Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A quick greeting to any ENG 495/595 students who stop by my blog

Today was the first day of a new course that I'm teaching, ENG 495/595 Language, Culture, and Literacy. I'm very excited to be teaching this class. It feels risky--but risky in a good way--because while I have a good deal of scholarly (and also popular culture) knowledge about our topic, I am the complete opposite of a technerd. Thanks to Blogger, I was able to set up this blog easily, but I very easily get intimidated and frustrated when I try to do anything more techy.

At any rate, I gave my students the URL for The Writing Way and encouraged them--you!--to stop by. So I thought I'd post a special greeting in case that happens. So hi there, and welcome!

I also thought I'd write a few comments about the experience of writing for my blog. Keeping a blog has been a very interesting experience for me. Writing my first post to my blog was one of the most difficult and challenging writing tasks I've ever faced. As an academic, I'm used to writing with specific audiences/venues in mind. I had no idea who might find their way to my blog, so I didn't know how to address/invoke my audience.

Someday I hope to do a rhetorical analysis of my posts to this blog. I can see that I developed certain strategies over time. Sometimes when I write about research projects, for instance, I make a little fun of academic jargon--even as I keep it in the body of a conference talk that I might be posting.

I must say that I've been very moved by the generosity exhibited in people's responses. My mother died suddenly last January, and I didn't post to my blog for almost a month. When I returned, I wrote a very brief post on why I'd been away--and I was very moved by the comments I got. Some comments were from people I know, but many were from folks completely unknown to me. I'll never know how they found my blog or why they read my post--or why they took the time to respond so generously and thoughtfully.

On a less serious note, last February when my husband was away--he's usually the one who takes out dog out in the morning--our dog Bachelor was sprayed by a skunk. Since Greg wasn't there, I couldn't say that YOUR dog has been sprayed by a skunk and leave the mess to him, so I had to deal with it. To alleviate some of the awfulness of the situation, I wrote several semi-humorous posts to my blog. I haven't counted, but I think these got more comments than possibly any other posts. I even got a comment from an elderly woman in Corvallis who I often see downtown trying to trap feral cats. (Look for her by the main library late in the day.)

Hmmm. I just realize that I have somewhat lost my train of thought. But this is a post to my personal blog, right? So I don't have to place myself under the same kind of constraints I hold myself to for academic writing.

Again, thanks for stopping by! And if you have a blog, please do send me the URL and as soon as I can I'll take a look.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

A new course I'm teaching on Language, Technology, and Culture

Hi there,
Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. It's been a busy summer. I thought I'd write now to let interested readers--are you out there?--know that I'm teaching a new course this coming fall term. It's called Language, Culture, and Technology, and I'm quite excited about it. There are three texts for the course:

Manguel's A History of Reading

Selfe's Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century: The Importance of Paying Attention

Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Literacy and Learning.

We're going to be experimenting with a class blog for this class; in fact, with the help of colleagues at OSU I'll be creating a blog especially for the class.

If anyone out there would like to know more, let me know.