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Looking into a mirror

For a while now I have been trying to work out whether or not I should have more than one blog to accommodate the different things I want to reflect on and write about.

I entered the blogosphere as the result of a professional development opportunity I was involved with. I have always had an interest in journalling and then I discovered this new medium. I wanted to play. I wanted to explore its potential for educators and learners alike. I was primarily thinking of my blog being a professional space.

As I am transferring over all the postings from my old Blogger blog to here, I can see that my writing has changed with time. It is becoming more personal; more true to who I am, what I value, and what I think. I really like what is happening.

I am currently trying to write a paper for a conference on the topic of blogs as reflective learning spaces. The issue of identity seems to be surfacing a lot in my reading. Christopher Sessums has been writing on this topic. In his post Blogging as an expression of self he writes:

VLBjuliemirBlogging allows us to shape our feelings as to what kind of people we are. It becomes a mirror for us to look into … Blogging allows me to look at myself in the reflection of the medium … It becomes a process for sorting out thoughts and creating identity. It reflects back an image of who I am and who I want to be.

Mirrors play an important part in our development. I believe blogs and blogging serve a similar role. When we look into a mirror we see a reflection of what others see. In this sense, blogging affords us the opportunity to reflect, support, and develop who we are and allows us to make changes based on internal feedback and from the feedback of others.

… Perhaps since my blog is a lot like my mind, this makes analogies between my self and my blog possible and plausible. In this sense, blogging provides a means to changing the way I think, especially about myself.

I keep wondering what all of this has to do with my role as a distance educator. Maybe I should set up a separate blog to write about “educational” stuff. After all my writing here is not very academic. Yet, on a daily basis I am stunned by how much I am learning through my writing and the sense of achievement I feel when I click the Publish button. I research what I am writing about. I think a lot about what I want to write and how it connects into my life – both personal and professional. I keep notes as writing triggers for later blog entries. I am excited. I want to write more.

I have come to realise that my blog is about me as a person. It is giving me an opportunity to find myself through my unique voice. I am a whole human being rather than just a small part of me in isolation. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, an educator, a learner, a researcher, a friend, a colleague, a dreamer, and so on. I am one person and therefore I am sticking to having only one blog. I do not want to separate out only one part of me as though the rest of me does not exist. Everything impacts on who I am and the way I work and live my life.

As an educator I bring all of me to my practice. When I work with my learners I do so knowing what I have learnt from my lived experience and from the wisdom I have gained along the way. I can empathise. I can support. I can encourage. I can motivate. I can role model.

Robert Paterson writes in his Going Home Manifesto:

I think that we, in the West, have been asleep for a long time. An idea put us to sleep. I believe that “social software” is a vector for a return to the old culture.

When I say old culture, I mean the culture that fits the essential nature of humans and that fits nature itself. I imagine a return to the custom of being personally authentic, to a definition of work that serves the needs of community, and to a society where institutions serve to enhance all life.

This is surely good news, but I fear that the road home will not be easy. Culture is tied into our identity. We do not give up our identity without a fight. A new culture is not, therefore, a new idea that can be sold by consultants. A new culture goes to war with the old in a fight to the death.

Marica’s Meanderings is about me participating in the creation of this new culture. I definitely want to be a part of it.

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3 Responses to “Looking into a mirror”

  1. on 12 Apr 2006 at 7:24 pm debby

    I think your decision to keep to one blog is a good one. After all, blogs are like a personal diary that you are sharing with others- it’s a way of saying this is me! It doesn’t need to be compartmentalised. I like the analogy with a mirror. After all, who’s it for? It’s for you, when it really comes down to it. It’s nice to know someone else is reading it but does it really matter in the end? It’s the process of putting it all into words that matters.

  2. on 13 Apr 2006 at 4:45 pm katerodgers

    Hi Marica, I must say that the transformation of your writing from ‘edublogging’ to just blogging is very engaging. You are finding that writing from a more personal perspective a process of growth however I find, that as a reader, that I am growing too from reading your blog. I am sharing experiences (I can’t stop thinking about Art Compass and how unfair it is that it’s closed), learning about you but also learning how to write. This is evident in both yours and Lynsey’s blogs. It is very inspirational.

    Take care,

    Kate

  3. on 14 Apr 2006 at 2:12 am Marica

    Thank you both Kate and Debby for your feedback.

    I am undergoing some kind of personal transformation in this space. I have no idea where it is leading me but I am prepared to continue to “meander” my way through it. I find it wonderful that I am able to share this experience with others. After all life is a journey to be shared. This is how we learn and this is what gives it meaning.

    Best wishes,
    Marica

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