Poised with Swiffer

Notice: this is a buttered toast entry whose rhetorical purpose is to
displace the hallucinations and ramblings slung up by dmueller
Good thing that’s not the name of this blog’s owner and chief operator. 
Who hacked my site and posted that picture of Bart Simpson?  I want
answers!

But I’d settle for comments.  See, crowds make me nervous, and, for some
reason or another, Earth Wide Moth is getting unprecedented traffic
lately. Smart mobs? There’s no evidence anyone’s reading here; but the visitors
are sliding through.  Browsers are picking it up, putting it to the screen.
So, I concocted a plan to insert this buttered toast entry–a defensive displacer entry
meant to float an unseemly entry lower on the page.  Maybe we should call
it a marshmallow entry or mallow entry for short.  I haven’t done my
homework on whether this kind of entry has been named before, and I don’t have
time to explore b/c I gotta bury yesterday’s entry right away. (You’re only as
bloggy as your last entry!)

Just a few more lines and this entry will have fully served its purpose by
filing yesterday’s entry into the obscure #2 slot.  That said, I am
pleading with you, do not scroll the bar and do not turn the page.  Do not
read any previous entries in this blog.  You’ve been warned!

Creeping Thing

I started this as a comment to yesterday’s entry at the Chutry
Experiment
. Then what before was dormant became a Creeping
Thing. So I’ll link
and deposit it here at EWM, where I feel less duty-bound to apologize for
leaping about without explaining all of the connections, evidence and so on.

I’m glad you didn’t delete this entry, Chuck. I read it with interest,
partly because I live smack-dab in the Heartland (with a Baptist church
adjoining our back yard, a Greek Orthodox church two lots to the north, and the
largest Catholic Diocese in Missouri less than a stone’s pitch past that–not
that anyone’s casting stones). Your point about “how politically and
socially homogeneous many of these campuses are” is incredibly important to
this discussion because that is what leads to “the stereotypes of
evangelical colleges as weak academically and ultraconservative
socially.” While academic credibility varies significantly among
evangelical institutions, their projection of social ultraconservativism is
hearty and regular, here in the Midwest. William Jewell College, an
institution reputed for academic rigor, was in the local paper today for its
student-body vote on adding “sexual orientation” to the institution’s
anti-discrimination code (link
| subscription
link
| link).
The measure didn’t pass; “sexual orientation” is not a part of
William Jewell’s anti-discrimination policy. So you’re right that anecdotal
evidence can be misapplied to the whole range of institutions, but still there’s
enough anecdotal evidence to correlate evangelical institutions and patterns of
social homogeneity.

I’m watching these issues especially as they pertain to international
student-athletes (mainly because it’s one of my current jobs). The National
Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
serves as the governing
organization for the athletic programs at many evangelical institutions, William
Jewell and Azusa Pacific included. In recent years, there’s been an
astounding call (among the member institutions–some 300+ schools) for
restrictions on the number of international student-athletes who would be
allowed to participate in intercollegiate athletics in the NAIA. The tenor
of these proposals (usually as by-law amendments to
set limitations on age
or to impose quotas) is alarming. I
might even characterize it as a new spirit of Ashcroftian xenophobia–the subtle
rumblings that international student-athletes have a competitive advantage, that
they don’t belong in the same sporting arena as domestic
student-athletes. A quick look will confirm who has more lucrative
resources–new uniforms, equipment, irrigated fields, paid coaches, sponsors,
etc.–through well-funded development programs. And so we’ve forgotten Perry
Wallace
; and it’s usual to hear raging clusters of fans (sometimes, but not
always, from evangelical institutions) chant “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.”
when an international student-athlete takes the field or when a domestic
counterpart makes a fine play. Probably should make this a series since there’s
much, much more to say.

One Blog, Two Blog

[Thinking about the trackback feature.]

Got the second blog working. It was, as the interface told me, a permissions error. Once I reset the permissions to the second blog’s folder, it all came together swimmingly. The other blog will be used this spring for a freshman course on technology and writing centered on Neil Postman’s Technopoly. His doomsday-ish tome will send us on our ever-digitized way.

The course is described as a research writing course. I’ve taught it a time or two; even developed an online format for accelerated delivery in just eight weeks. So I’m comfortable with the pace and workload. Just eleven students have enrolled so far, and the new semester starts happening Monday.

I’m having lunch today with my friend and colleague Andy who does a fine job keeping rhetorica.net in masterful form. He promised (well, er, suggested) a brief MT tutorial. Maybe he knows how I can craft a new CSS for this blog. After all, this design is dreadful. We’re jetting along on content, kid.

Oh, and about content. I still don’t have a deliberate schema. The category feature imposes a kind of coherence to this space, and I already feel a deep, quiet wariness that I’m chasing abstraction and glossing conceptual at the expense of attracting any passing readers.

I’m still working out the features, scratching my head about how to do this and that. The time stamp on yesterday’s post was off, for example. Like this witchy-cold weather we’re having in the heartland, it’ll get better.

Flummoxed

I’ve racked my brain for two hours now on the finer points of creating a second blog. This whole mess all started with an impulse to supplement the comp course I’m teaching this spring with a blog. Not this blog, but the other one I can’t seem to create. This whole project wasn’t die cast to be a simple, hosted-with-ease blog, but rather a full-fashioned blog of the earth, the sort that is the richest embodiment of the media.

Still, no second blog. Permissions error.

So maybe I need to get up to speed first. Blog for a while. Drive it around the block before tying on the speedometer, kickstand, extra soft banana seat…what’s that? Air in the tires? Oh, yes, I’ll need air on this tour.

I know blogging habits can survive in unimaginatively named spaces. I’ve been scratching, sifting, chewing around the Internet for a few months, perusing blogs, wondering what they’re all about, what compels people to attempt them, abandon them and so on.

Earth wide moth. -GS

So I’m puzzling over challenges of building a second MT-powered blog for a class I start teaching next Tuesday: EN106HOC Writing Purposes and Research. I’m puzzling over the aims and ambitions of this non-teaching blog (autodidactic experiment?). Puzzling over a new web host with funky permissions. Over my son who is puzzling over adding fractions and not asking for help. Challenges.

The dinner bell on the oven says the scalloped potatoes are done.