changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Pupils warned over web bullying
Thursday, March 30, 2006
In the News: Pupils warned over web bullying
BBC NEWS | UK | England | Hampshire | Pupils warned over web bullying
—though positioned as "a very unusual case" this situation seems just like any other school cases of bullying. A new medium may be involved, but this kind of attack is hardly new. Besides, didn't these people see Cruel Intentions
? Geesh. Online attack pages are hardly new stuff.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: ReadWriteThink: Exploring Audience and Purpose with a Single Issue
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
ReadWriteThink: Exploring Audience and Purpose with a Single Issue
I wrote Exploring Audience and Purpose with a Single Issue
as a spin-off of the Communicating on Local Issues
lesson published yesterday. We needed a lesson that worked through some of the ideas that yesterday's lesson was based on. Basically this lesson does some of the audience analysis that would be necessary for students to understand before writing letters.
In the lesson, students explore the rhetorical concept of audience and purpose by focusing on the evolution-creationism debate raised by the Scopes Monkey Trial (which will tie to a July calendar entry). Students analyze the audience and purpose of at least one resource on the debate and then consider how audience and purpose might shape other communication on the issue.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: For Web: Easy DIY online database
For Web: Easy DIY online database
Easy DIY online database - Lifehacker
—one day I'll join the present and get a database set up, but there's no sign when or where. This might help.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: 10 rules to manage your boss
10 rules to manage your boss
10 rules to manage your boss
—Not quite sure why Lifehacker didn't share
this piece from the August Money
till March, but here it is nonetheless. Given the shakeup at work this week, we can all use some tips :)
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Being Coached
Daily Work: Being Coached
And today we begin hell. A "life coach" is coming in to help our team be more, well, I don't know what. These psychosocial analytical things make me sick, and by that, I mean physically sick. I do not want analyzed. I do not want my psychological tendencies probed. I would rather go to the dentist. Because I am insane, the result of the related stress and anxiety of this nonsense makes me physically sick with varying gastrointestinal nonsense. Now, of course, I am procrastinating. The longer I can put off going to work, the longer I may be able to ignore the hell.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: ReadWriteThink: Communicating on Local Issues: Exploring Audience in Persuasive Letter Writing
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
ReadWriteThink: Communicating on Local Issues: Exploring Audience in Persuasive Letter Writing
Communicating on Local Issues: Exploring Audience in Persuasive Letter Writing
asks students to identify and research a local issue that concerns them, using Internet and print sources. They then argue a position on the issue in letters to two different audiences, addressing their own purpose and considering the needs of the audience in each letter.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Bound by Words And Much More
In the News: Bound by Words And Much More
Bound by Words And Much More
—an example of how an authentic audience grows writers. This article describes a memoir-writing activity, completed by students and family members. With these real readers, both from their families and others in the classroom community, these students seem to blossom as writers.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: For Windows: Identify unknown files and processes - Lifehacker
Monday, March 27, 2006
For Windows: Identify unknown files and processes - Lifehacker
Identify unknown files and processes - Lifehacker
—for those days when twizzlefoo.dll is clogging up the firewall and I can't figure out what it is.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Teen craze over networking sites
In the News: Teen craze over networking sites
BBC NEWS | Technology | Teen craze over networking sites
—darn those crazy teens. Apparently the UK version of MySpace or Facebook, Bebo faces the same challenges from schools and colleges that worry the site is potentially dangerous for students. The article explains, "Debbie Cowley, technology teacher at the college, told the BBC she was concerned about what pupils were sharing via the site. Some were posting personal details, pictures and even making disparaging comments about the school and its staff." As is the case in the states, it's so much easier to ban things than to teach, at least as far as administrations are concerned.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: For Mac: Mac OS X application folders - Lifehacker
Sunday, March 26, 2006
For Mac: Mac OS X application folders - Lifehacker
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC 2006: It's all over
I managed to get the rest of my stuff packed up and wrangle it out of my room by about 10:30 this morning, a full 30 minutes before I had to :) Unlike my messy navigation to Chicago on Tuesday, I returned to Champaign without ever looking at a map. I got home around 1:30, unloaded the car, unpacked some stuff, and wisely took an afternoon/evening nap from 3 to 7. Finished up some writing this evening, so now I can officially call my conference time over.
There were so many people whom I didn't get to spend much time with. That's probably mostly my fault for being cheap, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and minute rice in my room rather than going out for meals. That and my own stupid lonely behavior, sitting alone tends to make you alone. Such an idiot. I keep asking myself if I wouldn't have been better off spending that $1200+ on a new mac rather than on a hotel bill. It's not that I didn't love seeing the people whom I did see, but I'm thinking that maybe I'm no longer a fit for CCCC. Maybe I should have saved that money for Lubbock or Columbus or something. My brain is such that I rehash and rethink and mope and weep; so I'll probably still be questioning this weeks from now.
I do know that it would take an act of Congress for me to go to CCCC NY. There's something about NYC that just scares and overwhelms me. The world is better off without me there. I guess I have to get back to my regular life and figure out what to take to work tomorrow.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC: Day Four
Saturday, March 25, 2006
It's the last day, so that means that the first thing I had to do today was get down to the Exhibit Hall to snatch up the goodies that the publishers are now happily giving away. I got a copy of several professional books from Bedford, all of which included some info on writing assignments (given that I'm supposed to be writing a book on that topic and all). Got a copy of a Longman book, Envision: Persuasive Writing in a Visual World
, and ordered a copy of Anne and Dennis's Compose, Design, Advocate
. Also ordered a Bedford/St. Martin's book, Everything's an Argument
, a revision that has some cool visual argument info in it.
I could have wandered around a bit more, but I ran into Will and Martha, who updated me on the morning's business meeting. Their sense-of-the-house motion passed without any difficulty :) After some chatting and planning, I had to get hugs goodbye and head off to a session, L.04: New Media, New Curricula:
Anne Wysocki, the chair, introduced Scott DeWitt, Aaron McKain, Jason Palmeri, and Cormac Slevin, who shared details on digital media activities as part of the Ohio State first-year composition classes. The findings of their analysis of student course evaluations was most interesting: students spoke of rhetorical technique learned in their evaluations in ways that they never spoke of such things in non-digital sections of the course. It sounds like a perfectly marvelous program they have created.
As they were talking about how digital (and nondigital) components were included in their courses, I realized that the language we use to talk about digital resources in our classrooms is (or could be) the same language that we use when we discuss curriculum transformation. The whole issue bubbled up in my head because of the Multicultural Multilingual research on the MarcoPolo sites (remember that conference call where I had the phone tied to my head?). So I began wondering which assignments we were completing where digital resources were additive, when they were blended, and when they went beyond those basic levels to deeper conceptual interrelations. I'm sure there's another evaluation of the ReadWriteThink site that I need to complete as a result.
