A Road Trip, Thomas Jefferson, and My Blog

Finally in front of a computer that successfully connects to the internet!

From the Road
I’m writing today from sunny South Carolina where a road trip (my first in a really long time) has taken me.  This trip seemed like a perfect way to spend a week or so of my summer vacation – exploring, taking pictures, relaxing and writing are the only things I put on my TO DO list.  Everything was going so smoothly until my netbook stopped connecting to the internet on the first night of my trip.  I didn’t realize how dependent on the internet I’ve become until I couldn’t access it!  It has been one of the most disconcerting and unsettling experiences and has made it difficult for me to accomplish the writing I had planned to (so many things I needed to access are saved online – come to think of it, maybe it’s not the entire internet that I rely on; it’s just my Google account).  I tried to run the diagnostic tests and restore the system myself, but it still doesn’t connect.  So, my updated TO DO list now includes getting this fixed!

Standing Where Greatness Stood
On the way from Baltimore, MD and Myrtle Beach, SC, I made a stop at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.  It has been listed as one of the 8 sites for Americans to see by Budget Travel and made it onto my personal list of places to visit a few years ago when I began teaching American History.  When I studied about our founding fathers all over again in order to teach the material to my students, I quickly became enamored with Jefferson.  Visiting his home and learning more about his personal life, as well as the way that his time in public service influenced the design of his home, was a remarkable experience.  At the end of the day, I left Monticello (reluctantly and only because it was closing) inspired by the ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance that Jefferson was known for – and set off to continue my own work with a renewed level of energy and intensity.

A Return to Blogging
Though there hasn’t been much posted here lately, if you check the archives of this site, you’ll see that it’s been around for a while.  I started this blog a couple of years ago – with no other plan besides wanting a venue to share my writing – and it became a “laboratory” of sorts for my writing and reading thoughts, or what I like to think of as “experiments.”  (Teachers who use the workshop model from Columbia will understand what I mean when I say that this blog was my “writers notebook.”)  I really loved the idea of creating a site centered around “the things that inspire readers to read and writers to write.”  Now that I’m writing much more regularly than ever before (and getting to read a little more these days since I’m on summer vacation from school) it seems appropriate to put my lab coat back on and share some of my findings and inspirations here.

Here we go again…

~Melissa

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