Dear Blackboard: I have the course materials online and a course blog and a Twitter presence. No, I do not plan to click through eight kajillion menus and watch yet more instructional videos in order to put everything in your course space. That goes double for all the "Partner" for-pay sites that are much more prominent in your interface than how to do simple tasks like setting up the gradebook.
Dear Facebook: I am so much happier now that I've gone cold turkey and given you up at least for the time being. Then some professional thing will drag me back in, like Michael Corleone, and you can go back to making me sad again.
Dear Writing Progress spreadsheet: You are showing me, right there, why I should never agree to do a "little" piece that is not directly related to a current project. You show two weeks of writing and another week of pointless angst before I could get started. It turned out well in the long run, but all that pointless angst could have gone to a new project! Lesson learned, I hope.
Dear Morning Self: This is just a reminder that if you half-read something and fire off a measured and polite but stupid response to a group of people, you will cringe-- because "stupid." Enough with the shoot first, aim later approach to email. Save yourself the grief and don't respond.
Dear Future Self: There are two big national conferences at the same time next spring, one all the way across the country and one a short plane ride away. Both have exciting work in your field. You want to apply to the far-away one, but next spring, you will wonder what you were thinking. Do yourself a favor and submit the proposal for the one that's closer.
Dear Colleagues and Students: It would sound sappy to say that your enthusiasm and good humor make the whole back to school process so much easier, so I won't say it. But it's true.