and this is how the story goes....
October 24, 2002- 6:31pm
Well, I haven't been keeping up with this blog as much as I wanted to. It's much much easier to keep up the one that I can get to anywhere (my xanga weblog) as well as check our new class blog. For my 120 class next spring, I think I will definitely just have a class blog and if the students want to keep their own then that's cool with me. I could like to them from the class blog. This whole weblogging research has really taken a toll on me. I had a blogging nightmare the other night. People telling me how it sucked (read an article on slashdot.com before going to bed that had some angry anti-bloggers responding to it), and I kept having to defend my position. I seriously woke up sweating and panicked. I don't think that that is normal. Just shows that I am too much into weblogging (obsessive?) or that I take my studies too seriously. Hmph. Anyhow, I hope that doesn't happen again.
It may also have been caused by me just getting done correcting papers that night before sleeping as well. NOT that a lot of you were against using weblogging, I think it was more that I had read so much about them. Isn't there some dream analysis I should be doing of all this?
Besides the nightmare- the papers looked pretty good. I got more analysis than I expected, but also, at some points, felt like the assignment wasn't being focused on. Some of you summarized throughout the whole paper, and I kept thinking- I know what weblogging IS, I want you to tell me how useful it is and WHERE else it can go (future wise, classroom wise, etc)... hence the title of the unit: Weblogs- What's the Use? But, that happens. People lose sight of the shore as they dive into a project.. whether a few days before it's due or a few hours (yes, I can tell the difference!) Maybe I should have read the assignment outloud more than once. I don't know. I always take things personally that really had nothing to do with me. I am wondering how many of you actually revised too in your groups. Hm.
Do I need to go over thesis statement with college freshmen? Hasn't it been pounded in through high school teachers already? Maybe that one exercise on revision is needed. It's a fun exercise too.
October 9, 2002- 12:55am
Overhauled the syllabus today. Well, changed around a few things. I have realized that my projects need to be fun- something I would love to do- otherwise I can't teach them.. or use them in class. I think that is a good thing to realize. I also am about to update the student list over there ---> that I have. My class list has changed, so should the weblog list.
Students- continue to check my syllabus page as well as my teacher47 weblog on xanga.com. I keep important information on those sites!
Also, our class blog is found here, and I encourage you all to blog on there.. or simply cut and paste from your individual ones from time to time.
September 29, 2002- 8:23pm
Finally put together a citations/writing errors/etc booklet for all of you to use. Many of the sheets found in it are worksheets I put together for other classes... or the one I taught for Northwest Technical College this summer. Hopefully, they will be of some help and we will go over them on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, October 1, we will discuss the readings I assigned via e-mail last week. I hope many of you check your e-mail or know if you are getting my messages. I will try not to be angered if you do not have those reading read. Besides discussing those items, we will start brainstorming and talking about the second chunk of this semester. It connects to blogging still, but adds on the toolkit and "stretch project" that will be and can be more individualized.
On Friday, I got the chance to go to Fergus Falls Middle School and help some students set up their own blogs to blog in for a reading class. They were all very excited and enthralled with them. It was cool to see their energy. They wanted to know everything about them ALL AT ONCE.
September 16, 2002- 6:55pm
Day of Atonement for the Jewish religion. I like this day.. get rid of grudges that have been held for so long.
Meanwhile, back in the educational arena... figured out what to do tomorrow and posted it at my Xanga.com blog. Printed off more than I needed (good old technology fee!!) in the little Mac lab at the IACC. I love sitting there... peaceful.. quiet. Sometimes I like the fact that so many people don't use Macs. More space.. and paper for me. :-)
Going to have you all try a Minute Paper.. a creative one as an Out-of-Class writing, due next week. Use whatever format you want.. it can be fictional or not. Or in Blog format. Or.. well, the possibilities are ENDLESS. Have fun with it. Do whatever you want. Plus, in class tomorrow, we'll cover more deeply Paper #1.. create a rubric for it.. and I found some other readings for you to read FOR next Tuesday. The syllabus HAS changed a little... so check it out!
September 12, 2002- 3:44pm
I am going to ATTEMPT to blog as my sister and her friend tell me work stories. They laugh before the story gets over. It's hard to understand.
Ok. So hopefully YOU (students) all understand that I am open to trying different sorts of academic writing... essays with different formats, styles, etc. As long as the paper is FOCUSED, has FLOW, and is EASY to UNDERSTAND. I think that is what all of you have decided about blogging, much less writing in general. It has to make sense and connect and be interesting.
Next week, we'll talk more about how to go about writing this blogging paper. Plus, more discussion on blogging and all it's wonderful possibilities. AND Thursday will be a day off.. for you to get into blog teams and revise, etc.
September 9, 2002- 2:59pm
So, I gave my students somewhat of a day off (go here for more details) last Thursday. Tomorrow, I plan on having a more in-depth discussion of blogs. Who they will read and why. What the benefits are. What the pitfalls are. What features are nice to have on Xanga vs. Blogger, etc.
