rhetoric & the “truth”

My favorite way to start a semester in Advanced Rhetoric:

In addition to readings from our three course texts: Rhetoric and Human Consciousness, Rhetoric and Style, and Rhetoric Online, the semester will bring in PDFs of readings like Tania Smith’s “What Connection Does Rhetorical Theory Have to Technical and Professional Communication?”

I also plan to show Thank You For Smoking, The Invention of Lying, Shattered Glass, and, if there’s time, SuperSize Me.

So much to cover and so many arguments to analyze, but I think my upper-level undergraduates can handle it!

It also helps that I’ve got 85-minute class periods. 😉



I’ve been in serious dissertation writing mode this new year which means I’ve hardly tweeted, watched little TV other than that on DVD and returned very few emails. Sorry about that, but that’s what consumes my life when the semester begins. Well, not the TV part.

Anyway, since I am in this dissertation state of mind that means I’ve been in a Tampa/USF mood too, checking in with the graduate program assistant [Lee is amazing!] and talking to current grad students and former faculty. I even checked my USF email account to make sure my final tuition payment went through and was surprised to see a blog comment notification. For months I’ve been trying to log in to my blog.usf.edu space with no success. That’s part of the reason I even started this new space and bought my domain name. Just last week I even checked the main blog.usf.edu site and saw nothing. I figured they took all of them down to save on server space. I don’t think there were many active bloggers using the service. After seeing that blog comment email though, I tried one more time and saw my Doctor Daisy blog as a newly revamped WordPress site! I no longer have my fleur de lis theme over there, which you can see in the web.archive.org version, but that’s OK.

Taking this discovery a step further, I decided to explore the export/import tools since both of my blogs are Word Press. Short story short, it literally took 3 clicks and now this space has ALL 475 of my USF blog posts.

WordPress ROCKS!

Now to update my blogrolls!


images of the dissertation

tis the writing season again! Have a reprieve from the grading and have been back to work!

Typical day begins with editing existing pages, reviewing notes, then artifact-ing [or story boarding] them on a sketch pad.

the dissertation and a cat.
AKA what my laptop-less work loo... on Twitpic

then moves to the dry erase board where the lists help me stay focused.

here are my plans @sisypheantask.  large goal is a full draft... on Twitpic


SYTYCD & Ellen

I’m not into Season 6 of SYTYCD as much as I was Season 5, but while trying to find video of ballroom boy Ryan’s solo from this past week I came across this appearance by the Top 10 on Ellen.

Go Ellen, Go Go GO!


another twitter link roundup

And another attempt at NaBloPoMo down the tubes. Oh well! I still plan to post as often as possible, now that I feel that my weeks are more manageable, even with the stacks of grading.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m very much into Twitter and have a growing list of bookmarks on diigo, which are also copied to delicious, and then shared with my 4Cs Emerging Social Software SIG members.

Several I’d like to feature here include:

Some Professors’ Jitters Over Twitter Are Easing

Tweeting in Class

The most recent Pew Report on Twitter and Status Updating [which I heard first at AoIR]

and finally

30 predictions for the future of Twitter, which includes the video below.

Enjoy, and I look forward to updating my own “Teaching with Twitter” page at the end of this semester since I’ve revised the instructions I give students and now assign some readings from The Twitter Book to assist new users. I also incorporate more live-tweeting into my class discussions, calling on students who post in addition to replying to Q&A.

Now let’s all go tweet about this…


google wave

While I was at AoIR everyone was all a buzz about Google Wave. I too suddenly wasn’t complete until I received an invite, but then when I got one, I didn’t know what to do with it. I noticed several of my Twitter followers saying the same, “It will be a good tool but there aren’t enough people on yet.”

Thankfully, I was added to a Digital Humanities wave, and there I could see things in action. The most important thing I learned there, via Lifehacker, was the “with: public” command, where I could see all of the waves out there and decide which ones I might want to join.

