Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Have a good summer!
Monday, May 19, 2008
The old man they called The Hand wrote on everything: every single thing that could take a mark of red ink, black ink, paints and dyes of all hues, blueberry juice, manure, semen, urine, shit, a spittle soaked finger, the scratching of rocks, worn arrowheads, large sticks, uncut fingernails, hoes and rakes, or discarded sewing needles, to name a very few. Mosaic letters of colored rocks traced across the grass. Thatch roofs were rewoven during the night: a “d”, an “a”, a “w”, and “n” all facing the East. The roofs leaked letters on the rooms below.
The Hand wrote philosophy and poetry—classical, modern, and impromptu. He scrabbled aphorisms, curses, dire predictions, proper names of people and places historical, mythological, and fantastical. He wrote shopping lists on front doors and committee agendas on windows: “Meeting at 8:30am, light breakfast will be served. 10:00am: team building time.” He wrote “Suddenly there’s bears!” down the mid-wife’s stairs. Small children learned to read from the windows and walls. Our village lost its name below the surface of it all.
The old man wrote on cobbled chimneys, outhouses inside and out, rocks, stones, pebbles, pots, pans, small unattended children, and animals too slow or dull witted to avoid his grasping hands. He loved to write curse words on captured migrating birds.
It goes without saying he tattooed his own skin: every inch he could reach with the complete text of Dr. Zhivago. Or so he says. I have never read it. The blank spot on his back he labeled “winter.”
He sometimes wrote on paper and occasionally with pens. He folded these neatly into swans and dragons and flowers and then ate them, usually.
In time, he tattooed our bodies as well: head to toe with our names, important events, undying loves, former undying loves, and downright dead ones. He gave us spells to ward away gout, eczemas, boils, and the common cold.
Hide and seek is not a game our children play—it is our daily life as graffiti bodies wander through painted rooms out into our painted streets.
He wrote himself into our lives for uncounted years until he died. We found his cold lettered body by smell, leaning patiently against the lettered well.
His lettered bones lie there still.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Responding actively to ths blog entry and responding to your classmates' blog will help you with the Final In-class Essay next week!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
1) Form a group.
2) Find the address and hours of the library and plan your route/travel time.
3) Set up a time and place to meet with your group (There is a big fountain on Lincoln Center which might be a good place). I would suggest planning a solid hour and a 1/2. You DO NOT have to work as a group, nor report out as a group. I would, however, that no one work alone unless absolutely necessary (and approved by me). Having a group allows you to learn things about the place you might not have noticed otherwise.
4) Find the webpage for the Performing Arts library and cruise their collections (see what they have).
5) Make a list of “things to see” while there that interest you or “may” apply to your topic. Be prepared to ask questions! (Suggestions: They have a fantastic collection of DVDs on the first floor and an equally impressive collection of “movie books” on the 2nd floor). Leave some time for just wandering about and checking out what they have.
6) Keep notes of “things of interest” for the class (not just your personal project) to share in your blog.
7) Report out your experience to your blog.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Let's save the planet . . . one bottle of water at a time. That's right! This week you get to start doing your little bit to keep us all (literally) above water and neck deep in trash. For the next few weeks' blogs, we will be researching to find information on how we can "go green" in at least some part of our lives. For this first blog in the series, find out what is possible (be sure to document your sources) and what you and your family can do to help save the people who live on this planet and not pass on mounds of troubles to our children and our children’s children. Be sure to explain why certain options are viable for you and your family and others are not.
To start your research, you may want to begin either at Dr. X's blog (a link is listed on my blog to the right) or at the LaGuardia Common Reading Page (a link is on the library page) or simply search "green living" and related terms in Google or Altavista, or Yahoo.
For example: I decided a year ago to try and follow Prof. Lucca in having a "paperless" classroom and have saved a LOT of paper--more than I ever would have thought of. Much more! However, there are also problems with the paperless class as we all use computers and computers use energy, so this is really the lesser of two evils. In my own personal life, I have changed a lot of things including the following:
My wife and I recycle almost everything.
I bought a glass bottle of water and use it to refill (plastic is bad for you and the environment and should be avoided).
I switched off of disposable razors and now use a more traditional one.
I use shaving soap in a cup instead of shaving cream in a can.
I now make my own beer and re-use bottles. How many teachers have you had who are also brewers? No, I do not have a still to make whisky as that would be illegal.
