PKM Eval – Keep Moving Forward…

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I feel a little funny about evaluating my PKM system because I feel like mine is worthy of an elementary school science fair…from 1997. Haha!

In the video that I’ve linked to this blog post (from Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons”), Lewis is applauded by his future family for his failure.  I think I want to be adopted by the Robinson’s, too, but I think I need to give myself a break and stop focusing on the parts that are still lacking.  I’ve grown… I am now on Twitter! I now blog! I now carry THREE apple devices with me on vacation.  That’s progress.

So, regarding my PKM system, I have definitely streamlined some of my elements and I believe I’ve equalized the “flow chart”. When I first designed my system, I chose a “funnel” method that resulted in A LOT of information coming in  (Capturing) through Twitter, Feedly, WordPress, EBSCO, Facebook, and other subscription services.  Those articles and ideas sat in the middle of my design (Curating) as I thought about the information and how it could apply to my life and my career.  Specifically, I employ Evernote to keep my reading organized and accessible.  Between Evernote, Feedly, and Easybib (where I store my references), my curation process is pretty well stocked.

The biggest change in the system is that I’ve opened up the bottom funnel… opening the flood gates?… and I’ve increased my creation of material through my blog with Word Press, my Twitter account, and my other writings for classes, my dissertation, and my other social media such as Instagram and Facebook.  I’m still a bit uncomfortable, but I am so appreciative of my cohort friends and professors who have read my thoughts and encouraged me with comments.  I think that has really been the key to this final stage of the PKM.  I really hope to teach this method with my high school students this year, giving them the support of an engaged peer group and an applauding teacher.  That has made all the difference in opening up my creation/sharing of information.

I’ll be redesigning my PKM graphic to much more balanced.  Just have to keep moving forward, right?Keep-Moving-Forward

Nature Walk on San Jacinto Mtn

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Today, I made a check on a “bucket list” item.  I went up the Aerial Tramway in Palm Springs, escalating 2.5 miles to an arctic tundra habitat almost 11,000 feet above sea level.  I’ve posted a video from YouTube, but I didn’t create or publish it.  Anyway… it was worth every penny… and it wasn’t that expensive!  Why haven’t I done it before? Lord knows I’ve been coming out to Palm Desert for over fifteen years! I think I was scared of heights? The ride? The cost? The hiking?  The time?  Lame, lame, lame, lame, and lame.

Well, I did it today, along with two of my daughters, and we had a wonderful time.  I think I’ll be posting a pic to Instagram, so my readers will be able to see our adventure from my blog.

S0952-headerBut what I really want to share with my readers today is a lovely poem by John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and protector of our natural parks.  No one will ever confuse me with an environmentalist, but I am thankful that our state and national parks exist.  They are worth the taxes!  Here is the poem I wish to share; it is spiritual… it is scriptural… it is lovely.

WALK WITH NATURE

Let children walk with nature,
let them see the beautiful blendings.
communions of death and life,
their joyous inseparable unity,
as taught in woods and meadows,
plains and mountains and streams.
And they will learn that death is stingless.
And as beautiful as life.

Curated Post on a Reflection about Bloggers’ Block

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Calvin and HobbesI’ve been really thinking about this blog post that I read called You (Almost) Never Have Nothing to Write About: 4.5 Steps to Busting Bloggers’ Block by Michelle W. because it really touches on one of my strongest obstacles in my personal knowledge management (PKM) system (see Harold Jarche’s article) . I still struggle with the idea that people would want to take even a second out of their day to read what I think, or what I have read, or … anything!

Looking at Michelle’s article, I particularly appreciate her final point when she writes, “You read blogs because you’re drawn to the personalities behind them, and that’s why others read your blog. If you publish something that’s a real reflection of you — whether it’s an in-depth analysis of a political issue or a series of haiku about your bicycle — your fans will read and like it. Give yourself some credit — people like you, they really do.”

This point is hard for me to swallow because it is so humbling.  I am grateful for those who are reading my blog… most of whom are reading it because we are in an EDD cohort together.  Still, I’m grateful because we are supporting each other in our endeavor to contribute a verse (I know it’s Walt Whitman, but I hear Robin Williams ever time!)… to become great trees (the great Maya Angelou). Thank you, sincerely, thank you.

