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Musings on Liminality

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

One of my favorite words is 'liminal'. I remember reading a great article one semester many moons ago about beaches as "liminal" spaces in literature (probably referencing back to Bakhtin, as this article does) and that was my first experience of the word.

As someone who is decidedly NOT a fan of beaches (my apologies to Puerto Vallarta, Currituck, and Durban, all great beaches in their own rights and ones I have loved) the idea that beaches had some special quality was new and refreshing.

For the past couple of months, I have been in a liminal space vis-a-vis work as I transitioned into a new job and almost immediately a new role in that job. After two six-week sprints, amid a pandemic, a move, and a host of other challenges, I feel like I have emerged on the other side of a tunnel (coincidentally, also a liminal space). I have all but left academia and taken away a lot of lessons from nearly twenty years I spent engrossed in "the work".

I was reading Don't Tell Me The Isolating Struggle Of Online Learning's Worth A Full University Tuition and it got me thinking about the vision for universities going forward. Campuses are a big part of university life and they will have to continue to be going forward.

Good professors are a big part of that too, and good professors are good professors regardless of medium. As I work on redesigning a course and continuing to work with burnt-out students (and fellow faculty), I cannot help but start to get a vision for what the colleges and universities of tomorrow will be. I've spent the past year listening to educators and education futurists discuss a vision and I think something is starting to congeal. I foresee a hybrid model taking hold.

I am still teaching and still learning, but I am finding every day that I am more in my element in this new contracting role.

This role gives me the freedom to learn and grow and use my organizational and writing abilities to full effect.

it moves so much faster in many ways than the large state institutions that I have worked for.

One other thing I have been doing is growing my side hustle/passion project. I am finding that one of the things the authors I work with need more than editing or proofreading skills is often the motivation and encouragement to write. This is true of academics, entrepreneurs, and others. I am hoping to use this blog to continue to develop ideas and tips for those who want to write but cannot find the bandwidth.

That starts with me, I'm finding. Slowly but surely.

So too, this blog will likely become a liminal space for a larger project (one day). Until then, I hope it can provide advice for those who want to write but can never seem to find the time.

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