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Dusty Rhodes

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 1 May 2010, 17:37

Our Geography teacher had most of us (all ?) achieve A Grades at A Level. When it came to writing essays his advice was simple and he drew a flower on the board with six petals.

The stem was both the introduction and conclusion, the centre of flower was the essay title. Six petals, perhaps eight would do it. Each would be a point, well made, with quotes/references.

Often he'd summarise his thoughts on a boy's essay by drawing a dishevelled weed ... or more simply a three petalled plant with one huge, deformed petal ... and so on.

I was never one for the perfect plant. Often I'd be the one with twelve petals, some tiny some so massive they took on the entire board. One essay I remember submitting filled an entire exercise book (I still have it, sad, I know. It was Geography, meteorology, he taught as to undergraduate level). I regress (and digress).

After two years we sat exams. By then by editing down and picking out what I felt mattered I went into the exam well prepared, armed to the teeth. I could easily give up ten minutes of the 45 mins to write on a topic to planning, the six or so main points, the pulling from my head a mnemonic that would deliver a dozen or twenty or more facts. And then I wrote. This worked.

Course work would have suffocated me. I lack that consistency and self-discipline, or more likely, I drain so much energy intermittently that I just have to 'chill' from time to time. I'm not one for drawing early conclusions, nor am I one for regurgitating what is wanted from me because of what specifically I have been asked to read - I will always look beyond the references.

In particular, I would prefer to sit down to write naked ... jsut me and the keyboard, no notes. For the information to have gathered in the rigth spot in my head I need to have worked with the material, to have discussed and debated it, to got it wrong and been corrected, to have asked questions, and to have figured it out. I have to believe it.

Working in a Web Agency when first doing an OU course on distance learning the topics were of interest every day to colleagues so it was like being on a campus, or certainly in a faculty. And as we believed or thought that the aim of a university degree or studying was to get a job there was a degree of arrogance - we had jobs. We were in it, doing it. We had to know best, or certainly quite well, otherwise why would companies & government pays us to do our thing?

I ramble. Or reflect. Whether I can reflect my way into some higher level of sublime understanding though is quite another matter. A decade ago blogging obsessively there were a group of us who read and responded to everything we wrote. Doing this I feel I am writing with a fountain pen on the ceiling of a catacomb.

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Second time round

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 12:50

Frank Cotterell-Boyce the English playwright and author was featured on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs a few weeks ago. He remarked that as a boy he was held back in the final year at Primary School because he was too young. Far from being a negative experience he said that it empowered him - he had done it all before, of course he knew the topics.

I feel as if I should sign up for 'Innovations in E-learning' H807 next year, not just to get my head around the topic more fully (its a gargantuan topic on which you could never know enough) but because by then there will of course be new innovations to talk about.

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Wikipedia and SpacedED

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 12:53

Wikipedia is the parent that does your homework for you. SpaceED is the parent who asks you questions so that you learn something and it sticks. Discuss.

SpaceED is a newly launched platform for creating simpe Q&A learnnig modules.

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The Contents of my Brain

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 22 Apr 2010, 14:47

What matters is what I have in my head and how I use it. If through background, experience and training I can express a thought and do so in a variety of ways: text, voice, video, presentation in the flesh ... then so be it.

All efforts I have made over three decades to keep diaries, letters, books and videos has been funnelled into this experience. My conclusion is that all that matters is what I take with me in my head as I step away from this keyboard ... and that when I die the contents of my brain and its way of connecting things goes with me.

 

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The Science Museum, London

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 12:54

The kids travelled for £1 return from Lewes. Not much more for me! A day out.

They lasted over 3 hours, though it did include an IMAX documentary on dinosaurs.

If I were to chose somewhere to sit and write an assignment on innovations in e.learning I would do it here. People this is what I will do. The setting counts with me, to be part of a wider engagement with the subject when I write rather than being on a broken lap-top in the corner of a bedroom with the usual whirlwind of family life a constant and demanding distraction.

