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Bridget Jones and my New Year's Resolutions – 2009

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I have always loved the scene where Bridget Jones comes up with her famous 33 New Year’s Resolutions. What a great scene that was and I can’t remember how many nice lessons, by the way,  I have watched with trainees using this clip to teach this or that, sometimes the future, sometimes just to generate talk and practise listening! Here is the book cover with some of Bridget’s resolutions, which can be used in a lead in with or without the video clip. There are many great lessons round this theme to be found on the web too. Here is one from the English Blog. The same post includes a great downloadable lesson from the Macmillan site and here is another one (which looks very much like a DELTA lesson plan) from http://www.developingteachers.com  (a website well worth exploring). This last one brings Adrian Mole in, as well, a great combination for a theme-based lesson with a literary aim.

My own New Year’s Resolutions –not as much fun as Bridget’s…

Well, everyone seems to be making a list and this is my very first public one. A public list is a kind of commitment, but I am not all that sure that I can achieve all of my resolutions in just one year… Still, here they are:

Professionally

  • I have been moving things from my old DELTA website to a new DELTA wiki and this move seems to be lasting forever! I want to get this done within the first two months of 2010 at most! I want my wiki to be the best possible support tool for my candidates and am debating whether it might not be a good idea to make it open to everyone.
  • I say this to myself every year, but I would like to be able to find the time, energy and motivation to put together some of my ideas in a book and get published! I have had books published before, albeit locally, and they were hugely successful but I would like to go for a major international publisher. Am waiting to be discoverd and am open to offers!
  • In 2010 I would like to be able to organize my centre more efficiently so I don’t have to be there all the time and then I can accept some of the invitations to run teacher training courses and workshops in other countries! So far, it has been quite difficult to do although I have managed some projects – but not enough and this is something I have enjoyed doing and would like to be able to do more of.
  • In the coming year I want to be able to restructure my courses and integrate new technologies into each one more efficiently than I have so far. Wiki-work is one way but there are other challenges and changes which I need to figure out so that I can draw in even those trainees who seem to be reluctant to be drawn in… and colleagues, too, for that matter!

Virtually

  • 2009 was my first contact with Second Life. Before the end of 2010, I want to be able to teach and train teachers in Second Life. So far, I have met some great people and made some wonderful friends, I have learnt a tiny, but very tiny, bit of building and editing objects, thanks to the SLexperiments weekly meetings but I need to take the plunge and do some teaching. I have this impression that quite a bit of the teaching that takes place in Second Life is accompanied by rather complicated and hard to prepare materials and I don’t think it should. I don’t think I should be preparing an extra super-duper thingie for a whole week to only use for one hour’s class. Surely, Second Life itself and all it offers IS the tool and the teaching aid itself, isn’t it? Well, I need to find out if I am wrong and early in the New Year, expect an invitation from me for an online class in Beginner Modern Greek. If the class consists of educators, we can turn it into a grand Negotiable Syllabus and Methodology Experiment. What do you think?
  • In the coming year, I want to improve my online presentation skills. Presenting online is a new skill for me; I tried it once but wasn’t very happy with myself; it’s a new medium for me and although I am a very experienced speaker “live”, I need more practice for online work. My friends can prepare to suffer as I do intend to do something about it.

Personally

  • One of the members of my PLN recently told me “My personal life is very quiet; my online life is much richer and much more exciting”. At the time, I thought that was a rather odd comment but now, I am beginning to find some truth in this too and wonder if this is not the right time for some stocktaking. It’s truly great to have all these online friends, but I must look after my offline friendships and relationships more. I may be going through some kind of initial phase which a media analyst could even put a name to (the addictive phase?) but I need to put the whole thing into perspective. This goes for my relationships with my trainees, too. I recently caught myself (luckily only once) telling a trainee “Well, can we do this through Skype?” when – in retrospect – all my trainee needed was some eye contact, sympathy and reassurance. Luckily I am always very suspicious of myself and my own motives, so I just need to watch out like a hawk!
  • In 2010 I want to attend more conferences in person. Online conferences are great too and I want to do loads of them. But attending conferences in person gives you a wonderfully different buzz, listening to other people’s ideas and even looking at old ideas from a new angle is always a great energizer for and I want more of this!!! But more than anything, I am beginning to feel the need to meet the members of my PLN in person!

