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


May 24 2013, 4:11am

Post #26 of 56 (328 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 (327 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 (305 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 (312 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 (299 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 (304 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 (281 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 (275 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 (281 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 (295 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 (279 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 (273 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 (255 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 (284 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 (269 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 (263 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 (246 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 (243 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 (253 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 (254 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 (240 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 (228 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 (219 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 (220 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 (218 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."

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