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Ready, Set, Go! Autumn 2009 Literature at Uni - MG: LITERATURE&LIFE

About Ready, Set, Go! Autumn 2009 Literature at Uni

Previous Entry Ready, Set, Go! Autumn 2009 Literature at Uni Feb. 22nd, 2009 @ 03:15 pm Next Entry

Welcome back everyone from your long summer break, or welcome to those of you who are new to our campus. I am looking forward to getting started again with all of you. We have a great semester ahead of us. We have a new literature staff member, who will be helping me with first years and will be teaching some Communications units as well. So now we have 3 continuing literature staff.

This semester all literature students have some exciting new digital challenges ahead of them. We have been working with LiveJournal blogs for around 5 years now and this has been a great space to encourage literature students to try their hand at writing their owncreative work. My own philosophy is based around the idea that our own personal experience is every bit as valuable as the experience of the many published writers we study. So while we can learn a great deal from some of the great authors we can also learn a great deal from each other.
The digital challenge that I am posing for all literature students (including myself) is that from this year we are- as an assessable extension of our LiveJournal work- going to turn our best LiveJournal work into an e-Portfolio!... what is that??? they cry out!!! you will see... you will find that it is a perfect way of capitalizing on your hard work in LiveJournal and creating an ongoing record of your work in literature. It will be a great asset when you are looking for employment sometime in the near future. It will also be a fabulous space for you to extend and develop your creativity, beyond what you could have imagined.

Recently, through the C/C program I was teaching literature to a group of homeless students at MA and LiveJournal gave them a space to discover their own creative expression. The results were amazing: students who had never written before produced powerful poems and prose descriptions about their own difficult life experiences.
I am hoping that for many of you LiveJournal will also become a space where you can find a voice. You will also be able to connect with all other students doing literature and with those doing literature either through MA, or through the program for Indigenous Students.
And to conclude- here is my best picture from this last week's crop- an amazingly twisted young Angophora (Sydney Red Gum) which I spotted while on a bush walk down at Jerusalem Bay not far from where I live north of Hornsby. The Angophora always seems to have this knack of writhing its arms like a passionate human being, here gesticulating over the morning high tide. One of our great Australian poets James McAuley has a line about an Angophora in his poem "Terra Australis" where he describes it as "preaching like Moses on a hillside". I never knew what this meant until I spotted Angophora's throwing their arms around in the air just like this one. ..... see you all next (yikes!!!)/this week!
MG

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From:john_mahoney
Date:February 23rd, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC)

It's good to be back.

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Today in the Lecture you flipped open your common book and told us how you write all sorts of stuff in there and how we should do likewise. It got me thinking about a few things. I've always enjoyed your love of nature and the photos you post on your LJ. You know the photos of your various nature walks. During the break I was reading a book by John Piper. In it he said that all of life's joys aren't really complete until we've expressed them in praise (I think he was quoting C.S. Lewis).

It was a new idea to me and I feel true. The beautiful vistas you show in your LJ, your enjoyment is completed when you share it with others. I imagine this is what resonates with Lit students when they read the Romantic poets carry on about nature. Wordsworth writes of the countryside not for publication or acclaim (though these came) but to consummate his joy. Piper says "In life all enjoyment spontaneously flows out in praise". phrases like "look at that sunset", "What a cute baby", "I love your eyes darling" everyone says these at some time or another not to state fact or even as compliment but as an outpouring of joy.

So what's the point of all that, well I guess in a round about way I'm suggesting that maybe you could post one of your poems. Perhaps next time you share some of your photos you could accompany it with a poem from your common-book on LJ. Thereby your joy may be expressed (and completed) and we students can see if you really can write :)

Just a thought
John M.
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:February 24th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)

Re: It's good to be back.

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Thanks for the prompt John... I need it... although if you scroll back a couple of entries you will see a recent attempt of mine to capture my joys in poetic words too- and that one was straight out of my common-place book....
Great to have you on board again.
Michael

From:brook_of_hope
Date:February 24th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
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hi Michael

it is so good to see that you have shared your love of literature with us -- i am still in england and enjoying the challenges that are set for me --look forward to seeing what you have in store for the class and hope to see you in second semester
take care sue
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:February 24th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks Brook... I look forward to hear how you are going in the UK.... have you had a chance to visit the Lake District yet... we are just starting work on Wordsworth!
Best wishes
Michael

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From:summi91
Date:February 25th, 2009 07:43 am (UTC)

First Lecture

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I just had to say that I was inspired by your lecture today and my passion for literature and learning has become stronger than ever. the moment you said you loved "dead poets society" I knew I was in the right place.Thank you and see you soon!
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From:shadi_n
Date:February 28th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)

LJ assistant

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Hi michael:

I would still love to be of any assistance to any one who needs it. Its a shame my last semesters progress is of low quality but i was going through a rough time and staying motivated and on top of things was very difficult. i'm more determained this yr and hopefully i will be able to make up for what i lacked last semester.

thanx

regards

shadi.
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:March 1st, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)

Re: LJ assistant

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Thanks Shadi... your help is much appreciated.....
MG
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:March 3rd, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)

Re: In the mix

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Great to hear from you Paolo.... keep in touch and let me know if I can be of any help.
Cheers
Michael
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From:necros99
Date:March 7th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)

Re: In the mix

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Thanks Michael. Actually you're handouts and notes from last year are already proving very useful. English Text and Writing is actually pretty much the same as Intro. to Literature but I am happy to get a good grounding into the study of literature. I start wk3 tomorrow and am finally starting to settle in, especially with the other students (what a relief). Having good friendships while studying is so important, for me at least.

I'll probably come for a visit in a couple of weeks, this week I have two assessments due so I have to keep my head down and I've been sick for about a week but I'll get through it, overall I believe my outlook is too positive for me to fail.

Cheers MG
Paolo
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:March 7th, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC)

Re: In the mix

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You would always be welcome.....
Michael
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