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The Ways in Which Indiana Jones Lied to Me About What My Life as a Professor Would Look Like

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Yeah, I’m headed off to southern Illinois tomorrow for an archive trip. I’m staying at the Best Western Saluki Inn. There’s no wifi in the rooms. It’s right next to a Buffalo Wild Wings. Where does Indy go? Peru. Nepal. India. Egypt. Hangs in castles and temples. Crashes in beautiful hotels in Venice. My most exciting research trip to date? Gettysburg, so I could sweat my ass off during an incredibly humid July while watching a bunch of men run around in wool costumes and play with fake guns.

 


 

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There are no snakes. There are, … Read more

LIB 200 site
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Capstone Class: Digital Media Projects

For their culminating project, students in my Humanism, Science, and Technology class were asked to create some kind of creative digital media project that touched on our class themes. LIB 200 is the capstone class for Liberal Arts majors at LaGuardia, and our section focused specifically on AI in sci-fi films and TV shows. The students embraced the challenge, and I wanted to take a moment to show off their fabulous work. Working individually or in groups, they first pitched a proposal to the class – getting feedback and crowd-sourcing ideas. Next, they drafted a design plan (which … Read more

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When Things Go Horribly Wrong

Ok, I will admit – this title seems like clickbait (in that a grand total of two more people than the usual five might read this). But I realized that this blog tends to present a rosy or optimistic depiction of my teaching. The constant self-reflection (mostly highly critical) and the failed attempts do not make their way into these posts as often as they probably should. This is probably a result of several things: a sense of self-preservation, the omni-present imposter syndrome academics tend to suffer from, and the fact that I tend to dissect and discuss the … Read more

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Humanism, Science, and Technology Class-Generated Survey

Students in my Humanism, Science, and Technology capstone class – LIB 200 – generated a survey to gather data and opinions related to topics/discussions that have come up during our meetings (or virtually in our Slack chat forum). As I wrote about a bit earlier, our section is looking at Artificial Intelligence in sci-fi films and tv shows, and considering some of the current debates around AI development. Please fill out this short survey to help us out – thanks!

 

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Douglass syllabus
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Reacting to the Past/Learning Community Syllabus

This semester I’ll be facilitating my first learning community at LaGuardia: the cluster for first-year students is typically an interdisciplinary grouping of courses, including both composition and a research paper class (ENG 101 & 103) and two other content courses, with one shared co-taught hour (I’m responsible for the ENG classes, clearly). I proposed a learning community entitled “Reacting to the Past: Race, Violence, and US History,” with antebellum US history and public speaking courses. These classes seemed like a natural grouping for the Reacting to the Past game Frederick Douglass, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Constitution: 1845  by Mark … Read more

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Podcast Assignment (Part 3 of 3…I think.)

Several composition students from my spring class generously gave me permission to post their final products as models for other students and faculty members. As mentioned in prior posts (one on the initial “riff” assignment, the other with materials on the final project), students generated design plans – which included research narratives – to plot out their recordings. A few were surprised that their findings in interviews did not always support their initial projections: I would make sure and include a more reflective post-podcast assignment in the future, so students could respond to any unforeseen circumstances that … Read more

"Albert-Cuyp Family with Robot" by David Blackwell. Available on Flickr.
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AI & Sci-Fi: Fall 2015 syllabus for Humanism, Science, and Technology

Faculty are given a lot of latitude when developing our sections for the liberal arts capstone class at LaGuardia, Humanism, Science, and Technology. The original impetus for this class was that I really, really wanted an excuse to teach the Battlestar Galactica reboot; that, and the theme dovetails with the NEH faculty seminar I was part of last year and will join again this coming year, Technology, Self, and Society. It pains me to say this, but BSG did not make the final cut: there were so many other excellent sci-fi films/shows suggested by colleagues and friends that more … Read more

Podcast Prezi
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Podcast Assignment (Part 2 of ?)

The first round of podcasts from my composition class – reflections on at least one text from our class readings – were impressive. I learned a lot about my students: personal and background information that touched upon our class themes/topics, interpretations and connections with texts that had not come out in class, and the beginnings (for some) of larger projects. The second round of podcasts is more argument- and research-driven; students have to articulate a thesis, use research (including at least one scholarly source) to make their case, and conduct interviews. We informally called the first round of podcasts … Read more

Podcasting
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Podcast Assignment (Part 1 of ?)

As I mentioned here recently, my composition students will be preparing two rounds of podcasts this semester. They are recording their first podcasts tomorrow, and – based on some of the ideas they were bouncing around in class yesterday – I’m looking forward to the results. Several colleagues expressed interest in the assignment, so I thought I’d quickly create a repository for the methods/materials I’m using. Fair warning: this is all still very much in development.

The first podcast assignment can be made collaboratively or as a solo recording, and I set the minimum time limit as 3 … Read more

ENG 101 image
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Kicking Off the New Semester: Grading Contracts (Part II), Portfolios, Podcasts, & the End of the World

We’re almost through the first week of classes at LaGuardia. I’ve tweaked some old things, rolled out some new things, and based upon the insights/connections students are making in our initial meetings, I think a lot of great work is going to happen this semester. 1 I spent some time during the winter break thinking about the grading contract I used during the fall. While the grading contract was an improvement (in my mind) on my older grading practices – and I think it made things more transparent in general – the act of revision was still not … Read more