 

I failed even to visit the bookstore. I took no notes. I am yet to blog away the day. So my memory of it all is already fading sad

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Van Gogh Exhibition, Royal Academy, London

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Not too old to be taken around by my Mum who is a member so could jump the massive queue. Also easier to have her talk through all the drawings, paintings & letters as she has an MA in Fine Art from Durham and taught art.

Given the crowds I wonder if a replica event could be create 'in the provinces' or a virtual 'walk through' could be created online.

I'd need to return to a thing like this several times for an horu or so at a time.

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Assistance & support for academics

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Oct 2011, 04:28

'Academics expressed a clear preference for individualised assistance and support. This is intensive & expensive and the provision of such an approach is unsustainable.'

Kirkpatrick (2001:174)

REFERENCE

Kirkpatrick, Denise. International Journal for Academic Development, Nov2001, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p168-176, 9p (accessed 28 august 2011)

 

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Flexibility

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Oct 2011, 04:34

'Flexible learning with technoliogy can offer opportunities for improving the quality of students learning experiences and for meeting the needs of students in more appropriate ways. The challenge is to keep options open and allow space for exploring what is possible within a framework of appropriate support.'

REFERENCE

Kirkpatrick, Denise. International Journal for Academic Development, Nov2001, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p168-176, 9p

(accessed 28 august 2011)

 

 

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Flexible learnings vs seminars and lectures

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 13:08

The orgnanization and resourcing of learning in ways that shift the emphasis off the traditional format of lecture and seminar with its tendency to reinfoce a one-way conception of teaching and learning as the dissemination of wisdom from teacher to learner.'

REFERENCE

Flexible Learning (Fleming, 1993, p320)

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Cogntive Behavioural Therapy

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Session 12 after nine months

The OU course had to come into the discussion. My topics today were:

Effort

Perfectionism

Collaboration

My problem being that I will make the effort, and put in too much effort, where a topic interests and engages me. However, I may shy away from anything that doesn't appeal to me. The answer is to find a middle road, to be be flexible & adaptive.

Regarding being a perfectionist, something similar applies. So in OU Land, do as required for each task and in each environment. No more. This is good. How I indulge my interest in something by chasing references is for me as an 'add on.'

Collaboration requires trust. You put in what you have to offer and you trust others to make their contribution in their way, in their time. More can come through sharing, that trying to do everything yourself.

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OU Blog vs MyStuff

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I'm trying to establish which is the better tool for collecting notes, quotes, thoughts & ideas & issues for potential use in forums or assignments.

Short of notes on a filed sheet of paper in a pad do either the OU Blog environment or the OU MyStuff 'information collator' offer something more versatile?

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Diffusion of Innovations (5th ed)

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Have it, read it ... taken notes and now well through a second even more thorough reading with the intention of tracking down some additional references.

Somehow may race through this material in the early weeks, trying to skim read it off a computer screen and not finding the excerpts in the e.book satisfactory hadn't sold me on the ideas. I'm now evangelical about the insights and more than ready to work with them.

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Diffusion of Innovations

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010, 13:23

Now that I have the book in my hands I can only conclude that Roger's Diffusion of Innovations is the heart, veins & arteries of 'H807 Innovations in e.learning.'

Did I miss a trick finding excerpts as an e.book somewhat less than engaging or as an OU student was there an opportunity to download the entire thing?

Not that printing if off would have been cheaper than buying a second hand copy off Amazon.

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H807 TMA01 The Word Count

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 28 Jan 2012, 14:44

TMA01 in its current draft/s is stubbornly refusing to accommodate all the requirements and get close to the required word count.

They say 1300 words, I'm forever at 1800 or more sad

Some edits then get close but appear so spartan I feel I'm looking into an empty basin.

My process might get the word count down to five - a title.Or just a single word.

e.yes.

I feel like Jack Nicholson's character from the Stanley Kubrick film of Stephen King's novel 'Shining.'

I feel stuck in a loop and beg for what my school and undergraduate years prepared me for - an exam. And in this case one essay of six to be written in the space of three hours. From six to eight point plan. Wherein I see my solution - I do just this.

Or not.

