michaelgriffith (michaelgriffith) wrote,

Ready, Set, Go! Autumn 2009 Literature at Uni

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!

Remember in LiveJournal you can click on any images to increase the size and resolution.

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