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Archive for October, 2009

Last Day

Yesterday, I went with a class on a “field trip” to a local elementary school in Boston to see the Community School concept in action. It was a large collaborative effort; “it takes a village”.

Over the last two+ weeks, I learned:

1. To get out of my comfort zone in a new town, state, region, and university.

2. I met some great people and made some great professional connections. I learned the value of taking initiative and networking. Visiting the classes was great!

3. I learned how to focus.

4. I became intrigued with the history of our literacy field. It’s truly new, interdisciplinary, and evolving. It’s also contentious and deeply rooted in our own personal and public allegiances and ideologies. Reading Chall’s work and other’s work (both similiar and different) helped me to solidify my own theoretical orientation.

5. I learned to be on my own. It was great–like a much needed retreat into my own thoughts and being.

6. I will be sad to officially leave tomorrow, but that’s how life is, always changing. Memories stay. I’m glad I wrote things down on this blog.

This was a great opportunity! I really learned to appreciate academic libraries. I hope the next person that does this has a great time!

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I ate at the Harvard Faculty Club today with the librarians. It was fabulous. All the walls of the many rooms were covered with art and portraiture. I then toured Wiedner library (briefly) and saw an intact Gutenberg Bible. It was so magnificant–like a recurring dream I have often of being in large, stately, and spacious libraries.

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I like it here; it’s just a good place to be. I love the way the sunlight reflects off the multiple hues of colored leaves. I am meeting some great people who want to know things. There are a lot of good resources here, too. I can’t wait to get back to Arlington and start writing it all up in the form of academic articles.

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Laundry

Library

Burrito

That was my day!

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Day 10: Pics

Sounds of Cambridge near the campus: the ongoing bells that ring from the morning onwards. I haven’t figured out the schedule…and…according to this link, there were extra ringing of the bells to raise awareness about climate change. I thought I heard this as I made my way to the library!: http://www.wickedlocal.com/harvard/news/x927264519/Harvard-Local-Churches-ring-their-bells-for-climate-action

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Highlights of the day:

*Eating the savory red velvet cupcake I received for my 36th birthday! I had it for lunch.

*Reading Chall’s narrative of her milestones and turning points of her life in “Reflections”. I am discovering so many treasures in the collection. I am going to join the History of Reading SIG through IRA and also attend the history of reading group at NRC in December.

*I am continually amazed at the vastness and design of Memorial Hall. It’s impossible to capture its magnitude in a photo.

I attended a class titled, “Learning in a Globalized World: Scenario Planning, Brain Research, and Linguistic Diversity”. The instructor was taught by the sociologist Bourdieu. He discussed the concept of fields and how we participate in the “rules of the game” in each (overlapping) field. “The game is about acquring a dominant position,” he said. We “pay an entrance fee” to be a player, e.g., in academia. He discussed identity and alterity, among other things. I liked how he recapped and referenced student’s comments from their online forum (like a blog/online discussion board).

I enjoy the breakfasts in the design school with lots of sunlight streaming in.

Walking back in 45 degree weather, I took a photo of Harvard Yard with a newly paved middle pathway:

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Day 8

The days are going fast. I am really enjoying my time here. I hope to have a productive day tomorrow and weekend. I will definitely take more pictures. Friday is my 36th birthday!

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