Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The cellular component of my irritation is straightforward. I simply do not, while buying socks at the Gap, or standing in a ticket line and pursuing my private thoughts, or trying to read a novel on a plane that's being boarded, want to be imaginatively drawn into the sticky world of some nearby human being's home life. The very essence of the cell phone's hideousness, as a social phenomenon--the bad news that stays bad news--is that it enables and encourages the inflicting of the personal and individual on the public and communal. And there is no higher-caliber utterance than `I love you'--nothing worse that an individual can inflict on a communal public space."
---Michael Atkinson on the restless career of Gus Van Sant
---"Adventures in European filmmaking"
---Agnes Varda discusses 3 early films
---"what would it look like if celebrities were poor?"
---Carl Jung's theories and A Dangerous Method
---"How Hollywood chooses scripts" by Scott Meslow
---James Salter on Hemingway:
"Hemingway was a handsome and popular figure in Paris in the early 1920s; there is the image of him walking down the Boulevard Montparnasse in his confident athletic way past cafés where friends call out or gesture for him to join them. He was married to Hadley, his first wife, and they had an infant son, Bumby. He was writing in notebooks, in pencil, lines of exceptional, painstaking firmness. His real reputation commenced in 1926 with The Sun Also Rises, swiftly written in eight weeks, based on his experiences going to Pamplona and his fascination with bullfighting. The characters were based on real people. Brett Ashley, in life, was Lady Duff Twysden:`Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht, and you missed none of it with that wool jersey.'
Saturday, September 17, 2011
We retype documents and transcribe audio clips. We make small changes to Wikipedia pages (changing an `a' to `an' or inserting an extra space between words). We hold classes in chat rooms, and entire semesters are spent exclusively in Second Life. Each semester, for their final paper, I have them purchase a term paper from an online paper mill and sign their name to it, surely the most forbidden action in all of academia. Students then must get up and present the paper to the class as if they wrote it themselves, defending it from attacks by the other students. What paper did they choose? Is it possible to defend something you didn't write? Something, perhaps, you don't agree with? Convince us.All this, of course, is technology-driven. When the students arrive in class, they are told that they must have their laptops open and connected. And so we have a glimpse into the future. And after seeing what the spectacular results of this are, how completely engaged and democratic the classroom is, I am more convinced that I can never go back to a traditional classroom pedagogy. I learn more from the students than they can ever learn from me. The role of the professor now is part party host, part traffic cop, full-time enabler."