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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Announcing the TORn Online Symposium/Conference

elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 6:48pm

Post #1 of 56 (1053 views)
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Announcing the TORn Online Symposium/Conference Can't Post

Sounds very grand doesn't it? What's it all about?

Yesterday, Ro posted a thread on Main, concerning a Tolkien Conference in the US, which sounded really good. Many of us bemoaned the fact that it was too far to travel. And so, some of us have been discussing having our own on-line mini-conference here on TORn. This would obviously not be academically rigorous like a professional conference, but still a slightly more scholarly approach than usual would be the aim.

We envisage people writing a short essay or paper of 500-600 words on any aspect of Tolkien's works, be it related to the physical world of Arda (geology, climate), the natural world of Arda (fauna and flora), cultural/social/political issues in Tolkien's world, character studies. Also on sources of Tolkien's inspiration and how Tolkien inspires you, artistically or otherwise.

We would like to have these symposia approximately every three months, calling for submissions a few weeks beforehand. These would then be posted here in the RR for all to discuss in a friendly and helpful way.

The purpose of this thread is to see how many of you are interested in this as a concept and in submitting a written piece (and if so, on what sort of topics). Also, it would be good to gain ideas from you all as to how best to take this forward. There are bound to be a few problems and teething issues, but it could be both exciting and enjoyable if we get it right! So who's with me? Please feel free to reply below, or to send a PM to me or Daniel LB

Thanks guys!

Elaen





"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Maciliel
Valinor


May 23 2013, 6:59pm

Post #2 of 56 (690 views)
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sounds interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... keep me / us in the loop. : )

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 7:10pm

Post #3 of 56 (682 views)
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Certainly will do... [In reply to] Can't Post

but would you be interested in submitting anything? And any thoughts on developing this? All suggestions gratefully received!Sly So far, Daniel LB, Ro, Brethil and I have bandied around a few ideas, but the more the merrier.

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


DanielLB
Immortal


May 23 2013, 7:14pm

Post #4 of 56 (693 views)
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Sounds great! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really like the idea. I've already got some ideas in my head, and a very brief essay already written down. I've probably got enough for 3 separate essays (all to do with the weather and climate of Middle-earth).

I think we could also encourage people to post previous essays if they wish (a shortened version of malickfan's post on Cirdan springs to mind).

I'm also working on a banner for the event!

Laugh


Maciliel
Valinor


May 23 2013, 7:21pm

Post #5 of 56 (679 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

 
yes, i think i'd be interested in submitting.

where is the current arena for discussion of this? this thread? another? pms? email?

my initial thought is every three months might be too much? perhaps every six months? to preserve its special aura, and so people have time to write and edit?

let me know. and thanks for all the wrangling. : )


cheers -

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 7:53pm

Post #6 of 56 (663 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

this is the place to discuss- it's really only something that has come up in the past 24 hours due to an exchange of ideas over on Main- hence why looking for a lot of input from others also. Re the frequency- 3 monthly is the maximum frequency we considered really- not everybody would be expected to contribute something every time, but I guess just reading some of it is time enough! Examples of things which people have said they might want to write about include Daniel on some of the climactic vagaries of Arda, Ro mentioned fauna of Arda and I mentioned instances of healing in Arda
So any thoughts, you can either post here or PM me
Thanks MacilielSmile

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


malickfan
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:09pm

Post #7 of 56 (659 views)
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Sounds very interesting, and as DanielLB pointed out I do have a VERY LONG essay on Cirdan The Shipwright already written, that I would be interested in submitting [In reply to] Can't Post

Currently listed on my old blog here:

http://paulashwellreviews.wordpress.com/...e-tolkien-fans-only/

-It is really several different essay's bolted together, written largely for my own enjoyment. I'm certainly open to the idea of submitting an edited version, although I have already posted the earliest version of it last year, and I do quote frequently from tolkien's work, so I'm not sure whether it would infringe TORn's copyright policy, that is premsuming anyone would actually be as interested in him as I am.

In anycase this seems like a really cool idea, perhaps we could hold a competition-i.e we are given a deadline and a subject to write about then post then each member can post their own essay on the subject?

