My RRW1 assignment is done and dusted, and Brendan has escaped to the other side of the world for over three weeks. It is summer there. It is still winter here and I am alone except for two bored-looking cats. But at least this means I have plenty of time and space to catch up with my WrAP reading… which I neglected throughout the wailing and gnashing of teeth that was the writing of my RRW1 essay. In expectation of some extended solitude over the next few weeks I have drawn up a fairly ambitious study schedule and got some books out from the Institute of Education library.
The thought of actually reading a whole non-fiction book is fairly daunting. But for WrAP I have to write a book review, and I guess reading a book is a pre-requisite. I’ve ordered two shiny new paperbacks – Martin Weller’s The Digital Scholar – which I’ve dipped into online before – and Knud Illeris’ Transformative Learning and Identity – which one of my twitter buddies recommended. I thought the latter would be particularly interesting for me personally. I worry that my own sense of identity is quite poorly-formed, and that this is going to be a sticking-point for other assignments; the WrAP assignment demands I refer to my ‘life narrative’, for example. A combination of factors means that I tend to go a bit blank when I’m asked to write or talk about where I’ve come from: A massive bang on the head when I was 25, not much contact with family, a repeated pattern of breaking ties and starting afresh in my personal life (the last time only 18 months ago), and a couple of episodes of depression. There have been plenty of good bits too – no need for the sound of violins – but I find it uncomfortable to look back, and impossible to recall with any confidence who I was, what I’ve done, and how my perspective has changed.
However, I’m now beginning to think that maybe this *is* my life narrative… perhaps the repeated ‘clean slates’, my uncertainty about who I am, and my distrust of my powers of recall are primary factors in how I choose to work and learn. Recording everything on this blog, for example – documenting the journey; my thoughts and feelings about what I’ve read. Developing an online identity to compensate for the perceived lack of a tangible real-world identity. It makes sense.
Anyhow… my plan for tonight is to re-visit the notes I made on the first two readings for the Writing for Academic Practice unit – both by Ken Hyland – and to augment these with some notes on another chapter of Academic Discourse – Chapter 6: Student Discourses.