Blogging: Becoming Visible and Attracting Audiences

Posted by Daisy on October 11, 2014 in metablogging, social media, teaching with Comments closed |

Today I’m presenting at The Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Denver, CO. While I have presented on my use of blogs in the classroom several times over the years (see this Prezi for a precursor to today’s work), this is the first time I’ll be able to share student responses from my Curious Stout Innovator [CSI] project. Also see here for the Blog Rubric I use as well as the ENGL121 Blogging101 assignment itself.

Background:

When I started my doctoral program at the University of South Florida in 2003, I was required to create a blog as part of my Rhetoric and Technology course. That first course influenced my entire program of study, my dissertation project, and my pedagogy. My project for the Curious Stout Innovators [CSI] program illustrates these ongoing efforts.

In the Fall 2012 semester I taught ENGL 335: Critical Approaches to Digital Humanities, the first course offered in the Digital Humanities concentration of the Professional Communication Emerging Media [PCEM] program. The course was a hybrid one that relied on Tegrity to “capture” the face-to-face meetings and share those recordings with the online students. However, to increase student engagement, I asked both groups of students to participate in “virtual Fridays” where they discussed readings and course goals on a WordPress blog, http://engl335digitalhumanities.wordpress.com/.

Some may critique assigned or “forced blogging,” a term defined in 2004 by Dennis Jerz as follows: “Since a ‘real’ weblog is a license to write whatever and whenever you want, an instructor who assigns the topic, frequency, or length of blog entries (in order to facilitate grading) violates the spirit that draws voluntary bloggers to their avocation.” However, this exercise was intended to emulate the burgeoning field of Digital Humanities, which defines itself as a social one composed of people with “a shared interest in texts, and the use of computational technologies to explore and understand them (as opposed to merely creating or distributing them)” (Alvarado).

This first cohort of Digital Humanities students flourished in their “open” posts, the ones that were to draw their classmates’ attention to online artifacts related to course goals; meanwhile, their posts designated to react to the assigned readings lacked originality and often were not even proofread. As such, my work with Renee Howarton in the CSI program initially aimed to create a set of best practices when using the course blog again in the Fall 2013 semester, this time with the added intent of networking with Digital Humanities students at other universities.

Due to lack of enrollment, however, I ended up not teaching ENGL 335 again in Fall 2013. Instead, I was assigned two sections of ENGL 121: Intro to Professional Communication, the first required course all PCEM majors.

Previous instructors of this course have asked students to create blogs, and given my personal experience and research history with blogs, I was excited to include a blogging component and this switch ended up working in my favor. Not only did I have a greater data set, but at the heart of the course was the goal of “understanding how technologies mediate communication.” For freshman and transfer students new to the major, frequent and focused blog writing and commenting upon the writing of others in the class opened their eyes to a new genre, one that offered them the space for much more depth and engagement than other social media profiles, i.e. Facebook statuses and Twitter updates.

As a result, I revised my CSI research project to investigate the extent to which weekly blogging showcased these PCEM majors’ creativity and helped cultivate their professional online presence. For several years now industry and academic experts in the field of technical writing have advised students and young professionals to create and maintain a blog, citing the ways it can help with a job search.

Today’s presentation, see the Prezi and resources that informed it below, shares the details from the project and the data collected, not from students’ individual blog posts, but from responses to the Final Exam Questions. I am pleased to see reflective comments that support my hypothesis that weekly blog writing pushed them to craft and design posts that were both meaningful and professional.

Additional Resources

These videos also help start the discussion on blogs and their history and varied uses:

Hope to see you at my #TPTech14 session later today!

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aging

Posted by Daisy on September 28, 2014 in fitness |

It’s officially been a year since this tendinitis pain started. I blame spending most of last summer in flip-flops. When I first went to the doctor, the problem was easily solved by some inserts for my Nikes, but in November some pain returned and subsided, and then hit full force on Christmas Eve. Not fun at all, especially going into the worst winter ever. Cold temps, slippery ice and snow, etc.

I’m in my second round of physical therapy and a little over a week ago would have told you that I felt 90% healed and stronger, but I think that optimism may have led to a few over-exuberant Zumba moves. Yes, I’ve somehow kept teaching at the gym, and I know overuse is a cause of chronic pain, but with Zumba Toning I really don’t jump or travel across the room very much. Everything is centered and on two feet. And the PT folks haven’t told me to stop.

The latest round of exercises is helping [this guy is THE BEST] as are the ASICS and IontoPatches you see below.

This pics is from Thursday and all was fine until yesterday. No idea what I did, but the pain or awareness of pain, even if dull, at ALL times has returned and that’s really got me down. I even have custom inserts now [the word "orthodics" makes me feel VERY old], and perhaps the issue is that I’m still getting used to them. Wasn’t supposed to have another PT appointment for a month, but I’m gonna call first thing in the morning to get one for this week.

Wish me luck!

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Home

Posted by Daisy on February 23, 2014 in academia, NOLA, teaching |

I’ve spent the past month writing a book chapter about John Biguenet’s trilogy of plays: Rising Water, Shotgun, and Mold.