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth



Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:18pm

Post #8 of 56 (648 views)
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Wonderful idea guys! [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't wait to see what develops...I would certainly be interested in a submission, let's see what topics everyone has an interest in. I will keep in touch with you and Daniel about it. Very exciting!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 23 2013, 8:21pm

Post #9 of 56 (669 views)
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loved your [In reply to] Can't Post

 
loved your cirdan essay, malickfan (read it a while ago -- really nicely done).

look forward to more like that from you, whenever you're inspired. : )

re competition... personally, i'd rather stay away from competition, for a few reasons...

1. people might be less inclined to contribute, thinking that their work might be overlooked or not up to snuff

2. takes away a bit from the friendly, scholarly vibe

3. people might veer away from unique or odd angles of thought, and gear their essays to what might be popular or less esoteric. we might loose a lot of interesting insights.


perhaps, depending on how expensive it might be, we could print every round's submissions via print on demand, and use all or part to support torn.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Valinor


May 23 2013, 8:22pm

Post #10 of 56 (668 views)
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i would [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... probably like to do an essay on the biosphere of arda.

frankly, some of the chapter leader starting posts are longer than 500-600 words (!).

cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:26pm

Post #11 of 56 (659 views)
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I would agree to stay with straight submission and discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool Competition gets dicey. Although I could freely award Pony Cookies to all!




Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:28pm

Post #12 of 56 (654 views)
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Yes, I enjoyed your essay as well [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it a few weeks ago, when you posted the link in one of the Sil threads. Awesome job!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:28pm

Post #13 of 56 (669 views)
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I understand what you're saying Maciliel! [In reply to] Can't Post

Initially the lower limit was put on because of imagining say 10 people contributing 1000 word essays- that's a lot for everybody to read. But, ideas shouldn't be limited due to lack of space to that extent, so maybe a 500-2000 words would be better? I know I'm rubbish at keeping the word count down- one reason why I don't bother with Twitter!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Maciliel
Valinor


May 23 2013, 8:36pm

Post #14 of 56 (644 views)
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massive idea!!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... a symposium of essays... limited to 140 characters!


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


malickfan
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:38pm

Post #15 of 56 (650 views)
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Good points on the competition idea... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see where you are coming from, I mean not everyone would be inclined to write an essay anyway would they? I haven't written anything recently (I did start a essay about Thorin Oakenshield-whether he was as 'old' and one dimentional as people assume, but then I read a rather excellent essay about the same subject on heirs of durin so I lost ethusiasm...) but I'm sure I could if I put my mind to it...

DanielLB should totally write one on the talking purse...

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth



Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:40pm

Post #16 of 56 (650 views)
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Talking purse [In reply to] Can't Post

In next week's discussion on Law and Arda I want to discuss the Purse! Fun subject! Cool

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


elaen32
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:47pm

Post #17 of 56 (627 views)
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I enjoyed your Cirdan essay [In reply to] Can't Post

 - by all means submit it - it would be good to discuss Cirdan- he is pretty elusive but pretty important isn't he?
Yay- the talking purse- it could be an in depth linguistic discussion about the extant languages for purses and how they differ from the speech of their owners!WinkEvil

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


malickfan
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:51pm

Post #18 of 56 (636 views)
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I look forward to it! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always wondered whether the purse was related to the magical toys bilbo buys from dale for his 111TH B-day guests...

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth



CuriousG
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 8:52pm

Post #19 of 56 (620 views)
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Did he buy the toys, or steal them like the purse? :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


malickfan
Gondor


May 23 2013, 8:59pm

Post #20 of 56 (617 views)
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Never considered that! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo the shadowy thief-could be an essay on its own?

Perhaps he went looking for the purse during his journey to rivendell in TA 3001...

Whoops...I have a habit of rambling on off tangent...

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth



Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 9:00pm

Post #21 of 56 (611 views)
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We love Tangentitis here... [In reply to] Can't Post

Feel free to wander anywhere!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Magpie
Immortal


May 23 2013, 10:20pm

Post #22 of 56 (614 views)
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hmmm.. interesting idea [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a time when I was writing quite a lot about Tolkien (mostly LOTR) in other venues/forums. Those communities were very much geared for discussion. What each of us said spurred the rest into thought and exploration. We were, for the most part, intelligent and had knew LOTR well (although not all so much beyond LOTR).