…..and finally…

Artistically

  • I have not done any watercolour paintings recently, an art form which I have come to love. I need to find more time for this, I need to find more time for this…
  • In the coming year, I want to learn more about art in Second Life and explore more Sims that showcase new types of art.  I was recently taken to a couple of fabulous places by Karelia Kondor, who looks after Helen Myers in real life and I was totally blown away! That’s actually not such a big deal resolution and quite an easy one to achieve!
  • Producing and putting together some music that I have written has always been a secret ambition. Whether I put it up on You Tube or perform it for my friends in Second Life, I don’t know…. but I can see this coming. Luckily, in Second Life all you can see is an avatar, so you are spared the pained expressions on your friends’ faces. This is a warning. When you receive that invitation, best stay away rather than suffer!

I am truly grateful to my readers for taking the time to follow this blog and post comments. Although I began it in some doubt and the first couple of months went by with me worrying what I should be writing next, it is beginning to come to me a bit more easily now (writing breeds writing and, sometimes, even good writing!)

And I wish all of you, passers by and members of my PLN, a most joyous time on this special New Year’s Eve and every success and personal and professional happiness you may have ever wished for!

 

Postscript

How well did I do? If you are wondering have a look at my 2010 post: Merry Christmas to my PLN!

 

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35 replies »

  1. Good grief, it’s me and I finally got around to reading over peoples’ blogs, how shameful! It was a lovely read and I hope all your dreams and wishes come true, see you on SL, oh perhaps NOT, remember your offline friends lol Happy new Year!!! 🙂

  2. I never make New Year resolutions, but admire people who do and people who actually stick to them! Meeting you on twitter was one of the highlights of my year, sweet Marisa.

    Wishing you a wonderful, wonderful year!

    Luv,
    Anna

  3. Marisa, you really do deserve all of the above for the year 2010.

    And i am certain you will get them all!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Dear Aniya,

    Twitter friend and Second Life companion, thanks for the visit and the sweet comment and see you soon I hope, new hair and all! (I even got Carol to get some new hair!)

    We need a party soon, I feel a party is imperative and you, my dear, are the best person to organise it!

    Have a wonderful time today and a most amazingly happy and successful year.

  5. Dear Anna,

    I never make new year’s resolutions either, well not until now… apart from the usual starting a diet (but that’s every Monday, I forgot…)

    Meeting you on Twitter has been a delight to me as well and I do feel very connected with you, too.

    Here’s to some f2f times too! And to some great times ahead for you and your little gentleman!

    Big New Year’s Hug

  6. Dear Eleni,

    There is really no excuse that you and I should not have met in person so far, you know.

    Thank you so much for your vote of confidence and for the wonderful poetry you sometimes shake me to the roots of my being with… ahh…what can I say…

    Here is to a great New Year for you and to some opportunity to get together

    ?

  7. As always, really interesting posts. You really deserve the best!Have a wonderful and creative year!
    Hugs and Kisses

  8. Wow Marisa – so much in so short a time? I make about 4 very open ended resolutions knowing full well I am unlikely to achieve much in the way of success at all. Bravo 🙂
    See you in SL soon.
    Hope you have a really wonderful New Year and that you achieve all of your hopes, dreams and resolutions!

  9. Hi Marisa!

    I would love to make time to explore Second Life a bit more this year and maybe even have a go at learning beginner Greek with you!!!

    So far, all I have done is wander bare-footed, like a lost, lonely sole with my little Gibson guitar. I think I’ve been using it as a form of comfort and really must detatch myself from it!

