Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Culture in Greater Vancouver

Please go either to the International Writers Festival (that started today and is on until Sunday) - or to any other cultural event of your choice (e.g. concerts, plays, dance performances, movies, etc) and tell us about it in any genre and form you wish.

Here some links you might find useful:

Enjoy the event!



Visiting the Museum of Anthropology

Dear All,

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Museum of Anthropology. Please feel free to tell us about the piece of art that impressed you most and that you spent some time with in close conversation. What did it/he/she tell you? Did you get the chance to listen to his/her/its story? Did you have an interesting - and/or a funny - conversation with him/her/it? If so, please feel free to share all this (or any of it) here. Or, if you prefer, do some research about the piece in question and about the culture it belongs to and tell us about that.

Thank you!

The photo shows Bill Reid's Raven and the First Humans in the Bill Reid Rotunda at the MOA.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Playing with Words and Genres

Hi All,

Please choose 3 of your favourite GENRES (e.g. poem, story, letter, recipe, ad, editorial, text message, email, song, play, essay, movie-script, ...) & any 5 WORDS from the word cloud below.
[Tip: choose words that are NOT obviously related, i.e.: instead of choosing "video" & "computer" & "game" & "iPhone," choose: "computer" & "dragon" & "coffee cup" & "lipstick" & "galaxies"]

Write a text that contains all three of your chosen genres as well as all five words. Please make sure to motivate your switch in genre each time. You can switch back and forth as often as you like.

You can use the 5 words as often as you like - (at least 1x each). If you use them only once or twice, please keep them in the back of your mind as key words for the whole piece.

This exercise is meant as a playful activity and can be done in a group of 5 or more as well: group members can switch around texts after each paragraph and thus produce some "team writing."

I hope you have fun writing this piece!


Introducing Your Research

Dear All,

Believe it or not, doing research can be fun - provided you pick a topic you want to learn something about. If you have identified a topic that really interests you, do NOT go to google to find information about it. Instead, start doing some brainstorming and/or free writing. This will help you narrow down your topic to something manageable as well as to identify a useful research question. Since everybody's brain is unique, thinking about the topic will help you find your own individual associations and ideas. This is the first step on your way to producing truly original research!

If you go straight to the internet, your brain will follow the paths that other people's brains have created. So it'll be harder for you to get off that given track and come up with your own ideas.

Remember: it's easy to come up with great original ideas if you look inside your own mind first :)

For more details about how you can proceed, please check out the following two handouts:

1) Steps in Writing an Academic Essay:


2) Academic Writing and Research:


Suggested Topics for Your Own Research:

  1. Dreams
  2. Mirrors and Masks
  3. Creativity
  4. Civil Disobedience
  5. Vibrations
  6. Extraterrestrial Life
  7. Colours
  8. Atlantis
  9. Artificial Intelligence
  10. A Shift in Paradigm
  11. Alternative Healing
  12. Our Responsibility as Humans
  13. Metaphors as Doors to the Unknown
  14. Animal Rights
  15. Individuality
  16. Other Dimensions
  17. Time
  18. The Elements
  19. Going Vegan
  20. Relationships
  21. The Power of Music
  22. Crystals
  23. Poetry
  24. Leadership
  25. Sacred Geometry
  26. Magic
  27. Language
  28. In the Beginning
  29. Innovations
  30. Interconnectedness

Please pick one of these topics and play with it until you have found a good research question. Then start doing some research about it.  Post your research question - and what you have found out about it so far - as a comment! Please feel also free to discuss what you have read about your topic so far - but remember to cite all your sources properly :)

Thank you!


Your Speeches

Dear All,

Public speaking is a skill that anybody can learn. All you need to do is practice a bit. It helps to talk about a topic you are interested in and/or you feel strongly about.

Please find a topic that fits this description - and then start talking. Please either transcribe your speech and attach it as a comment - or, if you feel very daring, record yourself and put your speech up on youtube and post the link as a comment.