I am a creator. I survived high school largely due to my experiences in woodshop, ceramics, welding, and stained glass. In college I discovered a school that allowed me to roam the community and the wilder world as make those experiences become part of my “academic” journey. I feel lucky that it all happened that way.
Of course, because I wanted to create things as a student, when I became a teacher I had my students create stuff. The electric tools at that point, about 1996, were just becoming something that classroom might have. Printing in color, video and images, and the web, were all just about to become tied together and made into something that a mortal soul could manage. And create things within.
So we did. Some were in print. Some were text that could float across continents. Some were videos with a message for someone. The best were the ones that documented the moments in our lives with some reflection.
Later, as a college faculty and as an instructional designer I was introduced to even more tools. Strange things with strange names like Diigo and Ning. They made some new things possible and some old things a bit easier or more user friendly. Life was good. My students created work, the faculty I worked with created useful and not so useful content for students.
In that evolution of technologies and possibilities, I think one of the most useful tools to me had been the idea of my own space. A place that I control. One I can make blue or yellow. Sad or happy. One that stays close to me and private or one that can wander the wilds of the internet. I am still headed down that road, even as I write this. What are these things I share? Are they really of value to others? To me?
One event, that probably occurred over several years, was that I started reading poems I had created to small groups of people and printing them and sharing them with others. I remember the struggle between knowing that I had something to say, something I felt important and hoped others might find useful, and the fear of sharing those things. Poems are usually held pretty close to the heart. Sharing them is difficult. Or it was for me.
And now, many years later, I realize that I wrote all those poems for myself. I needed them more than anybody. That I shared them was just me learning to be more generous or kind. Or something.
So, I guess my answer to the prompt for the week is that I have found my little space here on this WordPress site something that has value to me. It is a place I can tie together disparate ideas and various media into a new creation. Something I make. Something I can hopefully learn from.
Here are a few examples of things we created in a high school English Classroom between 1996 and about 2005.