Tag Archives: writing


peer review

Week 18, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

In Mach, while giving the game design course, I was a student too of a Paper Reviewing Workshop organized by some active members of TEL.

The workshop was very good. I can report that I learn. Also it called my attention that we were active during the course despite that all the participants were spread all over the world. Yes, the workshop was on-line.

Screenshot of one of my sessions at the peer review workshop

Screenshot of one of my sessions at the peer review workshop


Let me clarify, in the past I reviewed some conference papers, however I felt something was missing in my reviews.

I admit that one is constantly learning about one’s area of expertise while doing research. One can offer constructive criticism towards one’s work and the work of others when we write together.  Additionally, one can be critical reader of colleagues’ work before they submit their manuscript, so one is somehow a pre-reviewer.  Finally, I have learned A LOT from the feedback of those reviewers who had  examine my work, despite to be painful to read sometimes.

So, what can one learn from a workshop about peer review process?

In my case, to make explicit what we know or assume tacitly. The process is the learning experience in itself, to share with others and to hear the advices from experts in this specific topic is priceless.

Last week I review some papers, and I sense that my confidence level as a reviewer has increased after the workshop. Consequently, I assumed that my performance a reviewer has improved too. There is also space for improvement, specially with practice. But I want to thank  the organizers of the workshop! as well as the expositors and colleges with whom I discussed.

To close this post, I share a presentation from Marco Kalz which I honestly like and might be useful for others as well.

my hatred and my attraction: writing, writing, writing……

Week 8, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

It is not a secret that my written language skills are poor. They start to develop very late. Regardless of my good education and that I learned the “know-how” of reading and writing since pre-school. I did not acquire THE writing skill. Amazing!

I remember my pre-school teachers testing me on how many words per minute I could read, as well as if I knew my vocabulary or if I was able to spell. However, I do not remember teachers asking me if I understood the meaning of the words, or teachers who could explain me the root of words and the art of writing.

Undoubtedly, the “know-how” to write is not the same as to have THE writing skill. It was not until my PhD that I face the fact: I do not have the writing skill. It is a shocking fact. Later, while talking with a dear friend of mine who is a good writer, she informed me that I actually speak carolingio not even Spanish!

Oh man! I have a long path and a hard work in front of me.

However, I decide to succeed on my PhD, despite the lack of writing skills. Then, and perhaps as a logical consequence, some kind of hatred and impotence towards writing emerged. I have a pressure to advance and it is expected that I know how to write, and the lack of the writing skill is holding me back. So frustrating! The only solution: write, write, write, write…..

Nevertheless from hate, love can emerge. Suddenly, I start to understand the purpose, the beauty and the importance of writing. The game of words and meanings. But overall, I start to gain inner awareness of the importance to share a written message as clearly as possible to others. Writing help us to think.

Still I am very, VERY, behind in my writing skills, but now I want to learn to write. Still I feel frustrate and angry, but the attitude has changed somehow. It is taking me time, and it will take me more time. But the important thing is: I want to learn to write. Perhaps, one day, I will be able to do it!

getting serious at work chapter I – references

Two basic pre-conditions are needed if one wants to be a researcher:

a)     To read, read, read…..

This point does not need explanation, just one MUST read A LOT and CONSTANTLY.

b)    Have a bibliographic management software.

RefWorks has been my election for some time. But there is always a “but” each time I need to use it for my writing. My poor references are always a mess.

Some days ago I read about Zotero. It seems that the light is getting to my reference-mess.

Each person is a world, then each one takes its own decision. Zotero is just an option, which I recommend to put an eye on it!

zotero in my manzanita

zotero in my manzanita





It is a fact that independently of language, I am bad on writing. Perhaps I need to talk with a cognitive psychologist or a linguistic to understand my own case. My personal assumption is: my way of thinking is chaotic, and it does not present the conventional structures for clear expression.  Anyway, I am working on developing the proper writing communication skills so relevant for academia (and so painful to acquiere).

However this post is not about that, it’s purpose is mainly to test a multilingual blog . Yeap, for our ongoing projects with Lieksa and Helsinki, we (Mikko, Teemu and I)  need a multilingual blog. Then I am experimenting about that with my own blog. Nice!

Actually the conference of CATaC, which was bilingual, gave me food for the though in relationship to languages in academic contexts. Yeap, how important is to be open to other languages, in order to understand different ways of analysis, argumentation and philosophies. Not everything can be translated. A correct attitude towards this topic is not only interesting, but also relevant for a richer picture of any phenomena. No easy, challenging, but also rich 🙂 

 Anyway, more soon!

 PS. If you want to try yourself to make a multilingual wordpress site, here is a good guide for it. 

Other languages:





reading and writing.

On April 17th, I mentioned that some of my priorities into my “to do”  list are reading and improved my writing skills. However after exactly 2 months from that post I came to be aware of some obvious things, which actually I should have learned since elementary school:
– create a senseful strategy for reading, (into wide and deepness)
– understand what the author wants to say
– think and digest this information / knowledge,
– think again before writing,
– write thoughtful (and remember simple + short, it is beautiful!!!).

In addition, to develop our own thinking is challenging. As any other Art, I would attempt to say, because it requires discipline and to be constant in its practice. All these is harder than what I thought! Or it seems in the hurry to discover the world and its possibilities, or to survive in it, I had really forgotten some of the valuable basics.

On the other hand, I am quiet surprised to realized this too. Because being someone that had spent so many years in a diversity of educational systems, and that enjoys to learn, it has taking me over two decades to get at this point, which might only mean I am a good survivor into school systems (no sure if my ex-teachers would like to hear this). Or as any human being, we have different stages, plus there are so many things to learn and digest in our life, besides school, that we are only able to really understand any subject when we are ready for that (as in a ZPD ). In the mid time keep on being open and practice your skills. As in any game, be ready for your next turn.