Archive for March, 2008

Hypertextualized futurism

Posted: March 31, 2008 in Futurism, Pedagogy, writing

The other day I was reading a book about computers and writing (Stuart Selber’s Multiliteracies for a Digital Age) and got to thinking about hypertext. This led me back to my own post about screen readers and a thought about text books. I’ve helped to write one text book so far, and it seems likely that I will be doing so again in the not too distant future. When writing this first one, price was a major concern. Books cost too much, especially considering that many students never even open them, or that some classes require as many as 10 books.

When I was still an undergrad, I remember paying about $200-300 every semester for books. Of course, I was a philosophy major, so very few of my books were text books (and I had a 10% employee discount from my father). It was not unusual for my friends to pay as much as $400-500 every semester. This is why screen readers made me think of saving money for students. But I think I’ve come up with another way. (more…)

The clock ticks

Posted: March 31, 2008 in meta, Pedagogy, Usability

About a week ago, my adviser asked me if I had started packing yet (I’m moving to another school for a PhD program next year). I responded “Not physically.” He laughed. I hadn’t meant it as a joke. At the time, I thought I meant just that while I had started planning how to pack things up (like my office), I hadn’t actually started yet.

Looking back, though, I see that I really did mean what he thought I meant. I’ve started packing up and leaving school. I have one foot out the door. Senioritis, if you prefer. And I really don’t like that. (more…)

Philosophy vs. Rhetoric

Posted: March 6, 2008 in meta

Over the weekend, I was visiting a school that will soon be my new home. It was a recruitment weekend, and while it was exhausting, it was lots of fun and felt like a vacation. The hardest part, in many ways, was keeping myself separate and trying not to allow myself to be woo’ed, though that was what the weekend was for. I figured that where I spend the next four or five years is in itself an important decision, but the fact that for the rest of my life, that’s where my PhD will be from makes it even more important. So I wanted to be sure I was making the decision because it was the right one, and not just because people were really nice to me. I didn’t want to be that easily manipulated.

I like to think that I’m not; time will tell, but this school has made me the best offer, clearly wants me very badly (a nice little point for my ego), and is a very good school. So a few days after getting back, once I’d had time to sleep on it and let the glitz and glamour fade a bit, I made the commitment.

But that’s neither here nor there. The reason I’m writing this post is because of an event that occurred during the recruitment weekend. (more…)