By Paul Gaszak, English Faculty

I am definitely a Millennial, because nothing is ever fast enough. All internet connections seem slow, McDonald’s can’t have enough drive-thru lanes, and instant oatmeal is never quite instant enough.

Hence, it is difficult for Millennials to have perspective on growth rates and progress, because we truly expect Rome to be built in a day.

My impatience also applies to The Flaneur’s Turtle. I am rather upset that we have not yet been bought out for billions by Google or Yahoo! And how much longer do I have to wait for some powerful person to discover my comedic genius like Ira Glass did with David Sedaris?

C’mon, fame and fortune! Turn your gaze on the Turtle!

Despite my Millennial desire for instant gratification, I understand that some things take time to develop.

To that point, last week I had a moment of reflection on the Turtle’s development.

The Flaneur’s Turtle was born from a brilliant idea by Michael Stelzer Jocks. He bounced that idea off of me and our entire department, with the blog’s title being brainstormed during a departmental meeting.

The Turtle went live on April 16, 2012, with a first post that simply said, “Welcome to The Flâneur’s Turtle, the new blog of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at Robert Morris University – IL.”

Turtle First Post

That was the first and only time the Turtle has managed to be concise.

(Three cheers for verbosity!)

The Turtle got off to a hot start before hitting some rough patches, such as publishing NO material in September or November 2012.

Entering 2013, the Turtle rededicated itself. I declared that I would write something new every week – both to continuously have material on the site, and to keep myself writing. I settled into Thursdays as my days to publish. MSJ followed with Mondays. Since then, Tricia Lunt has held down the middle of the week, and Peter Stern has recently taken Fridays.

Along the way, other Robert Morris University faculty have written wonderful posts, as have some RMU students.

Collectively, we have now reached this post: the Turtle’s 200th.

In 19 months, we’ve written 200 pieces! Our unofficial word limit on posts is 750 words (which we often fail to keep). But, just for the sake of perspective, 200 posts at 750 words is 150,000 words.

(And students think a 1,000 word essay is long! Geez!)

To put that number in perspective, 150,000 words is about the same length as TWO average-sized paperback novels.

And it was all given to you for free!

You’re welcome.

And by “YOU” I mean the 341 Facebook ‘LIKES,’ the 53 e-mail followers, and the additional 93 WordPress followers. We are so happy for all of our readers, and we look forward to adding more people to this Turtle community.

But all of this wasn’t my real reflection last week. When I step back and look at the Turtle’s full body of work, and don’t just focus on the here and now with my next post and who is liking it on Facebook, I find something interesting.

The Turtle’s content has gotten progressively better, and the term “blog” seems almost inappropriate any longer. I credit Michael Stelzer Jocks for founding what has now developed into a real online publication of quality creative nonfiction.

(That’s kind of Creative Writer jargon. My apologies.)

On April 16, 2012, I wouldn’t have guessed the Turtle would blossom into what it is now. But now that is has, I am eager to see where it will climb to in the next 19 months, which at current pace will put the Turtle nearing its 500th post.

Let this be a lesson to all my fellow Millennials, which includes my students. Waiting for something to develop can be maddening when stuck in our mindset of instant gratification. We are part of a society now that wants to evaluate everything from athletes to politics on a moment-to-moment basis, rather than wait until a full body of work is available to look at. However, it’s true that good things come to those who wait are patient and work hard.

  1. Trish says:

    Paul, you are as sagacious as you have ever been!

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