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Archive for March 2008
Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 2:10 PM by Jason Barker
I've uploaded the new episode of re/CALL; this episode looks at "How Can You Talk to God in Prayer?" The free re/CALL This! graphic for this episode contains prayers for before and after classes or lessons.
Posted in re/CALL
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 4:29 PM by Jason Barker
Posted in Get Wisdom!
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 at 2:41 PM by Jason Barker
The work I do requires a fair amount of organization - I have numerous different projects on which I'm working at any given time for different organizations, departments and/or ministries. I've therefore developed reasonable (for me) systems of organizing my time, my different projects, the resources for the different projects, and resources (such as Lingo scripts for Director) that I share between projects.
An area in which I tend to fail dismally, however, is in organizing my notes - and particularly quotations - that I use in articles and other documents I write. For some inexplicable reason, when writing I tend to simply have teetering piles of books stuffed with bookmarks on my desk - and a large number of websites bookmarked in my browser - but I have seldom gotten around to actually putting quotes and citations in some type of database or filing system. Thus, when I need a quote or reference that I used in a previous publication, I need to remember the specific publication, find it, and then read it to find the needed information (and too often I find that I misremembered the publication, forcing me to go through several works until I find the information).
My primary New Year's resolution for this year was therefore to turn around this abominable practice and develop a recording system that will enable me to easily find quotations on a topic. I was fortunate to use a type of application that works well with the way my mind organizations information; you might also find it to be helpful.
The application to which I'm referring is a tree-style text editor (you can also find them called such things as tree-view information organizers, tree-view PIMs, etc.). When working on the application for the Be Transformed study of Romans, I needed some way of tracking the location of objects on screens, the specific screens on which specific articles and indices appeared, and the location of individual objects (such as specific scripts) from within the cast of several thousand objects that are used in the application.
The free tree-style editor KeyNote (for Windows) served my needs very well: I created nodes for such things as the templates for the different types of screens, and then child nodes for each individual type of screen. Then, when I needed to find the location of an object on a screen, I could simply open the node for templates, and then look at the child node on which I had listed the object locations within that template. I created similar sets of parent/child nodes for articles and for cast members.
If I still used Windows as my primary OS I would still be using KeyNote. I eventually switched to a Mac, however, and I wanted something that would run on my Mac without necessitating the time and resource drain of continually running Windows in Parallels simply so that I could take notes. I eventually settled on Jreepad, a multi-platform application (it requires Java). Jreepad lacks many of KeyNote's features - particularly the ability to work with rich text (Jreepad uses only plain text) - but it saves files in the same format as the commercial application Treepad (which is a Windows app, but is supposedly coming to the Mac this year), and I like the fact that it allows me and others to use the files on both Windows and OS X.
Many readers may prefer Jreepad because, while it's more limited than KeyNote, it is also significantly easier to use than KeyNote: there are only eight simple commands, each of which has its own button in the application's toolbar.
SAVING AND ORGANIZING ORTHODOX QUOTES
I'll use Jreepad - which both PC and Mac users can use - as an example of how you can collect and organize quotations from Church Fathers and modern Orthodox writers. The image below displays the key elements I'll be discussing.
You'll start in the organizational tree by naming the main topic to be covered in this file: in my Jreepad file I simply named this topic "Patristic Quotes" (even though I also include modern quotations). Every topic that you will add to this collection will be added by clicking the "Add Below" button.
After creating a node for an individual topic (you can see my continually-growing list of topics in the left sidebar of the above image), you will then add a child to that topic. I organize the "children" of my topics in one of two ways: by subtopic, or by author. A huge topic - like Christ - will have a number of subtopics; a smaller topic - like Annunciation - will probably not have subtopics, and thus the first level of children will be the names of authors of various quotes. Further levels of children can be created as necessary.
To see an example of this, in the above graphic look at the node for "Annunciation" (which, at the time I am writing this, we will celebrate tomorrow). At this time I only have a quotation from St. Romanos the Melodist about the Annunciation; there is therefore only one child for Annunciation node. I also only have one quote from St. Romanos, and thus there is only one child of his node; if I had two hymns from him, then there would be two children of the "St. Romanos the Melodist" node.
