Saturday, March 22, 2008


We came home (to Big Creek) for the weekend. We drove up last night after the Tennebrae service at church for Good Friday. I skipped it to pack (and order a new camera), but the kids said that it went well. The purpose for this trip, other than Easter service with my family, was to work cattle. By work, I mean vaccinate, spray for insects, mark, tag, fly tag, and, ahem, castrate as necessary. Todd and the kids did not have skilled jobs in this program. Instead, they chase cattle, and help separate calves. Actually, Mea had a skilled job. She organized all the supplies, and handed tools as necessary, kind of like a surgical tech.

My contribution to this operation was documentation. I took my video camera and filmed an hour of their work. One of the neighbors, Phillip, came over and helped out. He works around for different folks on the weekends. Phillip is amazing to watch. Dad was, too. I wonder if those skills will be around in 30 years. I know when I taught in St. James, the farmers had already switched to a service instead of doing it themselves.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Closing tabs (and up too late)

I just put the Vino on a CD to send to press. It took longer than I expected. A couple of people had technical problems that slowed things down. I guess I need to remind everyone that they are welcome to use the Vino computer for editing ; )

The Skidmore Writer is guide to college writing for students. I find the section on Understanding Professor's Comments to be interesting and can see where it would helpful for a first year student.

"How to Create Scoring Rubrics" from the Teagle foundation has information on creating and using scoring rubrics.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So... Saturday Morning

Why can't I sleep late on Saturdays any more? Is this an unforeseen (and even unforetold?) curse of oldness? Bah.

The remote control for our cable box has disapparated. Evidently the cat snuck in an ate it. I say this because none of my children have seen it. My husband swears that I was the last person to touch it. Of course, if this were true, it would be in one of the places I leave it (which it is not). Miss O had a knock-down drag-out tantrum last night because she hadn't had a "tv turn all day." And no remote.

We ended up watching Muppet Show (season two) in my bedroom. With the crisis over, she was asleep within ten minutes.

So, up, with everyone asleep, remoteless, I am watching Lost in Translation.

Random Blathering

So my life is so completely lame. I am trying to think of something to write about, and all I can think of is what is on television-- Friends. The one where the girls lose the apartment.

Mea is sick today-- we are hoping that it is *not* strep. Especially since strep means that I have to do her wretched babysitting job.

Today is my spring break. No class today, but I do have to get my research project started. I now have IRB clearance from two institutions. That is a lot of IRB.

We are doing professional development to get ready for our assessment program. It is really going pretty well, but it is tiring. More tomorrow (along with my regularly scheduled class load), and on Thursday.

On another subject...
My children are seriously lacking in the 80s-90s movie department. I discovered a couple of weeks ago that Mea had never seen Wayne's World. Or Weekend at Bernie's. Or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. She (and W) are seriously missing out on the whole... understanding of the popular culture that has shaped my understanding of reality. They get the music, so I am not completely isolated in my home. (Actually, Mea introduced me to Bauhaus-- how wrong is that??) So on movies, I educate them, one movie at a time.

Feel free to give me some ideas for 1980-1995 movies to share with teen aged children.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sound Essay

This was done for the New Media Theory and Practice course that I am taking... I have no idea how the grade will be, but I love the result. (Crossposted from dreary class blog)

I knew what I wanted to write about from the beginning of this assignment. I believe passionately that people should write and tell their stories. Or just tell their stories. I draw heavily on my past and on my cultural heritage to make meaning of my life and experiences. So it was very important for me to try to pull in someone from my hometown.

I have some video of my grandmother, who passed away in 2005. She was our next door neighbor, and was consequently very important in my life. She often talked about her past, but of course, she never considered herself to be a writer, and she never wrote. Rarely did she even write letters, as the telephone was so much more immediate. My video, however, would not import (after about eight hours of trying), so I did not get to use my grandmother's voice.

Something that I did have, though, was an interview that my daughter did for her history day project with Mrs. Marshall, a friend of my mother's. Mrs. Marshall and my mother ended up talking about the stories they knew from childhood, and how telling stories made it easier to cope with the death of loved ones. So after 14 hours of attempting, I finally re-imported Mrs. Marshall's interview into Adobe Premiere Elements, which allowed me to extract the audio.

My audio essay was originally a lecture that I gave to our Honors College freshmen class about writing memoir. It was based heavily on a piece by Patricia Hampl that we all read. So I removed most of what came from the reading, except one little piece that I quoted.

I also went looking to see if I could find Donald Murray talking about writing. He has been the most influential theorist on my teaching. And I love the way he approaches writing, especially if I trying to encourage someone to write. And I did find an audio interview with him by Chip Scanlon.

I used Mediaevel Baebes' Veni Veni as a background track.

I am really pleased with how this turned out, except that I am afraid that the volume is not even throughout. That was hard to get right because the Murray clip was posted online, and he was on a telephone. The interview footage with Mrs. Marshall was from a video camera without a separate microphone. The difference in inputs makes it hard to get the volume right. If I only had a mixing board.

I was really surprised by how many problems that I had with the technology. I usually have way more problems with the concepts than with the tools, but this time the concept came pretty easily and the tools nearly killed me.

Audio Essay: Writing Your Self