Tuesday, April 30, 2013

All the Way to Toronto and Home Again

Guess what city is the fourth largest city in North America.  I mean, after Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles.   Got it?  Toronto?  You're right!

My colleague Stacey Berry and I returned from a great trip to the big city on Sunday after spending three days and nights, conferencing with folks from HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory.  It was the best tech/humanities conference I've been to, with great speakers, great demonstrations, and great ideas.  Below, one of the pictures shows a project by York University librarians allowing you to "Digitize or Destroy" a book.  Select a book, and you can shred it or save it.  Or both!

Speakers included the following:
Kia Ng,  Director and co-founder of Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Research in Music (ICSRiM), University of Leeds
Joseph Tabbi, a leading authority on the effects of new technologies on contemporary  fiction and Professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Paola Antonelli, Director of Research and Development and Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art
Stacey and I came away with many ideas that we have in mind to implement in future classes.  Good deal!  

Digitize or Destroy?  Your librarian lets you choose.  

A cool computerized motion thing.

One of the presentations under way.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Edit

A great e-book shared by one of my students shows how to kill a word.  Not just one--many.  Watch them fall.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

A Snow Day. Relax!

The snow kept coming down today, and we just got a notice that there won't be school tomorrow, so it's an opportunity to relax a bit (just a bit!) and go back over some pictures from the past weekend in Minneapolis.
One of my favorite photos is this one from my visit to the Highland Grille in Minneapolis with my daughter, her boyfriend, and their little bundle of joy.  She was a good little trooper and already is a little sweetheart.

Standing There with the Fridge Open

Freezing rain and snow this morning has closed places all over the state, and as I sit comfortably in our "Red Room" on our comfy couch with a considerable amount of coffee in a cup, I'm hoping my students are not slipping and sliding all over the road trying to get to my 9:30 class.
The grass was just beginning to turn green.  Lilac buds were heavy.  Frost, like our spirits, was rising and disappearing from the ground.  My heavy coat was getting its first few days of dust.
Forecast today?  Freezing rain and sleet.  Tonight?  Snow and sleet.  Tomorrow?  Snow.  Tomorrow night?  Occasional snow.  Thursday?  Snow likely.  Thursday night?  A slight chance of snow.
In all, it might be as much as four inches of snow.  Highs in the 20's.
There's always something to be said about the weather.  We'll get to that point in the year when it's good words, but for now, we can only say we're tired of this winter and wish it was leave us a little more spring.  We haven't had much yet.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Thank You, Molly Freier, Wherever You Are

When I inherited my office and my desk from my predecessor, way back in 1996-97, I found a number of items in the main drawer that were left, perhaps as a courtesy to a person new to DSU (but not to teaching). Among the items there, I found a little basic sewing kit in a little plastic sleeve, marked Dakota State College with our address.  Hence, before DSU became DSU and was still DSC.

In the kit is a little folding scissors, a needle, a threader (don't know what that is?  you will when you turn 40), and a bit of cardboard that is wound with six colors of string:  black (almost gone), white (not much there), blue and tan (which seem to have been used a little) and pink and yellow.  The last two colors seem almost untouched.

The item became useful today when my nice flashy Jerry Garcia brand tie (what's that Dead member doing on a tie, anyway?) popped it's little holder loose.  You know, the little panel on the back of the main tie that you tuck the skinny end of the tie in?  That had one loose mangy stitch in it, and it failed.  Now it's back in order.

I can't imagine that sewing kit being much of a swag item, but perhaps in those days students still might mend their own clothing.  It could have been part of a "welcome to college" kit they handed to students.  Still, it's nice to know if the time comes when I NEED some yellow or pink thread, all I have to do is whisk my desk drawer open, get out my little sewing kit, and proceed.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Going on Tour

I'm looking forward to heading for Minneapolis for the MnWE (Minnesota Writing and English) Conference.  This will give me another chance to talk about the great English for New Media program at Dakota State University and the work that people do here.  Goodo for us!

Monday, April 01, 2013

The Busy vs. the Happy

Keep calm.  Think about the now.  Be in the moment.  Carry no baggage.

I'm thinking about the characteristics of happy people, having read a recent blog post on Successify:  http://successify.net/2012/10/31/22-things-happy-people-do-differently/.

I've said yes to so many things that my April, as I face it here on the first, is proving to look like a month-long gauntlet, finishing up as it will with a trip to Toronto to present at the HASTAC Conference, which I am definitely looking forward to.

In the meantime, it's worthwhile to consider how I got here, feeling a bit overwhelmed (and so early in the morning!).

  • I'm doing the ACT prep session for high school kids tonight.
  • My daughter's 30th birthday is Wednesday.  
  • I'm helping some with the DSU play, Xanadu, this week.
  • I'm presenting at a conference in Minneapolis on Friday.
  • I've got committee duties that I'll have to get caught up on when I get back.  
  • The last day to drop a course is Wednesday, so my grades need to be up to date.
  • My grandaughter's first birthday is the 13th, with a birthday party in Minneapolis. 
  • I'm the advisor for Sigma Tau Delta at DSU, and our spring banquet is on the 18th. 
  • I'm doing a reading for a performance with my Indian dancing colleage Shreelina Ghosh on April 20 (Saturday).  (We are practicing today).  
  • Shreelina, Stacey Berry, and I are presenting at the HASTAC Conference on the 26th.  
  • Last days of classes
  • Finals

Plus, there is the day to day.  I have papers to grade.  I have classes to prepare for.  I'd like to finish the back entry.  I'd like to get out my motorcycle.  I'd like to get my OTHER motorcycle working right.  I'd like to have some happy simple days at home.  I'd like to get together with my colleagues and friends.

So, anyway, I'm busy.  But we had a good weekend with my daughter, her man, and their little babe.  And we spent time with the wife's family, something we haven't done a lot of recently.

Meanwhile, I'll try to do the things that happy people do.