Archive for January 2010

State of the Union Address

January 28, 2010

Tiger Lily watched the State of the Union Address with me last evening. She was impressed! Just that day in class I had taught a definition of rhetoric used by language scholars to see how it is more than sleazy lawyer-talk–

    rhetoric: the use of language to accomplish something

I think of rhetoric as the way we make meaning in words, or more specifically, using communication in such a way as to influence your listeners or readers to hear your side, favor you, agree to your position, understand you, or for you to just “fit in.” 

As one scholar puts it, rhetoric becomes the “‘condition of our existence’—a way of being, knowing, organizing, and acting in the world.” 

Tiger Lily and I like the way Obama used words to make meaning last night.



January 22, 2010

Ok, I admit that I think the YouTube video is funny, albeit worth analyzing on several levels. I’m using it tomorrow

along with Jenkins’s

which is obviously more stimulating (but not as funny).

Henry Jenkins and new media literacy

January 19, 2010

I am teaching Eng 301: Writing Studies with a theme of new media literacy this quarter (winter 2010). We’ve been reading Henry Jenkins and discussing things like the 8 traits of new media landscape and the question of participatory culture (Facebook, fanfic, etc.).

I’m definitely a new fan of Jenkins. But I’m also a digital immigrant (altho I find the terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” insufficient and problematic). Since this blog was started when I taught a similar class two years ago, I want to keep with the framing device I first chose: “picturing cats and languaging life.”

So here’s my (recycled) cat pic in order to metaphorically symbolize my digital ambiguity

Cats and ideas in the recent past

January 13, 2010

This is Moppet, an unasked-for 12 year old outdoor cat that entered our lives because the next-door neighbor moved. Seems that Moppet is set in her ways, and inhabits the back territory of our yard. Won’t move. Won’t be loved or taken in.

Makes you sit back and think: what do you do with an old girl who can’t adapt to new conditions? (While the picture and subject SEEMS to have nothing so ever to do with digital habits, it can’t but make me think of new media literacy and thinking habits. It’s all about ways of being in the world.)