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JOURNAL PROJECT

TOPICS FOR ENTRIES

1. A problem of the day

2. A response to the activities of the day

3. A thought about life

4. The weather and your reaction to it

5. Experiences of yourself, family or friends

6. An explanation of a passing mood

7. An analysis of some experience of the day

8. An observation of nature

9. An analysis of your relationship with some other person

10. Reactions to your reading (newspapers, books, magazines)

11. Impressions of people and interpretations of their behavior

12. In order to attain my goals this year, I...

13. If I could trade places with anyone...

14. If I had three wishes...

15. What really gets to me is...

16. I am thankful for...

17. I'm different from everyone else...

18. I have really been influenced by...

19. I really feel proud when...

EXERCISES AND IDEAS FOR JOURNAL ENTRIES

1. Taste test. You will need a partner for this exercise. Blindfold yourself and have your partner give you similar type items to taste and identify. E.g. various brands of colas, types of apples, types of pears, brands of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. After the test write about the experience and try to describe the tastes using precise language.

2. Scent test. Variation of exercise # 1. Again blindfold yourself and have your partner give you items to smell and identify. E.g. different perfumes, herbs, spices, soaps.

3. For one day carefully and objectively note when you speak and analyze what you learn about yourself. E.g. Do you initiate all, some, none, of the conversations with friends, family, co-workers? Do you express your views frequently, seldom, never? Do you participate in class discussions, all classes, only certain ones, hardly any? Are you a speaker or a listener most of the time? Are you a good listener? What do you talk mostly about during the day?

4. Objectively note how you eat dinner. Do you eat all of one kind of food first? Do you save the best for last? Do you leave what you don't like unfinished? Do you like your food on separate areas of your plate? What does this tell you about yourself? Do you approach other aspects of your life the same way?

5. Examine any "object" for 2 full minutes. (Set a timer if necessary.) Try to use all of your senses. Describe it as completely and precisely as possible.

6. Find some place where you can be completely alone. Spend 30 minutes in this place being by yourself. No radio, T.V. stereo, phone, other people, etc. After 30 minutes write about your reaction to the experience. Were you comfortable, uncomfortable with yourself? Did you feel as if you should be "doing" something? Why or why not? What does this tell you about yourself? Did you become more aware of your "place?"

7. On several pieces of lined paper, print your name vertically putting each letter in your name on a separate line. Give the sheets to various members of your family-- mother, father, sibling you feel closest to, sibling you usually are in conflict with, and to various friends. Ask each person to complete the exercise alone. Ask the person to write down an adjective beginning with each letter in your name that he or she feels best describes you. Analyze the completed lists objectively. What did you learn about yourself from other people's impressions of you? Do you reveal different aspects of yourself to different people? Were adjectives repeated on the different lists? Do you agree with people's choices of adjectives?

8. Record your dreams and try to analyze what you think they mean.

9. Take a new page in your journal and draw the face of a clock without the hands. As you look at the clock, ask yourself the question, "What time is it in my life?" After thinking about the question, answer it by drawing in the hands on clock. In your entry reflect on your clock.

10. As a follow-up to exercise # 9, respond to the following statements:

11. Use three separate pages of your journal to draw three portraits of yourself, one representing the past, one the present, and one the future. Title your portraits "I was," I am," and "I will be." You may use words, symbols, sketches to best express each of these stages in your life. In your journal describe your reaction to each of these portraits in detail. What mood or feeling does each evoke?

12. What are the images that suggest themselves to you as real descriptions of yourself or your lifestyle? Draw or describe one of these images in your journal. E.g. do you see yourself as an unmade bed, a doormat, a small precious package, an open road, a caution sign? Examine your choice in writing.

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