commonplace books and bees

“We should imitate bees”


quoted in “Search, Memory”–a chapter in Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.

The last several posts contain quotations I want to remember.  These have been slim models for an upcoming student project.  In his chapter, “Search, Memory,” Carr briefly explains “commonplace books.”  Such books have been much less common today, says Carr, than they were during the Renaissance.  I do think, however, that students can use such books to develop their personal, long-term memories.  Many seniors are collecting their final thoughts from high school. Commonplace books can help them see which writings from other authors mean something to them. Today’s digital world places a high value on information per se.  I see these commonplace books as a place to store nectar for future nourishment.

Soon, I will start my own commonplace book, tentatively titled “purplemarble.”  Once I do that, this blog will return to its previous pattern of personal reflection on education, writing instruction and poetry.

Thank you for your indulgence.  Incidentally, I think that today’s digital tools allow students to push an old idea in new directions.  Time will tell.


Filed under reasons for writing

4 responses to “commonplace books and bees

  1. Stephen G. Kennedy

    Yes, new tools, new directions, newly configured minds and learnings!

  2. Katie Keith

    Why did you chose the title ‘Purplemarble’? I love finding interesting quotes.

    • My blog of two years is called “maroon balloon.” Since I like color and sounds, I changed maroon to purple (keeping it in the red family) and shrank the balloon to a marble (keeping it in the round family. As for sound, I like the near rhyme of “purple” and “marble.” They are just fun to say.
      Thanks for asking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s