A Simple Pleasure: Freewriting

“The meaning of a life is the same kind of meaning as the meaning of a sentence: having the parts fit together in a coherent pattern, being capable of being understood by others, fitting into a broader context, and invoking implicit assumptions shared by other members of the culture.”

-Wim de Muijnck

Just like lighting a fragrant candle, sipping a glass of smooth wine, enjoying a homemade meal, writing my weekly blog is a simple pleasure. I recollect moments from the past week. After blogging for two years now, I feel confident enough to express my thoughts freely. These weekly blogs are especially important since they capture the changes that I have experienced during the tumultuous 2020, from the lockdown in March 2020, Election 2020 and its aftermath, and the second wave in November. These blogs are part of my personal history with 2020 as a backdrop.

I am grateful that my 19-year old daughter is bonding with her best friend, her father. Due to the pandemic, she is home from college and taking online classes. Diana enjoys discussing politics with her father and shares interesting news articles with him. She shares project ideas with him, and they both brainstorm together. They watch 60 minutes, the evening news, and Election Day 2020 together. The pandemic gifted an opportunity for my daughter and her dad blossom.

Why are simple things in life significant, especially during our forced period of isolation? According to researchers, meaning in life (or MIL) helps us discover what is truly important to us –family, love, and acceptance — and not expensive vacations, a bigger house, and more materialism. Also, I researched an interesting connection between the simple things in life and writing in that routines such as weekly blogs help create meaning. Similar to life, writing has an audience, purpose, coherence, unity, flow, and beauty.

This past week I have working on my slides for my upcoming presentation on November 19. I finally decided on a format for my slideshow. Remote learning helped me understand the power of visuals and visual rhetoric. Having the right visuals during a virtual presentation is crucial is capturing and hooking the audience. I am also figuring out how to insert gifs into my presentation since movement is another strategy in capturing the audience’s attention. My students are in Zoom meetings all day, and I need to find new strategies to keep them engage. (Note to self: Ask Dr. Zamora about inserting gifs into slide presentations.) In terms of engagement, I have tried colorful slideshows, music, Chat Box, Break-out Rooms, interactive games, TikTok videos, positive reinforcement, and personal interest. Engagement is so important, especially during remote learning, therefore, I want my presentation to me engaging and meaningful for my classmates. For my Thesis-in-Progress Presentation, I plan to focus on the Case Studies on various online grammar checkers, especially the ones to help the fiction writers. The provide further insight into their writing style. I plan on providing them time to play around with the various online grammar checkers to report on their experiences on Padlet. Perhaps I can include their feedback in my research findings. My presentation may exceed the 40-minute time limit, so I will need to inform Dr. Zamora.

As a learner, I enjoy visually appealing presentations, collaboration with other participants, think time, and practice time. I hope to provide this learning experience to my classmates.

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