I’m also still dealing with my tendinitis issues, the semester started, I started my position as Program Director, and (if you read my previous post) I successfully jumped through the tenure hoop. (That’s my way of saying I’m still writing the chapter. Given all the new meetings and course preps I have on my schedule, I often only get a chance to add new words on the weekends.)

Typically, when I write about Hurricane Katrina I focus on role of the blogs and social media to share stories of the city’s recovery and inspire activism, but for this edited collection I’m returning to my undergrad and literary analysis roots. Coincidentally Biguenet is a Loyola-New Orleans professor and, while I never had the chance to take one of his classes during my years there (BA ’96), I attended a talk of his about “depicting disaster” at an alumni college event a couple years ago, which is what inspired my answer to this CFP (which I now see has been updated).

I’ve really enjoyed selecting scenes from his works but (as is often the case) I also start to spiral down my own rabbit hole of Katrina-specific memories, and re-reading trauma theory to apply doesn’t really help, especially at this time of year when I’m always homesick for Mardi Gras.

This week in my Composition 2 class we will start reading Chris Rose’s 1 Dead in Attic (the books title comes from this column) and based on an entry ticket exercise we completed at the end of last week, it is clear these students know very little about my beloved hometown or the impact of levee breaches. Many were in middle school in 2005 and their only Katrina-specific memories are all tv news related, so I’m looking forward to sharing other texts with them, both print and tv/film.

To start our discussion tomorrow, though, I plan to show Pico Iyer’s TED talk. Our course theme is place and I think this will be the best way to ease us in:

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tenure!

Posted by Daisy on February 16, 2014 in academia, metablogging |

Because of the way my uni separates promotion and tenure, I honestly wasn’t that freaked out when, at the end of our January department meeting, the time came for my tenure vote. (I can elaborate on that once the official Board of Regents letter comes in the mail, but suffice it to say promotion is a demoralizing university-wide ranking system while tenure is left to the colleagues who know you best, your Department).

I’ve also been majorly distracted now that I’m in a new position as Interim PCEM Program Director, which continues to cause anxiety because of all the new information and crazy amounts of email.

But when it came down to it, I felt confident about my tenure vote because I’ve had “Above” evals since I started at UW-Stout in 2008 and have continued to serve my Department, the University and the Profession diligently and enthusiastically. To get a sense of my statement you can read my Tenure Portfolio Narrative 2014 or check out this wordle:
tenurewordle.jpg

In brief, the vote came in “All in Favor” and there were handshakes and hugs all around!

Yay!

I had always joked that I’d immediately become this guy:

New Yorker cartoon

but when I went to search for that image, this one seemed more accurate:

I’m no poser, but there’s been so much written about the academic “impostor syndrome,” I couldn’t help but smirk, especially considering this piece that lists the first cure for said syndrome is getting tenure!

But what really made me smile, because this tenure thing is finally starting to sink in, is a post from my new favorite Tumblr blog, Precious Academic Moments:

My Reblog

My Reblog

So with that, I can breathe a little easier but still spend my weekends writing and trying to meet deadlines since there’s no time during the week! :P

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making an entrance

Posted by Daisy on January 28, 2014 in fangirl |

Question #4: How have I not posted this video to my blog yet?

#RDJ

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New Year’s Resolutions for the 2014 Classroom via @hollyedtechdiva

Posted by Daisy on January 12, 2014 in DoctorDaisyUSF posts |

20140112-104428.jpg

Given the PCEM courses I’m teaching this 2013-2014 academic year, I’m all about having my students create digital portfolios and establish a professional online presence.

More on this in an edited version of this post, but had to share the infographic before I forgot.

Thanks www.hollyclark.org!

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#AcWriMo

Posted by Daisy on November 1, 2013 in academia |

Back in April 2012 I mentioned meeting with an Acquisitions Editor about revising my dissertation into a book. I submitted the revision plan in June 2012, received feedback in October 2012 and then [since no timeline was given for incorporating these revisions] I dropped the ball. Going through the stressful promotion process at my university [on top of teaching a 4/4 and too much committee work] sucked all of my energy. Well, I’ll admit I maintained enough energy to teach Zumba 3 or 4 times a week, but that’s a different energy [and cuter outfits] :)

Anyway, while enjoying my summer vacation in Greece, I received an email from the UP’s new editor who asked me to resubmit my book proposal. I took all the feedback into consideration, had an identity crisis about what field to ground my work in, e.g. rhetoric, composition, writing studies, trauma theory, and/or internet research, but eventually submitted the new plan in September 2013 and got the go ahead soon after to implement the plan and resubmit chapters at the end of November.

Enter #AcWriMo.

Having just attended the AoIR conference in Denver [notes on the fishbowl session I moderated need to be posted ASAP], I was reminded how important research like mine on social media and disaster, specifically on Hurricane Katrina and the NOLA Blogosphere, is and that I can’t let the teaching load and service commitments distract me.

