Yesterday, I spoke to a class at Drake University. The course, taught by Renee Cramer, is “From Cradle to College, Breastmilk to Beer: The Law, Politics, and Social Responsibility of What We Drink.”
For the section on beer, the students read my book. I showed up yesterday to answer their questions. And they asked terrific, first-rate questions that covered a surprising range of topics.
Indeed, the roughly 70 minutes of class time ranged from here to there, from hither to yon, and back.
I have been thinking about some of those questions and plan to comment on some of them in depth here at the blog. Indeed, for some weeks now, I’ve been thinking about how to integrate my work into this blog.
What’s that you say? You didn’t know that I “work”? That I do something with my time other than ramble on day by day about this, that, and the other? I’m not surprised, because so far this blog has covered just about everything BUT what I do for a living: write history for a general audience.
So I’m plotting a strategy for incorporating what is the center of my professional life into this blog without boring people to tears and driving readers away. Thinking about creating another category under which I can file blog entries related to my work. (I know that sounds wierd, but I’ve realized over the past year that those category titles matter and thinking about what title to use — “At My Desk”? “I’m Working On:”? “A Historian’s Life”? — helps me focus on what I want to accomplish with work-related blogging. (*1)
(I know what you’re thinking: “Dear god, please! Not ANOTHER another damn blog series. Not more rambling on yet another apparently random topic.” I promise: I’m gonna do my best to make it worth your while.)
*1: yes, I’m obsessive about organization. I have to be in order to keep track of the ocean of facts swimming in my brain and the stacks of books and papers sitting on my desk. Show me a disorganized historian, and I’ll show you a historian who ain’t thinkin’ clearly . . . .