Thursday, 29 December 2011

The best laid schemes....

Robert Burns once wrote a poem entitled 

"To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough"

For a standard English translation, go to Wikipedia

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


I like the original version of this poem. I find it almost completely understandable without translation into Standard English.

The most often quoted lines (in Standard English) are...

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

This post is a matter of best-laid schemes gang aft agley (best laid schemes going often askew).

+ + + + + + + + + + + + +

When first starting this blog, now one of five I operate, I had plans of making posts with thoughts and ideas I have. I thought this would show more serious posts yet, when I checked, this blog hadn't had a new post for six months and had few comments, one comment not being about this blog but a thank you for commenting I had done on another blog.

What went askew?

I found something I enjoyed doing, namely commenting on blogs of schools, classes and students around the world. Mostly I concentrate on primary aged (5 to 12 year old) posts but also visit high school and teacher blogs. Feedback from the comments I leave has been tremendously supportive of my commenting. Children, I have been told, get very excited when someone takes the time to read and comment on their posts.

Twitter has become my resource for finding blogs wanting comments added. The hashtag #Comments4Kids is my shortcut to these blogs as teachers share links and request comments. I also trawl through tweets each morning to collect other requests. You can quickly develop a good reputation for positive comments.

Commenting can be a very time consuming task. I find I often write quite long comments compared to most, one high school student once pointing out it was the first time he received a comment longer than his post. At times, a comment becomes a post on one of my blogs because of the amount of information carried. Commenting also led to the creation of other blogs...

Was set up to share stories I write. Mostly they are for writing challenges for adults but are written so they can be read by children (strictly G rated). This is my commonly shared web site and in the six months since it started, is approaching 3000 visits.

Was set up when I took the role of mentor in Edublogs challenge for children to develop their blogging skills. Limited visits for this one as children only dropped in to ask for help or see the references.

Was set up to provide a blog to help classes in their studies. In particular, one class in the UK was studying volcanoes. I was able to send samples I had collected in my geology hobby and provide information to help their classwork. Visited only by a few classes who have heard about it.

This is the latest and as yet hasn't listed any posts. It's real aim was to allow me to comment on Primary Blogger blogs for children. It may become another resource blog for children.

All 5 blogs may evolve over time. This blog may one day achieve more frequent posts but this mouse hasn't planned anything as yet. Time will tell, or at least the lack of time may determine what happens as I try to visit and comment on children's work.

I also operate a You Tube channel. For privacy reasons, most of my videos can't be listed for public viewing as they involve school children. In my state, filming in schools and public posting to You Tube is strictly forbidden without direct authorisation. This is my most viewed on line existence with approaching 57500 views.

With commenting, running a You Tube channel (again suitable for children to view), and the non-profit CD, DVD and filming work I do for community groups and schools, time is the most precious commodity closely followed by funding since volunteer and non-profit work pays well in thanks but not money. :)

What has happened since starting my first blog in May, 2011 wasn't planned, it evolved. :)