2010 in review

I haven’t posted much in the last month–I’ll have  a few thoughts about the Christmas holidays in the next few days.

In the meantime, check out some of the more popular posts from this past year.  The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s an overall summary:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire! (We all know how accurate the Blog-Health-o-Meter is.)

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 33 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 40 posts. There were 35 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 27th with 273 views. The most popular post that day was Running with scissors, glasses, and dogs.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, slashingtongue.com, twitter.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for c. gobin wordpress, site:garaborn.wordpress.com garaborn.wordpress.com, c. gobin wordpress running with scissors, site:garaborn.wordpress.com c. gobin homepage wordpress, and josh gobin.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Running with scissors, glasses, and dogs May 2010


Happy Birthday, “Breathless.” May 2010


Joe Crosses Over! May 2010


When a third of the family goes to camp June 2010
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My response to Jacques Steinberg’s column May 2010

My response to Jacques Steinberg’s column

In “Plan B,” Jacques Steinberg writes

“Such skills [communication and appropriate work behavior] are ranked among the most desired — even ahead of educational attainment — in many surveys of employers. In one 2008 survey of more than 2,000 businesses in Washington State, employers said entry-level workers appeared to be most deficient in being able to “solve problems and make decisions,” “resolve conflict and negotiate,” “cooperate with others” and “listen actively.”

Yet despite the need, vocational programs, which might teach such skills, have been one casualty in the push for national education standards, which has been focused on preparing students for college.”

While I agree with much of what Steinberg writes, I find it somewhat odd that he assigns “solve problems and make decisions,” “resolve conflict and negotiate,” “cooperate with others” and “listen actively” to vocational programs.

I am a professor of English at a liberal arts university, and I have at times bemoaned the overspecialization of majors and programs, which blurs the line between education and training. The very things that Steinberg thinks students need more “training” in are precisely the qualities that, say, an English major develops in four years of literary studies (a vocationally “useless” pursuit).

So, I guess the next time I’m asked the proverbial question, “what can you do with an English major?” I will answer, “you can solve problems, deal with complex moral decisions, negotiate, think critically, communicate well in speech and writing, cooperate with other, and listen actively.” All things that, surprise, you need in the world of work.

Please, please, let’s not solve this by creating majors in Active Listening.

Interesting Column on College Education in the New York Times

Realized it’s been a long time since I posted anything, so I thought I’d get back into the swing of things now that the Spring semester has wrapped.  Interestingly enough, I saw the linked article in today’s New York Times.  I think this is the first time I felt compelled to comment on an online column.  I’ll include that as well.

Plan B: Skip College