In January 2009, Barack Obama took office as 44th President of the United States.
A month later, the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23, in the 43rd Super Bowl and Bruce Springsteen performed during the halftime show.
Back then, our oldest son, Nathan, was a few months away from getting his bachelors degrees in business and marketing at Portland State. Our daughter, Simone, was working with low-income students at alternative high schools in Portland and applying to graduate schools on the East Coast. Our youngest son, Jordan, was a newlywed and and stationed with the U.S. Army in El Paso, Texas.
Lori and I were empty nesters, still in the Grant Park neighborhood where we raised our kids and living with our dogs, Otto and Max, and our cats, Rudy and Mabel.
And so it was that on March 1, yours truly launched the Rough and Rede blog. I’d been hired to teach a weekend seminar at a local college called “Opinion and the Blogosphere.” (How quaint that word “blogosphere” seems now.)
My first blog post, written in the wee hours of March 1, 2009, was comprised of a single paragraph:
It’s about time…I’m going to teach a weekend seminar on “Opinion and the Blogosphere.” Shouldn’t I have a blog of my own? Even one that has more bones than skin? It’s about time…It’s after 1 in the morning, that transition time between Saturday night and Sunday morning. I find I do some of my clearest thinking and clearest writing in the wee hours. Fewer distractions that way. It’s about time…How will I sustain this? I’m already on Facebook; don’t wanna do MySpace. I’m online every day, much of the day, owing to my job as editor of the Sunday Opinion section at The Oregonian. It’s about time…It’s about getting started, as the title of this post says. Choose an image: dive in, dip your toes in the water, take the first step, just do it. So I’m doing it. I have no illusions about this, by the way. Just one guy on the Left Coast laying the first brick of what I hope will be good for the soul, good for the mind. Welcome, friends and new readers.
Well, here we are, eight years later. President Obama is president no longer and our nation threatens to pull itself apart under the policies of the Cheeto-in-Chief.
The New England Patriots just won the Super Bowl (again).
Nathan is following his passions of music and food, working as a DJ and a cook at a Thai restaurant. Simone is married and working for Metro as a senior auditor. Jordan is a young father, living near Tacoma, Washington, and closing in on a biology degree at nearby St. Martin’s University.
Lori and I are in a condo, sharing our living space with our slinky feline, Mabel, and our rascally little mutt, Charlotte.
And I’m celebrating the eight-year anniversary of the original Rough and Rede blog.
How appropriate that this milestone would fall on the same date that I just gave my Media Literacy students their midterm exam in COM 312 at Portland State University.
Eight years ago, I was still employed at The Oregonian and just dipping my toes into the waters of higher education.
Now here I am, 14 months removed from taking a buyout at The Oregonian/OregonLive, and teaching not one college course but three.
In addition to my class at Portland State, I’m also teaching two communications courses across the river at Washington State University Vancouver.
I’ve written about the transition from newsroom to classroom before, so I won’t go into yet again, although I fully expect to reflect on my teaching experiences when the quarter (PSU) and semester (WSU) are done at each campus.
I’ve got some more thoughts on this personal milestone and I’ll share them before the week is through. In the meantime, thanks to one and all for following the original R&R blog or this newer version, Rough and Rede II.
Photograph: AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran