My final podcast episode can be listened to on this page as long as your browser supports embedded audio elements:
This is a funny course reflection to be doing much later/after the fact (and it’s also just funny as one that has gone through a Bunch of rounds of editing over a period of months, at this point…) but even in the process of going through the coursework & again do I really appreciate this class. I am updating this mid-pandemic and remotely, and I’m still surprised at the quality of the conversation that I had with my younger sister for my podcast episode … though as I am thinking about it now, I wish that I could’ve recorded a supplemental “we’re all doing online writing now,” how are we doing?” addition - but I know that my inability to do that was largely because Everything Else that accumulated in the process of the online transition was beginning to pile up/my laptop went from having a broken keyboard to a broken everything, and postal service delays (as well as so many other things…) left me stuck for a while/struggling until the very last minute!
I *do* find myself cringing at how much I find myself cluttering up my sentences with “likes” and “um”s, and the fact that I think that my ears are so used to it that I’m sure that I missed some in the process of editing my podcast… or that I’m hearing phantom “um”s. I do think that this was one of the only classes I was able to pay attention to/retain information in over the fall semester, and though some absolutely humiliating circumstances got in the way of me getting more done, I really appreciated getting a general overview of contemporary discourses/general turns of thought in the field of composition. Having a large amount of entry-points to consider was super-helpful, with that being said… something odd/surprising, I guess, is how a good amount of the readings/class discussion focused on online writing in specific made it easier for me to understand my own shortcomings (aside from the ADHD!) in terms of generally “keeping up” with online coursework were… I’ve also become a lot more attentive when it comes to issues of inaccessibility/acknowledging the (many) things that make learning reading and writing difficult… I suppose that on the learning side of things, part of that also stems from personal experience. Reading things in the vein of “The Problem With Educational Technology” is genuinely relieving, and it’s pretty much one of the only things that doesn’t make me feel totally crazy. I got really interested in the proliferation of remote proctoring software (like Lockdown Browser) and the fact that a. so much of it is essentially proprietary spyware/malware b. the rhetoric in advertising for it (and “total device control”) promote some really worrying things about surveillance c. data/video on it gets stored on Amazon’s web servers for 5 years after it’s been used!
2019/11/05-07 / 5 AM
I'm making up the assignment for 11/5, here.
I'll first do the AB:
Berlin, James A. “Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories.” College English, vol. 44, no. 8, 1982, pp. 765–777. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/377329.
Berlin seeks out to write an article that simultaneously provides an overview of four major pedagogical theories, their historical contexts, and (very helpfully), the texts that best develop and explain these theories in terms of more direct pedagogical expressions. He makes clear his belief that the approach of the New Rhetoricians, as he terms it early on in the article, is the one that he thinks "works" the best, though he does not condemn or harshly critique the others - in fact, his overview of the others helps a lot in support of his argument that favors the New Rhetoricians. A major influencing factor in Berlin's assessments here, including that of New Rhetoric being more effective, are influenced by observations of other instructors' approaches to teaching composition: how they "look upon their vocations as the imparting of a largely mechanical skill" (766). This becomes very important to remember (and to constantly/consistently think about) while reading the article, though I will admit that at points I kept having to remind myself to do that...
For the 12th of Nov.,
In Rhodes' Reimagining the Social Turn, the authors discuss the challenges facing instructors and theorists in developing and applying writing pedagogy that understands rapidly-changing cultural and sociopolitical contexts in teaching writing. These contexts constitute a "social turn" that necessitates more than just a centering of lived experience and vague notions of inclusion and vague "career preparedness" - it has to acknowledge the material realities that surface with this social turn; the concrete economic and systemic factors that come into play. As someone who is only recently looking into the history of this field and thought within it - and with that, trying to get a feel for the current "state of affairs" - it's put a lot of really interesting things to consider in my head (mostly... what would be the best possible way to make sure of this? My other thought here is "wow, I wish I could've linked some of my high school teachers to this"... ha)
On Cowley's "Personal Essay on Freshman English": (12/5/19)
... Sharon Cowley's argument for objecting to it as a “universal requirement” was genuinely thought-provoking to me, and I found myself thinking about its “updatability”, if that makes sense? It feels like there has been very little change in terms of the issues that are described, though it seems that at the end of the day, the issues almost always come down to the necessity of material analysis… but the dimensions that change and problems that are compounded as a result of growing class sizes and the implementation of capital E & capital T Education Technology feel majorly relevant, here. (I will also say that it made me feel very lucky to have had a Good experience with the freshman experience requirement, though I know that it’s different coming from a student perspective.) There is an honesty in describing these required courses as "feeling like high school". I remember that feeling being a major factor in a general depressive slump that I faced during my first semester of college, though it was linked to my peers and a feeling of disillusionment/sense of "collateral demotivation" with the “high-school resistance tactics” that Cowley refers to. It felt bad for me and bad for my professors. And it wasn't just limited to English education, though the impacts that it has might be most apparent there.
2019/11/05-07 / 5 AM
hi, sory, brain still facing the blue screen of death. thi week has been lacking in sleep and most of my weeks have consisted of Me Being Awake Against My Will, but i broke a personal record this week - 72 hours without sleep, which I hope to never come near again, because sleep deprivation-related brain damage kicks in around then... with that,i'll be updating this soon. i might not switch to a new page for unit 3 yet, i just realized, because this one is pretty sparse. but on my to do list for the week/the first two, at least.. and the last, i mean: fill this space with my actual 10/05 + 10/07 work, make up what i've missed, for all of the units at this point... and maybe make little dedicated "makeup log" page. but first i need to get some rest. just a little bit...
only got to use my laptop later today, largely because i needed to deal with a Bad Malfunction re: the battery, but on top of that I woke up late today/overslept everything... including an exam, so I'm experiencing major BSoD of the brain, and w/ tat excuse me if any if this entry looks incomplete/in-process as you view it. I am also incredibly cold a I'm typing this (my apartment is 80 years old and drafty and has... no central heating!! and the space heater i was provided is 30+ years old and has a defect with a history of exploding and causing awful fires/killing people ! so i'm ...bundling up until the on i ordered gets delivered to me), and with that, please ignore any numb-fingered typos (yes I know it's not that cold I'm still very sensitive to it!)
i stopped by the UA IT summit two times on the day of, both of those times in the afternoon, and there was definitely a sense of "oh no i wish i could've showed up earlier" feeling. but it was really intriguing- there was a good mix of posters that I Did understand at the poster session and posters that may as well have been written in another language. of particular interest to me was one that was archival related/focused on digitizing archives, utilizing material from archives that included the az queer archives... it's the kind of stuff that always makes me wish that i had gotten into library sciences but it probably isn't too late, right?
2019/10/24 - 28 (as in, 4 AM on the 28th)
Oh god I have a lot of make-up work to do. But this week is going to be really weird, and very somber - for me, at least, I don't know. It feels like this might be odd to put in a class labor log, but I don't know, it's important. It's been two months since one of my best friends died, and so, so suddenly, and the 29th/Tuesday would be (in my head, "would be/would have been" is just "is") her 22nd birthday. I miss her every day/have missed her every day and it feels like it's turned my whole life upside down (again, note the mountain of things I'm still working on), but I made this site, which 100% doesn't work or look right if you're not on a desktop/laptop/in general isn't mobile friendly (I'm sorry, trying to fix it) as a kind of digital memorial. Or memory book. Or something. I'm still working on it, and I'm still getting stuff from friends to put on it. But if you want to take a look/"stop by", then you can. There's a guestbook and everything.
AB: Gold, David, Merideth Garcia, and Anna V. Knutson. "Going Public in an Age of Digital Anxiety: How Students Negotiate the Topoi of Online Writing Environments." Composition Forum. Vol. 41. Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition, 2019.
In this article, Gold, Garcia, and Knutson write about "digital anxiety" in different dimensions. Of course, there's anxiety about general unfamiliarity with digital technologies, and doubts about one's writing - but this anxiety is a thing that is more likely connected to the public-facing nature of online writing. Students are likely to "resist [instructors'] attempts to bridge [classroom and online writing spaces]", as a result of concerns about privacy/hostile, uncontrollable responses to the content that they put online. The authors present a topology of anxieties and affordances, here - presence, persistence, permeability, promiscuity, and power; they catalog students' behaviors that fit/are reflective of these categories in a fairly accurate way. I appreciated the distinct attention paid to students' senses of platform awareness (presence) and general "craftiness" with certain platforms in use of privacy settings/taking advantage of their affordances (persistence). They've identified a lot of elements that seem to be often glossed-over or simply ignored in research/work done around online writing in public/social media contexts, and having the language to talk about these aspects is incredibly helpful.
