Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Magic diaries and why you NEED to blog (more)

The iconic image from Charles Darwin's diary
image source
I'm not sure where it came from, but I have a certain fascination with diaries. I don't want to read them necessarily. But rather, the idea that a person can collect their thoughts in one place, seems like it gives the diary almost magical powers. It contains thoughts, ideas, emotions, it documents the ups and the downs. It is a reflection of a person or a journey. Somehow a diary and all its magic has so much character. Sometimes a diary contains iconic thoughts, from before they were famous. Take Charles Darwin for example. This little tree diagram is famous now, and look, it was in his diary. It literally says "I Think" at the top. Here, one can witness the birth of a great thought.

So I have always wanted a diary too. One that has character and magic too. One that you want to read just because it looks like it would contain profound insights. Or one that would contain a mystery. I never knew what to put in the diary though. Talk about life? No. Profound thoughts? Still working on those. I had a few false starts too. But maybe this time is different. This time, I am documenting every thought, question, idea and everything else related to a possible topic for my masters. By July of this year I will be ready to start my masters, IF I can choose a topic. So I decided that this seems an appropriate thing to put in a diary. A book that one day might have character and magic too. Even if the magic is only visible to me. However, I suspect it also doesn't help that my diary of choice is a spiral notebook from Typo that says "life is too short to wear boring clothes".

The thing that really drove home why this particular diary was so important, is a realisation that I made whilst spending my summer holiday nerding it out at university. I realised, that my constant reflections on this blog over the past year or so had made me a better writer. Structuring arguments? Using figures and images to make your point? Connect to other readings? Making your writing concise? Proof reading? All blogging skills. The benefits of blogging doesn't end there. Evidence for registered teacher criteria? Check. Need inspiration for a university assignment? Oh wait, my inspirational thoughts are documented. Ready to inspire again at a moments notice. And these are just the benefits without the extra input you get from occasional comments and Twitter.

Perhaps my blog doesn't contain the profound thoughts of Charles Darwin. But perhaps somewhere in this blog or my "life is too short to wear boring clothes" diary, a masters topic will emerge. Either way, along the way, I know I will become a better learner because of my reflections. And as far as I'm concerned, the better learners are better teachers.

The Reflection Pool in Washington D.C. as viewed from the
Lincoln Memorial.