Those discussions were exciting and thrilling.

But there's another style of discussion where the expectation about the amount of research one puts into one's 'presentation' and the extent to which one is expected to defend (against those who are *extremely* well read and are quick to use their knowledge to challenge) is very high.

I am interested in the first approach. The second not so much. Any thoughts on what direction people are expecting this project to take? In fact, I honestly can't even imagine that I could ever submit anything I wrote in the other venue here without someone getting very particular and technical. (and I don't second guess the quality of that writing... I just don't think it was a good fit for the conversations I've seen here) There's a fine line between correcting and elaborating and shutting down different styles of discussion. And if I have to know HOME and the Sil like the back of my hand in order to speak about LOTR, for example... I doubt I have the focus or energy for that.

I think elevated scholarly research is good and worthy. I've read books on Tolkien where I had to take it a paragraph at a time. I appreciate those approaches. They're just not the approach I personally like to take when I want to talk about Tolkien.

I miss my old group of friends in Tolkien. *sad puppy face* ;-)


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Brethil
Half-elven


May 23 2013, 10:33pm

Post #23 of 56 (613 views)
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Hi Magpie! About Symposium Discussion plans... [In reply to] Can't Post

Having discussed it with Elaen (who is off right now) I *think* the opinions of the author about their chosen subject relating to JRRT's world is the goal. Certainly discussion will be promoted, but these aren't expected to be scholarly and 'fact perfect' pieces. I think the idea is for people to use their real-world skills or to address something in ME that they have a special interest in; so the thought process and the creativity is the goal I believe (although certainly there will be references to the works made from potentially all pieces of published material.)

Debate and friendly discussion does and will happen, but In don't think overall from Elaen's and Daniel's ideas that hard literary science is the goal.

We would love to become your new Tolkien-discussion friends Magpie! SmileAngelic (Happy puppy face?)

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Magpie
Immortal


May 23 2013, 11:58pm

Post #24 of 56 (604 views)
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thanks... I'll follow the planning process and see what happens // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


May 24 2013, 2:01am

Post #25 of 56 (608 views)
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What a great idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

I would like to participate, and have been interested for quite a while in writing about the flora of Middle-earth (especially trees :). This could be a fun way for some of us to share thoughts about various aspects of Middle-earth/Arda that we may have had for a while--and could lead into some interesting further writing and research!

I also agree with one of the other posts (Magpie's), that this doesn't necessarily need to be a formal paper, and it would be encouraging to everyone to be able to contribute in their own styles of writing. More than a thread discussion, but less than a formal paper?

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


(This post was edited by Aragalen the Green on May 24 2013, 2:02am)


Elizabeth
Half-elven


May 24 2013, 4:11am

Post #26 of 56 (327 views)
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Business as usual in the RR :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

As you well know, we get the full range, so I expect these discussions will be whatever the participants want them to be.








DanielLB
Immortal


May 24 2013, 8:17am

Post #27 of 56 (326 views)
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I think we're aiming for a happy-medium [In reply to] Can't Post

I think we want semi-scholarly essays and papers, but nothing too serious - we want it to be fun for everyone to read (either in a geeky way, or a professional way). We certainly don't want people to take it very seriously - we're not expecting that is as polished as a diamond.

Obviously, we don't want anything made up or any fan-fiction (there's a whole board to share fan art). You could either go for something very scholarly (i.e. how Tolkien formed his languages), something speculative based on evidence from Tolkien and real world knowledge (i.e. soil types of Middle-earth), and just an essay on why something is the way it is (i.e. an essay on why Scary is called Scary!).

I think the amount of discussion will, therefore, depend on the type of essay someone goes for. And I agree with you Magpie, if I write an essay for this, I want to mainly do it for fun, but also just to apply my understanding of real-world processes to explore Middle-earth. I certainly don't wan to defend the essay (this isn't a peer-reviewed process after all).


noWizardme
Half-elven


May 24 2013, 11:05am

Post #28 of 56 (304 views)
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I agree - I sugges tkeep things simple at first, see how it goes easier to agree the appropriate embellishments after that.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


The Prancing Pony
Rivendell

May 24 2013, 12:09pm

Post #29 of 56 (311 views)
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Great idea [In reply to] Can't Post

This sounds like a great idea. I've never written anything on Tolkien, but I'd love to give it a try. Four or five ideas already popped into my head and I have begun to write down some notes. However, I might not be able to contribute to the first round, as I don't have the time at the moment (though I'll try).

