October Squad Ghouls Network Take-Over: Postmortem

Well, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It was also quieter than I’d expected.

For the month of October I was tasked with running the social media for the Squad Goals Network, a collective of pure academic and collaborative brilliance, of which I am honored to be a part. And you know what? I had a pretty good time. That said, let’s talk about it a bit.

My basic theme for the month was fear. Partly because it encompassed Halloween and partly because I believe doing things that scare you is an integral part of growing as a fully-realized person. Speaking of which, over the month I came to realize a few things:

Revelation #1: Anticipation is always scarier than immersion

Thinking about something is always going to be more terrifying than actually being in the situation. I kept thinking, “Is it going to be good enough?” or “Will I make a fool of myself?” or “What if I don’t have anything to say?” Upon reflection, that last one was never a real concern; the real concern was “What if I don’t have anything useful to say?” But here’s the point: there was never any expectation that the things I posted or wrote would all need to be meticulously crafted, thoughtful, brilliant nuggets of wisdom. If you spend all your time crafting you never actually produce anything, after all.

Revelation #2: I’m an amplifier, not a bullhorn

There are some people—my takeover predecessor Angela and successor Terry, just to name two—who are fantastic at creating and shouting amazing things. They make connections with new people incredibly easily and actively seek out those connections. I, on the other hand, found myself being more of an amplifier for other people. In terms of Twitter, it manifested in many, many retweets but very few unique, composed tweets. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, of course. Each person has their own style and priorities. Still, if I had to choose which I find more useful… it isn’t my version.

Revelation #3: A month is no time at all

I mean, wow, did that go quickly. Though it’s probably compounded by my birthday being at the end of October and I was eager to have that over and done with. (Thirty seven is such a low-priority age, I feel.) Now that it’s November and I can get back into my regular routine it’s suddenly conference season and the holidays. There’s never enough time for any of it. Life, I mean. Never.

So, thank you for putting up with me behind the wheel for a month. I’ll still be amplifying the voices of brilliance I’m surrounded by in this group and expect those that come after me to do even better (which, to be honest, ain’t hard).

Ryan Straight
Ryan Straight
Assistant Professor, Applied Computing

Rev. Dr. Ryan Straight is an award-winning educator, writer, and researcher. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the College of Applied Science & Technology teaching in the Applied Computing and Cyber Operations undergraduate programs. He also teaches an annual freshman seminar, Cyborgs and Transhumanism, in the Honors College.
Here you will find a variety, such as travel exploits, reflections, expressions of stylistic pedagogy, reactions to technological and educational current events, and general musings on topics approaching Ryan’s academic research.
He lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife Adriana and their three dogs, Sofie, Menchi, and Chewie.