Friday, October 27, 2006

ideas get away

wow, I am down to posting once every two weeks--not much of a model blogger, am I?

It's not that I haven't wanted to blog--I have just been a bit wiped out. Very groggy in the evening; I wonder if the lack of sunlight has something to do with my grogginess? Better get outside this weekend, even though I am trying to write three papers right now.

My memoir unit in 110 went smoothly. Students seemed to enjoy the "talk around" almost as much as last year's students. A nice low-key day that also has lots of learning potential. Students get to hear each other's topics, I get to try and stress the argument, I get to give them 30 seconds of feedback, and sometimes their peers give them great feedback. I didn't use the talk around with the commentary last year, but I think I will this year. The peer review day wasn't well-executed, but we listened to one student read--he was getting really positive feedback from his peers--and we looked at one student's paper on the projector. We were able to give him some decent feedback.

There is always too much to do and say in TA strategies, so we rushed through a discussion of Anne Wysocki's chapter in WNM. I don't know how much others got out of it beyond what we discussed, but reading her critique of McLuhan, then her implicit agreement with McLuhan, helped me see that whether McLuhan or a technological determinist or not doesn't matter very much. However we use or draw on him, we, in 2006, can do our best to NOT use the logic of technological determinism. Wysocki does a nice job of pointing out that we strive to support our students' (and our own) agency when we write the new media, but we also need to acknowledge the ways in which the technologies structure (or limit, or massage) our uses of them. Some version of this discussion will need to make its way into McLuhan for Compositionists.

Back to students. I asked them to bring in storyboards for their PPT videos. Last year it was like pulling teeth to get the storyboards, but this year, I made it worth 25 points and I asked them to bring the hard copy to the conference. They all brought something except one student, and she ended up doing a nice job on the spot, in my office. It was fun to see her work. I also had a student do some really good revising as we conferenced today--I guess the last two days of conferencing have been very good!


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