But, as some others have already mentioned, I would prefer to keep away from competition. Our levels of Tolkien-knowledge varies greatly. And while some here possess a considerable in depth knowledge of Middle-Earth (which I truly admire), I for one have not yet read the Simarillion often enough to dare approach anything mentioned in there, and would mostly write about The Hobbit and LOTR.

And there remain some questions concerning the frequency of quotations and how academic it should be.

I am looking forward to this Smile

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."


DanielLB
Immortal


May 24 2013, 12:43pm

Post #30 of 56 (298 views)
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Citations and references [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And there remain some questions concerning the frequency of quotations and how academic it should be.


This is a tricky one - especially since people in academia still get it (citing) wrong themselves. We're not expecting high standards of literary work, so I wouldn't worry too much. Use quotes if you're directly referring to a specific sentence in the book (and/or you feel it supports what you have written). If not, just provide the chapter and book title. No need to get carried away - if someone reading an essay then wants to find out more, then I'm sure there are plenty of us here to track down a particular comment or quote.

The nice thing about this "symposium" is that you can present it in any way you like - you could write a formal (or informal) paper/essay, attach a power presentation, even a poster (they're easy to make in powerpoint and MS word), bullet point list is also fine. It really doesn't matter how you present it.

Smile


telain
Rohan

May 24 2013, 6:45pm

Post #31 of 56 (303 views)
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well said, DanielLB [In reply to] Can't Post

And coming from a Library and Information school background, I can say even librarians get the citations wrong from time to time, especially regarding non-traditional (or non-book) sources.

Also, I am very much looking forward to your essay on Arda weather and climate!


telain
Rohan

May 24 2013, 6:52pm

Post #32 of 56 (280 views)
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Do count me in! [In reply to] Can't Post

(I think the last 2 posts of mine probably went over the word limit already!)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 24 2013, 6:56pm

Post #33 of 56 (274 views)
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arda and the weather [In reply to] Can't Post

 
.... gets more interesting, considering some of it is "natural," and some of it is "ainu-made."


i will also be expecting some nice weather maps, and a youtube clip of you standing in front of a green screen, pointing out the morgoth-fronts that are starting to form.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


DanielLB
Immortal


May 24 2013, 7:07pm

Post #34 of 56 (280 views)
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A video already exists ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Of me presenting the weather. Blush It didn't air on TV, or anything like that - I did work experience at BBC Weather for a very brief time.

I've already got 2 essays/papers sketched out, and I've had to disregard all ainu-made weather patterns in both, otherwise the essays fall apart. Wink


Elwen
Lorien


May 24 2013, 7:07pm

Post #35 of 56 (294 views)
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I think that would be interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

and would probably submit something if I could get my thoughts down in time for whatever deadline.

Before kids, exercising with LOTR meant listening to the soundtrack while I ran.

After kids, exercising with LOTR means having an all out dance party with the little ones to the "Break the Dam Release the River" disco mix form the Lego game.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 24 2013, 7:31pm

Post #36 of 56 (278 views)
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Some bad weather puns. You have been warned. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
(Of me presenting the weather. Blush It didn't air on TV, or anything like that - I did work experience at BBC Weather for a very brief time.) Very cool (haha, very poor, low-level weather pun there.)

I've already got 2 essays/papers sketched out, and I've had to disregard all ainu-made weather patterns in both, otherwise the essays fall apart. Wink True. To say nothing of predicting TORnadoes. (a bit better there. Not much.)


Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


elaen32
Gondor


May 24 2013, 10:25pm

Post #37 of 56 (272 views)
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Thank you Telain [In reply to] Can't Post

and thank you to everybody who has shown an interest here- it's certainly a good response so far! LaughAs Daniel has said, this is not meant to be too serious in that there should not be competition and in terms of reading, friendly discussion, rather than academic point scoring is the aim of the game. A well reasoned theory is good, but I think we all have to justify our existence a bit too much in our RL jobs, whether academic or not, to have to do so here. There will be a wide range of Tolkien knowledge and also experience of essay writing etc in the group ( I certainly am rather rusty- the last essay I had to write was about 15 years ago for my last post grad exam)
We'll have to set a date soon, so that people have plenty of time to prepare a submission if they want to. Watch this space!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Brethil
Half-elven


May 24 2013, 11:16pm

Post #38 of 56 (254 views)
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Thanks so much for the idea Elaen! [In reply to] Can't Post

And for organizing, to you and Daniel. Looking forward to it all! SmileAngelic

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 25 2013, 1:08am

Post #39 of 56 (283 views)
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Need a "pounce-free" zone [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
But there's another style of discussion where the expectation about the amount of research one puts into one's 'presentation' and the extent to which one is expected to defend (against those who are *extremely* well read and are quick to use their knowledge to challenge) is very high.

I've been in the RR for about 3 years, long enough to see the occasional "pounce and prove it" approach of someone making a claim and someone else jumping on them with "Can you prove it? Where does he say that? Give us your citation." When I first saw this symposium idea, I groaned inwardly that that would be the result.

Silverlode made the comments below in 2009, and they articulate my thoughts on the matter. (I hope you don't mind me digging up this quote from you, Silverlode, but it's so eloquent and mirrors my own experience here). I hope we can avoid that atmosphere in the symposium. There's a big difference between offering someone more information that they didn't know, and asking questions out of interest, versus making them defensive.


Quote
I don't have time to make a comment and then defend it against a long series of challenging questions. Now, I like intelligent analytical discussion. I even like nitpicky analytical discussion. As I said before, I'm not intimidated by it. And given enough time, I generally can come up with a solid answer for all questions. In times past, I have had sufficient free time to spend hours here but I don't anymore. I don't have daylong internet access like some, so I can't answer a long string of challenging questions in a timely manner. This makes me reluctant to enter a conversation here. But if I'm honest, there's a bit more to it than that.

I have on occasion argued a thought through to its ultimate conclusion and been "given a cookie", to use Darkstone's phrase. The problem is, I don't want or need a cookie. I'm not looking to be rewarded for my intelligence or my plain dogged determination in conversation. I like a little give-and-take in my discussions, not state-and-defend. I like to talk to people who hear what I have to say and respond to it; perhaps add something - a further thought, an observation, an additional fact. Something to make me think more, not just make me explain in more detail why I already think what I said. I don't like talking to people when I feel that they're responding to my comments with "Prove it!". Questions are good to elicit more information and bring up more material. I don't much care for them when I feel they're hoops I'm jumping through to get to the end of the obstacle course and win. I'm not competitive in that way. I've always loved deep detailed logical discussion but I've never had the desire to join a debate team.



Brethil
Half-elven


May 25 2013, 1:15am

Post #40 of 56 (268 views)
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Great post all around! [In reply to] Can't Post

Great words by all. Smile Thanks CG! and Silverlode!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Maciliel
Valinor


May 25 2013, 1:26am

Post #41 of 56 (262 views)
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what are your thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

 
curiousg (and all others)... what are your thoughts re the reading room's current vibe... are we too challenging? too "prove it"? or is there a nice ebb and flow of ideas?

i've read that passage by silverlode before; i thought it was nicely stated, so thank you for reposting it.


cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on May 25 2013, 1:26am)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 25 2013, 1:32am

Post #42 of 56 (245 views)
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Oh, you're asking me to prove myself? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just kidding!

I think that atmosphere no longer prevails here. But I definitely experienced it up on my arrival. I think the atmosphere now is that people


Quote
add something - a further thought, an observation, an additional fact. Something to make me think more,

So I think we do have a good ebb and flow of ideas, and I hope it stays that way.

That's me. What do others think?



Brethil
Half-elven


May 25 2013, 1:53am

Post #43 of 56 (242 views)
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Ebb and flow style [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think that atmosphere no longer prevails here. But I definitely experienced it up on my arrival. I think the atmosphere now is that people

Quote
add something - a further thought, an observation, an additional fact. Something to make me think more,

So I think we do have a good ebb and flow of ideas, and I hope it stays that way.