So here’s proof that I’m gonna try my damnedest to get those chapters revised by the end of November and the new material outlined:

Not only will this online community motivate me, I think I’ll meet some great academic writers to commiserate with about nonacademic things too.

I’m ready! Opening a blank WORD doc now!

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Performance Objectives 2013-2014

Posted by Daisy on September 12, 2013 in academia, social media, teaching |

I’ve still got several posts in DRAFT form, which I will finish this weekend, but I wanted to share this academic year’s “performance objectives” the way I did last year.

 

Teaching

This academic year is a turning point in my career, as I will be filling in for Matt Livesey as Program Director of the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program while he is on sabbatical the Spring 2014 semester.

This impacts my teaching schedule because I will have two new preps: ENGL 121: Introduction to Professional Communication in the Fall semester and ENGL 471: Professional Communication Capstone in the Spring.

So far I still have freshman composition courses on my schedule, with my Fall ENGL 101 course exploring the impact of technology upon one’s literacy, and [if assigned a Spring section] ENGL 102, which will explore the theme of place writing.

This Fall I will lead a single-seat ENGL 480 for Kaitlyn Patrick in order to prepare her for a year-long ENGL 495 Digital Humanities Capstone project.

This summer I began mentoring Lindsey Redenbuagh on her Honors Contract work, a series of movie critiques archived at http://lredenbaugh.wordpress.com/. This work will be finished at the end of the Fall semester.

Regarding my role in the MSTPC program, this Fall I have my usual ENGL 745: Communication Strategies for Emerging Media course and am advising MSTPC student Lisa Topper as she writes her ENGL 735 field project exploring the effect of HTML-formatted process instructions on processor accuracy, speed, and accessibility. I will not be teaching any graduate courses in the Spring, but may still advise students on their field projects if they align with my background in rhetoric and social media.

 

Service

  • CAHSS Representative, Race, Ethnic Studies & Global Perspectives Committee
  • Member, Advanced Writing Committee & Freshman Composition Committee
  • Member, Editorial Board for the eJournal of Public Affairs
  • Member, Editorial Board of Writing Commons

 

Research & Publication

My revised “dissertation to book” proposal, Disaster 2.0: Stories of Ongoing Recovery from the New Orleans Blogosphere, was submitted to the University Press of Mississippi on September 2, 2013.

On September 7, 2013, I received confirmation that my book chapter, “Dramatic ‘Belated Immediacy’ in the works of John Biguenet,” will be included in a 10 Years After Katrina volume.

I have been invited to speak as a Guest Lecturer at UW-Barron County on the topics of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and blogging. The talk will occur October 10, 2013.

I will be leading a roundtable discussion on the topic of “requiring social media in the classroom” at the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Denver, October 25th.

I plan to submit an abstract to the Fitness, Exercise and Physical Culture subject area of the Popular Culture Association national conference. If accepted, I will attend this meeting in April 2014 in Chicago, IL.

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Grecian Girl

Posted by Daisy on July 22, 2013 in photography, travel |
Untitled by daisydancer99
Untitled, a photo by daisydancer99 on Flickr.

Long time no blog [again]. The excuse this time is an amazing 2 week vacation in the Greek islands.

I’m going to try and find a flickr widget to add to this blog sidebar, or even switch my WordPress theme [again] to make this more of a photosharing site, but until then here’s a preview pic taken on our last night in my happy place, Santorini.

Kali Spera!

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zumba queen

Posted by Daisy on March 5, 2013 in fitness, music, social media |

Way back in September I revealed I’d become a ZUMBA instructor over the summer. Then I never blogged about how that happened!

Here’s that story:

I’ve been taking ZUMBA since 2006 when I was a grad student at USF in Tampa. My first teacher was Nakreshia C., but I also took a lot of classes with Jeni J. Both have their own fitness ventures now, CardioFunk and FlavaFitness Studio. Go girls!

When I first moved to Wisconsin in 2008, I saw flyers for ZUMBA classes at community rec centers and took a few, but I never considered joining a gym until 1) I finished my dissertation and 2) I found out they had a wide array of Group Fitness classes, with 3 ZUMBA instructors! So I’ve been a dedicated member of BodyWorks Athletic Club since 2010. [I should also note that since that time I have become a huge fan of TurboKick. In fact, I'm tempted to go to an instructor training for that in April but it's the day before my ZUMBA TONING training and I think my 37-year-old body might not be able to handle both in one weekend. LOL!]

Anyway, as a former ballet, musical theatre, and folk dancer, I loved the nonstop hip shaking in ZUMBA, but never seriously thought about becoming an instructor because of my full-time academic job. I was also content just recommending songs as you can see in this post from last year. But then one of the BodyWorks instructors, a grad student, got an internship across the state. A new instructor had been hired, but she too got a summer job. Then one day one of the trainers, who is a SuperWoman who teaches EVERYTHING, pulled me on stage to lead the class in a Pitbull/Marc Anthony routine. When we high-fived after, she said, “You should get your Instructor License!” She sent me some links to upcoming trainings and I really did hesitate. I was worried about having to create 15 separate routines and my stamina. But eventually I pressed the “register” button, and on July 1, 2012, drove 5 hours to Waukegan, IL to train with Jani Roberts, a teacher I’d taken master classes with way back when I lived in Tampa! Talk about full circle!

