Apr
2007

confetti results

I just watched the best movie, Confetti! Think Waiting for Guffmann meets the BBC with the plot being a contest for most original wedding.

It’s hilarious and very much a stress reliever for someone like me who is dreading any type of wedding planning. More on this later, if I ever call a church and set a date.

Ugh–no wonder people elope!

Anyway, here we are our results from the movie site’s Wedding O-Matic quiz. Apparently, our theme should be “nerds of a feather.” Big surprise!

nerds

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

staying put

After waiting to hear since March, I just found out I didn’t get the job in NOLA. I did make it to their list of top 4 candidates, but was not brought in for an on-campus interview. No worries…I’m very much OK with their decision because after figuring out my committee last week, I realized that I’m looking forward to a year of focused dissertation writing–and I think we all know I might not be very focused if I were living back in NOLA, working a new job, teaching, and planning a wedding!

I still have a ton to do and a very full summer, but now that I know where we’ll will be living, I feel much less frenzied than I have the past few weeks!

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

Committee Formed!

As you all know, I’ve been in a limbo since my exams. I didn’t know if I should be writing or reading, so instead I focused on teaching. I also wasted a lot of time watching TV shows on dvd and updating my MySpace profile, but that’s another story! 😉

Anyway, once I received the official letter saying I passed, I had to scramble to find names to list as my dissertation committee. Apparently, I needed to list all 4 in order to apply for doctoral candidacy. This was a bit stressful for me because other than my exam committee, I didn’t know who else to ask. We don’t have a lot of rhet/comp and technology folks right now and I’m still not sure if I will be in Tampa this coming year, so I didn’t want to ask someone from another department I barely knew and then never really meet with them in person. blah blah blah…I know I am rambling, but this has been the mental insecurity I’ve been going through!

Our department also recommends “first meeting with the Graduate Director even before asking faculty to serve,” so once I decided to just go with people assuming I will be in Tampa all this year, it took me awhile to get an appointment. Finally, when I met with her yesterday and gave her the 4 names I had decided upon, she was thrilled that she didn’t have to go find them for me and approved of them all immediately!

So my committee is formed and I finally feel ready to start and tackle my prospectus in the coming weeks. I want it done by June 8 [no particular reason, just a deadline I’m setting for myself.] Yes, I am still waiting to hear about lots of summer factors–follow up campus interviews [I hope!], travel plans to Boston for the Oxford Internet Institute, and eventually setting a date for our wedding, but I see nothing getting in my way of drafting a prospectus!

And like I emailed my committee members yesterday, I know I am bound to see my dissertation take on a new form than the one I envision now, but that malleability is what most excites me about studying online spaces!

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

teaching the levees

Just heard about this great project called Teaching the Levees coming out of Teachers College @ Columbia U. Their list of advisory board members looks fantastic.

While the footage of Spike Lee’s film is especially emotional for me, I cannot wait to receive the packet and start planning my Fall courses. I’m pasting in their key questions and goals below, and if you notice, the final one is exactly what I was trying to figure out for myself in my VA Tech post.

This curriculum centers on the following questions:

* What do the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina say about who we are as a country?
* How do we engage in structured, effective, and honest dialogues about controversial issues in our schools, colleges, and community groups?
* What can we do as citizens in response to a failure of government like that in Katrina?

The two core goals for this project are 1) stimulating discussion about the events associated with Hurricane Katrina, and 2) educating educators and the public about how to engage productively in democratic dialogues about difficult issues.

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

VA Tech, a teachable moment?

In the book Trauma and the Teaching of Writing, several essays are devoted to discussing how composition instructors chose to deal with 9/11 in their classrooms, either on the day of or the days following. I was not teaching that day, so I did not have to make that decision on the spot. Later that week, our Director of Composition sent out a list of ?s that had been circulating on the WPA-listserv, and I asked my students to take some time to write private journal entries in reaction to those questions–I think we even returned to the exercise a month later to see how opinions may have changed.

