getting things done: August 2008 Archives

Aspiring to Adequate

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If there's something I learned last year, it was that, if I wait until I have something appropriately non-trivial to blog, I simply won't blog for a long time. So this is me, embracing the utter triviality of this entry. I'm back in the Cuse now, as of a couple of days ago, facing a mountain of a to-do list. Sigh.

In the past few weeks, I've been dreaming myself into some of my favorite reality/game shows. It's happened 3 or 4 times, I think, although I'm not always able to remember so well. A while back, I took over a failing restaurant (a la GR's Kitchen Nightmare), and last night, I was one of the last 5 or 6 on Project Runway. Now, while I like these shows, I like them in part because cooking and designing are things that I admire when done well, but for which I have little personal ability. So these aren't really hero dreams--I'm just me in the dreams, with my current skill set, and so part of the narrative is me trying desperately to avoid being discovered as the impostor I know myself to be.

I suppose the obvious reading is that I have some deep seated issues with overreaching my abilities, although I'm hard pressed to figure out why they should be emerging dreamwise right now. If they're about unpreparedness more broadly, then I suppose they're a little more understandable, given that I'm almost completely unprepared for the semester to have begun.

So there's that. And my lower back is really sore.

Syllabus Muse?

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So here's a question.

I'm working up my syllabus for a course I'm teaching this fall, a doctoral seminar on Computers and Writing. I've got tons of notes on it, but I'm struggling a little bit with exactly how I want to (a) organize it, and (b) reduce the readings to a manageable set. Later today, I'll probably toss up a page that offers up my progress-to-date, but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask for a little collective wisdom. Here are my constraints:

The course is going to be 1/3 workshop, 2/3 seminar. That is, each week, we're spending at least an hour in our lab, where I'll be running a series of hands-on intros to a broad range of tools and platforms. The goal will be familiarity rather than mastery, of course, but I'm a big believer in the doing alongside the thinking.

One corollary of this is that I will be asking the students to work outside of class on their technology skills, and so I'll be requiring a little less reading than I normally might for a seminar. I'm pretty much decided that I'm not ordering books--my plans are to go with 3-4 chapters/articles per week.

And of course, the problem here is that a given week's topic could pretty much be the theme for an entire course, so I need to really distill rather than overwhelm. At the same time, I've got shelves and shelves of stuff I could use, not to mention all the stuff online. I'm still debating internally about whether it's best to shoot for a rough chronology of C&W or to focus on more recent developments for the most part.

Nothing to it but to do it, I suppose. Look for updates later today. Oh, and the collective wisdom part is this: what texts, perspectives, ideas do y'all think are indispensable for a course on C&W, one that's likely to be the only sustained exposure to the sub-d that these students will experience?



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This page is a archive of entries in the getting things done category from August 2008.

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