Final Post- Wrap up and Reflection

Part 1

In all honesty, I did not participate to the extent that I’d envisioned in my week 2 post. Occasionally, Depression smashes me into the ground and holds me by the scruff of the neck below the surface of the Earth. I was hit hard mid-semester. Suicide plans; 50 cent Ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner; no showers; 16 hours sleep per day- the whole grey scary biscuit. The second half of the semester has been me playing catch up. I’m just lucky that Karen Wolf, Kaley Schelks and Katie Ferguson were my partners this semester as they are each smart, hard working and considerate. I’d give them my marks if I could as they all deserve more than 100%. Ladies, if any of you read this- Thank you. Sincerely.

I’ve commented a fair bit. I would say that I have a habit of over extending my point of view, of making it more extreme, but I do this consciously and only to provoke responses. It’s better to be challenged than beige. I’ve tried to reply to every response received and have made a concerted effort to comment wherever I see a logical hole in an interesting post. This habit faded as I fell further and further behind.

Regarding trends… Sunday night, suspiciously close to midnight, seems to be peak hour. Personally, I was rushing to tick boxes- get that post in, hit the required comment target- for the last half of the semester and assume that others were similarly sprinting.

I did not consciously comment or become involved in any particular subject or weekly activity just… because. I found that I responded and became involved most when my posts/comments were commented upon or challenged. Weeks 7, 9 and 11 were good fun. Week 13 would also be interesting but I think it is too close to the end of semester to get a proper dialogue going. I modified my tone a little but only to promote conversation. That characteristic is one I am happy holding onto as I believe it is broadly valuable to the way dialogue is conducted.

Part 2

I did not like the prospect of using Twitter when I begun this course. I’m comfortable with the medium now but still doubt its efficacy as a teaching tool. Twitter chats were enjoyable. The speed and spiraling nature of the chat was legitimately good fun. The only initial concerns I had related to the decrease in stock price and user base across the globe however, after using it, I have a few further concerns.

As Tweets are small and fractal, I do not think they are of value as a teaching tool. Or rather, I’d argue that they are an excellent tool for promoting lively, clipped debate but that they are not an ideal medium for transmission of knowledge. I’d suggest a class and Twitter chat combination would be a little more effective.

An important caveat- I do not/have not use(d) Twitter outside of this class. The medium simply does not appeal to me. My prejudice against the medium has almost certainly coloured my opinion regarding it’s use as a teaching tool. When organising my Twitter account at the start of the course I added everyone I could think of as being interesting- Comedians, Newspapers, Friends… It was just too much information and too difficult to keep on top of. I’d consider using it outside of class after the flurry of University has died down.

Part 3

My key take away from the course is that libraries are in flux- but that this is not necessarily a bad thing.  I railed against Research Support, Reference Librarianship, Children and Teens… and I was justifiably stopped or questioned at every instance by fellow students. Engagement with my comments and posts made me stop, think and respond. I really liked that. Nothing is simple, nothing is concretely defined.

I’ve mentioned my problems with the use of Twitter as a teaching platform above. Disregarding this particular medium, I think that the the approach to teaching and learning was sound. Any attempt to involve students in critical thinking is fantastic.

I hated the Assignment (both parts 2 and 3). I hated it because it forced me to be both specific and broad whilst I was struggling. However, I’m certainly a better student for writing it which makes me think that my opinion does not hold weight here. All assignments are simultaneously tough, specific and broad. Either you do it or you don’t. I’m better because I did it. That’s more important than anything else.

Part 4

I’m not happy with the quality of my own work.

I think that I write well enough. My posts and comments are entertaining and confrontational to the point where they illicit a response but don’t illicit offense. I hope that they provoke thought and, for the most part, I think I have pretty solid logical arguments too.

I lack two things: a comprehensive knowledge of relevant source material and an interest regarding blogging as a medium.

Regarding the first, I’ve had problems and tried to catch up. But this means skipping or skimming some resources. I understand that is only borderline acceptable and am prepared to take the hit for that. I genuinely do what I can, wherever I can, regarding resource material. I’m also bald, left handed, fattening and, occasionally, cripplingly bad in the ol’ mental health department. The baldness and left-handedness left me so far behind sacrifices had to be made.

Regarding the second, I just do not value the medium. I read Blogs with severe cynicism. Who is this person? Why should I listen to them? That cynicism follows me onto my own Blog. Who am I to speak about this? Why should any rational individual listen to me? I was pinged for not embracing ‘Blogging’ in the previous assignment. Given that I do not embrace it, that criticism is justified. But now I have to go and find photos, add them and pretend I find Blogs a legitimate resource in order to gain marks. I don’t like that- photos and tweets should not be a determinant factor. But it is my own shortcoming for not gritting my teeth and doing what was asked from the start.

6 Comments on Final Post- Wrap up and Reflection

  1. Hi Neil, Good post. I really like the honesty you showed in this post. I fully agree with you about the twitter chat there is too much information that is hard to keep in mind and sometime lost of concentration.

    1. Aye, well… I didn’t see much point in lying. Can’t lose marks if you give your opinion about your opinion, can you? I hope not anyway…
      Twitter seems to be getting a bit of a slap in the face. I don’t think it is all bad but is it certainly hard to focus or follow.

  2. An insightful post.

    Honesty is a great value to have, and in saying that, you’ve definitely opened up in this post. Don’t ever lose that value.

    1. You’ll get to a point in your life where you just have to own up to the fact that you are going bald and your choice of decent hairstyles is quickly becoming limited. After that admitting ordinary, but negatively, perceived faults to strangers isn’t a big thing. (Thanks)

  3. A very honest post Neil, it takes a lot of guts to admit to depression and still can write an engaging, co-herent post. I understand what you mean with Twitter, I don’t think it’s valuable as a teaching tool .. every social media platform has its own strengths, and Twitter in my opinion is good for emergency services and weather forecasts. 🙂

    1. It comes and goes in waves, Maddy. No rhyme, no reason.
      Twitter on the other hand, is a constant persistent nightmare. Really hard to deal with.
      I’m doing well now. Well enough to laugh about it.

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