Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a trial run and a little background

the look of this blog tells it how it is: i'm not invested in this yet, i don't know if i'm going to keep it up, i don't know if blogging is "me." i created the name for my blog almost two years ago when so many of my good friends, my own blue stocking society, particularly smartmama, got swept up in the blogging craze and convinced me i should do the same.

at the time, i chose "bluestocking mama" for my title. the Blue Stockings Society was founded in England in the mid1700s to allow women, albeit women of privilege, to discuss literature and the arts. the women had little opportunity to do so in their society and culture. the Blue Stocking women supported each other in their writing, their artwork, their reading, and advanced women's education. England's National Portrait Gallery recently featured the Blue Stocking women and described them as follows: "A group of celebrated women writers, artists and thinkers who forged new links between gender, learning and virtue in eighteenth-century Britain. These women were not just brilliant, they were exceptional, both for their individual accomplishments and for breaking the boundaries of what women could be expected to undertake or achieve." in many ways i don't fit the blue stocking label--i'm neither British, nor brilliant. but in many ways i do--i'm passionate about education, particularly women's education, i still believe in studying virtue as part of education, and in my own culture as an LDS woman, i feel that trying to finish my dissertation, unfortunately, puts me outside the boundaries of what many expect me to do.

when i think of the Blue Stockings Society now, i also think of the women who are participating in my dissertation research, who write and read in a private online discussion board and blog ring, who write to support each other in mothering and worshipping and living as individuals and as members of communities. for over three years now i have seen these women dealing with and accomplishing more than they expected to undertake in the realities of their lives.

well, two years ago i signed up my blog, but never posted, never formatted it (still haven't, obviously). i felt strange about writing so publicly and never felt a need for this kind of audience. plus, there's always the "good, better, best" to consider, and most everything in my life other than family, church, and school has slowly been set aside in the past two years, including blogging. i write a lot in my life as a way of exploring my thoughts and of knowing, but i like this writing to be pen and paper with no real audience in mind. now, though, as i'm starting to write my dissertation, i feel like i'm writing into the void with no audience. suddenly a blog doesn't seem like such a bad idea to write/talk out my dissertation less formally. maybe now a blog will help me finish this lingering dissertation. if so, it gets promoted out of the "good" category into a "better" category.

i can't ignore, of course, the "mama" part of my title. balancing the two identities is an impossible and frustrating and sometimes disheartening task. "mama" receives the majority of my time, as it should be. i feel great peace in that. so i'm sure i'll be posting about the "mama" as much as about the "bluestocking." if, that is, i keep this up. and that's a big IF.


smart mama said...

what a perfect opening post! i have loved participating in your research process- and i think your title is perfect-- i can't wait to see where we are in another 20 years-- you are a greater writer glad you are opening up you"inner talk"to the world-- you'll likely wind up with readers who are far wiser than myself...

swimmingmom said...

that was such a great post. if you visit my blog, you'll notice there's nothing there except a bunch of water! i have yet to begin mine, so i understand a bit of where you are coming from. i'm excited to read more of your entried. you are a great writer.

The Scott's said...

Hey! You are amazing!!!! I am so glad to have found you from Heather. There have been so many things going in my life and thoughts and ideas and questions and goals I've been pondering. There are so many things I want to do with my life and study and accomplish and, so many things that are similiar to what you are already writing a dissertation on! It sounds like you are still working on your doctoral! Good job! I'm so proud of you. I loved reading your posts. You've already inspired me. Keep up with it all. You are awesome!! I miss you and the ward. Glad to hear you are still running too. Maybe I'll see you at the turkey trot again?! Love ya, Rachelle