I agree, and I find that with the discussion styles we have we seem to work symbiotically to come to some amazing conclusions and inspire thoughts and creativity which I have been very happily thrilled by! Granted some scholarship comes in at times - we are discussing literature - but I like the way that cited material is for edification or for clarification.
So I agree CG- we have a great ebb and flow of ideas! It definitely makes me personally think differently and more deeply about the material we all love.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Magpie
Immortal


May 25 2013, 2:25am

Post #44 of 56 (252 views)
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I remember that post well [In reply to] Can't Post

I came on the heels of another discussion where I posted, myself, quite a long explanation of how I feel. And I threw a few cents into the one you quoted from.

I took the Barnes and Noble University online class on LOTR and loved it so much I was on the computer constantly. I took the same course again and at the end of that, the instructor asked me to be a TA. I was working in the schools - essentially as a teacher but not delivering curriculum - and I volunteered for years teaching crafts in the classroom and I might have been teaching folk dance at the time and I've always had lots of thoughts about how people learn. And this class was great experience in a kind of agreed upon common space for exploring, sharing, and learning.

After observations about what works and what doesn't work, it seemed to all boil down to one thing: any response that is given to any statement pretty much works in one of two ways. It either encourages further discussion or it shuts it down.

When someone says, "hmm... I hadn't thought of it like that at all. Can you tell me how you came to think that?", you're asking for more.

Or when someone says, "Hmm... Tolkien has said this (_____) about that (_____). Have you read that? How does that figure into your thinking?", you're offering to carry on a dialog with that person. You've shown interest. You're asking for more.

When someone says, "You're mistaken. This quote proves it.", you're shutting someone down. You're not asking for more. There is no comeback to that outside of a debate (and I view discussion and debate as two different animals. Some people like debate. Some people don't.)

But I'm intrigued by the concept you all are cooking up. I loved my experience with Barnes and Noble (and a few other off shoot forums as we graduated beyond taking the same class over and over again). I have saved dozens and dozens of things I've written about Tolkien there, with friends, and - oddly enough - at imdb where there is occasionally some really good meaty conversations. If I thought I could find some of the types of conversation I used to have with that first cadre of people I met, I'd be thrilled. Although... there is always the issues of time.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 25 2013, 7:49am

Post #45 of 56 (253 views)
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Of course [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't mind being quoted; I'm flattered that you remember something I said so long ago.

I think the idea under discussion is very interesting and I'd like to see it happen. I think that it will be both most interesting and have a lot more participants if it is done in a way that lets people go out on a limb a little bit or stretch their wings without worrying about any backlash. Maybe we should call it the Tolkien Amateur Symposium to underline the idea and distinguish it from a conference of Tolkien Scholars. "Amateur", of course, is defined as a person who studies a topic for pleasure rather than profit. And pleasure is surely what we're after here. Smile

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



Magpie
Immortal


May 25 2013, 10:22am

Post #46 of 56 (239 views)
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another word I've used: hobbyist // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Maciliel
Valinor


May 25 2013, 1:44pm

Post #47 of 56 (227 views)
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agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

 
not quite sold on the word "amateur" (not entirely against it, either), but i agree with the spirit of the notion. to avoid labeling it in a way that makes it sound remote, lofty, and exlusionary.

perhaps we can have a naming suggestion thread. : )


cheers ---

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


May 25 2013, 3:16pm

Post #48 of 56 (218 views)
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Names and aims [In reply to] Can't Post

That's really why Daniel and I came up with "TORn Symposium" rather than "Tolkien symposium" since the vast majority of us would be amateurs and not looking at academic rigour here. Friendly and relaxed discussion about interesting Tolkien related topics is the aim really. We certainly don't need people being too critical and demanding proof all the time. Maybe if we set some ground rules, so we don't get into difficult arguments, or, indeed, some of the protracted and circular arguments seen on certain other boards here.
My original working title was "TORn symposium, conference, quest, thing...." but maybe that's not quite what we want!Wink Although there certainly are people of intelligence hereSmile I'll try to think about any alternative names.

