Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 9: The Plan

  1. Blog Series 1 Evaluations (In-progress)
  2. Essay 1 and 2 completed
  3. Essay 3 Evaluation in progress
  4. Creative Commons Copyright
  5. Work on MOMI Assignment and Blog (If you missed the museum trip, you may go on your own over break).
  6. Preview Media Mid-term (see Links above--10 pages due Sunday 4/25).
  7. Begin research for Media Mid-term. As always, keep track of the sources you used.
  8. Begin research on MLA (Modern Language Association) Research Paper Format and Citation Style. What is it? How do you do it? Why do you do it? As always, keep track of the sources you used.
  9. Free Writers' Handbooks in my office!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blog 8: Museum of the Moving Image

The Assignment (50 points):
My English 099 Basic Writing course in the Fall I semester of 2010 will be studying material very similar to what we study in this class. They, however, will need a very detailed introduction to the museum and it needs to be “fun.” To that end, I would like you to design a scavenger-hunt type introduction to the museum for them. It should be both fun and informative—in essence, something YOU would like to do—and it must also demonstrate that they saw, and understood, the most important elements of the museum.

1. At least 50 questions.
2. Doable in 1-2 Hours.
3. Questions ranging from simple to complex.
4. Active engagement with the museum exhibits.
5. Clear directions to follow.
6. Include all directions needed.
7. Self-guided.
8. Designed for small groups (2-3).
9. It must cover all the major exhibits as well as some of the “minor” pieces.
10. Must include the Mitchell 35mm studio camera.
11. It must be fun!


1. Fun Factor 20
2. Clarity 10
3. Coverage 10
4. Relevance 10
      TOTAL: 50

Report-out: Blog 8 
One member should type-up and post your scavenger hunt to their blog as Blog Entry 8. Please indicate WHO worked in your group. The rest of the group members should post a blog entry reflecting on the trip to the museum. What did you learn? What did you find interesting/cool? Would you go back again? Why or why not?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Entry 7: Reflection (Due 3/25). Blog series 2 begins.

BLOG ENTRY 7: For your 7th blog this semester, I would like you to reflect back on the previous two weeks and write a paragraph or so where you summarize your experience in this class so far. Feel free to write whatever you like, but these questions might help you get started. What new things about literature did you learn? What new things did you learn about research? What about web tools? What have you liked so far and why? What are you still wondering about now?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 7 and 8: Encounter 1 & Schedule

TODAY: Blog series 1 ends today (100 points).

  1. Encounter 1 (Quiz, 25 Points): Respond to this message by using the comments button below. For full credit you must post by 9:30 (partial credit is possble afterwards, but not guaranteed). Blue Pill or red pill? Using your reading for today as the basis and The Matrix film, which pill would you choose and why? What does that choice really mean anyway? You must demonstrate that you both saw the film and have read the assignment for full credit on this encounter.  
  2. Blog Evaluation Explaination
  3. The Online Grade Book (CUNY Portal)
  4. Check all links to be sure they are working (last chance for romance)
  5. Blog 6 Complete, ready for workshop.
  6. Read and respond to at least 4 classmates' blog 6 (essay 3). Pay particular attention to clarity of language and ideas, and sources they may have used to avoid plagiarism/copyright infringement. Your comments should be specific as to how to improve the draft.
  7. After workshop, revise your draft for evaluation. You entire blog series up to today will be evaluated by me beginning with the end of class.
  8. BLOG ENTRY 7: For your 7th blog this semester, I would like you to reflect back on the previous two weeks and write a paragraph or so where you summarize your experience in this class so far. Feel free to write whatever you like, but these questions might help you get started. What new things about literature did you learn? What new things did you learn about research? What about web tools? What have you liked so far and why? What are you still wondering about?
  9. TRIP (50 points). Find and print directions to the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI). Plan your route. Organize your group. Get contact cell numbers from your group. Part of this assignment is to GET THERE and ON TIME.
We meet in front of the Museum of the Moving Image (11:00).

FOR THURSDAY: Matrix Readings 2 TMAF 28-40

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 6 and Beyond!

