In response to Paul, at quotereflections, I am adding to the meme which makes a Wordle from your RSS feed. I am actually kind of pleased with it. I wish I knew a bit more about the numbers which make different colours in html so I could make a custom coloured Wordle but time doesn’t permit that exploration today. I’ve been able to reduce the word count and embed the code. That’s enough learning for the day! Like Paul, I’m finding them rather small. I wonder how to change that. hmm. If you click on it, it will take you to a page view or you can see it at Wordle.
Category Archives: meme
Stephen Abram’s nearest book meme came at just the perfect time. I have two books I’ve been meaning to blog about and now I can do it and meme at the same time. What efficiency! Thanks to Doug for the invite.
“He watched Best Mate racing away down the hill and then disappearing into the trees.” Michael Morpurgo in Born to Run.
* Get the book nearest to you. Right now.
* Go to page 56.
* Find the 5th sentence.
* Write this sentence – either here or on your blog.
* Copy these instructions as commentary of your sentence.
* Don’t look for your favorite book or your coolest but really the nearest.
I had the great fortune to see Michael Morpurgo in person at this year’s Kaleidoscope. He was an entertaining and enjoyable speaker so I rushed out to purchase a few of his books. Born to Run is a novel for middle elementary students. It details the story of a greyhound puppy as he grows and is lost and found a number of times. The narrative alternates in voice between the various owners and the dog. Each scenario is rich in detail. The characters are vibrant and real. I was a little put off by the sections narrated by the dog. I suspect young readers would have less difficulty with the first person point of view. Somehow I no longer can imagine a dog speaking using ‘I’ Still it is an enjoyable read and I must admit I have a certain fondness for an English lilt in fiction, perhaps having grown up on Wind in the Willows and the Narnia series. I felt right at home in Born to Run.
The other book which jumped off the shelf at me is branded by Alissa Quart. This essay on the effects of consumer culture on teenagers is a sobering read. Alissa Quart looks a three sides of the over-marketed state of American youth. First she looks at the adverstising industry and its marketing to youth and use of youth in marketing. She looks at methods such as product placement in video games and movies and use of teen trendspotters. Next she looks at the youth and their own perceptions of the marketing and particularly its influence on body image, university choices and ‘self marketing’ of teen-aged writers. Finally, she looks at the push back of teenagers who wish to reclaim their identities and culture from the marketing machine. As a parent, I cringe at the influence of a globalized culture on my own children and within their environments. There are few public spaces which are free of logos and advertising of some kind. Public buildings, public schools, public universities are making ‘partnerships’ with businesses and as a result very few spaces are free from marketing. This book takes a look at the more detrimental side of these partnerships and advertising methods. It’s well worth reading. I feel I am now walking with my eyes newly opened.
Shaman by Doc Kozzak
The Curse of the Shaman – Michael Kusugak
The Curse of the Shaman is the story of Wolverine and his family. They are Inuit people in the days before European contact. I found the story compelling. In some ways the structure reminds you of the fiary tale of Sleeping Beauty. Beauty is cursed as a babe as is Wolverine. The story is one an adventure, and a survival tale. The characters are funny and realistic. It is your connection to them which makes you want to see where things end up. The setting and actions ring with authenticity. You simply can tell Michael Kusugak lived these experiences. There is a respect for the culture and peoples represented. The story mixes legend, history and romance. With the mix of adventure and romance, you have a little something for everyone. It is a wonderful peek at a culture and society. Learn more about Michael Kusugak through his website.
I can’t say I’ve used this with a class so I’m not sure how it would sell to the audience intended by this meme. It is a fine piece of writing certainly worth a try.
So there you go Paul. Thanks for the invitation.
Paul began this meme. The rules are: write a review of a terrific book, use an image to illustrate and tag four other bloggers to participate.
P.S. The shaman is of the wrong culture but it was the best I could do under my personal time constraints. I really should have an Inuit shaman.
I chose this photo from Creative Commons in Flickr. I believe learning should be fun, create the opportunity to wonder and allow for self expression. I thought this young clown would represent my ideals well.
Thanks to carf on Flickr for sharing the photo.
I find the whole meme concept quite interesting and I like to participate for it makes me feel part of things but I’m with Clarence at Remote Access, in that they resemble a virus or at least a chain letter, which I would never dream of passing along so I’m not sure which I feel I should do, pass on the good inclusion feeling, thanks Kelly, or stop things here.
1) I’m recovering from blisters under my toenails, very painful.
2) I’m terrified about the coming school year because I spent this year at university and always feel like I am about to fail miserably when the new year starts. P.S. Don’t tell anyone!
