"Happy Mind, Happy Life."

Reflection Blog #1

When thinking about digital editions…

After reviewing a sample digital edition this week, I was able to recognize what it is that editors choose to annotate on their sites. It seems that editors choose a specific word, phrase, theme, and/or grammatical choice to focus on and dive deeper into. This choice might come from what catches their eye as they analyze the work they are drawing from. Additionally, it seems that editors choose not to annotate pieces of the text that are very plain and self-explanatory. The annotations that are most helpful are those that can cite actual textual evidence from either the work they are discussing, or outside sources that can back up their claims. Throughout my work with this one digital edition this week, the annotations that were able to point to specific parts of the text to strengthen the claims were the most powerful and believable. The purpose of a critical introduction, in my opinion, is to hear the editor’s opinion of what the text reveals to them. The process of reading the introduction (to hear the editor’s voice about the text), and then reading the primary source itself, is very interesting. You can almost read the primary source with the lens of the editor in mind. It allows me to form my own opinions about the primary source, but also have another voice in my head as well. While the editor of the digital edition I viewed did not explicitly bring in many secondary sources through his/her annotations, I did notice other sources referenced throughout the site. For example, there were links to a TED Talk from the author of the primary source, an interview with the author, and a recipe from one of the meals discussed within the primary source poem. I did not feel that these sources helped with the editor’s argument, because they were just placed on the site for viewers to look at, but I could see the potential they would have for discussion, if the editor brought them into his/her annotations or introduction more. Looking at this edition, I felt that the sources that lend credibility to the edition itself were the examples taken from the poem, the TED Talk, and the interview with the author of the primary source. All three of these examples allow viewers to learn more about the subject of this digital edition. The recipe included at the end of the site was not as helpful (and somewhat detracted from the site) because it did not add anything to my knowledge of the topic. However, I do feel it was a nice, creative touch.

When reflecting on the course and ePortfolio…

I feel that my skills are pretty sufficient when it comes to WordPress and ePortfolio. The only thing I seem to be struggling with is how to place a post under a page, without adding it to the menu of the site. As you can see for this post, it is included on the menu of my site as “Reflection Blog #1,” but I’m wondering how I can have it exist as a post, but not be placed on the menu (and instead, be placed under the “Reflection Blog” tab). I have used this platform for many other courses, both my English and Education courses; but, I could also see myself presenting this site to a future employer (since it encompasses so much of my work during these past few years). In terms of the course, we haven’t fully been able to dive into these big, overarching topics just yet. But, I do feel that I have already learned that the topic of “mental illness” is presented in many forms, both through behavior and terminology. There are several behaviors (some that I would never consider to be classified in this way) that would condemn someone as “mentally ill” during this time period. Additionally, there are many words and phrases that can define mental illness. 

1 Comment

  1. jennifertuttle

    Olivia, superb work here. You make so many astute observations. First, you nail it on what the annotations’ role should be: fundamentally, they “lend credibility to the edition,” and as you also point out, when they don’t do that, they can be distracting. You give the editor of the sample edition credit for creativity, which is excellent–and yet, as you also imply, ideally all of the elements will fit together in a way that keeps the reader focused on the editor’s main goal. Also, you talk about how an introduction can articulate an editor’s “opinion.” You are right, of course; I’ll also point out, though, that while that is often where analysis starts, in editions like these the goal eventually is argument (which in some ways is just opinion that gets a promotion to analysis when it is backed up by evidence).

    As for your organizational question about posts and pages, I get it and am not sure of the answer! I don’t really have specific requirements for how you configure the blog on your ePortfolio site as long as it’s findable. I defer to the experts at the Digispace. But what you have done nicely is to make it so each blog entry will be a separate post under the header of the Reflection Blog, which means that it will be easy to deal with each one separately and with its own separate comments section. (You don’t have to do it this way, and you can change course if you change your mind on the organization.) I think as far as the course topic and themes, you are beginning to parse those out here, so that is great. And on the topic of your uses of this site: yes, indeed, if you presented it to an employer, you’d want to make lots of changes; however, you clearly have the ePortfolio chops to do that if you choose. (We can talk about trying that out with ENG 200 if you want–maybe you can present some US Literature lesson plans there.)

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