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


elaen32
Gondor


May 25 2013, 3:31pm

Post #49 of 56 (219 views)
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The Reading Room- where the happy people lurk! [In reply to] Can't Post

SmileI don't think we're too challenging and "prove it", although I guess the length of some of the opening posts in a Sil chapter discussion can be quite long, with a lot of questions, which some may find off-putting. In general though, I have found that there is something here for everybody- I myself have not read HOME (except for those relating to LOTR), but am interested to read the views of those who have read more than I have. In return, I have had generous responses to my own observations, which tend to be more instinctive than erudite! I think there are some on TORN who think that to join in RR discussions, one has to have read HOME, Letters etc, which, as we know, is not so. Certainly no reading is required for discussions on kilts, hot dwarves, dreadful puns, zombies or Freudian typos, which also go on a lot here! I think there may have been a different dynamic here at one time, as Curious G says- certainly from reading old threads there seems to have been a more challenging vibe, but that is not the case now. In fact there is far less challenging and a whole lot more laughter here than on the Hobbit board at the moment!!Evil

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Brethil
Half-elven


May 25 2013, 3:42pm

Post #50 of 56 (217 views)
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All true Elaen! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
SmileI don't think we're too challenging and "prove it", although I guess the length of some of the opening posts in a Sil chapter discussion can be quite long, with a lot of questions, which some may find off-putting. In general though, I have found that there is something here for everybody- I myself have not read HOME (except for those relating to LOTR), but am interested to read the views of those who have read more than I have. In return, I have had generous responses to my own observations, which tend to be more instinctive than erudite! I think there are some on TORN who think that to join in RR discussions, one has to have read HOME, Letters etc, which, as we know, is not so. Certainly no reading is required for discussions on kilts, hot dwarves, dreadful puns, zombies or Freudian typos, which also go on a lot here! I think there may have been a different dynamic here at one time, as Curious G says- certainly from reading old threads there seems to have been a more challenging vibe, but that is not the case now. In fact there is far less challenging and a whole lot more laughter here than on the Hobbit board at the moment!!Evil




And that last point an rather an excellent one...! We do have rather a joyful vibe here in the RR, together with deep love of the source material in all of its forms. I think your Symposium idea will be an extension of all that.

(*scanning for Freudian typos....*) Wink

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


The Prancing Pony
Rivendell

May 26 2013, 7:25pm

Post #51 of 56 (208 views)
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Thank you, [In reply to] Can't Post

for your answer. I've written essays before, but citations is something I am still unsure about every time. Smile

I've had some time over the weekend to start writing and hope to finish in time for the first round (though I really should be writing something else entirely...Crazy)

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."


rangerfromthenorth
Rivendell

May 28 2013, 6:13pm

Post #52 of 56 (194 views)
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I would love to write [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed, I already have some work I could submit on various Tolkien Topics, whether it is Tom Bombadil or how the Ring Works, I believe I could adapt these works for just such a forum and I would thoroughly enjoy the opportunity, Just let me know!


Darkstone
Immortal


May 29 2013, 8:51pm

Post #53 of 56 (190 views)
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Definitely [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the annoyances of message boards are those who never deign to discuss but only hang around in order to pounce on others mistakes. Thankfully most of us here have outgrown that sort of mastubatory self-aggrandizement. And there's a long tradition in the Reading Room of not correcting gaffes in grammar or spelling which I think contributes to a great sense of maturity

As opposed to:



******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 29 2013, 9:50pm

Post #54 of 56 (168 views)
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Great cartoon! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Darkstone
Immortal


May 29 2013, 9:56pm

Post #55 of 56 (166 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

The original Curious first posted it here in a self-depreciating post over his own tendency to drag an argument out a bit longer than was seemly.

I do miss him.

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.


Brethil
Half-elven


May 29 2013, 10:11pm

Post #56 of 56 (181 views)
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Keep an eye on the RR, Rangerfromthenorth [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe Elaen and DanielLB are working on a series of steps to elicit interest and allow people to post their topic ideas, to keep things organized. So anyone interested in writing, think about your topics and keep watch!

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

 
 

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