Proof-reading my book...how I miss you!
It's a strange feeling these days, ever since I got to see, hold and feel all the chapters of my book together. This is hard to express. It's something that you feel when you are unable to share your happiness at reaching a milestone with your most loved ones. I missed my father at every little goal I accomplished in the last two years of my writing, re-writing and editing. And now, I remember him each time I look at the first proofs of the printed chapters; I'm sure he would have been more excited than I am and would have eagerly awaited to see it in final shape. I know he would have definitely helped me with at least one round of proof-reading using those standard 'proof-reading' symbols (like he had done for my dissertations).
Sometimes, I feel I've had imaginary conversations with him, telling him in detail about the subject of my book, updating him on the progress, my meetings with the publisher (Mr. Madhu Reddy), introducing him to the editor (Ms. Dharani. K), the difficulties I've been facing in managing my writing along with regular office, and every little thing to do with it...just like how I used to narrate things during my college days and take pride in telling him about any reward or recognition that I got. Or, how he would 'react' looking at any write-up of mine published in newspapers and magazines. I miss those words of encouragement and appreciation.
My father was not an academician but he was indirectly associated with academics throughout his career at CIEFL. I remember when I was pursuing my PGDTE at CIEFL, how he would get curious about me working on new ideas for textbooks and new ways of teaching English. He would often ask me if I was going to write textbooks after my research. Perhaps, that was not the way my career would take shape, as I bid adieu to college teaching after a brief stint and got into e-learning design and development in an MNC.
However the idea of writing/publishing a book (not a textbook) remained with me, and I explored several options. I wanted to publish my Ph.D dissertation, but that didn't seem practical as I 'changed' my career and my professional priorities were different. Later, I explored writing on 'Instructional Design' since most of my articles and presentations were well-received and I was asked by several professionals to write more on this subject. But, this didn't seem to work as the topic was too narrow and that was not how I wanted to project the area of content design for e-learning. Later, I toyed with the idea of working on a professional blog on the same subject but didn't pursue it further.
Then, one fine day, it was like a 'revelation' for me. In one of my invited talks on e-learning design at CDAC, some participants sought help in learning on their own about various aspects of e-learning. I quoted some references from websites and mentioned my idea about blog to them. Immediately, I heard some of them saying that to access the blog or to refer to the web pages, they need the Internet and most of them do not have access to the Internet. Not that I wasn't aware of this fact, but this point was bothering me because I felt what they said was true about most of the teachers and trainers in India. That's when I felt that I should reconsider my book and start working on it again. This time, it was on e-learning design, development and delivery, specifically targeted at the Indian audience.
More about my book in the next blog.