June is a bit like December: a time for endings, for celebration, for looking back, and for looking ahead.
Those of us whose lives center around educational institutions – students, teachers, school administrators, parents of students – live out two years at once. It’s a rather strange overlapping timeline, which I never much thought about before now. Depending on how you look at it, the calendar year straddles two school years, or the school year straddles two calendar years. It’s an intermingled non-stop roller coaster.
Or here’s another way to look at it, through the grid-like lens of a spreadsheet:
Lots of starts and stops, seasons within seasons. June and December both press the pause button, but with June, there is a more generous gap between when the year ends and when it begins again: a longer time to reflect, to assess, and to plan.
I’m bearing down on that gap even now, and so doing, find myself at a loss. How do I begin to assess the last 9 to 12 months? This last year was so jam packed with change and with simply doing, it is difficult to identify any highlights. What did I learn? Did I succeed or fail? Am I still in one piece? What’s my name? (Yeah, it’s like that.)
I need data.
So I turn to you. That’s right, you, dear Reader. You tell me, in the detail of All Nine’s site stats, what you’ve been reading and, to some degree, what you like. In so doing, you help me put a few things into perspective.
To that end, following are the top posts (as measured by page views) for the past year for each of All Nine’s regular contributors. I am including our recent guest Karise Gililland’s piece, even though she has only contributed one time, since her post has surpassed many of my own for eyeballs by a good margin in just the past few days. I will also included a popular one from Kevin Belmonte, a frequent guest on this site, and so round out the list to a satisfactory (all) nine.
In alpha order:
- A Word Finds a Way by Kelly Belmonte
- A Word is Dead by Rebekah Choat
- All in Good Time by Kevin Belmonte
- Announcing Your Place: Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” by Andrew Lazo
- Answering the Stars by Karise Gililland
- Cracks and Comforts by Bethany Rohde
- Not God’s Type: Looking Back and Looking Forward by Holly Ordway
- The Last of Life: A Sign of New Life by Doug Jackson
- Unveiling the Sacred in the Everyday: Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Daily” by Crystal Hurd
These are the pieces you looked at most this year, regardless of when they were written (several were posted originally well before 2014 even). It’s your go-to stuff. How very interesting. This is useful for each writer, as we all promote our writing in different ways and on different sites. We gain insight by looking at what we may have done differently to promote these particular pieces. Of course, we can look to the content of the posts as well as indicators of what you all like to read.
Another interesting note about the data: you seem to like poetry. Well, sure, that’s a lot of what we write about. But I mean you click “Like” quite often when we post our straight-up poems. I looked at when there were the most “likes” on posts over the past year, and it seems to be in April, during NaPoWriMo, when we were posting a lot of our original poetry.
Good to know.
As the month unfolds, we will unpack a bit more of what this past school year has to tell us by way of reflection. Who knows? Maybe we’ll learn something.