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And now it’s December…

Rainy start to December…sigh. The wet, muddy season starts again; looks like it’ll be this way for (more-or-less) the week. Ugh.

Out with Jersey this morning for a (wet) walk; even the crows were quiet and soggy.

December crows...

Crows in silhouette…

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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Uncategorized...

 

There’s a book for that…

Just in case weren’t sure how they work, you can find this particular book in the Weldon Library…

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized...

 

Welcome back!

Supply teaching the first week of school…

Okay…so, here we are the first week of September and I’m already exhausted. Need I add that it’s only September 5th? So sad… The last few weeks have been crazy busy and at this point, I’m just hoping to live to Friday. Quick breakdown:

-Did something I said I’d never do: supply teach the first week of school. In French. For 4 days. The issue here is that I’m not a French teacher. True, I speak French but I’ve got little to no resources in French, nor have I yet taken courses on how to actually introduce a second language to a 10 year old. Did I mention that it’s for grades 4, 5 and 6 (which means planning for each grade). Because it’s the first week and there’s no teacher in place (they still have to hire), I have to do all the planning and figure out what’s were going to do. Did I mention it’s the first week of school? And that it rained on the first day so the kids had indoor recess?

-Final course in my MLIS programme started…at least I don’t have to translate anything into French.

-Bought a horse. Yes. You heard that right. I bought a horse. Her name is Bliss. (Short for “Chablis”)…so, have been spending time unwinding after French class out in the barn.

Anyway…this is just to say, welcome back; let the games begin!

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized...

 

Time to re-ignite the blog…

The blog is dead…long live the blog!

 

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized...

 

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

RE: Antislick to Postslick: DIY Books and Youth Culture Then and Now

This whole idea of the subversiveness of craft was both intriguing and quite a revelation. I mean we talk of writing as a craft, and it’s certainly one which can be very obviously subversive, but I’d never heard (let alone thought) of “craftivism”(which by the way, take a few minutes to peruse Betsy Greer’s website CRAFT + ACTIVISM = CRAFTIVISM). But, even as someone not remotely crafty (more due to lack of skill and patience than anything), I have noticed the popularity of card-making, knitting, even I think you could stretch it to urban gardening and canning; that whole idea of embracing the creation of, and cultivation of, what in the past was simply “bought” or purchased. It’s the idea of connection-being connected to both what we create and share with others. It certainly explains the popularity of farmers markets and the like. I can just imagine some tony Toronto couple cooing over the fact that they just bought (irony, the bought part; but I do think bartering may be coming back too) unpasturized cheese from “the actual farmer” (sorry, I don’t know where that cynicism crept in…) And as youth culture often moves in a different direction (hmm…I guess that’s where “counter-culture” comes from…I know, I know…I’m slow on the uptake) to what would be considered the adult mainstream, then yes, it completely makes sense that youth culture would embrace and then adapt, what is the norm or the zeitgeist of the “adult” world.

-Back cover of the last (?) edition of the Whole Earth Catalogue

The reference to the Whole Earth Catalogue? That’s twice in two days I’ve read of it. Odd, for something I’ve never heard of before. Apparently, Steve Jobs (yes, Mr. Apple himself) was a bit of a fan. Here’s an excerpt from a Maclean’s article:

“But the key to [Jobs’] subversive style lay in the unique character of the Whole Earth Catalogue, an idiosyncratic publication that hit the streets in 1968 courtesy of Stanford University alumnus and biologist Stewart Brand. To the 21st century ear the WEC has an agrarian, New Agey ring, like a Farmers’ Almanacfor the organic aisle; but actually it was dominated by technology and engineering gadgetry, all packaged in a compendium as eclectic as any of the talks organized today by the non-profit TED—Technology, Entertainment, Design. (The journal’s name is an homage to Brand’s campaign to get NASA to release the first photographs taken from space that showed Earth in its entirety.) Brand notes that the WEC generation was “inspired by the ‘bards and hot-gospellers of technology,’ ” people like Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller. In its early incarnation, the catalogue was heavily committed to an independent do-it-yourself-ism in all things, from food production to infrastructure building. Added to this was a belief in the democratization of information, that ideas and disciplines should be liberated and accessible to everyone. In his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, Jobs described the Whole Earth Catalogue as “an amazing publication . . . sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.”

I thought this highlighted bit was quite interesting: sounds a little familiar, no? A little librarian-esque?

And speaking of subversiveness.

That was the point of the whole Maclean’s article: the subversiveness of Steve Jobs:

“Steve Jobs did not design software. His subversiveness was purer and more ancient than that. He made tools.”

So, was Steve Jobs the original craftivist?

(How’s this analogy: youth culture is to mainstream/adult culture as Steve Jobs is to Bill Gates?)

Teitel, J. (2011, October 17). Turned on and tuned in: Steve Jobs as a child of the sixties-The key to Jobs’s subversive style lay in technology and the democratization of information. Maclean’s. Retrieved from http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/10/17/turned-on-and-tuned-in/


 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Uncategorized...

 

Thoughts on “Playing the Text” and Media Literacy et al…

I found it very, very interesting that the boy Colin said that it was difficult to tell things apart in in b & w film; that b & w made it visually difficult to understand. I almost can’t wrap my head around that…does this mean that colour is a visual cue in terms of comprehension? I guess if you think of a red stop sign; there’s a whole lot going on. Even pre or emergent readers know that the shape and colour combined mean “stop”—even without the text written on the sign. Hmm…well, we know that red light means “stop” too. So, would a grey (b & w) stop sign lose its meaning? And does that mean that the advent of colour television and technicolour film mean a change in the comprehension patterns of humans? Have our brains become re-wired in some way? So, is this a different form of literacy? A colour literacy? The way in which we derive meaning of a “text” through colour? After all, we do make colour connections: green with envy, feeling blue, tickled pink…

I also found the fluency discussion around the games quite interesting as well. Many of the kids said that they would use the instruction manual/guidebook if they ran into problems (small or large depending on the kid). I’m not sure if I can actually explain my thinking but what struck me was the fact that they were quickly aware of any accessibility limitations in their ability to play the game. Therefore, they knew to go to this other source to aid in their comprehension—which is great. However, it started me thinking about those unskilled readers, who, when reading have no manual to turn to help in their accessing the text; if you are still struggling with decoding then, that’s where you’re stuck; there’s no guidebook or manual for you.

Towards the end of her article Mackey mentioned that “online reading is much less likely than print reading…to offer the compensation of swift absorption (pg. 94). Oh-my-gosh. This article was case in point for me (by the by: the article was in electronic format and read on my laptop). It took me two attempts to get through it and even then I found my comprehension of what I was reading was severely limited; I had to read and re-read. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t able to physically engage with the text as I normally would by underlining, jotting down notes or questions in the margins, but I found this a far more difficult exercise—especially as the text itself wasn’t overly dense—than it should have been.

(Oh! And I like the new film classification: “educational rather than interesting” (p. 86); wouldn’t that bring ‘em into the box office…?)

Re: Literacies across media: Playing the text
by Margaret Mackey

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Uncategorized...

 

The Booktrailer…finally!

What a long and strange trip it’s been…

A big “thank you” to my partner, Morgan! Yay! It’s done!

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Uncategorized...