New Media Faculty Dev. Seminar – FA2010

"Awakening the Digital Imagination" – a Networked Seminar


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Post source: publicintellectual

Well, folks. "Lots and none at all indeed" aptly describes current events.

On the positive side, I successfully defended my dissertation on May 3rd. I am now technically a Doctor of American Culture Studies. So, if there are any symptoms that your American Culture is experiencing, I might be able to help diagnose them.

More positive is that Jenna and I found out that our landlord was over charging us by about $200 per month compared to other properties. So, we talked her into lowering our rent for the forseeable future. Woohoo!

On the more negative side, my committee had lots of "suggestions" for revising my manuscript of my diss. That's what I get for taking on the history of narratives and one of the most beloved genres in the history of film. Oh, and I am also throwing in a redefinition of the idea of ethics in there for good measure. Blech. So, I have been redrafting large sections of my diss to answer some of their questions and concerns.

On the wholly negative side, I was not able to land a full-time teaching gig for the coming year. It looks like I will be working as an Adjunct Professor at our local Community College, which isn't so bad, but they can get away paying us very, very little. Thankfully the people there are very nice, and I like the students for the most part.

Also, after much fretting and the serious consideration of selling my nearly paid off car, it looks like I might have enough income this summer that this is not necessary. Yay!

The best part is that my wonderful wife has been super supportive and excellent about everything, at least as excellent as I was myself.

I wish that I had the energy to bash all of those short-sighted schools that did not hire me and the stupidity of the strict disciplinary boundaries that kept me out of a number of positions that I was perfectly qualified for, but I don't have the heart. I've been blessed, even if not in the ways I might prefer.

Now, I just have to finish the manuscript, send it to some publishing friends, turn some chapters into articles, and rock the next year of job searching. It is sad that I probably will not be able to see most of my friends at all of the conferences that I like/need to attend, but it is not in the cards.

I really hope to be posting more often now for the handful of you who read this. I had the hardest time when Blogger switched over to this google thing. I had to change my name and password multiple times. I think I have it now.

I have so many things that I want to write about, but I have to get the important things done for the moment.

Quote Quiz

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Post source: publicintellectual

A couple of commentors have requested that I post the quote quiz that I give to my students. I had meant for this to be VERY easy extra credit for the students, but they ended up only able to get about 12 right.

If you are taking this, please don't cheat by using IMDB or Google, etc.

Name the movie which each quotation comes from. Each is worth 1 pt, but partial credit can be received for creativity and relative accuracy.

1. “I’m the king of the world.”
2. “Luke, I am your father.”
3. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
4. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
5. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
6. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”
7. “I’ll be back.”
8. “You talkin’ to me.”
9. “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!”
10. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
11. “I feel the need – the need for speed.”
12. “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac…It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”
13. “They’re here!”
14. “I wish I knew how to quit you.”
15. “The rules of hair care are simple and finite.”
16. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”
17. “You’ve got a baby…in a bar!”
18. Person A: “…why does the floor move?”
Person B: “Give me your torch” drops torch “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”
Person A: “Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.”
19. “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend!”
20. “I've seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air, yet their strength and their speed are still based in a world that is built on rules. Because of that, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.”
21. “There’s no crying in baseball!”
22. “Look around! You couldn't find a whiter, safer or better lit part of this city. But this white woman sees two black guys, who look like UCLA students, strolling down the sidewalk and her reaction is blind fear. I mean, look at us! Are we dressed like gangbangers? Do we look threatening? No.”
23. “You had me at ‘hello’”
24. "Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion!”
25. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
26. “What’s your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn’t Mommy and Daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?”
27. “In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the... Anyone? Anyone?... the Great Depression, passed the... Anyone? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression.”
28. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
29. “No, she gets a special cologne... It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries... Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.”
30. “I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”
31. “I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”
32. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
33. “It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... and I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.”
34. “Summer romances begin for all kinds of reasons, but when all is said and done, they have one thing in common. They're shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash they're gone.”
35. “Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts.”
36. “We have front row seats for this theater of mass destruction. The demolition committee of Project Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns of a dozen buildings with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges and a few square blocks will be reduced to smoldering rubble. I know this... because Tyler knows this.”

>12 right = more culturally aware than 18 and 19 year olds.
>24 right = more culturally aware than 24-25 year olds.
>30 right = geek

Quarterly Update…

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Post source: publicintellectual

Hey, all.

I have had a few complaints about the dearth of posting on my blog, but I have many, many excuses. I am finishing my dissertation, publishing a book I edited (Battleground States: Scholarship in Contemporary America), teaching, presenting at conferences, representing the grad students at BGSU, and looking for a job.

Things are going as well as can be expected. Jobs are tough to come by, which is to be expected. Dissertations are hard to write, especially when you end up taking on the history of narrative from classical Greek drama to contemporary noir films, television shows, and graphic novels. D'oh!

As soon as I get some of these things done, I promise that I will put more time into posting wacky, yet insightful things on my blog again.

Just for Kicks…

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Post source: publicintellectual

I know that it has been over a month, but, hey, I've been busy teaching, applying for jobs, editing a book, representing grad students on my campus, oh yeah, and writing my dissertation.

'Tation Update: I now have ONE complete chapter with three others in various states of completion.

Also, I have had a number of friends completing this little blog-thing, I though I would as well. Theoretically, one is a movie geek/nerd/has no life if they have seen 85 of these movies. I might be all of these things, but I also study film for a living (of sorts).