Other odds and ends from the session include these:
- My favorite misspoken comment, from their instructor videos: Lisa Ann referring to "ethos, pathos, and legos"
- One of their assignments shifted issues of fair use and copyright to a critical issue for the course, rather than a simple presentational one, by asking students to prove permission for every resource that they used. Truthfully, we should be asking for that sort of focus on every activity that we complete.
- Dene, in the audience, commented that she sees "new media as a bridge between literature and rhetoric." I nodded and wrote it down at the time, though now I'm less certain that I agree. I assume that Dene meant institional definitions of lit and rhet (e.g., those are the literature faculty and these folks are the rhet/comp folks). After all, literature uses rhetorical technique. I wish I had more context written down. Originally I thought she meant that new media created some space communicative space between literary discourse and what I'll call rhetorical discourse (e.g., persuastion). But new media describes a medium for me, which is part of the reason that I've always found the name problematic. I'm hoping now that what she meant was that new media provided a method to bring different faculties together. Maybe someone else will remember and explain more here.
- As they were talking about the activities that students completed, one of the presenters mentioned that students complete accompanying artists' statements that explain the how and why behind their work. I was hoping to hear something like this, as that's the way that I have tended to complete such activities. Students don't just complete the multimodal activity but also complete some sort of accompany letter or statement that explains the intentionality behind their work. Frankly, I like these kinds of accompanying letters with regular old essays too (something like Draft Letters).
- "It's okay if it doesn't work, but talk about why"—in the context of those artists' statements and letters, one of the presenters talked about what happens when students' efforts don't work out. It's an important enough point for it's own bullet point. The focus of all rhetorical work should be less on the final product and more on the analytical process that went into the work. Now, I'm the last person to start handing out grades willy-nilly for effort only; so I want to emphasize that that's not what this is about. One of the examples that the presenters shared was about a student whose audio recording work wasn't meeting his expectations. Yet that student understood it wasn't working, knew reasons why it wasn't working, and wanted to try to communicate the message in another medium. THAT is the kind of learning that we need to target.
- Analysis after production in similar media deepens engagement for students. The point seems so obvious, yet I'm not sure that we have anything on the ReadWriteThink site that goes about things this way. The idea is that once students have designed their own work in a media, they understand how that media works in new ways. For instance, students often laugh off deep analysis of the visual argument behind advertisements or PSA posters when first introduced to the ideas. They accuse us of overanalyzing everything. Have students create their own PSA posters or visual arguments. Ask them to think about and explain their decisions in detail. At the end of the process, they are far more willing to accept and, in fact, to embrace the idea that nothing happens in these media as an accident. Everything has a purpose of some kind, and it is our job as critical consumers to unearth that hidden meaning and purpose.
Next session for me was M.20: Info-Ecology, Info-Architecture: Growing and Designing Rhetoric for Critical Technography.
Mark Crane described the session as a cage match between Dickie, representing info-ecologists, and Salvo, representing the info-architects; and with Pat Sullivan (both are right) and Marilyn Cooper (neither is right) responding and expanding on the two positions. As seems to often be the case when we wonder into Theoryland, I didn't completely grasp any of it; but, importantly, there were moments when I thought I almost understood. We have to consider that some kind of progress.
I'm not about to try to explain my understanding, since I'm sure it's wrong in places; but overall, it seemed to me that this was all arguing over seeing or naming or constructing interactions with technology. Marilyn noticed that in all of the papers there was a focus on agency—loss of agency in ecologies, the control of agencies through architecture, anxiety over agency in Pat's narratives. Basically, it seemed to come down to the human place in the interaction with technologies. At times, I felt that with very little change in the sentences being used, we could just as easily have been discussing scientific determinism versus organic evolution. What seemed to make sense to me, regardless of the confusion of what or how we name all this, was Dickie's observation that "we need a citizenry that understands the best way to live" in the context of these varying technologies. As teachers, it's our job to try to foster the critical thinking that will yield and inform that citizenry.
The big surprise of the session for me was unrelated to any of that. At a point when I was lost, I was doodling and freewriting about on my pad on my Computers and Writing topic. Suddenly, Pat was sharing an Ong quotation about an elephant, which sadly I only got part of, but which I want to find out more about so that I can see if it will fit in with my paper. That would just be too wonderful :) I think it was on metaphor, so it would, indeed, be relevant. I need to get in contact with John Walter to see if he can help me with it.
Finally, I attended the Intelletual Property Caucus meeting, which was operating under the guise of a workshop, SW.04: Intellectual Property in Composition Studies. I primarily joined to see what they had to say about digital IP rights, but since it was more of a working meeting where they shared business from the caucus and the CCCC-IP committee, I found myself freewriting more on that silly Computers and Writing presentation. Freewriting and daydreaming really. I'm not sure that I'll be going to Lubbock, so I need a presentation that can take place without me. I'm thinking of some kind of Flash or video presentation, so while they talked about EULAs and companies trying to control students' papers, I was sketching out imagistic phrases and trying to guess how I could illustrate and present them. The challenge, of course, was that I was doing all this without the Lakoff book. Still I got some good notes during the more business-oriented first half of the session. The second half focused on action groups, on specific topics. I joined the Barclay Barrios group, which was subtitled EULAs and Implications for Researchers and WPAs. Karen Lunsford, Charlie Lowe, Barclay, and I were supposed to solve the problems of the world on the topic; but before we got there, Karen asked some questions about NCTE copyright and online repositories. I did my best to answer them, and then wandered into the hallway to acquire little jars of honey, which were out on the table open access. It's not stealing if it's open access after all :)
And that was the end of the conference for me essentially. I came back up here to the room, have been packing in a leisurely manner, writing up more blog entries, watching DVDs, and eating elegantly pricey room service food. I just need to manage to go to bed early enough that I can get checked out before they start charging extra money. My stuff is mostly packed at this point, so I may actually get out of here on time.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC 2006: Day Three
Friday, March 24, 2006
It's been an oddly hard day. I feel so disconnected from the CCCC world. Maybe it's just that all my work is K–12. Maybe it's that I've not been here in so long. I dunno.
I went to a Computer Connection session during the I session time, primarily to hear what Bradley Dilger had to say about access issues. There were other presenters there as well, so I heard John Walter and Gina Merys' presentation, "Developing a Local Digital Culture: A Grassroots Initiative," which primarily explored the recommendations to help their university's program meet graduate (and eventually undergraduate, by extension) needs for computer interaction, exploration, and pedagogical investigation. It seems to be a fairly complete proposal.
