I am often curious about people's blogrolls. Are these people they know? How did their paths cross? How did they find the blogs? So I'm using some of these days to continue highlighting some of my friends with blogs on the side of my page.
Before the word "blog" had even entered my vocabulary as anything permanent, as opposed to a little computer gibbit that might or might not be a flash in the pan, my excellent early-adopter friend, Shelley, started one as a way to keep people posted on her job hunt. She and her partner are excellent savers and had stored up cash in their dual-salary years to allow Shelley to stay home for the first three years of their baby's life. Then, it was time to head back to work, and Shelley kept us all up to date on how the search was going through her blog. It was a great way to let people check in when they had time and yet not have to keep re-typing over and over and not having to say, "Where did we leave off?" I thought it was genius--par for the course for Shelley, though. We originally met off the web years ago when she was one of my first admissions mentors. She was always honest, true to herself, positive, and looking for ways to improve systems. I was crushed when she announced she was leaving, but even there, she blazed a trail for those beyond her to follow as she was the first long-timer in memory to leave not only without incurring the boss's wrath, but actually getting a positive recommendation and pledge of support from him. I am fortunate to have had several excellent mentors in my field, but none taught me more than Shelley did. These days, she's probably blogging about her family (job stuff tends to go on a different site), or showing off excellent photos, or sharing poetry (mostly haiku). You can check her out at But Wait, There's More!
One blog on my blogroll that bears little resemblance in content to the others is Whispers in the Loggia. Like But Wait, it was started before I really even understood what a blog was all about. The reason it is on my blogroll is because it's actually the labor of love of one of my former workstudy students. He was always one of my favorites; a hard worker who never forgot a face (or, unlike me, the name that went with it). He has had a lifelong love of the Catholic church, which, in classic Catholic fashion, has been repaid alternately with rich blessings and deep acceptance, or cold shoulders and cutting cruelty. When the church finally decides priests can marry, he'll be an excellent pastor. Until then, Whispers is his love letter to the church--gossip without meanness, and a way to get the news of the upper Catholic echelons without the filters of the other ways church news comes to the people. He has been accused of being a "front" for disgruntled priests, and a front for the church itself--a good measure of his even-handedness. He even gets hits from Vatican City, which doesn't surprise me in the least. I consider myself a pretty devout Catholic, but lots of his topics are too arcane for me and get me thinking of angels on pins. But just when I'm in too deep to church stuff, he reminds me that his other love is one of mine: the city of Philadelphia. He texted me from third base when the Phils won the Series, and introduced us to one of our favorite holiday events, the Mummers' Mass in Philadelphia. My boys adore him, and even thought they might only see him once a year, they are instantly comfortable with him and chatting as though they saw him last week. Like Shelley, he was one of the great blessings from my former job, and I'm delighted his blog helps us stay in touch.
One final blog associated with my last job isn't even "written" by the person I worked with; it's Tails of Bella, a Therapy Dog. Written from the perspective of an adorable and supremely well-trained Havanese, Bella has quite a career in pet therapy going. Her human companion/typist is also someone I used to work with who eventually left to pursue her EdD--and, as it turns out, a great life working with her therapy dog. Bella has gained some notoriety already, and is going to be on TV this Saturday! My DVR is set and ready to go (since I hope to not be up at 7am). And, since I always wanted a therapy dog but never have had one with the right temperament, it's fun to live vicariously through her blog.
More to come in a further installment!