One of the first posts I made within the walled garden of the PBRA/NovoEd’s Team Journal, from around October 17 — I was waiting for my other teammates to show up. They had names like Q1456 and Tom Ford and William Kheel. Vanessa and I were already talking, but we were not yet part of each other’s team. Soon after this, Vanessa founded Team Blueberry, and it’s when the course took off for me.
Auto-ethnographic Journal Entry
Project: “What’s on [My] Mind?”
Specialist Knowledge: (a) Writing: creating a voice, indicating conflict through imagery, dialogue, scene, characterization
(b) Performing: performing live for an audience; using the energy in the audience to buoy the delivery of what is being presented.
Auto-ethnographic Journal Sample:
Having to articulate to Vanessa [Blaylock] an aspect of my project helped me hone an idea: my story is not unique, but the paradise that was lost was so profoundly beautiful. This caused me to go to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which I have not read. My father-in-law, a poet, tried to argue that he hasn’t read it because it’s really an epic about empire, and he doesn’t know enough about the time period for the poem to matter to him. But even if it is an epic about empire (and if it is, even better for me, for my story is one about empire), the poem means beyond its time period because it resonates with universals — anger and vengeance as products of supreme loss.
So I’m reading the epic and copying notes from it into my notebook (not virtual, just paper — beautiful, “Mobile Ideal Original writing paper,” from Japan, a Kokuyo Campus notebook, my standard ). I transcribe lines from the poem —
Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner [in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos, they lie on the burning lake, thunderstruck…
and as I write these words, thunder is rumbling and striking over the roof of my own house in Houston, TX. The synchronicity seems apt. I live for synchronicities like this to let me know I’m on the right track.
To these [legions] Satan directs his speech; comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven….for now the thought both of lost happiness and lasting pain torments him….
Another sublime synchronicity happens a few hours later, when I’m on my way out of a meeting. Johnny Miller, whom I haven’t seen in years, calls out to me as I make my way through the rain puddles to my car.”Write the great epic,” he commands.
He has no idea what I’m working on.
Johnny Miller, a dark angel, one of William Blake’s devils?
(A cool thing about this post is that one of the professors — Leslie Hill — gave me feedback, which in a MOOC is pretty rare.)
Bonyuet, Isaac. “Photos.” Los Angeles from Mulholland Drive, a Photo from California, West. Internet Brands Company, 1 Jan. 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.