Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Different Untroductions

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Been struggling to find time during Ramadan and lots of other commitments to post my untroduction to #clmooc so I thought I might use some things I had done before that are a bit less “introduction-y” than usual. Sorry… Time is really tight here 🙁

There is this tag cloud I created when I was giving a keynote-like talk and didn’t know which part of me they wanted to talk to

And there is this “Ingredients of Me” can which i blogged about earlier. Both this and the above are focused on different things I do. That’s not necessarily an untroduction, just an introduction that focuses on activity rather than official position, qualifications and rank. It’s a step, but it isn’t all, right?

Ah well I did go and do a new one… But i am still not too happy with it because it still focuses on things I do… I just did a hashtag/Twitter cloud of all the hashtags and Twitter handles I identify with. It’s still focused on what I do and it,s nothing as deep as what Tania Sheko did by revealing herself so much with beautiful photos… But… i reveal myself slowly (or too fast) on this blog anyway…

I keep remembering something a close friend of mine told me, to the effect that “who we are” is something different from “what we do”. And I think all of my attempts here focus on what I do, not who I am. Although the above focuses maybe on the communities I identify with? But how welcoming is that? Some of us are discussing what hashtags do to include/exclude… So by mentioning these hashtags, might I be showing off that I know all these people, or I do all these things? What I meant to say is… i love all these people and I love all these things… But because I love them, I also “do” things with them and I identify with them, so…

Still struggling to untroduce myself…

It made me realize that my struggle isn’t so much that I don’t have time to put something creative together, but rather, it’s a mental and emotional struggle of trying to figure out “who I am” rather than “what I do”.

Ah well… Some random things maybe? Still not the essence of who I am, but… Hoping that even those who know me might find something new about me…

I love almost all kinds of music and I love singing (refused to learn any musical instrument properly but i can play any song i want on piano instinctively)… But my favorite music genre is country music and don’t make fun of me 🙂 Of course, lately, I just listen to nursery rhymes and Disney songs with my child. So my favorite songs include Lavender’s Blue Dilly and Little Bo Peep, along with Frozen’s and Sofia the First’s songs. And a few adult songs we have gotten our girl to like… Such as Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head and… Happy… And quite a few more.

I love writing and I love people and meeting new people and getting to know people deeper. And connecting people with each other.

I’m looking forward to #clmooc even though I will be stretched timewise with Ramadan and other commitments 🙂

7 Comments

  1. Maha, you write so openly and think aloud as you go, so I guess your readers already know a lot about you. As for my ‘deep’ untroduction, all I did was pull photos in from a collection and just write something about them. I think I’m pretty intense so I don’t have any trouble writing like that. I love your word clouds/pictures and want to try them for myself. 🙂

  2. You wrote: “Some of us are discussing what hashtags do to include/exclude… So by mentioning these hashtags, might I be showing off that I know all these people, or I do all these things?”
    Yes
    No
    I think it always important to consider who is being left out of the conversations, and how even a simple structural tool like a Twitter hashtag is both open and closed. Miss a letter in the spelling and you are out. Hashtags can often feel like a club.
    How to be open and inviting is a struggle for any open learning space (as you know).
    Take care
    Kevin

    • Exactly 🙂 hospitality of hashtags haha

    • Exactly 🙂 (un?)hospitality of hashtags haha
      On one hand when u use hashtags it means ur reaching out beyond specific ppl who know u; it means ur categorizing ur work as having significance for a particular group or topic…but makes ppl who don’t know the tag….curious? I think more curious than excluded tho both are there i guess

  3. Who are some of your favorite country artists?

    • So many! Definitely Reba McIntyre and Trisha Yearwood, Clint Black, Dan Seals and of course also George Strait and Garth Brooks…Dixie Chicks, Brooks n Dunn, Diamond Rio (i haven’t heard “new” country music in years but almost every country song i hear, i like. Doesn’t have to be someone well known. I like Lady Antebellum but their name annoys me. I don’t like that some country singers would disagree w me v much politically but i do like their music. Do u listen to country?

  4. I’m intrigued by the idea of “who we are” being different from “what we do.” It reminds me of Michelangelo’s idea that the form of a sculpture already exists in the rock, and his role as artist is to bring it out. So is part of “who we are” the potential that is more than the sum of our actions? Put another way, actions + potential = identity? Or would you say there is more on the left side of the equation?

    BTW, off topic, I mentioned you yesterday in the LA Writing Project Summer Institute when we were talking about CLMOOC. I wanted to illustrate how CLMOOC was a great learning opportunity beyond the topic of education or professional practice, so I shared how I’ve learned a lot about Islam from connecting with you. Prior to our conversations my understanding was limited to K-12 history class textbooks (so, basically, nothing, haha) and what I read in the Western media (a bit more informative than the history textbooks, but of course biased). I’m not ready to write a book on Egypt or Islam, ha ha, but I’ve learned much more in a year from you and the Muslim progressives I follow on Twitter than I had learned in my first 37 years. 🙂

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