So yesterday, after taking a group of students to the Cecil County Historical Society(they have a great blog) to learn about the history of race and race relations in our county (think north eastern most corner of Maryland), I got into a conversation about blogging with a student. He was saying that he loved doing research – he has a phd in chemistry and is taking my composition course, a new challenge for me – because every time he read something in a print journal he found something else in that journal, next to the article he was reading or a few pages in. That’s the joy of learning for him.

And for me. That’s why I’ve always loved reading . . . I find new things. The joy of reading and then writing is in making connections between things. Sometimes I find myself thinking of these connections in terms of brain science – neurons firing to create or reinforce synapses – and sometimes I just think of them as “order in chaos.” These links between ideas and experiences are what give me joy.

This joy, at this moment in my life, is most clearly seen in blogs I read. Each morning I get up, check my email, and then spend a good bit of time bouncing around the blogs I like (see them listed in blogroll at left). I love checking into different ideas, different books, thinking about myself and thinking about my students, my friends, and then entering the conversation myself via these blogs. Reading blogs isn’t the same as doing that print research – no smell of old paper, no texture of pulp beneath my fingers – but it’s the next best thing, kind of.

So to all of you who blog, thank you. You give me connection, something I think humans crave every minute of every day.

P.S. Today, my favorite blog is (and the favorite changes daily) Literary Feline. Check her out.