 

Summertime with my sister

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photoTonight’s reflection is almost more of a prayer of thanks. I thank God for my family every day, but tonight I am particularly thankful for my sister, Julie, who has been such a generous host and awesome big sis this week. I got a chance to fly to Nashville to see her and it has been way too long! Still, that awesome miracle happens when we slip right into conversation as if nothing has changed. I wish we lived closer, but we are just a phone call a way.  Unfortunately, we don’t call often enough.

While I’m hear in this beautiful city, even though I’m still working on my computer and still trying to keep my household stuff straight (though I’m thousands of miles away and can’t do anything about anything!), I am relaxing, SLEEPING, and reflecting on how far I have come and where I am going, Taking some time to get off the treadmill and hangout with friends and loved ones is essential, but it’s a lesson that I still need reminding about. Thanks for the week of sisterly R&R, Julie!

Coming Together, Keeping Together, Working Together

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WB-497I found this poster on a cycling site called WheelBrothers.com; but actually, this quote is attributed to Henry Ford, an American industrial giant.  I love this image because it really symbolizes this week’s doctoral collaborative project in which we had to create an online class or learning module.

First, let me address the inspirational quote.  As an excellent example of parallel structure (English teacher here!), the quote takes three verbs (coming, keeping, working) and turns them into nouns, AKA gerunds.  Why is this significant? The actions double as the subjects of each sentence, adding extra layers of emphasis and significance.  In other words, the reader is not instructed to just come together, keep together, and work together.  Instead, it is the recipe of three ingredients – THE coming together, THE keeping together, and THE working together – that builds a strong and successful collaborative group.  Depending on the group and/or the project, the recipe may require more of one ingredient or another, but all three must be present to keep this parallel structure (and collaborative group) flowing.  Too much English for today?  I completely understand.

Next, I’d like to reflect on the image.  The phrase “faces blurred to protect the innocent” comes to mind. Ha!  In the photo there are 5 riders; my group has 5 people.  I may be wrong, but I can’t really tell which riders are men and which are women.  Does it matter? Nope, and it doesn’t matter in my group, either.  In our group we have 3 women and 2 men, but we are all talented educators, intellectual doctoral candidates, and fabulous people from different walks of life (more parallel structure)… and when we need to complete a group project we prefer to take the ride together.

What’s missing from the photo? A beautiful meal, some delicious beverages, and five laptops.  Next time I will make sure we take a team photo because this group will inspire me to keep going for a long time… even when I want to give up. Thanks team!  I love you!  I know it’s tough for us to find the time to “come together”, but next time I’ll host the party in Northridge.

 

 

Tribute to Maya

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Click on Maya’s photo to be directed to her official webpage, http://www.mayaangelou.com

Hear Maya Angelou recite her poem “Phenomenal Woman” while you see images of her colorful life!

This last Wednesday, May 28, 2014, American literature lost a treasure.  If you’d like to read about her life, I suggest that you click on her photo and you will be directed to her official website.  What I’d like to reflect on is a particular story that I have the pleasure and honor to teach every time I teach 9th grade English.  It’s very short and it’s called “New Directions”.  The short story is about her grandmother who had the intelligence, determination, fortitude, and perseverance to create a thriving business in the early 20th century.  I particularly love Angelou’s crafting of sharp detail with poetic detail.  In fact, I often use this short story (only about a page or two) to illustrate how those two elements of voice (diction and detail) work together, but are not the same.  At the end of the story, Angelou tells the reader the moral of the story when she writes, Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”

This quote speaks to me.  It tells me that I have the right and the responsibility to move in a new direction.  This is what I’m doing with my life right now.  Unlike Annie, Maya’s grandmother, I have a wonderfully supportive husband and my 3 children aren’t “toddling sons” but beautiful girls (17, 15, & 7).  I am not poor and I am not an African American women in pre-Civil Rights America. Yet, I feel a kinship with Maya and her grandmother.  I think she felt a kinship with any woman who tried to fly.  She will be missed.