3) I’m reading for fun and my list of reading for improvement is getting longer. Good to remember when encouraging children to read.
4) I am trying to find the balance between giving my kids too much and depriving them of the fun that things can bring.
5) I love to paint and design pretty things but get little chance to do it. I’m looking forward to teaching fine arts again this year so that I can make the sample projects for my class.
6) I have just discovered the joys and difficulties of Facebook. Interesting form of communication. I’m not sure I can see how to use it yet in a classroom and I have already experienced what slander looks like and I don’t like it.
7) I haven’t missed blogging and reading my feeds over the summer holiday and I wonder about how I will fit this way of working into my school life and how supportive or not my work environment will be. I think we have 12 computers in a lab 7 in the library and one in the classroom. What in the world will blogging look like there?
8) I am still on holiday and I dropped back in to play the game. These are definitely random.
No tags, I’ll second Kelly‘s list and side with Clarence in not passing it on.
In my reading of this last year, I ran across the idea of the attention economy. My memory is faulty but I am pretty sure if was in a book by Colin Lankshear but is not an idea that has it’s origin with him. The gist of it is that we are no longer in an economy dictated by supply and deman as the supply of possible things to consume far out strips the demand for these things, but now it is an economy of attention. The one (company, individual) who gets the most attention wins (succeeds, makes the most money, has the most influence).
The idea of the attention economy struck with full force as I listened to CBC radio this evening. The program dealt with the YouTube video “Bride wigs out”. The video was posted on Youtube and within weeks (days?) had had milllions of hits. The video it turns out was a ‘short’, a video produced by Unilever with the specific purpose of setting the meme “wig out” into the public consciousness. The radio show debated its effectiveness and its morality. One of the commentators said that it was an old-fashioned idea that there is a difference between private, personal space and public economic or commerical space. He mentioned that for young people in MySpace, the world is a mash of items – some cultural, some commercial, some personal and the dividing lines are blurred.
I believe he is right and I am frightened by it. We are losing or have lost, public non-commercial spaces. The public bus is splattered with advertising inside and out, personal vehicles sport the advertising of radio stations and small business, public easments can be rented for large signs built of flowers or painted on the grasses. Where do we get to go to be unsolicited as consumers?
I am a person. I am not a consumer or producer above all else. I want to take a stand for slogan free spaces. I see a real need here for advocacy and education. Can we as a society say no to ‘guerilla advertising’? Can we say no to overt advertising? Every concert hall, every sport arena is a sponsored place. My Luddite is screaming here. How do we teach about this?
Cool Cat Teacher, Vicki Davis alerted me to this meme and although I haven’t been in the ‘sphere’ for long, I thought I’d participate.
1) As you might note in my Introductory text box in my sidebar I am a ‘liminal Christian’. You may be wondering what that means. Liminal means ‘at the edges’. I am a Christian with all kinds of serious doubts. I have had very limited first hand experience of a God-being and I can’t really conclude much from these beyond my own state of mind. I believe in a Creator being, whether that Being really cares for me I am not sure of. I wonder at our anthropomorphising of God and question this view’s validity. I believe that the myth stories of Christ have great meaning for me and for many, and I am teaching them to my children. I believe in the necessity of ‘stories to live by’ and grand stories at that.
2) I am an amateur musician. I sing, play piano, flute, guitar and recorder. I hear from my community that I am fairly good at it. I studied music formally some and have played most of my life. I find it hard to work in practice time with my studies and young family. My children have complained about my practicing. I’m not sure they are that keen on high soprano particularly in the operatic or chamber music vein.
3) I am a mom. I love my kids and I have learned so much from them. My son and I are very similar in temperment and that makes for a strong learning situation. We both need to have balanced sugar levels and lots of sleep to be civil.
4) I don’t like coffee at all and only like tea occasionally. I was told early in my teaching career that I would be a coffee drinker if I were to remain a teacher. I’m still here and the coffee is still not! I love chocolate but I can pass on coffee, although it smells delicious.
5) I love the backcountry. My husband and I love to tent, hike and canoe. There is something refreshing about the silence and the space. I hope that there will always be space on the earth somewhere for silence. Living in Canada gives us more access to that kind of peaceful space than there is almost anywhere else.
I’ll join with Vicki in encouraging Darren Kuropatwa to partcipate. Maybe Doug Noon, Doug Johnson, Kathy Cassidy and Dean Shareski would be interested. I’m taking a leap here. You are all bloggers I have only just been introduced to and I really appreciate your work.