2012 in Review

It’s the end of a long year, and everyone’s doing some reflecting. As usual, it’s nice to take a look at how this blog has fared in the past year and to reminisce about its author.

The past year has been pretty crazy here at the Backslash blog. This humble wordpress blog saw almost five times as much traffic as the year before, and has gained a wonderful group of readers and followers. I have yet to fully come to grips with that fact, but I continue to try as you continue to keep reading. The upsurge in readership was predominantly due to what I actually thought was a mediocre post – “Catching Joseph Kony” – in response to the Kony 2012 phenomenon. There are actually two other LRA-related pieces I wrote that I am happier with – a history of peace and conflict and a look back on Invisible Children’s work. That they didn’t see much light is a result of bad timing as much as it is the result of how damn long they are.

Other popular posts this year include a brief look at Japanese internment in Arizona, the progressive history of Arizona’s constitution, and my contributions to the annual Caine Prize discussions. My favorite rant was probably a chance to direct my anger at a state legislator I dislike and defend lower tuition, but it’s unnerving how often people get to it by doing a web search for “students are irresponsible.” No doubt, the writing on this blog has improved primarily because of what I read – and I’ll continue to relay that through the weekend reading feature.

I spent a lot of this year in a lost state, but I’m gradually getting my footing. After spending most of 2011 doing something that I loved (teaching) that was unsustainable (read: unpaid), I started this year back in a public high school – a place I consider my domain – and ended up leaving that path. While that’s a somber fact for me, I’m happy to be where I am now, immersed in academia once again. The people here at Yale have taught me a lot just in these few months, and I’m sure they will continue to do the same. My wife has helped make the transition bearable, and technology has allowed my friends to keep me company and to make me want to improve my academic work as well as my blog-writing. Y’all rock, and I hope you’ll stick around for next year.


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