Training was awesome, I had some jitters during my first few classes, but with the support of everyone at my gym, I’ve grown so much. I never expected to love teaching so much, and I went from 2 classes a week to 4! See my detailed schedule at http://daisypignetti.zumba.com/. And as I hinted at earlier, I’m now registered for a ZUMBA TONING training in April as I’ve deemed 2013 the year I get some arms!

While I’d be remiss not to mention that I’ve lost 30 pounds since I started on this ZUMBA journey, the most significant outcome of my new role as a fitness professional is how much I get to engage with my community. I was asked to do ZUMBA demos at a Wisconsin Women Veterans event in September, have been invited to be part of the health and wellness event organized by Alpha Phi Omega, and am scheduled to energize the crowd at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Dunn County event in April.

Shake It

And as you can see from the picture above and video below, this past weekend I took part in this year’s SHAKE IT event, which honored 11-year-old boy, Brett Boettcher, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Brett’s parents, Bart (Athletic Director, Menomonie High School) and Lynn (Fitness Instructor, BodyWorks), have committed a lot of their personal time and effort towards Parent Project, and I’m proud to say this year we raised over $7,000! Like us on Facebook to keep up with upcoming events. I know there’s already a marathon team prepping for the Twin Cities marathon.

WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

And go to zumba.com to search for a class near you. JOIN THE PARTY!

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back to school post

Posted by Daisy on September 13, 2012 in academia, metablogging, social media, teaching |

Long time no blog, I know, I know…

After the Spring semester I was exhausted so I didn’t teach this summer [except for working with some thesis-writing grad students] and it made a world of difference on my Fall outlook! There’s so much to catch you readers up on, namely my loss of nearly 25 pounds and new role as a Zumba instructor, but first I thought I would share my Performance Objectives.

I submit these every year to my Department Chair as a way to bring into focus what I intend to achieve during the academic year in terms of my teaching, service and research. Enjoy! [And now you know what keeps me so busy!]

Teaching

  • My ENGL 101 courses, both in the classroom and online, explore the impact of technology, specifically social media, upon our everyday & academic lives. Students are starting the semester by writing technology literacy narratives, will move into readings from their textbook New New Media to create an annotated bibliography that updates the author’s 2008 publication, and then will read the novels Little Brother, Fahrenheit 451 and Feed before writing research papers and creating presentations on the topics of moral responsibility, access to knowledge, privacy, and power, security, and freedom in a post-9/11 America.
  • I’m very excited to be teaching ENGL 335 Critical Approaches to Digital Humanities, the first course offered in the DH concentration of the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program. The course is a hybrid one, so I’m using Tegrity to “capture” the face-to-face meetings and share those recordings with the online students. I’m also asking students to collaborate in writing a manifesto in Google Docs and participate in “virtual Fridays” where the discussion of readings will happen on our course blog. These exercises emulate the field of Digital Humanities, which defines itself as a social one composed of people with “a shared interest in texts, and the use of computational technologies to explore and understand them (as opposed to merely creating or distributing them)” (Alvarado).
  • In ENGL 745, Communication Strategies for Emerging Media, graduate students will contribute to a course blog, write literacy narratives, respond to a midterm exam, and propose then complete a seminar paper. We rely on the following texts from Instructional Resources as well as a long list of PDFs I’ve scanned and uploaded into D2L:  Digital Literacy for Technical Communication, Socialnomics, and Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.
  • This Fall I am advising MSTPC student Heidi Decker-Maurer as she writes her thesis about images macros and how they address social issues in the age of participatory culture. I am also finishing up work with Carmen Butt whose thesis was on the role of social media in health care institutions.
  • I foresee advising more graduate students in the Spring if their thesis or field projects coincide with the two courses I teach, Rhetorical Theory & Communication Strategies for Emerging Media.
  • I continue to advise students in the B. S. Professional Communication and Emerging Media program.

Service

  • CAHSS Representative, Planning and Review Committee
  • CAHSS Representative, Racial and Ethnic Studies and Global Perspective Curriculum Advisory Committee
  • Member [perhaps Co-Chair this year], Advanced Writing Committee
  • Member, Editorial Board for the eJournal of Public Affairs
  • Member, Editorial Board of Writing Commons
  • Mentor to new hire Kate Edenborg

Research & Publication

  • I submitted a book proposal/dissertation revision plan tentatively titled Disaster 2.0 to the Acquisitions Editor of the University Press of Mississippi. It is with an external reader for a formal review and I should hear back in mid-October.
  • If that book proposal is accepted, I hope to share my experience and advise current doctoral students either has a mentor at the Conference on College Composition & Communication or Computers and Writing conference. Both meetings hold pre-conference “research network forums.”
  • I recently answered a “Literature of Hurricane Katrina” edited collection CFP.
  • I plan to answer the most recent Technoculture CFP as its third issue is focused on “dead, lost, or underused technologies.”
  • Currently I have no conference travel scheduled, but will be proposing to the Popular Culture Association conference in Washington, DC in March 2013 and the Digital Humanities conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in July 2013.
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PCA/ACA 2012

Posted by Daisy on April 24, 2012 in academia, fangirl, NOLA, social media, travel |

Last week I was in Boston at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference. My session was part of the Virtual Identities & Self Promoting track and as you can see from the program, the papers focused on Using Social Media for Empowerment & Exploration.

