Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ideas from David Blakesley

David Blakesley visited NDSU yesterday to talk about his new handbook with Thompson publishers, and to talk more generally about teaching and composing with technology. Stimulating day; here are some highlights:

1. David showed us and talked about his own composing practices. He frequently composes in Adobe Acrobat and InDesign, and showed us the advantages of doing so for assembling an Acrobat presentation or preparing a visually rich manuscript, like his handbook, for publication.

2. He showed us the handbook companion website, which is going to be maintained via Drupal, and many in attendance had questions about teaching with Drupal. I just found this description of the Purdue approach to Drupal, written by Jeremy Trirrel.

3. David showed Kenneth Burke's, and some of his own, "Flowerishes," which gave me some ideas for adding a visual component to the commentary assignment I use in first-year comp.

4. He talked about some interesting assignments, including some developed by Bill Covino (dialogue and one other) and David Jolliffe (inquiry contract). Definitely some ideas worth following up on.

Hopefully others captured some additional ideas I have not captured.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Scott McCloud's Excellent Adventure, uhh, presentation

Elizabeth Lawley at Rochester Institute of Technology summarized Scott McCloud's presentation from September at RIT. Scott gave roughly the same presentation at NDSU on Monday April 16th, although Sky didn't do her PPT--she was too engrossed in reading Walter Murch's In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing (great book--how cool!).

I know Scott is still looking for a host in Wyoming and Idaho to complete his 50 state tour--somebody out there needs to invite him, for your own good!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

McCloud's big triangle in context

Back to some old fashioned textual blogging.

Scott McCloud will be here on Monday, and I am looking forward to talking with him about his work and ideas. I have been wanting to write an article that updates his "big triangle" of visual communication, but I often think that such an article would be a little bit too simplistic. I just got thinking this morning that perhaps the larger, more useful context would be to synthesize some of the work done on how we seem to process images--McLuhan's hot and cool, which is problematic but also holds up reasonably well, the indexical hypothesis developed by Art Glenberg, and Jennifer Wiley's work on visually rich media (2003). I could use that scholarship to guide my revision of The Big Triangle; McCloud's ideas are consistent with most of these ideas, but a little tweaking would be in order.

Now I don't know what my blogging style is: freewriter, vlogger, linker? Identify crisis management.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Think But This and All is Mended

I had almost nothing to do with the video project: I bought the camera that was used, and I probably bought the computer. Oh, I guess I also gave Dayna feedback on her literacy narrative as she wrote it. Dayna Del Val (friend) and Caity Birmingham (step daughter) collaborated on one of the most interesting literacy narratives I have heard and seen.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Serenity character

Your results:
You are Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)

Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
River (Stowaway)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Inara Serra (Companion)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Medicine and physical healing are your game,
but wooing women isn't a strong suit.

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

Friday, April 06, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Video Blog 2: The curling episode

Video blogging, when not a 5 minute one-take, is much more time consuming than text-blogging. Duh.