Al Jazeera, Baltimore, Blessings, Blogging Break, Gigs, Loyola University Maryland, Opportunity, Teaching, UMBC, Writing
The past three months have been a roller coaster ride. I’ve been blessed with new opportunities to teach and to write. For the next year, I am a visiting assistant teaching professor in African American and US history at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. The search committee offered me the job just a week after I turned in my final grades for the Spring 2022 semester at American University, and just two days after the start of summer session. I was honestly more stunned than happy at that moment — lack of sleep and constant grading will do that!
Then, a few weeks later, as the reality of having an official full-time teaching position set in (I have taught full-time before, but only temporarily, without benefits, and/or with two universities that combined for full-time), Al Jazeera came along and offered me a regular contributor gig for their Opinions page. After 19 articles over five years, I am to publish an article every two weeks for the third largest news outlet in the world. Pretty heady stuff, for sure!
In between, my son finished up his gap year (really, his mostly year-long vacation) with an acceptance to University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC, or as I like to do in the late asshole Don Imus’ voice, double-U-eMMM-BC) the second week in June. It was the school of his choice, meaning no more excuses for bad interviews, no more hemming and hawing over finding volunteer work or applying for City Year. Yay, him! And, yay us!
All these blessings (and thank God, of course!) have meant a lot of changes in the family, too. For the first time since April 1999, there will be no specific focus on DC, not for work, not for school, not for commuting, not even for shopping or food deliveries (there’s a Cheesecake Factory between Silver Spring and Towson). Maybe this will revert in a year, maybe not. But it means spending more time in Baltimore and in Baltimore County than I ever have.
For this blog, it means ever longer stretches between posts. There are maybe five months in 14 years where I haven’t blogged at all. June was the fifth time. Between my own freelance writing agenda and now this regular gig with Al Jazeera English, I simply no longer have the time to blog three or four times a month. And, as my themes have expanded from the themes of Boy @ The Window to pretty much everything else, my blog posts will be sporadic and infrequent. I am not ready to shut down the blog just yet. But it will be a less active space for the next year or so.
I do promise to keep it going, a blog once every six to eight weeks, or as I am motivated to comment on a key anniversary or a critical in-the-moment issue or incident. There are also more than 1,000 posts here, and a collection of my published and unpublished writings. Not to mention, eclectic music and my goofball videos!
To my regular readers and to those who read and comment out of the blue, I will miss hearing from you. But hopefully, less is more, and I will check in to see if this truism is true for this blog as well. Peace and blessings to you all!