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Archive for March, 2008

Quote of the Day…

…Goes well with convos about Scholarship and Blogging as action research.

Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest.

                                                                 ~Albert Einstein

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Nekked Troll at CSI Sim              KJ as Tree Topper           

  Nekked Troll                             KJ as Tree Topper

austin-city-limits.jpg             byu-students-visit.jpg   

Austin City Limits                       BYU Student Visit

Meet Bernajean Porter            Sitting on Kayi Laa

Meet Bernajean Porter              Sitting on Kayi Laa 

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It has been a very long time since I posted -I am painfully aware, and every time I acknowledge the fact, I feel more guilty than the time before. I wonder why that is so? I have come to the conclusion that I am better at replying to other people than sharing on my own, which is really in opposition to my real life M.O. What does that say about me?

I’m not sure, except that I always think that I don’t have anything novel worth sharing. Why read my blog when KJ and Vic and countless others have such a commanding handle on the blogosphere? Perhaps it is because I am so reflective by nature (obsessively so), that by the time I have intellectually and emotionally digested whatever situation I would write about, that I am done with it. And those things that hang on the back of my consciousness, may be better left un-written.

The last six months have been very hard, and very exhilarating. I have learned much about myself, and about others -some of which I would like to give back, but alas, time  marches inexorably forward. Does this mean that I have changed, or will change? Intrinsically -no, but my words and actions have become more circumspect. A fact that may make my life easier, but on some level, I despair for the loss of complete openness of mind and heart that has always been who I am. I have lost a friend and maybe a half of two others, but it is what it is, whether I understand or not, and however I feel about the matter.

Song lyrics seem to roll around in my head sometimes -not the same as when you hear a few notes  and then the tune is *stuck* in your head, but more in relation to what I’m thinking or feeling. Just now a lyric from an Anna Nalick song popped in:

If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to”

I’ve considered writing poetry again, but that is a path that I do not wish to walk down right now. My aura is bright red and extends  a great distance, I am a very *old soul*-or so I am told, and who cares after all? It all reminds me of a quote from Shakespeare:

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

A bunch of maudlin BS is more like it!! Ironically that was the first Shakespeare monologue I ever memorized -at the University of London in the summer of 1977 -two months before I was to enter USC as a drama major.

This blog was born 10 months ago, and I have made 16 posts -better than one per month, but hardly worth calling blogging in my book. Victoria has commented many times about the lack of validity of most blogs as not worthy of being considered scholarship, (see Long Time in Many Ways…) and frankly I agree with that.

However, what is that the real function of blogging? At EduBloggerCon West the day before the CUE conference, Sylvia Martinez said something that was most profound, “I see blogging as action research by teachers.” Whoa! What a novel thought! But then she is correct as well. The people, like me who reflect (ad nauseum) in their writing or speaking with “I think, “I feel”, and “I believe” should not be invalidated because we’ve based our understanding on what we’ve experienced, but rather, it takes people like us to “think,” “feel,” and “believe” in order for true scholarship to proceed. Nothing great was ever learned or invented without someone first being curious, reflecting, and acting upon their own questions.

So what is this all leading to? Well, while many bloggers write as reporters of events in which they’ve been involved from a relatively objective point of view, I reflect and report from my gut; I am in fact, getting better at listening to the Universe (eg. my gut). So my writing is colored by my thoughts and emotions -in much the same way that all of written history is biased, because no matter how objective a person tries to be, or how much scholarship their work is based upon, they are still subject to the human condition -as messy as it is sometimes. For some of us it is messier than others.  Thus my wild ramblings today. :-/

All of this leads to my decision to post all of the things I have started to write and then abandoned for lack of time, or for other reasons not remembered -or deliberately forgotten. They will be posted in the order in which they were conceived so as to not confuse anymore than I have already done above!

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Written February, 2008 

I am beginning to see a paradigm shift in ed-tech and in conference format. We need more conversation and communication about what we do, what we believe, and where we’re going. The quality and quantity of my own learning has dramatically increased and deepened as result of relationships built “virtually” in Second Life and on Twitter. In short, we need more “unconferences” like Edublogger-Con and EduCon that will facilitate our learning from and sharing with each other. One of the things I remember as extraordinary about NECC ‘07 was being in a small room with like-minded educators, in a conversation lead by David Warlick. We talked to each other, we shared,  we were heard, and we learned. Isn’t that the kind of collaborative thinking that we’d like to see our students do?

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Written early December, 2007 

This may well be just another post about the appropriateness of using voice in SL, but I think some points need to be made, and I have not weighed-in on the subject here at all as to my own experiences and feelings regarding same.

When voice first made its appearance in SL, I thought great, this will be much easier. Having been used to Skyping in world with friends, I assumed it would be the same. Additionally, my typing is neither very good nor very fast, which would alleviate another issue for me. Technical problems aside, I soon came to realize that there were other difficulties with voice. First, the issue of everyone trying to talk at once. This is also a problem in the chat window as people overlap, however, you can go to history and recreate the thread if need be. This leads to the next drawback -the lack of a chat log. Oftentimes there has been an especially good chat about a topic of interest that I wanted to save for later perusal and more in-depth exploration. Unfortunately, when using voice, there is no chat log, so POOF! All is lost.

Finally, something that had occured to me, but didn’t have a direct effect until last Thursday’s ISTE social; the issue of chat bleed, and hearing/saying things that you would not choose to be overheard by others.

Those of you who know me well, understand that I am passionate, funny, sarcastic, and dramatic (I was a drama major after all) -especially on a rant, which in itself promotes drama. You also know that with friends, in any rant-based monologue, I will use *colorful* language. I do not do this in traditional chat, on my blog, on Twitter, or in any other public forum, it is inappropriate and easily misunderstood. What if, however, you have removed yourself from a group to another location to talk to friends and do not realize the extent to which your voice chat is infringing upon and/or upsetting to others?

That is exactly what happened at last week’s ISTE social; several of us moved away from the main group into one of the pavilions to talk , and after completing the better part a *colorful* monologue <rant>, someone from the other group came over and said it was really bothering some of them. OMG! I felt terrible on so many levels, I can’t begin to say, but at that point, what could be done? The people who don’t know me very well had a horrible impression, I bothered a group having an on-topic discussion, and although my words were not about anyone in SL, or involved with anyone in-world other than me, or even known to anyone in SL, they couldn’t know that -so the impression stands.

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Written, September, 2007

Well actually…. The truth of the matter is, I am feeling more and more disconnected, and bereft at being on the outside looking in… sort of, I think. Honestly I have always felt a little like a tag-along in SL. I followed KJ in at the conclusion of my Walden masters, and others have been the movers and shakers in SL and RL. That’s ok up to a point, but when people you call friends empirically demonstrate that you aren’t as important to them as they are to you, well, that’s very hard to take. And not just one friend mind you, but at least two whom I consider to be VIPs in my life.

While Victoria was able to be somewhat more connected to friends at SLCC, after a Saturday morning hello call from KJ, I was completely out of the loop. IMing with Vic, she mentioned Twitter, and already distraught about the technology situation at school (amongst other things) that sent me down, down, down.

I had a gut feeling when I signed up, that it might not have been a good idea for me. I should have listened to the universe trying to stop me. I didn’t. And now I am paying -foolishly perhaps, but painfully paying nonetheless.

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