Taking Stock of the Summer

The semester starts next week, which means summer is close to over. Given my ambitious plans for the past four months, I want to detail just what was(n't) accomplished. I had a daily schedule that I was pretty good about performing every week day, but not everything went according to plan. If nothing else, the following attests to that much. 


I blazed through Gravity's Rainbow much quicker than I anticipated, which, given my initial summer reading schedule, was a welcome development. For the most part, I stayed true to the schedule. I kept putting off Ian Bogost's Persuasive Games, though, for which I have no answer. The schedule changed a couple times and then just fell apart in late July due to writing deadlines. However, this has been perhaps the single most productive summer of reading in terms of volume. My reading stats for the year illustrate, but what else I have to show for it remains to be seen. 


I began and completed Assassin's Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Uncharted 2. The last one listed led to the purchase and reading of Marco Polo's Travels as well as a short entry on footnotes as spoilers. I began Bioshock, Chrono Trigger, Demon's Souls and Saints Row 2 and my avatars there stand awaiting orders at various levels of completion. I also haven't resumed playthroughs of Beautiful Katamari, Grand Theft Auto IV, Henry Hatsworth, Katamari Forever or Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. There was some work toward level creation in LittleBigPlanet, too, though not much progress has been had since. 


Early on, I messed around with WPMU, creating initial entries and figuring out the potential for CMS. The overall simplicity of Posterous, though, just proved too tempting. 

I like to think there was some consistency in my "What You Might Have Missed" series of entries. I also like to think that many such revisits to links shared within the last 48-hour period were helpful to those who did miss them at first, but also to those who didn't as I gave them another opportunity to peruse. I kept meaning to do more with the entries, though, adding tags and some amount of commentary. Like the videogames, though, I just didn't have the time. It might appear, then, that my new approach to #wymhm entries is even more ambitious and time-consuming. At least once a week, I want to offer up a "What You Might Have Missed" synthesis of 4-5 previously shared links that have a common subject. There are more than enough pieces online every week (or at least every other week) that are relevant to my interests, research or otherwise. Like all the reading I completed this summer, though, whether or not I'm able to manage #wymhm synthesis entries during the semester remains to be seen. 

While the above entries made up the bulk of this space, I blogged on occasion, offering up a review of Tom Bissell's Extra Lives, a couple entries about visibility and composition, part of a scholarly piece that didn't make the cut and my most recently accepted proposal for publication in an edited collection. 

Instead of revising my dissertation and a previous publication, I worked on three different solo pieces and accepted an invitation from Bill Wolff to be an associate editor on a Web 2.0-oriented online reader. Many of the elements I wanted to bring into the revision of my Computer Culture Reader piece, which I intended to submit to Kairos, will instead be featured in the reader. 


A lack of enrollment/interest in ENG 391 Advanced Technical Writing led to its cancellation for the Fall 2010 semester, so my course development focus changed to two sections of ENG 112 Critical Writing & Reading. The blog for these courses should be up within the next few days. For all the various and sundry actions performed this summer, I'm glad to be returning to the classroom and to a new group of students. The focus and foundation they provide for me cannot be understated. 


Now, what'd I miss?