Worlds Away

Image Title: Reading in the Subway

On the platform, reading

This image caught my eye since I have recently had subway reading experience. It is a unique environment to escape from one world and into another. The stark, dramatic image of an individual reading in a subway station as the train moves past blends shadow and colour, movement and stillness. For me, this image presents the paradox of the speed of the current textual world and the stillness of being immersed in a good book. It speaks of the exterior world going by while time stands still inside the textual world. It’s a powerful image about what reading is all about. Letting go of everything that may be around and reaching into the text for it’s true meaning. The question remains – did she miss the train?

Hello to fellow travellers in ETEC 540. My name is Helen DeWaard, and I am not a commuter or subway traveller. I live in a small community north of Toronto and enjoy the occasional trip into that ‘other world’ of the big city. This is my 4th MET course and I am also taking ETEC 512 this term. I have recently ‘retired’ or as I like to refer to it as a ‘self-imposed sabbatical’ from my position as an elementary school principal. I have also just begun a contract lecturer position at a local university in the Faculty of Education. It is an interesting shift in text and technologies!

I became interested in this course because of conversations with my daughter, who worked on a Masters in Public Text. Our discussions about text, new and old, as well as the evolutions of thinking that hypertextual worlds are providing, were many and deep. I look forward to engaging with her again since our collaboration has changed our mother/daughter relationship to one of co-learners. I am looking forward to engaging in dynamic, hyptertextual conversations with all of you. Again, an interesting shift in thinking.

Helen DeWaard

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5 Responses to Worlds Away

  1. TMD says:

    Welcome and thanks for your post!

    This is a great image, indeed. One critique of the Internet is that it encourages “fragmentary reading.” Your image reminds us of a fact that has always been true in literate cultures: most reading we do is fragmentary because reading is most often a pragmatic act (we read menus, street signs, advertisements in subways, labels on food or other products, bills, etc). Studies from before the time of the Internet have shown that sustained, continuous reading (such as reading novels) does not constitute the bulk of people’s reading. So how is the Internet changing reading practices? There’s no easy answer, for sure.

    My colleague takes one approach to the subject here:

    Some more food for thought. TMD

  2. Helen,

    Very interesting info about you and your daughter. Welcome to the course. I hope we will have a great time working together. This course seems very interesting and I cant wait to be fully engaged in it. All the best.

  3. Steph says:

    Nice to see you again Helen. You chose a beautiful photo. Good luck with your transition to lecturer.


  4. Jasmeet Virk says:

    Hi Helen,
    Nice to see you again! If she missed the train – it must have been a really good book.
    Good luck with your new endeavor – I know a couple other principals who went back to teaching and have loved every minute of it.

  5. Gordana Jugo says:

    Hi Helen!

    I’m happy to see you again! Looking forward to working with you. Great picture and explanation. Good luck with your new job!


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