Doing that “with: public” search actually led me back to the gracious soul who sent me the invite in the first place, Matthew Kaskavitch, a student at UW-Stout who I’ve never met, but who is an active Twitter user and social media in higher ed proponent. (Yes, that “one professor in the English department used Twitter in the classroom to communicate with her students” is me. I’ve actually gone on to incorporate some of those suggestions too and now more actively ask students to tweet on readings at the beginning of class then call on them to elaborate during large group discussions).

An interesting Wave that Matt’s started is the “University of Wisconsin Wavers,” which is allowing folks from any of the campuses across the state to communicate and collaborate in ways never before. Of course, things are still in the early stages, but I think it’s a great start to a dialogue amongst tech savvy folks and much more fun (to me at least) than listserv messages.

Other helpful WAVE how-to’s can be found here:

HOW TO: Get Started with Google Wave
Google Wave: A Complete Guide
Google Wave Guide: User Manual Released for Wave

Still, even with all of this, I don’t see myself becoming an active Wave user until I get some invites to share with colleagues. Where those at, Google???


trying this again


Given the cool stuff I’ve been working on and tweeting about but too lazy to blog, I’m going to try this 30 posts in 30 days challenge again. So far, it doesn’t look like there’s a theme to adhere to either.

I always feel better after I’ve clicked “publish” so here goes!


Disaster 2.0 / AoIR

I’m just back from my first Association of Internet Researchers conference and have to say it was the best conference I’ve attended in a long time. Small enough to not get overwhelmed, and with the half hour breaks in between sessions and the #ir10 Twitter channel, it was quite easy to meet with people I’d only interacted with or read online.

Otherwise stated, it was an excellent place for me to “get my geek on.”

All of the panels I attended included a nice mix of qualitative and quantitative research and the whole time I was reminded of my 2007 Summer Doctoral Programme experience. Lots of supportive feedback and exciting international projects.

What I noticed most was many folks working on multiple projects at once, and the detail with which they spoke actually inspired me to save a planned part of my dissertation for a separate project. I think it’s pretty clear that I have enough to speak on blogs and the NOLA blogosphere rather than try to bring in Flickr, Twitter and audio/video embedding. This way I can go into more detail about how my bloggers differ in terms of rebuilding experience and perhaps even map out how they represent so many neighborhoods across the city.

I’ll write again soon, as I really want to make sure I update this space more often, but til then, let me know what you think of my slides:




I’ve been sharing Katrina-related links on FB and Twitter all morning, but now can’t think of anything to say.

I’ve become numb remembering all of this again, even with it as my dissertation topic and therefore something I think about ALL THE TIME. That writing, though, is focused on the positive, the uses of technology to help build community. I appreciate my NOLA blogger friends [and interview participants] so much, mainly because we don’t have to explain ourselves to each other. Our loss is mutually understood.

Many of you who read this will never understand what it’s like to have lost so much, or even what it is we’ve lost because it is so beyond the tangible things, so all I can ask of you is just to remember.


the blogger who doesn’t blog

All I can say is that the posts have been few and far between b/c I’m writing in a much more important space, my dissertation document!

Still, it’s weird that I write about blogs all day and night but haven’t blogged much at all since the loss of access to my USF blog. I think the majority of my public comments have been limited to Facebook and Twitter, probably because I receive so much more immediate feedback there. But there’s something to be said for the longer thought…not to mention maintaining my web presence.

So here goes:

Tonight, I read 2 great pieces as part of my quest to meet some very important deadlines. The first was the hardcover version of the web-comic (or nonfiction graphic novel) I blogged about in 2007, “A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.” I remember clicking through some of the chapters then, but the quality of the print version’s pages and vibrant colors really makes this stand out as one of my favorite Katrina texts thus far. Go check it out!


