Friday, August 18, 2006

A Walk In The Sun ...

Dear Diary ...

There is nothing like a wander in the sun on a winter's day ... It clears the heart, creates a creative space for your soul, and gives your writing a great boost.

Perth winter's are remarkably mild ... and days like today are many.

Kind of a blessing really.

I'm taking the rest of the day off to write. It's what I do best.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SO ... when do we get protective over what we write?

Copy right and owning ideas has been a bit of a theme around me this last couple of weeks ...

I really believe that what we write doesn't belong to any of us in particular. As soon as you write it, people read it and will make of it what they will in a way that works (or not!) for them.

I do think that those of us trying to make a living out of writing have the right to protect our works though ...

So where does that really leave my opinion.

I'm confused.

Past Journal Entry

When you are busy with working ... there is nothing like day dreaming about being on holidays having a break ...

When I looked back at an old journal, I found exactly that feeling ... (2001)

"I feel like I am really on holidays this week and it's great. No plans, sleeping in, afternoon naps reading, and just going around and doing what I feel like. It could be seen by some to be a boring holiday. But it's just what my soul needs."

And it didn't get any more exciting obviously as this is what I said just a few days later ... (I was at the end of a really hard working year and was Managing an organisation in the middle of a lot of change!)

"I'm still really enjoying being on holidays. Taking it a day at a time. Lying in in the mornings. Having time to do a few things around the place. Spending time on my own and with others."

And just because I thought I was slow at learning how to be on holidays ... a few days later I write ...

"I feel like I am finally getting the idea of how to be on holidays! I'm enjoying a clean house, lying in, time on my own, time with friends, doing what I want"

You know what? From reading this I think all I need to do is sleep in and I will get that holiday feeling back again!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Reading it back ...

Anji had a great idea for her blog today ... reading an old diary entry (or two) and mentioning them on her blog ... but then again Anji Patchwork often has brainwaves! I'll copy later in the week when I have more time .... *sigh*

What's it like to mark journals?

This was an intersting question posed by one of my University students today ... For someone who loves journalling, is researching journal writing and writing a book about journals and blogs you would think that I had perhaps considered this question before now wouldn't you? Well I hadn't really ... and I have been pondering it since I was asked this morning.

What came out of my mouth when I was answering was ...
"I feel so privleged"
... and nothing could be truer. It is really a privlege to get to know your students more individually through what the express in their journals ... it gives you a better chance of getting your teaching content just right for that particular class too.

Most of all, journal reading when students grow throughout the semester is incredibly rewarding. And I learn so much through reading them too.

I DO find it difficult to allocate a mark to them. I have no trouble scribbling all over them with comments, and sometimes have to stop myself - it is just that they are always so interesting. But when it comes to quantifying a mark ... one someone's JOURNAL? I do struggle with that, and always refer back to the guidelines from the beginning of semester when I want to give everyone 100% just for tacking the whole exercise!

I know for myself, when I included my personal journal excerpts in my thesis ... I was a little scared of showing these to my academic supervisors ...but they modelled it well for me .. they stayed reasonably objective about the things I raised in my journal, guided me softly and showed intense respect ... so I had good teachers myself I suppose...

It is a task I do with great respect for each student ... and by the end of the semester it is usually with great pride too ... but don't tell them I said that ... they'll think I'm really a softie ...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Student Journals - Linking to What You Are Reading

Unless you are writing a totally creative journal for your assessment, there will be a requirement to reflect on what you are reading.

In fact, quite often what is called a journal is actually a reading log. So once again, make sure you know what your lecturer is after.

So how do you link to what you are reading? If you are having problems, start with giving an honest opinion of a chapter or reading. How did you react to it? What do you think caused that reaction in you (both about yourself and the reading).

Link your feelings and experience to any set readings for the subject you are studying. And then go a step further. Compare this to how you feel about other items you have read as well. (Unless your guidelines tell you differently of course!)

Do they agree with each other? Do you feel differently about each article? Why is this?

Once again always link back to the topic at hand, what you are reading and your own epxerience and thoughts on it. And with regard to full referencing in a journal? Check with your lecturer.

Hope your semester is going well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Ordinary Part III

I am still thinking through the whole ORDINARY thing.

And some emails from regulars has been the reason for this. Sometimes the ordinary in our day isn't quite so ordinary. It is just familiar. Take this shot for example- a building I walk past the days I lecture, at a university that has been part of my life since 1989 ... This building wasn't always there. But I pass it as if it was. And it is really quite extrordinary. But in my day? It is just a part of the landsacpe. And on a Monday or Tuesday? It's just where I lecture ... ho hum ...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Add a Little Colour

Be honest with me here. Colour does make a difference doesn't it? Whether it is the clothes you wear or the colour of the soup or milkshake you just ordered, you react to colour. You're going to do a double take when the strawberry milkshare you just ordered comes to you in a dark shade of black!

Colour therapists will tell you all kinds of exciting things about the meanings of different colours. Painters will tell you about the emotional impact of various colours. You have colours you like and dislike. You can read about that kind of stuff elsewhere on the 'net!

I'm interested in colour use in journals. What colour pen do you use? Does it matter? Do you make chages to colours on different days or for certain entries. Or perhaps you don't care and are lucky to find a pen at all!!!

