Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Loose Ends

I've been cooking up a post about the current Scientology frackas. I know I know...everyone has an opinion about the recent Op-ed from our friendly neighbourhood Scientology missionary Tom Cruise. Actually I have not been reading all that much in support of the man who immortalized OId Time Rock and Roll. I am not sure if I am going to be offering much in Tom's defence - but I tbink its as close as we can get without spewing full fledged Scientology apologetics. I have to admit that I was quite tempted to perform bloggus interruptus when when transcribing my notes from my retreat. So, you have all been warned!!

The Pilgrimage of Litany - With profound sadness I announce the end of the current incarnation of Litany's Pilgrimage from Alaska to Chile. An unbelieveable number of unforseen circumstances came into conjunction - a pregnancy, knee injury and family illness contributed to its premature conclusion. You can catch the best of TPoL right now. Best of Luck Litany...hope you continue to blog!

The School Blog - For those of you already in the know, I introduced blogging to a course I taught during Intersession (May 2005). This was an experiment that I decided to try with a smaller class short -term course. If the blogging was distasterous, it would only be short lived. Many students loved it, and I had alot of feedback to try and convince my colleagues who have their students post their work via HTML or discussion boards that blogging is the way to go. That was an unexpected surprise. It was an amazing way for students to share their work, and many of them enjoyed being able use the comment feature. I also discovered some new things while offering a course which integrates blogs: to focus on the comments and to use them for pedagogical purposes. It was a positive experience. I am going to continue using it in September. One other thing I learned was that I need to limit who can leave comments - to only the course members - anyone else will need my permission. This is not for elitist purposes - its a way to prevent malicious spam. My students blogs were hit pretty serverely recently - and it was pretty bad (key words such as mother-son incest...YUCK!!) The freaks of this world really seem to want to ruin anyone's good clean fun.

Thumbs up from me and the class!!

Post-Retreat Re-entry:
I have had some inquiries as to how I fared upon my return. I got home in the late afternoon. Eric had not arrived back from his trip to Montreal with the kids (he visited his family while I was away). So I had a bit of time to organize myself, find out what was going on in the world, deal with my e-mail etc. Incidentally, I wondered why I check the news so frequently...since nothing really happens in the course of a week! The gang arrived home shortly after - and then I realized how spacey I was. I seriously felt like I was on some good 'ludes!! This was an amazing after affect...I was calm, content, very euphoric - while at the same time I was very sharp mentally (unlike you would expect with a couple good Quaaludes). The experience was lasting. I've been trying to wake up every morning for a sitting - but it is hard to predict at times when the kids will rise. I was also really sensitive for a couple days afterwards...being with people who are keen on dealing with their own baggage and not projecting it on to others is an amazing experience - I was not quite prepared to deal with the rough edges when I came home. I allowed myself to become really vulnerable and soft while I was away, and was not expecting to have to deal with other people's bullshit. It made me very sad actually - that others don't seem to care that their harsh attitudes and opinions have a profound affect on others. It made me realize have much I put up with - how calloused I've become, while at the same time, it is pretty easy to shed. So, re-entry was both smoothe and rough. So Buddhist eh?

Oh, and one last thing
Here they are


robmcj said...

heather. I aim to introduce blogging to a course I teach next month, and am slightly apprehensive about what could go wrong, so enjoyed what you said.

One complication in my case is that one of the courses is actually HTML programming.

My students are aged 17-20.

If you have any other tips, I'd be interested.

If you are interested, I went to a blogging conference recently, and have started posting brief summaries here.


Kim said...

Sounds like the blogging experiment was a success. From what I saw, the students were definitly into it!

Litany said...

:o) It's good to be missed! Thanks for the shout-out!

hotboy said...

Coming off a retreat can sometimes be a bit difficult. Had my head done in repeatedly like that. Sometimes people seemed mad. Especially once in the pub. Hotboy