I appreciate it for what it is—a snapshot of different residents’ riding out the storm or evacuation stories. Unlike some Katrina texts which rely on information culled from interviews conducted mere months after the storm, A.D.’s creator Josh Neufield took four years to create this version, crossing mediums every chance he could. He admits his online version “allows for a multilayered experience…seeded with links to podcasts, YouTube videos, archived hurricane tracking reports, and even personal details…” but states he always planned to put it in book form. And his conclusion to the book’s Afterword is exactly what I’m aiming in my work, “to provide a window into a larger world, one that few of us understand and that we’ll be trying to make sense of for a long time to come.”

Which brings me to my second text of the night, “The Psychology of Blogging: You, Me, and Everyone in Between.” All throughout my dissertation I celebrate the blog genre and what it affords the people of New Orleans since Katrina. In particular, I’m focusing on the extended looks blogs offer, being chronological narratives that end only when the blogger decides to stop updating his/her page, and Laura Gurak and Smiljana Antonijevic’s article helps me support that agenda when they write: “Unlike personal Web presentations, structured around ‘the essence of me,’ blogs are structured around ‘the process of me.’ Unlike chatting, pointed toward ‘hear me out at this moment,’ blogging is pointed toward ‘hear me out throughout this time'” (65).

In a recent revision of my first chapter [the one that finally seems to have figured itself out after countless drafts], I simplified things and stated, “Hurricane Katrina made these locals hyperaware of their basic human need to give and receive information” and this article’s final paragraph dovetails that nicely, don’t you think?

Blogs (and social networking sites in general) illustrate the fusion of key elements
of human desire—to express one’s identity, to create community, to structure one’s
past and present experiences temporally—with the main technological features of
21st century digital communication (speed, reach, anonymity, interactivity, broad-
band, wide user base). In this sense, blogs can serve as a lens to observe the way in
which people currently use digital technologies and,in return,transform some of the
traditional cultural norms—such as those between the public and the private.

I cannot wait to add these points to my chapter tomorrow!


paying attention!

I don’t have my notes nearby from when I read the amazing Cynthia Selfe’s Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century: The Importance of Paying Attention but I do recall that book making a significant impact on how I approached teaching with technology, even way back in 2004 when I thought blogs were the biggest thing since sliced bread!

21st century media literacies from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

This video by Howard Rheingold [which is an extension of what he has said the past couple years on his vlog] reminds us that even though many of us are 21st century multitaskers, we should never assume our students have the same set of multiliteracies or practices.

This past year, my first teaching on a laptop campus, I was particularly shocked to learn that some students had only the one email account assigned to them, had never ordered a book from Amazon.com, or had never even downloaded music into I-Tunes. Even those students with ready wifi & ethernet access and the latest OFFICE and ADOBE software suites already pre-installed were much more interested in IM’ing and checking Facebook. Obsessed, I would even say!

Of the 5 essential literacies that Rheingold lists in this video, • Attention • Participation • Collaboration • Network Savvy and • Critical Consumption, I plan to highlight attention the most all semester-long, since it’s the main thing I can lose a few weeks in. We will use Twitter again to participate and collaborate, making the combo of that site and their CMS site part of network savvy, and students will analyze websites as part of critical consumption of their chosen major. But my main goal will be to remain much more interesting than what’s on their screens, even if it means showing them what they look like from my point-of-view, another tactic Rheingold took:


Dali & Disney

I can’t believe this is online! Bet it won’t be for long…Being a frequent visitor to the Dali Museum in St. Pete, FL I know how strict they are with their collections. I almost didn’t get to view this film there because of their schedule but was with a pushy friend at the time who insisted.

Beyond happy to be able to see it again, especially since I’m the ballerina who loves a baseball player!



How addicted to Twitter are you?

Created by The Oatmeal

I will definitely take this quiz again once I’m back on campus daily and preaching the gospel of Twitter to my freshman. Having read last semester’s course evaluations, I think many students liked the community built by sharing random 140-character spurts, but a few didn’t like that 10% of their grade depended on it. That’s a fair critique, since many of the tweets didn’t stay on the assigned topic, but I know if it weren’t a graded exercise, few would even create an account!

