Archive for December 13th, 2008

That is Information


Evening Class by Maeve Binchy


Title: The Night School, 1892
Artist: Bundy, Edgar (1862-1922)
Location: Ferens Art Gallery,
Hull City Museums and Art Galleries
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 94.3×153.7


“…Aidan Dunne watched the flowering of the Italian class with a pleasure that he had not known possible. Week after week they came to the school, bicycles, motorbikes, vans and bus, even the amazing woman in the BMW.  And he loved planning the various surprises for them too…Lou went to the first Italian lesson as a condemned man walks to Death Row.  His years in the classroom had not been glorious.  Now he would face further humiliation.  But it had been surprisingly enjoyable…”

Evening Class, by Maeve Binchy, published by McArther & Co. in 1996, ISBN: 1552780112

A POEM: 58. Professors

Title: Frontispiece to the ‘Liber Studiorum’ 
Engraved by: J.C. Easling, 1812 (etching)
Artist: Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851) after
Location: Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK
Medium: etching with mezzotint
Dimensions: 21.3×29.5



Professors (justice so decreed)

Unpaid must constant Lectures read;

On earth it often doth befall

They’re paid and never read at all.


Lindsay, J., editor, (1966), The Poems of J.M.W. Turner, The Sunset Ship, published by Scorpion press, p.124

Related Blog Posting:

A Professor’s Journal.

The Networked Student


TV WEBLINK: The Networked Student

I posted this link as it sums up pretty much what being a 21st century networked student is all about: AUTODIDACTICISM meaning the art of self-teaching and/or independent learning, as well as, being involved in CONNECTIVISM meaning the use of a network to facilitate learning, which I learnt on the TU120: Working with Information Online course.

Related blog posting: Discipline


Set Book Reading

Currently, just in case I catch myself reading this entry to my blog, I’m supposed to be reading one of the set books for the course starting next year. And the set books puts me in the right frame of mind for when the course actually begins, as said better:

“…I practise silence, that the verses of my readings and prayers should fill me with delight. And when the pleasures of understanding them silences my tongue, then, as in a dream, I enter a state when my senses and thoughts are concentrated. Then, when with prolonging of this silence the turmoil of memories is stilled in my heart, ceaseless waves of joy are sent me by inner thoughts, beyond expectation suddenly arising to delight my heart…” as was spoken by St Isaac of Syria enthusing about silent reading in the 6th century. (Fischer, 2003, p.159)

Yes, its slow going, reading them set books for the course, but I’m a studious student, so I will continue until I’ve finished it, as I always think its important to get to grasps with at least one of the set books, that is set for students, most throughly, as it comes in handy when revising for the exam later on in the course.

Thereat, the rest of the set books or material one happens to find along the way can then be regarded as a boon read, if one has the time, or as the reviewer says at the back of the book A History of Reading, “…readers speak for themselves, ceaselessly seduced by textual magic…”, well, I did say I’d try to be whimsical, it was an attempt at least, give me some credit here!!



Title: Reading
Artist: Poynter, Sir Edward John (1836-1919)


<…as I try to find whencesoever I was in my reading, that is because, I left the bookmarker in the page, but not on paragraph, or sentence of the last word read…>

REFERENCE:  Steven Roger Fischer, (2003), The Parchment Eye, A History of Reading, published by Reaktion Books Ltd, p.159

WEBLINK RESOURCE: Open University Book Search

My Random Blogging

The reason I chose to random blog was because I’m one of those people who believe in fore-thinking before an after-thought, which might; as a higher reasoning to my existence, gave my blogging its context, and meaningful purpose, even at this rate of speed, as my righteous endeavour as an OU student.

