*looks at post count*
Huh. So, 2011.
I was in my 3rd year of an animal science degree, preparing to go on a cattle research internship, and finalizing my applications for veterinary school. Adele and Cee Lo Green were on the radio, I’d been dating my future wife for only a few months, and I lived in an attic on Kings and Van Buren. It had been almost a year since I waged war on the fleas, but I probably still had rat problems.
Always primo housing near campus. The fleas were brought in by the rats, not the new girlfriend’s cat as I had originally thought…I must have been very charming.
At the time, you could host a blog for free through the university at the bogs.oregonstate.edu domain, it appears you still can, though not many students take advantage, probably the same proportion of the population that blogs anyway.
The previous term a professor (Dr. Rosenlicht) teaching an animal behavior class had us (about 10 students) select a journal article each week, and present it to the group. What the methods were, the results and conclusions, and most importantly, whether we agreed with the authors. I was hooked, and found an itch that I never knew needed to be scratched.
I wanted to keep researching/reviewing for fun, but what do you do with an article review that has no audience? I decided throwing it up on the internet was as good of an empty room as any. A brief scour of the news, and I threw up some thoughts titled “Newsworthy: Males Make Pregnant Horses Abort” on a blog called “Animal Science Review”.
…Newsworthy indeed. While I haven’t followed up on the research into that particular mechanism (guest post!), it is kinda cool. However it’s amazing how much cringe I crammed into 600 words. Ugh, what drivel.
I’ve had prolific writing years and some skip years in there, but never deleted the blog. There were just some times in my life where I needed to scratch that itch harder than others, and the most recent uptick in my writing has been from finally feeling like I have have something to say. Hopefully something that makes an impact, even if it’s just entertaining one or two food safety nerds with a song or a D&D session.
I’ve long gotten over stat-watching on the blog and treat it for what it is, an opportunity for me to sit down and think deeply about a subject. Each time I write, I force learning by researching the subject thoroughly enough to avoid embarrassment in my public posts, sure to be found by future employers. I would 100% encourage anyone, student or master, to do the same. Take the time to write a brief essay on a question or subject and see how much you learn that you didn’t know before, either about the topic or the reasons you’ve formed the opinions you hold on it.
For those of you that came here and found something useful or entertaining, awesome. The world is a big place, and it’s amazing that such specific content can have any kind of audience. Regardless, I’ve got a good feeling that I’ll be writing another look-back at 200 posts thinking “ugh, who had two thumbs and couldn’t think of a less stupid way to end this post?”