If there is a subtopic that becomes so big that it needs to be made into its own topic, I can simply use the "Out" button to move the node further to the left (which also changes its level in the organizational hierarchy from a "child" node to a "parent" node). Conversely, when I create a topic that I later decide should instead be a subtopic of another topic, then I can use the "Up" button to move the lesser topic's node directly beneath the node for the greater topic, and then use the "In" button to move the lesser topic to the right (and thereby change it into a "child" of the greater topic).
This is the basic process I use for organizing and saving Orthodox quotations. The specific application commands will be different if you use KeyNote instead of Jreepad (or any other similar program), but the basic organizational strategy you use will be similar.
SOURCES FOR ORTHODOX QUOTES
There are, of course, many excellent translations of patristic works and modern works from St. Vladimir's Seminary Press and others that you can obtain from such sources as Light & Life, Conciliar Press and Eighth Day Books. There are also good modern Orthodox periodicals, like Conciliar Press' AGAIN magazine and The Handmaiden.
There are also websites with free translations of patristic works. In addition to the Christian Classics Ethereal Library's public domain collection of The Early Church Fathers, Matthew Steenberg's Monachos site has quite a few translations and articles.
I also recommend Fr. Stephen Freeman's Glory to God for All Things blog which, in addition to containing Fr. Stephen's valuable thoughts, also frequently contains quotations from ancient and modern Orthodox writers. Fr. Stephen also hosts the Glory to God podcast for Ancient Faith Radio, and frequently appears on Theologically Thinking on the Orthodox Christian Network.
Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008 at 10:12 AM by Jason Barker
Posted in Ancient Faith
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 at 6:04 PM by Jason Barker
My new podcast, re/CALL, has launched on Ancient Faith Radio! The podcast - like my other work for the Department of Youth Ministry - is directed to Orthodox Christian teens, focusing on the ways in which your relationship with God and His Church can permeate every aspect of your life.
The first episode focuses on why we should pray, and looks at ways to overcome some of the most common reasons for not praying.
Along with each episode I'll also create a free re/CALL This! graphic, which emphasizes a key point from the episode. The first re/CALL This! graphic presents a quote from St. John the Solitary about praying with gratitude.
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 8:12 PM by Jason Barker
Posted in Get Wisdom!
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 11:12 AM by Jason Barker
I've uploaded the first edition of re/CALL This!, a free graphic that will accompany each episode of my new re/CALL podcast. Each re/CALL This! graphic will highlight a key point from that week's episode of the podcast; this first edition features a quotation from St. John the Solitary about ways in which to pray with gratitude.
In addition to using re/CALL This! as a way of remembering key points from the podcast, you can also send copies of the graphic for your friends to let them know about this Orthodox Christian podcast for teens.
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 at 2:59 PM by Jason Barker
The Orthodox Christian Network has announced a matching donation program for Great Lent:
Thanks to a challenge grant from a private donor, your tax-deductible, Lenten gift to OCN of $25, $50, $100 or more will be matched DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR -- and it will help to share the light of Orthodoxy with the world! Please prayerfully consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity today. Call us at 877-273-2348 for more information or respond online.
Posted in OCN
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2008 at 9:11 AM by Jason Barker
Joy of Tech has a good comic about the possible reasons for the high cost of premium electronics cables. I've always groaned at the shelling out what seems to be a lot of money for cables, but I REALLY groaned when I bought the XLR and insert cables I need for recording Get Wisdom and re/CALL.
Posted in Miscellaneous
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 7:32 PM by Jason Barker
My new podcast, re/CALL (Responding to God's Call in Your Life), will launch on March 22nd. re/CALL is a podcast for Orthodox Christian teens and young adults that focuses on how your relationship with God and His Church can permeate every aspect of your life: dealing with family, friends, school, work, your spiritual life, and everything in-between!
To learn more, visit the re/CALL website at www.orthodoxyouth.org/recall.
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2008 at 9:11 AM by Jason Barker
This is just a quick note to let you know that there will be no new episode of GET WISDOM either this week or next. The week of March 16th, however, I will start a new series on the Gospel according to St. Mark.
Posted in Get Wisdom!