Must find a way to achieve a happy medium…


a new blogging routine, take 2

Let’s try this NaBloPoMo thing again!

June ended up being a busy travel month even though I was only out of town for 7 days, and I also went down hard with allergies. It being my first summer in Wisconsin, I’m learning about all sorts of new climate changes, wind gusts, and pollens.

But enough excuses. As stated on the NaBloPoMo site, “The theme for July is ROUTINE. Blogging on the theme is not required for inclusion on the blogroll and blogging on the theme is always optional.”

I like that flexibility; however, I may actually stick to the “routine” theme since my remaining summer days will be filled with a steady stream of exercise, reading, writing, tweeting, and prepping for Fall teaching.

And as much as I want to travel again, I think I’m staying put til September when I head to Hot-Lanta for the PSB concert. I cannot wait for that, but til then here are 2 pics from my recent travels:

The first with a cold one at Cheers in Boston


and the second with Mo Rocca at Broadway Bares. Believe me, no one was more surprised than me to see him in the opening number, but mo’ power to him!

mo rocca


the relationship between tweet and blog

As an early adopter of both blogging and Twitter, I feel that these two mediums complement each other quite well, especially in terms of self-promotion, although it’s been clear that my tweeting has often led to a complete disregard and neglect of my blog. See “Is Twitter a Blog Breaker or a Blog Builder” for more on this, though the key argument is well-stated by Nancy Baym:

Twitter is about banter. That banter is the best part. I’ve written this blog for a few years and I’ve talked to lots of bloggers. Getting people to post comments is hard. Getting conversation going is harder. The majority of things I write here get no response at all. On Twitter I don’t get responses to everything I say, but I sure get a lot more fast feedback than I do here. It’s also a lot easier to make a quick response to someone else — much more so than commenting on a blog post, especially if, like me, you read your blogs through an RSS reader. That back and forth makes me want to keep participating in Twitter. In comparison, blogging feels like a solitary endevour.

Still without Twitter I wouldn’t really get the chance to see some of the longer thoughts published. I’m awful at checking my RSS feeds and, by nature, am a very impatient person. That’s why I like the speed of Twitter and it’s tiny urls and re-tweeting. Here are some of my latest finds–all great blog posts about teaching with Twitter and how social networks are changing our language:

Devon’s response to the Time magazine article on Twitter

Bill’s look at using Twitter in the graduate classroom

USA Today’s examination on the art of writing on Facebook and Twitter

This last one is great for me to use in my own teaching of writing b/c it points out how “Funny, clever and sassy updates and tweets stand out because they are the exception.” So far I haven’t pushed my students to be creative in their posts, but I will be asking for more quality over quantity in the Fall. Even though it’s informal writing, I want them to use it to keep the attention of their audience [fellow students and me] in addition to their own reflections and quick note-taking.

When I write up new evaluation standards, I’ll post them here.


light as air


As I type this I’m waiting for the Fed Ex truck to arrive with my new lil mac. Unfortunately, I won’t be opening the box and getting straight to work/play. Yesterday’s Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference announced many changes and upgrades as well as reduced prices. I immediately turned to my Twitter network and asked: “so if i just ordered a mac AIR and it’s on its way via Fed Ex, can i exchange it for the more powerful one at a cheaper price? #apple”

Here are some of the helpful replies I received:

So with all that great advice, I’m waiting to get the box, seeing which version they sent me, then calling the closest Mac store in Roseville, MN and seeing if I can bring it in for an exchange!

Thanks tweeple!


love Federer

I’ve never picked up a racket, but somehow got in to watching tennis when I was young. I had the teenage crush on Andre Agassi and then fell for this young Swiss, Roger.

I couldn’t be more happy for him as now he’s finally won the French Open and joins Pete Sampras on a record 14 grand-slam titles.