Sunday, November 9, 2008

There and Back Again

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greeting to you all
Map of New Zealand - My 100th Post
If this is the first time you’ve visited this blog, or even if you have had a chance to read a few posts, you may be wondering what this blog is all about. If you are a regular visitor, you might still be wondering - you should also be congratulated for sticking with me this far.

On this auspicious centennial occasion, I have pledged to give you a quick run down on how this blog started, what its reasons are for being, and whether it’s going to be worth your while visiting again during its next hundred or so posts – a daunting thought!

When and why was it built?

Construction began in May 2008 as part of the Comment Challenge - a set of reflective learning tasks for commenters and beginner bloggers. May was not an easy month for me. During that time, the framework of the blog was put in place on a foundation of blood, sweat and tears.

Before June, the blog generated 24 posts (and well over 100 comments). Many of these posts related directly to the assignments given by Michele Martin to help me to become a blogger. Michele is to be thanked profusely for her patience, advice, determination and her attempts to create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Why Blogger?

I’d like to think that the ‘Blogger’ bit is evident. But in all fairness to the critical thinking reader, I chose ‘Blogger’ because:
  • It’s the nickname of the provider of my blog.
  • I always wanted to be a blogger (at least since the end of last century).
  • The sound of the word connotes someone who is down-to-earth (cf. bog (ger), logger, etc) and I think of myself as a down-to-earth straight thinker. (I know! Many will dispute this. So?)
Why Middle-earth?

Middle-earth is the name that J R R Tolkien gave to the mythical land of the hobbits. It is also the name given affectionately to Wellington City by Peter Jackson who has a home there. He is the Oscar-winning film producer whose genius blossomed in his Lord of The Rings film trilogy, premiered in Wellington.

Much of that epic was filmed in Wellington. As well, Weta Workshop is in Wellington. Weta created the amazing animated creatures and other props used in the making of the trilogy.

I live in Wellington, so the Middle-earth part of the name is relevant on several counts. The same reasoning sprang to mind when I named my little book published last year, called Sonnets of Middle-earth. Though my interest is poetry, what I write may not be.

Why astronomy?

The use of observations of planets, stars and other phenomena in the cosmos dates back thousands of years. Through watching the stars, legend has it that around 950 AD, Kupe navigated his way to the shores of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Astronomy is part of the culture and folklore that belong to the Māori people of Aotearoa.

Regular visitors may have noticed that, occasionally, I write a post related to astronomy (not astrology). No, I’m not an astronomer. But I do have an interest in Science. Believe it or not, astronomy was the first true Science.

Why learning?

Science and knowledge are often said to be one and the same. Many people believe that knowledge can only be acquired through a journey into learning. Which brings us to another reason for this blog.

Of the hobbits who lived in Middle-earth, one or two in particular went on what were amazing journeys, there and back again. With the help of others, they brought back many secrets. My hope is that, in this blog, we can continue our journeys of exploration, into the little-known land of elearning.

Who knows what treasure we may bring back?

Ka kite anō - Catch ya later


Mr Wood said...

Congratulations on your 100th post and thank you for a fantastic blog. Amazing journeys by young hobbits help them become great hobbits.

BK said...

Congrats Ken,
I love the depth of your reflections and the creativity of poetry. Glad we met during the Comments Challenge,
Here's to the next 100 posts,

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first 100 posts, Ken. You always make me think, one of the main traits I look for in a blogger!

Teaching Sagittarian said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. I thoroughly enjoy your posts - each and every one of them although I confess to not leaving a comment on each one as often as I read them. I enjoy your posts for two reasons and those two reasons will be why your blog remains in my google reader. I connect with you because we're NZders and I connect with you because you think deeply about what it is you doing with education and web2.0. I admire your diverse thinking and I admire your willingness to share your thinking and reflection of learning with those around you. May there be 100 more posts in half the amount of time that you have reached this milestone because what you have to say is relevant, rich and important. Kia Kaha e hoa arohanui.

Laurie said...

Hi Ken,

Am delighted, on your behalf, for your 100th post :-) and understand the satisfaction that comes from creating words out of thoughts out of synapses.

Am also pleased to now know the meaning of "Ka kite anõ", and tickled, of course, to know the story behind your blog. I am sending this link to my husband, who has read and reread Tolkien's books perhaps six times each since he was a youngster.

Lastly, any chance you can have an impact on the availability of your book of poetry on It is currently listed as out of print.

Here's to blogging from middle earth, where the perspective seems mighty fine, and I often return to sample and resample.

diane said...

Congratulations on reaching this landmark.

Can't decide if I've been there and back again or still in mid-journey, but it's certainly fun interacting with fellow travelers.

Thank you for entertainment and enlightenment.

Paul C said...

Hi Ken,
Congratulations. You are a fast learner. (You were a silk purse from the start.) I'm learning valuable lessons from your posts and your warmhearted comments.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Haere mai!
Haere mai!
Haere mai!

Kia ora Shaun!
Yes. Them young 'Hobbitses' are worth all the effort.

Kia ora Bonnie!
Missed your PhotoFriday (again sigh!). I keep doing that!There's no excuse ;-) Great to see you here!

Kia ora Michele!
Don't think too hard! Sometimes I sits and thinks - and sometimes I just sits, and that does me no harm at all :-)

Ka pai Chrissy!
He tino āwhina koe! You have given me an insentive to get off my butt and write some more posts :-) Kia ora!

Kia ora Laurie!
Words out of thoughts out of synapses! Ouch! That sounds painful! But I know what you mean. It's a bit like what Michele was trying to do - make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. When I write, I leave it for a day. Sometimes, when I get back and read it, I think, "yeah what?" You don't see these writings :-)

Kia ora Diane!
The journey is always fun. In fact, it's not the getting there that's all that important. Ka kite

Kia ora Paul!
Don't know so much about the silk purse, but the sharing is great. Haere mai!

Tēnā koutou
How wonderful that you have all visited on my 100th post! I am so stoked to greet you all!

Kia ora anō

Ken Stewart said...

Congratulations from one Ken to another on making it to your 100th post. I hope to see you around for the next 100, and I will be reading ;-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā koe Ken!

You have been one of the people who have given me a lot of support over the past months - thanks for that. Like so many great sites I've stumbled across, yours is one I am so glad I found.

Catchya later