Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Commentary of master/counter narrative

So I suppose the master narrative here would be overall, country girl, perhaps redneck girl.  I certainly was invoking memories from time spent at my grandparents' respective homes.  They are both located in rural Alabama.  I have never lived in this area but have spent much time there over various childhood summer vacations along with numerous holidays over the years.  Though I don't experience this kind of lifestyle on a daily basis, I am still familiar with it. I also have enjoyed it very much. I grew up on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama and then was moved to Marietta, GA, in the suburbs of Atlanta when I was ten.  My experience is certainly more urban/suburban - so regarding the narrative style - I may sound like the master narrative of an idyllic country childhood, when in truth, I am more used to strip malls, traffic, and people with foreign accents or no accents.  I myself lost my drawl as soon as I figured how to after moving to become a "Georgia peach."  Being the new girl was hard enough, especially one who was well-endowed for her age, without sounding like Scarlett O'Hara around a bunch of dislocated Yankees/Westerners.

Where I'm From Poem

We are supposed to include a "Where I'm From" poem for our's mine:

Where I'm From

by LeahThomas

I'm from the country

Wide grassy pastures stretched out in the sun

Wild strawberries and pecans from the backyard

and old pickups on gravel roads

I'm from tire swings and trampolines

cows and horses watching over the fence

Late summer nights

of lightning bugs winking and windchimes singing

the deep tones of a grandfather clock saying goodnight


smelling of homemade biscuits

crawling out from under soft old quilts

Laughter rising

Itchy sweet hay tossed up

Porch swings swaying

Local gossip

with fresh caught catfish

and family time

I'm from hands that tend the earth

and animals

I'm from a love of the land

and of the written word

I'm from high school sweethearts

and from where they left

I'm from where they return

and where I always will.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Rheingold writes, "People collaborate because their coordination, sharing, and attention to common goals creates something that none of the collaborating parties could have benefited from without collaboration.  Collaborators develop and agree on common goals, share responsibility and work together to achieve these goals, and contribute resources to the effort."

Without being consciously aware of it, I have been involved in various online collaborations for some time.  Over the years, I have become more of a participant rather than just someone looking for answers and information or being a "lurker" on a website.  I have gotten valuable tips regarding travel, researched a needed medical procedure to arm myself with information to ward off nerves, and traded information with friends, both ones I see often and ones I never see.  As I've become more comfortable with having an online presence, I have sent songs to people, commented on their various posts, and so on.  I have also come to realize that although I don't get on Facebook very much - it can present a problem.  So many people assume that their friends and loved ones are on Facebook as much as they are, so they neglect to use more traditional methods of delivering important news.  I have gone for weeks without knowing that a beloved friend was devastated over the loss of not just one, but two of her pets.  I didn't have any idea because we hadn't chatted for a while on the phone and I hadn't been on Facebook.  Likewise, I found out that a cousin got married and I was completely in the dark until my brother told me to check Facebook for some surprising news.  The reason I started up the topic of Facebook is because I see the website as a venue for social collaboration.  People send invites to parties through Facebook.  Yes, I missed the parties and had no idea they were happening.  There are many aspects of collaboration - I realize that if I want to stay connected to my friends and family, I must be willing to collaborate through their chosen method.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Patch

For class, we are supposed to comment on a news article.  I picked one from the East Cobb Patch that has to do with coping with the holiday blues.  Here is a link to it:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Global Literacies

I definitely enjoyed the Global Literacies online webinar - but I must say, as a novice, I didn't understand a lot.  There were a lot of acronyms that I had no idea what they stood for.  Other than that, I found the couple who led the webinar to be very intellectual and impassioned people.  I am interested in ESOL and TESOL so I decided that between my schedule and the topic for the night - that this was the one I should attend.  I did have some serious audio problems at the onset - it was weird - it sounded like there were multiple people talking over one another at the same time.  I don't know it that is normal or not, but it was definitely confusing.  Once that issue was resolved, I settled in and was interested.  A former teacher of mine loves teaching TESOL so I definitely was more intrigued as a result.  I also realize that in this day and age, that being more culturally informed is a good thing, as well as enlightening.  I think of myself at a younger age - what if I had moved to a different country and was in their education system?  Good teachers are good teachers - I hope to be one and that language won't be an obstacle to the delivery of my message that learning is opening yourself up to the world.

network map

Paying it forward

While reading Rheingold's chapter on social networking, I particularly liked his point in regards to paying it forward.  While the idea of paying it forward can encompass just about any interaction with good intentions towards another (which especially is on our minds during the holiday season) - he references the act when online.  How many times have you searched for answers online and found help from someone you never met before?  Probably countless times.  I know that my family members, friends, coworkers, etc. have learned how to do something they needed to know through Youtube or the like.  An excerpt from Rheingold's "NetSmart," reads:

"Another way to look at how online social capital works is the empirically validated value of paying it forward:  doing favors for strangers in a network with no anticipation of direct reciprocation.  I spend a lot of time answering email from students of virtual community studies all over the world - expecting no direct compensation.  When I know the answer to a question I see on Twitter or a blog, I often pause to post what I know.  I do it because I consider it my duty to improve the quality of discourse about social media, and I benefit from the efforts of others who feel the same sense of duty.  I want to signal to people who take the time to correct misinformation or answer a stranger's question that I appreciate their efforts and pay them forward."

My online presence is not very significant at this point, but I do benefit from people I personally know now or have know in the past.  I feel confidant that although I have fallen out of touch with some people, if I needed advice (especially regarding teaching) that they would be there for me.  A teacher I had in high school I see often, and he is as supportive a friend as he was a teacher.  He always encourages me, gives me advice when I ask, and remains a constant inspiration as to how I, as a teacher, might actually be fun, amusing, and give my students good memories.  I have many times told someone, "You see that guy over there?  He was one of my two favorite teachers.  Did I ever tell you about the time..." - you get the idea.  If I am going to teach, I want to be like him.  So here is my learning network which isn't online at present.  I have learned from my Digital Media class that new teachers can find lots of support online, which I'm sure I'll explore in the future.