On verra.

How are you guys doing?

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Self-discipline & professionalism ...

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Whilst I can still get away with typing off the top of my head into a blog, this will not do when responding to messages or in a forum.

Sitting back, taking on board what is being discussed, doing my research then reflecting long & hard on a response will be a more productive way froward. I've taken some hints from the OU.

Personal entries in my decade old blog must also be forever locked.

Or removed. Having trawled through this 1.5 million word nonsense removing or changing names, there are still those who occasionally pop up in my life with an amused remark about the detail of their antics ten or twenty years ago. Much of this blog are transcripts & extended reviews & reminiscences of the 70s & 80s.

'Exposure' became my creed in 2001.

'Discretion' will be my approach from now on ... as it is so easy to google a person's name and find out all kinds of things that they may not want to know, that are blag & bluff in any case and could be detrimental to their career hopes (let alone their personal relationships).

Meanwhile, in a time consuming effort that needs to be addressed my sixth draft of the TMA01 is rocking back and forth between 1500 & 2350 words. I may just sit it like an exam and see if I can contain my ideas that way, addressing each in turn a set of points, six at most, that I feel need to be made

Oh to feel like a teen sitting exams again smile

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Flexible Learning. Denise Kirkpatrick

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 16 Oct 2011, 04:24

The Advantages

  • Great efficiences
  • Access
  • Competitive advantage
  • Improve student learning

Institutional Anxieties:

  • Academic practice
  • Personal sense of IT efficacy
  • IT fatigue
  • Pace of change
  • Magnitude of change

REFERENCE:

Kirkpatrick, D (2001) Staff development for flexible learning. The international Journal for Academic Development, 168-176

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Value judgments, CBT, BPD & blogging

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As a child my late father labelled me as making too many 'value judgments.' It may have stuck. He was equally emphatic about the spelling of judgment, and the correct use of apostrophes.

This tendency to have an emotional response over the objective could compromise how I judge the work of others.

Being aware of this ought to help me to form opinions based on facts.

having some understanding of child psychology I also know that labels stick.

'Money burns a hole in your pocket' I was told and so I became this person ... or I had confirmation of who I was.

All this I am trying to change.

Tangentially to all of this, eight months of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that was first mooted in 2005, is gradually adjusting my thinking and responses. My habit is to speak first, then think later. The same applies to what I write, particularly in a blog, an environment in which I have written, as I please, when I please and how I please for a decade. CBT ought to be turning off the negative, making me less prone to lash out; so far, so good. Where I am conscious I still fail is the willingness to agree with everyone & say 'yes' to everything in order to please. Later I begin to regret the view I had taken or the decision I had taken. Too phrases I need to use often are, 'let me give that some thought ...' or 'that's interesting, let me get back to you ...'

I know that there are many kinds and forms of blog.

As 'entities' I wonder even if a 'blog' is a suitable term where this space has many different uses & expectations imposed on it. Online Journal, E.Text book, e.notes ... or the term I used, even registering the domain name in 2000 'The Contents of my Brain' or 'TCMB.' i.e. in goes everything, a decade ago with no readily available function to 'expose' all or to 'share' with a define audience or readership.

Where in lies the next issue. If a blog, like a log or a journal or a diary is written for and by one author then by its nature it is likely to be more honest if kept locked and private. As I know, a blog, like a diary, becomes a very different thing once it is published or in the case of the Internet, 'out there.' Think of Anais Nin and her Journals.

Blogs are not what they used to be.

In 1998 those who blogged might have been shipwrecked travellers on a small island - it didn't take long to suss each other out. Some wrote for the sake of it, others had something to say ... one or two were innovators, & creatives, HTML wizards who constantly played with the possible and what was then impossible.

Mummy has come along and made us put our toys away


Many would so this depth of 'reflection' is counter-productive. Others argued that a degree of 'exposure' is required in order to establish connectivity with like minds & the curious.

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The Learning Curve vs the Learning Slide

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The learning curve is shown as a series of steps during which time a student initially struggles with concepts and new knowledge, gets to grips with it then plateaus out. After a period the learning curve is met again ... and so on.

