Academic writing is often criticized for being unnecessarily complex and as a result inaccessible to most people. In a response to simplify academic writing, there has been a hilarious online movement to tweet your research using only emojis. I decided to try it out. Surprisingly, this task was more difficult than I expected. Below is my final result (I had to use text + emojis). Interestingly, my husband commented the emoji statement helped clarify what the heart of my research is really about. Go figure!!
For my book club I (Clare) had to find some special literary quotes. Huh! Yes that is how I felt too. Well anyway I went searching on the internet and found a few sites that had collections of quotes (organized a zillion different ways – authors, themes …). I know this was cheating (sort of) but the quotes I picked were from authors and books I have read. Here they are:
· Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
· There is a sense in which we are all each other’s consequences. Wallace Stegner
· For poems are like rainbows: they escape you quickly. Langston Hughes
· It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. J. K. Rowling
· Let the wild rumpus start. Maurice Sendak
· Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. Nicole Krause (The History of Love)
Many of us who read this blog have to give talks. I (Clare) found this list of helpful hints for giving talks fabulous. I so agree with a few of the points: “jargon is death”. How often have you sat through a talk that is a string of jargon and wondered what is he talking about? I was so happy to see “story as queen” on the list. I love hearing stories and when they connect to the findings/research the talk comes alive. I know that the next time I have to give a talk, I will review this list to make sure I do “one kickass thing” and give myself permission to stumble. Enjoy.
To mark National Poetry Month (April), the Toronto Public Library launched the poetry map, an interactive map that allows users to explore Toronto through a collection of poems associated with the city’s neighborhoods and landmarks. The project was the result of a collaboration between the Toronto Public Library and the city’s poet laureate George Elliott Clarke. Clarke suggested, the “map brings the city alive in terms of it being a living, pulsing, breathing organism that gives creative people – poets – inspiration. It reminds us that Toronto is a great city for the arts.” The Library hopes to expand the project by encouraging the public to submit their favorite poems related to Toronto.
In this blog we have had many postings about literacy, the changing nature of literacy, ways to teach literacy, issues around the teaching of literacy …. This past week I (Clare) experienced another form of literacy – one that has been on my doorstep but I did not even notice it was there. With my amazing book club we did a tour of public art in Toronto. I was truly shocked at the number of pieces scattered through the city. Many I had walked by many times but was wholly ignorant that they were art. On the tour the guide pointed out pieces of art in public spaces, explained the significance of each, described the materials used, and provided some background to the author. It was an amazing trip. I know that I will never be so inattentive to my surroundings again. So readers look around your city to find some public art. Here are some photos of what we saw in Toronto. Our guide told us that there are many more in the city – I just need to look for them. In addition to stopping to smell the roses, I am going to also stop to enjoy the art.