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
(x) Braveheart
Total: 10

(x) The Princess Bride
(x) AnchorMan: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
(x) Saw
( ) Saw II (Saw I pretty much did what was needed in this area.)
( ) White Noise (My wife saw it, thought it was incredibly stupid, and since no one else saw it, I let it go.)
(x) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total: 10
Running Total ('cuz I'm bad at math): 20

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(I'm not actually sure which "Scary Movie" I saw, but I saw one of them.)
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total: 6
Running Total: 26

(x) Harry Potter 1 [Philosopher's/Sorceror's Stone]
(x) Harry Potter 2 [Chamber of Secrets]
(x) Harry Potter 3 [Prisoner of Azkaban]
(x) Harry Potter 4 [Goblet of Fire]
(x) Resident Evil
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
(x) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total: 10
Running Total: 36

(x) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
( ) The Grinch (Do they mean the TV special?)
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre ( I will assume that they mean the original, even though they probably don't.)
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30 (Mark Ruffalo is so adorable in this movie. It is very well-done for the genre.)
(x) I, Robot
( ) Roots
Total: 5
Running Total: 41

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
(x) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
(x) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
Total: 11
Running Total: 52

( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
() Halloweentown
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total: 4
Running Total: 55

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
(x) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total: 5
Running Total: 60

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play 1
( ) Child's Play 2
( ) Child's Play 3
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Seed of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
(x) Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street (I'm a bit confused as to why the creator of this list has listed all the sequels to everything else, but not this series.)
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total: 8
Running Total: 68

(x) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Sleven [sic] (This title is spelled wrong. It should be "Slevin".)
(x/x) Ocean's Eleven (original and new)
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Identity
(x) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog (Original)
(x) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total: 8
Running Total: 76

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
(x) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Boss's Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
( ) Frality
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total: 7
Running Total: 83

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
(x) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total: 11
Running Total: 94 (Ooops, I'm already over the limit. Let's go for uber-geek status.)

(x) X-Men
(x) X-Men 2
(x) X-Men 3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Others
(x) Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total: 11
Running Total: 105

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle
(x) Old School
( ) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
(x) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
(x) Kill Bill
(x) Kill Bill Vol 2
Total: 14
Running Total: 119

On an ethnographic note, I find it interesting that those who have watched three or four sci-fi/horror series' are already well on their way to "having no life". While, in general, this might be true from traditional nomenclature of what it means to "have no life," I think that this might be falsely skewed away from movie types that people who "have a life" might regularly view.

Perhaps it just goes to show what an odd academic I am that I seriously consider trying to craft a more indicative list or one which might give an insight into one's general pop culture literacy.

One of the things that has amazed me in my teaching is the lack of general cultural knowledge that is considered to be part of common knowledge.

On a recent quiz, I listed 35 quotations that most people in America should be relatively familiar with, with a definite angle towards things that students might have seen in the last few years. So, in addition to quotes from "The Wizard of Oz", I included major quotes from "The Notebook" and "Fight Club". Out of these 35 quotations, most people were unable to get the location of more than 10.

Now, I understand that not everyone pays attention to the details of film, like I do, but it should be general knowledge that, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," is from "Gone with the Wind".

Maybe it is just me.

Early Mornings…

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Post source: publicintellectual

I don't know who thought that it would be a good idea to have a three hour, Intro to College Composition class at 8am on Monday mornings, but they should be publically flogged. I know that I am not the best comp teacher ever, but the blank stares and tiredness is driving me nuts.

I give a fairly simple assignment: here are different types of support and argumentation, looking at that list, work with a group and identify the types of argumentation in your assigned essay, but there is nothing but sitting around with the look of, "what do I do?"

I know that self-motivation is not the highest on the list of 18 year olds, but come on! (To quote Rob Corddry)

I Will Have a Book!

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Post source: publicintellectual

Oh, yeah. I forgot to mention that the book that a number of us in my department have been laboring to get published for the past few months has finally found a publisher. Yay!

So sometime next Spring, you will be able to go on google or amazon and type my name in and get a book to buy that i have edited and written the introduction to. Woot ! Woot!

However, it will be yet another reason that things go slowly for me.

Update! Finally!

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Post source: publicintellectual

Ok...ok... The three of you that check blogs frequently have been after me for months to stop slacking and get it together. Well, I'm sorry, but I am a bit busy. I'm trying to graduate on time and get a decent job for next year.

I totally love working PT at a community college, but the lack of benefits, low pay, and little future progress does have some drawbacks. So, I have about two dozen places that i am planning on applying. The problem with this is that each and every school has their own little way of doing this. Some want no letters. Some want 5 letters. Some do not want writing samples, while others have very specific instructions on the kinds of writing samples that will be acceptable.

Of course it does not help that i am interdisciplinary in nature and thus applying to film, communications, and English programs among others. It takes up a lot of time. At first, i liked dreaming up possible upper-level undergraduate courses that I might like to teach, but at this point I just want to write, "I will assign a list of fantastic and life-changing works of fiction and criticism. The students will read about 30% of it and refuse to discuss in class. Their papers will, in general, be weak but acceptable in the contemporary climate of grade inflation, and I will fight constantly to find time to write my research, publish, and present. Students will simultaneously find me pompous and overly casual based on their tastes and expectations. About five in a class of twenty-five will absolutely adore the class."

Does that come across as too cynical? Probably. I will have to paste on my happy face and talk about engaging students as co-learners and creating a discourse between practice and theory where the classroom becomes a space for playing with ideas. It isn't that i do not believe these things. I do. I was in classes where this happened, and it was magical. I would leave class talking to some cute girl about how Jane Austen must have had a lot of closeted fans from the manly-man class during her time. There are too many little hints...etc.

However, for the most part, I teach and just get blank responses to questions like, "Now how does globalization of culture affect your life? Anything? It could be that you can go to the same McDonalds everywhere or see brand new movies around the world that are all from the US. Does anyone have a single example of how this cultural and economic process enters daily life?...No....right then."