This is for bloggers too ... you change your template colour ... your font colour ... you add pictures ... To what purpose? What does it change for the reader?
"I changed New Century Notebook away from a pink template when a few guys told me it was the reason I didn't have many males resonding to my survey ... and guess what? It worked!"
Then we come to paper and pictures. Do you use coloured paper? Or does the colour of the journal cover itself influence you? Hmmm yeah ... you never thought about that did you? Everytime you pick up your journal, how it LOOKS (and in particular the colour on and in it) influence you. In some small way ... but they impact ... I am sure of this.

I'm writing about this in my journal this week ... so for those of you looking for creative inspiration here ... maybe you want to think about colour and journalling too ...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another one bites the dust!

Aha! We have another blogging addict joining the fold! Visit Toni at Fetish For Food - no matter what your fetish is! Worth a look ... and she has a radical idea of the four food groups worth arguing about.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Student Journals - Analysis

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking "this is a diary assignment ... that means I can just write whatever I like." As any self respecting tertiary student knows, lecturers are always looking for 'something'. I can almost gaurantee you that the 'something' is most often linked to analysing, reflecting and pulling together what you read, see, feel and experience in such a way that you can demonstrate understanding and application of the topic at hand.

Most student diary/journal assessments include an element of analysis. So despite the label of dairy or journal, this assessment rarely means you are off the academic hook. Like last week's entry mentioned ... it is important to make sure you cover what the lecturer/University/college want from you. Do be clear about format and level of analysis by asking your lecturer.

So what is the key here?

The journal assessment is usually set becasue the lecturer really wants to hear your opinion. They want to know what YOU think about the topic at hand. They want applied thinking about the topic at hand clearly DEMONSTRATED. This means that your entries need to refer to what you are reading (go so far as to show off your broad reading on the topic - if appropriate).

A journal rarely asks for a description of what you are reading (or if it does this will usually be a small component of the journal and thus a small percentage of mark allocation). The person reading the journal should be able to understand connections you make to the material in class, your readings and your experience or the experience of others (ie other research). What does it mean to you when you put it all together? How does it change how you see the topic at hand?

In short ... the integration and analysis in your journal .... the reflection and integration of knowledge ... is where the marks are. (Not that any of you are just doing it for the marks now are you?!.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coment Moderation

876,098,123 apologies.

I just discovered a HEAP of comments that were waiting for moderation (I missed them somehow). I have not hit the publish button and aplogise if you think I had rejected ya! I love comments so would never do that. (
Well until I start getting hate mail that is!).

The Ordinary Part III

In short.
The ordinary is not boring
Embrace the ordinary
Your ordinary entrances others
Your ordinary is your story.

The Ordinary Part II

It seems that the concept of writing about "the ordinary" has raised some discussion for journal writers and bloggers. Time to take more of a look at it...

The Macquarie Dictionary describes ordinary as being "such is commonly met"; "of the usual kind" ; "customary, normal"; "the average level of quality"; "something regular, customary or usual".

It's not that hard. Ordinary events in your day are the things you do regularly. And the beauty of the ordinary? Is that 'ordinary' for me is going to be different for every other person out there.

Why do you think personal blogs get read so widely? It is about finding out about other people's ordinary lives. Taking a peek ...

So what have other's said about the ordinary?
  • On how the ordinary is actually an important part of our lives (if not the majority for most of us!) ...
  • "The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
  • On how the ordinary is just the begining of great things ..."Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." Jim Rohn
  • Yet remember that because one person's ordinary is another person's extrordinary
  • ...."In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." Wendy Magruder
So let's face up to the fact that most of our lives are ordinary ... most of the time. But that doesn't mean ordinary equals boring. Especially when read by others ... humans are naturally curious and like to peek in to the lives of others. To see what others see.

Which brings me back to journals and blogs. Write about what you know. And that is likely to be the ordinary acts and environments and events in your day. It comes across as authentic ... and in the end it's great reading. Give us a peek in to your life!

And just because I love this quote ... here's one more for the writers out there!
"If an ordinary person is silent, it may be a tactical maneuver. If a writer is silent, he is lying."
Jaroslav Seifert

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

You can't argue with clever people now can you?

I can't argue with the man really. Say no more!

Introducing a Brand New Blogger!

As all addicted bloggers know, it is a fantastic feeling to get OTHER people in your life addicted to blogging too!

You know the drift ... you mention "Hey you're about to go travelling ... why don't you set yourself up a little blog" (their eyes roll coz they hate it when you talk about your blog by now ... no matter how much YOU love it).

You continue to mention the benefits of blogging over the next couple of times you see them ... then you you say "Hey how about I send you the site for a cool FREE blog site and just have a look around?" (The word FREE works so well doen't it?).

Before you know it they are asking you HTML codes and joining

And then ... you notice that they are always on line and never sleeping!

Isn't it fun to share your addictions? My latest victim is Brad who is currently travelling around Europe and making us all jealous with his adventures ... check him out on Walk With Pride
And leave him a friendly 'welcome aboard to the world of blogging' note - you remember how excited you got when your new site counter went crazy!!!