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Page history last edited by Gordon Richiusa 7 years, 11 months ago





In all the exercises, supplemental materials, speaking, writing  and reading suggestions the main focus is to offer incentives for you to COMMUNICATE CLEARLY with an emphasis on the importance of the written word. Everything starts with the word and builds logically from there. You can, therefore take many of the lessons that are found in the WRITING FOLDER and turn them into speaking and reading lessons. 


One lesson that we would like to highlight we call: The Dialectical Journal.

Many writing classes suggest or require that students keep a daily journal. A JOURNAL, and today's more popular BLOG is like a diary. However, unlike a diary, a blog or journal does not have to limit itself to one particular point of view or voice (such as first person). With a journal, or  blog the writer is allowed a little more latitude.  A Journal can therefore be whatever you want it to be, such as a place to try out new stories or essay ideas or to keep track of concepts, outlines or interesting thoughts of a random nature. 

The Dialectical Journal is one that takes a concept from Socrates and adds elements from psychologists of the 20th and 21st centuries.  One suggestion that many therapists make to their clients is to "talk to an inanimate object." Some writing professors ask their students to write a conversation between themselves and a place they are comfortable with, such as their bedroom. 

The idea is that, if you allow your room (or an object, such as the journal itself) to ask you questions, you force your imagination to see things from a new angle. 

That is what we suggest you try with your journal. Make it a dialogue. Ask it questions and let it ask YOU questions. Socrates was a great teacher that never really answered his students questions. He merely asked them questions that helped them to find their own answers.

There are no limitations with the Dialectical Journal except that you write EVERY DAY and that you USE COMPLETE SENTENCES! If you also want to draw pictures, that's OK, but only as they relate to the words on the page. Let your journal come to life and you may actually learn something from it. Remember, everything gets better with practice, but if the practice is boring or objectionable then you aren't likely to get much out of it. Also, you can REINFORCE BAD HABITS with the same kind of practice. In fact, we learn and strengthen even our worst habits by repetition. Learn how to set up a positive growth environment through affirmations (see the video below).

Have fun with this. 



There are basic conditions for journal writing, which we will discuss in detail as necessary. The first and most important part of ANY type of writing is to TALK WHAT YOU KNOW. This means that you should be as informed about your subject as possible. When you write an essay--no matter what the purpose might be--it is always a good idea to steer it back to your own personal experiences and expertise. You never know when these little notes will be important and developed into longer writings.

As an example of this, I have included an article I wrote which was based upon years of personal observations. It is a subject that many will find appealing and is viewable by clicking the link below"worldsBest_pizza .doc.

Sometimes people need a jumpstart for their writing. There is a service called, NOTES FROM THE UNIVERSE which sends you email affirmations dailly (these would also come to your phone, if you have that service). The position is that The Universe is sending you little notes everyday. You can sign up for this free service at http://www.tut.com/theclub.


A final (for now) suggestion

All record keeping methods are only valuable if we can connect to them in some meaningful way. In other words, knowledge may be power, but is most powerful when it useful at a personal level.  If you don't want to start a journal (or a blog, social networking account or video recording project) at this time, then you may want to consider merely creating an inventory list. Without worrying about grammar to any degree, simply make a list of important events and names in your life. You can use this list to create more detailed works at a later time. 


Important Note: In today's world, people are keeping more accurate and interesting accounts of their daily activities in more ways than was ever expected a few decades ago. Tweeting, social networking and even video blogging are common. There are many opportunities to use these kinds of technologies in your own classroom or personal quest to improve your communication skills, which have been incorporated into Vision-Revision. In the end, it is likely that we will find in our brave new world that the best communication is one that is not limited to any single modality or technique. For that reason we encourage each student to try their hand at recording their thoughts in more than one manner. 

If you want to check out my twitter entries, go to www.twitter.com and input grichiusa@gmail.com or my twitter account name: fivebirds.


Just like the Notes from the Universe, below is a short video from Saddleback College on Affirmations for Success:


Comments (1)

Pat Michele Lowe said

at 7:35 pm on Jul 14, 2009

Pat michele Lowe Is now currently a vision-revision member.

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