Archive for category random
In my search this semester to find local resources to support English teachers, I came across the Queensland Writers Centre (http://www.qwc.asn.au/).
Truth told, I had already come across the QWC last year, when I was learning about IF:Book Australia (http://www.futureofthebook.org.au/). Finding out more about the QWC was something I had been meaning to do for awhile!
So it was serendipitous that I came across a notice about the ‘Letter Writing Club’ that is being run throughout 2012 by the Queensland Writers Centre. On the first Monday of most months, members of the public can participate in the club for free. Paper, quills, old typewriters and other devices are made available for people to write letters … this is the whole point of the club.
Isn’t that great?
Here is the information from their website – I hope to get along to at least one of these!
and…Heidegger paraphrashed: It is not that we first begin from an inner subjective sphere (a la Descartes) and from there go out to meet things in the world; rather, we are always already ‘outside’ among things. (Kisner, W. 2008: ‘The Fourfold Revisited’)
Sheesh. Philosophy. Any ideas anyone?
This is the Holga camera that I picked up over the holiday in San Francisco, in an Urban Outfitters store. I bought it for $50USD – today I saw one in Typo in Brisbane for…$149.95! I’m so glad now I decided to impulse buy my little red Holga in January…
I first became interested in Holga photography when I saw photos that my friends were taking using apps on their phones. Apps such as Hipstamatic and Retro Camera allow you to use a range of cool ‘filters’ when snapping to give your pictures an antique feel. Here’s one that first caught my eye, which my friend Sarah took with Hipstamatic:
The story of the Holga camera is one that particularly caught my interest. From wikipedia:
The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee in 1981, and first appeared outside China in 1982 with its appearance in Hong Kong…The Holga was intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events.
Within a few years after the Holga’s introduction to foreign markets, some photographers began using the Holga for its surrealistic, impressionistic scenes for landscape, still life, portrait, and especially, street photography. These owners prized the Holga for its lack of precision, light leaks, and inexpensive qualities, which forced the photographer to concentrate on innovation and creative vision in place of increasingly expensive camera technology.
The most striking feature of the Holga and toy camera movement in general is the sense of counter cultre that is fostered through the rejection of digital photography technologies. Many users are adamant about this. Personally I like to swing both ways. The sheer novelty of taking a photo of someone and then telling them that no, they couldn’t see a preview of it on the screen (*shock*) made me an instant analogue camera convert. But waiting to develop whole rolls of film before I can work on an image…just for this reason I would never turn away from digital. That and the joys of super close up macro work.
Interestingly, when I went to develop the three rolls of film I had used, I found that only Big W develops film onsite anymore – Target, KMart and Camera House all send 35mm film away to get developed, usually to Melbourne which takes a week to come back. That can’t be encouraging for people trying to get into this wonderful technique/hobby
I was really happy with the prints that came out of my first rolls of Holga photography. I used some hooks, string and mini pegs to make a disply for some of my favourites:
James Franco *swoon*
Did you make it to the bit in the interview with Stewart when Franco talks about doing a PhD in English Literature? What a hero!
This year my votes in the Triple J Hottest 100 went to:
- Birds Of Tokyo – Plans
- Bliss N Eso – Addicted
- Children Collide – My Eagle
- Children Collide – Jellylegs
- British India – Avalanche
- Evil Eddie – Queensland
- Girl Talk – Down For The Count
- Girl Talk – Steady Shock
- Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss
- Tame Impala – Expectation
I’ve loved Children Collide’s album this year especially, and so my early pick for Number 1 is My Eagle:
This front page made me smile so much yesterday I broke my usual rule and bought The Australian:
PRIVATE SCHOOLS’ FURY OVER MYSCHOOL WEBSITE
Turns out the poor buggers have found some inaccuracies in the way their finances are reported. It makes it look like they are getting paid WAY too much money for the services they provide, or something totally unbelievable like that.
I say: suck it. Where were you last year when NSW public school teachers and unions were the only ones out there willing to put their neck on the line to criticise the MySchool website? Sitting quietly on their hands and calling us whingers, that’s where.
