This week we will be working with An Inconvenient Truth and our trip to the American Museum of Natural History to research a bit further on global warming. This week's blog has three parts:
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."
In addition to the listed questions, you, alone, or with your group, should spend some time exploring the AMNH and considering how this museum (and museums in general) are not really nature, but media. I would like to see in your blog some commentary on how nature is transformed into media. What are the processes by which humans “denaturalize” nature and then “renaturalize” it for consumption. HINT: Use your dictionary to look up “de-,” “re-,” “naturalize,” or “nature,” and “-ize” as necessary.
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!
OK folks, for BLOG THREE you will be responding to our readings on Gnosticism and comparing the basic tenants of Gnosticism to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" to The Matrix. I want to see more thinking and less summarizing. We have all read the material (or should have), we have all seen the film, we all know what happens (more or less). I am more interested now in seeing YOU making connections and putting you ideas into written form. If you are having trouble with the concepts in the readings (gnosticism is not easy by any stretch of the imagination) that is fine. Don't panic. Blog about what you are confused about (being actively confused is a thinking activity).
So, here it is almost the end of the week and I have writing tasks piling up which is very stressful. Here are the tasks I currently have and where they are (in order):
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.
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.
So, the last couple of days have been hectic. It takes a few weeks for students (and myself) to get used to the quick pace of the media cluster. Now that we have to start the ePortfolio sooner in the semester that gives us three complictaed tasks to master in a few days--blogging, Blackboard, and ePortfolio. For next semester I need a PowerPoint that explains what the three are for, what the differences are between them, why we are doing them at all and etc. The good thing is, of course, that my students always end up being pretty tech-savy by the end of the semester as we also learn PowerPoint and (as time allows) Movie Maker as well.
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.
To all my blogging students: Don't Panic! You do not have to have all the class links on your blog this week. You can use my links to get to some of your classmates to read and respond to their blogs. If you are NOT on my list to the right, be sure to post your blog address in WEEK ONE in Blackboard. I will not evaluate the first week's blog until later in WEEK TWO.
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.
Welcome to my class blog! This semester the theme is Truth, Lies, and Videotape and my class will be focusing on the theme of "Living in the Matrix." We are not going to watch all the Matrix films because the Reloaded and Revolutions are just too much . . . seriously.
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.
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.