Sunday, April 22, 2007

Creating a template & other blabbity things

I was wondering how do you create a template? I've been putting together a chapbook using MSWord and it is no fun. I had to figure out columns and that awful odd even numbering. It's a headache to add pages and on top of that I'm doing front back printing! Grr. Any suggestions? Programs?

Also, I've been thinking about what Pat's friend asked about violence in writing. Some of my students have written violent things, okay not all of them, just one and a school therapist comes to talk to him/her about twice a month. It's school policy to report any writing or any behavior that is violent, naturally. I talk to this student; give them a lot of extra attention; talk about "general" things. However, I think what happened at Virgina Tech makes me think of Marilyn Manson's quote in Bowling for Columbine. Not a coincidence that Bravo decided to air it this week, hmm? I'm sure you all remember this, but for those of you haven't seen the documentary, Moore asked Manson, "What would you have said to those kids?" As Moore was discussing how this could have been prevented, etc. Manson answered: "Nothing. I would have listened. I would have listened to what they had to say and that's what no one did." Ok, it's not profound or anything, but do you ever feel like people have seriously forgotten how to do in a larger context? Sometimes I feel like my role as a graduate student is not to listen or understand but attack and critique; it's so tiring! Most violent acts seem to stem from one's inability to communicate or rather feeling as if what one is trying to communicate is not getting through. There are a million examples in our community, in the world. What I like about copyediting is that it allows the author/writer to communicate more effectively.

Sorry, I don't have time to proofread this! I know I switch POV!


Pat said...

A wonderful post, Jill. I'll respond with a few thoughts and write more later.

Re MS Word: it's best not to use this program to create things like chapbooks. There are better programs, which I'd be happy to show you how to use. Maybe we can get together on the weekend—and if anyone in the class wants to join us, the more the merrier.

What you say about listening is worth pondering. Yes, we have forgotten how to listen—and to empathize. Sometimes I feel like my role as a graduate student is not to listen or understand but attack and critique; it's so tiring! Bravo for making this statement, Jill! Yes, indeed; attacks and critiques divide, separate, and alienate.

We should listen, understand, and emphathize. From there we can speak gently and wisely. Graduate school should be all about learning to get to the place where we can speak with wisdom.

More later :)

Megan said...

Listening is definitely underrated.
I guess I am starting to get the feeling that large organizations are getting better about acknowledging the need to listen to what people have to say, but the practice isn't always successful. I get frustrated when the focus is more about letting the rest of the world know that they (an administration or authority) listen, rather than spending the time and effort actually listening. It kind of misses the point.

I know that this statement isn't exclusively true and may be somewhat unfair, but there's a great deal of messy liability issues out there. This liability seem to lead to the practice of protecting oneself before reaching out to someone or doing the right thing, which I think is sad.

I think as a human race, we all struggle with listening.

Takashi said...

Nature has equipped us with two ears but one mouth. It’s only natural we listen twice as much as we talk. Did I sound too “Confucius”?