We found another university first-year course in the U.S. using weblogs. Well, ok, Kevin found them. As far as the syllabus shows, their class is more geared toward the digital culture, etc., but ours could definitely float over into that arena as well. I will have to e-mail the instructor back soon. Get more ideas. I really wish we had a main blog like they do. There must be a way to set that up, if not for this semester then the next time..next fall.. I teach this. IF we do. Wait, we will.
Another thing I want them to do is LESS blogging about the essays read for this class and more blogging about their own insights. How personal they get is up to them, but I want to know what they think as they walk/bike from class to class. These things may help me help them later with their stretch projects. What excites them to learn more about. Myself: psychology, digital culture, pop culture, design (web or visual)... music.
Kevin also planted in my head, lately, the seed of an idea for my thesis (to be completed Spring 2004- I'll be done before then though). Blogging in Education. Blogging in a Moo vs. Blogging in an introductory English class vs. something else cool too.
September 2, 2002- 5:00pm
Turns out that with Dreamweaver you need to definitely include the http:// part in the link area OTHERWISE it thinks the link is in your webpage folder, etc. Note to self. Plus, I need to FTP over the images for Tinderbox... then it's off to reading the blogs (as many as I can), figuring out what to cover tomorrow [probably have them blog about the articles read, look at other student blogs in the class, fill out the survey, and start reading the articles for Thursday, and maybe give them a freewrite for a blog entry on Wednesday too], and then my own homework.
They tell us graduate students that we are students first, then teachers. It is extremely hard to enforce that in one's daily routines...
September 1, 2002- 7:00pm
Well, I am in the middle of complying the student blogs over there ----> ,but I hope to have them all ready to go at least by Tuesday's classes so students can look at each others, etc.
Okay. So Thursday's classes exhausted me. Why? Well, everyone had great questions, so I wanted to help.. running around in the lab with flip flops was not helping, but that in connection with wracking my brain for the correct answers- the best way to say certain things- was tough. THEN I went to my own class at 11am and had to be thrown into a deep lecture on phonetics. There are LOTS of symbols for all the sounds we make, and I get to learn them all. Ooofta! So by 12:30 that day, I was beat. Kevin gave me permission to go home and pass out instead of staying for my office hour. Maybe I should change that hour because I am so braindead by that time. Hm.
Since this IS my teaching blog.. reflecting on teaching this class, etc., I must add in that it is difficult to keep the personal life separate and not allow things that occur there to interfere or affect what I do work-wise. Many people bring their 'home' problems to work. It's not really professional, in my opinion, but it does occur. We don't all just work and that's it. Then again, sometimes it's a benefit. Things occur to us in our work world that will be useful in the personal arena and vice versa.
August 28, 2002- 11:30am
Well, I survived. I knew I would, though. It was extremely less nerve-wracking than last fall. And even then, I should have realized that these students were different than the obnoxious high schoolers I had. Ok, they weren't obnoxious- maybe overly energized is more adequate terminology.
I think the ice breaker yesterday was my purple hair.
Hopefully, on Thursday, the students will SEE and GET what I am talking about when I throw the word BLOG at them. I think they will like them. They will be able to communicate, maybe, in a more comfortable manner. Maybe I will get some creativity flowing out of them. Some writing. Some thot.
August 26,2002- 9:05pm
Well, tomorrow it begins. School, that is. I don't think it has hit me. It usually doesn't until I am half way through my schpeel with students. I assume that this happens, and increases/gets better/easier, as a teacher teaches. It gets more and more subconscious.. what to say and when. Flow. I need flow.
As I ate at Arby's today, it hit me as to what I needed to do in class... as an intro. As a starting point. I went to the office, then, and threw it up upon Kevin.. the ideas, that is. It was, I was, like a whirlwind. A spazic whirlwind. Oh well, right? When ideas come, they come. 'What are you gonna do?' *with a shrug*
Excited to get back into the swing of things. Have a little more of a constant schedule of events. Things to do. Perhaps this is why I enjoy teaching and learning and school. We have 9 months of rigorous thinking, then a break. A brain break (I am speaking in fragments a lot today, eh?). I need that. It allows me to ponder.
I still NEED to print off the more recent things we (Kevin mainly) found to use in this class. But I have the first month, if not more, ready to go.
August 18, 2002- 08:15pm
I guess I am going to try putting a blog on my web site. It's not fair to exclude it, my site, from the blogging phenomenon. The only thing that really stinks is the fact that Tripod won't let me FTP my stuff over to their server. Those bastards. So, I guess I am either going to have to A) just upload it like I have in the past, or B) get some space on the ndsu server. I think I may be onto something with that last one. I hear it's cheap to have a web page/ site on there. Only, it will be deleted when I graduate (possible date of Dec. 2003).. if that ever happens... plus, I can back up my files too. Duh.
This blog, unlike my others, will be focused on teaching my new fall class. One that is in conjunction with Dr. Brooks and Cindy Nichols' classes. It's a project.