My wife and I now subscribe to magazines we want rather than picking them up at the news-stand (which are evil on paper waste!)
We get most of our news on the internet rather than through newspapers.
I am looking for a small travel coffee mug so I don't have to use Styrofoam or paper coffee cups.
We switched all out lights to those weird florescent ones (Our electric bill really dropped!)
I am paperless on most bills (I get them via email) and pay most bills electronically.
We try to reduce water waste whenever we can. For example, if we boil vegetables we save the water and, when it cools, use it to water plants. We have LOTS of plants. Oxygen in good, right?
We are working on a no-plastic kitchen. This will take several years, but soon I will be bringing my lunches to school in re-used glass jars. It seems a bit silly, but who watches me eat? You guys don't even know where my office is, right?
We just switched from using "antibacterial" soap for our dishes to regular dish soap. That antibacterial stuff is apparently both useless and lethal for the environment (and it works its way back into the drinking water. YUK!
That's it for now! Get started . . . .
(Ooooo. Maybe I can get one of these! Who wouldn't want a bamboo spork?)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
1) Report-out on the infomation you found at the museum and your overall experience there.
2) Make connections between what you saw at the museum and the film An Inconvenient Truth. Which did you find more believeable, the film or the Museum. Why?
3) Make connections (or observations) between the film, the museum, our readings so far, and the theme of the cluster: Truth, Lies, and Videotape. It might help to think of the museum as type of "media."
Monday, March 24, 2008
After a weekend conference without internet (hard to believe but true), I think I'm ready for the week. Your blog for Week 4 will be over our trip to the American Museum of Natural History on Wed. I'll post the details for the blog assignment Tuesday morning as usual, though they will not make sense until we visit the museum. See you in class!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
1) Article for magazines on GPS surveying in Iraq: I have 20 pages to read and need to draft the article ASAP. However, this is a paying job so I need to get on it.
2) Article for magazines on archeology in Egypt: a phone interview is set up for Friday afternoon. Otherwise, I know little about this one. Again, paid work.
3) My co-author and I need to finish the Harry Potter chapter for the book Reading Harry Potter II. It is due after Spring break. I have ordered the books we need to my shelf in the NYPL-Humanities. Academic articles do not pay.
4) The journal article Alien Ware is in a long rough draft (again with my co-author), but I need more research for it—probably at the NYPL Performing Arts branch. The due date it loose on this one. I hope this goes into Science Fiction Studies or Science Fiction Television and Film.
5) My solo book on Virtual Culture is on hold until summer, though it is in a long, ugly draft. Ugh. Maybe I can finish it this year. Maybe not. I want this one done so I can get on with either the gaming book or the SF Film one.
So, I don’t exactly feel better after making that list, but it seems a bit more manageable. Kind of.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
EOC End of Class
LOL Laughs Out Loud (this one is an "emote" for you techno-peasants)
ROFLMAO (Figure this one out on your own), LOL
This weekend I will finish out the schedule for the rest of the semester so I can "hand it out" (that is, post to Bb6) next week.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Happy blogging and keep up the good work!
Now, about the LOST episode last night. What the heck was up with that? My current theory is that the island houses a singularity (essentially a collapsed black hole) which makes time bend around it and is slowly collapsing a part of the universe around itself (the island). Anyone else watch LOST?
WEEK TWO BLOG (for those who want to get an early start): Please read "The Allegory of the Cave" on Wikipedia. What, in your own words, is an allegory? What is the allegory all about? What connections can you make with The Matrix? And, yes, there is a lot of material on the web about this. If you use ideas from a source, be sure to tell us where it came from and post the link. Do not cut and paste off someone elses' blog or website onto your blog.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Those of you in my class need to complete the following: 1) set up a blog here on blogspot (start at blogger.com); 2) add a link on your blog to my blog; 3) give me your blog address with your name; 4) add links to all classmates' blogs.
Starting today, I will be posting weekly discussion questions to get you started on your blogging adventure. You must post every week (I evaluate the blogs every Monday) and respond to classmates. This week, of course, the blog is about the Matrix film. I would like you to write a review of the film (about 500 words) analyzing interesting ideas you see. Feel free to use our readings, but be sure you indicate in your blog which ideas come from the readings.
Good luck and happy blogging!