What’s interesting is that I almost didn’t attend this conference. I answered a CFP I saw posted on the IABA listserv thinking it was for an edited collection because there was no mention of a conference, hosting organization, city or dates. Having spent a lot of travel grant money in Oxford, England, earlier in the academic year, I didn’t think I could pay for another conference. And knowing I’m going up for promotion next year, I wanted to focus on getting more publications on my CV.

But when I learned it would be a Boston conference, I decided to go for it. I lived in Boston between 1997-1999 when earning my MA from Northeastern University and loved it there. When some travel money came through from the Provost’s Office, I knew it was a go!

I had a great time listening to sessions about the relationship between social media & BBC’s Sherlock, and, how’s this for a title?, “Alan Rickman as Phallus.” I may edit this post later to include more links to info these presenters shared, but for now I wanted to link to my abstract and first solely designed/authored Prezi:

which should be accompanied by the working paper I have up on SSRN.

If you’ve read this blog at all the past few years, you’ll recognize this as a section from my dissertation and I’m quite excited to report that I’m in the process of writing up a proposal to turn the diss into a book!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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spotify & ai se eu te pego

Posted by Daisy on March 20, 2012 in fangirl, music, social media, travel |

I know y’all are seeing that title and asking, Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

So here’s the story:

I’ve been listening to playlists on Spotify for a few months now. Way back when, I listened to Pandora radio, but I got tired of skipping songs I didn’t like, especially since they claim their stations “play only music you like.” Case in point, I think you all know I LOVE the Pet Shop Boys, but whenever I listened to my PSB radio station, all Pandora would play is Depeche Mode. I know it was the 80s and all, but that’s not what I was looking for!

So Spotify came along and I liked being able to subscribe to playlists based on my interests as well as playlists dedicated to movie and television soundtracks. And what’s cool is that these playlists are constantly updated.

My favorite playlist so far has been “You, Me, Dancing!” It has tons of the songs we use in zumba and other top 40 pop/club tracks. Last month I noticed a non-English song called “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” and I instantly loved it. Its sing-a-long sections and accordion solos reminded me of my folkdance touring days. There’s a story about a performance in France that I could tell here, but I’ll save that for later.

Anyway, yesterday when I was grading papers the song came on and I took a break to search for its singer, Michel Teló, on YouTube. I figured I would share the song with my zumba instructor to see if she’d like it. Well, turns out this song from Brazil is pretty much this year’s Macarena all over the world, except in America, of course. If you have heard of it, please leave me a comment!

Before I give you a selection of what I’ve found on YouTube, here are the lyrics in English:

Wow, wow, this way you’re gonna kill me
Oh, if I catch you
Oh, my God, if I catch you

Delicious, delicious
This way you’re gonna kill me
Oh, if I catch you
Oh, my God if I catch you

Saturday at the party
Everybody started to dance
Then the prettiest girl past in front of me
I got closer and started to say…

Wow, wow, this way you’re gonna kill me
Oh, if I catch you
Oh, my God, if I catch you

Nothing spectacular, I know, but wait until you see his smile :D

 

The official video

The English version

The official choreography

[although there are some variations as seen in this German performance]

Check out the video compilation that starts out this performance as well as the audience going wild

And finally, what song is really a song these days without a Pitbull collaboration?

Too bad Mr. 305 didn’t have the choreography down yet when he called Michel out on the stage with him. His crazy helicopter spins crack me up though!

 

OK I’ve just realized that no one except me will actually watch all of these videos, so I’ll stop embedding them now. I do hope you give at least one a listen, and let me know what you think!

 

God, I love the Internet…

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Spring Break 2012!

Posted by Daisy on March 16, 2012 in fangirl, travel |

Since my last post, I came down with an awful sinus infection and basically slept from Feb 28-March 5. Seriously! The antibiotics helped a bit but it really wasn’t until March 7th or so that I could work out again, answer emails in a coherent manner, and grade papers. My teaching was evaluated on March 8th, so that worked out, huh?

I’ve still got a ton of papers to grade and I could’ve caught up on those over Spring Break, but this is the first time in 5 years that my husband’s and my Spring Break vacations lined up. Within minutes of discovering that, I booked tickets to NYC to visit friends. And boy was it worth it! I put up my “out of office” email message on the 9th and totally removed myself from any academic thoughts, except from when we went to see Seminar.

What’s Seminar, you ask? Here’s the synopsis from the official website:

In SEMINAR, four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard (Alan Rickman), an international literary figure.  Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored.  The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting new comedy.

