Please be patient with me…
As I was saying… To put it bluntly, I’m an old-fashioned-style journalist embracing the new media.
So this week, I’m reflecting on the past while wondering about the present and where all this is going. After all, we’re at the end of the first decade of a new century.Â And embarking on a new decade.
I’m allowed to reflect… aren’t I?
I love blogging. I love the interactivity of it. The community. I wouldn’t go back to print journalism if you begged me. It’s too static. Too dead. Too one-sided. Too unfair. Everybody deserves a voice, not just me.
I love you. I love hearing from you and listening to you and getting to know you.
So, this week, I have an agenda in mind. I will roll-out my posts as quickly as I can write them while I do all the other things I must do.
Things we all do, like grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning and organizing and planning for my new term at school.
This is a little post because I have lots to do tonight. However, I’ve been working ahead.
I want to you know that I think we’re living in the most exciting time in human history.
Things are changing very fast and change is always tough and fascinating, but at the same time, it’s natural to want to resist it, too.
“Resilience” was the word for the last decade.
Now, perhaps it’s time to embrace change…
On Christmas Day, Marty and I had dinner at my closest friend’s home ~ as we always do ~ and it’s one of the best night’s of the year for us. For the first time in years, another dear friend and her family joined us. Nancy is a travel journalist. She’s turned her passion into a sensational profession. She is also a PhD in English Literature and she tells the most extraordinary stories. She’s a delight to listen to because she’s so articulate and has such a brilliant mind and engaging manner.
There was virtually no alcohol being imbibed, so I could actually hear the conversation. With my current, old, obsolete hearing aids ~ I’m desperately awaiting new ones ~ in a room with more than four people, I am virtually deaf. But on Sunday evening, there was very little cross-talk and everyone was listening to everyone else and communicating, so I really enjoyed myself.
At the same time, Nancy, who is a contemporary of mine, mentioned that she does not use any of the social media. Since she had a 23-year-old son from her current marriage, I was a little surprised. But then, today, I had lunch with a friend I’ve known since 1970 when we worked together on The Queen’s Journal, and all he uses, for the most part, is Facebook. “Email is old hat,” he told me. He travels all over the world meeting his Facebook friends, a smashing amalgam of the virtual and the real. His “friends” are really friends.
I wonder. Is the social media making people anti-social? Why do I know so many people who are afraid to pick up their telephones?
I find all this fascinating. I know teachers who refuse to use the online tools that their students communicate with and will only lecture at them for hours at a time. These students, for the most part, must adapt to an old-fashioned and outdated form of learning to suit their tenured teachers. Most young people don’t learn the way people my age did. Perhaps this is an ethical question, but I believe in moving with the times, even if it means I have to struggle to empathize with my students. To meet them. To change my style to engage them. I find they love teaching me and helping me and if I don’t learn from them, then there seems to be an imbalance in the communication in my classes. A flaw in my teaching, too. Don’t you think?
I love learning and testing out Wikis and Discussion Boards and class blogs and webinars. And I love learning about their worlds, their cultures, their lives. I have an international group of students. All of this is utterly thrilling for me.
We’re all so different. I guess that’s the key. Embracing our uniquenesses…
Listening with our “ears, eyes and hearts” and wanting to understand each other and ourselves more through this process. Learning to know ourselves more. Like psychotherapy, for me with Dr. Bob.
So, this is a quick heads-up on where I’m going with my posts this week. Although, I may not go there at all. I really don’t know for sure. I write and think simultaneously, so who knows what I will be saying by New Year’s Eve. But I have a rough idea in my head, at least of the questions I want to explore.
I just want you to know that I am honoured to be blogging here and teaching at the same time and not teaching writing.
I hardly teach at all in the classic sense. Mainly, I try to empower my students to engage in a creative learning laboratory where anything can happen. And often does.
As for my writing, I’m learning a whole new language and you are teaching me. I’m the learner. I thank you, for this. Profoundly.
So, for this coming week, the last week of this first decade of our new century, I hope you won’t mind if I reflect from the vantage point of my slightly more than six decades on this planet ~ yes, I was born in the 1940s ~ and the experience of my more than 50 years of struggling to maintain my sanity. What an education.
This has been for me a wonderful life. I wouldn’t change a thing.
And I hope it is for you, too.
Oh, and one last thing… the picture is one I took a few days ago. It’s one part of my new office. It’s where I am right now.