Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The origin of everything, and this

So, it has to begin somewhere and I thought I would begin mine with a birth.

This is a mind-birth.

What I have born is a baby blog.

My commitment to this bouncy baby of a space is:

To write at least one blog post a month (24 posts minimum though I am sure it will be much more than this).
  1. To reflect on emergent issues and thoughts in my teaching practice. This will hopefully allow me to reflect on action I took, consider problems I face, and perhaps give you, as a reader, insight into the life of a teacher of English.
  2. To write about my development in Arabic and my reflections on the language learning process, from a learner (who is really a teacher's point of view).
  3. To occasionally indulge in a bit of comment on the mundane, the trudge of day to day life in Damascus
I can see two dangers that are immediately apparent. The first is the temptation for me to badmouth my Arabic teachers. This is not the intention, or useful, but may well be the case from time to time. Any 'critique' or criticism is done so in an informational and reflective way: in the sense that I can consider how I do things / would do these things as a teacher. The second danger is that this blog becomes a rambling moan hole. If it does start to bore and groan, please tell me to brighten up.

There is perhaps another danger, that of being arrested. Censorship is an issue for some writers in the Levant. However, I reckon as this blog is in English, and thus not accessible to most of the people in Syria, it is not a big concern to the state. Perhaps more importantly the risk is mitigated by the fact that I am writing about teaching and learning and will not write about politics, freedom of speech or anything like this. Even though I have already written this, this is not the purpose of doing this blog. It's about teaching and learning. Phew, that's clear. Good. Moving on to you and me.

I'd appreciate any comments at any time. There's information about me and links to some of my favourite blogs on the right hand-side. I have just left facebook, this was prompted by their censorship of me, yes that's right it was an ideological move. I will survive without, but will miss it, I loved all the photos of friends and the birthday updates were really useful. It was also a great tool for meeting friends and reacquainting with old pals. However, my future is here.

I am writing about teaching and learning in the Syrian context. Thus facebook friends can go a little deeper into my life than - "sun is shining in Switzerland today" or "cooking dinner" or "picture of me on a camel with a beer", or whatever as a status updates. Equally my PLN, teachers, students, interested readers I welcome you too to what I hope this is a useful and developmental space for us. Happy reading, I hope it's as good for you as it is for me.


  1. Now, the trick with blogs you see is to keep blogging. Not like that thewherewithal you mention on the right there. That seems to have gone very quiet. Very poor.

    Look forward to hearing more :)

  2. thanks for the support Joe. I am on the case, more soon :o)

  3. http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/37052/no-friend-of-the-nude-a-blushing-facebook-wages-a-campaign-against-courbet-and-au-naturale-art/?utm_source=nlda&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter