This is a strangely appropriate photo - it's from my 18th birthday party. Yes, that's a volcano cake. Yes, I am a dork. Then again, who wouldn't want a cake that erupts lava and destroys villages?
Looking back on my very first post, I'm glad that I moved from a prosy style to a more conversational one. I know very few people who talk the way they write, and I think the best way to connect with your readers is to be true to your own voice. If you're constantly writing what you think other people want to hear, you lose yourself in the language. I love being able to write something that isn't necessarily formal or scientific, because as a student I don't often get the opportunity to do so.
Anyway, enough soliloquizing. Over a year, my posting has had some ups and downs - anything to do with applying and starting graduate school, for example, probably reveals a lot of stress that in the past I might not have admitted to. There's been introspection, and silliness, and skepticism, and celebrations, but most of all there's excitement - excitement about every aspect of geology, which is one of the main reasons I started blogging. I think one of the best parts of being a geologist is that we never had to leave show-and-tell behind, and a blog is a great way to share our enthusiasm and interest in our field.
Blogging has been good to me - not only have I refined my style and voice, I've connected with people that I might never have heard of otherwise. It's given me a great support network for those tough decisions, confidence in myself as a student and a scientist, and helped keep me up-to-date on the latest and greatest developments in geology (or at least the ones that everyone thinks are really cool, which is pretty much the same thing). It's even led to more writing for Geology.com (which I really should get back to once I finish this post!)
The geoblogosphere is a fantastic community that connects all of us in ways we couldn't even have imagined in years past - I can still remember using an electric typewriter for my school reports, which no one ever saw once they were done. Now, I can sit here writing on an amazing, though still cranky, device, press a button, and publish my thoughts in a forum that spans the globe. A year ago I didn't know that there were geoblogs, and now I can read dozens every day.
Things change quickly, for me as much as anyone. I've gone from student to office worker to student/TA/blogger, and though definitely a challanging path, I can't say I'd do much differently. Thanks for everyone who's helped make it a rich and fulfilling year...let's see how many more I can keep this up!
And, as I mentioned last year, Merry Chrismahanukwaanzakuh, and don't get buried in a snowdrift or anything.*