In discussion of various resources, wikis came up and John recommended schtuff.com
as a free host site. During the workshop on Wednesday, someone suggested pbwiki.com
. Maybe I can choose one and start investigating myself.
Bradley's piece of the session was "Thirty Minutes to Better Web Accessibility." Working off Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into Accessibility
, Bradley's 30-minute outline proposes "five 'quick fixes' for making your site accessible." Easily the best overview of the issues I've heard. Though, okay, I admit that I haven't run out to revise the accessibility of any of my sites. Surely I can put that off a few more days. I really wanted to consider a ReadWriteThink lesson plan based on his discussion, but the most obvious one that I could think of would have relied on a free screen reader, and such a thing doesn't exist. I'll have to think on it more to figure something out. I'm sure that we should have a lesson that explores these issues. It's just a matter of figuring out what and how.
Next, I was off to Session J.11: What's Queer about Writing Program Administration? New Research from the Field, with Will Banks, Martha Marinara, Jonathan Alexander, and Samantha Blackmon. Selfishly, I went to the session to see Will and Sam, but expecting to be bored out of my mind. I really don't need info on WPA work. That's just too far away from anything I'm doing now or likely to do anytime in the future. Happily, it turned out to be a great session. The group of them had done an analysis of FY comp readers, evaluating them for inclusion of explicitly queer material. The findings were probably predictable. GLBT folks aren't identified in biographical notes. When their texts are included, they are frequently texts that do not focus on the queer issues for which they are known. And overall, the biggest relevant issue was a recurring gay marriage debate in the various argument sections. The findings were really quite in line with the various race, class, and gender analyses that I did of texts and syllabi in the late 80s and early 90s. You'd think things might progress, take a different path. You'd think we'd learn lessons and make things better; but everything seems to follow the same, tired, slow-paced progression.
I finished off the evening with the Fifth C SIG, which went well. Again, I'm just there as an ex officio observer, so I don't actually have to do anything :) After that, I just wandered off back to my room, where I frittered about till 9:30 when the Rock and Roll Party started. I went down to the party for about an hour. Nothing like watching comp/rhet people dance.
I saw good people and some good sessions, but I hate this part where I'm alone—like dinner, waiting, parties. I'm so bad at everything social, and the end result seems to be that I'm alone by my own failure. Stupid me.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Windows: Color Cop
Download of the Day: Color Cop - Lifehacker
—cool tool that lets you sample nearly anything. Use the dropper to grab colors off the desktop, open browser windows, and many applications. It gives you both hex and rgb. It wouldn't let me sample off a moving video, but it's let me grab color from everything else that I've tried. Should save oodles of time and energy.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Increase your creativity: slack off - Lifehacker
In the News: Increase your creativity: slack off - Lifehacker
The strategy for my life finally has an explanation! Increase your creativity: slack off - Lifehacker
points to a Fortune
story that explains, "People may do their best thinking when they are not concentrating on work at all." I'm not going to work at all for the rest of the day. Hell, for the rest of the month.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC 2006: Day Two
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I had some crazy dreams during that sleepathon. I was in some crazy house, which I had apparently purchased, and my sister Holli was there helping me. The strangest thing was that the porch was pushing back into the house, somehow jamming into the building. After some investigation, Holli said that I could just push it back out and watch it so that it wouldn't creep in again. It was as effortless as shoving a chair across the floor, which was odd given that I was shoving a huge concrete structure. There was a second floor on this house as well, which seemed to be filled with unusual furniture that had been draped and otherwise left unattended. Holli wanted to look through it, but she didn't because, she said, Daddy had told her not to. There was some sort of bay doors off on to a porch with an enclosed glass chamber that looked very Victorian. I remember wanting to get out there, but not being able to because of all the furniture on that floor between where we were and the bay doors.
I have to say that I am fully and completely dumbfounded on what any of that means. A convention dream would have made so much more sense. How can I come to convention and have insane house dreams?
Anyway, I eventually got up and even dressed. I didn't plan on the first sessions, cuz as anyone will tell you, I'm not a morning girl. I did do a run through the exhibit hall. Actually, it was fairly leisurely, but I foolishly had on my staff nametag so I was a little limited in what I could do. I did identify a couple of books that I was interested in, checked on the tech center, and the pubs booth, which is at the very back of the exhibit hall. Unfortunately, it's set up in this way where it looks as if you're already at the back of the room before you get there, and when you do round the corner on one side, you can't see anyone because the cashier's desk is behind a huge column. There was no one there at all when I went in yesterday, but I did see my Kit on display
, which was marvelous fun. I'm betting they'll have low sales though. The booth is really not very prominent.
After my exhibit hall tour, I was off to Session C.24: Picture This . . .: Visual Literacies from Zine to Virtual Responses:
|The session wasn't really all that aligned with things I need, but there were some interesting bits. One speaker, Scott Warnock, was using Camtasia to record comments on students' papers. He mentioned a recent Time article that referred to the rambunctious young kida as GenN, and more interestingly "Screenagers." He explained that "Technologies are being refined; and we're gonna use them or they're gonna use us."
Speaker Jeffrey Maxson talked about "Ethos through Design," connecting the style and design of riot grrrl sites and zines to intentional questioning of authority. He pointed to the establishment of street cred through their stylistic choices, such as ransom note text, cut-out lines of text, and so forth. Sex Pistols, punk design. What I found most interesting about the entire conversation was that it validated my belief about the entire "MySpace and slow death of the web" discussion on Techrhet. While people were lamenting the horror of students' color choices and centered texts, I thought those choices might be establishing a communal style. Maxson's talk would have been a great addition to the implications on the list that those crazy kids just don't know better. He also shared an excellently fun site: http://www.disgruntledhousewife.com/, with what has to be my new fav new info, Meals Men Like. Now I'll catch a man for sure.
After C.24, I wandered back to the Exhibit Hall, where I ran into John, Tari, and Bradley. Some brief chat, and then I had to run up to the room to eat something for lunch before I died of hunger.
I attended the 7Cs meeting at 4PM, to provide all the excitement that an ex officio person can. Actually, I think I mainly jumped on my age-old hobby horse. The conversation wandered into plans that sounded amazingly helpful only to tenure track and tenure-interested folks. Generally speaking, the meeting went very well. Especially well, I guess, since I don't have to do anything. Being ex officio has its charms.