It was a great play, but I’d be lying if I said that Alan Rickman starring in it wasn’t the reason it came on my radar. In fact, it was my freshman composition teacher’s posts on Facebook that brought it to my attention. Ahh writing geekiness and fangirl social media-ness. ;)

Here’s me & hubby after the show waiting to meet Snape, err, I mean Mr. Rickman:

And there he is!

Special thanks go to my BFF Eric who was my personal paparazzo on this trip, but I have to say my iphone got some good snaps of Snape too [sorry, couldn't resist]:

Here’s one final pic from our matinee experience; notice the fully autographed Playbill:

After the show we went to our fav NOLA-themed restaurant, Delta Grill and then had some drinks at Industry where a nice fella from Mississippi took this fantastic group photo of hubby, me, Eric and Nick:

Ack, I have got to get to grading, so let me finish up this post with some touristy pics, especially since this was hubby’s first trip to NYC:

FAO Schwartz and the Statue of Liberty

View from the Empire State Building

Rockefeller Center

Rupert G at the Hello Deli!

In front of Dave's studio with our black & white cookies

American Museum of Natural History

At the museum The Butterfly Conservatory was open so we walked through a room with hundreds of them flying around! Here’s a gorgeous one posing for us:

Two more pics, I promise!

Upon our exit of the museum…

Clam Shell

and later that night in Queens…

The best friends a girl could have!

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#tools4teach

Posted by Daisy on February 26, 2012 in academia, social media, teaching |

As my previous posts have indicated, February has been a busy month. Thankfully, I did get a chance to put committee work on the back-burner and make it to the Tools for Teaching Northwest Regional Showcase at UW-Eau Claire this past Friday. Looking at the schedule, nearly all of the presenters had the entire hour to themselves to share their ideas, but [and I think it's because Twitter is so cool] I was notified that my “Teaching with Twitter: 2008-2011″ would share a time slot with “The Twitter Project: Twitter & First-Year Seminars” presenter from UW-Superior.

And rather than just split the presentation into a half hour each, Mickey Fitch approached me about organizing things in a way so we could play off the commonalities in our experiences. We emailed and tweeted back and forth, with most of my content coming from the info you can read on the Twitter tab of this website, and she created the Prezi below, something I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time now.

Needless to say, this was a lot of fun and it pushed me to 1) reflect on my use of Twitter for reader responses and 2) reconsider bringing Twitter back into my online courses to create greater “virtual classroom” community. I’m going to try and write up more about this for the launch of Writing Commons, so watch this space for an announcement about that next month.

Til then, I look forward to future collaborations with Mickey and other UW tweetybirds!

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stress relievers

Posted by Daisy on February 23, 2012 in fangirl |

Amidst all of the stress I just mentioned, these videos have brought me down off the email ledge & made me smile this week:

I’ve been a MIKA fan since 2007 and cannot wait for his new album!

Here’s another favorite so you can actually see him:

Oh, and very appropriate for this post, a new video for “Relax, Take it Easy”

 

And now for the best academic + 80s thing I’ve ever seen EVER:

Take the 10 minutes and go watch it NOW.

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spring semester stress

Posted by Daisy on February 23, 2012 in academia, teaching |

When the emails started taking over my life 2 weeks before the Spring semester started, I knew this one was going to be a doozy.

I’m teaching 2 online sections of ENGL 102, 2 sections of ENGL 371 [a rhetoric course to the Tech Comm majors], and 1 online graduate course in Rhetorical Theory, also online. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention I’m directing two thesis projects.

I’m sure there are people who will read this and think that it’s a piece of cake to only have 1 face-to-face class that meets twice a week, but the reality is the more online students you have, the more prep work you have to do and the more emails you get.

But this post really isn’t about teaching. I’m doing a good job replying to discussion board posts and blog posts and grading papers in a timely manner, but I wish I had more time to focus on my teaching, not to mention my research.

The service component of this tenure track job is eating into my time more than I would like. I’m on the department Hiring Committee, chair of the Advanced Writing Committee, member of the Race, Ethnic Studies, & Global Perspectives committee as well as one of two consultants from this committee who helps approves new course proposals regarding our criteria, member of the Program Review Committee, and on the editorial board of two journals. I also have weekly meetings with the Tech Comm program faculty to discuss our growing number of undergrad majors and graduate students who are nearing the end of their program & need thesis or field project directors.

As I write this, I know that I enjoy doing all of these things, due mostly in part to liking everyone I work with, but given that I was passed over for promotion this year, I worry that I need to do even more when I’m pretty much at my breaking point!

 

 

And for some reason what causes me the most anxiety is email. Seeing the number of messages coming in every day gets my heart racing, and not in the good way. Because so many of our online students are working professionals with families, I can’t simply turn off my email at the end of the traditional business day. That’s when they are working on their course work–evenings and weekends. Well, I can turn it off but I feel bad doing so.

But when I was so exhausted on Monday afternoon that I couldn’t even make it out of bed to go to my beloved Zumba & Turbokick classes, I knew I HAD to step away from the laptop, iphone, and ipad. [I'm on my desktop writing this.]

