Changes

Maybe you’ve floated by the site lately or just kept up-to-date with the Weekly I send out, but there have been a few changes, or rather additions, to Backpacks & Blackboards. (Examples of past versions of the Weekly here, here, and here)

January will mark a year since I started Backpacks & Blackboards and having two months until I reach that marker, I’ve started to look back over the course of a year’s worth of work. Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible support I received from this website’s community, but even more so was the support I found in myself. Crafting this site, engaging with such a diverse community, and opening up my own heart and mind as a result of these blogging endeavors has revealed quite a bit.

I think the biggest takeaway is that I really enjoy this type of writing, this platform of honest engagement.

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Backpacks & Blackboards started as a site to share my expat life, the lessons I learned both inside the ESL classroom and outside through my travels. The focus has always been on growth and development: for ourselves, for those we connect with, and for our more distant, global communities. A place where sustainable human development happens in our daily lives and not just in those far corners of the globe.

The feedback from this initial passion has motivated and inspired me greatly. It has given me direction and even confidence. It made me more human and less of an always-stressed-information-overloaded-tech-crazed workaholic.

So where does this lead?

Well quite simply, it has led to new projects and the continuance of what I started.

For the site, you’ll notice to your left a “Weekly Outlook” editorial calendar. Each Sunday, I’ll post the next week’s article forecast. To see it better, just click on the picture.

With teaching (and all the grading that comes with specializing in teaching writing), it’s hard to consistently keep up with longer, more reflective articles. But I still want to share moments of my expat life with you. So each Monday, there’s a new series called “Little Moments.” Just small glimpses into what I’m up to lately. You can read the first of the series here. Expect today’s Little Moments to be posted shortly.

The butter wouldn't even stay on for a quick picture!

Another small glimpse into who I am can be found in the new series, “Things That I Am Enjoying.” These will be a few of my favorite things at the moment. Probably heavily influenced by my Wednesdays. Expect links to articles and sites, food and recipes, places, etc. Stop by on Thursdays to see what I’ve been enjoying and sharing your favorites of the week, too. You can find last Thursday’s things here.

Things

Throughout the week, there will still be longer, more reflective articles as well as articles in the on-going “Here Today, Taiwan Tomorrow” series. If you’re new to the site, here are a few articles I recommend reading:

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Fall is always a slower time of year right before the busyness of the holidays gets going in full swing. It’s a time where I like looking back, but also defining some of the new challenges I would like to face in the upcoming year.

In a world so full of distractions and laundry-lists of who and what to be, the challenge for me is simply to be authentic in my daily life and on Backpacks & Blackboards.

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