    Best Wishes for a fun 2010!
    Amanda 😉

  10. Hi Marisa

    Happy New Year to you! I have really enjoyed reading your post above and it has given me lots of inspiration for what can be achieved.

    I wish you all the best for a fabulous 2010 and look forward to sharing more with you.

    Janet

  11. Hi Marisa,

    Can you just imagine a funny, foot-shaped thingy hopping about in SL?! Ha! Ha! I just noticed my foot-based spelling of soul!!

    I’ve sent you a DM with my SL name 🙂

  12. …I wonder if any of your lovely readers noticed my typos, or they must of been too polite to say..or perhaps not, well i was obviously in the New Year spirit and had one or too many, only thing is I don’t drink lol so I can’t use that as an excuse. Anyway, back to party plans, when will it be for? I still don’t have a frock yet, been lazing around in my pyjamas on SL, not much better in RL too ROFL..

  13. Loved the movies & books as well! Can’t hurt that Colin Firth is in the movie! I take a month break before actually gearing into my goals because I’m so busy catching up on last year’s goals! LOL! Thanks for introducing me to so many online adventures! You make my online life quite exciting!

  14. Hellooo Marisa,

    I’m with Anna Pires on not making New Year’s Resolutions. Having said that, the good thing about new year is to try – as you have in your impressive lists – to take stock of what you do and, more importantly, the way you do it. Your ‘Can we skype it?’ example is a good one.

    2009 brought me the untold riches of twitter and blogging and I feel ‘improved’ by both these additions to my life. I actually typed ‘addictions’ first, instead of ‘additions’, and I think that’s an interesting mistake to have made.

    I enjoy my on-line presence but, like you, I’m going to try to balance it with my off-line presence a bit more. I realised with a shock recently, for example, that the regular Friday night cinema visits that Dede and I use to do have almost completely dried up since LAST SPRING! That’s really terrible.

    There are 30 people coming to my house tomorrow (Sunday). Apart from my daughter Rowan, only one of the other guests tweets, and she doesn’t tweet that much. I think none of them blog or visit blogs, either. The guests range in age from 30-65.

    I will enjoy making my usual pro-twitter, pro-blogosphere pitch, but I’m also going to make sure that I make plans to see these people for drinks, food, movies, shows, walks in the park – all the contact things which have been slowly disappearing.

    That sounds suspiciously like a New Year’s Resolution!

    Hope to see YOU too, MC, for the first time in a decade or so!

  15. Hi Marisa and I wish you a fantastic 2010!
    I really enjoyed your post and I made a realization through it – I have never in my life made New Year´s resolutions. Not that I think my life is perfect or anything, but I just never did (unfortunately). You reminded me of what my older sister always tells me:that I need to have goals to actually realize them!
    The next thing I am going to do after this is go to my notebook and make some real resolutions that I would like to come true in 2010.
    So first of all, I wish you all the best and for you to achieve all your resolutions! Second, I know what my first resolution will be: next time I come to Greece (probably in February, will let you know)I will allow time in Athens to meet you in person!
    All the best to you!
    My warmest wishes,
    Vicky

  16. What a fabulous, thought provoking blog Marisa.

    You know what you’ve given me since July 2007 and now, again, with your kind introduction to a new world. I’ve noted what you and others have candidly said about offline relationships and will bear this in mind. (Though I doubt that I will have much time for any type of relationship in coming DELTA months!)

    I myself, have no resolve and so don’t make resolutions… but I’ll do my best to help others achieve theirs. If you ever want me to hold the fort at Acadamias, even with my crappy Greek, so you can do what you need to do then I’ll always help you out.

