Thursday, January 29, 2004
Nothing like Lou Reed and Co. to chew through the icy dip of deep winter.
When I re-read yesterday's post--Creeping Thing--it left me with doubts, planted in me a faint sense of how I was depicting a radically political persona--the breath behind the screen, the blog's "I." It felt risky to pronounce such views and brought me back to the questions I had when I first hanged the Open sign on this writing space. Who will you be? Which you will you be there? On top of that--as if it wasn't enough to have a bad blogging day at EWM--I went ahead and typed some "hypothetical" drivel at Kairosnews.org. I don't usually post there, just lurk. Thinking now that it's better that way. Lurking. And moods pass.
In class today, I talked about the comparative blog-reading essay coming up. It's not a neat exercise, since I can't corral the scope of weblogs and what their makers set out to do. I have students who say that weblogging seems "weird." Many of them never heard of it before this course. So I want them to have a look, peek in on a few blogs, surmise what's taking shape there and why it's relevant. Presuming that, indeed, it is. Sooner or later I'll link to the blog for our class. It's in its infancy--an awkward, foundling stage where the posted-stuff is a bit raw, unrefined and in need of greater care. Wait...um...that describes this blog too. Soon enough.
We looked at Blue Ridge Blog as a model. Class ended at 9:55 a.m. Forty-five minutes later I received an email from Marie, the photojournalist whose interesting work populates Blue Ridge Blog. She'd noticed huge spikes in site traffic--rocket-launch, moon-bound spikes. Among other things, Marie says, "Wish I was a fly on the wall of your classroom." Flattering, I think. If she'd been a fly there, on the classroom's wall, Marie might have witnessed (en fragmentum--see her post on pixels) the first student ever to send me an email during class, about class discussion, while we were in the same room. A teachable moment. The embodiment of Postman's questions about the future of education: "Now comes the computer, carrying anew the banner of private learning and individual problem-solving. Will the widespread use of computers in the classroom defeat once and for all the claims of communal speech? Will the computer raise egocentrism to the status of a virtue?" In virtuosity, we were less present at times than the magnificent machines.