I have a policy in all of my syllabi stating students need to reply to my emails within 48 hours so starting March 1, that’s what I’ll adhere to as well. So that’s that.

Now let me go email all of my students to tell them this…

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lmfao

Posted by Daisy on February 10, 2012 in fangirl |

I know the Superbowl was nearly a week ago, but after much consideration and consulting of the AdBlitz channel on YouTube, I can now announce my favorite commercial to be…

I think it’s the “wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah” that gets me! Also, is that Bebe Neuwirth voicing the brown M&M?

My other LMFAO-related point here is that while I didn’t feel they served much of a purpose during Madonna’s halftime show, their remix of her new song is fun!

 

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pathos, nostalgia, and don draper

Posted by Daisy on February 5, 2012 in fangirl, teaching |

My latest post on the Rhetorical Theory Course Blog:

 

You will hear more about Aristotle’s appeals in future chapters, but if you notice I’ve uploaded a document in D2L that outlines the three nicely. Regarding pathos, or the appeal to our emotions, it states,

Language choice affects the audience’s emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument.  Indeed, pathos evokes a meaning implicit in the verb ‘to suffer’–to feel pain imaginatively….Perhaps the most common way of conveying a pathetic appeal is through narrative or story, which can turn the abstractions of logic into something palpable and present. The values, beliefs, and understandings of the writer are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the reader.  Pathos thus refers to both the emotional and the imaginative impact of the message on an audience, the power with which the writer’s message moves the audience to decision or action.

An example that comes to mind immediately is from Mad Men. I shared the link to this video in my comment to Jodee’s post, but wanted to create a separate space for it just in case you miss it there: http://youtu.be/suRDUFpsHus

Don’s entire presentation relies on pathos, beginning with his narrative about working for Teddy and his defining of nostalgia as “the pain from an old wound,” all the while showing slides of his own family and the memories they can now relive via the Kodak Carousel. Rather than distancing himself from a product, he’s thrown his heart into it and it works!

I’ve created a new category called “advertising” since we’re bound to make a number of references to commercials, print, and online ads this semester!

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PSB, emphasis on the B

Posted by Daisy on February 5, 2012 in fangirl |

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Is Blogging Dead?

Posted by Daisy on February 1, 2012 in academia, metablogging, teaching |

Cross-posted on the Rhetorical Theory Course Blog

I started to leave a comment to respond to the final statement in Tim’s post, “Blogs have really moved beyond the mindless posts by vain teenagers, and maybe we have Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (is that even still active anymore?) to thank for that,” but then remembered that at the most recent Computers and Writing conference there was an entire session devoted to this. In essence, the panel, entitled “Is Blogging Dead? Yes, No, Other,” asked if, compared to other social media that have character limits, blogs are now the places for “the longer thoughts,” does anyone post those longer thoughts to blogs anymore since they aren’t likely to receive a response? Implied, too, is does anyone even have longer thoughts anymore? :)

It also helps that I’ve had the backchannel Dennis Jerz posted from it open in a Google Chrome tab since last May. I’ll talk more about backchannels and how academics use Twitter or IRC both in the classroom and at conferences another time, but it’s pretty obvious from what you see below that lots of opinions were voiced both in the room and via Twitter and I’m so glad Dennis used Storify to archive that:

Since the conference audience was made up of both bloggers and teachers who ask their students to blog, another point raised was if we assign blogs in a course, is that really blogging since it’s usually for a grade, has assigned word counts, etc. The point being, that’s not organic blogging. It’s not livejournal-esque or diary style.

Here’s my take on what we’re doing in this course blog space: Yes, your posts will receive a grade, but as MSTPC students, I hope you see blogging as an exercise that combines critical thinking with document design since, unlike the discussion forums, you  have more opportunities to react to the readings in a visually appealing way. And if you’re ever confused, please refer to the Blogging 101 handout I’ve created and ask questions!

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I’ll tumble for ya

Posted by Daisy on January 30, 2012 in fangirl, metablogging, teaching |

As predicted, now that school has started, the gym is even more packed. That leads to hotter and sweatier group fitness classes and, if a certain fan isn’t on, very slippery floors. The past two classes I’ve taken I’ve ended up in my sock feet…but it’s always fun and I love shaking it to various Pitbull songs!

Other than working out, I’ve been busy prepping 4 separate course syllabi & course calendars. I’m also directing two thesis projects, so there’s lots of email on that front.

Quick aside:  Ever since I started teaching online writing courses in 2004, I’ve tried to reduce the amount of email by having a “General Questions” discussion forum. Students can post their questions and I can answer it there for the entire class to see, thus preventing repeat emails. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, another student will answer the question first and thus a community is born! Well, that varies from semester to semester, but this academic year I’ve been particularly impressed by my students’ abilities to rely upon each other for feedback & their appreciation of blogs, Skype, Twitter, and Google DOCs.

OK back to the title of this post.

Wait a second… :P

In addition to having various WORD documents open while course planning, I’ve recently become obsessed with tumblr. And the cause of that obsession? Sherlock Homes. BBC’s Sherlock to be specific.

