My 2017 in a 17-Item Bulleted List


  • I can’t not start with this: Trump happened. Trump happening influenced how I often felt (less hopeful, sometimes dismayed), what I thought (about the trajectory of progressive politics, the national character of the US, the startling powers of new media, etc.), and how I acted (I left) in 2017. Now let me pre-apologize for some strong language here…but basically the Trump factor and it’s effect on me in 2017 can be summed up in two words: fuck this.


  • But Trump ain’t the boss of me. He’s not the real reason I left the US. Not entirely unexpectedly (but still quite suddenly/jarringly), the Cambridge CELTA program where I worked in Seattle was scrapped. This precipitated the decision my wife and I made to return to Thailand…where we met, where her side of the family is, where I turned into a committed ELT person, where we hope we can start a family of our own sometime soon. I miss CELTA, I miss Seattle, but I’m so very ready for what’s next.


Good CELTA Times in Seattle


  • In 2017 I became a conference presenter on top of an enthusiastic conference goer. OK this technically started in 2016 with my first-time talk at TESOL in Baltimore, but in 2017 it became a thing. I did another TESOL talk, a WAESOL talk, a Spokane ESL Conference talk, a regional KOTESOL talk, and got Thailand TESOL talk and an IATEFL talk accepted for early 2018.


Each time it’s a little less awful



tdsig wc.jpg


  • I met one of my favorite PLN members, Anne Hendler, on two continents! Annnnnd I met another one of my PLN heros, Michael Griffin. I also met/saw a lot of other great ELT folks in 2017, including BCTEAL people who are the best people. Like soylent green, ELT is people. It’s people.


  • My dad retired. This allowed him more time to travel and more mental and emotional space for family, and it was good.


No, my dad wasn’t a chauffeur, but played one on stage shortly after retiring.


  • My beloved hometown basketball team got really interesting and exciting to watch despite tragedy befalling us 5 minutes into the season.




  • Where are we? Ah, this is #8: I got to know and love a new city, Seattle. Seattle has a lot going for it and I hope to be back someday.




  • This little blog was given some dap in 2017. Said dap was bestowed by Chia Suan Chong’s column at English Teaching Professional with the help of ELT humans of Twitter that she surveyed.  I think this means that I should keep this blog going in 2018.


  • My wife and I still love each other after 7 years of marriage and 12 years together.


A bit much to post on an ELT blog, I know…but SFW! 😉


  • I pretty much stopped eating red meat and it’s been good and I feel better for it.
  • Although I’ve gained weight, I did start jogging in 2017 and it’s been good and I feel better for it.


  • The ELT blogging community was perhaps not as active and conspicuous in 2017 as in previous years (though I really can’t be sure, objectively), but reading blogs like futurealisrealcriticaleltwednesdayseminars (the inspiration for this post), the prolific hanatichaeltblog, and so many more really helped keep the juices flowing.


  • ELT Research Bites was a really great thing in 2017. (I started off the year with a submission here and did this in June – mostly I retweet links to open-source articles and the like). Writing more bites is something for 2018 for sure.





  • Some wonderful colleagues invited me to join them in their teacher training work in Daegu, South Korea for a few months and it’s been a great experience so far with more to come! (We fly to Thailand in late January, 2018).


  • Finally, for my 17th bullet point, a hearty thank you for reading my little blog in 2017! It’s new year’s eve tonight. Have fun. Here’s to a great 2018…




7 thoughts on “My 2017 in a 17-Item Bulleted List

  1. I really look forward to having a bit of f2f time with you in April, Matthew. So glad to have you in TDSIG. 🙂


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