In my experience, this returning to academic study in an entirely online experience is less like climbing a steep curve, than jumping into a slide or water flume. The ride has thus far been fast & exhilarating. I have hit a necessary plateau. Or to continue the analogy I have come in with a 'splash.' (At least there is water in this imaginary swimming pool).

Only now am I taking stock, only now am I looking at the rucksack of course materials I have left at the top of the steps. So having shot along in a fast gear I am now going back to the beginning and will revist everything at a somewhat slower pace. I want to play with some of the OU tools & spaces. I want to print off the resources, even buy a book (Rogers' Diffusion in Innovations.). But will this stop me writing off the top of my head? I doubt it, at least not in a blog.

For me a blog has always been about doing exactly this. Where I place it and how I give it 'access' is another matter. To lock, or unlock. To leave ajar with the OU Code on a Post-it note under the door-mat. And how to tag it? My potentially naive experiment with tagging is to 'tag' everything on the basis that I won't know if it is reference-able or drivel until I look over it again i the weeks to come.

There are I believe tools that work better at doing this? Not jsut notes on scraps of paper, but ... a more cohesive & meaningful way to gather your thoughts?

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Networking

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 17:02

The old fashioned kind ... off-line.

Evenings & weekends I'm a swim coach. Chatting to a parent last night about her son's crisis over course work and exams for GCSEs I mentioned the OU course I was doing. Before I know it I've got an introduction to the person responsible for training at a large county council. I was also able to get some insights into how 'e.learning' has gone. The greatest memory was of too many poor links in the early days so that anyone on a course constantly found they were being linked to the wrong place and coming to a dead end. After a few years of doing it all in-house it is now outsourced.

A start has been made.

Attending a Careers Fair in Brighton put on by Wired Sussex delivered three companies that specialise in e.learning. If I can convince them I can be introduced to their clients I may have an in here too. And once again, old fashioned 'face-to-face' interactions is/was the key. As salespeople know it is harder to turn someone down in the flesh and in this context they can see that I am a well-meaning, well-turned out, experienced & savvy bloke.

A start.

 

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A necessary first

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 17 Jun 2012, 09:16

I've just printed something off for this H807 Course on 'Innovations in e.learning.'

I've printed of the Assignment Guide ahead of putting TMA 1 togethe

Until now I've baulked at the cost of printer ink ... indeed I 've only had ink for the last week anyway.

It wasn't just that, with no shelves up and stacks of files I have been finding that anything that does get printed off gets lost.

So it gets filed offline & backed up.

In the last 24 hours I have been telescoped back to 1982 and my many adventures at university. I had a video production 'business' called Last Stand Video. I have a dozen Betamax tapes from this period which I have been meaning to transfer for decades. I will now see if I can view & log them, then transfer (i.e digitise) the juiciest bits.

There's a copy of  production of Romeo & Juliet in which I played Mercutio. During this particular fight with Tibalt the nappy-pin holding up my pantaloons broke so I cutched them as well as my 'wound' as I died to hysterical laughter on the marble floor of Magdalen Chapel.

 

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What use is Rogers when in explaining innovations

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 31 Jan 2013, 06:48

Rogers Criteria of assessment:

1) Relative advantage
2) Compatibility
3) Complexity
4) Trialability
5) Observability

DOKI & iTV (WAYL) were chased intuitively – if a client would back it, then it was ok. This chase continued with projects developed to support equally speculative broadcast / internet linked projects. From a business perspective this was encouraging clients to chase chimera.

We should have know better and offered value in money made or saving made ... networking for the NHS was developed within their far more cautious framework. The advantages had to be apparent and the transition compatible. Though apparently complex the technology & the players were in place to take the next step. It could be trialled at a limited number of outlets and observations shared with the team.

The relationship with Ragdoll was different again; all they wanted was a website. We tried to steer them towards something that would be a credible tool for selling product (their programmes & merchandise). We all got tantalised by the creative opportunities.

