Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Identity Crisis

Disclaimer: Throughout this post, I talk about blog “categories.” Although I may categorize your blog into some vague topic or subject area, I am not categorizing you. Please do not hate me if I have “miscategorized” you. I realize that we’re all complex and most blogs don’t really fit into one single category. I just plunked you into the first category that popped into my head. I also apologize if you take offense to being “categorized” period, but please don’t take it personally. After all, this is my identity crisis, not yours. My apologies in advance if I my disclaimer does not soothe and you are still offended. If I link to you within a particular category, know that it’s only because I worship you. Seriously. Would I link to someone who makes me puke? End Disclaimer.

The blogosphere is an interesting place. Much like high school, people tend to categorize themselves and each other. Although I don’t think this is bad, it does make those of us who no longer fit in around the blogosphere feel like we’re right back in high school where we (oh, sweet Jeebus) never fit in. High school had the jocks, the cheerleaders, the homecoming queens, the overachievers, the band geeks, the math nerds, the stoners, tech school kids who weren’t going to college but were going straight into heating and cooling repair upon graduation, the scary-slutty girls and any other category of poor unfortunate teenager you can think of.

When I first arrived in the blogosphere a year and a half ago, I found the categorizations comforting. They helped me understand where I fit in – and where everyone else fit in, too. I found folks who “fit” into these categories, fell in love with them and decided that in some form or another, I too “fit” into their categories. In no particular order, I decided that these were the kids who would let me sit with them in the cafeteria:

Grad school bloggers
Professor-type bloggers

K-12 teacher bloggers
Mommy bloggers (No, I don’t have children, but those mommy bloggers are a riot!)
Infertility bloggers (Also not applicable to me, but oh, how I miss Karen at Naked Ovary. I’m glad she and her husband became parents, but man, do I miss her snark!)
Hollywood gossip blogs (guilty pleasure and now that I have a subscription to People magazine, I really don’t need them so much anymore.) And TMZ used to be a blog but now it’s really more just . . . something other than a blog.
Mad grammarians, book worms and other intellectual (and often neurotic) types

But no matter whose table I chose to sit at, everyone knew - and I knew - that I was Teacher Lady. However, like the high school cheerleader who goes off to college and has no idea of where she sits or who she is now that she's not a cheerleader, do I know who am I now in the blogosphere if I can't be (or I'm just plain not) Teacher Lady anymore?

I guess the answer is, “I don’t know.”

Since this pointless rambling identity crisis has really gone nowhere, I will now try to redirect your attention to a picture of Minnie (appropos of nothing), post-much needed bath. Ta-da!!



Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

I think this is something that most bloggers go through if they've been blogging long enough. Whether it's a change in circumstances, or a change in interests, we all expand beyond our categories. You can see this in the tendency of some bloggers to have multiple blogs, each designated for a different purpose.

And really, the only blogging category that matters much, at least to this reader, is the "Good Writing" category, and you definitely fit that one.

Feel free to call me mommyblogger anytime. It doesn't trouble me at all. I am one.

August 21, 2007 1:13 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

As in high school, where I didn't fit into any one category very well, unless Dork Wannabee Pseudo Intellectual Poser would be a category, I don't really fit a blog category, either. Although, ironically, I found that I had less to blog about when I had more time to do it- i.e. when I wasn't teaching. You'll find your lunch table, oops, I mean niche. Start with finding out where you definitely DON't belong and go from there.

August 21, 2007 3:15 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

You're more than welcome to sit with me at the lunch table if you'd like. I find you hilarious. :)

August 21, 2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

You are all so great. Thank you for being supportive while I engage in some serious navel gazing.

August 21, 2007 9:13 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I think you may have summarized why I abandoned my blog. I was never comfortable with "Mommy Blogging" but no other identity called out to me and I think my ambivalence came through. I don't have an answer for you, but it is nice to see you back.

August 23, 2007 12:05 AM  
Blogger What Now? said...

I've had some of the same issues with my career change. I was definitely a professor blogger, but now I'm teaching high school instead. And yet my blogosphere friends are all in higher education, and I'm only now finding some K-12 teacher blogs that I like, and it all feels a little unsettling.

And yet, I seem to just keep on blogging just the same, and the same folks come on by, so maybe the categorizations don't make as much difference as I thought they did.

August 23, 2007 8:59 AM  
Blogger WrdFrk said...

Please come sit at our table, we need all the help we can get!!

I work with the bloggers at Beauty and the Breast, and they are blogging to create as loud voice as possible that says, contrary to what our popular culture tells us, a woman's value is NOT measure by her chest size, and (more specifically) to expose breast implants as a real hazard to women's health.

Come join our conversation at the Beauty and the Breast blog about breasts in the context of everything. :-)

August 26, 2007 10:11 PM  

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