This day is beginning peacefully. I slept well except for some weird dreams caused by a few glasses of wine the night before. The day is dull but the birds are singing pleasingly.
Some chores have gotten done this morning. I have shifted my Sunday routine to today, Saturday, because I have dedicated the morrow to feasting with friends. No swim today, because of this arrangement. Instead, I went to do my thing on campus today. I am working on the conference paper. It is also an opportunity to call home.
There are, of course, technical difficulties. For one thing, I have to figure out how to use the scanner and scan the conference documents in order to send them to conference officials electronically. Some things are only anticipated problems and not real. Take the cell phone charging issue. I thought my charger was malfunctioning, but it turned out that I had just inadvertently turned off the power switch.
By the afternoon, I had written a complete draft of the conference paper and marked all the quizzes for a writing class. I even previewed the next few weeks of teaching, setting dates for the next assignments and such. Yes, there is always more to do but I still have a feeling of accomplishment. I am ready to relax this evening.
The angle of the paper is journal writing as a pedagogical tool, citing the case of my work called Impressing Heaven. Usually, teachers have students write journals to enhance the learning of material and the learning process. They also write their own journals about their class management, lesson planning, methods and rapport with students from a critical perspective. What I have come up with, through the accident of writing stories about real people and conversations, are some of the stories of English learners I have encountered in classes or outside classes, as they have been told to me, and embellishing or extending those stories for dramatic effect. I am working from a factual basis and interpreting the conversations about family relationships, career goals, conflicts, study and work experiences, and decision making in life planning. Some themes eventually stood out. I am saying that this form of journal writing let's the teacher think more about the people they are teaching, their contexts and aims.
I never expected to be treating journal writing so much. It has just happened to me. I never thought of the link between the the project of writing the Impressing Heaven stories, and then using them in teaching, and what I am doing these days. I guess it was an unconscious development. Now, I can say a lot about a journal in the form of a daily blog, as well as employing a positive thinking perspective. The objectives of both projects are quite different, and I set out quite clearly to blog every day as a project of self-improvement that might provide some enlightenment to others. In both cases, they are learning experiences that have already given me deeper insight.