And recently I read an article on this issue:

Haste, Scorned: Blogging at a Snail’s Pace

CITATION: “….A Slow Blog Manifesto, written in 2006 by Todd Sieling, a technology consultant from Vancouver, British Columbia, laid out the movement’s tenets. “Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy,” he wrote. “It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly.” (Nor, because of a lack of traffic, is Mr. Sieling writing this blog at all these days.) Ms. Ganley, who recently left her job as a writing instructor at Middlebury College, compares slow blogging to meditation. It’s “being quiet for a moment before you write,” she said, “and not having what you write be the first thing that comes out of your head.’…”


SHARON OTTERMAN, (2008), ‘Haste, Scorned: Blogging at a Snail’s Pace’ , Fashion & Style Section, The New York Times online newspaper, [accessed 23rd November 2008]

Related Blog postings:
User Generated Contents – blogs
Evaluating Blogs (as an academic resource)

User Generated Contents – Blogs

There were two questions on Activity 8.9.1 for the TU120 course with the Open University, where I wrote as was part of the course assignment in my personal statement about “…such is the loose, immoral medium of blogging…” and that I thus felt relevant to post an extract here on my blog so to clarify further:

No. 2.  Would you or do you impose any self-censorship on your blog entries? And I answered: I will not write about tutors by mentioning their name (past or present) whatever the circumstances, nor will I mention by name any other Open University student (past or present) whatever the situation.

No. 5. What are the implications of uploading anything and everything into the public web?  And I answered: “…You don’t know how this information could be used or by whom, as nothing is then sacred, not even to you. Thus there’s an immorality to blogs, that’s inappropriate, and improper; as entries maybe made just merely to shock, hurt, impugn and draw attention, for lack of any other rational reason of interest…”  (posted to the forum on 21 Oct 08 at 15.05)

The feedback from the tutor, to my remarks was, they’d said “…A very cautious, and I think respectful approach. [..] who had a character in [one of their] children’s stories “Mrs Do-as-you-would-be-done-by”? I certainly think when writing about others you need to consider how you would feel if they wrote about you…” (posted on the forum 15.11.08 at 12.27 GMT)

My Reply was to this feedback on the same day was :—

There comes a time (instead of once upon a time)…

Full text weblink: Water Babies by Charles Kingsley 

“…Poor old Mrs. Be-done-by-as-you-did! she has a great deal of hard work before her, [….] And Tom smiled in her face, she looked so pleasant for the moment. And the strange fairy smiled too, and said: “Yes. You thought me very ugly just now, did you not?” Tom hung down his head, and got very red about the ears. 

“And I am very ugly.  I am the ugliest fairy in the world; and I shall be, till people behave themselves as they ought to do.  And then I shall grow as handsome as my sister, who is the loveliest fairy in the world; and her name is Mrs. Do-as-you-would-be-done-by. So she begins where I end, and I begin where she ends; and those who will not listen to her must listen to me, as you will see […] and now do you be a good boy, and do as you would be done by, which they did not; and then, when my sister, Madame Doasyouwouldbedoneby, comes on Sunday, perhaps she will take notice of you, and teach you how to behave.  She understands that better than I do.”  And so she went. 

Water Babies

And when Sunday morning came, sure enough, MRS. DOASYOUWOULDBEDONEBY came too.  Whereat all the little children began dancing and clapping their hands, and Tom danced too with all his might. And as for the pretty lady, I cannot tell you what the colour of her hair was, or, of her eyes:  no more could Tom; for, when any one looks at her, all they can think of is, that she has the sweetest, kindest, tenderest, funniest, merriest face they ever saw, or want to see.  But Tom saw that she was a very tall woman, as tall as her sister:  but instead of being gnarly and horny, and scaly, and prickly, like her, she was the most nice, soft, fat, smooth, pussy, cuddly, delicious creature who ever nursed a baby; and she understood babies thoroughly, for she had plenty of her own, whole rows and regiments of them, and has to this day. 

And all her delight was, whenever she had a spare moment, to play with babies, in which she showed herself a woman of sense; for babies are the best company, and the pleasantest playfellows, in the world; at least, so all the wise people in the world think.  And therefore when the children saw her, they naturally all caught hold of her, and pulled her till she sat down on a stone, and climbed into her lap, and clung round her neck, and caught hold of her hands; and then they all put their thumbs into their mouths, and began cuddling and purring like so many kittens, as they ought to have done.  While those who could get nowhere else sat down on the sand, and cuddled her feet–for no one, you know, wear shoes in the water, except horrid old bathing-women, who are afraid of the water-babies pinching their horny toes.  And Tom stood staring at them; for he could not understand what it was all about….”


Thus nothing should be taken as a given, or for granted, even for modern day bloggers.



The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, is a children’s novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley.

Related Blog postings:

My Random blogging
Evaluating Blogs (as an academic resource)
“Developing an online identity is a crucial part of being an academic”?


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