Monday, December 13, 2004

Self-Evaluation Entry of My Weblog

By and large, I feel that this web log project throughout the course of this semester was a success. While at first I struggled with the idea of regular posts and keeping a constant eye out for material to publish on my web log, I soon adapted to the challenge and began to post with (at least some) regularity. I was actually surprised by how much I actively sought material to post and comment on. Of particular accomplishment is my postings about material related to the literature we have studied, but also posts that aren’t strictly academic. For instance, I posted various pictures of Cleopatra, Sappho, etc…, a listing of Shakespeare festivals all around the country and found links to magazines or news articles that was related in some way or another to the academic material at hand. I think that if I were to continue updating this web log in the future, I would definitely have more strict analysis of what we are studying, in addition to comments on what other students have posted in their own web logs. In addition, I would like to explore the possibilities that sound and movie clips and other media forms hold in relation to this project. These are all valuable tools that can enhance the learning experience and develop the academic writing frontier away from the traditional academic essay.
This type of project is a wonderful deviation from the traditional essay and furthermore offers a place for an individual to post questions, comments or just say how the feel about the literature that we are studying. Also, it offers a wonderful resource for staying in contact with other students outside of the classroom and obtaining further analysis of difficult information. I feel like this project is really a collaborative and cooperative effort. Each student contributes their blog, and from there the work of every student constructs a grand and (near) all-encompassing final project. I like the idea of literature having a communal aspect to it that bridges all students and readers, and not just a personal (or exclusive?) bond strictly between the author and the reader. I think that if web log users actively read each other’s entries and commented on the postings of others, a thriving and functional online literary community could enhance or possibly even replace the classroom setting with respect to discussions and examinations of literature.
I am not really certain about the direction that an analysis of literature will take in the future beyond the web log, since much of this direction is heavily dependent upon technology and the resources that are available. It would be impossible to have the web log without the advancement of the internet frontier and the development of adequate technology to sustain this sort of system. However, I am predicting that literature will take on a more personalized form. Maybe a new technology will be developed that is capable of enabling a sort of “thought sharing bank,” in which each person’s ideas and reactions to literature are thrown into a collective forum. From there, every person can look into how other people feel about the same piece of work. But perhaps an analysis of literature will wean itself off of technology and revert back beyond the traditional academic essay to a time when literature was oral and when stories were discussed in a group setting (much like a book club). Whatever this direction may take, I’m sure it will be a valuable supplement to traditional forms of writing about literature.

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