Tag Archives: catacombs

#DigiLitSunday: Digital Writing

digilitCheck out additional #DigiLit Sunday posts with Margaret Simon here.


How does a post come to fruition?

Here’s an inside look at the content and the process for today’s post.

What’s the focus?


Where did my idea come from?

My idea was to tell how a post originated from one idea/ one tour during my recent trip to Rome. It was a topic that I briefly addressed two weeks ago (while in Rome) under the topic of Motivation here.


My “S-Notes” on my phone which I used frequently on this trip.

s notes.png

But WHAT am I going to write about the catacombs?

This is the stage where I pour a cup a coffee, add categories and tags, go for a walk with Mya, because sometimes the “ideas” actually work themselves out in my head. I draft in my head multiple times before I begin to put fingers to the keyboard.

I briefly addressed this topic in an earlier post.  I thought I was done writing about it.  But my brain won’t let go.  I bought books at the gift shop.  Books . . . books that I am currently reading . . . curious about the “bits and pieces” that I learned while traveling and now want to add to my knowledge.

Does that ever happen to you?

Google’s response to the word “catacomb” was that they were present in London, Paris and Rome.  Many locations, many purposes, but my connection to “world civilizations” was in Rome.  “Rome Catacombs” led me to some interesting sources including National Geographic and the Vatican.  The Vatican source seemed the most promising as the National Geographic source had already pointed out that the Vatican owned all of the Christian Catacombs (numbering 40 known ones at this time).

(Yes, I went to google first with “Catacombs”, then “Roman Catacombs” and then “Calixtus Catacombs”.)

What specific information was I looking for?

I wanted to know more about “deacon Calixtus, who would later become pope (217-222), the task of supervising the cemetery of the Appian Way, where the most important pontiffs of the third century would be buried.” (Source: Vatican)

Our tour began with story boards and I was hooked.


Picture taken of tour guide and story board. 09.01.16  fgmcveigh

Our guide was amazing.  The stories were riveting.  And now I’m embroiled in learning more about the catacombs. Sixteen different popes were buried in this set of catacombs along with 50 martyrs.  But this was also the burial place for the common persons during the second through fourth centuries.  The oldest tombs are those in the top levels as later tombs were dug below those previously interred.

What was the most interesting story for me?

The story of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, who was martyred and who is also revered as an “incorrupt” saint.  Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic belief that divine intervention allows some human bodies (specifically saints) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness.



Today, once I had settled on my topic, The Catacombs of Callisto, I drafted. I did not revise.  I did do some minor editing – especially checking my quotation marks.  I also used the spell check embedded in WordPress.

What’s your digital writing process?  

Is it EXACTLY like your handwritten process?

Draft to publication:  1 hour and 42 minutes (I was lost in pictures for a bit.)




#DigiLitSunday: Motivation


What truly causes one to learn?

Is it the search to answer a question?

The insatiable curiosity of one who just wants to know more?

As I have been traveling in Rome, I have been wondering about this issue. Where does motivation really live?

So I thought about comparing  two of my tours while here.

Tour 1: Catacombs

The local guide, name unknown, used storyboards to illustrate the main points. Her voice was soft for our group of 52 pilgrims. But her voice rose and sped up with her excitement and passion. Some of her questions were rhetorical. But we sat in a group hearing the background information about what we would see in our tour.

I took notes . . . 10 pages of S notes on my phone. I talked to other tour group members, took pictures and even tweeted out pictures and comments. (I have no clue how to copy anything on this new device. . . Mini-iPad 4 so you will have to find the tweets yourself!)

Was I told to take notes? Was I told to pay attention? Was I told “this would be on the test”?

The answer to all those questions is NO!

Tour 2: The Sistine Chapel

The tour guide was a recording. I moved at my own pace. I listened to the first section to learn about the frescoes on the ceiling, a separate recording for The Redemption, more about the Cardinals and the current use of The Sistine Chapel, and then another recording about the care and maintenance of the chapel.

I can speak oF generalities. The voice did not exude passion. I chose to be there. I chose the order of my learning.

And yet, the tour did not inspire me to take ANY notes.   Maybe I was influenced by the constant, “Silencio” and interrupted by, “No video” and “No phone camera”.

But what if the difference was in the lack of personal inspiration or challenge from a real live person whose dedication to the topic encouraged me to learn more? What if the passion and excitement of a teacher FOR their subject matter  is absorbed AND reflected by the students?

What if your students need  a personal connection?

What if the “motivation to learn” is fueled by choice, time and commitment to learning AFTER it is IGNITED by a teacher . . .Or another learner?

How do YOU plan accordingly for students who don’t learn the same every day?


please head to Magaret’s DigiLitSunday for more posts.

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