Still in first class, after a brief non-critical review of accomplishments):
Now return to the object and briefly observe/study it anew, as if you have never seen it before.
Then explore the word and its object via the method of a concept* map:
Place your word in the center of a sheet of paper, then add to this other words that represent the nature and characteristics of the object the word represents: features, structures, feelings, qualities, values, relational properties. Minimize your notations with single words/phrases (or simple descriptions, or even quick visual notes) with the goal to become truly aware of your observations and to appreciate this object more intimately. Come back to the map later to expand it, as needed. Note that this concept map represents: 1) words (and other devices) as “signs” that represent ideas or stand for something else; 2) a whole that represents the principle of the many (words, ideas) into that single (central) idea of one.
Reflect on this during your process. Observe your curiosities, interests, and questions for inquiry,
and write these down as you go along or when you take time out to reflect.
* The concept map is a simple method to reveal the relational value of parts to a whole. This represents a fundamental principle: meaning exists only from relationship. To center your consciousness (by having a word in the center) helps maintain an awareness of the interactive nature of parts and wholes (immediate, indirect or hypothetical relationships), vs. a linear path, wherein awareness can loose sight of source and value. The concept map is also often referred to as “mind-map” (popularized by Tony Buzan, British psychologist, in the late 1970s, inspired by Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics theory); but the term “mind-map” is misleading since the system does not map the mind, except to record “thought” as one, albeit limited, characteristic of the mind. Long before Buzan others used the same mapping system for similar purposes (e.g., 3rd cent. Greek philosopher, Porphyry, used it to map out Aristotle’s categories; Ernest E. Wood, 1930s, used it as a means to train concentration skills).
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