Tag Archives: Blogs

Spring and All

I’m grateful for your dedication to exploring the materials we have been studying together since late January. I am feeling the need to recount exactly what you are responsible for at the midterm break. And I am going to share some of my thoughts on reentry as we are going to hit the ground running when we gather again on Tuesday, March 21.

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We know that it takes forty gallons of sap to render one gallon of sweet maple syrup. Might this process be a useful way for us to think about our work?

Most of you will have already completed most everything below. If not, here is everything I have asked for

  • Aspect Metacommentary First a clarification. . . . Send me your final edited version by email. An attachment is best but you can also just paste your work into the body of the email:
  • Move your draft version on the blog to a “drafts” or “process” or “thinking” or “ephemera” page on your blog. You might put DRAFT at the top of the page.
  • Below is an example from Savannah’s commentary that does an exemplary job with a descriptive accounting of each piece of writing with a concise description of the pieces. This is a good model:

This issue contains poetry from M. T. Buckley, Christine Smith, Jeffrey Katz, Barbara A. Holland, Sterling Kelly Webb, Andrew Darlington, Doris Wight, Joan Colby, Dennis Nicholas Hoppin, Karen Solstad, and Rick Smith.  It contains art work from Jean Segaloff, Marjorie Masel, Roger Camp, and one anonymous piece that was with permission from the Manchester Central Library.  This piece is a photograph taken by a freelance photographer in Manchester, England.

This issue has two essays, the first is titled “Corliss, Master of Power” by Frank J. Jones.  This brief piece offers a point of view into mechanical engineer, George H. Corliss’ power and public influence due to his invention, the steam engine in the mid-1800s.  The next essay, “Winning in the Sierras by Robie Darche,” is a bit longer.  It discusses the position of women in casinos as changegirls and cocktail waitresses, with discussion of keymen as well.  Another version of this piece is also found in Canadian Woman’s magazine, BRANCHING OUT.

A description and method of treating ­­­­­­“Sore Nipples” from Dr. Willich’s Domeftic Encyclopedia is found, as well as a place to order Edcentric Magazine.  Another advertisement for a monthly newsletter named Recon is included on the back page.

Some brief works of fiction are included including “Paradise,” by Gudanowska and “Karla in the Dark,” by Bettina Barrett.  Politics include Bureaucracy, Reform, and Intervention in Czechoslovakia. This is by George Shaw Wheeler, Lawrence Hill & Co, and focuses on events during 1968, including the goals of Czechoslovakian reformers and economics.

Still some sentence-level copy editing needed here. But a fine example of a balance between the specific and the general.

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This is where we will be in April
  1. Blogs You have at a minimum six blog posts
  • Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
  • Walt Whitman “Democratic Vistas”
  • Commencements (Emerson, Rich, Williams)
  • Adrienne Rich essays and Atlas of the Difficult World
  • Aspect (a research installment)
  • A final blog post on something that captures your learning arc in the first half of the course

You have been invited to curate all of your writing. Write in your voice, show your intelligence. Get away from general and flat words like “response” in your titles. “Know what you are doing and do it well.” (Remember, too, that the hypothes.is annotations you did/are doing on your peers’ blogs are designed to give audience feedback but also for you to look at other blogs and writing and to “resee” what you are doing in relation to others.)

On Tuesday I will read your blogs and assign each member of the class a midterm grade.

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Looking Ahead On Tuesday March 21 we will do the first of two classes designed to help you write out a project statement. Our class will be dedicated to sorting ideas and fielding questions about the final project. We will draft a project description and a schedule and our outcomes for the project. Before we meet, make sure you read the Blog Entry “Education for Socially Engaged Art” by Pablo Helguera, the Interview with Pablo Helguera, and look over the materials on Art and Citizenship at PracticalArts.

On Thursday March 23 we will do the second project statement workshop. Read Doris Sommer, Prologue, “Welcome Back,” 1-13, and Chapter One: “From the Top: Government-Sponsored Creativity,” 15-48, in the book you purchased for the course, The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities (2014). With the Helguera, and the readings you did before break on government arts programs and sponsorship, this writing will give you a theoretical vocabulary and practical ideas for your work.

While brainstorming session yesterday Savannah raised the challenge of working without an assignment. That is, she suggested the need for some structure. That will be our work the week we return. We have some fabulous ideas (that kept a few of us talking for 30 minutes after class!) My goal for us at the end of our first week back is to have a very clear set of objectives for the seven weeks we will be working on the final project.

For now, my response to Savannah’s question: In general, our project will celebrate, and investigate, examples of cultural production in which art and interpretation are flourishing in the open space of democracy. Each of you will be working with an object (or collection of objects) or a project or performance or social interaction of some kind. Our work is to build a language through which we can represent, celebrate, and consider the place of this work.

Enjoy spring break!

