Monday, 24 May 2010

Swimming or Drowning?

Photo on Flickr by Online Photography School

So, how are you doing today? Have you managed to read all your emails, answer the urgent ones, delete the unimportant ones, read all the relevant tweets, retweet the good ones, tweet something yourself, check your Facebook home page, rant against the new policies of Facebook and Ning, write back to all the kind people who wrote to you in all your different forums and groups, leave comments in various blogs and tweet the links to a couple of great blog posts? And how about your blog? Eh? When are you going to finish that post you started some time ago?

How were the classes today? Were your students happy? Or were you distracted because you were thinking about that blog post you haven't finished yet? It is really important to finish that blog post. Blogging will greatly improve your teaching, you see. Clears the mind and helps you focus. Are you focused right now?

Are you swimming or are you drowning?

Right now I am drowning. It always happens when I have too many offline obligations. I try to compromise by losing sleep, but my treacherous body starts complaining after a while and my mind refuses to work. So, every now and then I disappear from the internet for a couple of days, or even for a week or two. It is terribly difficult to come back after two weeks. Your inbox will be full, you'll find a dozen different messages addressed to you all over your forums and your poor blog will be neglected and lonely.

If I was a digital native, I would probably not worry about this. I would simply erase all my email messages without a second glance at them and write a blog post about what I did during my absence. However, I am not a digital native. When I was a child, my parents taught me not to procrastinate and never to let others wait for me. It is the feeling that I am letting others down that makes me feel like I am drowning. And it makes me procrastinate. Just like this guy:

There has to be a better way. What do you do to find that perfect balance between your life online and your offline obligations?

balancing elephant || Balancierender Elefant
Photo on Flickr by Paraflyer

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

It's Worth Keeping an Eye on This Blog

The image you can see at the top of this post is an award. I am very proud to have received this award, especially since it came from Janet Bianchini, whose blog I really love. Anyway, as Janet says in this post: "This award is part of an initiative called "Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog", which means "It's worth keeping an eye on this blog". The chosen blog has to copy the picture above, with a link to the blog from which it has received the award . Then write ten more links to the blogs which you think are well worth a visit. They in turn if they would like to, of course, copy the image above and link to 10 blogs, which shouldn't be the ones I have chosen below."

Copy-pasting the information from another blog was the easy part. The difficult part is choosing only ten blogs to link to. I read a lot of TEFL blogs. Like most people, I often lurk (oh, you know, lack of time, not being able to think of anything clever enough to put into the Comments area, etc). I think this initiative is great because it shows bloggers that what they do matters and that there are other people out there who are reading their blogs. So, in no particular order, I will list here some of the the blogs I often read:

Kalinago English (Karenne Sylvester)
Miss Shonah (Shonah Kennedy)
Six Things (Lindsay Clanfield)
TEFLtastic (Alex Case)
Teacher Reboot Camp (Shelly Terell)
Ozge Karaoglu's Blog (Ozge Karaogly)
Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day (Larry Ferlazzo)
Nik's Learning Technology Blog (Nik Peachey)
English Virtual Community (Nelba Quintana)
My Integrating Technology Journey (Jennifer Vershoor)

As usual, I am quite late with this post. I started writing it on 4th May and, as you can see, it hasn't been 4th May for some time now. My offline life interfered with my blogging once again. I have been really busy for the past two weeks. Among other things, I have been to a conference and I am planning to blog about it soon (though you should notice that my definition of "soon" is a little flexible). In the meantime, this "chain blogging" phenomenon as one blogger called it has spread over the TEFL bloggosphere. Quite a few blogs already have this little stamp proudly displayed somewhere.

There is a good side to everything, isn't there? If you have missed the main wave of "chain blogging", here is your chance to catch up. Visit the blogs I have linked to here and enjoy.


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