Sunday, January 1, 2012

What to Expect in 2012

I thought I would post a note here about what to expect in 2012, in terms of which blogs and projects I will be working on, and which projects are on hiatus. It's always a hard decision for me to figure out what time to spend on my teaching- and school-related work as opposed to what time I can spend on Latin (alas, my school continues to be adamant in refusing to let me teach Latin). My goal this summer is to be able to create a book of Latin distich poetry, so that is where I will be focusing almost almost all my Latin efforts in the coming months (summer vacation countdown: about 125 days to go!). So, here's how that will play out for the Bestiaria and its related blogs:
  • Bestiaria Round-Up. I will keep doing the Bestiaria Round-Up blog post every other day. If I miss a day, it's just because something unexpected comes up - but usually I can manage to stay on top of that. The Round-Up will continue to look as it has in the past - I'll be including links to all new content that I'm creating, along with the content that comes from the various "quicquid of the day" widgets.
  • Schoolhouse Widgets. As some of you may have noticed, I've been trying to consolidate and clean up my widgets, which have become an unmanageable hodgepodge over the past six or seven years that I've been creating them. Now, when I create a new widget, I make sure to publish a set of informational posts over at the Schoolhouse Widgets blog, and I've also been going through and creating those informational posts for existing widgets as well. I hope that will make it easier for people to take and use the widgets for themselves, either by linking to the posts that display the widget content, or by taking the widget script and including it on your own webpage or wiki or blog.
  • Disticha Latina. Most of the new content development will be happening at the Disticha Latina blog, which has already been pretty active for the past couple of months. I have been adding blog posts every day for the new widgets I had created: Owen epigrams, Camerarius emblems, and Rollenhagen emblems. Each of the Disticha Latina blog posts has a VOCABULARY LIST, which I know is something of use to those of you who are using my blogs as study tools - so, you can count on new things to read with vocabulary lists at this blog every day, and if you have questions about the grammar or meaning of the poems, please let me know in the comments! It will be really helpful for me to know where the little poems are causing trouble for their readers.
  • Myth and Legend Images. I really had a good time putting together the Myth & Legends widget, and I've been publishing some notes on the images at the Bestiaria blog; I'll be sure to include a link in the Round-Up blog posts to any new image notes I find time to publish.
  • I Love Google Books. Since I keep finding all kinds of amazing books at Google Books, I will keep on sharing a book a day (more or less regularly) at my I Love Google Books blog. Is anybody else out there keeping a public record of your Google Book discoveries? If so, let me know! I am just amazed by what I am able to find at Google Books.
  • Mille Fabulae et Una. As of today, I've finished posting every single one of the 1001 fables, now with images, at the Mille Fabulae et Una blog - whoo-hoo!!! Now for the next step in the process, I am building in the navigation that will allow you to "page" from fable to fable in the same order as you can find the fables in the printed book, along with information about sources added to the bottom of each post. I'll be including information in the Bestiaria Round-Up posts as I revise new "chunks" of the fables so that they can be navigated from one to the next; meanwhile, you can see how that works for fables 1-300.
So, those are the places where I'll be creating new content in the coming months. As you'll notice, some of the blogs where I have been creating new content this past year are not on that list. For example, I'm not doing any more posts at the Fabulae Faciles blog - but I ended up with 183 of those fables, complete with vocabulary, which was enough to make a Fabulae Faciles widget with new easy fables, equipped with vocabulary, to last for a whole semester.

I'm also not working on the Latin vocabulary and Latin proverbs right now, but I hope to get back to that sometime in the future - and there are plenty of widgets you can use for daily and random Latin proverbs of all kinds. As for vocabulary, I am really waiting for a professional organization (APA? ACL? College Board?) to come up with some free vocabulary resources online that everybody can use and link to; I'm just not persuaded that it is a good use of time for each of us to be doing our own vocabulary development individually, when instead we would all benefit from there being shared vocabulary lists and shared online tools for working with that vocabulary, customizable and suitable for students at any level of Latin learning.

I hope that all makes sense, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments section of the blog (or you can send me an email but, honestly, my email inbox is still a complete disaster as a result of having been out of town and busy with the end of school, too).

Also, if you are a Latin teacher or student who is blogging, let me know so I can follow your blog! As you can see, blogging has proved to be a key element in my work and my research; I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone as a great tool for learning and sharing, and Google's sure does make it easy. Thanks, as always, to Google for the amazing resources and tools they are sharing with us all!

Best wishes to everybody for a happy and productive New Year!

For an image, here's a new widget - it chooses from the 400-pixel-width widgets and displays one at random. For more information, see the Random 400-Pixel Images Reference Page.

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