• College Ready Writing

    A blog about education, higher ed, teaching, and trying to re-imagine how we provide education.


Waiting on Wednesday

I am currently distracted. So, a post full of shot posts. Enjoy.

August 14, 2012

It was my birthday today (Tuesday), the day I was also supposed to (maybe, probably) hear about The Job. No news is good news, right. RIGHT?!?!

(Takes deep breath.)

After a long day of “celebrating” by attending professional development courses, making a short video for MOOCMOOC, and finally going to see The Dark Knight, I don’t have quite the attention span to write a full post on one topic, so more musing, punctuated by obsessive-compulsively checking my phone. And email, just in case.

(Checks phone. Nothing.)

First, the professional development. Doug Thomas’ talk was great, and attended by one upper-level administrator. One. I asked the question I wanted to ask, he answered it as best he could (my colleague also asked about how to change the culture we are currently teaching in, specifically the politicians who set and drive the policies), and no one was really there to hear the answer. No one who mattered anyway. Which, well, not unexpected, but disappointing nonetheless.

I was fortunate to be able to participate in a smaller, roundtable session with Dr. Thomas, and it was a great opportunity to connect with like-minded peers at my institution. I also admitted, for the first time, to a wider (and local) audience that I use peer-driven learning in my class. I also got a big kick out of telling Dr. Thomas that I am on a 5/4 course load (don’t worry, there was context, but I still like the look of shock and disbelief).

But, the best birthday present of all was when I introduced myself and he recognized my name and said he read my blog.

(Checks phone. Nothing.)

I get all kinds of interesting emails now that I blog for IHE: press releases from various colleges, for-profit, and other organizations. Yesterday, I received an email from Turnitin asking me to participate in a free professional development course to improve my teaching of writing (and use their services).

I’m not sure what to think about this. On the one hand, I’m always up for ways to help me become a better writing teacher. On the other, I’m not really sure if what I’ll learn that won’t be tied to using proprietary software. Honestly, I think I’ll just stick with #FYCchat (which will be starting up again soon!).

(Checks phone. Nothing.)

Two days into MOOC MOOC and I’m quite probably “failing.” That’s not true, but I certainly had a hand in bombing our first assignment, which was to collectively write a 1000-word essay that defines what a MOOC is. Everyone else wrote an essay. We did this (you can read the “best” one here, as well as all the other essays). The essays were due by 6 PM which is the worst time for me with dinner and bedtimes, etc, so I couldn’t take the role of editor, and apparently no one else could or would either.

I defended our group on Twitter, noting that it’s often the most disruptive troublemakers who turn out being the brightest and most innovative. You know, the ones who don’t follow the rules, who don’t listen, who are easily distracted. So, yeah, go Code Name: Chaos!

I did much better today, only breaking the time limit by two minutes (but it seems that everyone did about 5 minutes). I am pretty proud of it, considering I did it all on my phone in one take (yup, that’s me, putting the ‘eh’ in effort). So far, the class has been really great. My video was about the difference between have a community or being a part of a collective. I’ve added to my community and benefited from the wisdom of the collective. So, yay me, and yay MOOC MOOC.

(Checks phone. Nothing.)

I have to say, I really, really appreciated all of the birthday wishes I got over social media. It might sound silly, but it did actually mean a lot to me. Say what you will about how many “friends” or inauthentic connections we may have on place like facebook, but that so many people took the time to a) look at the reminders and b) actually write ‘Happy Birthday’ actually means something to me.

(Checks phone. Nothing.)

I’m out. 


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