surprise to anyone who has stopped by in recent months. This summer my posts dropped precipitously, thanks mainly to the cross-country move. July had one post; June had four paltry ones. I had hoped that I could revive the blog in August, but other time commitments have made it hard even to read blogs, much less to maintain this one.

I have very good reasons to think that this pace would not change anytime in the next several months. In the first place, since I'll be teaching full-time for the first time, I'm eager to focus on my new courses and my new students. And there's another even more exciting and important reason why the blog has been slowing to a halt. In just about eight weeks, my wife and I will become first-time parents. The incredible adventure that parenting promises to be has already begun. And I know the ride will only accelerate once the baby arrives, right around the time I'm grading final exams.

Of course, it's not that blogging necessarily takes up a lot of time; I've always been an infrequent poster by the standards of most bloggers. But psychologically, with parenthood and the new job on the horizon, lately I've been feeling a need to find something to throw overboard, as it were. Blogging isn't easy to cut loose, even temporarily, but of all the things on my plate right now, it's the least difficult to set aside. And instead of turning the blog into a tedious series of silences, it seems to make more sense to stop blogging altogether--writing and reading--until a new kind of normalcy sets in.

But I am not--absolutely not--renouncing blogging altogether. There have been times when I have been tempted to shut down the blog because of blog fatigue. This is not one of those times. There have been other times when, like every junior scholar in the blogosphere, I have wondered about how to weigh the professional risks and rewards of blogging. This is not one of those times. In fact, I agree with Dan Cohen that it's a great time for academics to start blogging.

So I'm certain that my moratorium on blogging will not be indefinite. At the same time, I can't predict right now when it will end. Besides, since the end of this year will find me in such a different place than I was when this blog started, I think it makes sense, whenever I do return, to start a new blog, at another address. Until then, take care and thanks for stopping by. I'm extremely grateful for the exchanges and friendships that Mode for Caleb has made possible for me, and I hope that even an extended sabbatical will not mean that they must come to an end.

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