Something that struck me as pretty interesting (and I think this is linked to having spoken to high school teachers and just Remembering Things from high school, and how I learned then?) about the AB entries was the super-duper wide range of student/non-student population samples/subjects-theorized-about/et-cetera. I think that this was a thing that interested me when I was introduced to the education podcasts, as well, and from both our readings and discussions I feel like I can say that there's a pretty strongly (and widely!) held belief that ties into our ideas around multiple literacies and multiple types of composition, and furthermore how we translate that theorizing into actual teaching... a lot of it feels super strongly rooted in those (looking back at having to go out of my way to Remember Things from the period/s, how much I suppressed a lot of those memories... lol) foundational secondary-school learning experiences. And this is obvious, I guess, so part of me is like, "it's really stupid to highlight this". But another part of me is looking at the use of digital educational technology in my own experiences around that time, which (as I talk to my younger sisters) is both pretty-much-the-same and Very Different at the same time. And some of those things are pop-culture/cultural factors. How and where students become "digitally literate" is important, especially in understanding/introducing applications of related technology to the classroom; reading articles that focus on deliberately cultivating "digital beginnings" for children in educational environments, for instance, is interesting just because even if *that* doesn't happen, kids now are going to have Some type of digital beginning, whether it's inside a classroom or not, and the way that students use and may interact with digital educational technology/content (and the ways that they write/learn to write in that context!) will be affected by it... but with that, I think that a look at "digital beginnings" and literacy in this sense would be really, really interesting, and I had mentioned wanting to look at specifically high-school/secondary observations, or maybe observations About that time - potentially involing interviews? I'll sketch out a little outline in a bit.
okay, actually thinking about it, and in the light of my most recent AB entry - Gold, Garcia, & Knutson's "Going Public in an Age of Digital Anxiety"... combined with some of the past discussions that we've had about potential podcast topic/format ideas, I think I have an idea? I've liked the concept of an episode that focuses on / features interviews (or just conversations? surveys? quick-question segments?) with students since it was mentioned (though briefly/in passing) a while ago - in my memory it was brought up on the day we all worked together in Conceptboard. My focus would be on the dimensions/topoi that the authors mention in the piece (sorry, you're gonna have to read-or-at-least-skim it!), asking questions about how they (of course) impact the subjects' writing/the boundaries that they imagine existing (if they do imagine these boundaries existing) between their digital writing in a "classroom" context and their digital writing outside of the context. There is a hope that this would be an episode that'd be interesting to both instructors *and* students, who might be able to feel more... "heard"? I need to think about length, to be honest, because this could definitely involve A Few (3-5?) students - a mix of secondary (high school) and college (undergraduate) students... or it could be limited to one student. And if it's just one student, then I need to make a Choice about who they'd be. (I think that hearing younger students' voices is interesting.) I'd need to formulate questions that consider each of the 5 categories - presence, persistence, permeability, promiscuity, and power. It might require some sort of preliminary (so, off-the-record?) crash-course education/introduction-of-concepts with each subject, though I think a general conversation can probably make things clear... but before that, of course, I'd need to find/seek out subjects (can those be friends?). So ... time is an asset that I need. And of course, recording equipment is another necessity. I can get Gear-to-Go clearance or get those things from the library really fast, but in order to do either I'll need to know exactly when I'll be recording, due to the fact that you can only check items out for 3 days...
I spoke to high school teachers for the "talk to 4 English teachers" assignment, mainly out of convenience, because I had some time to do so when I was visiting my family. And I am trying to make up basically everything else. Please watch this space!
Before class today: listened to 30 min of Two Profs in a Pod, specifically one from season 2 - "What's Culture Got to Do With It". I'm making up an AB entry - the initial assignment on a work specifically about sound; the piece that I chose to read was Jonathan Alexander's "Glenn Gould and the Rhetorics of Sound"...
Alexander, Jonathan. "Glenn Gould and the Rhetorics of Sound." Computers and Composition 37 (2015): 73-89.
I really wanted to go out of my way to search for a piece, but when I saw a mention of Glenn Gould in Shelley's list, I had to read it immediately. I liked the nearly personal-essay-esque tone that Alexander began with -- and his argument that centers the inclusion of Gould in a sort of "canon" of musicians and sound artists associated with more contemporary ideas/thoughts around the DIY ethos and sound and the idea of not just sound but additionally voice as distinct media/mediums. Re-interpretations and the ability to do so - utilizing technological innovation along with one's own critical thinking/sensibility is key, as well as the breakaway from the "cult of the author" that this necessitates - and those key parts of his theorizing are elements that tie this directly to/open avenues for applying it to education (and the use of sound in education)... I will say that though I am really familiar with (and into) Gould's work, as well as some Theoretical Things about sound and experimental music, quite a bit more additional reading about sound was necessary for me to comfortably say that I fully "got it".