Today: The Matrix; Blog 6 (see below)
  • Tuesday: Research and Writing; Read The Matrix and Philosophy (TMAF) 5-15. **QUIZ (first five minutes of class)**. ASK ME: I have FREE writers' handbooks available in my office. Field-trip assignment. Blogs 1-6 evaluated.
  • Wednesday: Museum of the Moving Image Trip 11:00-2:00 (meet there)
  • Thursday: Read: TMAF 28-40; Begin Media Mid-term

Read: 3 TMAF 28-40
In-Class Essay over Readings

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blog Entry 6 (Essay 3): Matrix Review (Due: 03/22)

For the sixth blog entry, write a response (500 word) to The Matrix. You should know (other films and etc.) to frame your ideas. You may ask questions that you would like to find the answers to, or anything else that you think of related to the film as long as you do not summarize the plot (except, perhaps, to illustrate a broader point). Be sure to read and respond to classmates' posts that you find interesting! You must respond, as always, to a minimum of 3 classmates, but feel free to be prolific. The more you repond to others, the more responses you will get!

Things to think about:
  1. Sexuality and Gender: How important is the body in The Matrix? How are bodies portrayed (visually) on the screen?
  2. Race: Is “race” important in The Matrix? Where do you see racial themes directly addressed? Where are racial issues “implied”? Is Neo white?
  3. Reality vs. Illusion (as in Plato’s Cave): Would you rather live in The Matrix? Why/not
  4. Human vs. Machines: What is our relationship with our tools, with our machines?
  5. Humans as Machines: Are humans and machines really that different? Why or why not?
  6. Are we living in the Matrix? How do you know?
  7. What do the characters’ names/nicknames mean?
FOR NEXT WEEK READ: The Matrix and Philosophy (TMAF) 5-15 

Blog Entry 5: Semester Plan

For the fifth blog entry, I would like you to review your syllabii for all of your courses and order the major assignments by when they are due. Then, write a paragraph describing what has to be done each week, and at assessment points (like mid-term and finals) and what problems you might anticipate getting the assignments done (work schedule, etc.)

Day 5: Plan B "Technology Strikes Again"

  1. Go to B333
  2. Complete Blog 4: Truman Syndrome (see below)
  3. Check out
  4. Read "The Matrix" on
  5. Complete Blog 5: Review syllabii for all courses and write a paragraph describing what major assignments are due in what order and how you plan to complete them (250-500 words, see above).
NEXT TIME: The Matrix Film (technology gods willing)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blog Entry 4: Truman Syndrome

For Wednesday--Blog Entry 4: Research "Truman Syndrome" on the web. What is it? Why might people feel they are on TV? Where did you find your information? Do you think the site(s) used are trustworthy? Why or why not? 250 words.

Day 4: Plan

  1. Online Calendar (demo) and New Blog Features.
  2. DFL 2.0 Pre-survey (see link).
  3. Blog problems? Links? Names?
  4. Link your blog to ALL classmates. Yes, all of them. Yes.
  5. Click "Follow" on our class blog.
  6. Word Verification Off (customize / settings / comments / word verification / never).
  7. Blogs 1-2 finish.
  8. Blog 3 finish and post (aka Essay 2 draft 1).
  9. Comment on classmates blogs 1-3 (pay particular attention to 3).
  10. Cool tool of the week: Google Calendar IMDb/com
  11. For Wednesday--Blog Entry 4: Research "Truman Syndrome" on the web. What is it? Why might people feel they are on TV? Where did you find your information? Do you think the site(s) used are trustworthy? Why or why not?
  12. For Thursday: Course review and planning the semester. Web research (in class). Community Commons (copyright).
  13. For  Next Week: buy book and bring to class.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blog 3 (Essay 2): The Truman Show (Due Monday 03/15)

For homework: Consider the following questions on The Truman Show and write a blog of about 500 words addressing the question or questions that interest you most.

1. What is are the similarities and difference between Truman’s life in Seahaven and a reality TV show like “The Bachelor”, “Survivor”, or “The Real World”?

2. Throughout the film, there are shameless advertisements and product placements presented as part of Truman’s life. Is it moral to use Truman’s life as a means to monetary gain?

3. During an interview, Christof states the following: "I have given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in, is the sick place. Seahaven is the way the world should be." Is Christof correct? What, if any, would be the benefits of living in Seahaven as opposed to the real world?

