January 25, 2017

If Blogs Were Super Bowls

If blogs were Super Bowls, this one would be number CC. I can’t call it a bicentennial, because that would mean that I started writing Among Friends’ in the year 1817.  That was the year the New York Stock Exchange opened, and Henry David Thoreau was born. It was a little early for me!

This week does mark a minor milestone: this is the 200th essay written for Among Friends’. 

When I began as Head of School in July 2011, I told my staff that I was setting a new intention: to write a story every week that we would share with the Friends’ community.  The idea was that the stories would give everyone in our community a glimpse of many of the good things that happen at this wonderful school every week.

“Every week?!!” a few of them exclaimed. “Are you nuts?” (Or words to that effect.)

As a rookie Head of School, I perhaps didn’t quite know all that I was getting myself into, and the extensive demands on my time. Sometimes I find myself writing late into night to meet my deadline. However, I have persevered.

A small handful of these blog entries have been written by guest authors:  teachers, staff, parents, trustees. But the vast majority is my own original work. Something that I incorporate into my schedule each and every week.

Some of you only get a chance to read the blog from time to time, when your own time allows, or when a topic is of particular interest.  Some of you have told me that you are dedicated fans who read it religiously every Friday morning with your morning coffee. I thank you all.

The blog, for me, has become a labor of love.  I’m passionate about this school.  I’m passionate about writing.  It’s a perfect match.

As I reflect back on many of the essays (and you can do that by date or by topic by scrolling down the right hand column of the website), I am reminded of so many amazing highlights that the people of this school have accomplished:

            - the day we turned on the solar panels on our roof
            - personal and heartfelt stories of many of our teachers and staff
            - the Boulder flood of 2013 and how it affected our families
            - award-winning students and teachers
            - the school’s 25th anniversary and gratitude project
            - incredible project presentations or theatrical productions
            - a new middle school for Boulder

And, most importantly, the everyday stories of the amazing people and essential learning that happen here every day.
Over six and a half years, almost 64,000 people have visited this page.  I write between 35-38 essays a year, with summers off.  The most popular blogs have been shared extensively on social media, spreading the good word about Friends’ School far and wide, and often feature a touching personal story.  By far the most read entry this year was the essay titled Who We Are written immediately after the election.

Meg Hansen
I am honored to take this opportunity to give a celebratory shout-out to Friends’ Director of Marketing and Communications Meg Hansen, who has been an eagle-eyed, tough editor for me on every one of these 200 posts.

Some weeks I get my draft to her with a couple of days to spare before she posts it in the weekly Happenings newsletters.  More likely, I’m texting her late on a Thursday night letting her know that my 600-750 words are complete.  She is always good-natured toward my tardiness. I know I’ve written a good piece if I can make Meg, as my first reader, laugh or cry.  She’s a tough nut to crack!

Mostly, I hope that, each week, I have met the goals that I initially set for myself 200 posts ago:  to tell the story of Friends’ School; to inform readers of something that they may have missed; to welcome everyone into our Friends’ School experience; or to share some inside information to complete a story.  If I can make you smile, or chuckle, or even wipe away a small tear, that’s a bonus.

Thank you for being my reader for all or part of the journey.

On to the next 200…. 

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