Monday, March 21, 2005

Last Week

First of all, it wasn't a reaction to my new meds that had me sprawled on my hotel bed last Friday. Instead, it was a combination of overexerting my out-of-shape body up and down SF, the pollen count, and letdown from the presentation. It was stress. Today, the meds are fine, my sinuses are fine, and I'm not going to overdo it back home.
I think that later on this week I'll post more thoughtful reactions to the conference, but today, while my father sits in the living room worrying about his blood sugar levels out loud, I'll jot down one of my disorganized lists.

Impressions:
1. How many buildings does it take to make the Moscone Center? Many. Reading the directions from the 4 C's would have helped me avoid another convention taking place.

2. The All-Day BW Workshop. Impressive presentations from folks at U of Wyo and another from folks at SF State and a few of its local community colleges.

A. First impression: once again, I am clobbered with the reality that size, population and finances affect how many cc's exist in a state and what they are capable of doing.
B. One of the schools, can't remember which, created a one-year BW learning community which, if the student fails, sends the students back to the community college. That raises my hackles, but again, I suspect that regionalism and not academic snobbery has something to do with it.

C. The continuing cry: "How do we define the BW population," and it's response: "It depends on where you're teaching and whether you're at a university, college or community college." I first heard this cry back in 1992, when I was writing my master's thesis and teaching part time at MC (thanks, Barbara Stout). Here we are, thirteen years later, and we're still asking that question. Maybe we'll always be asking that question.

D. The obvious becomes more obvious. In all of the breakout discussions, we'd come back to the need to blend reading and writing in developmental studies and not have them be discrete courses. Some schools are doing that, others aren't. More later.

3. Meeting other bloggers in person. Well, it's kind of like meeting a pen pal--they're not strangers, but can we say that we've met?

I can say that I've met Clancy and Mike E. Each as brilliant in person as they are in print. I've met Styles and jocalo, and enjoyed their presentations as much as I hope they enjoyed mine (new calling: academic comedienne.). Scott introduced himself to me as did a few others. I regret not being able to get to the blogging "do" at jocalo's or the SIG meeting, but there will be time next year.

4. "The New Collegiality." I'll say more later this week, as both jocalo and Styles deserve more than a single phrase compliment for their work. I think that jocalo and I managed to situate blogging at two ends of the career spectrum, though being middle-aged and new to teaching, I have lost that sense of unlimited time that I had in my twenties and thirties. Styles not only showed his agility and magic with words and ideas, but also offered some thoughtful and practical observations about his blog, like his decision to not write every day, but to limit his posts.

5. This here blog. I've been wondering if we shouldn't try Typepad, which I will happily subsidize through my 2Board Alley blog. One of the best features of blogging is that the reader can go back and read old posts and conversations, and can also eyeball who is currently commenting. Blogger limits these opportunities somewhat.
Also, we need to revise some of the resources on our page--we being me, as Cindy has done a terrific job of keeping up with the new blogs and contributors.

6. And then there's my voice. Not wanting to dominate, I'd love to get more voices posting here. I would love to have posts from folks teaching lit, freshman comp and anything else. The more voices, the richer the mix and the deeper the possibilities.

7. I was thinking last week that I ought to post about a learning community that I work with, the Biomedical Scholars, and about the Writing Center web page that I've been involved with creating for the last year. Why not?

5 Comments:

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Sharon Gerald said...

I've really enjoyed reading all of the follow ups from 4C's. They've made me wish I had gone. Next year...

Thanks for sharing.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous clc said...

Wow. So many ideas here, J! The move to Typepad is something to think about, I guess. It certainly is easier to update links there. But I don't have any experience with group blogging there, so I don't know how easy that part of it is.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

CLC--you're right about the group blogging. I'll try it with my reading students and see how it goes, if it goes, and then we can step back and decide.

 
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