Since this weekend brings our first Regular Reflection, I want to explain my thinking.
What’s due when?
A blog post published before 8am Monday morning. Use at least 250 words.
What are we we writing?
When I introduced the idea in class, I said that I have enjoyed the chance to reflect on my reading and the thoughts or feelings it ignites. Such reflections also give me a chance to connect various threads to one another–to synthesize (weave) them into coherent observations about the reading or about life. I am committing us to this project–at least for now–so that you have the same chance to enjoy the process of reflecting and connecting. You pick the ideas, reactions, patterns, insights, feelings evoked by applying your mind and heart to our material from the week. For example, this past week, we spent time considering “the heart of a monster,” as well as details in poem’s imagery. Two groups wrote dialogues between Cain and Abel. By no means must you confine yourself to these elements, but something in those arenas may produce a thread you want to express. If an idea carries over (in your mind) from more than a week ago, develop that. Be careful, though, to try to use something from the past week, so that you do not miss the chance to digest recent material. If it helps, feel free to peruse my blog, maroonballoon.wordpress.com. Granted, the topics there probably differ from the ones you will pursue, but some of my posts may give you a sense of the style and purpose of such reflections.
For whom are we writing? How do we best shape it?
You are writing primarily for yourself, with the general reader beside you. Watch the associations your mind is making; let them happen. From those connections, make meaning for yourself. When you do this, the reader beside you benefits, also. Remember to proofread, though, because that general reader’s new insights depend on your writing precisely. You care about these ideas enough to express them; convey them as clearly as you can.
Experiment w/ tags and/or categories
These features of wordpress allow you to track your recurring ideas over time. Find ways to use either feature, or both, to your advantage. Later in the year, you could use emerging patterns to fuel other kinds of writing. Categories work best for units or books–for instance, poetry, Beowulf or Frankenstein (when we read that novel). Tags can mark themes you find in your posts. For example, maybe you tend discuss beauty, challenge, joy or patience.
On occasion, I will ask permission to re-blog, which signals special success
My asking such permission means that your published post demonstrates a distinctive level of personal integration. In other words, you are internalizing and digesting the material and its related ideas, in a personal way–a way that means something to you. Such posts also read especially clearly. Another measurement I imagine using: would I like to share this post with colleagues and other adults because of its special insights? I expect valuable posts from everyone, while reserving the option to recognize special successes.