A little DMAC snippet

June 3, 2008

you gotta be cruel to be kind
-Nick Lowe

On the fly… pardon the roughness.

Someone asked in this morning’s discussion about how to address the fact that we’re “taking” that which belongs to the students and making it part of academia. As someone who studies popular culture and gaming, I’ve heard this one before (over and over, in fact). Some people go so far as to call it “colonizing,” which just isn’t the right word (more on this later), but I think it also indicates a problem with how we characterize such things.

It seems really simple for me: as a teacher, one has to be “legit.” It’s an issue of ethos with a subject. If one of us were to walk into the classroom and just recast/retask that which belongs to the student, it would be an act of intellectual violence. But when it’s OUR “stuff,” too, we’re just sharing and helping students to learn using media and cultural artifacts that have meaning to them (instead of continuing to insure that they consider books “our” thing).

For example, I’ve taught units on parody in cartoons (Family Guy, South Park, the Simpsons), and I’ve taught with comic books and sci-fi movies (Spider-Man, Superman, The Matrix). I have as much—if not more—experience with these things as almost every student that comes into my classroom. In that sense, I’m not taking from them… I’m encouraging the creation of a community of us.

So maybe the short answer is that if one isn’t familiar with an idea or media, one should only allow students to work with it. We can’t teach what we don’t know. But at the same time, when I teach with World of Warcraft in the fall, my students will see my high-level toons and know that I’m not just fiddling with one of “their” toys.


June 2, 2008

My book is called “The Ascent of Man”/I marked your chapter with a catamaran


We’re learning Sophie, a new digital media “book” format that you can check out here: http://www.sophieproject.org/ .

Quick note: the workshop is being taught well, but it’s reassuring to see some chaos here and there. It reminds me of my own classes at times, on those days when I was fearful that I was failing.

More later. Just trying to get back into the idea of blogging, but I should be paying attention. 🙂



DMAC Day 1: Not live like Doug, but still here.

May 30, 2008

you should blast Young Jeezy with your friends in a parking lot

-Mike Doughty

So first, random reflections on the first day of DMAC:

1. My feet are SO sore (I tried a pair of orthotic inserts– bad idea)
2. Parking services at OSU is insane
3. It’s great to see all the folks here

The first day of work here was somewhat familiar; DMAC starts much in the same way that I start my own classes on digital media composing: with audio. And anyone who has some experience with Audacity knows that it’s one of the easier things to pick up and run with.

We recorded short interviews. By “we,” I mean myself, Doug (who is from my current institution) and two folks from my old institution. We then copied the recorded MP3s onto the computers and played a bit in Audacity. I’m going to finish my edits tonight.

Thus far the institute has been good. I’m going to hopefully learn to do something really cool while I’m here (I don’t want to make a blog promise and break it, since I sort of broke my main blog promise already, but if I learn what I want to learn I’ll have a cool product soon). In the meantime, I continue to marvel at the skills of the instructors here. If ever there was a walking example of “best practices,” Cindy and Scott would surely be the model.

I also received my first teaching assignment at my current school today. It’s a nice slot– 3 to 4:50 in the afternoon, in a lab. I’m looking forward to getting back to teaching.

More tomorrow. LOST is on, and I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired.

Oh, Doug’s blog is here: http://wallsdmaclive08.blogspot.com/

It includes a photo of the mug I “customized” today. Tomorrow I find a green sharpie and add “details.”



I tried again

April 16, 2008

You’ll find me sitting by myself/no excuses/then I know…
-Alice in Chains

I played around with some additional filters, trying to get a “screened on canvas” look. Still not quite what I wanted, but closer…


The original Spidey image is by my childhood hero Todd McFarlane.


I think this one catches me up…

April 15, 2008

…every hand’s a winner/and every hand’s a loser…
-A Kenny Rogers as sung by Mike Doughty repeat

Just a drive-by.

Today, before class, I explained was talking about The Boondocks with a fellow student.

I mentioned a scene with Thugnificent (my new blogging hero, it seems), where he refers to a member of his crew as “bitchmade.” Now I know, as academic moments go, being able to explain the discursive power of “bitchmade” and how it is employed in context isn’t super impressive. In fact I feel a little weird typing “bitchmade” into a blog  that I’ve linked to my academic life. But words are words (and we use words sometimes that some wouldn’t like) and the larger point of my anecote is this…

This fellow student indicated that I had shown the ethos to be part of the African American studies program. I was even given the name of someone to look up. A professor I’m currently Googling (that sounds so dirty).

I mention this only because of how it relates to posts from last week. It seems at least in the eyes of those who are graduate students there, I have every right to speak.

Phill 1, Spivak 0.

*okay, not really, but how often do you get a chance to claim victory over Spivak?* 🙂

Tried again…

April 15, 2008

I am just a worthless liar/I am just an imbecile…

This is more the effect I wanted, but it’s still not quite there. I love this Joker image. It’s originally from the cover of The Killing Joke.

I saw something like this on eBay

April 15, 2008

The sort of stuff you’d throw away/I’ll buy it on eBay!
-Weird Al

I saw this Warholish pop-art print of Spiderman’s face on eBay.

I wanted to try copying it.

So far, so… not sure.