After the meeting, off to the Bedford/St. Martin's party at the Field Museum
. There was an incredible wait for the elevator, and I got to sit and chat with Harriet from the B/SM New Media group on the way over. Inside, I had water and some snacks, and I wandered around among dinosaurs. Sue, the T. Rex
, looked mean, especially when I was standing in a line for water and she looked like she was coming right for me. I don't think she was being very thoughtful.
After a while of wandering about the cavernous room and not finding anyone new to talk to, I decided to head back to the hotel. Serendipitously, I ended up walking out with Cheryl Ball and Moe with the MTU-snow injury. Cheryl insisted that I could tag along to a Kairos party, even though I really wasn't part of the group. Because of Moe's crutches, the bus folks loaded us into the first seats on a bus—and Cheryl and I took it upon ourselves to welcome everyone to bus individually. "Welcome to the bus!" :)
After the joyful bus ride, we walked to the Exchequer for the party. Had a nice time chatting with folks from various places. Got to see Joyce Walker and Eric Hayenga, and the end of a couple of basketball games before Tony Atkins kindly escorted me back to the hotel. All in all, a long, but interesting day.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Musings
There is clearly something very pathetic about coming to CCCC and staying in my room, going to bed before 9, and then getting up at 12:30 am and watching DVDs while I write. My brain is clearly fried or pickled or full of stupid. Sometimes I'm such a doofus.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC 2006: Day One
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Ahh. Day one, and how do I spend it? Fiddling about for a while in my room. I didn't go to a morning workshop, so there seemed no reason to rush. I did go downstairs to make myself a nametag and check on all my NCTE coworkers, to make sure that no one needed help. I decided to go ahead and lug my heavy laptop to the workshop so that I could take notes on the session. I was fortunate enough to get a seat near a plug, so I didn't run out of battery power. The battery on this thing seems to only last about an hour :-/ Perhaps I should see if I can buy an extra battery for it, or maybe this is another excuse to get that baby Mac that I want.
There is no wireless in the meeting rooms so all I could do was take notes. No live blogging from CCCC it appears. Delayed blogging will have to do, so here goes:
I've broken in on an afternoon workshop, Fostering and Sustaining a Community
and Culture of Digital Writing, with Doug Eyman, Dànielle DeVoss, Joy
Durding, Angela Haas, Stephanie Sheffield, Martine Rife, and Suzanne Rumsey.
The room is relatively full of people, but I managed to get here early enough
to get one of the outlets in the room. The group has introduced themselves,
and Danielle even introduced the handouts and CD of resourcesn (and an excellent
parallel Web site
with copies of the resources
After a brief introduction, we've been set to work as a group to think about
quuestions sent to folks in advance--basically defining the genre of digital
writing and exploring the pedagogical and professional issues and goals involved.
Issues that came up include:
- Lack of professional development
- Challenge of working in a completely paper-based classroom and meeting
students current literacy demands
- How to build community and programs, at the beginning of the process
- Conception of literacy in general, not just decoding words on a page
- Distinguishing between technology as a media and technology as a mode of
- Goals: using tech because we can, or because students really need this
- How does it shape community
- Not just techne of it but also critical analysis
of the media
There was lots of discussion of the term digital rhetoric
, with one definition
that focused on "anything
you can transmit by the Internet"—an oddly limiting definition.
Also focusing on word and image, none of the other modalities. Someone mentioned
CAPTology (computer aided persuasive technology). Most visual assignments focus
on image as argument/persuasion. Need to consider other modes of discourse.
Sharing of group goals for the workshop, and for exploration of digital rhetoric
at home institutions. Importance of sharing, fact-finding. There was discussion
of whether the word digital
was necessary. If rhetoric is communication
by any available means, isn't the word rhetoric
enough? And that exchange
led to a crowd favorite question: "What is the opposite of digital rhetoric—analog
Throughout the session, there were many video clips and Web site examples of
writing and pieces for students to discuss and explore. All were excellent,
but my favorite has to be the World of Warcraft
your dick, and double click for porn."
There were a number of specific assignments described, and I didn't begin to
get them all written down. Here are a few:
- List the different digital communities
you belong to and think of the ways that you interact in those communities. An
idea that was somewhat a combination of things included in the ReadWriteThink
Literacy in a Digital World and Paying
Attention to Technology: Writing Technology Autobiographies.
- Focus on an exploration of the Variety of ways that we represent
themselves in those different communities, including analyzing current representations
and creating creating new ones. Doug Eyman described a variation where students
began by investigating themselves online. Another example was to have students
create a profile for a group or organization that they belong to. Parts of
the conversation overlapped with the ReadWriteThink lesson plan Naming
in a Digital World: Creating a Safe Persona on the Internet.
- Analyze various Web sites and then apply what you learned to designing your
own Web site, an idea shared by Joy Durding, which she used with 9th graders.
I rushed up to ask her to submit it to ReadWriteThink. She had the resources.
She just needs to make it fit our format. And it's definitely a lesson that
we could use on the site.
- In discussion, ask students to consider what you need to know to compose
the various digital texts that they interact with. While mentioned as a simple
point of discussion with students, the idea seemed like a possible lesson plan
idea to me. It could be a sort of variation of Defining
Literacy in a Digital World, which really focuses on reading. What we need
is a parallel Composing Texts in a Digital World lesson plan that focuses on
the ways that people create these various texts. I'm thinking not of something
that teaches all composing skills so much as asking students to look at available
texts and analyze the composing skills behind the texts.
- As discussion swirled, another lesson plan idea came to me, and since I had
my laptop, I just began writing. I tentatively named the lesson Exploring
the Digital Divide: A Social Action Project. It seemed to me that perhaps an important
project was to ask students to do some actual exploration of the issues of
access around them. The working overview that I came up with is "Students define
issues of digital access and the resources necessary to take advantage of digital
resources. With their definitions in hand, small groups complete an environmental
scan of the digital resources available to them in a specific setting (e.g.,
the classroom, the school or local library, the workplace) and determine how
they are effected by the digital divide in a local community. Inspired by this
field research, group members propose and complete a social action project
appropriate for their findings." It may be too much, so I may end up focusing
it more; but it's a start and I think it could be a useful lesson plan.
- Dànielle described a postcard assignment. She has students get postcards
of the university and then analyze them: how does this represent the university?
After exploring, they create their own postcards that represents how you
feel about your school? Might be able to create a ReadWriteThink lesson plan
that does similar things with postcards from their state or region, or they
could use other documents on their location (e.g., pamphlets and resources
from the chamber of commerce or visitor's bureau). Another variation might
be to ask students to look at historical postcards to determine what they can
tell about the place and time as it is communicated in the text of the card.
