Playful writing: I’m looking at…

Last week I decided to try the playful writing tasks that Chuck Sandy suggested in his iTDi blog post. I want to do this for myself to maintain my love of writing, and also to see what sort of adaptations I will need to use these as free writing tasks with my students. This week’s playful writing task is about observation.

Chuck Sandy writes: “Begin like this: “I’m looking at …” and then have a look around where ever it is you are. What captures your attention? Focus on that.  Look some more. Then, start writing. 10 minutes. Go!”

I am looking at my computer. It is about five years old. Well, it’s five years old to me. I bought it used in 2009. It’s held up really well, considering it was second hand to begin with. I’ve reformatted it once, when I thought I was going to give it away. I changed my mind, though, because my laptop wasn’t a good replacement for it. My computer is white with a large screen. It is great for watching movies and high resolution youtube videos. The background on the desktop is an archaic map. The countries are all shaped wrong because back then no one really knew what most of the world looked like. There are a lot of folders on my desktop as well. They are separated into photos, articles, writings, videos, and other things. The thing I use most is Chrome. I use it to connect to the internet, to prepare for classes, to work, to contact people, to do proofreading work, and just to play with my friends. I also use Skype all the time. I use it to stay in touch with people who are far away. I like seeing people’s faces when I talk to them. I have a weekly meeting with my mom and my brother. Lately it’s been nice because my little brother is at home too so I get to talk to him more than I normally would (which used to be once a year or so!).

Next to my computer is a pencil case. It contains pens, pencils, scissors, erasers, and a box cutter. Oh, and about five paint brushes. I don’t paint, and I don’t know why I keep them there. Maybe one day they will be useful. One of the pens in my pencil case has a giant pink rose on the end of it. It was a gift. Next to the pencil case is another gift – a small booklet of poems. Written on the outside is “with love for Q”. I treasure this and read it once in a while.

On the other side of the computer is my printer. It’s an all-in-one type of machine. It scans, prints, photocopies, and faxes. I mostly use it to print and scan. On top of that are the books that I have been using in my proofreading. There are four of them, but I’ve only needed the first two so far. They’re big and colorful and I think kids will really like them. I grew to like the characters in the books. But I noticed that all textbooks in the universe must use the same voice actors for their characters. I recognized the voices as soon as I played the cd.

Beside the printer is a small book. It’s written in Korean and it’s all about Dokdo, the island to the east that Korea is very **. Anyway, this book was a gift from a student. I promised him I would try to learn to read it.

And there’s the timer. I realized that I surround myself with gifts that I treasure, dreams, and things that make me happy while I’m on my computer.

The things I am looking at

The things I am looking at

Once again, ten minutes continuous writing seemed long. I’ll have to also remind my students that it is okay to switch over to other things. I notice that I didn’t actually describe the appearance of much of anything. Most of the things around me are important because of their emotional attachment, I guess. And I know that physical appearance is the last thing I notice when it come to observing scenes. I wonder how that affects how I observe my classes. I guess I have to allow my students the freedom to get off topic and to describe in whatever ways suit them.

Now it’s time to go to work. Thank you for reading if you got this far. Sorry for being boring if you didn’t.

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  • annloseva  On November 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I got as far as to the very end of it, not boring at all.

    I thought it interesting for me as I finished reading your post that if I closed my eyes and re-visited your room in my mind, my version of “I”m looking at..” would be totally different. I have a very good memory and vivid pictures of parts of your place. Which is a thing I personally treasure =)

    Thanks for this post which instantly made me wish to write my own of this sort!))

    • livinglearning  On November 8, 2014 at 2:55 am

      Thank you for reading all of it. It’s really interesting to me that you saw my room differently. I guess I’m always in the same corner of it (and I’m totally used to my clocks).

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