Wednesday, January 25

spring semester 2012

classes will have been in session for one week tomorrow. it feels like ages. I'm already being chewed on by the demands of the semester-- readings, projects, readings, projects... it's extraordinary. it's beautiful. I am the luckiest grad student ever. the next four months are pretty much going to rock.

Instructional Development and Design, with Dr. Baehr
we have a humongous, fat textbook for this class, called E-Learning by Design. our focus is online and electronic learning environments and how those environments/experiences can be designed effectively. so far we've discussed various learning styles, recent technological developments, and some socioeconomic considerations that influence a designer's approach to creating online pedagogical resources. I'm really hoping we get into some hands-on projects soon. eventually we will get to create our own video tutorial. and our final project is supposed to be an extensive e-learning resource website of some kind. any suggestions for good tutorial subjects? anything you've always wanted to learn?

History of the Book, with Dr. Hawkins
this one feels a lot like a continuation of last semester's Bibliography. there are a few similarities, but a different focus. and no Dr. Snead, which makes me a little bit sad. but it's going to be a fun class. we talked this afternoon about what sorts of projects and presentations and activities we hope to include over the next few weeks. book binding. quill pens. paper making. manuscript. letterpress. typography. half of our textbooks are full of awesome pictures. the other half are fascinating discourse by people like Peter Shillingsburg. I love it.

Visual Rhetoric, with Dr. Kimball
my first online class. our virtual meeting tonight was quite cool. I scribbled down fascinating notes, questions, little doodles of a pipe. we talked about zoos as art galleries, and art galleries as zoos. frames, and frames framing other frames, and how easy it is to forget about the frame and let the representations of reality become reality. visual stimuli are so easy to assimilate and adjust to. Dr. Kimball (side note: Dr. Kimball is Dr. Hawkins's husband.) called our near-effortless adjustments "becoming naturalized citizens of the scopic regime." and that all of a sudden reminds me of this podcast about the design of banks. I feel like the questions behind the images I see in the world everywhere--who created it, when, why, how, and under what circumstances--all those questions add such an awesome mystery to every piece of visual information I’ll ever come across for the rest of my life.

beyond classes, I've started working two full-time days and one half-day at the Press, which is a different feeling than my shorter shifts last semester, but just as awesome. I've been doing a lot of copyright registration, tagging stuff for CIP, a little bit of image-wrangling, and a little bit of proofing/checking corrections. you all should go check out the 2012 Spring catalogue {pdf}. all but one of those seven brand new titles has had my lowly editorial assistant fingers in it at various points over the last few months. that's a cool feeling, no matter how lowly I might be.

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