It is always wise to remember that Web 2.0 does not replace all those tactile things that good teachers do with their students. It simply provides a forum to publish, celebrate and share with a broad audience of like minded.
These Christmas stockings and bells are hanging in the classroom at Hawkedale. Everyone is very excited about Christmas there.
These Grade 2 musings about Christmas really are a delight. It is enough to get everyone in to a jolly mood.
The Champs are a Grade 2 class at Ballarat’s Pleasant Street Primary School, Victoria. They have 13 girls and 12 boys in their class. Their school is near Lake Wendouree - one of Ballarat’s main attractions. Unfortunately due to the drought the lake is empty at the moment, but they still have a great school and a fantastic class. Their teacher’s name is Trish.
Oscar the Bear visited schools and was home hosted by students.
One of the really exciting things about a community like Soul Food is that community members of all ages can support one another via the comment tool. Students have been delighted to find comments, on their posts, from supportive people from Soul Food. It has inspired them to learn more about where these people live and accelerated the learning process.
Technology is the way of the future. People, especially older people, need to keep their mind active. Keep on learning new things. Lifelong learning will help stave off such debilitating diseases as Alzheimer’s. It’s true, you know, when they say, ‘use it or lose it,’ so folks, for goodness sake use it.
Priscilla with another Australian, Ted.
Photograph courtesy of Vi Jones
Vi Jones, who had her eightieth birthday with us at Soul Food this year, achieved celebrity status here when she pushed herself and learned enough Web 2.0 skills to participate in the Priscilla project. Priscilla is the delightful little witch who set out from Soul Food with a mission to unite the community and learn all about Web 2.0. Here Priscilla took the time to interview Vi at her home in Apache Junction, Arizona.
P. Enchanteur tells me that you are one of the longest serving members of Soul Food Vi. Tell us a bit about what you were doing back then. Can you just wind back the video and tell us about how you stumbled upon the Cafe and became a member? Share some of the most significant changes you have witnessed over a ten year period. Share some of your memories.
Vi. Well, Priscilla, I was writing a lot of poetry back then, mainly for my own satisfaction. I never tried to get any of it published and I’m glad now that I didn’t. I wrote it for me…for my wellbeing.And yes, I really did stumble into the café. If I remember rightly, I was surfing for sites of interest to writers and artists when the name, Soul Food Café caught my eye. It has been a great ride with Heather and all the other wonderful folk I have met in the café and its many rooms. I have sat back amazed at the changes…how it has, under Heather’s expert leadership, evolved into what it is today.
P. From what I can gather it has been quite a challenge for you to learn new technology while you have been on the site. Most women of our age would be happy to join a book club or a writing group in the local neighborhood centre. Many prefer to play bowls. Are many of your friends computer savvy? What drives you to keep on engaging in an online setting. What is the most frustrating thing about it all.
Vi. Well, some of my neighbors are computer savvy, but most of my close friends are not. Although almost all my friends have computers, most use them only for e-mailing and games, Solitaire and whatnot. I’m not into games at all, either on or off the computer. But, if they fill a need and I’m sure they do, so-be-it. There’s a whole new world out here on the web and I want to be part of it. Sometimes I get frustrated because I can’t always absorb it all as fast as I would like to. I tend to make it more difficult than it is. Then I get mad and walk away saying,’the hell with that…forget it,’ but the next morning I’m back at it. When I do learn something new, I wonder why I found it so difficult in the first place. The prospect of your visit, Priscilla, really pushed me into acquiring new computer skillsI. I needed that push and I thank you for it.
P. While I was in L.A. with Lori I heard all about your digital art work with Genece. Can you tell me how you managed to create your tiger and actually post it on your blog? What is your tip for a poor novice like me? What do I have to do to show off a piece of art work in this setting?
Vi. The tiger was hard. I don’t have a Wacom tablet which would make it much easier. Painting with the mouse is awkward, especially for the tiny details, but it can be done. Genece’s tutorial is excellent and is easy to follow. I have run up against a brick wall a couple of times, but that was because I can be dimwitted at times, especially when it comes to these involved programs. It’s like with Photoshop Elements—I’ve been trying hard to understand Layers, but for the life of me, I can’t get them down pat. I’m about to go into Layers with Genece’s painter program, perhaps her instruction will indirectly help me with PS Elements as well. About the tiger, I tried to visualize a live tiger stalking his prey, and fill in the markings as best I could. Unfortunately, I feel that my version looks more like a cartoon animal than the real thing, but it’s a start. My tip to you, Priscilla, until you can get yourself a Wacom, just take your time and work the colors so that they blend together nicely. You’ll be doing a lot of erasing, but it’ll come if you take your time and persevere.
P. You have published books. Tell me about them and what is involved. Why do you think E will not actually publish a text? Can you understand why she insists on publishing online?
Vi. I have two books in a series of five published. A third one is with the publisher. They tell me it will be introduced next summer, just before the literary convention. I write under an assumed name, so I feel that part of my life is completely separated from the poet, wannabe painter, and photographer that is the other me. I absolutely understand why E will not actually publish. By the time the editors are through with a manuscript, the spontaneity has, in my humble opinion, been lost. But, who am I to know what sells and what does not? I’ve found a writer’s life for publication is hard work. For me personally, I have found I have little time to spend on other pursuits; painting and photography. My poetry, too, has suffered. I cannot write good poetry when I am in the novel mode. Does that make sense to you? I know now that I made a mistake signing a contract for five books. I’m trying now to pace myself so that I allow time for my other pursuits. And since the last two books are, for all intents and purposes written, it is just a matter of fine tuning them so-to-speak. This, I am hoping, will allow me more time for other pursuits.
P. Trace your foot. Use this as a template on your new program and make a footprint which tells us about the major creative things you have done at Soul Food.
Vi. Trace my foot! You really want me to trace my foot? If I bend down to trace my foot, I might not straighten up again. I can tell you in a few words about the creative things I have done at the SFC. I have posted a couple of short stories and a number of poems, all of which have been well received. Compared with what others have done, my efforts have been rather feeble. I have tried, even with tight time restraints, to comment on all the excellent work that I have seen at the SFC. It is an amazing to be part of the Soul Food community.
P. It is hard to convert people who do not like technology. Why do you think they should make the effort and work in this environment.
Vi. Technology is the way of the future. People, especially older people, need to keep their mind active. Keep on learning new things. Lifelong learning will help stave off such debilitating diseases as Alzheimer’s. It’s true, you know, when they say, ‘use it or lose it,’ so folks, for goodness sake use it. I would like to add, Priscilla, before we end this interview, that it is such a pleasure having you visit for two weeks. You have already opened my mind to many new skills. I am going to miss you when you move on, but I still have ten or eleven days to enjoy your company.
Fran Sbrocchi is a role model for all of us at Soul Food. She may be our eldest community member but few will argue that she is the youngest of heart. Her youthful exhuberance shines out through her wacom.
Fran has been the long-standing secretary of the Lemurian Donkey Union but in her spare time she has managed to master her wacom, make podcasts and write exquiste poetry which she keeps in her Memory Bank.