Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
“THE WRITING BALL IS A THING LIKE ME: MADE OF IRON
YET EASILY TWISTED ON JOURNEYS.
PATIENCE AND TACT ARE REQUIRED IN ABUNDANCE
AS WELL AS FINE FINGERS TO USE US."
(Friedrich Nietzsche, on February 16th 1882)
I am struggling to take notes on my computer and to read texts online, so I find the Nietzsche quote fascinating, as well as the story that goes with it. I love having journal articles in front of me with a pen and a highlighter and a notebook to fill with notes, ideas, questions etc.
I wonder how right Nietzsche was, how much does our technology/writing materials influence what and how we write? How long will it take me to retrain myself to be able to do these things on a laptop instead of in a Moleskine?
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
One, two, (one, two, three, four!)
Let me tell you how it will be;
There's one for you, nineteen for me.
'Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Australian newspaper had an interview with him a few weeks ago that you can read online here. I love the last two paragraphs that illustrate well his kind of wit; writing about Bryson the journalist says:
He is now planning to take the rest of 2010 off "to read" and may even finally apply for British citizenship. Although Bryson is married to a Brit and has four grown-up British children, "I'm still afraid to take the test because I don't want to flunk it", he says. "I had an American friend who recently did it and said it was really tough. Not questions like 'What's Marmite?' or 'Morecambe and blank', but technical things like: 'To the nearest five, how many MPs are there?' A British citizen would fail."
He would much prefer an interview, "somebody saying, you speak English, you're not on welfare, you're not a pedophile, you're OK". What sort of exam questions would he like? "Well," he says, "something like, 'Mr Bryson, how can we make you more comfortable?' "
Friday, July 9, 2010
- Leo Tolstoy
I have just watched The Last Station (2009) a film more about the last days of Tolstoy's life, his wife and the Tolstoyan movement then his writing. But a moving piece of cinema that addresses universal themes about love, commitment, betrayal and death as well as some of life's various dichotomies and ironies.
Certainly worth watching, but the somber ending left me a little lost and wishing I hadn't watched it alone.
What do I do now? I thought, sitting on the couch contemplating Tolstoy's philosophy.
Can I just make a coffee and go on with my own life?
What would Tolstoy have done?
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The "Grad school: It seemed better than getting a real job" t-shirt from PhD Comics.
And the fantastic Think Geek t-shirt from here. The concept of a non-medical doctor is still a new one for many people I have encountered since being offered a Doctor of Philosophy position.
For an etymology lesson I defer to Mark at allexperts.com who explains:
The earliest use of "doctor" in WRITTEN English was in 1303, but the term applied to "doctors of the Church," meaning "learned men in the scriptures."
It was not until 1377 that it was used in the sense of "medical doctor," or one who treats illnesses or diseases.
[a. OF. doctor (-ur, -our, -eur), ad. L. doctor, -rem teacher, agent-n. from docre to teach.]
The entry from the Oxford English Dictionary above traces the word's origin -- from the Old French "doctor" from the Latin "doctor," meaning "teacher." And that noun came from the verb "docre" which meant "to teach."
Oh, so what you are saying Mark is that doctor's were learned folks like teachers and the term was taken up for medical doctors because they are learned folks also - not because it means to operate or prescribe antibiotics. Hmmmm... now I just need to get one (a doctorate I mean, not a doctor)!
The thing is, this new edition comes with a activation code that allows you access to an accompanying web site where the whole book is available online, which means searching for where to put that comma or question mark (before or after the bracket?), or what to do with multiple texts by the same author becomes much easier. I wish I had this for my Masters thesis!
It is still written for a first year undergraduate audience, with advice for backing up your drafts on "disk" and clunky information about the "World Wide Web"; but the guide to citing sources in text and in the works cited list is well put together -- plus it is great to have the paper copy to write all over and the online version to search easily.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I am beginning a new adventure and creating a place to record it.
This month I start my PhD in literature. Last year I finished my Master of Arts (English Studies) and I have won a scholarship to undertake a Doctorate of Philosophy.
I have taken leave from teaching, moved house and started compiling notes.
My trepidation is matched only by my excitement.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday we went back to the Ron Mueck exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and despite some poor reviews, I enjoyed it again. If you haven't seen I guess it might be disappointing due to its brevity, but not its quality.
Mueck's sculptures achingly capture the human condition;