End of Week 12

Thank you all (first, second and third year) for you talent, enthusiasm and commitment in putting on a raft of plays in this last week. We had performances of 20thCentury plays by Pinter, Beckett, Edson and Stoppard, Australian plays A Hard God, Coralie Lansdowne Says No, The Cakeman and How Does Your Garden Grow. In…

Chinua Achebe- Last Tutorial of 2005 !

We had an excellent concluding tutorial on Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (in second year). Thank you all for your creative input. Yes, once one has read Things Fall Apart it is possible to be more sympathetic towards Achebe’s thrashing of Conrad (my hero!). While Conrad’s heart is definitely in the right place, it is true…

Things Fall Apart

Turning and Turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…. W.B. Yeats “The Second Coming” These words are the inspiration for the title of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Both Yeats and Achebe are in a certain sense…

I have just been re-reading some of these fantastic nineteenth century Australian poems. Charles Harpur’s “Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest” and “The Creek of the Four Graves” are amonst my favourite. Harpur’s landscape is very like that of John Glover in its powerful, majestic, awe-inspiring mood. And Harpur wields his words like Glover wields…

Help needed!

If anyone can tell me how to bring the text of my last entry in from the right margin (so that it can all be seen on the computer screen without having to scroll across…. ) I would be made very happy 🙂 MG

Report on Cairns Conference

Hope you can all indulge me this one. I had to put in a brief report on my conference paper in Cairns. Some of this may be of interest because it shows the way my thinking is headed. Thank you to all those who submitted comments on your use of LiveJournal- I simply was not…

Hi guys- flat out writing exam papers and getting on top of marking this week. There is a price to pay for galavanting around the top end!!. See you all next week when I will be able to give you clearer insights on what exactly is in your exam. Have a profitable study week! Cheers…

Cairns Etc

Hi all… and thank you for your many well-wishings… I am writing this in an internet cafe in the main street of Cairns. It is around 7pm, dark and very warm outside. I have just spent an hour or so trying to troubleshoot the troops back home… but all does seem to moving relatively well.…

Cairns- Conference and other matters

Hello all! It has been a blast in Cairns! both the heat, the fantastic tropical environment and the conference with speakers from all around the world. Hearing teachers around the world talking about the way the internet is transforming their teaching was a mind stretching experience. University education is going through a huge revolution (the…

What a great session with David Malouf yesterday. Thank you all for your attendance and questions. David Malouf said what a lively and intelligent group of students you all were… More on this soon…. MG

A memorable day: two wonderful texts to speak about- David Malouf’s The Conversations At Curlow Creek and Margaret Edson’s play Wit. Both texts are concerned with stripping away the last illusions about ourselves. The protective images we hold up to the world (and to ourselves) that protect our full humanity from really emerging. William Blake…

Conversations at Curlow Creek

With first and third year we began work on this wonderful book this week- in preparation for David Malouf himself who will be coming in person to our classes next week. Today with the third years I gave a sweeping overview of the key themes in this book, concentrating on the way in which Malouf…

Teaching Week 8

Some new developments this week in LiveJournal. Second years came up with the idea of conducting a debate on some hot contemporary issue. The subject was New Orleans…. how such a wealthy nation could fail to know how to respond adequately to its own people. This topic is something that will relate centrally to Chinua…

William Blake Day

So today with my Blake class we finished our exploration of Blake’s poetry and paintings from the early Songs of Innocence and Experience through to the massive late work Jerusalem. Students were a little preoccupied with getting their internet assignments in today: I was amazed to see some of the fruits of this collaborative work.…

First day of Spring 2005

And outside the sunlight is glancing off the gumleaves against a brilliant blue sky! Working in my office at home today- getting lectures ready on William Blake for Friday morning. Took puppy and her mum for a walk at the crack of dawn… puppy (called “Tipsy”) has boundless, endless energy…. charging into Mum “Molly” knocking…

Tuesday August 30th

The most important thing in my teaching/learning day is to make some space at the start of the day for unstructured, free-wheeling contemplation. This morning this meant going for a long walk to the Bird-Hide in Homebush Bicentennial Park, reconnecting with greenery, with the life of water birds and with the early history of Sydney…

I took Australian Literature students to the Art Gallery of NSW today to introduce them to the range of Australian art that is relevant to literary themes. We started with Lin Onus’ amazing “Hills Hoist” with its fruit bats and blossom/droppings on the ground. One student (Adam) perceptively noted the sinister mood of the bats…

ACU LiveJournal Communities: So I have created a number of LiveJournal Communities to try and see how many fish any of these communities can catch. You are welcome to join any of them. The link below tells you how to join a community. It is very easy. You simply go to the community, then go…

Computers and Spirituality!

Hello all- I am back in the land of the living (that is computer living!) My laptop has had its hard-drive replaced and I am ready to play russian roulette once more! I must admit being without a computer for a few days has been like an amputation… but I have coped… and have actually…

Australian Literature Week 3 contd

We completed work on Alexis Wright’s Plains of Promise yesterday. Students seem to be genuinely interested in the concerns of this book. It is amazingly well written in parts and gives a real taste of the huge problems faced by Aboriginal communities in modern Australia. The closing pages of the book are bitter-sweet. They bring…

Teaching Start of Week 3

20th Century Literature: Lectures yesterday on Conrad and Imperialism. I found it difficult yesterday to implement student interaction during the lecture. This was largely because I felt the pressure of time. One student last week observed that she felt she was not getting “enough content” in the lecture… so I felt some need to cover…

End of Week 2

This week has been hectic because I am learning how to use Dreamweaver to put lectures and images up into WebCT. I have been told that Dreamweaver is the way to go, but at present it is very time consuming. But Wai-Leng is giving me a huge amount of assistance… so it is becoming possible.…

William Blake's Glad Day

This is one of Blake’s powerful images of freedom, new life and light. The birth of a new day! The painting captures in colour and rhythm Blake’s sense of how the imagination could generate a kind of awakening for humanity. And so our Blake unit began last Friday amidst much interest and apprehension… who IS…

William Blake's Glad Day

This is one of Blake’s powerful images of freedom, new life and light. The birth of a new day! The painting captures in colour and rhythm Blake’s sense of how the imagination could generate a kind of awakening for humanity. And so our Blake unit began last Friday amidst much interest and apprehension… who IS…

William Blake’s Glad Day

This is one of Blake’s powerful images of freedom, new life and light. The birth of a new day! The painting captures in colour and rhythm Blake’s sense of how the imagination could generate a kind of awakening for humanity. And so our Blake unit began last Friday amidst much interest and apprehension… who IS…