Juniors and seniors might get postcards from college visits and complete the
assignment as Dànielle described it.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Inbox: Visual Composition at the Center
Inbox: Visual Composition at the Center
This week college-level members will gather for the 57th Annual Convention of CCCC
. Program Chair Akua Duku Anokye asked attendees to consider the question "How do we work in the middle spaces with integrity and conviction to clearly and loudly address the literacy needs of a diverse society?" as one issue that might shape their proposals for the Convention. One answer to this important question is to foreground the many literacies that students bring to the classroom. The Ideas Section from this week's Inbox
will get you started.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: CCCC 2006: Day Minus One and Counting
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
CCCC 2006: Day Minus One and Counting
So I managed to get to the Palmer House after a minor driving error that took me through downtown Chicago at 5 PM. Note to self: do not arrive in Chicago at 5 PM again. Second note to self: Pay more attention to road signs.
Saw Susan Lang and Janice Walker in the lounge early then met Will and Michelle for drinks at the Exchequer. There's been no end of trouble with the Internet connection in the room and the ice machine on this floor doesn't work; but it's been nice to see people whom I haven't seen in 3 or 4 years.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Travel: Burdens of the Modern Beast
Travel: Burdens of the Modern Beast
I saved Burdens of the Modern Beast
on March 4; but I didn't get around to writing the entry. I never seem to get around to the things I'm supposed to these days. Yesterday, while I was at Saturn waiting for the oil change, etc., I reread the article and mused on how I had spent most of the last 24 hours trying to figure out how to cram my belongings into their various suitcases for the trip. I never seem able to pare things down enough. I'm not sure why I always have too much with me. When I look at it all, it seems perfectly normal, though I know that I have a tendency to pack for emergencies and other anxieties. Oh well, time to get the packing finished and get on the road.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Prepping for the Trip
Daily Work: Prepping for the Trip
So here I sit at the Saturn dealer with the huginormous laptop on my lap. Fortunately
Saturn now has wifi. Unfortunately, my mac's battery died last night. Or at least
I discovered it last night. I noticed that it was unplugged on Sunday when it
went black screen on me. I'm not sure who twiddled the power cable. Since then,
the battery holds only 3%. It shutsdown and loses all sense within 5 minutes
of having been turned on. I'm less than pleased, but it is a very old laptop.
I think that I've had it for 5 or 6 years, well beyond the usable life of the
thing. I guess I really am going to have to find teh money to buy a new mac now.
While I'm sitting here, my car is receiving updates so that I can drive to Chicago
in a bit for CCCC. It needs an oil change, traansmission service, and brake fluid
flush (and presumably replace). $221. After this, I'm going to Target to see
if I can find a more usable bag. I can never manage to pack properly. I'm going
to have to rethink everything again : ( But regardless, since it would make no
sense to bring the mac, I have to take a rolling bag for this win machine. That
puts my stuff in really inconvenient places, so I need to find a purse or tote
or something so that I don't have to get down on the floor every time I want
After that little trip, it's home to finish packing and off to Chicago. We have
a snow day today, so I don't have to go to the office (woohoo!). According to
my NPR meteorologist, the weather north of here is fine, just blowing a bit;
so the drive should be okay. Possibly a little slow. Regardless I"m bound to
get out of here sooner than I originally thought since I don't have to go in
to the office at all. I thought I'd have to work today and then leave after work.
It will be nice to get a head start on the trip during the daylight hours.
I must have a million partially done entries for this blog. Maybe I'll have some time this evening to catch up once I'm in Chicago.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: A Million Things to Do
Monday, March 20, 2006
Daily Work: A Million Things to Do
Okay, maybe not really a million, but it feels like a million. I went by the post office to stop my mail before going to work—one to do done. Did a ton of little things for work: edited a professional development newsletter, did the Inbox for tomorrow (on composition for CCCC), did preliminary work on the June calendar revisions, reviewed a lesson, and wrote notes for another lesson author. Plus I managed to go to Target for things I needed for the trip, got gas, and got money at the bank. Now I just have to figure out how to smash the right things into the right suitcase.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Crying and Hair Color
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Daily Work: Crying and Hair Color
Fortunately in unrelated events.
Holli and Kelli packed up and left around 12:30. They even helped get some garbage out of the basement before they left, even though I told them to forget about it. I hate the leaving part, where I walk down the drive with the car into the front yard sobbing and waving. And even worse, I hate the long walk back into the house, sobbing and alone in the yard and then singularly alone and sobbing in the silence of the house. I actually cried for quite a while; but I managed to pull myself together and do something: I went to the closest drugstore and bought the hair color that Holli decided was closest to the color of my roots. Came home and doused myself with "Coastal Dune," which is apparently dark neutral blonde. It feel slightly dark, slightly more brown than it should be, but it's definitely close to the real color and in the right light it seems reddish rather than brown. I probably should have begun packing for CCCC, since I need to leave on Tuesday; but instead, I took my tearful depressed self to bed and slept from 6:30 to 11:30. Just got back up, took my meds, checked e-mail, and not I'm going back to bed.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: TV and Chinese
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Daily Work: TV and Chinese
Holli, Kelli, and I spent the day just hanging out at the house. Watched the rest of the Wallace and Grommit movie then watched Elizabethtown. Went out and fetched Sesame Chicken, eggrolls, and crab rangoon for dinner. I also did more blogging on the basketball teams—too many basketball teams.
It's going to be very sad tomorrow when Holli and Kelli have to leave :(
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: St. Patrick's Day Fun
Friday, March 17, 2006
Daily Work: St. Patrick's Day Fun
Celebrated St. Pat's Day by chunking up a big ol' slab of corned beef and plopping it in the crock pot for the day.
Took Holli and Kelli for a partial tour of the office, since we needed to go pick up some Girl Scout cookies for them to take back to Virginia. I provided an intriguing tour of campus, marked mainly by my lack of knowledge on what any of the buildings were. I did manage to show them the farms. You gotta see the cows if you're gonna come to town. Then we concluded this fun with a trip to the grocery store. We're such wild women.
I made cabbage and mashed potatoes with green onions to go with the corned beef (and chicken breasts for Kelli). The potatoes were the big hit. Who knew I was so good at potatoes? All I did was saute the onions on a stick of butter, but somehow the onions spread a sweet carmelized taste through the entire pan. Very yummy. Kelli proclaimed them the best mashed potatoes she'd ever had (and that's no easy accomplishment).
