As I’ve whined on Twitter, my digital humanities class this semester was canceled*, and has been replaced with a section of first-year writing. Since classes begin on the 24th, I need a book order immediately, and a syllabus soon after.
My normal strategy in first-year writing courses, since I normally teach in the first-year experience program, is to make the class be about college. We read a lot about higher ed, from a variety of perspectives. And that works pretty well with first-semester students. In the spring, though, the students have been around for a semester, and I’ve never had good luck with that approach under those circumstances. (And it’s not an FYE section anyway–it’s just a regular section of 110.) I needed a new theme, and thought that comic books would be an interesting way to go.
Here’s the draft booklist for the class:
We’ll also do some webcomics, but I don’t know which ones yet. (Definitely Vision Machine, though, since my 7-yr-old loves Greg Pak, and he secretly makes all my curricular decisions.) If you’ve got thoughts, let me know!
(I’ll acknowledge straightaway that the course is shaped to a certain extent by “stuff I know really well without having to do a dramatic amount of prep for, since ohbytheway I’m still union president, and teaching comp while doing that is going to be hard.” The course isn’t providing an introduction or a proper survey, but just enough to be interesting.)
*The course suffered from a perfect storm: it doesn’t count for *anything* in the major; it meets on MWF in the first semester of a new MW schedule (all classes with Friday sessions took a hit); and I wasn’t around in the fall to hype it, especially in light of the other two reasons.]]>
I’m mostly pleased to say that, as of this afternoon, I’m the president-elect (effective virtually immediately) of the CCSU AAUP chapter. On our campus, that’s a union position, representing full-time *and* part-time faculty, librarians, and coaches. I say “mostly pleased” because, while I care a great deal about the university, its faculty, and the role of higher education, these are obviously pretty miserable times. The union will be voting soon on a wage/benefits concession package, and there’s no reason to think that funding for higher education will improve over the course of my term. Frankly, I’m shocked there was another candidate!
The other reason I’m “mostly” pleased is that I’m on sabbatical for the fall, but obviously this will keep me on campus some . . . . Sigh. That said, I’ve got debts no honest man can pay, so let the corruption and graft begin, am I right?
There may be some implications for the blog and twitter account, but they’ll probably be minor. (Probably fewer jokes about corruption, huh? Although I can tell you where the bodies will be buried: In the pond 2 blocks from my house. It’s convenient–I walk by it on the way home from campus.)
Anyway, to commemorate the election, here’s an obligatory Billy Bragg video, plus two by The Hold Steady: “Stay Positive” and “Constructive Summer.”
I’m less ambivalent about the other announcement, which is that I’ll be writing in a more official capacity for the amazing Wired.com blog, GeekDad. (As will CCSU student Alex Jarvis!) I’ve written a couple of one-off posts for them in the past, and am excited to be able to do so more regularly.
So, I guess that’s it. Union chapter president. GeekDad writer. If you think about it, it’s deeply, deeply funny that Merlin Mann mentioned me in a post about priorities. But, that’s why he’s brilliant.]]>
Mann is an engaging, funny speaker–as seen at places such as Google, Pixar, Apple, Yahoo!, &c., and at places like sxsw and Macworld. For my two cents, his steampunk penis pump parody video is among the funniest 4 minutes on the internet, and You Look Nice Today, his joint venture with Adam Lisagor and Scott Simpson, hits my comedy sweet spot like nothing since the heyday of Suck.
If you’re in Connecticut on Tuesday, I hope you can stop by for one of these three events!]]>