When news of the VA Tech shooting yesterday hit the televisions, once again I was home. I thought about whether or not I should devote some time in my Expository Writing class today, but so much of the news reports were still speculative as of the time we met this morning. A lot was being reported about the use of technology during the crisis, which of course interests me because of my dissertation, but I didn’t want to make my students listen to me go on comparing this to my experience during Hurricane Katrina yet again. They had presentations on their research papers to give, which made our meeting even more self-conscious of how time was spent, AND then it turned out that one of my own professors came in to evaluate my teaching!

There were a few minutes to spare near the end, but I decided to not ask students to share their opinions/feelings just yet, mainly because I didn’t want the class to be a lot of “well I heard…”

Now that I’ve just watched the 10pm news and found out the student was an English major, I [like Dennis] feel guilty. My reasons for this guilt are for not yet allowing my students to talk this event through, even if that venting was all speculative. It looks like this student could have used a space in which to vent. It sounds like he wrote some aggressively violent fiction, which reportedly raised flags in his teacher’s eyes, but who could ever think it would lead to what happened yesterday?

This morning I heard lots of sirens on USF’s campus, but I shrugged it off thinking that campus police would be on high alert about anything today [it turns out it was a pedestrian/car accident]; however, now that I am reminded of my role as a teacher in letting students have a safe place in which to express their opinions, I’m also reminded of my responsibilities as a teacher. What if one of my students had written something truly disturbing? Would have I reported it or would have I shrugged it off as teen angst?

In my personal life, I tend to avoid anything that could lead to confrontation, and this comes through in my laid-back teaching style, but is that fair to the student? Since my scholarly work and teaching employs more and more personal narrative, I tend to think that every one’s individual story is valid, especially if it’s written well! But the result is that we never really enter that “contact zone” to grapple with one another’s differences.

I know that’s OK in many teaching circles, but when it comes to national moments like this one in VA, should I open the floor to potentially volatile remarks and emotions?

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

Disney Day with Daisy

When AC and I got engaged, I bought us 3-day play passes to Disney to celebrate. Friday was our 6-month cutoff date to use them, so we drove over to Orlando and finally got to see a NOLA friend of mine AKA the Mad Hatter.

alice

I also FINALLY caught a glimpse of my namesake–Daisy Duck. It makes me mad that she’s so underrepresented in terms of merchandise and making appearances [I’m serious about this!]. When AC told me he saw her leading the parade, I screamed like an 8-year-old girl and ran toward her. If a rope had not been between us, I would have tackled/hugged her!

duck

And don’t you wonder how it is that both Donald and Daisy can get away with not wearing any pants?! 🙂

donald

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

PASS!

I am pleased to inform you that your Phd Examination Committee has voted your examination a grade of “PASS.” Congratulations on your achievment! The successful completion of this portion of your doctoral degree is, indeed, a significant accomplishment. Below are some comments from your committee:

“The committee for Daisy Pignetti’s exam is pleased to award a passing grade. The committee is in agreement that many of the answers, particularly on the long questions, were excellent, illustrating the breadth of her knowledge and the ability to relate her synthesis of academic theories to her personal life.”

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail
Apr
2007

a weekend of food in NOLA

We went to NOLA this past weekend for a much-needed break from Tampa and to see our fabulous friends. The weather took a turn for the cold and rainy, so we didn’t hit the streets or dancefloors as much I had predicted. 🙁 We actually turned in every night before midnight! Man, I am getting old!

Anyway, I forgot my camera in the car our first night of foodstuffs from Cooter Browns, but here are a few snaps of the rest of our meals 🙂

From Fat Harry’s:

muffaletta

hot sausage poboy

Our Easter plates:

andy

daisy

bunny cake

And the leftover pork roast turned into a po’boy:

leftovers

Needless to say, I’m going back to working out at least 4 times a week, starting tonight!

FacebookTwitterTumblrLinkedInEmail