Then it was movie time. We watched the Spongebob Squarepants Movie
, because I enjoy torturing them. Also A Lot Like Love
, a movie that Kelli wanted to see. I TiVoed and and made her a DVD to take home. Then we started watching Wallace and Grommit
, but Holli got tired so we saved that for tomorrow. Kelli and I were compelled to watch favorite South Parks: Underpants Gnomes and Sexual Harrassment Panda.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Poet seeks English lesson renewal
In the News: BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Poet seeks English lesson renewal
BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Poet seeks English lesson renewal
—the UK poet laureate Andrew Motion calls for more reading of a wider range of texts in UK schools: "We need to ask how we can reflect the diversity of the society we live in with reference to the authors we use."
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Blogging and Conference Call
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Daily Work: Blogging and Conference Call
Even though I'm at home with Kelli and Holli while they're here, I had to participate in a conference call for ReadWriteThink, on an evaluation of the various partner sites for attention to issues of multicultural, mulitlingual representation. Most of the phone call consisted of the presenter reading over the chunky report that we had been presented with. Unfortunately, she spoke very softly, so I couldn't hear her on the speaker phone. I ended up having to tie the phone to my head with a bandana, since it wouldn't take a headphone and I surely couldn't hold it to my ear that long. Only 3 hours with a phone tied to my head. What I don't give for NCTE. (and sorry. there are no pictures)
Other that than, I just spent time with Holli and Kelli, watched and blogged about basketball for GIC, cooked, and fiddled about. Kelli and I had a marvelous day.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Vacation with Holli and Kelli!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Daily Work: Vacation with Holli and Kelli!
My sister Holli and my niece arrived this evening for a short visit. My sister has to go to a funeral tomorrow, and my niece will stay with me. They'll leave on Sunday morning. I've spent much of my time today trying to get things a bit cleaner for their arrival this evening. Baked Chicken Lasagna for them, and have plans for many lovely meals during their stay. It's nice to have them around, especially since they can carry the heavy things that I can't. Time to get that box of old dishes down in the basement where it belongs.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Bill calls for study of media impact on youth
In the News: Bill calls for study of media impact on youth
Bill calls for study of media impact on youth
—what starts out as a possibily useful study on children and their interaction with multimedia ends on a fairly predictable note: "Mooney said she doesnít need federal legislation to remind her that television is bad for children. 'Iím not waiting for better television or a new study,' Mooney said. 'Just turn off the TV.'"
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Inbox: Reading Habits in the Internet Age
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Inbox: Reading Habits in the Internet Age
This week's Denver Post
article "Technology Rewrites Rules for Reading
" explores how students' reading habits have been influenced by the various online reading that they do. More and more often, teachers, curriculum developers, and school literacy programs must search for strategies that will best meet students' needs. The Ideas section from this week's Inbox
offers one way to solve the problem—ask students to explore and share their reading habits and their understanding of text in a digital world.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Microsoft to offer free parental Web monitoring
In the News: Microsoft to offer free parental Web monitoring
Microsoft to offer free parental Web monitoring
—would it be cool if what this says were what it really means? I'd so love for Microsoft to monitor my parents for me. One less thing for me to do.
Really it's just more in the how to ensure that kids avoid baddies. After all, reading and writing that kids want to do on their own is so dangerous.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Cyber bullies haunt young online
In the News: Cyber bullies haunt young online
BBC NEWS | Technology | Cyber bullies haunt young online
—even in the UK, it seems, there is fear of online woes. The article ends with simple and obvious advice rather than any kind of complete exploration of how to empower and prepare students who use online resources.
I'm beginning to think that I'm going to have to write the article I want to read.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Blogs taking a seat in, out of classrooms
Monday, March 13, 2006
In the News: Blogs taking a seat in, out of classrooms
Chicago Tribune | Blogs taking a seat in, out of classrooms
—basic info on blogs in the classroom. The piece explores the educational value of the tools, but I wish it would more specifically talk about the many horrors of the fearmongers. Ignoring the obvious arguments about security and safety lessens the impact of the pedagogical issues in the article.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Online Auteurs Hardly Need to Be Famous
In the News: Online Auteurs Hardly Need to Be Famous
Online Auteurs Hardly Need to Be Famous - New York Times
—back in the day (a phrase which really only makes the writer look old), folks talked with wonderment of the great abilities of the Web to democratize publishing, given that even a dog can compose a Web site. This article is in many ways the modern revision of that old observation: anyone, it seems, can make a film nowadays.
As articles like this one make broad claims on anyone's ability to be a filmmaker, we need to continue to interrogate how "anyone" is defined. What socio-economic groups are included and excluded? How is age represented? Who creates which kinds of resources? While "online auteurs hardly need to be famous," there are still many other things an auteur needs to compose and share works online.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Students Remember More Ads Than News
Friday, March 10, 2006
In the News: Students Remember More Ads Than News
Students Remember More Ads Than News
—Didn't we know that kids paid attention to the ads back in the days of Schoolhouse Rock
? The question that the article raises for me is what did the researchers ask them. Did they ask them questions that would tell us whether they were paying any attention to the other information on the channel? And as the Channel One CEO Judy Harris points out, the kids weren't isolated. Did the researchers ask questions to determine other places that they were exposed to the products or services that were purchased?
Regardless the article raises important issues on how we pay attention to what students engage with and why. We need to think more about the literacy skills that students are choosing to engage and how we can harness that power in the classroom.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: The FEMA Coloring Book: Funny, In a Stabbing Yourself in the Eyes Sort of Way
In the News: The FEMA Coloring Book: Funny, In a Stabbing Yourself in the Eyes Sort of Way
The FEMA Coloring Book: Funny, In a Stabbing Yourself in the Eyes Sort of Way - Wonkette
—I don't even know what to say about this, and I can't look at it any longer to try to decide.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Cartoon Violence Thinks of the Children
Cartoon Violence Thinks of the Children
Cartoon Violence Thinks of the Children
—This Wonkette piece reminded me of my tech analysis of New Yorker
cartoons. There's not much in the PowerPoint, but I asked students the same sorts of questions as they looked at how children interact with technologies in the cartoons. The same assignment could be done looking at gender, age, and race (though that will be a short study). I have a PowerPoint of the cartoons that I use, but since they're copyrighted, I can't post it. You could easily do the assignment with the book however: The New Yorker Book of Technology Cartoons
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Grassroots Women Gaining a Voice
In the News: Grassroots Women Gaining a Voice
UNESCO | Education - Grassroots Women Gaining a Voice
talks about ways that technology increases literacy . . . and not in the way we usually talk about it:
"The UNESCO teams introduced workload-lightening technologies such as water pumps that eliminated the need for women and girls to plod miles for water, millet grinding mills that replaced tedious hand grinding, and donkey carts that substituted for hauling heavy loads on their heads. Functional literacy activities conveyed health advice and tips on hygiene, such as how to filter swamp water, that dramatically lowered infant mortality."
