Where the (Associative) Trails Meet…

It’s interesting to read the associative trails of my fellow students.  More than once I have found myself relating so strongly to their brains that I shout in my head “Yes! Yes! I totally get that!” or “Damn! I should have said that!”.  For instance, in I’ll Just Leave This Here… the author explains that her screen shot for the associative trails assignment does not accurately represent her thought process.  She then goes on to post a more “normal” screen shot of her later searches.  When writing my own post for this assignment I actually considered doing just that and then wrote it off.

I related to other posts less. For instance, in Morgan Thinking Things, Morgan is critical of the common tendency of getting distracted by articles or interesting headlines on the internet. I just want to scream out because that sort of curiosity is the best kind! So what if it takes an extra 20 minutes to finish an assignment? You will be much more satisfied at the end of it if you satiate your own curiosity.

I think I was influenced last and most positively by Becca Brehm’s Blog which inspired me and resonated with me.  I think what I enjoyed so much about Becca’s post is that she took her curiosity and she ran with it.  She took a general and not-necessarily-academic related topic (Post Secret) and pulled something out of it that she wanted to research.  I am so envious and inspired by this thought process because Becca is learning about what she wants to in a creative and unhindered manner.

After reading other nuggets and trails, I realize I sort of half-assed my nugget. I  was honestly just so uninspired by the essay and because of that I got combative with the writing. I focused on something I disagreed with and just wanted to rip it to shreds.  I think if I looked at it with fresh eyes I may be a little more inspired to get creative with the discussion.




  1. I tend to rip things apart first but even that can be done playfully and with joy. There is a decent amount of room in this course to have fun and do things your way. Take advantage 🙂

    Quick Tip – If you link directly to the posts of the people (rather than the main blog URL) like – http://rampages.us/morganabritt/2014/06/13/inquiry-project-week-1/ rather than just http://rampages.us/morganabritt/ then those people will get notified through trackbacks and a virtuous circle will be created. You say such nice things, the people should know about them.

  2. This is a wonderfully thoughtful reflection on the activity. Bush is dated, and the part we are most interested in (about associative trails) makes for a relatively small part of his essay.But it’s still kind of amazing that that one part is current at all! And it’s a useful skill to be able to read something you’re not completely in love with and still get something useful out of it for your time spent there.

  3. I am another summer Univ 200 instructor, and I got to this post by following your ping on one of my student’s posts! I love that you say you just wanted to “scream out” to her that curiosity trumps efficiency in working online! I think you are right — especially in this course, where curiosity can lead you to better thinking and deeper inquiry. : )

    • Thank you! I think this has actually inspired my idea for my final project. One of my earlier posts, Wikipedia Wars, talks about how I think and I would like to use that as a jumping point for inspired research. Especially since Wikipedia is not considered a valid source for research, but it is a great one-stop spot for inspiration and interest.

      • Wikipedia isn’t perfect, just miraculous. 🙂 I’ve said, in public, that it’s the single greatest learning environment on the planet right now. Michael Nielsen says it’s a city whose export to the world is an encyclopedia. I love that thought.

        Nielsen also taught me that there’s a page on Wikipedia devoted to the memory of deceased Wikipedians. Have you seen it? It’s very poignant.

        By the way, your post here is one of my favorite posts in the course so far. And yes, I got here from a pingback on one of my student’s blogs. 🙂

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