4. As Truman begins to piece together the falsity of the world that surrounds him, his view of Seahaven is radically altered. He starts to question and analyze all that he encounters. Can you think of a parallel in your own life that has changed the way you process the world?

5. In what ways are Christof and the television network similar to God? In what respects do they differ?

6. When speaking of Truman, Christof states: "He could leave at any time. If this were anything more than a vague ambition, if he was absolutely determined to discover the truth, there is no way we could prevent him." Truman eventually does discover the true nature of his reality despite the strong efforts of Christof and the network. What does Truman’s triumph have to say about the roll of free will in our lives?

7. Consider yourself in Truman’s position. If presented with the choice to remain in Seahaven, a place where you have been promised that “you have nothing to fear”, or to enter into another world that you know little or nothing about, which would you choose?

8. When Truman finally exits Seahaven, what do you think it is that he expects to find on the other side of the door?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blog 2: Allegory of the Cave (Day 2)

For your second blog entry this semester, I would like you to go to and search "allegory of the cave". Read the article and then summarize it--in your own words--on your blog. What is reality to Socrates? Do you agree or dissagree?

Work in B333
Check that the link on this blog goes to YOUR blog.
Check that the link on YOUR blog comes back here (customize/add a gadget/blog list)
Read "Allegory of the Cave" on (Click Me!)
Retrn to C124 at 12:00 sharp

Complete, edit, revise blogs 1 and 2
Add links to classmates

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day One: The Plan

  1. Sign-in
  2. Syllabus
  3. Gmail Set-up
  4. Blogger Set-up
  5. Blog 1 pre-post
  6. Links Copied to
  7. Blog 1 Prewriting (See below)
  8. Blog 1 Discussion
  9. Blog 1 Composing (In MSWord)
  10. Blog 1 Edit and Cut and Paste
  11. Adding a Blog List (as time allows)
  12. Linking your blog to the Class Blog as time allows

In B333--Read Allegory of the Cave (Wikipedia)
Post a blog summarizing the article in your own words (be sure to add a link to the wikipedia article)
Film: The Truman Show

IMAGE: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons: Plato-raphael

Blog 1 / Essay 1: Cyborg

Today you will be writing your first blog which will serve as a diagnostic essay, but rather than just jumping right is, we are going to do some pre-writing first, which means that before you try and write and “essay” it is always a good idea to get some ideas down on paper first without the pressure of having to worry about paragraphs, sentence structure, thesis statements, conclusions and those other things that make up an “essay.”

Step 1: Terms (5 minutes)

What do you think of when you hear the following terms? What would a dictionary say they are (this is called “denotation”). What else do these words seem to mean (this is called “connotation”)? What do they have to do with one another?

1.   Tool
2.   Technology
3.   Technique
4.   Discipline
5.   Media
6.   Cyborg

Step 2: Listing (5 minutes)

What technologies define your daily life? Make a list of electronic devices that you use every day (include anything, personal or public, that interfaces with a computer: i.e. cell phones, Metro Cards, credit cards, and etc.). How often/much do you use them? What do you use them for? What might your life be without them?

Step 3: In Groups (10 minutes)

Discuss you list with your group (2-4 persons, no exceptions). Help one another refine the list and get new ideas.

Step 4: Blog (50 Minutes)

This will be your first blog entry. Please title your entry either “Blog 1: I am a Cyborg” or “I am not a Cyborg” and then write a short essay where you prove to myself and your classmates that you either are or are not a cyborg. Start by giving your own definition of what a “cyborg” is and then use evidence from your own life and experience to support your claims. Be as detailed as possible. This essay will not be graded, however, I will use it as the basis for designing your program of study and we will be sharing this essay with the rest of the class so please do the best job you can.

Step 5: Post your Link
When you have finished posting your first blog, copy the web address of your blog and post it as a comment to this blog entry along with your name.

Step 6: Link to Me
Add a link on your blog back to this one by clicking "Customize" on your blog and then "Add a gadget" and then "Blog List" then "Add". Cut and paste my blog address into the window and save.  

Step 7: Homework
Read "Allegory of the Cave" on Wikipedia (see the link on the right) for Wed. Bring a hard-copy or e-copy with you. Allegory of the Cave