Monday, July 7, 2014

Spaces Count

Spaces do matter
One of the important things I learned in Tldl is that spaces do matter.  This post began as a cheeky rebuttal to the rigours of APA formatting placed upon us by our esteemed professors but as I began to write, I realized that there is more to meet the eye by what occupies or does not occupy the spaces in our writing, references, and ultimately our lives.

To Hell With APA
Glass of wine (or two) on standby.  My paper was well thought out, written and edited.  I should be celebrating, but instead I was muttering angrily flipping violently through my APA, 6th edition text trying to discern the appropriate way to reference  an obscure source.  More than once I have re edited or re researched a topic to avoid a difficult citation.  "What the hell does it matter how many spaces I have after the date or get the damn point!"
Not only until I am now months removed from my final paper am I clear headed enough to grasp the importance of APA.  I have finally concluded that is is not about the actual tapping of the space bar that perfects the paper.  It is about the intent behind that action.  Why should we care about a space or lack thereof? We should care because it is about our attention to detail and care for standards, quality and precision to ensure we have done our jobs as Masters students.  We are entrusted with guidance and knowledge of those who have gone before us and who we trust to hve followed the same rigourous standards in their research and inquiry so we have thoughtful and accurate information to inform our own opinions and our practice.  We owe it to our predecessors, our professors, our students, ourselves and each other to maintain that quality of standard in our practice.

Intention is the Mother of Invention
Higher learning is about intent.  Our journey through our MEd is about intent and our reflection upon that intent.  Have you ever tried to write a paper or a blog post without a clear intention?  What you get is a rambling, nonsensical expulsion of your subconscious.  True, a reader may get more out of it than you intended (ha,ha) but any gems were unearthed by happy accident.  As teachers and teacher librarians would you want to trust your practice and the development of your students to chance?
In our libraries, space has become something we have to fight for.  Our collections grow in depth and variety as the demand for physical space for print materials diminishes.  Does the demand for space dwindle? Only if you lack intent.  Our intentions as a school community shape our spaces, we no longer rely on our print collections and Dewey to shape our library.  Our library space is moulded from our desires.  Learning Commons, Makerspaces, Libratories are all exciting by products of intent.
You may never have need for APA references or desire to complete your MEd, in which case ignore my post graduate induced rant upon the space bar, but if your desire is to inspire your peers and student I your classroom or library, take a moment to ponder the intent behind your spaces.

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