Monday, November 14, 2005

Exciting developments in my class on Language, Technology, and Culture

Last week several exciting things happened in the class I'm teaching this term. For one thing, Paul Bausch, co-developer of Blogger, came to class and gave a truly wonderful presentation. He began by talking about how technologies circulate, and he had a wonderful example to support this. He showed a slide of a 13th century church with a clock in the church steeple: in the 13th century that was how most people told time. Then he showed a grandfather clock, developed in, I think, the 15th or 16th century. The grandfather clock allowed people to bring the community time piece into their homes. Then he showed a pocket watch, which brought the technology of time even more intimately into people's lives. Then he showed wrist watches--and he ended by pointing out that currently information about time is available so many places (microwaves, cell phones, computers) that many people no longer need to wear watches.

Fascinating! Paul Bausch's entire talk with riveting--I could tell that the students were deeply interested in what he had to say.

That same day Jenniver Winters from KVAL Eugene came to campus to interview me, film some of the class, and interview some of the students for a story they're doing on blogging. She's also interviewing Paul Bausch. As I joked with the students, this was our 15 seconds of fame.

We're about 2/3rds of the way through our course, and this is definitely a situation where I wish the class was a year long, rather than a term. The students have been great, I've learned a lot, and it's been fun. What more could a teacher ask for?!