The problem? Many were stuck in generalizations about the text, pointing out what tended to happen without pointing out one specific event. One student tried to excuse that, saying that it was totally OK to generalize. I asked him if, the next time he goes in for surgery, does he want to doctor to know the general area where the surgery is to occur, or does he want the doctor to know the precise place it needs to happen? That got some laughs, and I think the point was made: it's easy to deal with generalizations, but it's problematic if we don't get into the details.
For me, that's what I think of when journaling: the details. After I collect the details, I go from there to figure out my purpose: why do I want to create this layout? And usually at this point, my layout is born.
For example, I have some leftover photos from my Sculpture Garden trip this summer. I've done two layouts already, one documenting the trip (little journaling) and one about my sons' climbing habits. But I love these photos, so I want to scrap them. I wasn't sure why, so I started to write down details from the trip. Here's what I got:
- I went with the boys and my college friend Lisa
- Lisa was pregnant at the time, due around Labor Day (no lie)
- She ultimately gave birth to a boy
- My boys were typical that day, climbing, exploring, talking, goofing, etc.
So what will my purpose be? I will share to my friend (and to whoever else reads it) what it is like to be a mother of boys. It's fun, exciting, tiring, worrisome, energizing, and joyful. The details from this day revealed to me that I had something bigger to say about this experience, so I do have one more layout to create using these photos.