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Rhetoric: Machina Memorialis on Emerging Fields
Rhetoric: Machina Memorialis on Emerging Fields
changelog @ tengrrl.com: YALit: Girl in a Cage: Importance of Being Earnest
YALit: Girl in a Cage: Importance of Being Earnest
Girl in a Cage: Importance of Being Earnest
—I gush over Donorboy
and then the author of the book writes a blog entry questioning the value of authenticity and earnestness. Now what am I supposed to do? Granted he finally decides that sometimes earnestness is okay, but I just couldn't help but feel that the author is just out to make me sad. I so loved that book for its authenticity, and here the author is telling me that authenticity isn't where it's at. Brendan, can't you rethink? Please?
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Learning in the Classroom by Reaching Out to Others
In the News: Learning in the Classroom by Reaching Out to Others
Learning in the Classroom by Reaching Out to Others
—description of a 3rd grade social action project, making books for younger children. The article describes the purpose of the activity: "Making the books is part of a literacy project designed not only to teach lessons about reading and writing to third-graders, but also to forge a connection with their community."
changelog @ tengrrl.com: How to bind a book - Lifehacker
Thursday, March 09, 2006
How to bind a book - Lifehacker
How to bind a book - Lifehacker
—okay, so I may not have a really good excuse to bind my own book, but at least I have the instructions should it become necessary.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Be Afraid
Don't Talk to Invisible Strangers - New York Times
and IMs: What's a Mother to Do? - Washington Post
—goodie! More fearmongering article to annoy me. It's not that I don't believe that people (not just kids, but anyone) can get into trouble on the Internet. Hell, be honest. Anyone can get into trouble anywhere by sharing the wrong information with the wrong person. Only the clinically paranoid would conclude that people should never ever talk to anyone else as a result. Yet the conclusion of these sorts of articles is a catalogue of fears and a long list of don'ts that ultimately result in families severely limiting access or taking away access altogether. Just once I'd like to see a positive spin on building community and establishing safe online persona. As long as fear sells though, it's not likely to happen. What we need to be afraid of is how fear is shaping our ways of moving through the world.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Filth Management
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Daily Work: Filth Management
For reasons that still aren't clear to me, I went to bed last night at 10:30, and I actually got hours and hours of great sleep. Woke up completely refreshed, and ready to tackle the world. From this well-rested perspective, I found myself absolutely annoyed with the messiness of my desk in the office. I spent the bulk of the day on a Filth Management Project, cleaning up junk, putting away stuff from lessons that have already published, clearing piles of mail, putting away lingering holiday decorations that had stacked up. It's so lovely to rediscover your desk. I even found time to take care of some online detritus, cleaning up broken links on the site.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Opossum Trauma Abates
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Daily Work: Opossum Trauma Abates
The harrowing night of the opossum yielded to the treacherous morn of the opossum. In other words, when I got up this morning, he was still in the driveway. He hadn't moved since that rolling over that I noticed at 9 PM last night, so I decided that he had to be dead or extremely stupid. What opossum lies in the same place for that long, especially when there's very bright sunshine and a barking dog in the neighbor's yard.
So I called Animal Control, and they told me that they don't deal with wildlife so I'd need to call a pest control company. Great. So I called the office to alert them to the fact that I was going to have to figure out how to get rid of a opossum before I could come in. Fortunately, Sharon reminded me that my driveway was really the alley, so he was technically a opossum in the street. Lo and behold, the phone book actually has a listing under Public Works labeled "dead animals in the street." I called them, and they said they'd send someone over. That crazy critter was out of my way in 10 minutes. All hail Public Works!
Sharon says that the lesson we have learned here is that if opossums die in your yard, get a shovel or rake and shove them into the street so that you don't have to deal with them.
I know it's heartless of me to think not of the poor soul of the opossum. In his last moments of life, I threw rocks at him and wished him ill. I am currently punishing myself for this evil by building a memorial in the driveway, er, alley. I believe a large stone marker and memorial tree would be best, but I'll have to get city approval first and the city hall people didn't sound too pleasant when I talked to them about this shrine.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Inbox: Raising Students' Awareness of Copyright
Inbox: Raising Students' Awareness of Copyright
March 6-10 is Copyright Awareness Week, an event designed to urge teachers from across the curriculum to teach students basic concepts of copyright, so the Ideas Section for this week's Inbox
discusses how to explore these issues with students.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Musings: Playing Opossum
Monday, March 06, 2006
This evening when I got home from work, I was "greeted" by a opossum, lying across the driveway (artist's representation
). He won't move. I drove up to him, and he just sat there. I beeped at him. I finally had to drive around him to get the car to the garage. After getting my stuff in the house, I went back out and politely asked him to leave. He didn't respond. I threw rocks at him, not to hit him but to land near him and convince him to move along. On the third rock, he lifted up his head and looked at me, then put his head back down. I have checked hourly or so all evening, and he is still there. He rolled over a bit around 9 pm, but otherwise, he seems to really like that particular spot in my driveway. What the hell am I supposed to do with a opossum in my driveway? Damn his opossum ass.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: ReadWriteThink: Fair Use Lesson Plan
ReadWriteThink: Fair Use Lesson Plan
In a moment of inspiration, I wrote a new lesson for the site today. I was searching for resources for Copyright Awareness Week for Inbox, and coming up empty. I hate that copyright is so frequently defined as in terms of plagiarism, and I refused to come up with resources that fall into that way of thinking. To fill the hole in the section, I wrote Campaigning for Fair Use: Public Service Announcements on Copyright Awareness
. In the lesson, students explore a range of resources on fair use and copyright then design their own audio public service announcements (PSAs), to be broadcast over the schoolís public address system. Work can also be published as podcasts on the Internet. Students tap research and persuasive writing strategies as they design announcements for an audience of their peers.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work of a Sort
Sunday, March 05, 2006
I finally gave up on the GIC blog publication as it was and put the blog on my other server. So now available for your perusal is tengrrl @ gic.blogshares.com
. Other than that, I watched the Oscars and mainly lamented my lackadaisical existence.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Lazy Disappointment
Daily Work: Lazy Disappointment
I'm such a wastoid today. I never managed to get any of the things done that I should have this weekend. How do I manage to accomplish so little? I know. By sleeping all day. But I just can't manage to do anything other than sleep. I did watch the Oscars, and I finally gave up on the GIC blog, which means that I choose somewhere else to put it. I tried and tested over and over, but it just won't publish to my regular site. I ended up putting it on the Lists of Ten site, but at least it's live and published now: tengrrl @ gic.blogshares.com
