MA / writing exercise
Writing Exercise: Letters of a Word
Write a paragraph where each word starts with the subsequent letter of the title.
Tutor The usual trials of reading, the undulating tick of rhyme. These unending trials: order + ritual- take us time. Or rather, they usher time out. “Read to understand” tutors orate, red throats ulcered, tongues orphaned. Right.
Accident A car crash injures darkness. Everyone now trancelike and calm, cool, in denial even. No-one touches anyone. “Collisions can incite dreadful energies” notes the ancient copper, cryptically inclined. Detailed entries, notes taken. Accusations can cause inflamed denials. Edit nothing, Tiger.
I do this exercise quite often, as I like the weird, constrained sentences it produces. It's also such a relief when you stop doing it and can suddenly use whatever words you like...
This morning, three of us from New Media went out to a primary school to see kids using the software we've developed. So weird going back into that environment. The lost property box. The smell of the lost property box. The mini-ness of everything. Tiny chairs. Low handbasins. Small scissors.
It was a worthwhile experience. Good to see your audience really loving something that you've worked on. They were so in to it- running to the computers when the teacher said they could start. They were, of course, under-resourced so they had to work two to a computer. They were mostly girl-girl or boy-boy combinations but there were a couple of mixed doubles and I was interested to see that it tended to be the girl doing most of the work while the boy kicked his heels on his chair. Is this a good thing or not? I had heard that boys tend to hog technology in schools, but this didn't seem to be the case. And the girls were definitely into it and confident in their approach. Maybe it all changes in high school.
I just ate my first persimmon. I haven't decided if I liked it yet. They've been getting a lot of press lately, the persimmon and the Turkish shop on Smith street has had a big pile of them all week. But every day I'd look at them and think "No, I have enough fruit in my life, I really don't need another one." Especially one that looks so much like a tomato.
I mean, don't get me wrong, it was fine. Maybe a bit too sweet. I just find with a new fruit I'm not sure of the parameters- how squishy is it meant to be, what colour means it's overripe, how should it smell? I'm good on picking the fruits I'm familiar with, but I just don't know about persimmons. In the end I was convinced by one that had a sticker, in an Alice in Wonderland touch, that said "Eat me, I'm ripe."
So I survived, and I'm ok and everything. The main problem was the skin. Am I meant to eat the skin? After witnessing a woman in a Thai restaurant recently trying to bite into something wrapped up in bamboo leaves I'm nervous about culinary indiscretions.
MA / blog comments
Comments Jill writes about Torill's reasons for not having comments, and responds. Jill was an anti-comments person until she enabled the feature and discovered that she found it useful and worthwhile.
Finally, whether to have comments or not is just a choice that depends on what you want your weblog to be and what you want it to do for you. I love comments, and love the slightly scary feeling of opening up my writing and thinking like this. I also love being able to comment at other people's sites. That doesn't mean everyone needs weblogs.
Comments definitely make blogs more like conversations and from a research point of view they are definitely useful as they become receptacles for the bite-sized pieces of knowledge that visitors bring to a blog. Sometimes the comments can even take the blog off on a direction it didn't really intend to go (which, of course, may or may not be a good thing.) The meandering is interesting. Of course, people with things to add could email the blogger, but fthis means other researchers do not see the information. It is also easier to keep track of the various snippets of information that you are given when they are all collected together in the same place.
Mark, for instance, wrote a piece about a product designed to combat sleep apnea. The original post was written with a fairly light-hearted approach, but people have discovered the post and there are now numerous comments from people suffering from the condition. Clearly, sleep apnea has nothing to do with Mark's research into sleep apnea, but he is clearly quite happy that his post has provided a specific group of people with a forum for discussion.
Thieu and I went up to Echuca this weekend to witness the recomissioning of the P.S. Canberra. This is very much the sort of thing that The Frontier Librarians (who are currently doing their frontier thing in Scotland) used to take Petite and me to when we were little. In fact, when I told Petite about our plans she said "You do realise that Thieu is turning into Dad." I, of course, categorically denied this and Petite said "OK, name the ways in which Thieu is different to Dad." An alarming challenge indeed. I came up with a few but I don't think Petite was convinced.
We did have a good reason for going though. Thieu's grandmother was Australia's first female riverboat captain and was captain of the Canberra for a short period in the seventies. She's in her nineties now and was in Echuca too for the recomissioning.
We didn't get to ride on the paddlesteamer, unfortunately, and Thieu refused to have his portrait taken in ye olde clothes, although I was desperate to do so. But we ambled along the river, partook in a sausage sizzle and there was cable tv in our motel room.
(The Sundowner brand has always troubled me- what is that phallus type thing he is carrying under his arm and why is it dribbling onto the dog?)