With FTKnowlege it was another leap in the dark, feeling their brand name could be instantly attached to a distance learning MBA programme and feeling their was a need to get in their first. The view being that not to do otherwise would see other Amazons and the like taking a huge market share.

REFERENCES

Kaye, R. and Hawkridge, D. (eds) (2003) Learning and Teaching for Business: Case Studies of Successful Innovation, London and Sterling, Kogan Page.

Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th edn), New York, Simon and Schuster.

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Wired Sussex Jobs & Skills Fair

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Just back from the Wired Sussex Jobs & Skills Fair in Brighton.

Able to get some insights into the job market for those with knowledge of e.learning. It would appear that learning designers are in need. Otherwise transportable skills such as copywriting & project management may be useful.

As I know, to play the game, you've got to get on the board.

What's the in?

Spoke to representatives from:

Epic

Kineo

Edvantage

WPM Learning

&

Brightmove

As well as:

Brighton University

Went along with a friend who is doing the e.learning course with University of Sussex, so we compared notes and may work on a project together in order to put something on the C.V.

 

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Betamax went into the chasm, a mountain chain was built from VHS

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 2 Mar 2010, 15:15

I need a great understanding of this marketing talk

None of the terms and ideas being used by Rogers or Moore register with me despite four years working in above the line advertising. Maybe I was too divorced from the marketing process

A marketing manager from Procter & Gamble told me that all this marketing talks was nonsense, that you could not say definitively what worked ... but you had to do something! He linked it to fluke & alchemy more than any prescriptive method. At the tip of any marketing pyramid were the advertising agencies and creative teams coming up with imaginative ploys to get a product noticed.

A poorly promoted brilliant piece of technology could fail. The Wright Brothers might have 'invented' flight but they were dreadful at marketing their product however innovative it might have been. My own experience, first with a web agency & then a documentary production company trying to create e.tv was that however innovative the broadcasters could not see how an audience would pay for these 'add-ons' and they also took the view that people wanted to be entertained, not educated. Look however how well video games have and how films spin off into video games ... and video games have spun off into films.

A well advertised product, that is also a product that people want, may be under supplied causing a chasm when no one can get the product. If people get bored with lack of supply and move onto something else there will be a chasm sad

I’d like some figures on the purchase of GPS positioning for cars, Wispa bars, Apple Cube, Sony Betamax ...

Is the history of Sony Betamax a case of a chasm turning into an abyss?

Panasonic launched VHS, SONY launched a superior quality Betamax. VHS became universal, Betamax was slowly left to rot. Though professional BetaCam became an industry standard for making videos, whilst VHS took over as the medium for distributing videos to buy & rent.

To form my own opinion I need more that just excerpts from Roger's book 'Diffusions of Innovations' or excerpts & commentary on Moore. I need their books & journals they've contributed to on the topic.

So far the OU Resources give me an e.book of Roger's book, but only excerpts. Say 20 pages out of 280. I feel I am commenting on hearsay until I have had more of the facts. I also feel I am not qualified to comment as I don't have a background in marketing. (or at least not marketing 'by the book.')

I need to have something to say about:

  • market segmentation
  • market targeting
  • market  positioning

 

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Hemicranium Continua

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, 13:45
After thirty ... no forty years, has this condition been identified & correctly diagnosed? I have been incorrectly diagnosed over the years for Trigeminal Neuralgia, dental problems, jaw alignment problems ... allergies to dust, to foods, depression - you name it. & I've been on every kind of painkiller. We will see. I start taking Indomethacin later today and will consequently come of Gabapentin & the antehistamines ... an Co-codomol. On verra.
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When is a Blog not a blog?

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When it's an OU blog.

Admitedly I have a privacy button down there, but the temptation is to hit the 'exposure' button and little the whole world read this drivel (they don't). They got their own stuff to write.

For me a blog requires 'exposure,' it requires honesty ... anything goes. 'The contents of my brian.;

None of these diaries can be this. One might be private, another to be shared with OU students the third open to the world. Three levels of exposure, yet each is from a point of view.

I am on campus, if only a virtual one.

 

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