STATE REJECTS PM’s CURRICULUM AS SUBSTANDARD
Which state you ask? Oh, that’d be NSW. Again. As far as I can see, the only state with the balls to take a stand against ACARA. Again.
Now, I realise full well that teachers in every state and territory think that their curriculum is ‘the best’. But that’s not what this is actually about. This is not just about some east-coast superiority complex. This is about (in the case of English, at least) the inadequacy of the curriculum on offer.
I love my new home in Queensland, but for sheer determination to kick against the pricks, I am proud to say ‘go the Blues!’ On National Curriculum issues, NSW is proving well and truly to be the big sister of Australia – she might not always be right, but at least she’s brave enough to fight for what she thinks is right (inaccurate newspaper reporting be damned).
SIDDLE BLOWS ENGLAND AWAY WITH HATTRICK
OK, so any real Australian knows that this was the only real story of the day.
If you don’t know what a hattrick in cricket is, it’s when a bowler gets three batsmen out in a row. It’s very hard to do. Since the start of the Ashes in 1877 there have only been eight other hattricks, making Siddle’s the ninth. And it was his birthday!
What a good news day!
I just loved every minute of watching this Valedictory speech by Erica Goldson:
One of my favourite section from the speech is this:
School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.
‘I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme.’
Powerful stuff Erica. Definitely worth a watch!
I’m just choosing some quotes about the writing process to put into an English course book chapter on identity and storytelling. Some corkers out there! Here are a few that struck a chord with me, but which I suspect are a bit too terrifying to introduce to 7th graders
- Writing is turning one’s worst moments into money. (J. P. Donleavy)
- As for me, this is my story: I worked and was tortured. You know what it means to compose? No, thank God, you do not! I believe you have never written to order, by the yard, and have never experienced that hellish torture. (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
- I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. (Douglas Adams)
- Remarks are not literature. (Gertrude Stein)
- The misuse of language induces evil in the soul. (Socrates)
- There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. (Terry Pratchett)
- Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That’s because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear. (H. P. Lovecraft)
- You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair – the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page. (Stephen King)
- Poetry is not a career, but a mug’s game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written, he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. (T.S. Eliot)
So: ‘torture’, ‘evil’, ‘hack’, ‘nervousness’…’a mug’s game’. Yep, that seems about right!
Recently I stumbled across two sites that I found really interesting, both associated with people working with AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School). I thought I would share them here.
The first is Screen Culture:
Welcome to Screenculture.net, a site for anyone interested in ideas and how they impact on our screen stories, screen production and screen industry.
Here you will find regular posts from Dr Karen Pearlman, Dr Matthew Campora and Mike Jones, the Screen Studies Department of AFTRS, Australia’s national screen school. You will also be able to access information about some of the research projects going on at AFTRS in our Graduate Certificate in Screen Culture, our Masters by Research, and from 2011, our new Graduate Certificate in Webisodes. The students in these courses blog, too, and we are collecting a blog roll of other interesting sites – let us know if you would like to link. There are four key objectives of this site:
- expanding and influencing discussion of screen culture
- representing the thinking going on in and around the AFTRS Screen Studies department
- making provocations to catalyse action
- distributing new knowledge to industry
and we welcome you to engage with all of them!
The second site is Cracking Yarns:
Cracking Yarns is dedicated to making moving pictures – films that make us laugh and make us cry. We strive to create – and help others create – films with broad appeal that don’t insult the intelligence. Films like Dead Poets Society, Little Miss Sunshineand Groundhog Day. That’s why the focus here, as the name suggests, is on story. The key to taking a movie audience on an emotionally satisfying journey is structure – yet it’s where 99% of screenplays falter. We’re passionate about story and we’re committed to sharing our knowledge so you get to fulfil your film-making ambitions – and the world gets to see more cracking good yarns.
The article I found interesting here, Why screenwriters should take the oral before the written, was about the importance of oral storytelling, and sharing stories e.g. screenplays aloud before writing them down.