changelog @ tengrrl.com: For Windows: Free! Icons for your website or application at MaxPower
For Windows: Free! Icons for your website or application at MaxPower
Not sure that I'll ever need a huge collection of Free! Icons for your website or application at MaxPower
, but it's one of those things I figured that I better save or I'd never be able to find it again.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: In the News: Bloggers on the Reasons Behind Their Daily Words
In the News: Bloggers on the Reasons Behind Their Daily Words
Bloggers on the Reasons Behind Their Daily Words
—I'm sure that I'm supposed to comment on why I blog if I link to this article. The answer, sadly, is who knows; but I'll try to come up with something more reasonable:
- to record various things I'm doing for later use (like this article)
- to describe events and thoughts that are significant to me
- to think about why am I how I am
- to prove I exist
I hope that's good enough, cuz that's the best that I can come up with right now.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Dreaming
Saturday, March 04, 2006
It seems that the bad thing about sleeping all day and all night is that there can be very strange dreaming that confuses the bejeezus out of the sleeper. Every inch of insecurities and anxiety seemed to spill out into that freaky dream. It was some strange thing that started out with me in some odd sort of room-apartment under my mother's house, with a rented apartment in the room beside. There was some creditor calling and calling and calling about a bill that I owed and had forgotten. The thing was they were calling this next-door neighbor, who was now thing to find me. And I was trying to hide and pretend it wasn't going on. I couldn't deal with the idea that there was a bill outstanding that I needed to pay for, so I was in my room-apartment with the lights all out, trying to move as little as possible so that no one would see me and no one would find me. The additional problem was that there was a surprise party for my brother's birthday and all the firefighters that he works with were going to come to mom's house to celebrate, though the party wasn't to start until 2 AM when they all got off work. They were sure to discover me, and even if they didn't, I was going to have to come out for the party and then the neighbor would find me for sure. I could hear her and sometimes even see her talking at length to her boyfriend about these phone calls and how worried she was that I didn't come out of my room-apartment. She was certain that she should have someone come break down the door. I was inside, terrified and petrified. Then somehow in the way that dreams work, I ended up kidnapped and in the middle of a terrorist plot to be executed the day after Thanksgiving. The evil mastermind of this plot was Gary, and if I didn't cooperate, I was to be killed. The target was a large mall. They slipped in while Gary talked to the deejays from a local radio station that had a big mobile home at the mall for the big shopping day. As the mall opened, people swarmed in, and the supporting terrorists secured all the doors and rounded people up as hostages. People who didn't cooperate were shot. In the rush, I tried to get to a phone, to call someone for help; but the terrorists kept sweeping and and I was afraid I'd be caught. I found a place to hide in an oddly-shaped bathroom stall. If I crammed over to the side, climbed up on the step, and crouched down a bit, I couldn't be seen. I stayed there, terrified and hiding, waiting for the terrorists to finish clearing the room and leave so that I could emerge and do something. When I finally had my chance, I was out no more than a few minutes before Gary found me. There were SWAT teams and police crawling all over the place outside. I made some excuse for where and how he'd found me, and he took me to some candy store that he'd chosen for the headquarters. We all had to crouch down behind the tall bins of brightly colored candies to keep out of the police officers' sight. Still, somehow I got away, and I was trying to save my father. To get him moved and hidden, but we couldn't find the crutch that he'd dropped. Kerri suddenly showed up to help, but Gary was lurking again, so I had to hide them and come out to distract him before he found daddy and Kerri. He took me to a beauty salon, which he'd moved headquarters to. Oddly, the salon was still operating, doing facials and highlights. Gary insisted that we all get our hair colored for some reason. I tried to barricade myself in the salon bathroom, a small closed room where I thought I'd be safe, but Gary saw me and wouldn't let me close the door. The police eventually broke in and started shooting at people, but Gary got away and dragged me with him. I managed to get a gun and tried to threaten him, but he laughed at me. I shot him anyway, and the police swarmed in. Somehow he escaped and he was fine, as if I hadn't shot him at all. I shot him over and over, in a half-dozen different places; but every time, he was unharmed and found me and made me go off with him. I was unable to get rid of him, try as I might. At one point, the police had even covered him with a sheet; and he was up again and off. Over and over. I would shoot him point blank in the head, and he'd still be fine and dragging me with him to the next hiding place. I never escaped. I woke up, but with a horrible feeling, all these things hanging over me—the unpaid bill, hiding from everyone, and that inability to get rid of Gary. Maybe sleeping isn't helpful after all. I wish I had ambien. That is a sweet, silent, deep sleep. I could have avoided all this.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Sleeping
Friday, March 03, 2006
The best thing about a day off, for any reason, is that you can focus all your attentions on the important work of sleeping all day long. Okay, so it's a depressive thing to do, but sometimes avoiding everything that is grinding against you like sandpaper by sleeping all day is the only way.
changelog @ tengrrl.com: Daily Work: Bleh
Thursday, March 02, 2006
A rather boring day for readers. My back is all achey, so I'm taking tomorrow off to try to rest it before it gets any worse. Still working on the GIC blog, but the damned thing just won't publish. I don't understand how I can copy the settings exactly and fail to have it publish. Gave up on it a bit and did some moderating. I have notes on the book cover interactive to pass on, but I just wasn't up to working on them. I'm supposed to be taking time off :)
changelog @ tengrrl.com: ReadWriteThink: Three Lessons!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
ReadWriteThink: Three Lessons!
A content report was due today, so I made a last-minute push to get things online. Finished up the lesson I have been writing for several days now, and edited and posted two others:
- From Dr. Seuss to Jonathan Swift: Exploring the History behind the Satire
- After exploring the historical allusions behind Dr. Seussís The Butter Battle Book, the whole class discusses the history behind a passage from Gulliverís Travels. After this group exploration, students research further historical allusions in Swiftís work and share their findings with the class. (This one I wrote)
- Alphabiography Project: Totally You
- Instead of writing their life stories in a linear fashion, students write their biographies from A to Z in this nontraditional autobiography activity, which was inspired by the book Totally Joe by James Howe. After the entry for each letter in their alphabiographies, students sum up the stories and vignettes by recording the life lessons they learned from the events.
- Finding Common Ground: Using Logical, Audience-Specific Arguments
- Using a hypothetical situation, students generate arguments from opposing points of view, discover areas of commonality through the use of Venn diagrams, and construct logical, audience-specific arguments in order to persuade their opponents. Students also have an opportunity to role-play with classmates in order to refine their arguments.
YA lit authors