  17. Great post, and your comments on on-line friendships made me reflect a little .. hope it’s OK to put this into words a little while they’re in my head …. I’ve been trying to think up some analogies … (I realise this isn’t something you asked for in your post, but you just got me thinking …)

    What’s been really nice in SL is that SL has given us the opportunity to meet .. initially anonymously .. but it gave us that vital opportunity to establish a shared ‘common ground’ so that we could become real friends sharing our identities, tastes, sense of humour and fun .. and contact details.

    There’s something analogous to the party where you make brief conversation then pass on quickly .. with the concept of meeting through avatars / your alter ego ….. but in both scenarios, if you find someone you get on with you quickly proceed to the next level where you are, in a sense ‘yourself’.

    (….mmm thought about this later …there’s whole thesis to be (or probably has been) written about the different ways in which you reveal ‘yourself’ in different scenarios … )

    A historical analogy might be the ‘bal masqué’ .. ironically although the anonymity is associated in common mythology with licentiousness, at a deeper level it actually gives the opportunity to explore, and when ‘real gold’ is found, to share friendships, knowing it is based on true values rather than a superficial similarity …

    Another analogy could be with the football dressing room culture of nicknames e.g. ‘Lampsy’ (the name and manner may somehow conceal that Frank Lampard has O level Latin …).. It’s nice that, whilst accepting the social convention of referring to each other through the names of our avatars, after initial introductions we’ve exchanged personal details and can be in touch in other ways.

    I have so enjoyed all the laughter we have shared this year … and I look forward to exploring more at with you! Please send me invitations to Greek and Music making! (I’m actually practising the cello more now as I’ve promised to play it in SL when I can sort of play at least one movement of a Bach solo suite ….!)

    Thanks Marisolde and Marisa! Happy 2010, and don’t worry about meeting any of your objectives .. it’s the process that counts (that’s what they always say!!!)

  18. Gosh! What an avalance of sentimental and thoughtful comments! Bridget Jones would have by now had a few drinks and, probably already made a fool of herself! I shall try not to follow her example….

    Shelly,

    I didn’t know you were a Firthie! Hmm…He kind of puts the devil in the man we thought was a given, doesn’t he… Plus, we all suspect he is a hell of a kisser, a point sufficient in itself to turn any woman’s knees into jello… Shelly, you are a new friend who has become an old friend so fast, it’s awesome. You and a few others, like Aniya, Carol and Karennem, Anna, have achieved the impossible and have made my online experience something to look forward to in the past year and I thank you all for that. Harrogate will be a test I suspect… four women in one flat…. will they shoot each other down or bond for ever? … Bet we will be tweeting about all that too!

    Ken,

    You were already an old friend and very precious to me. Facebook and Twitter and your blog have made you much more so in the past few months and thanks for responding to the balancing act point in my post. We have both jumped into this experience wholeheartedly (@barbsaka used this about me in another post) and have got so much out of it, but may need to step back for a minute and take a look at the whole picture… Dede is there, never left it, bagels, boots and all…thank your lucky stars for that… But that is a conversation for another time, another place, face to face. It will be good after all these years… unless you are tweeting about it while we are talking!

    Vicky,

    Thank you for all your wishes and warm comments on my blog. Making New Year’s resolutions is not hot in Greece but in the spirit of being part of a more global community, well, I made a little concession here…
    🙂
    It has been a pleasure “meeting” you and I have Ken to thank for his post where I noticed a Greek name and thought “Oh! Someone from Greece! Let me go over to her blog and have a little look!” I do hope you will make the time to meet πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο when you are in Greece next. Σ’ευχαριστώ για τη φιλία σου!