Another AB still needs to be made up. One of the articles cited in the previous piece was interesting to me:
McKee, Heidi. "Sound matters: Notes toward the analysis and design of sound in multimodal webtexts." Computers and composition 23.3 (2006): 335-354.
In this article, McKee composes a multipart schema for critically thinking about and looking at sound in the context of multi-modal webtexts, i.e. "new media" works - in 2006, when this article was written, a great example of what constituted "multimodal webtexts" were poetic Adobe Flash texts/interactive animations and animated "games". This is a pretty interesting factor in hindsight – at this point, though so much culture on the Internet was practically made by Adobe Flash works, and so many educational resources (or not-so-educational resources - just many things that helped contribute to users' digital literacies, in some way) utilized Flash - Adobe plans on ending Flash Player support by 2020. Still, this detail doesn't really alter the fundamental frameworks that McKee sets up in the article: she looks toward film as an initial example of electronic media that combines modes, and uses a lot of elements of film theory to look at sound, in specific, in conjunction with theatrical theory and vocal/music theory - all of these things, of course, are intertwined if not inseparable. The frameworks that are devised in this article present interesting implications for both the literal act of composition involving sound and the design of sound, both for education/in educational contexts and not, but more importantly, for the teaching of sound/involvement of sound and its meanings.
This is (once again) not a good month. My fight-or-flight response told me to go to my parents' for the weekend so I did, and I'm making things up now..I listened to episode 29 of The New Professor on the way to Phoenix. If you're reading this it means that my writing on Jay's tournament activity is incomplete but I'm working on it!
"Bad audio" has probably been a fixation of mine since it has first been mentioned - and though I Get the argument(s) about authenticity, fundamentally.... it feels like it could also come off very inauthentic, or allow for some slippage in terms of quality control - there's a difference between bad-audio-that-you-can-tell-is-bad and slight missteps, as noted. The actual content of the podcast, I think, has to "compensate" for bad audio in a way, considering how many people said things along the lines of "if the audio sucks then I just turn the podcast off"... the same goes for content in conjunction with it.
2019/10/08 at 3?
i screwed up and did my AB entry/the wrong reading fml let me redo this/do a sound-related one tonight
2019/10/01 at 4:27
this is page 2.
2019/10/01 at ???? I'm copying in my AB entry that actually corresponds to/is the first one for this unit here, sorry, it was on the unit one page! another AB. I have gotten literally about 4 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours (grief and all that you put off because of it is crazy! but also kind of not kidding - maybe only half kidding - when I say I hate my life ;___; ) and listened to so many hours worth of podcasts while sealed up inside of my apartment (I live alone) that people's voices sound wonky in my head, but I read another article by Katherine DeLuca, "'Can we block these political thingys? I just want to get f*cking recipes:' Women, Rhetoric, and Politics on Pinterest".
(I will preface this by admitting that I have a Chrome extension that blocks Pinterest links/images from showing up in Google searches.) DeLuca's work here is really delightful - the Pinterest-esque format adds a bit of an immersive element to it, and for readers unfamiliar with Pinterest and its culture, it additionally gives readers a vantage point from which they can understand/likely infer certain things about the platform and its demographics. "Pinterest mom", for instance, is its own whole thing, and the specificity of "mom" is linked to the largely-female userbase that the site has. DeLuca explores the rhetorics around these specific types of "female spaces" - not explicitly *feminist* spaces, just female spaces - online through a look at the Pinterest content (and reactions to said content) posted by Jane Wang during Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, and finds a (maybe?) surprising "why does everyone have to take things so seriously?" insistence on the site/among its community members being a sort of apolitical space. ("Pinterest mom" feels parallel to "Facebook mom", here?) There was an element that felt like it needed more analysis/more careful consideration here, though -- and even in this entry I realized that I was doing some categorizing (with the term "pinterest mom") that could be disputed if there was more info - what are the more specific demographics in terms of the women in Pinterest's userbase? How might these things be signaled or codified when not explicitly stated? Racial/economic differences can probably be linked to the attitudes described in the article (as they often can be in real life!) and I was hoping to see/read more about how those things surface on the platform.