While this blog has been defunct for all intents and purposes for a while now, I think it’s time to officially bring it to an end.

This was an invaluable space for me for a very long time, and I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for all the wonderful fascinating friends I’ve made through writing here (too many to even begin to try to name you all). Many of you I’ve never met in “real” life, yet I treasure the connections that we’ve developed over the ether. Those of you whom I have met in person, I’ve been consistently amazed at how comfortable and effortless it was to transition from reading words on a page to speaking face to face.

But as the frequency of posts here recently has shown, this space no longer fits easily into my life. Some of that change results from changes in the internet itself. As many people have been pointing out for a while now, in those heady pre-Facebook pre-Twitter pre-Instagram days blogging played a different role in people’s lives than it does now. There was more long-form writing, and many more vigorous debates in the comments sections. To some extent, those debates and discussions have transferred to Facebook, but the Facebook vibe is different from that seen in academic blogs (or at least, blogs by academics) in the first 5 years or so of this blog.

I particularly value the support I found here throughout my long drawn-out process of leaving academia. But it’s also true that leaving academia made this space, and the identity that I created here, less relevant than when I was still a professor.

Perhaps the biggest change is that I have become determined to create boundaries between my work and my life in a way that really didn’t make sense – and wasn’t possible – when I was an academic. The work-life divide came up a lot among the new profs I met through this blog, but I always secretly sort of felt proud of doing a job that meant so much to me, it couldn’t be separated from my personal identity. It was academia. I studied things I loved, things I considered vitally important, and I wrote down what I thought about them to share with other people. How could that not be integral to my very sense of self?

I don’t really feel that way any more. I like being a lawyer (and there are many things that disturb me about higher education these days), and I’m too over-educated, obsessive, and tightly wound not to value my work identity and base a big chunk of my self-worth on it. But it’s work. I do it for pay. I use my brain in service of something that is not me (the government), and to a large extent, my work is in response to other people’s choices, not my own. I’m a cog in a way that professors, standing at the front of the room (or sitting among their students) imparting wisdom (or facilitating student wisdom) and coming up with original thoughts aren’t, and I’m actually really happy with that. It’s important to me that my work is meaningful (and I believe it is, although I think many of my academic friends might see me as having gone over to the dark side, or at least a dark side). But since starting to practice, it’s become more and more important to me to create a sense of self that has nothing to do with what I do for a living.

I can’t claim that I’ve figured out exactly how to do that yet, but what I have figured out doesn’t seem to fit into this space any more.


I’ve started another blog. If you’d like to follow me over there, I would be thrilled to see you.

I do have to warn you, though, that it’s very different from this one, and probably a lot more mundane. It turns out that right now, for me, developing a sense of self independent of my employment has turned into an obsession with


Yup. Kind of going from the sublime to the ridiculous, I realize.

But I knit all the time now. It’s become my non-work thing. And I find myself wanting to talk about it, a lot.

So I’ve set up a new space, and while I’d love to see you there, I have to let you know that there will be a lot of talk about knitting. And not-very-good pictures of knitting. Along with not-very-good pictures of life in the desert, because that’s the other thing that non-work me focuses on these days: what it’s like to live where I live, and how to make it a place I want to be.

So if you’re curious, feel free to stop by. Don’t feel obligated to stick around at all if it’s not your thing.

Either way, just know how much I truly, deeply appreciate your part in the journey that’s ending here.

11 thoughts on “

  1. You’re the blogger through whom I was introduced to blogging. I’ll miss the “New Kid” persona, and your thoughtful take on the issues you discussed as New Kid. But obviously your life is so different now that those aren’t your issues any longer. Once more, though, you’ve put your finger precisely on a key point: the way academia fills one’s life and identity, in a way other careers often don’t. I can’t really imagine who I’d be if I weren’t a professor, if I needed something outside of work to give me a sense of self, and I know that’s really weird to a lot of (most?) non-academics. Place, and the struggles with it, sounds like an issue we still share, though from different sides of the seasonal divide. I keep wondering how I could possibly make a life that would let me live in a climate I prefer, and who I’d be if I weren’t an academic; but I think I’ve made my bed, and will keep lying in it. Vale!

  2. Wishing you all happiness on your new blog. I look forward to reading.

    I agree with Dame Eleanor; I, too, miss your New Kid persona, and always appreciated your blogging.

  3. Agreeing with both DEH and Bardiac. I’m really glad to have followed you all these years and to have seen you come through to a happy and rewarding new life! See you around Fb.

  4. I can understand why NK isn’t your blogging home any longer. Thanks for the memories and for the link to your new site. I’ll be following you there!

  5. NK, you were one of the first bloggers I read, and I have so enjoyed following your journey the past decade. I’m really happy that your law career has worked out so well for you, and I’m looking forward to reading your new blog.

  6. I have missed you but totally understand as I’ve been in your shoes – leaving a blog, not academia (though I wonder sometimes….). I’m happy that you’ve found your way — and I’m looking forward to knitting

  7. Thank you for the comments, everyone! (a bit weird to comment here under the new blog name, but you can’t keep both, it appears.) I appreciate your nice words. It has been a long journey with many of you!

  8. I’m sorry to see you go! Although I’ve faded away myself, like so many people have. Your reflections on how the internet has moved along from blogging as a primary means of discourse resonates with me, and I guess I’ve changed as well. Everybody seems busier, more harried, more distracted, and into different things, and there just isn’t time to sit down and have lengthy and engaging discussions on blogs anymore.

    Thanks for all the good conversations and good luck to you! Maybe I’ll still stop by the new blog when I’m moved to have some k2p1 talk or chats about little birds. 🙂

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