    Laura,

    What can I say? What I have given to you, if I have given you anything, is what I give to every single one of my trainees. Some take the offering, look at it and put it away. Others, like you, take it to heart and turn it into something bigger and brighter and more significant than it ever was to begin with. You are special, Laura, and it ain’t just the methodology you got from me. I wish I would be so lucky to have one like you in every course I run! And for those sniffy moments you have just given me, I shall make you pay very dearly, and, come to think of it, you could actually pay me for the privilege of working for me while I gallivant all over the place; seems only fair doesn’t it…
    🙂

    Karelia,

    What a good number of paragraphs it has taken you to say…. No, I won’t edit it at all, I shall just leave it there for all eternity…
    🙂
    How nice it has been to meet you too and, slowly, get to know you and find out about Helen who lurks beneath the surface of fun-loving Karelia, her depth and values she may have been too shy to reveal, and that Karelia is not all frippery adventures and being followed around by hordes of handsome Italian men… hmmmm…. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on all this here, and for making me sound much more of a fun person than I really am. Truly, I am not. I am actually rather boring and tediously serious. One of my brother’s Christmas presents some years ago, was the engraving of an owl, “Your portrait”, he said. That should tell you something about how I am perceived in my world… But it’s great to get out of that in SL with you and everyone else and, in a strange sort of way, I think, Second Life is good if only just for that. Or it may not be Second Life at all but just you and the other great people I met there. Thank you for being a great friend.

    And edit your own posts next time… 🙂

  19. Thanks for your reply and your acceptance of my long-winded post! I’m interested in your tweet .. some people are the same .. some are different .which are you? I think my answer is that I am me in both. Admittedly, were I to meet hordes of handsome Italians or lively Greek women in my local village, my daily life might turn out quite differently .. but I don’t, so it isn’t. (Could do though if you visited .. I know of a good local karaoke bar .. sang there once and loved it!!!!)

  20. Hello Marisa,
    A real pleasure to read your post on resolutions for this year. You are not alone. I also find myself with lots of plans at the end of the year and not enough energy to carry on.
    BTW, I just loved your blog. If you want to share some ideas and discuss e-learning with a group of teachers, you can join us on BaW10 (Becoming a Webhead 2010). It is a free online course on using technology for language teachers. To join us, you can join the yahoo group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/baw10/.
    All the best
    Jose Antonio

  21. Hi Helen/Karelia
    Double person…

    You must see that even while commenting here you are suggesting a duality. I do not know any anyone else in my PLN who maintains two identities on Twitter for quite this reason – 1st life and 2nd life.. I think this gives you the opportunity for quite a bit of clever repartee that you THINK you migh otherwise not be able to produce. But having met you I know you CAN anyway… You don’t need Karelia. Karelia needs Helen

    And that kind of answers your question about me..or should. For explanations, footnotes, references and addenda, see me in SL.

  22. Hi Jose and thanks for commenting here and for the suggestion.

    It remains to be seen how much I will actually achieve. This is the log and it’s useful as a reminder…

    Because life and work do tend to get me distracted! 🙂

  23. Hi Marisa

    This blog post and the wonderful comments it has inspired have just motivated me to see how I can write up a post which generates so many thoughtful comments. I haven’t really been able to achieve that so often, so as Bridget Jones herself would say “I really must try harder”.

    But that’s the point, I guess. Great posts don’t just happen. They are able to get right into the heart of the matter and subject. They have an almost instinctive way of pinpointing what readers want to read. Marisa, you are a natural born writer!

    Maybe one day Arabella Cascarino’s mentor will have the courage to introduce her to you in SL. It seems like a mysterious world to me and I fear I am holding her back, but we will see what 2010 has in store for her:)

  24. Hmmm…. Interesting observation..

    You think I may have missed my calling, Janet? I don’t know but I know I appreciate your kind feedback and wonder what it is you learnt by reading this post.

    When you have made sense of my “recipe”, if there is one, please let me know as well… It would be good to know so that I can keep churning out good posts!!!

    Janet, one thing I know is that you are a delightful reader to have and you warm the heart of this uncertain blogger… Thank you for being around and motivating me further.

    Marisa

  25. Came to check out this post since it attracts all the shoe-selling spammers, for some reason! Go away! I know who you are!

    Must say I haven’t been doing well on all my resolutions! But am going to plenty of conferences this year, at least!

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