Monday, December 19, 2005

Graduation at Treforest

I graduated today.

The certificate says Master of Science, who would have thought it!
Now I am a graduate of the School of Computing at the University of Glamorgan at Treforest.

Some of you will know that I have graduated before, but this was different.
I was touched by today’s awards congregation; strangely moved, I must be growing old.

The ceremony was like all other degree ceremonies. Academic dress was worn. The great and the good of the college community looked on overseeing proceedings; hard working professors and lecturers were present watching their students receive awards; friends and families armed with cameras and video recorders were present watching with pride. I hope they were truly proud, for the proceedings reflected the work and effort undertaken not only by the recipients of the awards but their lecturers also.

The ceremonial began with beautifully enunciated words in Welsh spoken by an ethereal female voice. I listened carefully for the translation and was reminded to turn off my mobile, the scourge of all public gatherings.

College senior staff, Academic administrators, Professors, Heads of Department and tutors processed in to music, reminiscent of the entrance of the bards at the eisteddfod, and the proceedings began. The programme ran smoothly (due to the hard working administrators who choreographed every move) names were read out and in an instant one at a time we were in front of the Vice Chancellor, our hands held as if in prayer, a word of congratulation, a smile, applause, hands were pressed and I am a Master of Science in Technology for Teaching and Learning.

As my peers received their awards I read the programme of events, this college has a wide curriculum, awards are offered in many subjects but my favourite has to be “The Graduate Diploma in Substance Abuse”. I think I’ve done the practical for that course! If I were to receive such an award it would be suffixed “red wine” in recognition of the Portuguese red I consumed while studying.

Finally anthems were sung and the Academic procession left the platform. Those of us who received awards followed the senior academics out of the hall, to discover that we had to pass between them as they applauded us. I have to confess that that brought a lump to my throat.

We should be applauding them, not them us.
Or is that the teacher in me speaking?

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I've been playing with Real Simple Syndication or RSS for short.

With assistance from the article
RSS: A Quick Start for Educators posted by Will Richardson
I've subscribed to

Bloglines is a web based aggregator that collects RSS feeds on my behalf, instead of my having to visit all of my favourite daily sites, the aggregator brings the news to me.

At least thats the theory.

And in practice it works.

I've established some feeds and I can see that it works. I've been testing it with a feed from Kottke and Robot Wisdom...both very busy sites..updated often....not sure that I need to watch their feeds....I know they update daily...however for those sites that are updated rarely this is super....

I can make my feed available to my share it..or keep it private....for now I shall keep it private....but I can see that it might help my researches....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

So Much to Do.

I am so lazy,
well thats what I think.

I don't think its true, but I can't help but think it!

Every time I meet my tutor I begin with the words I've not done much work, but as we start to talk I realise that I have been working quite hard, I may not have anything concrete to show for it, but my thoughts, my reflections, my ideas arising from my reading are my work. In time some of my thoughts will find their way onto paper, or into cyber space via this Blog, so perhaps I'm not that lazy.

This Blog is to help me in my work.
I need to become used to recording my work here.
I have never kept a reflective paper based journal, I've kept factual work related journals...meetings attended, appointments kept, notes of important conversations but a learning journal (for that's what this is) is different.

I am finding it difficult to find a voice, difficult to be spontaneous, difficult not to be self critical about my thinking and writing, difficult to blog with regularity, difficult to press the "publish post button". Why?

I hope that this Blog will help me be disciplined in my work, so here's my immediate to do list.

1. Finish playing with this template, ie get the side bar sorted
2. Join the PhDweblogs group
3. Join Deli
4. Join Bloglines
5. Work on my questionnaire
6. Become an Amazon associate (why?)
7. Get my Blogroll sorted.
8. Sort out my favourites / bookmarks lists in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

The list is not in any order but these things need to be done.
Publishing it here makes it public....if I don't get these things done soon....

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Fiddling Part 2

One of my tutors sent me a link to an online collection of essays called "Into the Blogosphere"

In their words
"This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others."

One of the essays considers the "Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs"

The authors, Lois Ann Scheidt and Elijah Wright of the Indiana University at Bloomington, make four justified conclusions,

"individual webloggers do not tend to make substantive structural changes to the layout of their sites"

web loggers make simple modifications to the templates provided by their Blogging software

42% of adult male bloggers are happy to use the provided templates without modification

most template modifications when made, were made in the sidebar.

They conclude by musing about the social imperatives that drive Blogger behaviour.

Why do Bloggers blog?

Why do I Blog?

I wonder?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Begin Here!

The purpose of this Blog is to record progress or lack of it in my studies for a PhD at the University of Glamorgan.

I hope that creating and maintaining this Blog will help me by acting as a very public record of work completed or not as the case may be. By making my learning journal available to you, my anonymous readers, I hope that you may also be assisted in your learning, and that you will be able to assist me in mine by adding your comments.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Kottke led me to Jonathan Rauch's article about Introverts today.

Its about me!

I want everyone I know to read it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


It was lust,
but I had to have an ipod nano.

My friends if you are thinking about buying one, don't think.
Get one.

Once you hold it you will understand everything written about perfect design.
Get one!

Who would have thought that such a small white rectangle could be so complete, so perfect.
Get one!

I walked on the hill this morning with the dogs,
listening to Karl Jenkins.....

Life can't get any better.

Get one.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Good Intentions.

It is my intention to maintain this blog.....
I'm not sure it will be of interest to anyone except myself...
I am going to blog and I am going to learn how to use this medium effectively....

So there is lots of research to be done..

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A picture

a picture of the walk..

Its Saturday

So far its been a nice day.

Now its time to take the dogs for a walk..

I wonder where we shall go?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Its a Mystery.

Knowing that no one has read anything on these pages, presents certain responsibilities.
Who am I writing for?
Readers who might suddenly stumble across my site?

When a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


It is better to be blogging than reading and thinking about blogs.

This is my first entry, I wonder what will happen next?

Will my blog grow and flourish
Will it wither and shrivel?

Only I the author, and you the reader can tell