Stop snapping selfies and look up at the spectacular world around you. Zachary Levi and Sesame Street’s Bert know that a day in the park doesn’t need a filter. Take a walk with them on this lovely sunny day!
How is it that I never saw this until today? We need some sun here in Wisconsin!
It’s been forever since I’ve updated.
A colleague resigned in January, so I’m back to being the program director for both of our Professional Communication & Emerging Media programs. That’s about 130 students total. I actually enjoy and (dare I say) excel at it, except for the meetings about budget cuts (stupid Scooter).
My teaching schedule changed and some other real life stuff has happened, so I’ve been too busy and/or distracted to update this blog. However, I think all you readers, whoever you may be, know I’m all over social media, now successfully managing 2 Twitter accounts (@phdaisy is a bit more entertainment-driven now but @profpignetti is directed at students & their interests). I’m even paying more attention to LinkedIn. If you’re a PCEM alum or soon to be graduate, join our group!
I’m also still dealing with chronic pain in my right ankle but should know about a surgery option and timeline for healing by the end of next week. Turns out there’s so much scar tissue in my ankle that it’s forming “coalitions.” Who knew?!? I’ve HATED not going to the gym and not teaching Zumba, but I’m staying hopeful that I’ll be back at it in September.
Anyway, back to the good stuff. Our on-campus PCEM program is booming with student achievements, client projects, enrollment numbers, and cool new faculty coming in the Fall. To learn a little more about all of that, check out the presentation I gave at this week’s Advisement Day. See also the obligatory stickered laptop pic:
I really liked using sway.com to create that presentation. An alum showed it off to my Capstone students and I thought I’d give it a try. What do you think? (Go fullscreen and arrow down to get a better sense of it.)
The online PCEM program is still trying to build enrollment, but I am truly excited about the marketing efforts my student workers and I are putting into place. I started as a Marketing major at Loyola but then switched to English Writing, so here’s my big chance!
So that’s what I’ve been doing all of 2015. I thought the first year of tenure would be a little less intense, but oh well. Seriously though, I’m desperate for things to improve at the UW, even if just for our morale, but I remain dedicated to students. A colleague will take over the on-campus program director role in the Fall, so I’ll have time to get back into my research and possibly apply for a sabbatical.
Woohoo! And here’s to more blogging!
I don’t know if it’s the glow of tenure, although I’m totally bogged down with service commitments this semester, but I’m having a great time teaching the Intro to Professional Communication and Critical Approaches to Digital Humanities courses.
Here are some fun finds I’ve been able to share:
On a more serious [or just less silly] note, now that our Digital Humanities [PDF] concentration is a few years old, I have a better handle of what types of texts and exercises we should spend our time on. ENGL 335 is the first course in the DH sequence, so we spend a lot of time defining DH and figuring out how we, at a polytechnic university, can maintain our access to the humanities. Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore has proven to be an excellent introduction to the field and possibilities of DH:
A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
Finally, central to DH is “open access,” and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” TED talk offers real-world examples of crowd funding and trusting the people of the internet to help rather than harm you.
There’s always more to share, and I haven’t even started on the new texts I’m using in the graduate course, Communication Strategies for Emerging Media, but that’s a post for another day!
CROSS-POSTED FROM THE GRADUATE STUDENT COURSE BLOG:
I’ve got my Intro to Professional Communication students blogging this semester as well, with the main difference from your assignment being that they are to create their own individual blog spaces and post twice a week. The posts aren’t readings-based, but instead should:
- focus on the issues and trends in communication/journalism/technology that you find most interesting, and
- cultivate your voice and draws your classmates’ attention to images or articles you’ve found online
See my recent blog post about this project, which includes all the info I presented at The Teaching Professor Technology conference a couple weeks ago. I won’t say more about the work it takes on my end to evaluate 44 separate spaces, but as I do their midterm blog evals this weekend I have to say I’ve been impressed!
A few students this semester have shared this video (now at 7.8 million views!), and had I seen it before putting together the midterm exam, I would have included it on the list of supplemental resources. Give it a watch and let me know what you think:
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.
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.
- “Teaching and Learning with Social Media: Tools, Cultures, and Best Practices.” (2014)
- “The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools.” (2013)
- “What Is a Blog? What about Tumblr? What about Twitter? Are “Notes” on Facebook the Same as a Blog?” (2011)
- “Teaching with Blogs” (2010)
- “Blogging as a Tool for Reflection and Learning.” (2009)
- “The reflective writing class blog: using technology to promote reflection and professional development.” (2008)
- Weblogs: Learning in Public (2005)
- “Blogs, A Primer” (Barclay Barrios) (Spring 2005), which is “an updated and expanded version of [his work] “The Year of the Blog: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom” (Spring 2003).
- “When Blogging Goes Bad” (Fall 2004)
- Online Writing / Writing Online (2004)
- Into the Blogosphere (2004)
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!
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.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
And go to zumba.com to search for a class near you. JOIN THE PARTY!
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!]
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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 😀
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…
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!
BTW if you follow me on Twitter you know that I’m in the final push of formatting the dissertation according to grad school standards. As soon as I’m done I plan to compose thoughts longer than 140-characters and update this blog with details about my defense experience, feedback I received, and ideas for future projects.