I won’t go into how brilliant each episode is or spoil Season 2 for you Americans who haven’t seen it yet [I have my sources], but instead focus on the fandom. The #IBelieveinSherlockHolmes movement has been amazing to watch and what I love about tumblr is that, given I have little time or skills to create my own fan art, I can “reblog” it.

Perhaps that’s lazy (and twitter has been considered blogging for lazy people) but look at the variety of ways the tumblr interface prompts you to post:

If I didn’t already have this blog space, which also has imported all of my USF blog posts from 2005-2008, I would definitely use tumblr as my primary blog. But, for now, this space will be for “longer thoughts” and my tumblr will be for spreading the word that #MoriartyWasReal and #IBelieveinSherlockHolmes!

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Downton Abbeyoncé

Posted by Daisy on January 27, 2012 in fangirl |

This week, between workouts and the return to teaching, I have been drafting a post about my newly founded obsession with tumblr. I should get to publish that later this evening, but I wanted to quickly point out the site inspired me to create my tumblr account in the first place: Downton Abbeyoncé.

I’ve been a Downton Fan since last March when I first watched the series on my iPhone and while I might not know everything about Beyonce, I know enough to say the combo of these two are brilliant, fabulous and hilarious.

Here are my favorite creations:

and

If you do go subscribe to this tumblr, be warned that some images may contain Season 2 spoilers, but you can quickly remedy that by tuning in to Downton on PBS every Sunday night!

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my new year’s resolution

Posted by Daisy on January 8, 2012 in fangirl, metablogging |

I MUST BLOG MORE!

When I was leaving the gym yesterday I overheard an instructor saying how packed the classes will be once all the students come back to town. We were already a group of 50 but the number is bound to rise since we get two waves of new years’ resolution-ers here due to the academic calendar. Classes [university, not gym] don’t start for us until January 23 thanks to the “Winterm” session.

So it hit me:  Why not put the same amount of effort into my blogging as I do at the gym in turbokick and zumba? I average 6 classes a week there but only managed 2 unique blog posts here last semester? WTF?!? Although I did sneak in a few posts over at the graduate course blog, how can I even call myself a blog researcher? Yes, the Catholic guilt crosses over to academia quite nicely, doesn’t it?

The thing is, I have wanted to blog about some new teaching methods and reflections, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t like to go public much anymore. Being on the tenure track means I’m constantly evaluated, and while I’ve received “Above” rankings every year and, so far, have successfully jumped through a number of Promotion hoops, I haven’t wanted to jeopardize things, either by accidentally ranting about students and committee work or expressing my honest opinions on the political scene in Wisconsin.

The fault also lies in social media. Even though my Twitter updates aren’t protected anymore, those posts are more dialogic as are my Facebook posts where comments and “likes” offer me instant response. In fact, now that Facebook won’t be importing the links to these blog posts [their effort to get users to post Notes], who knows how much traffic this blog will receive. But there are things I want to post about…things that show the world who I am and what my interests are.

Primarily, those things are pop culture-y, so it’s a good thing I’ll be attending the national Popular Culture Association conference this April. I’ll be on the Virtual Identities and Self-Promoting panel, but more on that later.

Til then, I have tons of tv & music things to post because they’ve shaped my 2011 & made me smile, none more than this LMFAO performance.

Battery is dying on the laptop, but you can expect to hear more from me soon cuz “I-I-I-I work out” and blog this year!

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RIP Steve Jobs

Posted by Daisy on October 5, 2011 in online memorials |

Cross-posted at the grad student course blog: http://745techprofcomm.wordpress.com/

 

In Laura Gurak’s 2001 book Cyberliteracy: Navigating the Internet with Awareness, she defines “cyberliteracy” as inherent of four traits:

  • SPEED: the Internet inspires speediness; it is one of the key features of Internet communication. And this speed inspires certain behaviors and qualities.
  • REACH: partner of speed and one of the axioms of communication technology. Digitized discourse travels quickly and it also travels widely to reach thousands, even millions, quickly!
  • ANONYMITY: sometimes you really never know who is at the other end of an electronic text. In cyberspace, the identity behind what you see floating on the screen is not always what you imagine.
  • INTERACTIVITY: online communications technologies allow you to talk back. Interactivity inspires us to consider—access to the inner circle [everyone can be part of the discussion and step through the screen], capacity to talk back [form communities of common interest], a two-way presence online [the lure of an audience of millions], ecommerce and connections to the customer [ways for customers to interact with each other and with customer service], privacy [more interactive a site, the greater the potential for privacy problems]

I mention this tonight to call attention to the first two traits. The speed with which news of Steve Jobs death has spread across Twitter and Facebook is astounding. And many of the “RIP” messages and memorials exemplify the reach he and Apple products have had over the years.

Apple.com now looks like this:

 

 

with the following call on http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/: “If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com.”

Google and Wired already have tributes up as well, but I’m most interested in seeing what Apple does with the emails it receives. Online memorials & crisis communications are very interesting to me…I’ll write more on this as the news emerges.

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