 

Create Manage License

Create Your Blog Your blog is a process portfolio in which you will be thinking and writing in this course—a site where you will be sharing your intellectual work with members of the class, and other interested readers. You have created your digital portfolio using the open-source digital content management system (CMS) Word Press (WP). And you have begun the process of designing a space that will make visible your intellectual contributions

In creating a WP blog you are creating a space to gain some control over your digital identity. Using basic digital tools and technologies will allow you to share your ideas in a public space and to consider ways of using the web in meaningful ways

Manage Your Blog The first step in managing your blog is to experiment with digital tools—to take up design questions about organizing and presenting information, to play with the relations between text and image, to cultivate habits or protocols (using categories or tags, or thinking about style) when publishing a post. More broadly, in managing your blog you are exploring the implications of how you represent yourself in a public space—empowering you to move beyond the passive consumption and toward more active production of content in the digital commons

The checklist below will develop your skills (such as adding images and links) and establish habits, or protocols, (such as including categories and tags when you publish a post

  • Clean up your theme delete default pages, links that are not relevant, widgets in sidebars or footers that you are not using; organize the sidebar or footer to make the site easier to navigate, making sure there is a list of “Recent Posts” so that a reader has a table of contents; try a “sticky post” that will welcome readers to your site and will be “above the fold” for visitors of your site;
  • (Re)consider your theme You are welcome to experiment with different themes. Word Press has hundreds of free themes for you to try. Don’t worry: you can try one out and if it does not work you can always switch back to your original or default theme
  • Edit your “About” or “About page: Readers want to know who is writing and you are in control of what a reader will know. Remember that you want to be taken seriously and so what you say (or do not say) will shape a perception of you
  • Add an Image to your About page Consider Justifying image left or right and wrapping text using image editor. If you choose not to use an image of yourself, choose an appropriate image that you would like your readers to associate with you
  • Learn to use images in your posts Use your own. You can use Google Search to poke around on the web and find images that free to use.
  • Add or Modify your Blog Header You don’t have to have a header. And what you can do with a header is in some cases determined by the the theme you have chosen. Still, headers are attractive and can serve to reinforce or echo the blog theme.
  • Add a Links or Blogroll Widget (if you do not already have one) Delete default WP links that do not seem relevant or necessary. Consider context, perhaps adding the College home page (Title of the link should be the name of the College). Link to course web page. As your projects develop later in the course you will likely want to add to the list of links.
  • Consider conventions and style Practice and play with conventions of writing on a blog; consider microstyle, including brief but suggestive post titles, simpler sentences; when writing and curating your prose, find a voice less constrained by formality or informality, perhaps by questioning familiar distinctions between formal and informal distinction, but without going too far toward either pole; consider spaces (as opposed to indentation) to mark paragraph breaks; consider the use of bullets to organize information
  • Revisit and Revise Your First Post: To add a Category, open edit for your first blog post and add a category; Add Tags Go through your first blog post and identify key words and concepts, people, place names. Add no fewer than three Tags to the post
  • Add one or more LinksHighlight text > add a URL > save (or command + K on a Mac). Link to a text (de Tocqueville or another?)

License your Content Add a License to your blog As authors creating and publishing content on the web, you need to think about copyright and the commons, digital communities, collaboration and sharing. Here is what you need to do:

  • Choose a license. I recommend and use the least restrictive license. The 4.0 License  lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon our work, even commercially, as long as users credit us for the original creation. You retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make non-commercial uses of your work. Once you have chosen a license, add a Text Widget to your Blog. I recommend placing the text widget at the bottom of the widget sidebar or in the footer. Paste into the Text Widget Window the following code:

<a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/”><img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0;” src=”https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88×31.png” /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/”>Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.

Starting Out

All of the writing you complete in the course will be on a blog (an abbreviation of the phrase “web log”). We will be setting up your blogs during week one of the class. Your blog is a process portfolio–a working space for your reading, thinking and writing. The blog is a tool for making visible your thinking as well, for your peers and anyone else who might be interested. Finally, the blog is a product, a portfolio that I will use to assess your learning in the course.

Setting Up Your Blog Go to WordPress.com. You will be prompted to move through a series of steps:

  • Let’s get started: choose the theme “A List of My Latest Posts.” Choose Twenty Sixteen as a theme. You will have the opportunity to change the theme later
  • choose a domain address: use the following convention (first initial + last name + democracy). If you are planning to use a pseudonym (pen name, nom de plume, or alias) use the first initial and last name of the pseudonym.
  • Select the Free option plan
  • Create your account

Once you have registered the blog, you will be prompted to give the site a title and a tagline (or subtitle). For now consider the course as a context for the title. For example, I might call my site “Thinking and Writing Democracy.” You will have the opportunity to revise your title, and add a tagline or subtitle, as you get further into the course.  If you have a laptop or tablet, please bring it to class on Thursday. We will talk about configuring and personalizing your blog, using the Reader feature to follow each other’s blogs, and answer other Word Press questions.

Write a Professional Bio Compose a 100-200 word description that represents you as a college student.

Once you have created the blog and written your bio, send an e-mail with the blog URL and the bio to Mark at mlong@keene.edu. Please send them no later than noon on Thursday.