Journal ~ March

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March 1

Personal Growth

March 3

March 9

March 23

This weekend has been a breakthrough. Writing the Lit Review has been an agent for formalizing my writing. I had taken whacks at it before, but this has been concentrated writing. I find it easy to be distracted, but forced myself to hang in there. I hesitated stopping to write in my journal, but I don't want to lose these observations.

In writing my Lit Review I have continued the process of reworking the web site with an eye toward sharing and presentation. I have looked at a number of publications for models. What I have is a more formal structure. I envision a less formal, slimmed down version for some sharing. Much of the content is from previous writing for this project. It has been substantially rewrittne and pulled together in a more cohesive format. Here is what has changed.

  1. I have an abstract.
  2. I have pulled some of the material from the Lit Review into the Background section.
  3. In working to tell a story, I have tried to develop threads that hold it together.
  4. My Resources page is the informal version of my bibliography. It is growing. I need to get the format for the Bibliography.

Most importantly, this Lit Review has helped me ground this project on a more solid footing. This was one of my goals in doing the program: to have a better sense of authority for my work. Where I understood the theory in our 'texts" before, I now really "get it!" With the theories in context, I have a firmer grasp on them and the place of this ARP in the field. As Hung would say. "Little victory dance here!!!!"

March 3

I kept putting off working on my Cycle 1 report, thinking I needed to get through the Lit Review first. I was slogging through; it was not flowing. Then yesterday I read Nikki's Cycle 1, saw Matt's Lit Review was still an annotated list, remembered that we have LC on 3/3 and I wanted to have something to discuss. So I plunged into the Cycle 1 Report.

And voila! A report!!! Learned a couple of things: 1) If it is not going well, don't force it. 2) Reading in NG was helpful for ideas. 3) The sense of accomplishment will help with the Lit Review.

Okay, I think I get why the lit review is so hard for me: I am not familiar enough with the material so I am piecing together concepts, instead of as the writing flows, pull in the appropriate lit. The problem with doing the latter is that you really need to know the lit well. I think this will take many rewrites. That's okay; each time I am learing more about the field and finding ideas to utilize.

March 9

While I have attempted to make conscious decisions to have all of my projects tie to my ARP (that is the theoretical ideas of my ARP), I am finding it happening regularly. I can't tell if it is because my ARP is gennerally applicable, or if it is just becoming a prevasive force in my thinking. Examples:

  • My mentoring project (Ed639) with Diana using a webquest for her Spanish 3 HS students has had remarkable examples of taking moving forward through taking ownership.
  • My learning environment project (Ed634) choice is STELLA. It is by far one of the more difficult environments because of its depth and the learning curve. HOWEVER, I have a teacher that wants to use it and needs my help, so it has immediate relevance to my work.

March 23

Wow! So much has happened that I will summarize tonight.

  • On the ARP front, I did get out the applications to the students for the partnership projects that will start 3/31, the start of our spring quarter. Doom and gloom from profs - that I would get no responses at the end of the quarter. I got two for the history partnership and 6 for the sociology partnership! Yeah!! More tomorrow on next steps...
  • Heather is married and the wedding was a great success. Did get lots of back reading done while travelling. Sarason was a hate/love/hate relationship - he made me think, but I didn't agree with alot of what he said. Disorganized and sad reading...
  • The war in Iraq has definitely impacted thinking and focus. NGs have slowed, which is a huge help.
  • My mentoring with Diana has not gone at all how I expected. Greg has had some good ideas and reassurances. It is interesting that even with a spark of her choosing (teaching Spanish to kids), we are having a challenge getting her beyond the observation stage as far as tech goes.
  • Since I think I am now caught up and since we are on spring break this week, I will spend most of the week focusing on my ARP in three areas.
    • At work, I will more clearly define the program (initial meetings, mentoring training in both tech and mentoring skills, outlining specific projects, devising data collection methods, etc).
    • At home, rework Lit Review. The current one is too boring. Need better story, better style, I think...
    • At work where I have MS Publisher, work on brochure.
    • At home, begin thinking about final presentation. Ask MM about realities of what happens. I can't believe I will need to do a poster session.
    • At work, dive into Wake Forest and INTECH (Louisiana) programs for some specifics, particularly mentor training and assessment.

Personal Growth

I am improving in dialogue, but I still have a long way to go. I am using the pause more effectively and consistently. I try this in all venues: AIM, TI, phone, and meetings, big and small.

Yet, again I am aware of how I need to spend more time reflecting and thinking - and less time doing and planning. Planning is not thinking. It is looking forward. Reflecting is looking back. Reflecting is helpful in planning, but you can plan without reflecting...and repeat mistakes. I vow to use at least 50% of my commute time to the other campus (twice a week - hour each way) just for reflecting. I will use the tape recorder to note ideas worth hanging on to. OUCH: I have forgotten to do this!!! Will take tape recorder to Oregon and reflect.

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