This week, "Shamash Says" turned one year old. There was no candle on a cake, but instead a birth: to twins! Shamash stayed up till the wee hours of the morning creating two sister professional blogs, and they have all their fingers and toes.
"Shamash Says" began as an experiment to see if a non-tech-geek English teacher could maintain a personal blog. A year ago, Shamash barely knew what the word “blog” meant, yet alone how to act on one. So she entered the blogosphere a bit naïve, and completely unprepared for how blogging would revolutionize her life.
To this day, Shamash knows the names and faces of but two friends who blog. The rest: she met in the blogosphere.
Here’s what happened this past year.
In the last 365 days, Shamash:
- made connections with other educators, from The Netherlands, to Hong Kong, to California, to Georgia. Through these online relationships, she exchanged lesson plans, helpful teaching tips, and valuable ideas for incorporating blogs into the classroom.
- found motivation to write. A teacher by day, and a writer by night, Shamash had been lacking the “gumption” to write on a daily basis. "Shamash Says" gave her a good reason to make writing part of her daily routine.
- discovered an audience. Writing isn’t fun folks. It takes discipline. Like Dorothy Parker, who said, “I hate writing; I love having written”, Shamash found it difficult to work in a static environment. Her growing audience of readers at the blog kept her on task, and served as a reminder to write on a daily basis.
- learned terms like: technorati, tagging, creative commons, delicious, rss feed, pings, visitor stats, and flickr
- wrote an online eulogy for a professor in California whose blog presence will be sorely missed. She never met him face-to-face.
- maintained long-distance friendships. "Shamash Says" is better than email. It has pictures. And hyperlinks. And travel news. Through the blog, Shamash kept in touch.
- learned the value of digital imagery. With a blog, Shamash can snap a picture, post it, and comment. Because she blogs, she takes a lot more pictures.
- found fodder for her published works. Some of what is found here at "Shamash Says" serves as a springboard for the more “serious” writing: submission for publication.
- discovered how the blog could be used in education. So, she’s using blogs in her classroom. And her master’s research focuses on blogs in education. And she’s presenting a workshop on blogs at an international teacher conference.
All this (and more!) because on November 7, 2004, Shamash started a blog.
It’s been one hell of a ride.
Glad to hear that you are celebrating your 1st b-day here w/ Shamash Says. Its nice to stop by and see what's all going on w/ you in some way, shape, or form.
I've still got a few months before my anny comes around w/ Expat Nomad. I'll try not to get too drunk when I celebrate it! :)
Cheers chica, good to been readin' ya for the last year and thanks for the inspiration for me as well.
Posted by: Darth Vader | Sunday, 13 November 2005 at 12:23 PM
Happy birthday Shamash! Even if I cant answer your mails 'cause I am overwhelmed with work to do (especially since I had visitors last week and couldnt study much at all....) I keep reading you!xxx
Posted by: Ms Sicily | Sunday, 13 November 2005 at 06:05 PM
happy B-Day shamash!
hope there´ll be many more shamash-inspirations throughout the next year, keeps me busy from doin´my head into studies (@Ms Sicily: they´re kickin´my ass at uni as well- especcially afdter a missed week as´I was travellin´) Got massenger now, maybe have a virtual coffee in a while?
See ya chícas! miss you....
Posted by: bluest eyes | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 06:58 AM
Thanks, all of you, for the kudos.
Good to hear from you, Ms. Sicily and Bluest Eyes. I was wondering where you two were hiding, and I understand about studying... try teaching full time PLUS taking graduate courses! that's what I'm doing.
Seems we're all in the same boat. hugs, chicas. miss you.
Posted by: shamash | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 07:39 AM
happy birthday, blog of Shamash!
erm... "two sister professional blogs"?
Posted by: Michiel | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 09:05 AM
Yeah, hiding behind mountains of books, writing essays, term-papers...in a way I really started November-hermiting as sun is setting early and whilst working a lot. but in a way it doesn´t feel so bad and still it is a good feeling to get things started, having a beer after essays written (and as I´m trying to take the Borges-thing mores seriously...;-)) but hey, YOU seem to be busy as well ;-)lots of hugs.
Posted by: bluest eyes | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 10:07 AM
Yes, I agree completly that shamash is a great way to take ur head off studying and also-for us- to be in touch...hey blue eyes, whats your messanger email address? email it to me and I'll had you to my contacts. AH! last night I finished a paper which asked "is globalisazion the triumph of capitalism?"...how have I ended up studying such things??I forgot which was the last issue of cosmopolitan I had the opportunity to read...
Posted by: Ms Sicily | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 02:28 PM
Michiel: "two sister professional blogs" = two blogs (connected to my work) that are related.
One is a classroom blog- a bulletin board of sorts. The other one is literature-based: an open forum where students can continue classroom discussion after class.
Posted by: shamash | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 05:51 PM
Gals: study hard! I'm sure you're the top of your class, challenging the professors. That's a good thing.
Bluest Eyes: Let's keep telling each other to remember Borges :-)
Ms. Sicily: I'd love to read the paper you wrote. For various reasons, I'd say the answer to your paper's question: "is globalization the triumph of capitalism?" is "no." Wish we could discuss it over cappuccino at The Lake . And, I can't imagine you missing an issue of Cosmo!:P
Posted by: shamash | Monday, 14 November 2005 at 06:03 PM
Hi! You know I'm a little occupied right now, but it was good to cruise by and catch up, sorry for no communicatons. Happy Birthday and keep writing!
Posted by: Ms D | Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 11:47 PM