Tomorrow afternoon I'm flying to Texas to give a presentation at the International Reading Association conference in San Antonio. The presentation is what I like to call a blog-and-pony show; I'm doing a "what are blogs and wikis and what types of classroom interaction might they support" spiel, followed by my advisor's spiel on blogging and literacy practices. I'm going to be in San Antonio for a grand total of like a day and a half; when I booked the tickets a few weeks ago, I thought I'd be in full panic mode right about now, with a couple of finals due this week. In reality, I'm in pretty good shape, and now wishing that I'd booked a few more days in sunny, warm San Antonio. Ah well. I fully intend to go only to my session and then spend my remaining precious hours on the Riverwalk in a pair of shorts.
April 2005 Archives
This is a very cool idea: the blogger's blogger: an interview series Chandrasutra is interviewing folks off her blogroll, in an attempt to "[raise] our voices and let [Big Media] (and everybody else know) who we actually are, who we link to and why we blog." That's a totally pro-active solution to what I agree is a problem of representation.
I'm sure there are a zillion spoof blogs out there, but this one is pretty darn funny, particularly for a bitter ex-catholic such as myself: Ask the Pope. Recent entries include My Speech at St. Peter's Square and My Ringtone. From the latter: "My current ringtone is Jay-Z’s “99 problems.” It’s the censored version of course, but I don’t think it’s appropriate anymore." Hee hee. (via Dr. Joolz, woman of impeccable taste)
From the NY Times this morning:
"Readers are invited to submit the address of the home (or office or hangout) of a character from a novel, story, children's book or poem that is set in Manhattan." What a fun idea - a literary treasure hunt! It'd be nice to see a good mix of "high" and "low" culture genres, too.
Only a few more weeks to go before the semester's over... and a daunting pile of tasks to finish before then. I know everyone's busy and anyway, who can say that my busy is better than your busy, and who would want to, but I'm going to take a brief moment to indulge in some complaining via list-making. Here tis:
- weekly reading for 3 classes
- pending IRB approval, recruitment and distribution of online survey for project/ independent study
- book review for adolit class
- file the damn FAFSA (why can't you just give me the $ already?)
- come up with presentation for conference in a week and a half
- once it's done, give presentation at said conference
- write and turn in 3 finals (which will include a healthy dose of outside reading)
- analyze data for another conference presentation
- help organize said conference
- present at said conference
- oh yeah, work 30 hours a week
- poke myself in the eye. well, no, not really. but i might.
You know, it really is healthy to write down everything you need to do, cause it makes it seem less daunting. And yet, the fact that I feel a little relieved after reading this list is a testament to the extent to which grad school has screwed with my brain. If only that man out in the street would STOP LAYING ON HIS $#@*()% CAR HORN!!!
So EDUCAUSE launched a little blog pilot project a while ago, and though I'm skeptical of any educational technology organization that positions bloggers as people with "a keen interest in emerging technologies and a spirit of adventure?" (the latter part is what I find problematic, romanticizing blogging is not going to help its uptake among anyone who's not an early adopter), it has some interesting features. I like how the community page aggregates the posts from all the active bloggers, who come from all sorts of different places - giving the illusion of community anyway, since it doesn't look like there's much activity in the way of interaction between bloggers or bloggers and their audience. So it's more like a network of practice than a community of practice perhaps. Anyway, worth noting.
Apple announced that it's (finally, at long last) releasing the latest version of the Mac operating system, code named Tiger (maybe that's why it was missing for so long, it's been doing under cover spy work). There's definitely some cool stuff in the offing though, least of which is iChat AV - multi-site videoconferencing over iChat is something that I could've used on a couple of occasions recently.
I just registered for Cultural Studies Matters, a conference on cultural studies in ed organized by TC grad students (though I'm not breaking my April travel ban, it's here in nyc ;)). The program's out, and it looks great. The speaker lineup is also impressive, especially given the organizers are putting this together more or less on a shoestring. Anyway, it's $30 for students and $100 for non-students - if you're in the city, c'mon by.
I've been kind of laying low lately (lovely alliteration!), working hard but mainly refocusing on the balance that I try to maintain in my life. Having stress headaches for days on end is not only painful, it's totally unnecessary. As part of the plan, I'm missing this month's AERA conference in Montréal, so that I can have a month without travel stress to prep for next month's craziness. And hopefully, get lots of stuff done. Taxes, anyone? (gulp.)
- nature fights back: Angola struggles to cope with virus. For some reason, I was really taken with the book The Hot Zone a few years ago - maybe in a sort of rubbernecking kind of way. Anyway, one of the vicious diseases that the book talks about has broken out in Angola, and it's just a matter of time before it moves to the capital of 4 million people. And oh yeah, by the way, it kills 9 out of 10 people. Worst case scenario? [If I caught the virus,]"I'd get on the first plane out of here," agreed one foreign aid worker. Nice job, you've just spread the virus to every major capital in the world. Congrats, we're all dead. (who knew I had a morbid streak. next!)
- speaking of conspiracy theories: came across The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto via CCTE DR. From the prologue: "The shocking possibility that dumb people don’t exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn’t real." If you're in ed school, this isn't an altogether shocking theory, you hear it raised in some fashion in almost every class. Still worth a perusal though; mass dumbness may amount to a conspiracy theory, but power structures are all too real.
- and on a lighter note: a couple of my favorite Flash cartoons had fun April Fool's Day gags. It's funny how you don't really need to understand Russian (or Bulgarian, or whatever - in any case it's Greek to me ;)) to get the drift of the action.
but wait! dear god! can it be?? ...a clear day?