Monthly Archives: April 2009

Redesign Coming Soon

Ok, I have now mastered just enough knowledge of the WP templates to be disatisfied with how this blog is working.  Sometime very soon I’ll be doing a major redesign, as well as expanding the content, though the latter will probably wait until summer.

My other projects have slowed down because funding at my school has really dried up.  Now I’m having to back up and redesign several of them, at least for now.

The main difference will be focusing more attention on the Bay Area in comparison to NL.  I had planned to wait another year or so before getting into this angle, but since travel abroad is tough right now, I’ll focus closer to home.  Happily for me I’ve ended up in the last nine months or so meeting a lot of artists, hackers, scholars and others who occupy a similar “space” to those I’ve been working with in the Netherlands.

More on all of this soon, but untill the end of term next month, updates will be sporadic.


My school, like many, is having money trouble, and that’s making things tough in a number of ways.  For me personally, there is direct financial impact– we didn’t get the raises we were due this year, and there’s no money for travel or research.  I was awarded an internal research grant, but since we have no money, it wasn’t funded.  But even worse, money for a lot of other things is being cut and some people are losing their jobs.  Some people I supervise.  We haven’t officially laid anyone off, and so far, there are no plans for that.  But there are people who had not worked here long enough to gain any protection who were not re-hired after one semester.  And our grad students can’t count on finding work here any more after they finish.

My school has always asked a lot in terms of teaching and service, but I think many of us have been quiet disheartened by the current conditions.  Also, many of us are looking around and noticing that working so many hours per week leaves little tmes for friends and family.  I have been thinking about that a lot.  I love my research, and my students are great.  but I need to have some life outside those areas.  In fact, I’d like at least half my time free to spend on the other things I love– friends and family of course.  But also gardening.  Reading for fun.  Writing and coding for fun; to experiment, rather than always to a deadline.

And I’m tired of moving.  And of always traveling for work.  Thinking hard about how to change things so I can work less and play more.  So that work again becomes fun, rather than a weight crushing the life out of my life.

Yes, dark post today, but there it is.  I  paid a cost for my doctorate in all the time I didn’t spend on anything else about which I cared.  i didn’t expect I’d just have to keep paying and paying.  Think I’m going to try keeping more for myself.

CCCC panel–Web 2.0 Wavelengths: Examining Spaces Created Within Electronic Discourse

Missed the first speaker–my stupid business center could not print my slides…. 😛

2 Jennifer Buckner spoke about using Pownce in her class.  She analyzed her own interactions with students and in particular the way she teetered between speaking personally and speaking as teacher.  I notice again how little Comp. and and Internet Research are not talking, because so many of the questions raised have been raised and explored already–which is not to discredit what she said, but rather to wish the larger conversation were more coherent and integrated.

I also wonder if she has read earlier research on networked writing classes–must find citations for those.

3 Deanya Lattimore now presenting “How I killed the Weblog.”  She uses overheads in a really clever way to introduce her talk, which has changed from when she first proposed it.  She used a multi-user WordPress blog–how does one choose that?  It allows students to choose there own themes, but doesn’t encourage the kind of organization I can achieve with the magzine type theme I’ve used in my classes.  –hypersuasion–

problems: no outward links, only internal.  No comments.

Is it true that a paper-based essay wouldn’t allow the personal tone that a student uses in the blog’s “about me” page?

Seems Deanya emphasized too much what form an essay must take–not too much hyperlinking, for example.  She also thinks this focus stifled comments and prevented the “working through ideas” characteristic of many blogs.  In the end, she seems to have decided that it would have been better to not try controlling what students wrote, or how they wrote it.  –That jibes with most work on fostering student engagement; students will feel more invested if they have more control.

Next time–the blog as portfolio, not essay.

And let the academic essay rest in peace.

4 Todd Finley –Microblogging as prof. development.  Cites Alfred Wallace–developed theory of evolution in a fever dream, at the same time as Darwin, but was just a little too slow publishing.

How we socialized each other in that space–example of how the word “fuck” in is used in the space. How this community of teachers developed–mish mash of experiences.  Rather messy auto-ethnography. Anxiety is ok–related to productivity, depression is not; you’re a slug.  But bragginess isn’t ok either.  Also depends whether you are positioned as a novice or experienced scholar.

No one talks about sex, no talk about spouses–no outside intimacies discussed in this group. Alliances are not discussed–who is closer who is less close.  Academic debates are ok, but conflicts involving emotions are not discussed.  No religion. So how much trust is there really?  Sadly have to leave before discussion because it runs long and I speak in the next session!

Refer him to Jonathan Marshall and Shanyang Zhao about the body breaking out, emotional intimacy and co-presence.  And I wonder if the speaker had permission from the other group members to discuss this at Cs.

Again, a lot of reinvention going on–confirms what I said at MLA about how fragmented research is right now,  Deanya’s talk was the best and most useful-real analysis going on there, by someone who was NOT just cutting her teeth on social software.