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robertogreco : routines   5

Why I keep a diary
"Yesterday I wrote about how I keep my diaries. This morning, because commenters asked what they look like, I posted some of my diary pages on Instagram. Then a commenter asked, “But what is the point of this?”

Here’s what I wrote back, verbatim:
I keep a diary for many reasons, but the main one is: It helps me pay attention to my life. By sitting down and writing about my life, I pay attention to it, I honor it, and when I’ve written about it long enough, I have a record of my days, and I can then go back and pay attention to what I pay attention to, discover my own patterns, and know myself better. It helps me fall in love with my life.

So, primarily, keeping a diary is about paying attention to my life and then paying attention to what I pay attention to.

There are some other reasons I keep a diary.

I have a terrible memory for things that happen to me. I can remember books and quotes and movies and art and all of these inanimate things that I love, but I simply cannot seem to keep track of my own days. My experience of time is very slippery.

This quality got exacerbated when I had children. Infants destroy your memory through sleep deprivation, but toddlers and preschoolers play tricks on your sense of time and progress when you’re around them all day, because 1) having young children can be extremely monotonous, and 2) you’re seeing them morph in real time, so the change is gradual, and you don’t necessarily take notice of the leaps and bounds that can happen in even a week. (For an alternative perspective, see Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness: The End of a Diary.)

Diaries are evidence of our days. When I read a diary from even just a few months ago, I am regularly shocked by how much has and hasn’t changed in our house. It helps me take notice of just how far we’ve come. It also reminds me that life is seasonal, and we are inevitably doomed to repeat ourselves, a la Groundhog Day, so we must proceed without hope and without despair.

Finally, I find that my diary is a good place to have bad ideas. I tell my diary everything I shouldn’t tell anybody else, especially everyone on social media. We are in a shitty time in which you can’t really go out on any intellectual limbs publicly, or people — even your so-called friends! — will throw rocks at you or try to saw off the branch. Harsh, but true.

So you have to have a private space to have your own thoughts. A diary does that.

I wonder how many people forget that George Orwell’s 1984 literally begins when the character Winston Smith buys a paper diary and starts writing in it. I’ve heard that part of the goal of an autocratic regime is to get you to disbelieve your own perceptions. Again, here is where your diary comes in handy. You keep track of what’s happening, write your own history book, consult it when you feel like you’re going crazy."

[See also: "Notebook Turducken" ]
austinkleon  diaries  routines  2018  memory  notetaking  attention  noticing 
february 2018 by robertogreco
marian april glebes en Instagram: “Work in progress. Thinking about materials that, through their relationship to the maintenance and minor catastrophes of daily life, inform…”
"Work in progress. Thinking about materials that, through their relationship to the maintenance and minor catastrophes of daily life, inform on how and why a place is made, a home is made, and for whom/how/what makes a place or home.
This was a dirty towel. It's use was important, vital. It's material history is embedded in it. How do our routines teach us about what we value, and what we waste? Can a rag, or dust, or a tissue be portraiture?"
materials  maintenance  everyday  place  homes  history  time  waste  routines  dust  rags  textiles  marianglebes  2018 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Will · Still Here...Sort Of
"No, I haven’t abandoned this space. I’ve actually been writing my brain off in other places…offline as in two books on the horizon, one of them part of a most interesting series that I’m putting together with Solution Tree…and online at EML where I find myself (joyfully) spending a lot more of my time these days. Couple that with an intense season of boys and girls varsity basketball and travel and some other life stuff and it’s no wonder I haven’t spent much time here.

Fact is, I’m spending less and less time in these social spaces it seems. I’m thinking that may not be the case in a couple of months when my plate clears a bit, but I do want to note how different this feels…not checking Twitter a dozen times a day…not feeling compelled to reflect on the blog…basically turning off my Facebook account (not that I ever used that much anyway)…diving into Feedly only a couple of times a week…spending time reading more actual books than blogs (and thinking…a lot). I’m almost feeling like a connected disconnected person, not a lurker, per se, but someone with a bit different perspective than I had two or three years ago.

Maybe it’s because my worldview on the idea of school and classrooms continues to evolve. Maybe it’s because that changed worldview makes it more difficult for me to find relevance in the current streams and communities I’m a part of. Maybe it’s because my bar for change has been increasingly notched higher, and that using technology and social media in schools isn’t the main focus of that conversation any longer.

What’s amazes me is how long it’s taken me to get here, a place where a lot of other people have been for decades (if not centuries.) I’ve spend a lot of my life as an educator truly ignorant about education and learning. Ironic, isn’t it, that my “education” failed me. My “education” around education never even remotely presented the worldview that I’ve come to know now. Maybe that was an act of self-preservation…


I still have a long way to go. "
willrichardson  deschooling  unschooling  education  socialmedia  change  routines  2015  teaching  learning  howwelearn  paradigmshifts  worldviews  self-preservation 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Setup / Jack Cheng
"What would be your dream setup?

I was going to say it'd be great to have access to a wider variety of spaces to work from, but I realized I should just get out more because I live in New York City, a place overflowing with such spaces. I was at the Morgan Library a few weeks ago, taken aback by Pierpont Morgan's study, with its secret vaults, couches upholstered in lush velvet, and ornately framed renaissance paintings hanging on walls clad in red damask, all enveloping a desk that was over a hundred years old. It's the kind of place where you feel like you should be sitting with a quill pen drafting a constitution. From behind that desk, I thought to myself: it'd be pretty rad to sit here and write poop jokes.

Sometimes I also daydream about tools that don't exist yet, tools that light up different parts of your brain when you use them. I want a piano that plays colors or a typewriter that clacks smells. I want a pencil that scribbles stardust, an edible notebook whose flavor profile changes based on what you write inside. I want tools that make me feel like I'm trudging through the mud, tools that require some kind of physical mastery, that feel alive when you use them, like a cowhand's steed. Why do we have to slouch here in front of these glowing screens? Why can't the work we do be a higher expression of beauty, both mentally and physically, possess the grace an olympian propelling herself backwards over a wobbling high jump bar? What if web design was a full-contact sport?

But in reality, my ideal setup would produce a certain feeling, a feeling that arises when the space is so familiar you no longer notice it, when the tool melts into you and becomes an extension of your mind or body. There's this sense of harmony with the world, things crystalize in your wake, coming together almost impossibly, like throwing up a handful of toothpicks and having it land in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. And what I have currently-this combination pen and paper and glass and silicon, this assemblage of interchangeable tools, of well-worn routines with intermittent flux-sets up those moments beautifully."
synesthesia  senses  exploration  tools  routines  2012  thesetup  jackcheng  usesthis 
july 2012 by robertogreco

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