I’m not sure how others feel, but sometimes, when I write a blog that involves some research and thinking, I come away from the process feeling excited and elated. To the uninitiated, or to those of you who only read blogs rather than writing one yourself, you probably think this sounds a little crazy. To those of us who do blog though, you will recognize my words and are probably starting to nod your head in agreement!
Just because I had so much fun writing last week’s NovaNews post, I thought I’d jot down the process that I went through to create it. And, just to make it clear, I really have no other motive in sharing this process other than as a recording for myself and maybe just the slim chance that I will inspire some of you out there to get into blogging!
The impetus for last week’s post Scientific Discoveries, Open Access and Jack Andraka ….. The world is your oyster Jack! was a video that I’d seen of Jack Andraka being interviewed by the Director of The National Institues of Health. I can’t remember where I found this video, but remember seeing it while I was at work. Knowing that I had no time to concentrate on it at the time, I did what I often do. I emailed it to myself so I could look at it another time, at home, when I had some uninterrupted time to ponder over it.
When I did get around to listening to the interview again, the words Open Access jumped out at me. Recollecting a blog post I’d written some months ago about Aaron Swartz and his passionate pursuit to change US legislation governing access to publicly funded materials, I found myself rereading my words from early this year. This effort however led me on an unexpected quest.
As my blog post back in January had only centered on the sad demise of a great mind, I found myself searching for links to his ground breaking presentation at the F2C: Freedom to Connect 2012 Conference. An hour or so later, after sifting through lots of articles about Swartz and presentations he had given, I finally found the 20 minute talk I’d spotted back in January, but hadn’t taken the time to listen to. Now, with my interest piqued about Open Access by 15 year old Jack Andraka, I took the time to listen to Swartz’ speech: How we stopped SOPA” at F2C:Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington DC on May 21 2012 and added this link into my January post so that I wouldn’t ‘lose’ it again. In the process of searching for this link, I also found reference to a recent announcement that Aaron Swartz is to receive a posthumous Freedom of Information award for Open Access advocacy. I also added this link, as an update to my January blog post.
With fresh insight into the whole issue of Open Access and its implications, I was able to re-listen to the interview between Jack Andraka and Dr Francis Collins of the National Institutes of Health. From there, my ability to blog about this interview in light of Aaron Swartz’ passionate advocacy flowed quite easily. Once I’d completed the blog post though, I started to wonder about Jack Andraka – who he was, what prize he had won, what he had invented and how significant this invention could be in the realm of science and medicine.
An hour or so later, after searching, reading and viewing videos that I located about Jack, I was overwhelmed and felt a burning need to share his youth and intelligence with those out there who may bother to read my post. And so I added a few extra lines to my finished post and added in the couple of videos that highlighted his youthful joy at winning his prize and his brilliance as he goes on to explain highly technical details of his invention in his TED talk.
When I finally finished blogging, I was amazed to realize that I had been sitting at my desk for more than three hours. What had transpired was an involved process in which I not only searched for information, but had sifted through this information, analyzing its relevance to my inner thoughts. In other words, while reading and listening, I was processing this new information with my own thoughts, putting it together in a new format which was meaningful to me and hopefully would be meaningful to those reading my words.
The process I had been through was an adjunct to the information I had learned. I felt exhilarated by the power of the process. So much so, that a few hours later over dinner, I excitedly shared, for a good fifteen minutes, this realization with my husband! In telling the story to him, I realied how much I had enjoyed the intellectual process I had unwittingly worked through over the course of the afternoon.
WOW! What I actually experienced was ‘the joy of learning!’ What fun!
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