One reason that I like participating in daily drawing challenges is that it encourages me to try to draw something new, rather than doodling the same shapes that have become familiar to me. So when I saw that it was a poinsettia for Thursday’s drawing I was a bit daunted, but luckily I had a few minutes before going into a workshop to do an image search. I searched for poinsettia outline and scrolled through the results to get a feel for the basic shapes. Then I grabbed some crayons and a notepad and headed off to the seminar room. As the prof spoke, I sketched some basic shapes in pencil without worrying too much what the end result was going to be – I wanted to get the shape of the petal/leaf right. Then, when I was confident drawing them freehand I got out my 0.5 micron pen (I usually have one of these in my bag) and drew the basic outline. Then I got out my crayons (I could sense at this point how envious the others at my table were that I had something to occupy my hands!) and coloured it in. The end result is not perfect – I’d meant to sketch some more leaf detail on the red petals, but the workshop was over.
Imagine how pleased I was to see this post by Sheri talking about how she’d taken inspiration from my drawing – this is connected learning at its best.
I’m doing a MOOC from Futurelearn at the moment with some friends: Social Media Analytics: Using Data to Understand Public Conversations It’s interesting, I am getting to use some familiar software (TAGS) and some new stuff (Tableau), and it’s good to think through all of this with others. One of the topics for this week is the concept of public spaces – how a hashtag can create them. And, as a result of that I’d started thinking about public and private spaces, and conversations I’d had in the past about how, though Twitter is public, sometimes one does not like to join in a conversation one sees as it’s not clear whether those speaking would welcome the intervention, or see it as an intrusion. (For the record, if I am tweeting to some people and others want to chip in, that’s great – that’s one of the reasons I’ll be tweeting and not using email, Facebook, or any of the other more “private” spaces I have.)
But, as I say, the MOOC has got me thinking – and one of the things it’s got thinking about is this: who owns a hashtag? This post has been brewing for a couple of days now – and at the back of my mind was the idea that I’d introduce it by telling a funny story, then something happened that gave me pause. Well, I’ll tell you both stories …
Ages ago, probably when something like a rhizo or a pop up CLMOOC was happening, maybe this post was inspired by it, some of us happened upon a hashtag. You know how it is – you’re chatting, you hashtag your tweet with #SomethingYouThinkAmusingOrApt and think no more about it. Maybe your friends also use the hashtag. Tweets and Tweeps can do that. But not this time. Oh, no. This time was different. As we carried on conversing (without the #AmusingOrApt hashtag), a very angry person replied to us all. Apparently we were USING HER HASHTAG. Hers, just hers. Her hashtag for her personal use. She had bagsied it and that meant that nobody else could use it. NEVER. NOT EVER. Well, as I recall, we ignored her and left her to her solitary tweeting (honestly – she was tweeting onto a void using the hashtag – nobody was replying to her or “liking” her tweets), but it made me think: can somebody really own a hashtag? Can one person, or a group of people, dictate to others how they can and can’t use it? Surely not – that’s just not how Twitter works. But then this happened …
I noticed a Tweet this morning that interested me. It was hashtagged #LTHEChat, and hence came up in one of my columns in TweetDeck. It was about learning and teaching in HE, the person tweeting was an #LTHEChat “regular” as were the others in the conversation. It seemed relevant. I replied, also with the hashtag. That’s how Twitter works. But, then, I got a notification of a reply to us and saw this:
Looks like a great topic for a future #LTHEchat! But perhaps not in the channel for the current one?
Hmmm. Well, I am not sure. Is that how it works? Do the volunteers behind the “official” Twitter account get to be hashtag monitors? Maybe. The chat happens on Wednesday evenings from 8-9pm, and I can see that part of a facilitator’s role might be to keep conversations roughly on track. Maybe. But does that mean that nobody can use the hashtag for other conversations, at other times? Surely not. So if we, as a community (I think that #LTHEChat is a community now, by the way), want to use the hashtag outwith the regular chat times, should we be policed? Of course, in a sense, nobody can STOP me using any hashtag I want, but if we’re talking about social niceties (which I think I am), then what sort of conventions would we like to see in place, or follow ourselves?
I don’t have hard and fast answers to this. I do think it’s worth talking about. So I am going to publish this now and tweet it. And I am going to hashtag it #LTHEChat. You can tell me if you think I am out of order for doing this.
“Got Hash Tag?” flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
Saturday morning chutney making – blogging this so I have the recipe. I used this one, with a mixture of sultanas and raisins, yellow instead of red pepper, fewer tomatoes than stated (we only had 660g, some were green tomatoes from the garden) so more apple and onion to make up the weight. This made 10 8oz jars.
Sitting, pen in hand, with blank paper in front of me, I chastise my past self. I shout at her for being lazy, for not writing more, so that I would need to write less. But my past self was not ready to write: she didn’t know what I know now. Her thoughts had not crystallised, she had not read what I had read. I need to stop blaming past-me for what she did not do And start thanking her for what she did.
“Thank You” flickr photo by Orin Zebest shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
As anyone who lives in Glasgow will tell you, Glaschu means “dear green place” in Scottish Gaelic. And I feel very lucky to live in a vibrant city that has so many parks. Kelvingrove is the one I visit most, as it is so close to the Uni. Here’s the Uni tower, peeking through the trees in the park.
I walk there often, always with my camera. It never fails to soothe my mind as I wander up and down the familiar paths. Often I see a squirrel running freely, like this one:
Sometimes I look at the skyline instead. Glsagow gave this man the freedom of the city. Hmmm.
A few years ago I decided to make myself a blanket – something warm and cheery for the winter months. Also, unusually for me, I decided not to rush it. So, over the last 3 years I’ve been acquiring wool as memories. There’s wool from holidays on Mull, a visit to the Shetlands, a week on Orkney, a short break to the Cairngorms. There’s squares knitted in Shetland lace patterns, patterns made by the Uni knitter in residence years ago, there’s a Dalek, a Cyberman, K9 and a Tardis. Then, of course, there are two black cats. I have loved making it, and now it’s finished – and I can’t wait for the cold nights so I can spread it out on the bed.
I’ve let my doodling lapse recently – I’ve been busy working, and writing, and worrying. I miss it though – it’s good to switch off for a bit and relax. So I am thrilled that the CLMOOCers are joining up with a sister project, Write Out, for a month of doodles during October. Why not join us?
I’ve stalled. With just under five months till I submit my completed thesis I have run out of steam. I have no time to waste, and so I waste time. I know all of the advice – I have given it many times, but still I pause. My bookshelves are tidied, my yarn is sorted, my fridge is clean.
I still feel that I need to give myself permission to write. I’m framing my thesis as an auto-ethnography because that feels right – it feels authentic – but I still struggle to justify my approach. Maybe I worry that it is not rigorous enough – maybe my background in anglo-analytic philosophy has trained me to privilege an argumentative style over the explanatory … Maybe I need to channel my inner philosopher (note to self: do not channel your inner Deleuze).
Whatever, the time has come. I remind myself of one of my favourite quotes:
“Fool,” said my muse to me. “Look in thy heart and write.”