Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Snippets (Actually A Bit More Than Snippets)

Yesterday in my computer lab Composition class I tripped over some computer cords and bit the dust in front of my students. I caught myself on the wall and popped up like a puppet, laughing. They got a kick out of it too.

Apart from thinking about tripping I've been thinking about something we began talking about--digital identity. I'm sure most of you are all familiar with digital identity and digital narrative theories, but it was cool to explain it for the first time to this class of students. We've been talking a lot about Pop Culture and Technology, and yesterday was the perfect day to share with them the formal term. I pulled up my Facebook account for the whole class and explained to them that I'm only choose apps and giving details of the things I want them to know about me. I'm only presenting "the me I want people to see" on Facebook; I'm not sharing the things I might not like about myself or the things I deem private. I watched their faces as I defined this term that they were all kinda dancing around in the conversation, and I noticed several "AHA!!!!" faces. I love those teaching moments. And I really enjoy that class. The students in there are bright and motivated. They make me want to be a better teacher, scholar, and student myself.

Our class discussion, though, has me thinking a lot about Facebook. I'm totally addicted to that crazy thing. It makes it so easy to catch up with distant friends, loved ones, former students, and colleagues. I've been toying with creating student groups for my classes or developing the "Courses" app that gives classes space for a discussion board, a place to post assignment sheets, and an area to post announcements. My students seem kind of reluctant to use Facebook as an education tool. I don't blame them--at times. I think Facebook will be the new Blackbaord, but ,seriously, it's the best toy (and stalking tool) in the internet.

And while thinking about Facebook and digital identity, I've become obsessed with my Profile Picture. I can't find one that cute enough, smart enough, skinny enough: "me" enough. Either I'm having self esteem issues or I need a haircut (that always makes me feel better) or my New Year's Resolution to not buy "new" clothes has left me feeling a little under the weather.

Weather: We had several severe thunderstorms last night. It's February. We should be having blizzards. And to think there are still skeptics of global warming. Oi!

Thankfully, Bleu slept through all the lightning and thunder until one really loud rumble shook the house. Then I heard his little tags clink together as he probably raised his head (he sleeps in a kennel on the far side of master bedroom so I couldn't see him). This same rumble woke up me and FD at the same time as at the same time we said "WTF?" I imagined Bleu said it with us, and then all three of us fell back to sleep. Bleu's little tags clinking as he laid his head back down.


During yoga class last night I couldn't balance. Not at all. I got so pissed with myself. Seriously, how hard is it to stand on one leg with the other leg stretched out in front of you? Maybe it was my spill in class yesterday, but I just couldn't do it. And I know I can because I've done it many times before. It's been awhile since I've been frustrated like that during yoga. But I'm happy I got frustrated. It reminded me to let go and accept where I was for the day, even if that meant I was where I didn't want to be. I need constant reminders.

What I've really been enjoying this session with Megan is my mind is becoming less clogged when I practice and I'm able to draw connections between how Megan explains a pose and how I teach my students to craft an essay. Back in the day when I practiced yoga it cleared my mind to help me be receptive to words/lines/etc. for poems. I don't have that so much any more. Sometimes that scares me because I wonder if I'll ever write a poem again. But then I remind myself that I have my lyric essays which are at times hybrid enough to be poems, so why should I obsess over not writing somethings that are left-margin justified. Pigeonholing myself and writing to a certain genre in a certain style isn't cool...

Which reminds me of digital identity...like the blogs of the writers who only talk about writer-ly things. Though I respect many of these kinds of blogs, I'm skeptical of others. I'm wondering if all this digital identity isn't just perpetuating stereotypes and locking writers (and teachers) into these oversimplified personifications of their traditional roles. Aren't we all more dynamic than that?

Bleu beckons from this kennel.

Perhaps next time I'll discuss another idea I've had: "Pimp My Kennel."


MeMeReezy said...

I try to tell my boyfriend all the time how he should consider constantly updating his facebook because it reflects his identity to anyone who sees it. He thinks I take Facebook too seriously, especially after I snapped on him for skeevy groups he belonged to.

I especially like those new commercials where the teen girl is being asked super personal questions by boys and strange men everywhere she goes. It warns teens that whatever you put on the internet is always there.

Anonymous said...

man, you're right. my facebook says I'm a slutty punk rock drug addict. and god damn it, I am a slutty punk rock drug addict.