sarahkeenihan

Posts Tagged ‘emotion’

Mystery metaphors: guess who?

In June 2016 on June 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm

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Sarah: Here’s a piece of writing I composed at a storytelling workshop I ran recently with SA committee members of the Australian Science Communicators.

SA Writing Centre Development Manager David Chapple encouraged a room full of 50 attendees to use metaphor to describe someone they felt strongly about (like or dislike). We were asked to include reference to sound, smell, an animal, a plant and to record what we had learnt from this person.

He’s like a scared little boy. Terrified they might see him for who he really is.

When I see him talk, I feel like I want to slap him. His face moves like a rubber figure. He pauses deliberately so that his adoring audience has time to applaud and hoot. His words are so ugly and because I know he has chosen them on purpose they make me want to approach him and punch.

He’s like a tomato with a blonde wig, all red and yellow and waiting to be smashed and burst.

It’s unbearable, because although I want to run at him and make him shut up I also want to run far, far way and pretend I never heard him.

The flags around him make him seem important. The T shirts with logos scream louder than his words. He has support. He has so much support that it’s unbearable. Where did theses people come from? How are they so different from me?

He’s like an indignant Cheshire cat. Grinning. Stupidly grinning. He knows I can’t reach him, he’ll always be up that tree and I’ll be down here.

He’s proud. He’s proud to be such a smug, smarmy arsehole. It makes me nauseous.

He’s taught me that this is how history is made. When one person capitalises on pre-existing fear.

Who is it?

 

[image thanks to https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/]

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To share or not to share

In May 2015 on May 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

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Sarah: How much of ‘you’ should you reveal when you’re a blogger, a journalist or a writer? In a world of social media — where connections and share-ability matter — it’s an issue that I grapple with regularly.

I trained as a research scientist during the 1990s. Whilst things are slightly more liberal now, back then I was taught that come hell or high water, I should never dare to use personal pronouns or include my thoughts and opinions in any written materials. Science is objective. Science has procedures. Science is not influenced by emotion or personal experiences. Science has a reputation to uphold!

When I started blogging and writing for more general audiences, it took me many years to be work out the right balance of ‘being me’ in a public space. Me a scientist; but also me a writer, a citizen, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a runner, a cook, a netball coach…I think you get my drift.

Gently, slowly, I started to wrap my head around writing in the first person. Still thinking from the perspective of science, through this blog I shared experiences from my home life, my working life and many other things in between. Now I’m quite comfortable with revealing a little of myself through my words. Not too much….just a little, and only in the right context.

Like scientists, wine writers on the whole are not renowned for being liberal with personal details. Sure, they’re inclined to get a bit emotional about the 2008 Penfolds Grange, but overall they keep a lid on it.

When wine aficionado Nick Ryan began writing a regular column for Adelaide’s Sunday Mail newspaper, he too felt nervous about revealing too much of himself. Here’s a story I wrote about Nick’s shared experiences of parenting, losing a partner and the benefits that can come from letting an audience get to know you.

[Photo credit: Got Credit]